Allentown Cleans Up

By Brothers Ryan Spack and Austin Hooper


It was late March and the highway on Route 309 was very dirty and unclean. Allentown members Ryan Spack, Austin Hooper, Shane Hooper, and Justin Nixon, along with some DeMolay Advisors and members of Jordan-Martin Lodge No. 673 were at the ready. They gathered their trash bags and started to clean with pride. There was garbage all around when they had begun, but as they drove away there was no trash to be seen. They knew our job was complete.

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Allentown Celebrates Patriots Day

By Bro. Eric Dye


On February 22, 2014, the members of Allentown Chapter held their Patriots Day observance. Patriots Day is an Obligatory Day, held on a convenient day in February, and focuses on the 7th precept: Patriotism. Six brothers and four advisors went to Philadelphia and, after a fantastic and fresh meal at Reading Terminal Market, toured the Constitution Center. Also, they saw the Liberty Bell and its accompanying museum. All in all, the members had a great time, and learned a lot about our nation’s early history.

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Allentown Supports DDGM Presentation

By Bro. Eric Dye

Members of Allentown Chpater with "Dad" Robert J. Bateman, Right Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

Members of Allentown Chpater with “Dad” Robert J. Bateman, Right Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

On January 31st, the members and advisors of Allentown Chapter made their way to witness the presentation of “Dad” John Nixon as District Deputy Grand Master for the 50th Masonic district. The room was packed, and the Right Worshipful Grand Master “Dad” Robert J. Bateman took the East. Afterwards, the members and everyone in attendance enjoyed refreshments in celebration of “Dad” Nixon.

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Westmoreland Meets and Talks with State Senator

photoOn Friday, March 14, 2014 the Members of Westmoreland DeMolay met with State Senator Kim Ward. They thought it was going to take only a few minutes because she had agreed to sign their DeMolay Month Proclamation. Boy were they surprised! When the Senator met the young men she could have not been any nicer. They went into her conference room, she sat down signed the Proclamation, and then engaged the DeMolays in conversation.

She talked to them like they were old friends. She told them she was excited they were coming back to see her at the Capitol on June 23. She asked if any of them were thinking about politics? They all said no. Her comment was you are all very smart young men. She spent so much time with the Chapter that her Chief of Staff had to come in and pull her away!

What a great experience for the DeMolays of Westmoreland Chapter.

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PA DeMolay Re-Dedicates Founder’s Grave

Bro. Matthew S. Maple, State Master Councilor, and "Dad" Thomas R. Labagh, Executive Officer, pose at the Grave of "Dad" Minehart following the ceremony.

Bro. Matthew S. Maple, State Master Councilor, and “Dad” Thomas R. Labagh, Executive Officer, pose at the Grave of “Dad” Minehart following the ceremony.

On Saturday, March 8, 2014, following a successful Rose Croix Class, members, advisors, and friends of PA DeMolay gathered at the Union Dale Cemetery, just North of Pittsburgh, to pay tribute to the man who founded the Order in the Commonwealth, “Dad” Ralph Carlos Minehart.

While the day was overcast and a chill wind whipped through the air, the DeMolays and Advisors were warmed by the words of several presenters, who paid tribute to “Uncle” Ralph. “Dad” and Sir Knight Ray Gottschall, Past Commander of DeMolay Commandery No. 9 in Reading, PA, paid tribute on behalf of all of the Sir Knights of Pennsylvania. Following, “Dad” Robert F. Dunkle, representing the Valley of Pittsburgh, AASR, provided thoughts on behalf of the Scottish Rite. “Dad” Dave Williamson, Grand Chaplain for the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, then provided a rousing oration reminding those present that just as one man changed the lives of thousands, so too can present day DeMolays.

Bro. Matthew Maple, State Master Councilor, then provided words on behalf of the DeMolays of today and, with the assistance of the other Elected State Officers, laid a wreath on the hallowed ground. Each person was then asked to lay their own flower on the grave in memory of “Dad” Minehart. The ceremony was closed with the 9 O’Clock Interpolation, performed by Bro. Alex Rodriguez, State Senior Councilor.

PA DeMolay is proud to announce that we have permanently endowed the grave of “Dad” Minehart. Each year, on January 17, a bouquet of flowers will be placed on his grave in memory of the day that PA DeMolay was founded with the chartering of Templar Chapter, on that day in 1923. PA DeMolay is also investigating having a plaque affixed to the grave stating “Dad” Minehart’s status as founder, so that all visitors will know the contributions he made.

Thank you to everyone who came out for this event and special thanks to “Dad” Dunkle for arranging a sound system from the Valley of Pittsburgh, AASR.

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Rose Croix 2014

RoseCroixClass2014On Saturday, March 8, 2014, members and friends of PA DeMolay gathered at the Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center to hold their annual induction class sponsored by the Pittsburgh Chapter of Rose Croix, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.

The degree teams arrived around 10 AM to practice for the day. The Initiatory Degree was conferred in the beautiful Franklin Room, while the cast of the DeMolay Degree got to perfom on the big stage! The Initiatory Degree was conferred by Bro. Lorenzo Rodriguez, State Senior Councilor, with the 4th Section being performed by Bro. Isaac Holtzer, Deputy State Master Councilor. The DeMolay Degree was anchored with performances from Bro. Cain Gilbrandsen as Jacques DeMolay and Bro. Thome’ Orenga as the Master Inquisitor. Following the ceremonies, each DeMolay was presented with a DeMolay fleece thanks to the genoroisty of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Rose Croix.

Special thanks go out to the Advisors of Lincoln Chapter for their help with refreshments, the facilities staff of the Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center, and “Dad” Robert F. Dunkle, who represented the Most Wise Master of Pittsburgh Chapter of Rose Croix and his officers.

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Basketball 2014

Erie Chapter takes home thier sixth Basketball Tournament win in a row!

Erie Chapter takes home thier sixth Basketball Tournament win in a row!

Around Pennsylvania DeMolay, March means one thing – basketball! The annual PA DeMolay Basketball Tournament, held the first weekend of March each year, is the second largest event on the PA DeMolay calendar, with close to 200 people visiting Patton Campus over the course of February 28 – March 2, 2014.

This year’s event saw teams 10 teams compete on the hardwood to see who would be the champion. The real story of this tournament would revolve around Erie Chapter. Could they continue their record and win their sixth tournament in a row, or was another Chapter going to be able to unseat the dynasty they’ve created?

Brotherhood was evident, as the young men took to the court to play the game, which were expertly referreed by PIAA officials. It came down to three teams, all hoping for the title of PA DeMolay Basketball Champion – Northeast, Carlisle, and Erie. Northeast and Carlisle had to duke it out to see who would advance to try their skills against the undefeated Erie Chapter. When the final ball dropped, Northeast was left on the bench, making one of PA DeMolay’s newest Chapters the last hope to bring down Erie.

The two teams came together in a match that showed brotherhood, courage, and resolve. In the end, Erie continued its streak, gaining victory over Carlisle.

With the championship decided, it was time for awards to be handed out. Taking home the Most Valuable Player title was Bro. Tommy Sharpe, of Erie Chapter. The title of most valuable coach went to “Dad” Joe Pullin, of Northeast Chapter for the fourth consecutive year. The best banner was created by Carlisle Chapter for the second year in a row, while Templar Chapter was given the Spirit Award. Taking home the water basketball title was Lorraine Chapter. In the individual competitions, Bro. Matt Murphy, of Northeast Chapter, can claim the title of Hot Shot, while Marshall Mills, of George Washington Chapter, proved his skills in the Slam Dunk. Finally, Jacob Narring netted the title of Free Throw champ.

Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you to all of the participants who made for a great tournament!

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