Thursday, April 21, 2016

Difference Makers: John Wayne

“Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.” No quote better encapsulates the "true tough as irons with a heart soft as leather nature" of “The Duke.” Born Marion Robert Morrison, the future American actor would go on to be the most recognized name in all of the western genre of film. However, before all of that, John Wayne, then known as “Little Duke” because of the massive Airedale Terrier that he always had with him which was also named Duke, was a brother in the Order of DeMolay.
After his high school years, Wayne went to the University of Southern California on a football scholarship to major in Pre-Law. While there, he engaged deeply in his studies and became a member of the Sigma Chi greek fraternity. Unfortunately, Wayne lost his scholarship due to a bodysurfing accident and was forced to return home to Southern California, unable to pay the hefty price of college tuition.
While at the time this seemed devastating to the young star-to-be, it was in fact a miracle. While working odds and ends in the acting industry, he was cast for the lead role in The Big Trail (1930), one of the first big budget films in the greatest decade in film history. It was here that he got his stage name “John Wayne.” His success on the big screen began to climb, and before long he was starring in his immortal pictures such as The Searchers (1956), True Grit (1969), The Quiet Man (1952), and The Alamo (1960).
John Wayne’s story of success is one for the history books, but it is all the more meaningful to us, his brothers. So when you hit some troubles down the road, remember to be like John Wayne; "I'm not the sort to back away from a fight. I don't believe in shrinking from anything. It's not my speed; I'm a guy who meets adversities head on."
This edition of the blog has been provided by PA DeMolay State Treasurer Daniel Shevalier. Thank you Daniel for your contribution. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Survey Says: How to Improve the PA DeMolay Product

A few weeks ago, I put together a survey to try to get an idea of the areas in which we can improve the overall PA DeMolay product. I'm happy to say that we had 58 members and advisors take the time to fill out this survey. Here are a few of the things that I have learned throughout the survey: 

In terms of the Keystone Crusader:

  • 32.8% would like to receive the Keystone Crusader through social media or email.
  • A large portion of the group would like some new content to the publication. 
  • Some families receive multiple copies of the newsletter, and would like that lowered.

In terms of bringing back a PA DeMolay activity:

  • 30% would like to see 007 weekend back in the future and 24% would like NERF weekend back in the future. 
  • A good portion of the "other" responses wanted the Athletic program back.
  • The major thing that can be taken out of the results of this question; if the members will support it then we should do it. 

In terms of the Athletics program:

  • Almost half of the people surveyed want the Athletics program brought back as a feature to the programs we currently have. 
  • About 38% want the Athletics program brought back the way we had it. 
  • Make sure that brotherhood is the most important lesson if the program is brought back.

In terms of a specific Athletic Program:

  • 42% want to bring back the Flag Football weekend
  • 21% want Basketball weekend back
  • A good amount would like to see brotherhood style since some chapters cannot field teams. 

In terms of ritual:

  • 52% of the people surveyed think that all options should be used. The options were assigning a youth director, hold ritual competitions and set aside time at state weekends for ritual programs.
  • Some people think that if ritual is pushed too hard, we could lose members. Find a way to make it fun.  
  • A few people are not in favor of the idea of a youth director

In terms of Call Em All: 

  • 33% of people say that their chapter uses it all of the time. 
  • about 20% would prefer a text message than a phone call from a machine.
  • The chapters that don't use it state that they prefer personal phone calls because of the small number of members.

In terms of the squire program (a program designed for 9 to 11 year old boys prepping them for DeMolay):

  • 45% think that the squire program is a great idea to get young guys ready for DeMolay.
  • 25% of people need more information about the program, including success rates from other jurisdictions. 
  • A majority of people think that it's a great idea, but it will need added support from advisors to make it happen. 

In terms of the website and blog page:

  • Some people think that the web page needs more updates, especially chapter specific news. 
  •  A lot of people like the idea of the blog and would like to see guest bloggers as well. 
  • Content needs to be more youth oriented.
In terms of new programming for PA DeMolay:

  • Some people would like the idea of video blogs, interviews and podcasts added to the content. 
  • A few people like the idea of teaching more life skill oriented programs such as finance, resume building and time management. 
  • A few people think that a statewide community service project is a good idea. 

In terms of membership:

  •  A lot people think that we should have better incentive programs 
  • Some would like to see updated chapter brochures. 
  • Advertise

Suggestions, Concerns Complaints:

  • Find ways to encourage smaller chapters to participate. 
  • Some people like the idea of bringing in guest speakers.
  • We need to focus on keeping members and recruiting advisors.

Thank you to everyone who helped out by voicing their opinions on the matter. Here at the PA DeMolay office, we take all recommendations into consideration in order to make this a well rounded product for members and advisors. We have already worked on improving some of these requests, and look forward to making more in the near future. 

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin

Thursday, March 24, 2016

What's In A Name: Paul Miller Moore Preceptory

Across the DeMolay world, there are a few Chapters, Chevalier Courts and Legion of Honor Preceptories in which we wonder one thing; Where did that name come from? This segment will help give some history behind some of those names. We start with Paul Miller Moore Legion of Honor Preceptory. 

Paul Miller Moore, originally from New Concord, Ohio, moved to Aliquippa, Pa in 1906, which was then known as Woodlawn. He was the first labor foreman in the construction of J & L Steel, P. M. Moore started the P M Moore Company in 1912, constructing many of the neighborhood houses for the steel workers. These homes, which were completed at a one per day rate, included a living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms, a bathroom and indoor plumbing.

Moore was one of the organizers of the Woodlawn Trust Company. He served as President until the company merged with Mellon Bank and Trust. He was also one of the organizers of Woodlawn Building and Loan and served as its Director. He was a member of Woodlawn Presbyterian Church, serving as the President of the Board of Trustees for twenty years. He helped found the Aliquippa Rotary Club, the Aliquippa Concert Band and was one of the organizers of the Boy Scouting movement and local chairman. Moore was presented the 1957 "Man of the Year" award by the people of Aliquippa.

Moore was a Warrant Officer for the Woodlawn Masonic Lodge, which at the time met as an organization known as the Woodlawn Fraternity Club. After sending a petition to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, they were granted a Charter on March 15, 1913, being constituted as Woodlawn Lodge No. 672. Moore became the second Worshipful Master of the lodge in 1914 and paid off the lodge mortgage debt in 1962.

Paul Miller Moore was also a member and Past Commander of the Knights Templar, Beaver Valley Commandery No. 84. He later became the Grand Commander of Pennsylvania in 1939 and then served as the Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of the United States of America from 1961 to 1963.

Moore died in 1964 on Good Friday Evening. At the time of passing, he was in Washington to attend the Knights Templar Easter Sunrise Services at Arlington Cemetary. As the Commandery is a big supporter of the Masonic youth groups, especially in the Pittsburgh area, it comes as no surprise to why the Legion of Honor members of Butler named their Preceptory after Paul Miller Moore.

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Difference Makers: George Washington

Few men in our nation’s history bear a name so worthy of recognition as George Washington. Not only was he pivotal in our nation’s war for independence, first president of the united states, and a former land surveyor, the man was also an accomplished Freemason.
Washington’s military career began as somewhat of a blunder. Serving under General Edward Braddock, Washington first got a taste of battle in the attack on Fort Duquesne in modern day Pittsburgh during the French and Indian War. After some poor maneuvers, Gen. Braddock overextended his forces, which soon collapsed into a frenzy, leaving Braddock himself mortally wounded.
From here, Washington only continued his climb to fame. He was not much of a big name from the time between the French and Indian War and the War for  Independence. However, when the call to action came, Washington was ready to answer. Taking on this challenge would mean taking on the strongest military power in the world, indeed no small feat. However, through Washington’s superior planning and leadership, our fledgling nation was able to sever its ties from our mother country, and become our own freestanding sovereignty.
So be it military prowess or leadership ability, either category lands George Washington as one of the most influential men in our nation’s history.
This edition of the blog has been provided by PA DeMolay State Treasurer Daniel Shevalier. Thank you Daniel for your contribution. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Letter in DeMolay!

In 2014, DeMolay International designed a program called the DeMolay Varsity Club. This program allows members, advisors and sweethearts the opportunity to fill out an application so they can "Letter in DeMolay," similar to how an athlete can letter on the High School Varsity level. This achievement relies on a few key elements; leadership, involvement, knowledge and planning.
A member or sweetheart can earn a "letter" by doing all of the following:
  • Mentor a new member
  • Teach chapter members a new skill
  • Serve in a leadership position
  • Attend 6 Chapter Meetings and 2 other chapter events
  • Plan a new event
  • Bring in 1 new member or advisor
  • Complete and earn the Representative DeMolay Award
  • Complete and pass 1 Leadership Correspondence Course
  • A member also must learn 1 new ritual part to perform at a meeting or public event
An advisor can also earn a "letter" by doing the following:
  • Recruit a brand new advisor to the advisory council
  • Lead and work with chapter members to create and execute a brand new event
A total of 8 people have earned the "letter" in Pennsylvania. Here are the people that have earned it so far:
  • Alicia Daniels (Reading Chapter)
  • Tyler Moyer (Pilgrim Chapter)
  • Eric Dye (Allentown Chapter)
  • Andrew Santilli (Chester Pike Chapter)
  • Brian Martin (Carlisle Chapter)
  • "Dad" Brett Otto (Carlisle Chapter) 
  • "Mom" Kelly Otto (Carlisle Chapter)
  • Adam Neubauer (Westmoreland Chapter)
The program concludes June 30th, so there is still time to earn yourself a "Letter in DeMolay." Fill out the application and earn yours today! 

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin