DeMolays Come to Waco Lodge

April Stated Meeting

 

In the summer of 1920, Waco Lodge’s William Quebe met Walt Disney as a DeMolay boy

Waco Lodge Member Helped Create DeMolay International

We enjoyed a visit by the young men of the Waco DeMolay Chapter this month. Waco Lodge was the first lodge in central Texas to support DeMolays in 1920 after our then secretary William Quebe made a trip to Kansas City where he met with his friend Frank Land who had just founded the first DeMolay Chapter. During that summer trip, Quebe learned about the ideals and goals of DeMolay Chapter and was so impressed that he came back to Texas with plans for leading mentorship with Texas DeMolays. Evidently, the teenagers of Kansas City DeMolay must have given Quebe hope to believe that Freemasons could help young men become great men. There’s no surprise either because during his visit to Kansas City, one of the DeMolays there was a boy named Walter Elias Disney. How neat it is that our own Waco secretary met with such an extraordinary American figure so early in that man’s life. Quebe’s hopes for Texas DeMolay certainly came true. Quebe served as the Executive Officer of Texas DeMolay from 1940 to 1948. Another Waco Lodge member, Alva Bryan, filled the same role from 1933 to 1939. In 1939, Quebe was honored by his old friend, Frank Land, with a DeMolay International Founder’s Cross Award which is described:

The award is not a Supreme Council honor but was a personal recognition by the late Dad Land of those whom he desired to honor for their personal, consistent and conspicuous loyalty and service to him in making the Order of DeMolay the greatest youth movement of its kind in the world.

The award was established in June, 1937, and only 135 were presented up to Dad Land’s death on Nov. 8, 1959. The Founder’s Cross is now officially retired.

DeMolay Presentation with paintings of DeMolay Founders Alva Bryan and William Quebe in the background

Waco DeMolay Chapter Thriving Today

So it was with that great history that the Waco DeMolays came to our lodge this month. The boys cooked and served a meal for the stated meeting’s attendees. During dinner, an interesting presentation took place. Our lodge leader Dave McHam had one of the DeMolays read a ten year old letter in which one of their members pleaded for support from the lodge on account of the fact that the Chapter was struggling to continue its important work due to low membership activity and limited resources. We, no doubt, answered that letter with a donation and DeMolay night in 2010 and have repeatedly showed similar support for the chapter in recent years but the most remarkable thing about it was that the letter was written by Jason Coffelt. This fact is made special because Brother Coffelt is now not only a Master Mason, but is currently serving as District Deputy Grand Master of our district and was making his official visit this month so he was present for this moment. Brother Coffelt’s efforts to rebuild Waco DeMolay have paid off. About a dozen new members were in attendance at our meeting and several of them have achieved great success in DeMolay recently with high placement in DeMolay competitions both regionally and nationally. Suffice it to say, Waco DeMolay is thriving and our legendary William Quebe would be most proud to see it.

DeMolays Serve Meal at Waco Lodge

Brother Coffelt followed with a presentation of his own. He recognized this author, Secretary Robert Marshall, for becoming the 23rd Charter Member of the DeMolay Alumni Asssociation. This year marks 100 years since Frank Land created the organization with the help of his friends like William Quebe. It is rather appropriate that the current secretary of our lodge should be a member of this association since one of our secretaries was so influential in DeMolay’s original creation, but that is not the reason I chose to join it. In fact, I became a member of the Association because some of my friends such as Brothers Coffelt, Chance Chapman, Tom Waden, Bob Uzzell, and others like them are proof that DeMolay is capable of producing the kind of men that make great additions to the ancient institution I love so dearly: Freemasonry. I have been guilty in the past of doubting DeMolay’s potential and for that, I was wrong. Now, my name is on the list of association Charter Members forever to show that I do believe in the potential of DeMolay International.

DeMolay stabs me with a badge award while Alva Bryan’s painting watches with delight

Waco Masons Encouraged to Get Involved

After the presentation, a regular meeting of Waco Lodge was held. A great amount of business took place and several announcements were made about various activities coming up. A car show, a visit from a Scottish clan reunion, monthly public information sessions in Waco, and more! Two Masons affiliated with our lodge and a couple of new visitors expressed their interest in petitioning. If you’re already a member of this lodge, please make sure the secretary has a good email address for you and attend meetings so you can keep up with the whirlwind of excitement that fills Waco Lodge.

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