Order of the Golden Chain
Back in 1929 a group of Master Masons and their immediate families met in Asbury Park, New Jersey, to form an organization that was to be solely dedicated to fraternalism. The OGC is one of the orders that belongs to what is commonly called Adoptive Masonry. One of the order's publicity brochures says: "Like Masonry, we strive for a better way of life, irrespective of race, color or creed. Our members are dedicated as one family in upholding the torch of understanding and promoting the finer ideals of life and living."
Although the order was founded solely for fraternal purposes, it has now become quite involved in extra-fraternal matters, namely, various forms of philanthropy. In 1950 the OGC dedicated a 138-acre summer camp in Blairstown, New Jersey. Here underprivileged and handicapped children may enjoy wholesome activities. The camp, which has a ten-acre lake, is also used by groups such as the Boy Scouts, De Molay, Girls of the Golden Court (a group sponsored by the OGC), and others. Each year, one Sunday in June is set aside as "Golden Chain Day" at the camp. This day allows the members of OGC to mix work with pleasure by inspecting the camp and also relaxing in its peaceful environment.
The order is also engaged in sponsoring a pragmatic educational camp with Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C. This program has grown into a project embracing the National Association for the Deaf and other handicapped youths. Scholarships are also given to students at Gallaudet College.
As a Masonically related organization, the OGC has a secret ritual that it says "could be used at any interdenominational service as a shining symbol." The language and symbolism of the ritual has a Masonic ring. For instance, it speaks of its six officers as "jewels," as does Masonry. Each officer ("jewel") exalts some ideal of womanhood. Like most traditional fraternal groups, the OGC has a standing ritual committee.
The insignia of the order has six oblong chain links forming a hexagon.
Inside of the hexagonal chain-link border are six shields, each portraying a separate symbol. At the hub or center of the insignia are the letters OGC.
The OGC has "Links" (chapters) in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Michigan. The national organization is known as the "Grand Link." It meets in convention annually. In 1967 the order had about 10,000 members in thirty-nine links, but in 1978 it had only 5,000 members and twenty-five links. In 1994 there were 2,000 members. National headquarters are in West Caldwell, New Jersey.