Monday, June 7, 2010

Region II Spotlight: Virginia

DeMolay International divides its "Jurisdictions" (generally meaning a State or Country) into Regions. Pennsylvania is part of Region II which includes New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Nation's Capital, Ontario (in Canada, eh?) and Italy. Our region has a long history of excellence, and is renowned for how well we work together in planning Regional Conferences and events such as the Mid Atlantic Tournament of Champions (MATOC for short.)

However, the average DeMolay doesn't really get to interact with members from other Jurisdictions unless he goes to one of these events. One of the most interesting things in DeMolay is how different each Jurisdiction can be while still working within the guidelines set forth by DeMolay International. In an effort to familiarize you with our sister Jurisdictions from our Region, this blog will present a series of "Region II Spotlight" articles to give you some information about DeMolay in Region II.
Region II Spotlight on Virginia
Virginia is one of only four Commonwealths in the country (which means it's not technically a state. The other three are Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania!) Nicknamed "the Old Dominion State" it is sometimes called the "Mother of Presidents" as 8 of our nation's leaders have called Virginia home. It's capital is the historic city of Richmond, which served as the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. With roughly 8 million residents, the State is a study in diversity, with the relatively urban Northern area (including Fairfax and the D.C. suburbs) standing in stark contrast to the rugged beauty of the Shenandoah Valley and Southern climes.

Currently Virginia DeMolay has 448 members meeting in 14 Chapters. These are divided into five regions, each composed of three to five Chapters. Each region elects a Regional Master Councilor and Deputy Regional Master Councilor during the annual Conclave (that's Convention for the PA folks!) Also elected during the Conclave are the State Master Councilor (currently Bro. Nick Cook) and Deputy State Master Councilor (currently Bro. P.J. Shuey.) Each of these positions serves for one year. Combined, these offices make up the "State Council" for Virginia DeMolay, similar to the "State Officer Corps" we have here in Pennsylvania.
Uniquely, Virginia also has a State Representative DeMolay who is chosen from all of the RD's within the Jurisdiction. The chosen DeMolay must complete an interview in front of a panel of Advisors who challenges his personal philosophy and morality. This is a tough process, and ensures that the young man chosen as the State RD is truly an outstanding member of our Order.
The young men of Virginia are aided by Executive Officer "Dad" Mike Williams and his State Staff of advisors. These adults function similarly to the Executive Officer's Leadership Team that we have in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania has many ties to the other States within our Region, and Virginia is no exception. Several Virginia Advisors would be immediately recognized by PA DeMolays, including "Dad" Tom Sellers (who works with MATOC and has served on Key Man staff), and "Dad" Zack Panitzke, formerly of Erie Chapter, who is now working with a Chapter in Northern Virginia (pictured at right.)
So, next time you're visiting the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, or maybe hitting the beach on the Atlantic coast, remember to look up a Virginia DeMolay Chapter - they love to have visitors!
Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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