Youth Groups

A Celebration of the Role of DeMolay International in the Lives of Young Men

In celebration of DeMolay International’s one hundredth anniversary, the staff of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library would like to congratulate the Order and recognize its commitment to shape young men of all nationalities into “leaders of character.” In this week’s post, we highlight this festive 1937 Halloween costume dance invitation addressed to Robert G. Milliken of Denver, Colorado.

A2019_008_001DS1Denver Chapter Halloween costume dance
invitation (obverse)
.

 

A2019_008_001DS2

Denver Chapter Halloween costume dance
invitation (reverse)
.

While little information has been discovered regarding the costume dance held at Denver’s Scottish Rite Temple, Milliken’s 2011 obituary details a life that exemplifies the seven cardinal virtues or the "basis of good character" taught by the Order.

If you happen to be in the metro Boston area over the summer, please consult our website for more information regarding the museum's current exhibitions, including the Library’s new exhibit that celebrates DeMolay’s storied history.

 


Captions

Denver Chapter Halloween costume dance invitation, 1937 October 29. Collection of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, MA 014.


The DeMolay Centennial Anniversary

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Crown of Youth, 1953. Mac & Jack, Saugus, Massachusetts. Gift of Middlesex Chapter, Order of DeMolay, Reading, Massachusetts, 2000.034.3.

One hundred years ago, Freemason Frank S. Land (1890-1959) founded the Order of DeMolay in 1919 in Kansas City, Missouri, at the age of 28. After the initial formation of the youth club, Land and other early members named the group after Jacques DeMolay (1243-1314) and met regularly at the Kansas City Masonic Temple. The Order was open to young men aged 16 to 21.The success and popularity of the original DeMolay group spurred members to set up chapters across the country.

When Land died in 1959, there were 135,000 DeMolay members and 2,097 chapters in 14 countries. Local chapters were and still are sponsored by a Masonic organization. Several objects related to DeMolay history will be on display at the Museum & Library through December 2019 as the organization celebrates its centennial anniversary in more than 15 countries worldwide.

One object on view includes a “Crown of Youth” from Middlesex Chapter in Reading, Massachusetts (at left). In 1953, the Mother’s Club for the Middlesex Chapter in Reading presented the crown to the chapter to commemorate their 30th anniversary. A plaque was later added in memory of “Dad” Herbert K. Miller.

Another object in the collection, a recently donated 1964 panoramic photograph, shows over one hundred DeMolay members and advisers at a Colorado DeMolay leadership camp outside Estes Park, Colorado. The first DeMolay National Leader's Training Camp was held at Bear Lake Lodge, Colorado, in 1924. 

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DeMolay Leadership Camp, 1964. Larson Photography Studio, Estes Park, Colorado. Gift of of David A. Glattly, 2017.021.1.

1964 New Jersey Past State Master Councilor Thomas C. Richard gave this photograph to current Sovereign Grand Commander, David Glattly, who then donated it to the Museum.

Visit the Museum & Library to see more DeMolay items from the collection! Do you or a family member have photographs or items related to DeMolay? We want to hear from you. Leave a comment in the section below. 

 


The International Order of the Rainbow

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The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library recently acquired some items related to the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a group commonly known as the Rainbow Girls. The organization, founded in 1922 by Reverend W. Mark Sexson (1877-1953), was created for young women ages 11 to 20, whose fathers or family members were members of Masonic organizations. The group is now open to any girl interested in joining and offers a “Pledge” group for younger girls aged 8-10. The Rainbow Girls Headquarters have been located in McAlister, Oklahoma since 1951 and according to the Rainbow Girls organization, there are presently more than 850 assemblies that meet regularly around the world.

The Rainbow Girls organization was one of many Masonic-sponsored youth groups organized in the early 1920s to help teenage boys and girls develop “good citizenship and sound character.” Like Freemasons, the groups incorporated elements of ritual into their meetings and ceremonies. In 1922, Sexson, a 33°Mason, developed the Rainbow Girls ritual which focused on a series of seven lessons and “stations” representing the seven colors of the rainbow.

The most common symbols associated with the Rainbow Girls are a pot of gold, a rainbow, and and two hands clasped together with the initials “BFCL” (for bible, flag, constitution, and lambskin).  Lambskin is a reference to the lambskin aprons worn by Freemasons.

These attendance and officer pins are two examples of the paraphernalia in Rainbow Girl ceremony, meetings, and ritual. The 1950 photograph above shows a group of officers from Lexington Assembly #37 at Simon W. Robinson Masonic Lodge in Lexington, Massachusetts.

2016_040_11DI6IMG_1490 copyWe are actively collecting Rainbow Girls items. Do you or any family members have Rainbow Girls items, photographs, or ephemera? We would love to hear from you! Please contact Ymelda Rivera Laxton, Assistant Curator at ylaxton[@]srmml.org.

Captions:

Rainbow Girls attendance pin, 1980-1985, unidentified maker, United States, Gift of Beth McSweeney, 2016.040.11.

Rainbow Girls Worthy Advisor pin,1983, unidentified maker, United States, Gift of Beth McSweeney, 2016.040.9

Reference:

Margaret Kendrick, Our place in time: 75 years of history: International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, McAlester, Oklahoma: International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, 1998.

 

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