What Would Frank Sherman Land Do?
What Would Frank Sherman Land Say?
by "Dad" Thomas R. Labagh
Over the years I have heard many people involved with the Order of DeMolay invoke the name of
"Dad" Frank S. Land in trying to pass judgment on something that has changed in the Order. I have heard them say, "DeMolay has changed too much." I have heard a man say, "If Dad Land came back today, he wouldn't like what he would see." I distinctly remember hearing an old Executive Officer from a southern state, (one who had been appointed by "Dad" Land prior to 1959) say, as he looked at the model for the "new" Service and Leadership Center, "Well, I know what "Dad" Land would say to this-- he would say..... NOOOOOOOOO!"
Dad Land has been gone since November 8th, 1959, and we have no idea what he might think about our stewardship of his dream, but we can probably guess it would involve concern, disappointment, and a measured and thoughtful assessment as to how to fix the problem.
Since we can't call him up and ask his opinions, we have to rely on what others tell us about him, and on what he, himself wrote, to gain an understanding of what he MIGHT think or say about something.
The following is an an excerpt from the Report of the Secretary General of the Order of DeMolay, "Dad" Frank S. Land, taken from the "Transactions of the Grand Council, 1940." When you have finished reading it, answer the questions posed for your consideration:
March 11, 1940
"The Order of DeMolay has no standardized or "set" program. Each year or period creates its particular problems affecting youth and DeMolay assumes that its program must be flexible and easy of adaptation to the times. Its greatest need is one of financial independence and its ever acute problem is that of developing the right type of leadership to command the attention of its members. Its aspiration is to command the interest and respect of the hundreds of thousands of young men who are capable of assuming leadership under proper guidance throughout the world. The Order of DeMolay desires to aid in the preparation of young men properly trained for citizenship with spiritual values and physical fitness that will make the world a better place in which to live. To this end, DeMolay is dedicated."
Can you answer these questions?
1. What was Dad Land's goal for the Order of DeMolay?
2. What was the Order's greatest need in 1940?
3. What do you think Dad Land would say about the changes made in the Order of DeMolay, today?
4. What do you think Dad Land would say to YOU about your DeMolay service?
5. Were you able to think of some good answers for questions 1-4? If so, you should write them down, because you are ready to submit an entry in the Paul R. Kach DeMolay Essay Contest!