Thursday, February 14, 2019

Centennial Memory #39: Philadelphia Class of 1923

To celebrate the DeMolay Centennial, PA DeMolay will be counting down 100 memories worth celebrating that took place within the DeMolay Chapters and Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania.

On February 14, 1923, a second induction ceremony took place for Pennsylvania DeMolay. This time the location was the Metropolitan Opera House in Philadelphia. The induction ceremony welcomed 1,178 members. The difference between this class and the class in Pittsburgh is that the members of this class represented three separate Chapters. The process to bring DeMolay to Philadelphia started a few years earlier. Letters Temporary were granted in 1921 to the Philadelphia Lodge of Perfection, however for reasons unknown, the authorization was removed in 1922. This movement was picked back up in 1923. The man who made it all possible was "Dad" Louis M. Strassburger, Past Grand Commander of the Knights Templar. If "Dad" Minehart is the Father of PA DeMolay, "Dad" Strassburger is referred to as the Father of DeMolay in Eastern Pennsylvania. The Officers and Past Commander's Association of Division No. 1 K.T. in Philadelphia conducted some of the same meetings that took place in Pittsburgh in preparation for Templar Chapter. The original plan was to develop one central Chapter, chosen to be called Philadelphia Chapter, similar to the way the Templar Chapter class worked out. Instead, Chester and Delaware Valley Chapters formed immediately, allowing all three to induct members during the class.

It's fun to think about the fact that over 2,000 young men joined Pennsylvania DeMolay within a two day period.

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