Monday, June 17, 2013

DeMolay and the Knights of Pythagoras

This past weekend, Bro. Isaac Holtzer, State Scribe, represented Pennsylvania DeMolay at the 46th Annual Sessions of the Knights of Pythagoras of Pennsylvania. Many of our members know of the Knights thanks to our unity weekends, but many more haven't heard of our "brother" organization.

Bro. Holtzer with (from left to right) the Grand Master Councilor of the Knights of Pythagoras of New Jersey; Bro. Arrin Stallings, Past Grand Master Knight of the Knights of Pythagoras of Pennsylvania; and the Most Venerable Grand Master Knight of the Most Venerable Grand Council of the Knights of Pythagoras of the District of Columbia.

In Pennsylvania, the Knights of Pythagoras is a youth group for boys 12 to 20 years of age who believe in the Supreme Being and are of good character and reputation. The order is devoted to the Christian principles of freedom, justice, and equality under law for all human beings. The order promotes these ideals, together with love of God, parents and country.
The Prince Hall Grand Council of Pa Order of Knights of Pythagoras is a youth organization sponsored by The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, F&AM. The Knights of Pythagoras is not a junior Masonic organization but is only overseen by Master Masons with outstanding dedication to the order. The Cardinal Virtues of a Knight are Adoration and Reverence for God, Love of Parents, Righteous Thinking, Purity, Patriotism, Toleration, Courtesy, Friendship and Constancy. If those traits sound familiar, they should! "Dad" Frank S. Land assisted with the formation of the Knights of Pythagoras.
The Prince Hall Grand Council Order of Knights of Pythagoras was organized in the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania in 1960. Grand Master A. William Hill, Jr., successfully started the Order of the Knights of Pythagoras in Pennsylvania in 1960. The following three years  twelve youth councils around the state were established. The state body was organized as the Keystone Grand Council of Pennsylvania. By the year 1968 eleven of the twelve active youth councils became dormant. In 1968, the Order was reorganized  by the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

Grand Master Thomas W. S. Logan appointed Worshipful District Deputy Master Leo .S. Holmes as the Worshipful State Director of Youth (essentially the Executive Officer.) The state body was then renamed The Prince Hall Grand Council of Pennsylvania. The International body re-chartered the Order of the Knights of Pythagoras. State officers were elected and presented later with silver metal collars containing the jewels of their of office.

New councils were formed and inactive councils reactivated. Herbert E. Millen No. 8, sponsored by Campbell Washington Joppa Lodge No. 37, is the only council to remain active from 1961. The Annual Grand Sessions from 1968 to 1982 were held in hotels and college campuses around the state. Donald U. Dade served as Worshipful State Director of Youth 1972 to 1979. He started presenting special designed Past Grand Master Knight aprons to the outgoing Grand Master Knight.
Grand Master Thomas Scipio appointed Edward Lindler as the Worshipful State Director of Youth along with Edward W. Perrine as the Director of Youth (East) in 1979. Since 1979 we have been enlarging the youth order and building its program base. Installation of Officer Service, Service of Light, and the Legion of Honor Service has been added to the order. Since 1983, Annual Sessions have been held at Patton Campus in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, except for one year which was held at Thiel College. A Brotherhood Retreat Fellowship with the Order of DeMolay of the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge and the Order of the Knights of Pythagoras started in 1984 has become an annual event.

In 1997 Grand Master Thomas A. Jackmon, Sr. appointed Kevin D. Mahoner Worshipful State Director of Youth, a position which he holds to this day. The Prince Hall Grand Council Order of the Knights of Pythagoras now have an office on the second floor of the Masonic Complex at 4301 North Broad Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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