The Order of DeMolay is an international youth fraternity with strong ties to Freemasonry for boys between the ages of 12 and 21. Recognizing that young men in their late teens and early twenties seek out learning and recreational activities that may be very different from those that interest their more youthful cohorts, in 1946 the Order established the Chivalric Knights of the Holy Order of the Fellow Soldiers of Jacques DeMolay, more popularly referred to as the Order of the Knighthood, an appendant organization for Older DeMolays.
The DeMolay & Pine Tree Youth Foundation was founded in 1970 to assist graduating high school seniors throughout the state of Maine pursue future educational plans. The Foundation awards scholarships annually in amounts that vary from between $500 to $1,500, which the student can apply towards any accredited college, university or trade school. In 2005, the total amount of these scholarships came to $14,000.
There are three official degrees of Masonry—the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. Master Mason is the Lodge’s highest degree. Still, the lessons learned and the personal advancement made in accomplishing these degrees is only a start for many Masons, and those who wish to pursue their knowledge further often join what is known as an “appendant body” of Freemasonry. Here is a look at the best-known of these bodies.
Most Americans are familiar with the Shriners, whether it is through their circuses, their fez hats, their miniature autos rolling by in parades or their charitable work operating children’s hospitals all over the country. What many may not know is that the Shriners are a Masonic organization—the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine were established in New York City in 1870. Their hospitals operate in 22 cities around the United States, offering free medical care for children afflicted with various congenital disorders. In front of many of these hospitals one can see a statue with a Shriner holding a small girl in one hand and a pair of crutches in the other. The story of this image tells a lot about what Shriners and Masons are all about.