ďIt has been a wonderful experience serving the Rebekahs. I have advanced through the various offices since my assembly work in 1963, even serving as vice-president and president at one time, Carlson said.
Being state secretary, meant Carlson handled all the business for all the lodges in the state of Minnesota. ďWhen I started, there were 154 lodges. Today, the number has dropped to only 40,Ē she said. Carlson also served as president of the International Assembly Secretary Association for a year.
ďServing as state secretary, I feel I received far more than what I gave to the lodge. I have learned so much since starting out as a shy young housewife,Ē Carlson said.
ďI finally learned to say no to serving on committees and taking offices,Ē Carlson said. She also served on the legislative forum for the lodge and quit two years ago. ďThe forum required a lot of studying and was becoming a strain on my eyes,Ē she added.
Carlson said the purpose of the Rebekahs is to make the world a better place to live. The local, state, and international lodge helps educate young people and has established a chair in visual research at John Hopkins University. ďWe have purchased a visual reader for those needing assistance,Ē she said. The lodge also helps purchase needed eye glasses and pays for the exams.
The biggest events the local lodge sponsors is the UN Pilgrimage, Minnesota Odd Fellows Home and Three Links Care Center in Northfield.
ďIím a stickler for lodge work and I donít bend the rules. I donít believe in taking short cuts,Ē she added.
Because of her dedication to the lodge, she has been decorated for honors many times, including the Meritorious Medal of Honor. Only four people in the state have received this medal.
To commemorate her retirement, the local lodge presented her with a quilt full of memories from pie sales to marching.
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