Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Rent Problem

Should DeMolay Chapters Be Paying Rent

to Meet in Masonic Buildings?

by "Dad" Thomas R. Labagh

It seems incredible to me that this question is still an issue in Pennsylvania after all the support, promotion and emphasis placed on DeMolay by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, but there are STILL DeMolay Chapters paying rent to meet in a Masonic Temple.  In several cases, it is a minimal amount.  In others, it is an amount charged by the Temple Association and then paid on behalf of the Chapter by its sponsoring body.  In two cases, it is an exorbitant amount of money amounting to over $1000 per year.

I can only ask two questions in light of this disappointing situation:

1.   How many parents charge their minor sons rent for living in their home?

2.   Can you name any church, synagogue, mosque, school, or community service organization that requires its youth group to pay rent for the privilege of  sharing the principles of the parent organization with young people?

Yes, I admit that it is a pet peeve, but, sadly, it isn't something new to me or to the Order.  

In the August 1st, 1927 edition of The DeMolay News, edited by "Dad" Frank A. Marshall, author of the DeMolay Ritual, the editorial below appeared, showing that this problem is not unique to this generation, or unique to DeMolay in Pennsylvania.  It is, however, unique to Freemasonry, and, to me, it feels so uncharitable and unlike the Masonic character.

Take a moment and read that final paragraph again.  

This sums up the situation in a simple eloquence that reverberates as true today as it did  in 1927.  

If you’re a member of a sponsoring body that warmly welcomes a DeMolay Chapter, I thank you for your support of our youth.  

Likewise, if you’re a member of one of those Lodges that is charging rent, I ask that you take the lead in proposing a resolution in your Lodge to ensure that your DeMolay Chapter is regarded as an essential part of your Masonic family.

These young men are not merely tenants or guests, but family members who are entitled to being treated as a part of the family... the Masonic family...YOUR family... OUR FAMILY!

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