You don’t have to be involved with DeMolay for very long before you learn about a man named Frank S. Land or “Dad Land” for short. Dad Land is known as the founder of the Order of DeMolay, a Masonic youth group for boys ages 12 to 21, the story of which is shared with many through Herbert Ewing Duncan’s book titled, Hi Dad! The root of the story is grounded in the relationship that Dad Land had with a young fatherless boy named Louis Lower.
Dad Land, having no children of his own, developed a friendship with Louis and served as a mentor to him. Dad Land recognized that there were many young men who would also benefit from this type of mentorship from a father figure and discussed the idea with Louis and some of his friends. This event is known as the birth of DeMolay.
A couple of weeks ago, I entered a fast food restaurant and was immediately greeted by the boy behind the counter taking orders with “Hi Dad Kane!” I was taken back by hearing this greeting outside the walls of the Chapter Room and with others close by who did not know of the customs of DeMolay. Then, instead of hearing “number 46, your order is ready,” I heard, “Dad Kane, your order is ready.” I laughed to myself as I retrieved my order wondering what questions were going through the minds of the others in the restaurant.
As I sat and enjoyed my meal, a sense of humility and honor came over me - humility in that did I live up to the example set by Dad Land? Then, honor, by being recognized by a DeMolay as being worthy to be called “Dad!”