New York DeMolay History
The history of NY DeMolay is not as crisp and documented as we would like to see. We do know that at one time there were 3 DeMolay Regions in New York State: Metropolitan, Eastern, and Western regions. At some point the Metropolitan Region was combined into the Eastern Region. The Western Jurisdiction and the Eastern Jurisdictions operated independently just like many states do today.
The last Installation of the Eastern Jurisdiction was held in the Grand Lodge Room in New York City in 1967. During that year, New York Grand Lodge met with the International Supreme Council Order of DeMolay with the intent to combine the two jurisdictions.
The Western Jurisdiction had Conventions. The Eastern Jurisdiction had Conclaves. The 1st combined gathering in 1968 was call Con-Con at Ithaca College, Ithaca, N.Y. and New York DeMolay as we know it today was born. Dad Robert M. Walker was the first Executive Officer and Dad William M. Sardone was the 1st State Master Councilor.
It was that year that Grand Lodge closed their session to let a ‘non-Mason’ address the Grand Lodge members, and that person was the State Master Councilor. That tradition has carried on and the Masonic Youth Groups now address Grand Lodge at the VIP dinner of each annual session.
New York DeMolay has seen resurgence in the last 5 years. More Senior DeMolays are joining Lodges and more new Chapters are being formed.
New York DeMolay continues to evolve with the times. We once communicated via stamped mail and rotary phones. While the rotary phones are not here anymore, we still use stamped mail, social media, text, and e-mail.
Adapting to the times is not new, and that is one of the many reasons why New York DeMolay remains a positive alternative for today’s youth.