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DeMolay International (also known as the Order of DeMolay), founded in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1919, is an international organization for young men ages 12 to 21. DeMolay derives its name from Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. DeMolay was incorporated in the 1990s and is classified by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization holding a group exemption letter.
- 1 Organizational Overview
- 2 Overview
- 3 Founding
- 4 Values
- 5 Structural organization
- 6 Jurisdictional Officers
- 7 International Leadership
- 8 Adult supervision
- 9 Activities
- 10 Honors and Awards
- 11 Order of Knighthood
- 12 DeMolay International Hall of Fame
- 13 References
- 14 External links
DeMolay is open for membership to young men between the ages of 12 to 21 of good character[clarification needed] who acknowledge a higher spiritual power. Currently, about 15,000 active members are in the United States and Canada and additional members have active chapters in Italy, Germany, Romania, Peru, the Philippines, Australia, Aruba, Bolivia, Serbia, Japan, and Brazil. At present, Brazilian DeMolay has more active members than even the United States, making Portuguese the most commonly used language in DeMolay Chapters.
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With the sponsorship of a Masonic body, a DeMolay chapter often meets in a Lodge room or, if not in a Lodge room, in some other appropriate room within the same building. Although not a "Masonic organization" as such, DeMolay is considered to be part of the general "family" of Masonic and associated organizations, along with other youth groups such as Job's Daughters and Rainbow. As with Rainbow, a family connection to Masonry is not a prerequisite for membership into DeMolay.
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The Order of DeMolay originally had nine members. The crown appearing in the self-adopted heraldic arms (the emblem) of the order contains 10 rubies, each of which represents one of the original nine and the organization's founder, Frank S. Land. Originally, the crown of the arms contained pearls, not rubies. When a member of the group died, the pearl representing him was changed to a ruby. Today, all of the original founders have died and all pearls are rubies.
Original Ten Members
- Ivan M. Bentley: He lived in Louis Lower's neighborhood. Created a Chevalier in 1920. Died in an accident in 1921. His death made him the first ruby in the emblem.
- Louis G. Lower: The first DeMolay and the first Active DeMolay Legionnaire (LOH). Created a Chevalier in 1920. He was gunned down by an intoxicated security guard on July 18, 1943. He was the second of the original nine to die, became the second ruby.
- Frank Land: The third ruby on the DeMolay crown was for Frank Land himself. Doctors diagnosed his disease as scleroderma. Doctors advised Land to slow down, but he continued to work at his frenetic pace, telling them, "My work must go on. DeMolay must go on." Although he had begun to show signs of fading, Frank Land's death on November 8, 1959 came as a shock, especially to his beloved organization. The fraternity successfully made the transition to new leadership, but mourns his passing to this day. Every DeMolay around the world honors the memory of Frank S. Land every year on November 8.
- Edmund Marshall: He lived next door to Elmer Dorsey. Created Chevalier in 1920. Graduated from University of Missouri. President of the Kansas City Board of Trade. He died on November 8, 1966 and became the fourth ruby.
- Clyde C. Stream: Cousin of Gorman McBride. He was a technical engineer with the Sagano Electric Company. Retired to Bradenton, Florida. He died on May 3, 1971 and became the fifth ruby.
- Gorman A. McBride: He lived in the neighborhood with Louis Lower. Second Obligated DeMolay. First Master Councilor of Mother Chapter. Created a Chevalier in 1920. Became an Active Member of the International Supreme Council. Received the Founder's Cross from Land, the only one of the original nine to do so. He was a lawyer by profession and was Director of Activities at ISC Headquarters in the 1960s. He died on November 10, 1973 and became the sixth ruby.
- Ralph Sewell: He lived in the home of Louis Lower and became the credit manager for H. D. Lee Mercantile Company, makers of Lee jeans. Mr. Sewell was a skilled pianist and organist. He died in July 1976 and became the seventh ruby.
- Elmer V. Dorsey: He lived just behind Louis Lower. He became a successful businessman and moved to Texas and became an Advisor to Richardson Chapter. He died in November 1979 and became the eighth ruby.
- William W. Steinhilber: He lived in the neighborhood with Louis Lower. Mr. Steinhilber became a successful stock and bond broker. He was captain of the first DeMolay baseball team. He died on October 28, 1992 and became the ninth ruby.
- Jerome Jacobson: He lived one block from Louis Lower. Mr. Jacobson graduated from University of Kansas, was admitted to the Missouri Bar as a lawyer, and had an outstanding career in law and finance. He lived in Kansas City all his life. He died in May, 2002 and became the tenth and final ruby.
DeMolay has seven Cardinal Virtues, which constitute the basic ideals and essential teachings of the organization. They are:
- Filial love (love between a parent and child)
- Reverence for sacred things
A local DeMolay body is known as a Chapter and is headed by the Master Councilor. The Master Councilor is elected by members of his Chapter and is usually among the older members of the group. The Master Councilor is assisted in his duties by a Senior Councilor and a Junior Councilor. The Senior Councilor is usually considered to be next in line as Master Councilor and Junior Councilor to follow, though two people can run against each other. The remaining officers of a Chapter are appointed by the Master Councilor, except for the Scribe, who is appointed by the Chapter's Advisory Council.
Senior DeMolays (former members now 21 or older), Masons, or other adult mentors supervise the Chapter and are usually referred to by the moniker "Dad," a term harkening back to one of the first members, who thought of founder Frank Land as the father he never knew and called him "Dad Land". In recent years, women have also served as "advisors" [sic] for the group and are referred to as "Mom".
In addition to the individual Chapter, the DeMolay organization has an officer structure at the state, provincial, or other large regional level lead by a State Master Councilor, Provincial Master Councilor, or Jurisdictional Master Councilor. In some countries, DeMolay may have a national level organization headed by a "National Master Councilor". There are also other state, provincial, or jurisdictional positions, based on the officers of a chapter, which vary for each jurisdiction. The lead advisor (always a Master Mason and a member of the Supreme Council) in a state, jurisdiction, or country, is called an Executive Officer and the lead advisor (always a Master Mason) internationally is known as a Grand Master who governs the International Supreme Council. There are also Active DeMolay officers at an international level as well; the International Master Councilor and International Congress Secretary are the heads of the International DeMolay Congress and serve on the Board of Directors. These officers are always past State Master Councilors.
In some countries outside of the United States, the International Supreme Council of DeMolay has ceded control to an independent Supreme Council created to govern DeMolay in that country. Such a Supreme Council has its own Grand Master and officers. (Examples are Australia, Brazil, and the Philippines.)
DeMolay functions through a set of officers. Some are elected; some are appointed. The Master Councilor, Senior Councilor, Junior Councilor and Treasurer are always elected. All officers except where noted are appointed by the Master Councilor. The officers of a DeMolay Chapter are as follows:
|Master Councilor||Elected||Sits as chair for meetings, official representative of chapter to outside persons and organizations.|
|Senior Councilor||Elected||Many times oversees degree, ceremony work and fund raising. Assists Master Councilor and takes charge in absence of Master Councilor|
|Junior Councilor||Elected||Many times oversees membership, contacts members about events, assists other councilors and takes charge in absence of both Master and Senior Councilors|
|Scribe||Appointed by Advisory Council or elected by chapter.||Records minutes at meetings, files necessary paper work, sends and receives communications.|
|Treasurer||Elected||Manages chapter account; in many chapters the office is symbolic and only adults handle chapter funds|
|Senior Deacon||Appointed||Conducts candidates in initiation, assists councilors, sometimes proceeds to Junior Councilor|
|Junior Deacon||Appointed||Communicates with Sentinel, assists Senior Deacon|
|Senior Steward||Appointed||Keeps facilities clean and in order.|
|Junior Steward||Appointed||Assists Senior Steward|
|Orator||Appointed||Presents ceremonies, makes necessary announcements|
|Sentinel||Appointed||Verifies persons entering meetings, keeps disturbances away|
|Marshal||Appointed||Conducts necessary movement in meetings|
|Standard Bearer||Appointed||Oversees flags and proper presentation of such|
|Almoner||Appointed||Collects alms for charities, and those sick or distressed|
|Seven Preceptors||All Appointed||Represent the seven Cardinal Virtues of DeMolay|
|Organist (Optional)||Appointed||Provides Music|
Female Youth Leaders
Some DeMolay Chapters elect young ladies to positions of leadership, who act as support members and their activities.
DeMolay Chapters may elect a "Chapter Sweetheart" to serve as the female representative of the Chapter, although she is NOT an officer of the Chapter. Her duties may include attending Chapter functions and acting as an ambassador of DeMolay. The "Sweetheart" must meet the age requirements of a particular jurisdiction or Chapter (often 14 to 21.) She may be member of a neighboring Job's Daughters Bethel, Rainbow Assembly, Triangle, or Constellation, but that is not a set requirement.
Not nearly as widespread as the use of Sweethearts, a Chapter may also elect a Chapter Princess. The program generally uses the same requirements as set forth for the Sweetheart. Her duties generally include attending Chapter functions and acting as an ambassador of DeMolay while assisting the Sweetheart in her duties.
Each state or jurisdiction holds an annual (or biennial, in some) event known as a Conclave or Convention. At this event, the members of the state or jurisdiction may vote on the State Master Councilor (or, in some cases the Provincial Master Councilor / Jurisdictional Master Councilor) and other elected positions. Some jurisdictions may elect a Deputy State Master Councilor, and / or various other positions. In same cases, these officers are appointed by the Executive Officer of jurisdiction.
During the International Congress, two delegates appointed by the Executive Officer from each state or jurisdiction meet in conjunction with the International Supreme Council. The delegates elect the International Master Councilor and International Congress Secretary. Additionally, delegates discuss and vote on legislative issues. The International Master Councilor and International Congress Secretary are voting members of the Board of Directors for DeMolay International.
International Congress Officers
|Chandler Gordon||49th International Master Councilor||Chandler Gordon of Arizona was installed as the 49th International Master Councilor of DeMolay at the 48th DeMolay Congress in Orlando, FL on June 20, 2015.|
|Quentin Cockerham||49th International Congress Secretary||Quentin Cockerham of Missouri was installed as the 49th International Congress Secretary of DeMolay at the 48th DeMolay Congress Orlando, FL on June 20, 2015.|
Each chapter must be sponsored by a local masonic body or some other group composed exclusively of masons. The sponsoring body is responsible for providing the chapter with adult advisors and a place to meet. Members of the sponsoring body form the chapter's initial "advisory council". The advisory council selects one of its members to be its chairman, and he is the official liaison between the chapter and the sponsoring body. Another member of the advisory council is designated the "chapter advisor," and he is the official liaison between the advisory council and the chapter. The chapter's advisory council is responsible for supervising the chapter and its activities.
DeMolays participate in a wide range of activities that may include: camping, holding dances with members of Rainbow and Job's Daughters, playing basketball, football, baseball, soccer, tennis, paintball, or billiards, going canoeing and kayaking, and taking long distance trips. Both Chapters and individual DeMolays participate in competitions for the best performance of the various Ceremonies of the Order. Winners of local competitions, in ritual and sports, may compete for State Championships, and sometimes State winners compete at even higher levels. The Chapter collectively decides what events they enjoy, then plans them, and in many cases holds fund raisers to finance them.
DeMolays are required, unless extenuating circumstances, to participate in what are referred to as "Obligatory Days", where a chapter usually holds some sort of program in observance of such. The seven Obligatory Days are:
Patriot's Day: A day in which chapters commemorate the country, founding fathers, and past and current military in recognition of patriotism, the last of the DeMolay Precepts. Such programs may include the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner" or playing of "Taps", the Flag folding Ceremony, visiting a historical site or monument, hosting a program honoring veterans, or having a speaker elaborate on Patriotism. Occurs sometime in February.
Devotional Day: A day to recognize the importance of God in our lives. Although DeMolay teaches no religious creed, members are encouraged to frequent places of worship. Chapters usually attend a church, synagogue, or temple together as a chapter, hold a Bible study, or honor a pastor, deacon, or member of the clergy with gratitude. This is in respect to the second DeMolay Precept, Reverence for Sacred Things, to which a DeMolay learns tolerance of others' beliefs and things which they may hold sacred, as well as appreciating their own religious opinions. Occurs on or closest to March 18.
Parent's Day: A day to honor Parents and the daily care and sacrifices they make for their son's well being. Events may be dinner where DeMolays cook and serve the parents, or the presentation of the Flower Talk, a heart-felt ceremony that points out how important mothers are. Occurs on a day between May 1 and June 21, usually around Mother's Day or Father's Day.
My Government Day: A day to explain the government of the country, state, province or community in which the Chapter is located. Usual events may include having a congressman come and speak at a chapter, participate in an Independence Day activity, meeting with the Mayor or Governor, or visiting the capitol building. For example in the Texas jurisdiction, DeMolays gather at the capitol building in Austin, TX, and participate in mock legislature in the House and Senate Chambers. Occurs in July.
Educational Day: A day to stop and appreciate the foundation of America's greatness, the public schools, and all education. Activities could include reading to Elementary aged kids on a special night, collecting books for a local Library, or having a teacher give a message in recessed chapter. Occurs any time during the year.
Frank S. Land Memorial Day: A day to recognize and pay tribute to Frank Land and all the work he did for the founding of DeMolay. Chapters are encouraged to raise funds and donate them to a DeMolay Charity. Visiting Land's grave site, presenting a copy of "Hi Dad!" to someone, or presenting the Dad Land Talk to the Chapter and guests, are common ways to observe this day. Occurs on or near November 8, the day Land died.
Day of Comfort: A day where every member of DeMolay should make an effort to visit the sick and carry words of comfort to those who are confined. The Almoner should be responsible for planning this observance. Events include collecting and donating items in a food drive, visiting a nursing home or hospital, or holding a seniors day, where DeMolays prepare a meal for the elderly. This day occurs between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Honors and Awards
The Degree of Chevalier is the highest honor an active DeMolay can receive. It may also be granted to a Senior DeMolay. The degree is granted for outstanding DeMolay service and activity. To receive the honor, a DeMolay must be at least 17 years old on January 15 of the year nominated, have been a member for at least two years as of that date, be nominated by his chapter's Advisory Council, and have the approval of the Executive Officer of his jurisdiction, and of the Supreme Council.
The Legion of Honor is the highest honor conferred by the DeMolay Supreme Council. The award was approved in 1925 and first conferred upon Louis Lower. With amendment of the Supreme Council's statutes in 1985, the minimum age for nominees for the Legion of Honor was dropped from 30 to 25 as of January 15. The Supreme Council may confer the Legion of Honor upon a Senior DeMolay for outstanding leadership in some field of endeavor, for service to humanity, or for success in fraternal life, including adult service to the Order of DeMolay. The Supreme Council may also confer it upon a Freemason who was not a DeMolay, but who has performed unusual and meritorious service in behalf of the Order of DeMolay, or who has evidenced a spirit of cooperation and appreciation for the Order of DeMolay.
The Cross of Honor is given by the DeMolay Supreme Council for many years of adult service to the Order of DeMolay, and is the only Honor given exclusively for adult DeMolay Service.
The Representative DeMolay Award is the highest self-achievement award active and Senior DeMolays can earn. It's a self-assessment program where the member progresses toward goals set for him by himself. The member completes a detailed survey of his interests, achievements, general knowledge, and habits. Land said it was his dream that every DeMolay should be a Representative DeMolay. The "RD" program was first established in 1924, and for many years was a competition to select outstanding DeMolays. In 1935, the program was redesigned to fill a growing need for self-evaluation by every DeMolay. Although it is available to every Active DeMolay who chooses to do the required work, the total number of "RD" recipients in the history of DeMolay is only slightly more than one-half the number of Chevalier Degree holders.
Order of Knighthood
The Order of Knighthood is an appended organization of older DeMolays. The Knighthood program is for active DeMolays from ages 17 to 21 years of age. A Knighthood Priory has its own ritual and officers, separate from the chapter system.
The official name of the Order is The Chivalric Knights of the Holy Order of the Fellow Soldiers of Jacques DeMolay. Knighthood is not an honorary degree or award, but a working body whose purpose is to extend fellowship and serve the Order of DeMolay.
The Order of Knighthood made its debut in 1946, when Land wrote the Knighthood ritual. This ritual was not exemplified before the Grand Council, now known as DeMolay International's Supreme Council, until 1947, as Land held off on its implementation.
Through the years, the Knights' activities have consisted of social and educational programs geared to older DeMolays, with a special emphasis on career planning and coed activities.
The main functions of a Priory are to:
- Extend and assist the Order of DeMolay and its Chapters.
- Maintain the active interest of older DeMolays.
- Provide an interesting program for the Priory members.
- Above all to provide and maintain a proper example for all DeMolays.
DeMolay International Hall of Fame
Over the years, DeMolay has had many alumni who have gone on to achieve wide recognition outside of the organization. Some of them have been elected to the DeMolay Hall of Fame. However, not all DeMolays who have received recognition have been inducted into the Hall of Fame; some can be found on other lists.
The following is a partial list of the members of the DeMolay Hall of Fame. The full list is available on the DeMolay International Web site.
|Carl B. Albert||1908–2000||Politician||Speaker of the House (1971–1977)|
|Cecil D. Andrus||b. 1931||Politician||Governor of Idaho (1971–1977, 1987–1995), U.S. Secretary of the Interior (1977–1981)|
|Reubin O'Donovan Askew||b. 1928||Politician||37th Governor of Florida (1971–1979)|
|Walter "Red" Barber||1908–1992||Sports Broadcaster||Recipient of Ford C. Frick Award from National Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Mel Blanc||1908–1989||Cartoon Voice Actor||"Man of a Thousand Voices"|
|Frank Borman||b. 1928||Astronaut||Commander of Apollo 8, CEO of Eastern Airlines (1975–1986), recipient of Congressional Space Medal of Honor|
|Vance D. Brand||b. 1931||Astronaut||Flew on Apollo-Soyuz, as well as three Space Shuttle missions|
|Carroll A. Campbell, Jr.||1940–2005||Politician||Governor of South Carolina (1987–1995)|
|Curtis L. Carlson||1914–1999||Entrepreneur, Philanthropist||Founded The Carlson Companies in 1938 as The Gold Bond Trading Company|
|Mel Carnahan||1934–2000||Politician||Governor of Missouri (1991–2000)|
|Bill Clinton||b. 1946||Politician||42nd President of the United States|
|Gary Collins||b. 1938||Actor||Best known for Airport (1970)|
|Walt Disney||1901–1966||Cartoonist and entrepreneur||Creator of Mickey Mouse, Co-Founder of The Walt Disney Company|
|Lee S. Dreyfus||b. 1926||Educator and politician||Governor of Wisconsin (1979–1983)|
|Buddy Ebsen||1908–2003||Actor, singer, dancer||Star of Barnaby Jones and The Beverly Hillbillies|
|David Goodnow||b. 1940||Broadcast Journalist||Former Anchor of CNN Headline News|
|Paul Harvey||1918–2009||ABC Radio broadcaster||Recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom|
|Mark Hatfield||1922-2011||Politician||Governor of Oregon (1959–1967), U.S. Senator (1967–1997)|
|Burl Ives||1909–1995||Folk singer and actor||Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, narrator of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer|
|Henry M. Jackson||1912–1983||Politician||U.S. Senator (1953–1983)|
|Brereton C. Jones||b. 1939||Politician||Governor of Kentucky (1991–1995)|
|Harmon Killebrew||1936-2011||Former professional baseball player and businessman||Member of National Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Richard King||b. 1938||Former President of Rotary International|
|Elmer Lower||1913–2011||Journalist, Media Executive||Former President of ABC News|
|Bob Mathias||b. 1930||Olympic Athlete, Politician||Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, U.S. Representative from California (1967–1975)|
|Edgar D. Mitchell||b. 1930||Astronaut||6th Man to Walk on the Moon on Apollo 14|
|Tom Osborne||b. 1937||Athlete, Coach, Politician||Former Head Coach at University of Nebraska, Member of College Football Hall of Fame|
|Walter C. Ploeser||1907–1993||Businessman, Politician||U.S. Representative from Missouri (1941–1949) U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay (1957–1959), U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica (1970–1972)|
|Pete Rose||b. 1941||Baseball player||All-Time Major League Baseball Leader in hits with 4,256.|
|James Nicholas Rowe||1938–1989||United States Army Colonel||Vietnam POW, Author of Five Years to Freedom|
|Edward T. Schafer||b. 1946||Politician||29th United States Secretary of Agriculture, Governor of North Dakota 1992 – 2000|
|Harold Schafer||1912–2001||Philanthropist and businessman||Founder of Gold Seal Company|
|Lance P. Sijan||1942–1968||United States Air Force Captain||Recipient of the Medal of Honor|
|Alex Spanos||b. 1923||Owner of the San Diego Chargers|
|John Steinbeck||1902–1968||Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Nobel laureate||Wrote The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men|
|John Cameron Swayze||1906–1995||Newscaster|
|Fran Tarkenton||b. 1940||Professional Football Player, Businessman, Entrepreneur||Member, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Member, College Football Hall of Fame|
|John Wayne||1907–1979||Actor||Won Academy Award for Best Actor for True Grit in 1969|
|James C. Wright, Jr.||b. 1922||Politician||Speaker of the House (1987–1989)|
- "Membership Statistics". DeMolay International. Retrieved 2009-05-22.
- DeMolay International Mentoring Guide
- "Appendent Orders: Knighthood Priories". DeMolay International. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
The Knighthood program is for active DeMolays from ages 17 to 21 years of age who are organized into a subordinate unit known as a Priory with its own officers and ritual.
- "DeMolay Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2008-06-30.
- "Cherokee Chapter, DeMolay's list of famous DeMolays".