The following are excerpts from the speech of Grand Master Edison Abella given during the 21st DANCON:
“As we begin the run-up to the DeMolay International Centennial Founding Anniversary Celebration in March 2019, I hope that we focus on our journey as a Brotherhood and work together to implement the Celebration Activities and establish the Philippine DeMolay Trust Fund.
One major activity each month is envisioned to promote a specific theme or DeMolay tradition. For example, in August, the DeMolay Caravan will move around the country to ensure that we have 100 Active Chapters mobilized for the actual Centennial Celebration. The Supreme Council already conducted an inventory of our Chapters and we know which ones are active and dormant. The active ones must be supported and strengthened and the dormant ones revived and revitalized. In December, we will begin the production of our DeMolay Centennial coffee table book, which documents our Brotherhood’s history, highlighting not only the photographs but also the testimonies of Brethren whose lives were changed by the DeMolay’s Seven Cardinal Virtues and Code of Ethics.
The Philippine DeMolay Trust Fund is a way for us to secure the future of the DeMolay movement in the Philippines. The Supreme Council is sincerely grateful for the financial support that it has been receiving from the Grand Lodge of the Philippines over the past many years. However, we are now at a stage where growth and expansion are inevitable – growth for individual DeMolay members and expansion for our DeMolay Chapters. Presently, there are 94 DeMolay Chapters, and each chapter is sponsored by a Masonic Lodge or Body, according to our existing Statutes. To date, the Grand Lodge has under its jurisdiction a total of 371 Masonic Lodges in the Philippines and it is our dream that each Masonic Lodge will be able to sponsor and establish one DeMolay Chapter.
The vision for the Philippine DeMolay Trust Fund is this: We must work to make it grow to a point where its interest earnings would be sufficient to sustain the creation of a DeMolay Leadership and Training Institute and the expansion of our Active Chapters.
Our DeMolay Leadership and Training Institute will develop a pool of certified trainers and tutors to be deployed to the Chapters to facilitate learning sessions on the Seven Cardinal Virtues, Code of Ethics, leadership and other life skills necessary to mold our young men into the Brethren we want them to become. At present, we are guided by a set of generic materials from the United States which have not been adapted to our culture and setting, or translated into our major dialects for better understanding. We plan to standardize the curriculum and formulate a playbook of learning opportunities containing real life scenarios, so that our young men are better equipped with skills that they can use for daily living. Eventually, the Institute will provide orientation for Dad Masons from Lodges that are and are not currently supervising any Chapter, to empower them with skills for becoming more effective Advisory Council members.
For this vision to be realized, the Supreme Council urgently needs your support. I am therefore encouraging and exhorting everyone here to participate and pledge to become a member of any of the DeMolay Crusades. A Master Mason can invest P20,000.00 as a Dad Frand S. Land Centennial Fellow; a Senior DeMolay can invest P20,000.00 as a Jacques DeMolay Centennial Fellow; an Active DeMolay can invest P10,000.00 as a Louis Gordon Lower Centennial Fellow; a DeMolay Partner Individual can invest P200,000.00 as a Grand Master Centennial Knight; and a Partner Organization can invest P200,000.00 as a Grand Master Centennial Circle. The investments you make shall generate returns in terms of more Active Chapters, increases in DeMolay membership, and better training modules we can all avail of.
I am confident that this 21st DANCON is a good opportunity for the Senior DeMolay members of the different DeMolay Alumni Chapters from all over the country and from abroad to discuss matters that would further promote and expand the DAAP and its alumni chapters and, at the same time, strengthen the fraternal ties among the individual Senior DeMolay members.