Monday, November 5, 2012

A Letter from Bro. Walt

Anyone has been around DeMolay knows that Walt Disney was a member of our Order. In fact, I've discussed that on this blog before. In an effort to find something to post today, I did some digging and came across the text of a  letter written by Bro. Disney in February of 1965. The actual letter is retained by the Disney History Institute.

According to the Institute, several young men were forming Acacia Chapter in Stuart, FL. They wrote to Disney asking for his support and any insight he may have. He responded with the following letter:

"To my young brothers in the Acacia Chapter, Order of DeMolay, in Stuart, Florida I am happy to extend my warm greetings to you all.

I am proud, indeed, still to retain my bond with DeMolay as an honorary legionnaire. I am deeply grateful for the association which materially influenced not alone my young years but my whole personal and professional life.

One of he most important events of my youth, and one of the happiest too, was my acceptance into the membership of DeMolay. And I realize now, even more than then, how deeply my whole life, personal and professional, has been influenced by that early association. I am proud, indeed, still to retain my bond with DeMolay as an honorary legionnaire.

I was among the first members of the order when it was conceived and established in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1919 by that grand humanitarian, Dad Land. At his invitation, a number of my young neighbors and I from the Benton School joined the first chapter in the city of its birth.

Through the years I have watched the growth and progress and prestige of this great organization. I have witnessed the inspiration it has been to many of our finest citizens and ablest leaders in all walks of life. The composite record of the 2,000,000-odd past and present DeMolays is most impressive for its many outstanding contributions in the private and public life of our nation.

I feel a great sense of obligation and gratitude toward the order for the part it has played in my endeavors. Its precepts have been beyond value in making decisions, in facing dilemmas and crises, in holding onto faiths and ideals and in meeting the tests which are best borne when shared with others in a bond of confidence and mutual respect.

The DeMolay creeds had become a definite guide by the time I started making motion pictures, first in Kansas City, then in Hollywood.

There is always some connection between a man's character and what he creates or perfects, so we are told. And it may well be that the same influences which shaped the thinking and behavior and preferences of my youth, had something to do with the early steps of my movie career and the direction it took.

It is gratifying to be assured that these same influences of DeMolay are still at work among so many young Americans today."

If you could ask any Senior DeMolay for support and advice, who would it be? Leave your answer in the comments!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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