The 1919 Club Newsletter- January 2019

Honorary Grand Master

In the spring of 1933, Dad Land suggested to the Active Members of the Grand Council that they consider electing President Franklin D. Roosevelt a member of the Grand Council and, if that was successful, that Roosevelt be named Honorary Grand Master Councilor. The ballots, still in the archives of the Supreme Council, indicate that the members mostly – but not unanimously – agreed with the idea.

Comments hand written on the ballots ranged from “A splendid idea!” to “Providing he is willing. N/g (no go) if he is forced.” Others suggested that the ballot language wasn’t clear enough as it did not specifically mention President Roosevelt or “the President of the United States” specifically. In one case, the Member qualified his positive vote with “I suppose you mean the President of the U.S.A. If you mean this I cheerfully sign this ballot.”

At least one ballot was received that included negative comments about the idea, with the author stating his reasons why simply being president was not reason enough to bestow such a singular honor upon someone who “knows little [about the organization] and would usually accept such an honor only as a matter of course and part of the duties of office.”

The ballots received were sufficient to elect President Roosevelt to the Council and name him Honorary Grand Master Councilor. Dad Land famously presented him with his collar in the Oval Office in 1934 surrounded by DeMolays and Advisors.

Following this precedent, the Supreme Council has elected five other individuals to be Honorary Grand Masters in recognition of their dedication and service to the Order and humanity.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Honorary Grand Master Councilor 1934

Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1913-20)

44th Governor of New York (1929-32)

32nd President of the United States (1933-45)

President Harry S Truman

Honorary Grand Master 1945

United States Senator from Missouri (1935-45)

Grand Master of Masons in Missouri (1940)

34th Vice President of the United States (1945)

33rd President of the United States (1945-53)

Prime Minister John Diefenbaker

Honorary Grand Master 1958

13th Prime Minister of Canada (1957-63)

Senior DeMolay

President Gerald R. Ford

Honorary Grand Master 1975

Honorary Legion of Honor 1968

US Representative from Michigan (1949-73)

Chair, House Republican Conference (1963-65)

House Minority Leader (1965-73)

40th Vice President of the United States (1973-74)

38th President of the United States (1974-77)

Imperial Recorder Jack H. Jones

Honorary Grand Master 2009

Imperial Recorder of Shriners International for 36 years

Imperial Potentate of Shriners International (2009-10)

Sovereign Grand Commander Ronald A. Seale

Honorary Grand Master 2009

Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, USA since 2003 

Senior DeMolay & Member of the DeMolay Hall of Fame


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From Dad Land's Speech Notes

From J. Wallace Woodford, PGM (DE)

In America, we have always advocated equality of opportunity, but have also recognized achievement, and that achievement merits reward. The belief is prevalent in some quarters that mere birth or citizenship is sufficient reason for the total satisfaction of all personal needs; that in some miraculous way the government should guarantee on every birth certificate full employment at high wages, protection against sickness, security in old age, and most everything imaginable, regardless of the person’s productivity and accomplishment. This concept of life will never get us anywhere. It is contrary to the law of progress, shrivels the human soul, and robs a man of the dignity with which democracy and Christianity clothe him.

Such a theory finds no encouragement in Freemasonry. Its theme song is, “Build it well, what’re you do.” The operative Mason of olden times stepped out of the ranks of the ignorant to learn and grow and become a master craftsman. The speculative Mason advances from Entered Apprentice to Master Mason. Freemasonry marches along with democracy in advocating equality of opportunity, but it, too, believes that accomplishment gives luster to life. Masonry’s whole plan of man-building is useless unless a man has the incentive to move out of the mass and work out his dream for a richer, happier, and more useful life.


Senior DeMolay Spotlight

Dad Dale Sandstrom, PGM, GC

“DeMolay has been such an important part of my life. Frank Land’s dream of young men in their teens facing other young men in their teens saying love your parents, serve God, be a true and loyal friend, lead a clean and moral life, be a patriot in peace as well as in war, continues to inspire me today as it did in the days of my youth.”

Senior DeMolay from H.C. Plumley Chapter in Fargo, North Dakota, PMC-MSA, BHK.


Legion of Honor

PSMC of North Dakota

He was an active Boy Scout and earned the Eagle Scout Award with a Gold Palm. Named a Distinguished Eagle Scout.

Executive Officer of North Dakota 1979-1986

Grand Master of DeMolay 1994-1995

33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason

Grand Master of Masons in North Dakota 2018 - 2019 

Professional Life 

Worked for the United States Senate under Senator Milton R. Young

Served as Assistant Attorney General for 6 years, heading the Consumer Fraud and Antitrust Division.

Served in the Governor's Cabinet as State Securities Commissioner from 1981-1983.

Appointed to serve as a North Dakota Public Service Commissioner in 1983.

Elected to two consecutive 6-year terms in 1984 and 1990, and served until 1992.

He was elected to the North Dakota State Supreme Court as a Justice in 1992 and was re-elected to 10-year terms in 1996 and 2006.

He served on the Court from 1992, a total of 24 years on the bench as of his retirement on December 31, 2016.

Come back next month for more speaking notes of Dad Lands, spotlights on Senior DeMolays who have done remarkable things, and fascinating pieces of DeMolay history!

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