TWO PERSPECTIVES ON DEMOLAY, MASONRY, AND LIFE
By Cécile Revaugér
GLENN WOODY RYAN TONDARES
80 years old 25 years old
DeMolay since 1952 DeMolay since 2008
58 years as a Mason Four years as a Mason
DeMolay provides early exposure to positive values and life skills. Masonry is its natural continuation, giving young men an opportunity to put into practice the values they have learned. Two Senior DeMolays and current Masons exemplify the teachings that both organizations impart.
How old were you when you became a DeMolay and what chapter did you join?
Glenn: “I was 14 years old, and at the time, that was earliest age you could sign up. I belonged to the E.Y. Lee Chapter in Lubbock, Texas. “
Ryan: “I was 12 years old. My uncle’s sons were in DeMolay, as were two of my best friends. I belonged to the Walt Disney Chapter in Anaheim, California.”
Did you serve in any leadership positions?
Glenn: “Did you serve in any leadership positions? I took to DeMolay like a duck to water. I was active until I was 21 years old. I served as master councilor of my chapter and was then elected to area master councilor, then state master councilor. I was a member of the DeMolay International Supreme Council for a number of years. “
Ryan: “I served in high school as chapter master councilor. My first year of college, I was the illustrious knight commander of Saint Bernard Priory, where I assisted the Southern California jurisdiction of DeMolay.”
What did you learn in DeMolay?
Glenn: “It was rewarding to learn about leadership, organization, planning skills, and mentorship. I gained great experience that enhanced my public speaking skills for the rest of my life. I believe most of the doors of opportunity that opened for me were a result of things I was exposed to early on in DeMolay.”
Ryan: “My DeMolay events were funded by our jurisdiction or chapter, so we all worked together to pay for our events. I learned planning, budgeting, finance, and preparation. I also learned a lot about leadership and responsibility, and it gave me little steps toward maturity. It was rewarding to gain the skills for becoming an adult. I always wanted to be a businessman, and those precepts instilled values to remain polite, and not do things that would tarnish my reputation.”
How important are your DeMolay and Masonic friendships?
Glenn: “In my 40s, I was sitting on a balcony in a beautiful hotel in Hawaii and I began to think about my life. I wrote down the names of the people who had been instrumental. It was my mother, my father, who became a Mason during the time I was in DeMolay, and five other men who were mentors and advisors to me early in DeMolay. The point is that, except for my mother, they were all Masons. DeMolay and Masonry created lifelong friendships.”
Ryan: “Masonry follows DeMolay, especially with brotherhood and the degrees. My brother and my dad were a part of my degrees. The lodge feels like a family. The events that we do are fun, but we also give back to the community. I’ve learned that giving back is spiritually rewarding.”
If you could tell other men one thing about DeMolay and Masonry, what would it be?
Glenn: “It is the leading place to be exposed to positive values and be given the opportunity to practice them and develop them in your own life. Some people reach an age at which they wonder if they’ve made a difference. Advisors for the Masonic youth groups, DeMolay, Jobs Daughters and Rainbow for Girls don’t ever have to ask that question.”
Ryan: “Honestly, it’s a group that pushes you and reminds you to do good and be a better person by following lessons learned in the degrees and in the rights of joining Masonry and DeMolay. Young men grow through DeMolay to do good and be better young men.”
More from this issue:
For 77 years, the Chinese Acacia Club has created a space for Chinese American Masons, a historically underrepresented group.