Article by Christopher J. Busby, District Deputy Grand Lecturer, District #2; Dad Advisor, Nashua Assembly #9 IORG; and Past State Dad Advisor, NH Rainbow and Daniel R. Hotchkiss, Senior Grand Warden; Past Dad Advisor, Goffstown Chapter, Order of DeMolay; Past Dad Advisor, Goffstown Assembly #22 IORG; and Past State Dad Advisor, NH Rainbow
In 1919, Frank Land, as Master Mason, visited with Louis Lower, the son of a Lodge member who had passed. Following their initial meeting, Frank Land invited Louis and eight of his friends to meet at the Masonic Temple in Kansas City, MO where they founded the Order of DeMolay for boys ages 13-21. In 1922, Reverend Mark Sexson, a Master Mason in McAlester, OK, having worked with the Order of DeMolay saw a similar need for young women and founded the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls ages 12-20. These two Masons led the way in establishing the greatest youth organizations for young men and women in the world. Reverend Mark Sexson, in particular, began Rainbow recognizing the strength, intelligence and leadership capability of young ladies during an era in which women had, only three years prior, won the right to vote.
Frank Land, Mark Sexson and countless other Masons and Eastern Star members have paved the way in providing our Masonic youth organizations with the mentorship needed to succeed in the world. Who better than Masons and the other adults in our appendant and concordant bodies to be the role models for our youth? The lessons taught by our Masonic Fraternity are far-reaching and impactful to not only the Brothers in our great fraternity, but also our sisters in Eastern Star; the young men in DeMolay and the young women in Rainbow. The world will benefit from the lessons that we can impart to our children, and our Masonic youth organizations are a way to directly accomplish that. This does not diminish what we do as Masons, but rather strengthens us.
However, without Masonic support both Rainbow and DeMolay will struggle. There is a group of very dedicated Brothers that do an incredible amount of work for these young men and women, and a much larger group of dedicated advisors both inside and outside of the Fraternity. Our hope is that in meeting the young men and young ladies, and seeing how incredible they are, that you will also be moved to participate, even in the smallest of ways. While there is somewhat of a renaissance happening in Rainbow right now, DeMolay is struggling with Advisor support and members. Rainbow Assemblies across the state are growing, but the girls still need your support.
Having been advisors in both DeMolay and Rainbow, we can honestly say there is no better feeling than watching a young man or young woman grow into adulthood with the love, care, strength, and intelligence to make a difference in the world, and knowing that we had at least a small part in their development. Active involvement in our youth organizations provides benefits beyond comprehension, including developing a better understanding of Masonic Family, how crucial this is to the success of our organizations, and how wonderful it feels to be a part of it. It will make you a better Mason and a better man and ultimately, isn’t that the goal of our Masonic teachings?