This year marks 90 years since DeMolay International (properly known as the Order of DeMolay) was founded by Frank S. Land in Kansas City, Missouri. Reports show that Land, 28 at the time, founded the organization after being asked to mentor a young man whose father had passed.
As World War I ended, Land thought of the loneliness many young men might have felt without a man or father figure to talk to. His vision for the organization was to provide young men the opportunity to not only foster friendships with their peers, but a place to share common interests and learn a sense of responsibility.
DeMolay is an open membership comprised of young men between the ages of 12 to 21. Currently there are approximately 18,000 DeMolay members throughout the United States and Canada. It is a Masonic-sponsored youth organization and became incorporated with 501c(3) status in the 1990s.
The Triangle Chapter of DeMolay was issued in 1988 for the Oakdale, Riverbank, Escalon area. The group currently meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Oakdale Masonic Lodge. There are currently 25 boys in the chapter, six of which are active.
Among the active members is longtime member Sean Daley who is currently serving as Master Councilor for the Northern California Jurisdiction. Daley first joined the organization at the age of 12 and has remained active ever since.
Daley cited his prior years of involvement with the California State Horsemen’s Association as a sound background for the transition.
“It was really easy for me,” he said of taking on his first leadership role as Chaplain.
As a home-schooled student, Daley said he also found the organization to be a great way to meet other young men his age.
“One of the biggest things was when I was taken out of public school, my parents looked for ways that I could get involved,” he explained.
As Past Master Councilor of the Triangle Chapter, his new role as Northern California’s Master Councilor is one that is sure to keep him busy.
Daley received his collar for the new position in the late fall of 2009. It is a one-year assignment, which is achieved through an application, interview and review process from past DeMolay Council.
Earlier this year he traveled to Washington D.C. and will travel to Texas in June as the Norcal Representative for the International DeMolay Congress.
“It is a time when all the Master Councilors meet and vote on issues and items requiring consideration for change,” he stated of the Texas trip in June.
In addition to being the voice of Northern California on the national level, Daley is also directly involved in some capacity with the planning of all DeMolay events happening throughout the state.
“California has one of the biggest divisions of DeMolay,” he said. “This is the top assignment for Northern California.
“There is an International Master Councilor position and that would be the next step if I were interested.”
The mission statement of the DeMolay states: “DeMolay is an organization dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives. Basing its approach on timeless principles and practical, hands-on experience.”
As Daley travels the northern part of the state, as well as the country, it is apparent that the lessons and mission of the organization have affected him as a young man.
Daley cited his Washington D.C. trip as a trip of a lifetime.
“Seeing the monuments … Arlington, the Lincoln Monument, the War Memorial, this opportunity has definitely created experiences for me.”
As for the organization overall Daley said, “You have kids from all walks of life, but when you come here it’s different. It reminds them to live for something better.”
As he has stayed active through the years, Daley said there has always been something interesting to do that has kept him involved.
“It’s kind of hard to narrow it to one thing,” he said of his DeMolay involvement. “If I had to choose, it would be the brotherhood.”