In March 1919, DeMolay International was formed in Kansas City, Missouri.

The organization is named for Jacques DeMolay, the last Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Templar. When tortured to reveal secrets and names, DeMolay refused to betray those he considered his brothers. It was upon this principle that “Dad” Frank S. Land, employee of the Scottish Rite in Kansas City, Missouri, and nine young men decided to form the organization we know as the Order of DeMolay.

DeMolay became a worldwide organization in 1919. Pennsylvania DeMolay was formed when the first induction ceremony was held in Pittsburgh on Feb. 12, 1923, with another in Philadelphia only a few days later. In 2023, we celebrate 100 years of existence in the Commonwealth.

There will be many opportunities to celebrate throughout the year. We started with an induction class in December 2022, celebrating all of the Past State Master Councilors of Pennsylvania DeMolay. The leaders who served the Commonwealth throughout the years welcomed several young men to DeMolay. They had the chance to communicate with the new DeMolays and share stories that these young men can look back on for years.

As a tribute to the celebration, R.W. Grand Master Jeffrey M. Wonderling, a DeMolay Advisor and Honorary Member of DeMolay International, filled his 2023 Grand Line of Officers with Senior DeMolays from all across Pennsylvania. This took effect at the December Communication. The 2023 Grand Master’s Medallion is struck in honor of Pennsylvania DeMolay’s anniversary.

Another celebration will take place in conjunction with the Grand Lodge Communication in June at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown. A banquet will be held, and Grand Master Wonderling will host a special celebration with past and present members of

DeMolay. PA DeMolay will also hold another celebration at its annual Convention the weekend of July 15 in Cranberry Township. The celebration will continue with a commemorative 100th anniversary book, special merchandise, such as ties, and social media and website posts reminding us of our history. Our celebration will come to a close with a statewide induction of new members to be held in honor of Grand Master Wonderling on Dec. 2. Celebrate with us, as we remember 100 years of one of the greatest youth leadership organizations in Pennsylvania.

Governor of Pennsylvania declaring DeMolay Week

Governor of Pennsylvania declaring DeMolay Week in March 1963.