Monday, August 11, 2014

Do you have a WHK?

Last week, PA DeMolay was "all hands on deck" for Key Man University, which went very well. Congratulations to all of the members and advisors who made the week such a success! Due to this event, however, we were unable to blog for a week. To make up for that, we're having "Blog Week" here at PA DeMolay. We'll be posting a new article each day from 8/11/14 to 8/15/14. This should make up for the "lost" posts, plus provide a bit of additional content as a bonus for our intrepid readers.

Today, I ask you "Do you have a WHK?" A what? Why, a White Honor Key, of course! Many DeMolays and Advisors are probably scratching their heads, wondering what a White Honor Key is. About the only place one would have encountered this term would be in the Leadership Correspondence Courses, where most would dismiss it as a "red herring" answer. But, the White Honor Key was a real thing.

Information on this peculiar award can be found on page 231 of the 9th Edition of the DeMolay Handbook, printed in 1967 by the International Supreme Council (now DeMolay International.) It states:

The White Honor Key is awarded to a Mason who has secured petitions for ten members accepted by the Chapters. It is not required that these ten petitions be secured for any one class or in any one year.

It is desirable that a Mason who expects to earn a White Honor Key keep a record of the boys whose petitions he has signed and the date on which they received their Initiatory Degree. This record will be very helpful in assisting the Scribe to make out the final order for the White Honor Key.

It goes on to say:

The White Honor Key is not given for acting as a sponsor of a petitioner. A Senior DeMolay who is a Mason can obtain a Blue OR White Honor Key. He can even take credit for petitions he was a first line signer on while an active member.

Yes, you read that right! A Senior DeMolay, who became a Master Mason, could continue to sign DeMolay petitions in an effort to earn either color of award. Herein lies the reason for the retirement of this award. DeMolay International firmly believes that DeMolay is an organization designed exclusively for young men and that Master Masons should assist the young men in gathering petitions, rather than signing them themselves. Our best records show that this award was phased out in the late 1970's and has not been presented for a number of years.

As you can see from the picture, it looks just like the Blue Honor Key, excepting that it is on a white ribbon (which is badly faded in this sample) and has white enameling in place of blue. The drop is made of sterling silver. This piece was purchased at auction.

We hope you enjoyed our first installment of "Blog Week!" Check back tomorrow for another post!

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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