San Francisco Scottish Rite and DeMolay . . .
One hundred years of sponsorship and support
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry has a special relationship with the Order of DeMolay. After all, DeMolay was first conceived and fostered in the halls and offices of the Kansas City Scottish Rite in 1919 and throughout the 1920s.
The story is a serendipitous one based on tragedy and triumph. A young employee of the Kansas City Scottish Rite, Frank Land, first imagined a boys club a few years before. However, it wasn’t until he met the son of a Master Mason who had recently passed away that the idea became a possibility and then reality. The teen, Louis Lower, was looking for work to help support his family and was referred to Frank who had many contacts. The two talked several times at the Scottish Rite with Frank providing work opportunities for Louis and Louis providing validation for the need to have a young men’s club. Together, they would create and lead the Order of DeMolay, and spark a youth movement that would spread across the nation and around the world.
Scottish Rite Valleys across the country were often great supporters of the new boys’ club. The San Francisco Scottish Rite was among the very earliest to seek sponsorship of a chapter. San Francisco Chapter was the first in the state to be officially instituted on November 19, 1920. Scottish Rite members served as adult advisors for the new chapter, provided a meeting place, and helped to support it financially. As DeMolay chapters spread through the state, other Scottish Rite Valley’s in California followed San Francisco’s lead and sponsored chapters in their communities.
Over the 100 years since the institution of San Francisco Chapter, the San Francisco Valley has assisted Northern California DeMolay’s efforts to fulfill its mission of building tomorrow’s leaders, today. For decades it has provided financial support to the Pacific Coast DeMolay Leadership Conference, a week-long summer camp that provides leadership instruction for DeMolay members, advisors, and sweethearts. It is so successful that the conference (often referred to as DLC) attracts participants from all over the western United States and Canada. Over the years, the Scottish Rite Building at 19th and Sloat has been host to regional events like special membership classes, conventions, elections, and even a few dances. Just recently, the Valley provided the initial funds to create a Northern California DeMolay Hall of Fame. And, it provides scholarship opportunities for DeMolays and Sweethearts every year.
As DeMolay in Northern California starts its second century, its members, advisors, sweethearts, and alumni are fortunate to have had San Francisco Scottish Rite there at the beginning and they look forward to continuing the special relationship into the future.