Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Millenial Masonry

DeMolay is not now, nor has it ever been, a "junior Masonic Lodge." However, with it being sponsored by the Masonic fraternity, many young men decide to join Freemasonry as their DeMolay career culminates. The transition between DeMolay and Freemason is a rewarding, yet challenging one. It's akin to going from the age of boy to man, when you now sit in Lodge with your father and grandfather, being on equal level with them.

As young men, under the age of 30, become members of Lodges, their expectations of membership are often at odds with what they thought the experience would be. Their ideal of what the fraternity is rarely matches up with what they find beyond the portals of the Lodge. Interestingly though, many find the experience an educational one, even if it didn't exactly match their preconceived notions.

Recently, I came across a blog from a young Freemason named Nick Johnson. Nick's website is called "The Millennial Freemason" and documents his experiences with the Masonic Fraternity. I follow Nick's blog pretty regularly, as it gives me insight into what other young Masons are experiencing outside of Pennsylvania. Plus, Nick has a great writing style and a good sense of humor. I strongly encourage you to check it and get an idea of what young Freemasons are feeling as they embark on their Masonic journey.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Monday, November 18, 2013

Buying Back Rituals Saves Chapters Money

Recently, DeMolay International printed a new version of the DeMolay Ritual - the 15th Edition to be exact. Our own "Dad" Labagh, Executive Officer of PA DeMolay, and "Dad" Greg Schaeffer, Deputy Member of DeMolay International, chaired and co-chaired the committee that undertook this project. The result was a fantastic new resources for our young men that will ensure quality ritualistic presentations for years to come.

To aid in distributing these new ritual books, PA DeMolay put together an offer for our Chapters to assist in getting these new books into the hands of our young men.

Utilizing this program, we have collected 195 old books -  mostly the corrected 14th edition, but a handful of 7-man rituals and older ones dating back as far as the hardcover 12th edition from 1974.  336 of the new rituals have been distributed with 100 passed out at Key Man 2013 and the remainder traded or sold to 17 of our PA DeMolay Chapter. Through the Ritual Exchange Program, chapters have saved $725.00!
Remember, Chapters have until December 8th to take advantage of the PA DeMolay Ritual Exchange Program. Now is the time to take advantage of this great offer!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Building Bridges Between Grand Lodges

"Dad" Samuel C. Williamson is a very familiar face around PA DeMolay. He's the man who had the vision, know how, and fortitude to make PA DeMolay what it is today. If not for his tireless efforts, our fraternity would not be as robust in the Commonwealth.

"Dad" Williamson has also been a visionary for the Masonic Fraternity as well. It was he who started the work of opening up a dialogue with our Brothers in Prince Hall Freemasonry. This discussion eventually become one of mutual recognition, becoming a model for respectful and fraternal interactions between Grand Lodges.

In light of his work and dedication, he was recently honored by being made an Honorary Member of the Council of Deliberation, Prince Hall Affiliated, for Pennsylvania. The full story can be seen in this video...

Congratulations "Dad" Williamson! Thank you for everything you do for PA DeMolay and the fraternity as a whole!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Embrace Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day, which is a federal holiday dedicated to honoring those who have served our country in every field of sacrifice and service. Many communities are having Veteran's Day services and businesses are offering discounts to those who have served. This, however, isn't really the importance of Veteran's Day. Rather, we, as DeMolays, should seek to understand what Veteran's have done for us and work to bring those lessons into our daily life.

Yesterday, I was visiting an antique store in Eastern PA. I came across a booth that was fairly sparse, with just a couple of tables set up at the front. On the tables were a number of artifacts from WWII. Behind the tables stood an older gentleman, bundled up against the cold of the building. As I perused his items, we struck up a conversation. He explained that he was a WWII Veteran who served in Germany. He talked about meeting Russian soldiers and trading goods with them. His knowledge of military history was wonderful and I'm quite thankful he shared his stories with me.

At the end of our conversation I thanked him for his service to our Country. While I didn't purchase anything from him, I could tell that just being able to connect with a young person and share his story meant something. Today, I would encourage each and every DeMolay to talk to a Veteran and learn about their service. You'll be glad you did.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mad as a Hatter

This week, I'm back on a men's fashion kick. I'm planning on attending an event which requires Victorian dress, so I've been investing in pieces of clothing for this occasion. This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a hidden gem here in Lancaster County - an old school haberdasher.

For the DeMolays out there, let me take a moment and explain that a haberdasher is a person or store who sells men's clothing and accessories. Originally, this term was used to describe a shop that sold sewing and clothes making supplies, but in modern parlance, it has come to be associated with menswear.

The shop that I stopped in at specialized in one of my favorite menswear accessories - hats. From porkpies, to fedoras, to trilbys, bowlers, top hats, and more - they had it all! I spent quite some time trying on different styles of hats before settling on a bowler for everyday wear and a top hat for special occasion (and for future Masonic functions.)

As I was trying to come up with an article for today, I thought back to this experience and realized that many young men today don't know about hats. They certainly know a baseball hat and perhaps a fedora, but outside of those styles, most other hats are unknown. So, in that spirit, I'm going to share with you some information on men's hats!

First, check out this link which describes several styles of hats that you might be familiar with: http://www.fashionising.com/clothing/b--mens-hats-hat-guide-53572.html

... and of course I'd be remiss if I didn't offer the advice of the Art of Manliness on picking a hat:

Lastly, for the curious folks, here's a list of hat styles provided by Wikipedia.

Hats aren't for some, but in my book, a true gentleman knows how a hat should be worn.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony