Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Fraternity Bands Together

Today's article is from "Dad" Tom Labagh, EO of PA DeMolay. He recently posted a note to Facebook about some great things that are happening in PA DeMolay. I thought they were really worth sharing. Enjoy!

I am so proud to be a Pennsylvania Freemason! I am sorry for the long post, but I need to share with all of you how the Masonic family in Pennsylvania is joining with Pennsylvania DeMolay to help raise money to pay for a liver transplant for one of our members. 

In February, Bro. Parker Harley, 18, was diagnosed with a rare liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). The only definite treatment for PSC is a liver transplant and lifeling medication. Parker comes from an active Masonic Family. His Dad, Bro. Jack Harley, is a well-known Past Master of Ephrata Lodge No. 665. His Mom is in Eastern Star. His brother was a DeMolay member, too. Of course, the family is actively working in the community and through a wonderful network of family and friends to raise money, but, P
ennsylvania DeMolay wanted to help out too. Every PA DeMolay Chapter is committed to making a contribution or raising funds to help. Many leaders who have been honored with the DeMolay Cross of Honor, the DeMolay Legion of Honor, or the Degree of Chevalier have made very generous personal contributions. Other Masonic groups from across the state have made contributions because these honor-recipients have shared Parker's story. DeMolay leaders from other states have made personal contributions. Since July, we have raised over $14,000, just through our Pennsylvania DeMolay campaign.

The Order of the Amaranth in PA, led by Mrs. Karen Hettel, has asked all its Courts to contribute.

Bro. Tim Pletcher, District Deputy Grand Master for District 30, called to tell of a Lodge that has chosen to give the year-long collection of contributions by a social dinner club to Parker's care. Every day, something new arrives. Every day we see the heart of our Pennsylvania Masonic Family.

Today, Ill. Bro. Russell W. Baker, Deputy for Pennsylvania, hand-delivered a very generous check, designated by Sovereign Grand Commander John William McNaughton, in the amount of $10,000 from the Almoner's Fund of the Supreme Council, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, NMJ. It literally took my breath away!

You can learn more about Parker by watching the video we posted or visiting this Facebook page:

And if you, or your Masonic organization would like to contribute, checks can be made payable to the "Parker Harley Benefit Fund" and send it to PA DeMolay, 1244 Bainbridge Road, Elizabethtown, PA 17022. Every donation of every size is needed and deeply appreciated. All will be deposited directly into the fund, and acknowledged.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Where we've been...

Today's post continues my recent series of articles related to the new online DAD Training we're working on. One of the things we want to do is provide a short but concise history of DeMolay and its evolution here in the Keystone State. We dove back into the history books and pulled out some of the most important facts and put them in a timeline format. This should help everyone plot the development of DeMolay, right up to the present day. This resource will appear as a part of the historical section in the online training, so check it out!

  • 1890 – Frank S. Land, the Founder of DeMolay is born in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • February 1919 – Frank S. Land meets with Louis Lower and 8 of his friends at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, MO. These young men would provide the first members of DeMolay. Today, they are known as the “Original Nine.”
  • March 1919 – the group assumes the name “Order of DeMolay” and a ritual is drafted. Kansas City Chapter No. 1 is formed. Later it will be known as Mother Chapter.
  • 1920 – the second DeMolay Chapter is formed in Omaha, NE.
  • 1921 – First meeting of the Grand Council of the Order of DeMolay, predecessor to the Supreme Council of DeMolay International.
  • October 28, 1922 – the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Pennsylvania, led by Ralph C. Mineheart, Grand Commander, requests that the local Commanderies take up the cause of supporting DeMolay in Pennsylvania.
  • February 12, 1923 – Templar Chapter, the first Chapter in Pennsylvania, is established in Pittsburgh, PA. The initial membership class consisted of 1099 young men.
  • February 14, 1923 – DeMolay comes to Eastern Pennsylvania when 1,178 members are inducted at the Metropolitan Opera House in Philadelphia.
  • 1924 – the Representative DeMolay Award program is instituted. “Dad” Land shares his vision that “Every DeMolay should be a Representative DeMolay.”
  • 1925 – the DeMolay Legion of Honor is conferred for the first time.
  • 1926 – DeMolay membership in Pennsylvania peaks at 12,067 members.
  • June 1926 – the Associated Chapters of the Order of DeMolay in Pennsylvania is formed. The first Conclave is held in Pittsburgh, consisting of delegates from 36 Chapters.
  • 1936 – the Degree of Chevalier is instituted to honor DeMolay leaders who were not yet eligible to receive the Legion of Honor.
  • 1937 – “Dad” Land starts the DeMolay Hall of Fame.
  • 1937 – PA DeMolay is split into two Jurisdictions – East and West – being led by two different Executive Officers.
  • 1951 – The two PA Jurisdictions are reunited under the leadership of “Dad” Clarence Head. “Dad” Head would go on to serve as Secretary General of DeMolay International after the passing of “Dad” Land.
  • 1959 – the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania publicly endorses DeMolay and Lodges begin to sponsor DeMolay Chapters.
  • November 8, 1959 – “Dad” Frank S. Land dies.
  • 1967 – the DeMolay Congress, consisting of representatives of the Active DeMolays from each Jurisdiction, meets for the first time.
  • 1969 – DeMolay celebrates 50 years of existence.
  • 1982 – “Dad” Samuel C. Williamson establishes the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation to support Masonic Youth Groups in Pennsylvania.
  • 1986 – the first PA DeMolay Key Man Conference is held at the Masonic Conference Center at Patton Campus in Elizabethtown, PA.
  • 1986 – DeMolay Advisor Training becomes mandatory.
  • 1990 – DeMolay Advisors begin to voluntarily submit to comprehensive criminal background checks.
  • 2006 – the position of Youth Director of Convention is established.
  • 2007 – the position of Youth Director of the Key Man Conference is established.
  • 2009 – PA DeMolay begins offering advanced Advisor training through the DAD Plus program.
  • 2010 – the Key Man Conference celebrates 25 continuous years of DeMolay leadership training in PA.
  • 2012 – Online DAD Training introduced.
Let us know what you think in the comments sections!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Preview: Round 2

On Monday, I gave you a preview of one of the organization charts we are using in the new online version of the DAD Training. The chart you saw was for the young men, but we all know that the adult volunteers of DeMolay are organized a bit differently. We just put the finishing touches on the Adult Leader Organization Chart and I'm happy to share it with you today! Please note, this chart was developed with Pennsylvania DeMolay in mind, but much of it applies to the organization as a whole.

  • DeMolay International (Active and Deputy Members) – DeMolay International is the highest authority on the DeMolay program. It is composed of Active Members (who wear gold collars) and a varied number of Deputy Members (who wear silver collars.) Active members may speak and vote on issues, while Deputy members may only speak.
    • Board of Directors of DeMolay International – This body rules when DeMolay International is not in session. It is composed of the officers of DeMolay International (Grand Master, Grand Secretary, Regional Representatives, etc.), two active DeMolays (the International Master Councilor and the International Congress Secretary) and several key committee chairmen.
  • Executive Officer of Pennsylvania DeMolay – The Executive Officer of a jurisdiction is the highest DeMolay authority in his assigned area. He is appointed by the Grand Master of DeMolay International with input from the Masonic organization in his territory. He is responsible for managing and organizing DeMolay in his jurisdiction.
    • Executive Secretary of Pennsylvania DeMolay – Appointed by the Executive Officer, the Executive Secretary serves as his right hand man. In Pennsylvania DeMolay, the Executive Secretary handles the day to day and clerical operations of the organization, such as membership and program reporting, Advisory Council registrations, and jurisdictional communications.
    • Executive Officer’s Leadership Team – Each Executive Officer is allowed to appoint jurisdictional staff members to help administer the DeMolay program in his area. In Pennsylvania DeMolay, there are Deputy Executive Officers who aid with administrative oversight of Chapters as assigned. Additionally, there are program directors who handle specific duties within PA DeMolay (such as Ritual, the State Officer Corps, and Convention.)
  • The Advisory Council of a Local Chapter – Local DeMolay Chapters have an Advisory Council which is appointed by the Executive Officer. They serve entirely at his discretion and he may appoint and remove members at any time, with or without reason. These adult leaders ensure that each DeMolay Chapter meets organizational requirements and provides quality programming for the young men.
    • Chapter Chairman of the Advisory Council – The adult leadership of the Council is overseen by the Chapter Chairman, whose job it is to make sure that the Chapter has enough Advisors and to oversee the adults working with the Chapter.
    • Chapter Advisor – Each Advisory Council chooses a Chapter Advisor, whose job is to work with the young men, most especially the Councilors, on planning Chapter activities. This person serves as the conduit between the young men and the Advisory Council.
    • Members of the Advisory Council – Every member of an Advisory Council is important and will fill varied roles, such as Ritual Advisor, Merit Bar Advisor, etc. They will also help in making sure that every DeMolay event meets the Youth Protection Guidelines by being available to supervise activities.
    • Councilors – The Councilors (Master, Senior, Junior) are elected by the young men and act as their leaders. They work with the Chapter Advisor to plan events and organize the Chapter.
    • Members of the Chapter – These are the young men; the DeMolays themselves.
I hope this chart clears up some questions for you!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Preview of Things to Come

Here at the PA DeMolay office we juggle many projects at once. One such project is the upcoming online DAD Training program. While still in its infant stages, we are working diligently to pull together the resources necessary to do DAD and DAD Plus training programs through an electronic medium. This requires us to produce a lot of documentation and resources. One of the things I've been pulling together is an organization chart of DeMolay. Today, I thought I'd give you a preview of that piece. This should give the newbies a good idea of how the youth lead our organization while giving veteran DeMolay folks a new way to look at things.

Please keep in mind that these are draft documents and do not represent a final product. They are also tailored for Pennsylvania.

First, let's look at the chart itself:

Now, let's go through the descriptions for each entry on the chart:

DeMolay Youth Leader Organization Chart Descriptions

  • DeMolay International Congress – Composed of two representatives from each jurisdiction, as well as cabinet members and the International Master Councilor and the International Congress Secretary; this body serves as the voice of the members of DeMolay to DeMolay International. In Pennsylvania, two of the Elected State Officers serve as the representatives.
    • The International Master Councilor and the International Congress Secretary – Elected by their peers, these two members of DeMolay hold seats on the Board of Directors of DeMolay International and act as the public face of DeMolay. They represent the interests of the DeMolay International Congress when not in session.
      • Regional Cabinet Members – Represent the interest of DeMolays from various geographical areas. Each Region elects its own Cabinet member, who then works with the International Master Councilor and International Congress Secretary to achieve programming goals.
  • State / Jurisdictional Master Councilors – Each state or jurisdiction selects a State / Jurisdictional Master Councilor to lead DeMolay. He will act as a liaison between DeMolay and the Masonic Fraternity, as well as the public. In Pennsylvania, he is also given the responsibility of organizing and leading the DeMolay program across the Commonwealth through initiatives and program planning. The State Master Councilor is elected by the DeMolays in Pennsylvania at the annual Convention. He must have served as least one term as an Elected State Officer before submitting his name to run for State Master Councilor.
  • Elected State Officers – The Elected State Officers are the backbone of PA DeMolay. They assist the State Master Councilor in executing his goals, as well as provide leadership to the young men in the local Chapters.
  • Appointed State Officers – The State Master Councilor appoints several young men to leadership positions within the fraternity. These members will take part in ritual presentations and serve on jurisdictional committees.
  • Chapter Master Councilors – Every DeMolay Chapter elects a Master Councilor who will lead the Chapter for a six month term. He will plan and execute several activities and programs aimed at providing a fun and educational experience for his members and serving the community in which the Chapter is located.
  • Members of the Chapter - These are the young men; the DeMolays themselves.
I hope everyone will find this useful and feedback is always welcome!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth C. Anthony

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Bit O'History

As I looked at doing today's blog post, I knew I wanted something different. The Key Man pieces we've been posting have been great, but I wanted something a little more visual and exciting for today. Thankfully, I recently received an email that ensured I could do that!

DeMolay in Brazil is a big deal. There are thousands of members in that country alone (and it rivals the size of DeMolay International.) There are lots of young men and Advisors in Brazil who have the teachings of DeMolay in their heart; one such person is Bro. AndrĂ© William Chormiak.

He and I first began communicating via email when he contacted me about some membership program questions. Later, we continued to chat about history and other items. I get about one email a month from him. Sometimes it's just about what is going on in Brazil DeMolay, but other times it might be of interest to a broader audience. His last email was one of those situations. 

Bro. Chormiak is a big collector of DeMolay and has amassed quite an impressive number of pieces of memorabilia relating to DeMolay through the years. He passed along some pictures from his collection and I wanted to share them with you. It contains items from both the United States and Brazil. I hope you enjoy! (Don't forget, you can click the images to see a larger version!)

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Moment of Prayer

This piece originally appeared in the "Key Crew," the official newsletter of the Key Man Conference. It was written by Bro. Jordan Ippolito, who was participating in the JO track at KMC 2012. The article caught the eye of "Dad" Labagh, EO of PA DeMolay, and he sent it my way, recommending it as a blog post. Enjoy!

Why do we say a prayer before each meal? We do not just do it because we have to, but because we want to give thanks for the food we are about to receive, as well as what we have and those who are surrounding us. Realizing that blessings happen every day, it is of the utmost importance that we, as DeMolays, be thankful for these things provided to us. DeMolay does not tell us to worship any specific faith, but simply encourages us to be reverent people and realize the blessings from God. So, from now on, every time we say a prayer, remember to be thankful all that you have and that we are also observing our Second Precept, Reverence for Sacred Things.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ritual Power Hour

This piece originally appeared in the "Key Crew," the official newsletter of the Key Man Conference. It was written by Bro. Alex Garcia, who was participating in Track 2 at KMC 2012. The article caught the eye of "Dad" Labagh, EO of PA DeMolay, and he sent it my way, recommending it as a blog post. Enjoy!

During Ritual Hour, we at Key Man Conference learned the basics of why we need to know ritual and why it is so important to the core of organization. We learned not just the words, but what the meaning is behind the words. Once you understand what the true meaning is behind what you are saying, it becomes much easier to learn the ritual and the words will come to you more easily. However, learning ritual is not just about memorizing and learning the values that the words teach; it is also an honor. By learning the ritual we will have the privilege to follow in the footsteps of all the DeMolays who have come before us and said these same words. Over the next few days, each of us will have the opportunity, with help of our Advisors, to learn the ritual that has meant so much to so many of the members of this organization over the years, and we can all earn our Obligations Cards!