There will be a time when we must stand together and build off of our successes. A time when people will fear to do what is right because it doesn’t fit into their life agenda. This time will be filled with the success of those who dream of accomplishing what hasn’t been done before or what hasn’t been done in a long time. DeMolay jurisdictions around the world used to bring in members by the hundreds and thousands each year. Why is it today looked upon as a bad thing to want to expand greatly?
Our world today needs DeMolay more than ever. Keeping our Chapters active and exemplifying the traditions which Dad Land himself started by extending the hand of brotherhood and inviting good young men into our Order to help them become better young men and the true leaders of tomorrow. The time is and has been now to make this dream become reality and I cannot make it to clear that DeMolay is a service - a service to young men and their families because of the exceptionally good young men who want to give the opportunity of membership to so many others.
There are those who want to destroy our world and all the good we hold dear to us but our virtuous Order is the shield against that darkness. As DeMolays, we are the light in that darkness and the Ritual we learn holds true to this fact - that we live in dark and troubling times - times in which the bulwarks that we hold so dear seem to be slipping away from us into the black hole which has begun to devour the goodness of life.
Yet, each young man has an immense gift, an opportunity to be a DeMolay – to have a burning passion in their hearts to better this world through the lessons they can learn in DeMolay. Those new young men who join us in our work can show their families and friends the opportunities they have been given through DeMolay. They will be able to reach into the innermost depths of someone’s soul and set their flame afire. There is a success in Missouri DeMolay but there is so much more in being able to give new young men this life changing opportunity. The time has come where it is a humble satisfaction to see so many become a part of the greatest youth organization in the world.
As everyone knows, one of the most exciting events in Missouri is quickly approaching. All around the State, Chapters are preparing their Ritual teams, sports teams, and Sweethearts for this incredible weekend of fun, competition, and comradeship.
This year has some surprises and will surely make memories that will last a life time. The Membership Drive that we have is pretty awesome as well with the prizes being the next gen gaming console and two games of the Chapter’s choice, and cash prizes; the only minimum requirement is that your Chapter initiates at least 10 new members between February 1st, and Conclave. The competition between Chapters is definitely a thrilling one.
Another awesome opportunity is our bring 3 go for free promotion. If going to Conclave for free sounds like your kind of thing, get three of your friends to come and join our Order at Conclave and that will become a reality.
I challenge each and everyone of you in Missouri DeMolay, and anyone else who attends, to exhibit your Integrity, because it’s all about “doing the right thing even when no one is watching.”
Awards of the Past
There were many awards in the past that have been discontinued after some time. Such awards like the White Honor Key and the DeMolay Founders Cross. The White Honor Key was created sometime in the 60’s and it is an award that is very similar to the Blue Honor Key. The White Honor Key was an award that is given to a Mason who has been the first line signer on 10 petitions. But what is very interesting is that a Senior Demolay who becomes a Master Mason can also sign a petition to work towards his Blue or White Honor Key. So as a Senior Demolay you could have both your Blue and White Honor Key. The award was discontinued during the late 70’s because of the very reason that a Senior Demolay could be the first line signer and go for both awards. Demolay International wanted it to be the young men to be bringing in other young men.
Another award that was discontinued was the Founders Cross. The Founders Cross was created by Dad Land and he was the only one to give them out. The honor was a special thanks Dad Land gave to people during his lifetime in recognition of their outstanding service to DeMolay. It is the rarest honor ever to be given. Only 137 were given out and they were only given out through 1937-1959 and the award was not given out anymore after the passing of Dad Land.
A day of DeMolay
On April 11th, William F. Kuhn Chapter had its Installation and the Jurisdictional Officer’s reception took place and was hosted by the Ararat Shrine.
The Chapter’s installation went wonderfully; there was a great turnout and a beautiful ceremony. As far as I could tell all who attended enjoyed themselves, which was one of my goals as the Master Councilor-elect. Luckily everyone showed up on time and we were able to start on time and still make it on time to the Jurisdictional Officer’s reception later that evening. During the procession there were some nice words said, and gifts given. We recognized the Past Master Councilor of William F. Kuhn, Tim Alvis. I gave him a PMC pin and thanked him for his great job running the chapter during his term. Afterwards we had some amazing tacos.
Later that night was the Jurisdictional Officer’s reception. This was a wonderful event. Lots of people came to watch and dance and we all had a great time. The music was good and the people were great. I personally had a great time seeing my friends from around the state and also meeting some new people from around town. All-in-all it was a very good day for the Masonic youth in it’s entirety.
Jacques de Molay - a True Hero
In 1291, over 700 years ago, the last bastion of Christian control in the Holy Land was the city-fortress of Acre. An Order nearly 200 years old that was born in the Holy Land was the last defence for the surviving Christians within the walls. The Knights Templar rallied behind a senior brother after their Grand Master’s death on the battlefield. Peter de Severy brokered the peaceful surrender of Acre in exchange that all civilians in the city be given safe passage to western, Christian territories. As the gates of Acre opened the deal was broken and foreign troops began committing atrocities. The invaders were repelled instantly and the Templars gave their own transports to the civilians and decided to die fighting rather than leave innocents to die. The Templars held out as long as possible but the end was inevitable and all of the warriors but a handful perished. After 195 years of bloodshed, the Christian crusaders succombed to eastern armies. Of the survivors of this battle was a senior knight and hero of the battle who was voted in as the new Grand Master of the Knights Templar. This man was Jacques de Molay.
Like a french Odysseus, Molay’s reception was far from a hero’s welcome for many Europeans lost interest in a war being waged thousands of miles away. Molay had little support from the church and King Philip IV envied the vast wealth the Templar’s had earned for themselves. Molay confronted Pope Clement V about rumours of sodomy and blasphemy. On October 12, 1307, Jacques de Molay served as a pallbearer in the funeral of a family member of King Philip IV; the next day he was a prisoner of that very same king. With his name slandered, his hard earned honors stripped, and his body and soul tested to great extremes for seven years, Jacques de Molay was finally murdered under the orders of King Philip IV. This immortalized his heroism as a martyr who displayed leadership, courage, and faith in the face of fear.
What's the difference?
There are many things that have changed over the years within our Ritual, we are currently on our fifthteenth edition. Over the past year I have been looking through the old Rituals thanks to the archives of the DeMolay Leadership and Service Center.
Within the earliest Ritual copies that are in the archives there are many different things such as the Ritual book, which had the opening and closing of a chapter along with MOST of the ritual for the initiation, but also there was a Book of Secret Work, that had the obligations and the passwords of a DeMolay! Much of the ritual has not changed but there are a few minor tweaks here and there.
Within the DeMolay Degree there was a prologue that could be used and still can be used as long as the Executive Officer of a Jurisdiction approves of this. The prologue is of Pope Clement the fifth and King Philip the fair planning to arrest DeMolay because the King could not pay the Templars back the money they had loaned him. Currently in Missouri we can use this introduction to the degree, which is interestingly awesome. Also the Inquisitors originally had names too! There are many cool things within our fraternity’s history that can be discovered through our Ritual. As Dad Land was Commander of the DeMolay Council of Kadosh in 1919-1921 at the Kansas City Scottish Rite where many of the ideas for the DeMolay Degree came from Dad Land had also appointed Dad Frank Marshall who wrote our ritual.
Giving back through DeMolay
Being a DeMolay isn’t just learning a new part in the Ritual or getting new members in; it’s about giving back to the community and being a leader in it. It doesn’t take a lot to give back to the community, even if it’s working small events like a local fundraiser or volunteering at the food pantry. Even doing simple things like opening doors for people or carrying someones groceries to their car would change a person's day exponentially. We don’t do these things to get the thanks or the fame of helping; we do these things because it is the right thing to do. As we continue to grow, we have more people out and helping others to better the community they’re in.
DeMolay is based on becoming a better leader in the community and to help better it. As you start to do things and to better the community, then everybody else will do the same. Everybody wants to do it but they don’t know how start or want to be the first ones to do it. If you do it and lead by example then other people will follow and do the same. You don’t need all the fame that goes with it, but getting the Chapter involved and watching the positive effects being accomplished by bettering the community.
A Joyous Night for Knights
I had the pleasure of being apart of planning and running of the James H. Cockerham Priory’s annual Youth Ball. Held at the Scottish Rite Temple, Valley of St. Louis, on April 4th, this event welcomed Demolays, Job’s Daughters, Rainbow Girls, and other Masonic Dignitaries from around the state for a lively night of celebration.
The annual Ball acts as the Priory’s Sweetheart Coronation, but the Sweetheart is called the Queen. This year, the new Queen is Anna Goins. Also, two maids, or associate sweethearts, were chosen. This year, Jennifer Wayland and C.J. Roppel were chosen maids. I have no doubt that they’ll do fantastic jobs this year. After the coronation, a lively dance ensued, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
There is an immense amount of care and effort put into this event by every person involved, and by simple observation, the efforts of the Priory are hard to go unnoticed. This is a prime example of the magic that Demolay demonstrates better than any other organization: The events are being planned by the boys and put on by the boys. After everybody leaves and the temple is all cleaned up, we’re all able to sit back and say “We just put on a fantastic event.” That statement alone is incredibly gratifying and makes all the strife and stress worthwhile.
It’s truly been an honor to help the Priory in executing this event, and even though this is my first Youth Ball, it certainly won’t be the last. I hope in the coming years that this event’s attendance will grow, as it certainly deserves to be shared by all who have dedicated themselves to the Masonic family and beyond.
What has made you?
Kids and adults alike have gone through life and take a normal path leading them to their destination. While walking this path they meet new people and forget the bonds and ties made with those who were around in the beginning - this is them forgetting where they came from. It’s wounding to see someone you have once known leave and forget about their roots. In DeMolay, we as brothers, should always strive for greatness but many who achieve this greatness forget their roots.
The bonds we create will live with us as we will be a DeMolay forever and always. We will be sheltered and received by them at any time. But if these ties are forgotten at any time they will wither away and a friend, brother, or family member will be lost. The ties do not only bring us closer together but they come with responsibility.
I cannot stress enough how remembering where you come from helps in the future. For when you remember those in your past, soon will good tidings happen in the future. Friends, family, and brothers should never be lost due to the inconvenience of making a future. They will always and forever remember you as you should for them.