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.