Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Dad" Land Lives

Every DeMolay has heard the countless tales of our history and of our Founder, "Dad" Frank S. Land. However, most have only seen pictures or portraits of our Founder. Few have any idea of what he was like as a person or of his mannerisms. He's become a revered figure - more myth than man in some cases. But, it's important for us to remember that Land was a real person, with real dreams.

Recently, I came across a YouTube video of "Dad" Land on TV with Ted Mack, a talk show host. In the piece, "Dad" Land introduces one his closest friends, President Harry Truman. It's one of the few surviving pieces that shows "Dad" Land as he was in real life, with his voice. It's a blast from the past to be sure, but I hope you enjoy seeing the legend come to life as much as I did.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2011 - 2012 MSA's

PA DeMolay would like to congratulate the following members who earned the Past Master Councilor's Meritorious Service Award during the past year.

Cody E. Rosenbauer of Lorraine Chapter
Nick Spangler of Freedom Chapter
Jake Yarnall of Allentown Chapter
Isaac Holtzer of Westmoreland Chapter
William Maple of George Washington Chapter
Mark Richards of Susquehanna Chapter
Branden Glass of Lorraine Chapter
Michael Buss of Allentown Chapter
Adam Neubauer of Westmoreland Chapter
Michael Donahue of Susquehanna Chapter

Great work, Brothers!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Ride of a Lifetime

Pennsylvania DeMolay is proud to support the Children's Dyslexia Centers of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. Through advanced teaching methods, children attending the Centers are able to overcome the challenge of Dyslexia, free of cost, thanks to the generosity of Scottish Rite Masons. PA DeMolay adopted this cause as our State Charity because of the impact it has on children and teens just like our members.

Many of Chapters go out and raise funds to donate back to the Learning Centers or perform community service in an effort to raise awareness of the cause. However, one member of the PA Masonic Youth Foundation family is going above and beyond the call of duty to help this worthwhile cause.

"Dad" Larry R. Emigh, a member of the Board of Directors of the PA Masonic Youth Foundation, a retired DeMolay Advisor, and Scottish Rite Mason is riding his bicycle from California to Massachusetts in an effort to tell the story of the Children's Dyslexia Centers. Beginning in May of 2012, "Dad" Emigh will ride 3,415 miles from coast to coast, ending his journey in Lexington, MA, just south of the headquarters of the Scottish Rite in the Northern Jurisdiction. Oh, did we mention "Dad" Emigh is 70 years old?

His ride was recently profiled in the Northern Light, the publication of the AASR, NMJ. We've posted it here for you to read. Just click the image to make it bigger!

You can also view a video of "Dad" Emigh's "training" over on YouTube, follow his journey through his website at, and track his daily progress on Facebook and Twitter.

"Dad" Emigh is putting his sweat and tears into making the Learning Centers better - what can you do to support him and this worthwhile cause?

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Wisdom of John Dickinson

As we  march through this year of politics, I often find that looking back on some of the leaders of our nation continues to be useful. We all know the big names - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin. However, we often overlook some of the other key players in our nation's history. They are the lesser known Founding Fathers. These men were no less brilliant, as their quotes show. Take some time to think about them and what they mean. How can you apply them in your chapter and take control of you organization?

Our Founding Father for today is someone you might have heard of and not even know it. John Dickinson, the namesake of the Dickson Law School, played a major part in the founding of our country and of Pennsylvania

The Wisdom of John Dickinson

"Nothing is more certain than that the forms of liberty may be retained when the substance is gone. In government, as well as in religion, "the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life"" - "The Political Writings of John Dickinson"

"Kings or parliaments could not give the rights essential to happiness. ... We claim them from a higher source - from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth. They are not annexed to us by parchments and seals. They are created in us by the decrees of Providence, which establish the laws of our nature. They are born with us; exist with us; and cannot be taken from us by any human power without taking our lives. In short, they are founded on the immutable maxims of reason and justice. It would be an insult on the Divine Majesty to say that he has given or allowed any man or body of men a right to make me miserable."

"Let us take care of our rights and we therein take care of our prosperity. Slavery is ever preceded by sleep" "The Political Writings of John Dickinson"

"As Congress is now to legislate for our extensive territory lately acquired, I pray to Heaven that they may build up the system of the government on the broad, strong, and sound principles of freedom. Curse not the inhabitants of those regions, and of the United States in general with a permission to introduce bondage [slavery]"

"No free people ever existed, or can ever exist, without keeping the purse strings in their own hands. Where this is the case, they have a constitutional check upon the administration, which may thereby by brought into order without violence. But when such a power is not lodged in the people, oppression proceeds uncontrolled in its career, till the governed, transported into rage, seek redress in the midst of blood and confusion."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tattoos - the Other Side of the Story

The other day I wrote a post about a Master Mason in California, Bro. Roni Zulu, who has made quite a name for himself as a tattoo artist. In that post I talk about the importance of creativity and expression, even if it's something we don't necessarily agree with. As I suspected, I made "Dad" Labagh cringe a little, but he did understand where I was coming from and the reasoning behind the post. However, he requested that I write a piece about the decision making process as it relates to tattoos - offering a counter argument, per se.

The first thing you should take a look at comes from "The Art of Manliness Blog - Think Before You Ink." Take a moment to check it out. We'll be here.

Okay, obviously the post isn't trying to dissuade someone from getting a tattoo, but rather enjoins them to really think the decision through and to make sure that they are making a good choice. No one can argue with that advice. If you are going to permanently change your physical appearance, you need to really think that decision out, as it's hard to reverse.

"But, you can get tattoos removed!", you cry. Why yes, yes you can. However, the reality of tattoo removal is much more painful that most people realize. Not only will it cause you personal discomfort, but it will also set you back a pretty penny. Tattoos are relatively cheap to have done, but removal costs can be multiple times more to get removed. This is just another point to consider when making your decision.

The other piece of this equation, at least for young people, is parental involvement. Some young folks go get tattoos and think that they can hide them from their parents. First of all, at least from a DeMolay perspective, this is very disrespectful and flies in the face of our first Precept - Filial Love. You can't and shouldn't try to hide this kind of life decision from your parents. Even if you don't agree, it's best to consult them and let them know what you are thinking.

So, if you want a tattoo, what should you do? We recommend that you sit down and create a pros and cons list. Weigh all of the options and share it with your parents. Taking time to make the right decision can only benefit you in the long run.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, May 14, 2012

DI Rules and Regs - What You Need to Know - Part II

This is the second in a series of posts that details some specific information from the DeMolay International Rules and Regulations. These articles are in response to questions we have gotten from local leaders asking what the official rules are for their Chapter and position.

Every Chapter must have a copy of the Rules and Regs of DeMolay International, however, in many cases they are out of date, misplaced, or just forgotten. Frankly, much of what is contained in the document has little to no bearing on what you do in a local Chapter, but there are some very specific sections that are important for you to know about. In the PA DeMolay version of DAD Training we discuss these, but sometimes we don't look at them as closely as we should. I hope this will help new and veteran advisors alike.

As a warning, some of these posts are going to be a bit longer, as we show the section of the Rules and Regs and then talk about it.

This time we take a look at Part II: Article 15 - Membership

315.1   Residence, Election of Members.  A person who resides in the territory of a Chapter may not be lawfully elected to receive the degrees from any other Chapter, except one having concurrent territory, without consent of the Executive Officer of the Jurisdiction where the applicant resides.

Discussion: This is an interesting rule, because it describes the area from which Chapters can recruit members. However, most Chapters don't have a defined territory, so this section is often overlooked. It is more or less a carry over from times when there were several Chapters in one area and rules needed to be established to make sure that each Chapter had a sufficient area to recruit from.

315.2   Eligibility.  An application for membership may be received only from a young man who has passed his twelfth birthday and who has not reached his twenty-first birthday and who is recommended by two members of the Order, or by a Senior DeMolay, or by a Mason.  The applicant must be sponsored by a Mason.  Membership shall be considered on the basis of character and moral qualifications as prescribed in The Sacred Landmarks of the Order of DeMolay.  (1999)

Discussion: This is the section that establishes the age for DeMolays - 12 to 21. It says he must also be recommended by a two members of the order, or by a single Senior DeMolay, or by a Master Mason. All applicants must be sponsored by a Master Mason. The rest of it talks about moral character and the Sacred Landmarks of DeMolay (which is a whole other discussion.)

315.3   Application Received.  Every application for membership or for affiliation must be received at a meeting of the Chapter.

315.4   Visitation Committees.  Unless otherwise directed by the Executive Officer, all applications for membership or for affiliation when received, shall be referred by the Master Councilor to a visitation committee which shall inquire thoroughly into the character and fitness of the applicant and report in writing, by the next stated meeting, when the application for membership will be voted on.  The visitation committee must report favorably or unfavorably, by a majority of its members.  If the committee fails to report at the proper time, the Master Councilor may continue the committee or appoint a new committee.  When desirable, an advisor may make the visitation and report instead of the committee.

Discussion: I'm grouping 315.3 and 315.4 together. Basically, every application for membership must be read at a regular meeting of the Chapter. Then, unless the EO says otherwise, the Master Councilor must set up a group of members to act as a Visitation Committee. They will go meet with the potential member and report back to the Chapter their feelings on the applicant. Notice, it says they should report it in writing, but we know that this rarely happens. It also allows for an Advisor to make the visitation instead of the members. Here in PA, we prefer that the young men complete the visitation.

315.5   Election for Membership.  Election for membership or for affiliation must be only at a meeting of the Chapter and unless otherwise directed by the Executive Officer, after a visitation committee has reported.  A secret ballot shall be conducted in the following manner:
(a) The Master Councilor reads the name of the applicant and the facts set out in his application.  If applicable, he states whether the report of the committee is favorable or unfavorable and may give any information reported by the committee.  If applicable, an unfavorable report by a committee of visitation or any members thereof, or an objection to an application by any member of the Chapter before balloting on the application, shall be referred to the Chapter Advisor, or in his absence to a member of the Advisory Council.  The Advisory Council shall decide if the unfavorable report or objection itself constitutes a rejection.
(b) A collective ballot may be taken if there is more than one applicant to be balloted on.  If no more than one black cube appears, the applicants are elected.  If two or more black cubes appear, there must be an individual ballot on each application.
(c) When there is an individual ballot, if no more than one black cube appears, the applicant is elected.  If two black cubes appear, the ballot shall not be declared, but shall lie over until the next meeting when another ballot shall be taken.  If three or more black cubes appear, the applicant is rejected.
(d) When a ballot lies over, an applicant is rejected if three or more black cubes appear on this second ballot, otherwise the applicant is elected.

Discussion: Now that an applicant has been visited, when are they allowed to officially join? That's what Section 315.5 covers! It describes how a Master Councilor will call for a ballot and what information he must share with the Chapter about the Applicant. Please note - that we have modified balloting procedures in PA - you can find them here.

315.6   Rejected, May Apply Again.  
(a) When an applicant for membership has been rejected, he cannot again apply to any Chapter for three months.
(b) When an applicant for affiliation has been rejected, he may again apply after one month, and the application must then lie over for two weeks before ballot.
(c) An applicant rejected upon application must, when applying to another Chapter, disclose his former rejection.

Discussion: What if the applicant does not receive a favorable ballot? Then follow the rules in 315.6!

315.7   Objection Filed.  After an applicant has been elected and before the beginning of the conferral of the Initiatory Degree, a written objection signed by three members of the Chapter may be filed with the Chapter Scribe.  The objection must be considered by the Chapter and voted upon.  If sustained by one-third of the members present the degrees cannot be conferred, and the applicant is rejected.  After an applicant has received any degree, objections can only be sustained by regular trial before the Advisory Council.

Discussion: We don't really see objections any more, but this Section tells us what to do with them.

315.8 Initiation Fees and Dues.  No applicant may be initiated until he has paid the initiation fee.

Discussion: Yes, you have to pay a fee. Pretty simple, right?

315.9   Receiving Degrees.  An applicant elected for membership must present himself at the proper time and place to receive the degrees within three months of election.  If he does not, or does not show good cause for his delay, he forfeits election for membership and must apply again.
315.10   Enrollment.
(a) Every applicant who receives the Initiatory Degree in any Chapter becomes a member of the Chapter which elected him, and his name is entered upon its roll.
(b) The Grand Secretary shall mail a Leader's Resource Guide to the members when the Initiatory Degree is reported.
(c) The Grand Secretary shall issue a patent when both the Initiatory and DeMolay Degrees have been reported.
(d) An applicant who does not present himself to receive the DeMolay Degree within twelve months is placed in an inactive category and shall be so reported by the Grand Secretary.  Members in this category are not eligible to receive a Senior DeMolay certificate or card.

Discussion: Basically, every member is supposed to see the Degrees within three months of joining DeMolay. This means the full degrees, not the Obligation Ceremony. Is your Chapter following this rule? Once he does join, a new member get some welcome materials. But wait - read Section D! Technically, if a member doesn't see the Degrees in 12 months, he's not actually a member and can't be a Senior DeMolay!

315.11   Application for Affiliation.
(a) A member applying for affiliation must present in addition to his application, a transfer certificate, or a certificate from his Executive Officer.  His application for affiliation must be on a regular application blank marked "Affiliation", and be accompanied by the affiliation fee.
(b) Applications for affiliation must be acted upon in the same manner as applications for membership.
(c) If a DeMolay is elected for membership in the new Chapter, the Scribe of the Chapter shall immediately notify the DeMolay’s former Chapter and the DeMolay is a member of the new Chapter from the date of election.
(d) A DeMolay’s standing is not impaired by rejection of his application.  He remains a member of his former Chapter until that Chapter receives notice of his election by another Chapter and deletes his name from its rolls effective the date of his affiliation election.
315.12   Dual Membership.
(a) Dual membership in Chapters is permissible with the approval of each Executive Officer concerned.  All requirements for membership by affiliation must be met.  If a DeMolay is elected for membership in the Chapter applied to, the Scribe of the Chapter shall immediately notify the DeMolay's other Chapter, and the brother shall be a member of both Chapters from the date of his affiliation election.
(b) A member may not hold office in more than one Chapter at the same time.

Discussion: Sometimes guys want to be members of more than one Chapter or to change what Chapter they belong to. This Section explains the process for that. It's pretty simple.

315.13   Obligation Card Required.  Unless otherwise directed by the Executive Officer, a member must, by standing examination in an open Chapter meeting, demonstrate that he has committed to memory the obligations and examination queries of both degrees in order to vote or hold office.  When a member has demonstrated his proficiency, he will be issued an obligation card.

Discussion: The Obligations card remains a point of contention in PA DeMolay, especially for sports tournament participation. The key to this section is "Unless otherwise directed by the EO." I advise that you read the PA DeMolay policy on obligations cards.

315.14   Member At Large.
(a) When a Chapter surrenders its Letters Temporary or Charter, or the Letters Temporary or Charter are suspended or forfeited, a member of the Chapter may affiliate as a member-at-large.
(b) The application is made to the Grand Secretary.  The Grand Secretary shall issue a membership card entitling the member-at-large to all privileges of a member of the Order, except that he may not vote or hold office in any Chapter.
(c) A member who has moved from the vicinity of his original Chapter and who is unable to obtain a satisfactory reply regarding a transfer can be accepted as a member-at-large upon application to the Grand Secretary.
(d) A member-at-large in good standing may apply for affiliation with any Chapter.

Discussion: What happens when a young man wants to join DeMolay but there isn't a Chapter close by? Then we go to this Section for direction.

315.15   Senior DeMolays.
(a) When a member of the Order reaches the age of twenty-one, his active membership in the Order ends unless serving as an elected International, Congress or Jurisdictional Officer who was installed in office prior to his twenty-first birthday. Such officers shall not be reclassified as Senior DeMolays until completion of the term of office or resignation or removal therefrom, whichever occurs first.
(b) A Senior DeMolay who does not hold a Senior DeMolay certificate or a Life Membership card cannot, as such, visit any DeMolay Chapter.
(c)  A Senior DeMolay who holds a Senior DeMolay certificate or Life Membership card will be permitted to visit a DeMolay Chapter, but without the right to participate in the business or activities of the Order, except as provided in these rules and regulations. (2009)

315.16   Former Member May Secure Senior DeMolay Certificate.  A former DeMolay may secure a Senior DeMolay certificate by making application to the Grand Secretary.

Discussion: The status of Senior DeMolay is valued by many and this Section discusses how that title is imparted. Note sub-section B - you aren't technically allowed to visit another Chapter as Senior DeMOlay without a card or a certificate! 

315.17   Charter Members.  All members initiated into or affiliated with a Chapter prior to the granting of a Charter are Charter Members.

Discussion: This deals with the opening of new Chapters and doesn't really affect much.

315.18   Resignations.  An Active or Senior DeMolay may resign his membership and request that his name be removed from the Chapter and DeMolay International rolls by written letter to the Advisory Council and the Executive Officer in the case of an active DeMolay, and to the Grand Secretary and the Executive Officer, in the case of a Senior member.  Upon approval by the Advisory Council, the Executive Officer and the Grand Secretary, the individual will be notified and the resignation will be recorded.

Discussion: If someone truly wants out of DeMolay entirely, they have to follow this procedure.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Flying the Flag of PA

I was having trouble coming up with a post for today, so I headed over to the Massachusetts DeMolay Blog to see what they had been up to. One of the recent articles discussed the history of their state flag. I realized that I've never really tackled this topic, so I went out and pulled up some information to share on our Flag of the Commonwealth.

The first Pennsylvania State Flag to display the Pennsylvania Coat of Arms was authorized by the General Assembly in 1799. The state Coat of Arms was embroidered on a blue field on both sides of the flag.
The State Coat of Arms, containing the emblems of the official state seal, was that of Provincial Pennsylvania's Penn family. It first appeared on paper money issued by the state in 1777 and two years later was adopted for display on the state flag.

During the Civil War, many Pennsylvania regiments carried a modified version of the Stars and Stripes. Substituted for the field of stars on Old Glory was the Pennsylvania Coat of Arms.

On June 13, 1907, the Pennsylvania General Assembly standardized the design of the flag and required that the field of blue be the same color as the blue of the Flag of the United States. The law requires that the flag
"...shall be of blue, the same color as the blue field in the flag of the United States, and of the following dimensions and design; to wit, the length, or height, of the staff to be nine feet, including brass spear-head and ferrule, the fly of the said flag to be six feet and two inches, and to be four feet and six inches on the staff; in the center of the flag there shall be embroidered in silk the same on both sides of the flag the coat of arms of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in proportionate size; the edge to be trimmed with knotted fringe of yellow silk, two and one-half inches wide; a cord, with tassels, to be attached to the staff at the spear-head, to be eight feet and six inches long, and composed of white and blue strands."

That's all well and good, but what's this about the State Coat of Arms? Pennsylvania's coat of arms is not used in the official capacity of the state seal, but it's a familiar symbol of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and appears on countless documents and publications. The coat of arms also includes the state motto: "Virtue, Liberty, and Independence."

Based on a 1778 design by Caleb Lownes of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania coat of arms features a shield crested by an American bald eagle, flanked by horses, and adorned with symbols of Pennsylvania's strengths - a ship carrying state commerce to all parts of the world; a clay-red plough (a symbol of the Pennsylvania's rich natural resources); and three golden sheaves of wheat, representing fertile fields and Pennsylvania's wealth of human thought and action. An olive branch and cornstalk cross limbs beneath - symbols of peace and prosperity. The state motto ("Virtue Liberty and Independendence") appears festooned below.

Next time you see our state flag, take a look at it, and realize the history involved in its design.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, May 7, 2012

Over Looked Blog Posts

Some of you have been following the PA DeMolay blog for quite some time, while others may have just picked up on it recently. With the coming of our 300th post, I thought it would be nice to look back at 10 articles which I think are often overlooked. Take a moment and go back and read a couple of these posts - heck, you might even have missed something the first time through!

1. Creativity and Careful Writing Win Essays Everytime - this post contains an essay written by Bro. Jonathan Webster of Delaware Valley Chapter. It's a great piece of about DeMolay in the past and the future.

2. Are you being served? - A discussion on service leadership.

3. Repercussions of Elections - What happens when someone wins or loses and election?

4. The DeMolay Degree - Fact or Fiction? - A historical account of the events portrayed in the DeMolay Degree.

5. Pins and Opinions - An Op-Ed piece about DeMolay awards by Matt Blaisdell, State Master Councilor.

6. History Nerds Unite - a recounting of historical research for PA DeMolay.

7. The Obligatory Post - Just what are the Obligatory Days all about? Find out here!

8. Did you say bi-cameral? - A post about how PA is governed.

9. DeMolay International Archives - A Photo Collection - Pictures from my trip to DeMolay International.

10. A Closer Look at Regalia - Part II: Collars - What are those silly things around our necks?

Thanks for looking and we'll see you on Thursday!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Edge of Manliness

First, I'd like to apologize for the lack of a post yesterday. I was out of the office and therefore didn't get a chance to put anything up. However, I'm making up for it today with an article that should raise a few eye brows.

One of the long running pieces over is a series called "So You Want My Job" wherein the blog interviews men in high profile or interesting professions to find out how they got there. Sounds pretty tame, right? In general, they are - but today is something a little different. Today is something that will probably raise "Dad" Labagh's blood pressure a little bit. Today, we talk about becoming a tattoo artist.

Yes, you read that right. While many DeMolays go on to jobs in business, politics, law enforcement, or other suitably regular professions, some are just not cut of that cloth. Some of our members are artistic and showy and have a passion for the arts. We have to recognize that the "normal" career path may not be for everyone.

There is also a secondary reason that I am posting this article. The man who is profiled, Roni Zulu, is a Master Mason and Past Master in California. He has been profiled in many Masonic publications for his alternative approach the fraternity and the changing imagery of Masonry today. While some may question the career path of tattoo artist, I don't think anyone would question the dedication of Bro. Zulu or his moral character. He is proud of the fraternity - heck, he's wearing a Masonic ring in the picture at right. Should we judge a man just because he has a tattoo? I guess that's up to you...

So You Want My Job: Tattoo Artist - with Roni Zulu

Enjoy the article!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony