Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Super Ritual Brothers? Grand Theft Ritual? Final Ritual VIII: The Gong?

Alright, we all know that DeMolay ritual can be boring. Heck, even people who really enjoy ritual can find it mind numbing at times (although this usally only happens when it's performed poorly.) So what can you do to help your Chapter get a bit more excited about ritual? How about ritual as a video game? Impossible? Not at all! Thanks to "Dad" Greg Schaeffer, it's now available to you at the low, low, cost of free!

That's right folks, "Dad" Schaeffer wrote a nifty a little program that can show where people are supposed to walk, and how they should move during the presentation of DeMolay ritual. While it's not Duke Nukem' (for the older gamers out there) or Call of Duty, it is an easy and effective way to help DeMolays grasp the floorwork in the ritual.

Head on over to http://code.google.com/p/demolay-floorwork-simulator/ and grab the program. It's really easy to use, and simple to install. Give it a whirl-- you might find ritual a little less boring next time!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Friday, March 26, 2010

Go Blog, yourself!

The PA DeMolay Blog has become a great tool for us to get touch with members, advisors, and friends of DeMolay from all over the U.S., and the world for that matter! While we try to update the blog as much as possible, we aren't opposed to updating it even more!

Do you have something to share in relation to DeMolay? Have an idea, thought, or rant you'd like to publish? Send it our way! Write up the article, and send it to webmaster@pademolay.org . Once we get it, we'll proofread it, make sure it's all appropriate and such, and post it right here on the PA DeMolay blog!

What are you waiting for - get writing!
Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What did you do for DeMolay Week?

Today we bring you a special guest posting from "Dad" Peter Brusoe.

This past DeMolay week we took a tradition of DeMolay - pride in our order- and applied it to 21st century technology, through the use of Facebook. I think this program was successful and wished to share with you some feedback on what we did, how we did it, and some ideas for future work.

Why Facebook?
Facebook provides a unique opportunity for individuals to network and to rally towards various causes. When a national tragedy occurs it is not unusual to see people change their facebook logo to a ribbon or something else to promote a cause. (For example, the massacres at NIU, Virginia Tech, etc.) The 2008 Presidential election saw people putting up a picture of their preferred candidate. Saturday Night Live has now booked Betty White to host based upon a grass roots movement. The possibility for promotion of organizations or causes using Facebook is nearly endless.

How Did this idea come about?
Nation’s Capital DeMolay started out with a basic premise: Our members, alumni and advisors should make a point of wearing a DeMolay shirt / tie / pin / hat to school / work / wherever on March 18th, 2010, the 91st founding of the organization. It was approved by our Executive Officer and we created a Facebook event which was then sent it to the 50 or so "fans" of Nation’s Capital DeMolay. The next day I checked the event and over 100 people had been added. The growth continued. The most recent stats had 612 people willing to do this, with 287 people saying “maybe,” and 587 people who did not respond. We had 400 people who declined. That was pretty impressive. The event had gone “viral.”

If we had that type of response for doing something in the real world that required effort, what if we did something with showing DeMolay pride online? "Dad" Seth Anthony, a Senior DeMolay and Advisor from PA, and I talked about it and what we developed was the concept of a DeMolay Internet Pride during DeMolay Week. The premise was simple: DeMolays and their supporters changed their profile pictures during DeMolay week to highlight a famous DeMolay or famous DeMolay supporters.

The implied benefit was easy:
(1) It would increase the presence of DeMolay on the internet
(2) It would educate some of our members about our more famous members
(3) It would highlight the support of some key Masonic leaders to other masons.
(4) It could create solidarity.
(5) It would provide an avenue for members to talk about DeMolay.

Seth had the inspired idea that since we were taking members from our “Hall of Fame” we should go for a “baseball card” look (see example at left.) He created some great pictures that we posted to Facebook. We had 509 people say “yes” 301 maybes, 852 people who did not respond several hundred people say “no.” (Ironically in this no category were several Past Congress Secretaries and current and past State Master Councilors.) The result was amazing even among those replying “no," “maybe,” or "not yet responded." Even some of them had changed their profile picture. Some jurisdictions came up with their own logos, some PSMCs used their year’s logo, and others used whatever graphic they felt comfortable with. What was important was that people had rallied around the organization. This cost us nothing to do, the promotion was very light, a couple of emails from our International Master Councilor, some states promoting it through their electronic news, but mainly just informal social networking and promotion from a couple of jurisdictions to their members.

The results wre pretty amazing:

1) The exposure to DeMolay was amazing. If we assume each one of those people had 100 unique friends we exposed over 50,900 people.(and chances are that’s a little higher I personally have 1,200 facebook friends.)
2) It educated our members: Several DeMolays sent responses that they didn’t know Pete Rose was a DeMolay, or "Who is Bill Bradley?", or that they didn't know John Steinbeck was a DeMolay.
3) We saw Masons take an interest in the picture of their various national leader (graphics were created for Scottish Rite, Shrine, and Knights Templar.)
4) It created bonding and solidarity. We saw DeMolays friend other DeMolays via Facebook and communicate about what their Chapter was doing.
5) We don’t have any direct evidence from DeMolays that there were able to recruit anyone or start the conversation about DeMolay. I know that from my non-Masonic/DeMolay friends many of them said “Oh, I didn’t know Trent Lott was in DeMolay.” or “You were in the same organization as Bill Clinton? Did you know that before you joined?” or “Disney, that’s cool!”

We do know that several Job’s Daughter’s were impresssed by the idea and are doing their own pride event this week. DeMolay in the Philippines even made several pictures highlighting their own alumni.

What can we do with other groups?
I think there is a real possibility for us to apply this to our other Masonic bodies to highlight awareness and pride in the organizations or to highlight their philanthropy.

The possibilities are endless.

"Dad" Brusoe is a Past State Master Councilor of New York, and Past International Master Councilor. He now resides in Washington D.C. and works with Nation's Capital DeMolay as their Deputy Executive Officer for Membership Services. Interestingly enough, he also enjoys playing the tuba. We dont' know what that says about his personality, but we personally don't think of him as a blow hard.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time Travel to 1956

America in the 1950's is an interesting subject. Eisenhower sits in the White House, using his popularity and skills from the military to gain the seat. The Cold War is getting underway, and the Russian threat begins to loom. America is entering a new age of prosperity. After World War II members of what has become known as the "Greatest Generation" begin to build anew, rekindling the idea of the American dream of the nuclear family, and the white picket fence. These were men of courage, men of character, and in many cases, men of Freemasonry.

In 1956 LIFE Magazine was one of the most widely read publications in the United States. It was in October of that year that the editors of the publication decided to do an in depth article about Freemasonry. That issue of Life Magazine has become a great source of pride in the fraternity, as it shows Freemasonry at the top of it's game. Not only is it an interesting read, but it has great, full color, pictures of the fraternity from it's heyday. The issue is widely sought after, and can be pretty tough to come by. But not anymore!

Thanks to Google, you can now peruse the back issues of LIFE Magazine for free... including the fabled article on Freemasonry. Check it out here to check them out... http://books.google.com/books?id=R1cEAAAAMBAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s#all_issues_anchor. DeMolay even get's a big mention, and a nice photo.

With all the coverage of Freemasons, Dan Brown, and new books about the Fraternity, not one of them has given our organization this kind of in depth and positive look. So, what are you waiting for? Check it out!
As a side note, you'll read that there are only 49 Grand Masters on the cover. Who is missing? Pennsylvania of course! Our Grand Master is depicted by himself on a two page spread, detailing the Egyptian Room at the Grand Lodge in Philadelphia. He is pictured on the same page as the Soverign Grand Commanders of both the Nothern and Southern Jurisdcition, the Grand Master of Knights Templar, and the General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Royal Arch Chapter. He is the only Grand Master whose photo appears on this centerfold page. Now that's what I call special treatment!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, March 22, 2010

Kach Essay Contest - Region II Results

I received the message below, from Dad Rick Smith, the Region II Representative on the DI Board of Directors and wanted to share it with all of you.

I am very proud of the fact that 7 of the 10 submissions came from Pennsylvania, and every one of them was well-written and carefully thought out. I really appreciate the efforts of our members who took part and who share their carefully thoughout essays.

Please take a moment and join me in congratulating Bro. Jonathan Webster of Delaware Valley Chapter on winning the Regional portion of this national contest. His essay will now be considered for the national prize.

All the others who participated are still in contention for the Pennsylvania prize, which will be announced at Convention.

Sincerely and fraternally,

"Dad" Tom Labagh

Thomas R. Labagh
Executive Officer



I received some very outstanding essays from your members. Please convey my congratulations to your members. It was evident by the quality of the essays, that they spent much time and effort in preparing them. Please convey my thanks to:

Tenth Grade and below:

Allah-Rule Clark NY
Zachariah Guay MD

Eleventh Grade and above:

Nitesh Donti DC
Matthew Blaisdell PA
Matthew Maple PA
Jonathan Webster PA
W. Thomas Moyer PA
James Palo PA
Alexander Rauschenberger PA
Howard Wagner PA

Because of the quality of the essays, I formed a four panel judging panel consisting of three DeMolay Advisors who did not have a person in thier State competing and one Master Mason that is an Educator at the College level.

I have forwarded all essays to DI with our selection of winners for Region II. They are:

10th Grade and Below: Zachariah Guay MD
11th Grade and above: Jonathon Webster PA

Please convey my sincere congratulations to these members, and my hope that they continue to show and prove their faith in our great organization.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Less DeMolay = More PA

I've been talking a great deal about DeMolay specific topics lately. While this is a DeMolay blog, I'm not opposed to taking a quick side track to discuss other topics that might be just plain interesting. In this case, I thought it might be fun to tackle some Pennsylvania Trivia and history.

Pennsylvania certainly isn't a glamorous state to live in. Heck, we aren't even a state, we're a commonwealth (one of four in the Union. Massachusetts, Virginia, and Kentucky are the others.) However, there is a great deal of history that Pennsylvanias should be proud of. Having lived in another State for about a year, I quickly realized just how much I loved my home state. Take some time, relax, and be proud to be a Pennsylvanian!

Random PA Facts:

1. Pennsylvania is the first state of the fifty United States to list their web site URL on a license plate.

2. In 1909 the first baseball stadium was built in Pittsburgh.

3. Hershey is considered the Chocolate Capital of the United States.

4. In 1913 the first automobile service station opened in Pittsburgh.

5. In 1946 Philadelphia became home to the first computer.

6. Bob Hoffman of York is hailed the world round as the Father of Weightlifting. Hoffman started York Barbell Corp. in 1932 and preached the gospel of physical fitness throughout his life as an U.S. Olympic coach, businessman and philanthropist.

7. The first daily newspaper was published in Philadelphia on Sept. 21, 1784.

8. Philadelphia saw the first Zoological garden in July 1874.

9. Drake's Well and Museum in Titusville is on the site where Edwin L. Drake drilled the world's first oil well in 1859 and launched the modern petroleum industry.

10. In Hazleton, there is a law on the books that prohibits a person from sipping a carbonated drink while lecturing students in a school auditorium.

11. In Philadelphia in 1775 Johann Behrent built the first piano in America calling it under the name "Piano Forte."

12. Philadelphia is the site of the first presidential mansion.

13. Betsy Ross made the first American flag in Philadelphia.

14. "Doctor, if you don't give me something to help me breathe, I'm going to stop!" came the urgent cry of 16-year old Frederick Gable of Loganville. Vowing not to lose another patient to pneumonia, Dr. George Holtzapple successfully created the first application of oxygen, thus saving his patient's life and winning international fame through his discovery. The year was 1885.

15. Stewartstown hired its first police officer in 1876. He was also the town lamp lighter.

16. Philadelphia is home to the cheesesteak sandwich, water ice, soft pretzels, and Tasty Kakes.

17. The Rockville Bridge in Harrisburg is the longest stone arch bridge in the world.

18. Kennett Square is known as the Mushroom Capital of the World.

19. The town of Franklin became a center for worldwide oil production following Colonel Edwin Drake's discovery of oil in nearby Titusville.

20. The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia in 1776.

21. KDKA radio in Pittsburgh produced the first commercial radio broadcast.

22. Philadelphia is home to the Liberty Bell.

23. Each year on Christmas day the "Crossing of the Delaware" is reenacted at Washington Crossing.

24. The Liberty Tunnel in Pittsburgh opened in 1924. At that time the 5,700 foot facility was the longest artificially ventilated automobile tunnel in the world.

25. Pennsylvania is the only original colony not bordered by the Atlantic Ocean.

26. Benjamin Franklin founded the Philadelphia Zoo, the first public zoo in the United States.

27. Indiana County is the Christmas Tree capital of the world.

28. Actor Jimmy Stewart was born and raised in the town of Indiana. Each year at Christmas the downtown area is decorated in the theme of the film "It's a Wonderful Life."

29. Pittsburgh is famous for manufacturing steel thanks to the United States Steel Corporation. Its professional football team is named the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is the only team in professional sports named for a company!

30. Fairmount Park in Philadelphia is the largest city park with over 8,000 acres.

31. Pittsburgh has over 300 sets of city maintained steps. If they were stacked on top of each other, they would reach over 26,000 feet high. They would measure higher than a lot of the Himalayan Mountains.

32. Little League Baseball's first World Series was held in 1946 in Williamsport.

33. Nazareth is the home of Martin guitars. Finger picking good since 1833.

34. The State College Area High School was the first school in the country to teach drivers education in 1958.

35. Philadelphia was once the United States capital city.

36. Originally Bellefonte, a town now with a population of 5,000, was once considered to be Pennsylvania's capital. But Harrisburg was chosen because of the easy navigation on the Susquehanna River.

37. The first coal festival was held 201 years after the establishment of "Peter’s Camp" on Memorial weekend 1993 in Blossburg.

38. The oldest stone railroad bridge in use in Pennsylvania is the Starrucca Viaduct that crosses PA Route 171 north of Lanesboro in Susquehanna County.

39. In June 1778, a 700 wagon caravan escorted the Liberty Bell on its return to Philadelphia from Allentown along Towamencin's Allentown Road. Nine months earlier, when British troops threatened to capture the city, the bell had been whisked into hiding via the same route.

40. The Shenango River Dam near Sharpsville is a concrete gravity dam with an uncontrolled center spillway. The roadway crossing the top of the dam, over the spillway is nearly 68 feet above the stream bed. The dam has a top length of 720 feet with a base width of 66 feet.

41. At the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works in Doylestown handmade tiles are still produced in a manner similar to that developed by the potter's founder and builder, Henry Chapman Mercer.

42. The Borough of Kane is known as the Black Cherry Capital of the World.

43. George G. Blaisdell founded Zippo Manufacturing of Bradford in late 1932. He started with a simple idea: create a product that answers a real need, design it to work, and guarantee it to last.

44. When completed in 1882, the Kinzua Railroad Bridge near Mount Jewett was acclaimed "the highest and longest railroad viaduct in the entire world." Rising 301 feet from the valley floor at its center, with a total length of 2100 feet.

45. Antrim Township is located in South-Central Pennsylvania with its southern border being a part of the Mason-Dixon line.

46. Ringing Hill in Lower Pottsgrove Township is named after the "ringing rocks" which were known for the unique ringing sound they made when struck by a hammer.

47. During the depression canned goods served as admission to The Star Theater in Mercersburg to help supply the local soup kitchen.

48. Located in the Grape Coast region of Pennsylvania, the city of North East, in Erie County, has four thriving wineries and is home to the largest Welch's grape processing plant in the country.

49. Penn Township, officially referred to as the Township of Penn, was named after the founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn.

50. Punxsutawney citizens are proud to be over-shadowed by their town's most famous resident, the world-renowned weather forecasting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil. Punxsutawney is billed as the weather capital of the world.

51. The largest naval battle to ever take place on Lake Erie was during the War of 1812. It was fought between the United States and the British. The fleet was built in the dockyards of Erie, and sailed from Presque Isle to do battle. The Commander of the American fleet was Oliver Hazard Perry, after whom many counties and towns have been named (including Perry County, PA.)Perry won the battle, and secured the ports on Lake Erie for the remainder of the war.

So why 51? Well, I had to add in some Erie trivia. Also, I belong to Perry-Keystone Lodge No. 392 in Erie, named for Oliver Hazard Perry. C'mon - I can't let go of my Erie roots!

Special thanks to http://www.50states.com/facts/penn.htm for this info!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Parliamentary Pointers for Presiding People

One of the toughest things to learn as a Master Councilor, or as any presiding officer for that matter, is that silly little book called Robert's Rules of Order. Let's be honest, the language is goofy, it's tough to remember, and it rarely makes a whole lot of sense. However, it is an important tool, and one that all presiding officers should make use of. In an effort to help you put that book to better use, here are some tips and thoughts on how best to use parliamentary procedure in your Chapter.

As a presiding officer, you’ll be responsible for maintaining order. You’ll want to be familiar with the rules of Parliamentary Procedure. Information can be found in the Resources section of www.pademolay.org, or you might want to check your library for a copy of Robert’s Rules. Better yet, see if you can find a simplified version like The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Robert’s Rules (not that we’re calling you an idiot, but we sure found it easier to understand, so...)

Who’s in charge here?
A good presiding officer takes charge. You usually have the right, for example, to:

• Call for order and silence.
• Call meetings to order, recess, or adjournment.
• Determine the order of the agenda.
• Say who speaks, and when.
• Limit the time for discussion on an issue, or the number who may speak to it.
• Call for a vote, and choose the method of voting (voice, hands, written, etc.).
• Declare the outcome of votes.
• Rule on whether actions or speakers are in or out of order.

With power comes responsibility, so make sure you’re being fair, and everyone is being given the chance to be heard.

So what’s the down side?
Yes, sorry, there are limits to your authority. For example, you may not:

• Make any motions yourself (you may “entertain” or ask for them to be made).
• Participate in debate (you may provide information, but not opinion)
(If you just have to have your say, you must turn over the chair to someone else to do so.)
• Vote on motions, except to break a tie.
• Authorize action of the group without a properly passed motion.
• Act outside of the accepted Parliamentary rules.

Be aware that some of the authorities listed above can be overridden by a vote of the members, so all authority has limits. Again, act fairly!

What do I need to know?
Here’s a few key ideas:

• Do not consider/debate any topic until there is a motion on the floor. Open, unstructured discussion is for committees and planning sessions, not for stated meetings.
• Generally, you may not allow a second motion to be made while another is being considered. Call it “out of order” until the first motion is voted upon.
• Familiarize yourself with some key ideas like how to amend a motion, and the precedence of motions.
• Find someone to advise you on procedure. Appoint a Parliamentarian.

Hopefully this short article gives you some quick pointers on how to best use Robert's Rules. Do you like this stuff? Head on over to http://parliamentarians.org/ and check out the National Society for Parlimentarians! You too could become a certified expert in Parliamentary Procedure!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yo JO!

This week I have been updating the website to prepare for Convention 2010 and the election of State Officers for the next year. While doing this task my mind turned to an area that interests me... history. Who are all of those men that served as State Master Councilor? What about all of the others who were elected but never became SMC? So, I dove in to the PA DeMolay history file and came up with some fun facts in relation to the PA DeMolay State Officer Corp.

18 Chapters in PA DeMolay have had one SMC. Of the 18 Chapters that can claim one, only six of those are still active PA DeMolay Chapters today (Susquehanna, Lincoln, Westmoreland, Somerton, Delaware Valley, George Washington).

7 Chapters have had two SMC's, only two of which are still active Chapters (Joppa and Templar.)

3 Chapters have had four SMC's, Elizabethtown, Friendship-Bray, and Lancaster. Lancaster Chapter has since closed and been reborn as Lancaster-Phoenix Chapter. Elizabethtown is unique in that they have had four SMC's in an eight year period.

Pilgrim, Erie, and Allentown Chapters can each claim 5 SMC's to their credit. Erie was unique in this case in that they had 4 SMC's by 1959, and did not have another until 2007!

Lorraine Chapter stands alone at having six SMC's, all of them since 1957.

The Chapter with the most SMC's is Reading Chapter with 7 since 1956.

The office of Deputy State Master Councilor was established in 1987, and since that time 23 people have held the title. Of those 23 only 5 have not gone on to be State Master Councilor.

Since 1987 only one person elected to the office of State Treasurer has gone on to be State Master Councilor. This number can be deceptive however, as not all persons elected to the State Officer Corps intend to be SMC someday!

Of State Master Councilors elected since 1980, 19 of 31 have been from Chapters on the eastern side of the State. 8 of the 31 were from decidely Western Chapters, with the remaining 4 being from other areas of the Jurisdiction.

So what's the point of all of this? Well, there isn't really one... it's just some random intersting facts, and I hope you enjoyed them!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"I do so promise and vow."

Each year, participants in the Key Man Conference set aside time to focus on some of the things that make DeMolay different from “just another club.” In 2000, they focused on the obligations taken by each member at his initiation. It is our hope that as you work to commit the obligations to memory, each of you will be impressed once again with the call they make to upright, purposeful living. It is also our hope that you will not only practice the words of the obligations, but their principles as well, as you relate to your chapter members and advisors.

Contrary to what some may think, the obligations are not one of our secrets. If they are, there is something wrong. Whether we ever speak the actual words of the obligations in public settings, their content is very public, and should be “no secret” to those around us by the different way that we, as DeMolays conduct our lives.

As an emblem of those obligations, view the stained-glass window which is among the historical items maintained by DeMolay International in Kansas City. The window was made in the early 1960’s as a memorial to “Dad” Frank S. Land. It depicts a young man kneeling at a DeMolay altar as if taking his obligations. An ALTAR represents a place of worship, and reminds us that all our vows are taken before God, and are, in truth, promises made to Him as much as to others. The young man in the picture is clothed in a WHITE ROBE. A similar robe may once have been worn by a candidate for degrees. It represents purity of action and intent. Both hands are on THE BIBLE, representing a most solemn vow, and representing a DeMolay’s submission to a higher moral code, and not merely to personal or public opinion regarding right and wrong. KNEELING is a traditional symbol of humility, and willingness to serve others. The CROWN OF YOUTH is set upon the altar, emphasizing the opportunity afforded to youth for self-improvement, and reminding us of the seven cardinal virtues set as jewels in that crown. The SCHOOL BOOKS, as always, represent the public schools as the cradle of liberty, and are a symbol of freedom of conscience. The words on the window do not appear anywhere in DeMolay ritual or ceremony, but are, nonetheless, a fitting reminder for each of us, whenever we speak or hear the obligations we took, to reaffirm in our own heart and mind, “I DO SO PROMISE AND VOW.”

Have you lived like a DeMolay this week?

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Friday, March 5, 2010

Eskimo Wisdom

Today we bring you a special guest posting from "Dad" Brent Richards.

“Unless you’re the lead dog, the view is always the same.” Eskimo Proverb

On a dog sled team, the lead dog is absolutely vital to the success and safety of the sled… the rest of the team will follow where he leads, stop when he stops, continue while he presses on, give up when he quits. Almost any strong dog can be put in the traces with minimal training, and will quickly learn to “pull his weight” and follow along. The lead dog, on the other hand, must be experienced, well-trained, and obedient, or the whole team will be in trouble. The lead dog is responsible for leading the way, and keeping the sled on a safe path. The other dogs simply watch him, and do what he does. Think about this... what does the lead dog see, versus what the other dog sees. The lead dog sees:
Changing scenery
Approaching dangers
Upcoming turns in the path
Challenging stretches of trail to prepare for
Steep hills
Weak patches in the ice
Fallen trees or other obstacles in the path
Other sleds approaching
Wolves, bears or other predators to avoid
The goal/finish in the distance

What do the other dogs see?

The lead dogs tail

The roles of leaders and followers in life are not all that different. There’s lots of challenges to being a leader. It’s hard work. But there are also lots of payoffs. A true leader:

o Gets the satisfaction of knowing he’s made a difference.
o Accomplishes far more by enlisting the help of others.
o Shares the burden of the work, and achieves greater success than any one person could alone.
o Saves himself and others from unnecessary pain and frustration by his good choices.
o Learns more by leading than he ever could by following.
o Develops and invests his natural talents.
o Earns the respect and affection of his peers.
o Develops more leaders from the people around him to continue the work.
o Learns difficult but rewarding life lessons, like self-sacrifice and learning by failure.
o Lives a far more rewarding and exciting life than he could by just being a follower.
o Develops deeper relationships and friendships than he otherwise would.
o Draws attention and rewards from employers and others in authority, and advances in leadership positions in various parts of his life.

And much much more… What will you choose in your life? Will you be a leader? Or are you content with the same old view?

"Dad" Brent Richards is a Past State Master Councilor of Pennsylvania DeMolay. He is a Chevalier and member of the Legion of Honor. He is also a Welshman... but we won't hold that against him.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Jacques DeMolay Federal Credit Union

The Knights Templar were an interesting group, not only for their battles and religious devotion, but also for how progressive they were in the field of banking. What?!? Banking? Yes, we know it sounds boring, but the Knights Templar were the world's first international lenders! I recently found a website with a nice overview of these practices at http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info/crusades/knights-templar-banking.htm , which I reprint here for you to read:

"The Knights Templar Order became an extremely powerful entity during the Medieval times and era. When a man joined the Knights Templar he took an oath of poverty and his wealth and lands were donated to the Knights Templar order. The first donation of land was given to the Templars in 1127 by Count Thybaud of Champagne at Barbonne-Fayel, fifty kilometres north-west of Troyes. Further donations of money and land were given to the Knights Templar order by nobles and Kings. The Knights Templar were also given certain privileges, for example, King Alfonso I of Spain granted the Knights Templar exemption of tax on a fifth of the wealth taken from the Moors. Various Popes also gave privileges to the order. The Knights Templar order therefore became extremely wealthy and became involved in Knights Templar Banking activities."

"The Knights Templar banking activities led to their involvement with Usury. Usury was a form of money lending where an initial charge was made for a loan, or interest was charged on the repayments. The increase of the Knights Templar wealth in turn led to becoming involved in banking which in turn brought even greater wealth into the Knights Templar order. Their financial power due to their banking activities led to great political power in all of the countries in Europe of the Middle Ages."

"The Knights Templar banking activities increased their financial wealth and political power. Powerful monarchs went to the Knights Templar treasurers to obtain loans to finance their interests which included financing the cost of mounting a war. This was the case of King Philip IV of France (1268-1314) who was already heavily in debt to the Knights Templar when he requested a further loan to finance a war. The request was refused and a furious King Philip mounted an attack on the Knights Templar order. Pope Clement V initiated enquiries into the order and thousands of Knights Templar were arrested across Europe on charges of heresy. Anyone found sheltering a Templar was under threat of excommunication. This led to the decline of the Knights Templar Banking activities and the order itself."

So there you have it. If the Knights Templar hadn't become the scary "Repo Men" of the middle ages, they might just still be around! Now, where I can get a check card from Knights Templar National Lending and Trust... hmmm...

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth C. Anthony