After two years preparing, Mrs. Short was installed as Grand Master at a ceremony in Truro, N.S. on July 11.
It is a position her husband George held just a few years ago. She is now the first woman in Atlantic Canada to hold the office, and the pair are now the first husband and wife team to have each help the title of Grand Master.
Mrs. Short will hold the office for one year. Her duties will include visiting other Odd Fellow Lodges in Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. She will also host the Grand Lodge for the Atlantic Provinces in Port aux Basques next July.
The conference will bring about 180 representatives to the gateway town for several days of meetings, as well as social events.
“Hosting the conference brings big bucks to the town” said Mrs. Short.
She has already started her preparation for the event and is purchasing materials.
Mrs. Short is planning a country and western social for the evenings to give everyone a dress-down break from the official meetings in the day.
Taking on the Grand Master title brings some prestige to the local Odd Fellows club. Mrs. Short gets to choose many local members to serve on her executive. Mr. Sort has been named Grand Chaplin. Their son, Colin Short, is the Grand Marshall. Calvin Tilley is the Grant Herald, Annette Kettle the Grand Conductor, and Harold Rose is the Grand Custodian.
While the Atlantic conference is a year away, Mrs. Short and her husband are now making preparations to attend the Sovereign Grand Lodge meetings in Cincinnati, Ohio in August.
The Sovereign Grand Lodge has representatives from 28 countries. It is the highest level of organization for the Odd Fellows. The pair will attend meetings all day, and serve on committees during the evening. Mr. Short is on the appeals committee while Mrs. Short is on the finance committee.
The pair say they love going to the meetings and meeting new people.
“We’ve met so many wonderful people and we have friends everywhere,” said Mrs. Short.
Mrs. Short has helped keep the order going by running a youth branch of the Odd Fellows until very recently The Theta Rho Girls Club was recently disbanded because most members had outgrown the group. Mrs. Short is hoping to bring a few of those members into the local Odd Fellows branch. Anyone age 16 or older is entitled to join.
Their work is certainly appreciated by their peers in the Atlantic Region. At their Truro meeting, the pair received matching medallions for “Insuring Our Order’s Future.” The award’s name is meant to mirror the initials of the organization (I.O.O.F).
More than anything, Mr. And Mrs. Short are proud of the money they raised for various causes provincially, nationally and worldwide. At the provincial Level, the group helped many children with Spina Bifida so much so that the provincial Spina Bifida foundation recently told the Odd Fellows their funds are no longer needed. The cause of Spina Bifida is now known, and no new children are being born with the condition in the province.
In May the provincial Odd Fellows donated $2,000 to Ronald MacDonald House in St. John’s. They’ve also given to Visual Eye Research.