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Order of the Amaranth is a Masonic-affiliated women's organization founded in 1873. As in the Order of the Eastern Star, members of the Order must be age 18 and older; men must be Master Masons; and women must be related to Masons as wives, mothers, daughters, widows, sisters, nieces, aunts, et cetera, or have been active members of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls or Job's Daughters International for more than three years and be recommended by a Master Mason.
Amaranth was based on the Order of the same name created by Queen Christina of Sweden in 1653 the ladies and knights of her court. It lasted only to 1654 when Queen Christina of Sweden abdicated. In 1760, a still extant Swedish Grand Order of the Amaranth was founded, unrelated to freemasonry, with seven degrees. Today, it hosts a high-society biannual ball.
In 1860, James B. Taylor of Newark, New Jersey drew upon Queen Christina's order to create a new fraternal society. In 1873, Robert Macoy organized Taylor's society into the Order of the Amaranth, part of a proposed Adoptive Rite of Masonry. Eastern Star was to be the first degree, and until 1921, Amaranth members were required to join Eastern Star first.
In the Order's teachings, the members are emphatically reminded of their duties to God, to their country and to their fellow beings. They are urged to portray, by precept and example, their belief in the "Golden Rule" and by conforming to the virtues inherent in TRUTH, FAITH, WISDOM and CHARITY they can prove to others the goodness promulgated by the Order.
Amaranth is organized into Courts, under Grand Courts at the State level. The primary body is called the Supreme Council (which has some subordinate Courts directly under it, as well). Women members of the Order are addressed as "Honored Lady", while men are referred to as "Sir Knight".
The officers of a Court are:
The Royal Matron, Royal Patron, Associate Matron, Associate Patron, Secretary, Treasurer, Conductress, Associate Conductress and the Trustees are elected by the members of the Court. All are elected annually with the exception of the Trustees, who serve three year terms. One Trustee is elected each year, with the senior Trustee serving as Chairman. The remaining officers are appointed each year by the Royal Matron-elect prior to installation. The elected officers - excluding Secretary, Treasurer and Trustees - are considered line officers and normally advance to the next office the following year: Associate Conductress becoming Conductress, Conductress becoming Associate Matron and so forth. These advancements are not automatic, however, and are subject to the affirmative vote of the members.
The order's primary philanthropic project is the Amaranth Diabetes Foundation. Additional projects may be designated by individual Grand jurisdictions and/or the local courts. The flag of the appropriate country is prominently displayed at all meetings.