The Social Order of the Beauceant
From Humble Beginnings
by Mrs. John C. Forrest PSWP
AsThe Social Order of the Beauceant enters into its Centennial year, we will be providing a brief history of the humble beginnings of our order, with this being the first installment. The Social Order of the Beauceant was originally started at the request of the Sir Knights of Denver Commandery 1 in Denver, Colorado.
The Sir Knights asked their wives to assist in the hosting of the 25th Triennial Conclave for the Grand Encampment of the Knights Templar which was to be held in their city in August 1892. The Sir Knights felt with only one Commandery and a membership of just over 300 they needed help. Their wives agreed to assist their Sir Knights.
The wives held their first official meeting in February of 1890. That meeting put into motion the beginings of the order, the ladies adopted the name "Some of Our Business Society" or the S.O.O.B. The S.O.O.B. was organized solely for the purpose of providing aid and sociability for the Sir Knights and ladies who would attend the Triennial. In order to meet this lofty undertaking, the ladies knew they need to raise funds; they created a budget and planned events to meet their goal. They held garden parties, card parties, tea parties, and, oh yes, even wine tasting parties. It was a labor of love, in appreciation for their Sir Knights. The ladies so enjoyed their work that they never disbanded, but instead continued operating for the purpose of "making life purer, better and sweeter for others."
The Society remained a small, loyal, local band of wives and widows of Sir Knights of Denver Commandery, doing good, and assisting their Sir Knights when requested. At the 1913 Triennial the ladies decided it was time to change their name. After great thought and deliberation, they settled on the name the "Social Order of the Beauceant of the World." The word Beauceant was derived from the name of a banner used by the medeival Templars. It was then that the ladies decided to expand and invite wives and widows from other Commanderies in Colorado to join.
Reference: Page 32, January 2020, Knight Templar Magazine
Early Beginnings of Some Of Our Business
The early beginnings of the S.O.O.B., according to Mrs. Fred C. Shaw, the worthy president of Denver 1 in 1913, were fostered from a "desire of the wives of Knights Templar to enjoy the pleasure of membership in a group of women allied in some manner with their husbands' Templar activities."
The ladies met on the third Thursday of the month, with the first official meeting being held on February 20, 1890, with initiation fees of $1.00 and annual dues of
$.45. The official refreshments were tea and wafers, for which, if omitted, the host- ess would be fined $5.00. In July of that year, the refreshment rules changed, and the ladies had ice cream and little tea cakes.
Nothing about a ritual appeared until July of 1890 when the secretary recorded that the ritual was presented. The title page reads: "Denver Lodge 1" then there is the scimitar with broom and the letters "Denver, Colorado," and it contained the opening, initiatory, and installation ceremonies.
Just as a point of interest, it is my understanding, based on conversations with P.S.W.P. Mrs. Esther K. Offen, that the first ritual was written by a Sir Knight J. M. Rhoads. The original letters S.O.O.B. stood for Some of our Business, and what was it?
"It is Some of our Business to make this society an attractive center from which shall radiate bright, joyous, and happy influences."
"It is Some of our Business to fleck the pathway of life with sunshine and strew flow- ers in waste and desolate places."
"It is Some of our Business to slumbering chord with lightsome touch and thrill the heart with soothing melody."
"It is Some of Our Business to be helpful, hopeful, and inspiring and put to flight the phantoms of despon- dent minds."
"In short, it is Some of Our Business to make life purer, better, and sweeter under the benign influence of S.O.O.B.
Respectfully Submitted Mrs. John C. Forrest PSWP
Reference: Page 32, March 2020, Knight Templar Magazine