Norma Bettis joined the Rebekah Assembly of Iowa 68 years ago. Throughout the years she has served on various committees within the organization, until being elected warden two years ago, in 2016. The following year in 2017, Bettis was voted vice president.
“Once you are elected warden, you know the next step is vice president followed by president,” said Bettis.
On Oct. 11 of this year, Bettis was elected president of the Rebekah’s Assembly of Iowa. A title voted on by various lodges and past presidents.
“When I was elected to be warden it was quite a surprise,” said Bettis of this achievement. “It is quite the honor to be elected.”
When Bettis joined the Rebekah’s in 1950 she was a member of the Prairie Gym Rebekah Lodge in Allerton. In 1995 they consolidated with the Miawa Rebekah Lodge in Humeston, where to this date she is a member.
A lodge must have no less than five members to hold meetings, or they must consolidate with a nearby location. To date, Iowa has 16 locations all over the state where meetings are held twice a month.
While the Rebekah’s Assembly is somewhat of a secret organization, they are best known for doing charitable work in individual communities. The main part of this being to take care of orphans, widows, those that are sick and if necessary help to bury the dead. Currently members are collecting pop can and canned goods tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.
With Bettis in the Presidential role, she will be joining the Grand Master of the Odd Fellows in May as they lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. She will also be present at any lodge meetings when invited to attend and attend the Christmas party at the Mason City home.
The Rebekah’s are a sister organization to the Odd Fellows. In 1851, when the organization was started, the ritual was written in you must be a wife of an Odd Fellow member to join the Rebekah’s Assembly. Since that time it was opened up to being a mother, daughter or sister as well.
Bettis husband Milo is a member of the Odd Fellows and joined the organization in 1948. They are both members of each organization as they do many things together working side by side. The Odd Fellows also recognize local seniors from Humeston and Corydon with scholarship opportunities.