Denise Harrison was instated as the 52nd Grand Worthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star on Sept. 22. The ceremony was held at the Crowne Royal Hotel in Concord, California. Harrison provides over 50 chapters throughout the state of California. Harrison’s chapter is 55, which is in Oakland.
Harrison is a legacy member as her father was a Grand Master Mason. Harrison joined the Order of the Eastern Star in 1997. She rose through the ranks by striving for excellence, commitment, dedication, purpose and perseverance. Harrison was in the Pauline Dupee Chapter 55, where she served two terms as Worthy Matron of Pauline Dupee Chapter 55. She also served in the Grand Chapter for various elected and appointed positions for the Golden State Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Rite of Adoption, State of California.
“I feel good, honored and proud to be a Grand Worthy Matron,” said Harrison.
Harrison attended Oakland public schools and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from California State University—East Bay. She holds a Master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. She worked in the retail industry for more than 38 years and retired from Costco Wholesale after completing over 25 years of service. She accomplished great academic and career feats while being a single mother of two children.
“I asked God for this and he put me in this time and season.God can help me through everything. Put God first and stay focused,” said the newly appointed Grand Worthy Matron Harrison.
A strong relationship with Christ has kept Harrison grounded, focused and positive despite some of the challenges that comes with achieving success.
The Golden State Grand Chapter Order of the Eastern Star P.H.R.A. began in 1907. There are 108 jewels and gems that have served as the Grand Worthy Matrons and Past Grand Worthy Patrons. Each Grand Worthy Matron has a two year tenure and they will elect someone else. During Harrison’s tenure, she plans to put her efforts towards Breast Cancer and youth. Both issues are near to her heart. Harrison’s mother passed away when she was a toddler due to breast cancer. The theme during her tenure will be focusing on loving one another because she feels the community needs to show one another more love.
“The love train—don’t be envious or jealous. We need to just love one another,” said Harrison.
Recruiting more youth in the East Bay is a focus to the organization. The rules changed recently in that the Order of the Eastern Star accepts new members by recommendation and not by bloodline like previous years. The benefits for the youth members are community service, public speaking and leadership. Young people can aspire to be Grand Miss Matron and Grand Prince Matron.
“Inspire young people to join…it must be meaningful to you. If you enjoy charity work, working in the community and doing things for others. You’ll be happy to join the order of the Eastern Star,” said Harrison.