Saturday, March 18, 2017

I Promise, Covenant, and Vow

The Order of DeMolay was founded on the basis of the heroic fidelity of Jacques DeMolay. As we all know the story. DeMolay was the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. He and his principles officers were arrested for various charges, including heresy towards the church. The officers were forced to give up the names of the members that escaped arrest and to hand over their wealth. Jacques DeMolay refused to betray his comrades, no matter the punishment. Despite the torture, DeMolay held true to his word. He was burned at the stake on March 18th, 1314.

As Legionnaires, we took an oath to hold this date close to our hearts. We are expected to observe March 18th of every year as a memorial to Jacques DeMolay with our fellow comrades that have received the Legion of Honor with us. This is the first year that I am observing the Legion of Honor Observance, as I recently received my Legion last July. I'm no stranger to annual observances however, as I helped with the founding of our Chevalier Court in Philadelphia. The best part of my observance this year, is that I will be celebrating it at Patton Campus in Elizabethtown with the young men that make this organization as great as it is today. I will also celebrate this observance locally with William J. McCulley Preceptory next week at their annual observance. 

Thank you Jacques DeMolay, for allowing us to emulate your heroic example. Thank you Frank S. Land, for founding this great youth organization and naming it after such a heroic martyr. To all of my fellow Legionnaires all over the world, I hope you have a great Legion of Honor Observance. 

Until next time -"Dad" Joe Pullin            

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Films Every DeMolay Should See: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Over the history of Pennsylvania DeMolay, one of the most popular films utilized in the planning of programs and events has been Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Even though this is a popular film, I've still heard plenty of people, DeMolay's and Advisors, say that they have not seen it. I'll be honest, DeMolay is the reason I've seen this movie in the first place, as we used this movie for a membership theme when I was a State Officer and I thought it important to see the movie in order to push the theme. The main reason this movie is on the list is due to the upcoming Movie Mashup Weekend: Quest for the Holy Grail.

The film is a comedy spoof that follows the journey of King Arthur and his quest for the holy grail. To set forth on his journey, King Arthur recruits knights to fill out the famous "Knights of the Round Table," and assist him on his quest. Arthur's knights include Sir Lancelot the Brave, Sir Bedevere the Wise, Sir Galahad the Pure, and Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot. The film follows the knights on their journey with lots of humor, adventure and several one-liners (if you don't believe me, refer to the March issue of the Keystone Crusader.) 

So what makes this a film that every DeMolay should watch? Well, it tends to come up a lot in the program planning of our events, especially in Pennsylvania. Currently, the Movie Mashup Weekend, which will take place this weekend at Patton Campus, will center around the film. Participants will go on their own quest, with their own knights of the round table (well, maybe not a round table,) and partake in numerous puzzles, riddles and tasks along the way. Aside from this event, PA DeMolay once held a membership theme based on the film called "The Quest!" During the year, members of the State Officer team dressed up as knights and performed skits of their quest. If you haven't seen the movie, participants who have already registered for Movie Mashup Weekend will get the chance to see it during the weekend. We look forward to yet another fantastic event.

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin    


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

EO Conference in NOLA

This past weekend. I had the chance to join our Executive Officer, Thomas R. Labagh, on a trip to the DeMolay International EO Conference, held in New Orleans, Louisiana. When I was first asked to go, I was excited. Yes, New Orleans has always been one of the cities I've wanted to visit, but I also knew that I would be representing PA DeMolay. It was a great feeling to introduce myself as a member of staff in Pennsylvania, and explain some of the programs that we have going on, such as the Bro-Ties, the "DeMolay Goes Hollywood" program, and our new PA DeMolay Advisor Training Seminar.  

I had the chance to meet Executive Officers from across the country, and one who traveled from over seas in Germany. DeMolay is known for its fellowship and brotherhood, so its a nice surprise to see the same fellowship and brotherhood within a group of Executive Officers and staff members. I only knew a total of 6 people before the conference started, and got to know several more before it ended. Since most of the meetings were brainstorming sessions, it was great to hear what other jurisdictions are doing and receive ideas to implement here in Pennsylvania. 

Two guest speakers were asked to address the conference. The first was Mr. Herbert Marks Sr., who is the oldest living Senior DeMolay at 103 years of young. He spoke of his experiences through DeMolay and what it taught him through his life. He also mentioned that he had the chance to meet "Dad" Land. It was inspiring to hear that DeMolay has had the same effect on young men for all these years. The second speaker was Mrs. Jessica Vermilyea, the Director of Disaster Relief for Upbring Disaster Response. She informed us of the recent floods, tornadoes and storms that have left people without homes in the state of Louisiana. Her company focuses on helping aid those in need. It was enlightening to hear stories from someone that looks out for the greater good of others, because that's the same message we try to instill in our youth.

The conference was great, and so was the city of New Orleans. The food was fantastic. If you're into seafood, which unfortunately I am not, then there is no better place to go than New Orleans. The culture was fascinating, especially hearing band music playing right outside of our hotel during the conference dinner. Jazz music was playing everywhere we went, including a three man singing group singing while we were having dinner at a steakhouse. Yes, I did get to Bourbon Street, and all I'll say is that I had a great time with great people. New Orleans is a very historical place, and I hope I get the chance to go back someday. 

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

DeMolay Month 2017

March is only a day away, which means one thing, DeMolay Month is upon us. By now, your chapter should already have a solid plan of the activities taking place throughout the month. We ask that you please share these activities with us through social media. Create a story of the events and post it on the PA DeMolay Facebook, take a picture and post it to the PA DeMolay Instgram, or write a status and post it to the PA DeMolay Twitter. You can also send photos and video from these events to our Snapchat account as well. So what events should you post? Well, everything of course, but here is a list of the DeMolay Month events that we look forward to seeing the most: 

  1. Senior DeMolay appreciation event
  2. Masonic Sponsor appreciation event
  3. Devotional Day Observance
  4. Receiving a Proclamation from a Government Official
  5. Obligating members during the month
  6. Community or Masonic based service project
  7. Visitation with another chapter
  8. DeMolay newspaper article
  9. Social Activity
  10. Radio or TV announcements
DeMolay Month is the best chance to get our name out to the local community. Let's get out there and promote the greatest youth organization in the world. 

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Perfect Way to Market DeMolay

Every year at Convention, members and advisors in attendance receive a book called the Pennsylvania DeMolay Yearbook. It started as a book that introduced the officers and staff of Pennsylvania DeMolay, provided some words of encouragement and congratulations to the members of Pennsylvania DeMolay, and provided written speeches from the Executive Officer and State Master Councilor. Over the years, this book has gone from a non-color program type book, to a full color marketing tool for Pennsylvania DeMolay.

The PA DeMolay Yearbook is just what it's advertised to be, a yearbook that displays all of the events that took place in the previous year. Photos from events, whether chapter specific or statewide, are highlighted to remind us of the good times that we had throughout the year. Advertisements from businesses and lodges are also provided to show their support of Pennsylvania DeMolay. One thing that PA DeMolay is proud to say about the Yearbook is that an active DeMolay has been responsible for it the past few years, with this year being no exception. 

This book is a lot more than just an annual handout at Convention. The distribution of the yearbook has become a marketing tool that can be used to promote the activities that make DeMolay great. A copy is sent to sponsoring bodies to show them what their money is going toward. For PA DeMolay, a copy of this publication is provided at display table events such as Autumn Day and Community Day. A parent or a young man can look at this book, see the fun that the members are having, and instantly become hooked in to ask more questions about the organization. Although a number is not available, several members have joined due to efforts of such marketing techniques. 

The sales for this year are due on April 15th. Have you bought or sold any ads for the yearbook? Please help make sure that this year's book is just as good, if not better than years past by selling ads to local lodges and family members. PA DeMolay appreciates the continued efforts to make this publication a yearly success.

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin