Thursday, April 14, 2011

History in Pictures

I received some positive feedback from my recent post with pictures from my trip to DeMolay International. In keeping with the theme of posting photos, I plumbed the depths of the PA DeMolay archives for some historical photos that I thought would be interesting to share. I hope you enjoy these!

Let's start with a photo that's fairly unassuming. It looks to be a picture of a piece of old paper. Nothing major, right? This is actually a photo of the original (and I do mean very first) typed copy of the DeMolay Ritual. "Dad" Frank Marshall wrote the ritual in a single sitting under a tree in his front lawn. But, being a newspaper man, he knew that the document needed to be typed up so that it could be better distributed. This is the first ever typed copy of the DeMolay ritual, presumably produced by "Dad" Marshall himself, soon after completing the work. This picture was taken by our Executive Officer, "Dad" Tom Labagh while on a trip to DeMolay International.

The DeMolay International Service and Leadership Center isn't the only DeMolay landmark to see while visiting Kansas City. Two other very important structures exist to commemorate the impact our Order had a this Midwestern town. First up we have the memorial to "Dad" Land that was erected on the 50th Anniversary of the founding of DeMolay. The memorial itself is fairly large, being just a little shorter than the height of an average person. It serves as a testament and a reminder of one the greatest men to call Kansas City his home. 

In the same vein as the first picture, we have a great view of another sacred site - that of "Dad" Land's grave. Compared to the memorial, it's a simple structure, consisting of an in ground plaque and a small stone bench which bears his name and the symbols of the Order. "Dad" Land passed away in 1959, leaving a vacuum of leadership in DeMolay at the national level. The history of the events surrounding "Dad" Land's passing and the subsequent change in leadership is another interesting topic. However, I don't have enough room to discuss it here - but it would make a great subject for another blog post!

The dramatic portion of the DeMolay Degree, which depicts the final trial of Jacques DeMolay, is one that makes a lasting impact on many of us. Few of us have ever actually been to Paris to see where these events took place, though. Here we have a picture of some DeMolays who got just that opportunity. This is a photo of several DeMolays kneeling at the place where Jacques DeMolay was burned those many centuries ago. It seems like a fitting memorial for the martyr who's name we bear.

This one can be filed under the "what were we thinking" category. Modern day DeMolays wear a simple black and red cape (or robe, depending on what you want to call it.) But, "back in the day" DeMolays truly wore robes. As you can see at left, the original DeMolay meeting attire was a heavy velvet robe with intricate lacing and designs that incorporated a high collar and shoulder capes. If you think the current regalia is uncomfortable, imagine what these bad boys must of been like! Oh, and don't forget to take into account that most Lodges weren't air conditioned in those days! Those had to be some stinky meetings!

Now, for the "piece de resistance." At right you'll find a picture taken in front of Ranken Hall around 1980-81. You might recognize some of the young men in that picture. At the far left is our very own "Dad" Lee Cram, now a member of the Supreme Council. Accompanying "Dad" Cram is "Dad" Eric Ullom, third from the left. The one thing you can say about the early 80's - " did they have some good hair!"

I hope you had fun with this little pictorial history! Catch you on Monday!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony 

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I'm wrinting a article about demolay and I have some questions. Do you know when the picture with the robes where taken?
    When they started to use the same robes that we use today?
    You can email at
    Thank you