Local fraternity honors Turner for service, leadership
The Maryland DeMolay, Bowie-Collington Chapter of Prince George’s County honored Councilman Todd M. Turner (D) for his service and leadership during a special “My Government Day” ceremony held July 21 at the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro.
“We are recognizing Coucilman Todd Turner [of] Ward 4 because he has a long history with Bowie, being first elected to the Bowie City Council in 2005 and then re-elected in 2007 and 2009. And currently, he still represents Bowie as our county councilman,” Chapter Advisor Marilyn Hall said in an email. “Bowie-Collington looks at him to be a positive role model in our country which is needed for our youth.”
The Order of DeMolay, now DeMolay International, is an organization — founded in 1919 in Kansas City, Mo., by successful businessman and Master Mason Frank Sherman Land
— dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy and productive lives. The organization aims to open doors for young men ages 12 to 21 by developing the civic awareness, personal responsibility and leadership skills. According to the organization’s website, DeMolay has more than 1,000 chapters nationwide.
DeMolays are required, unless in extenuating circumstances, to participate in obligatory days where a chapter usually holds some sort of program in observance of such. One of the seven obligatory days is “My Government Day,” in which DeMolays meet with local authorities in July and learn about how the government operates at the country, state or community level based on where their chapter is located, the website noted.
As the only chapter in the county and one of 11 representing Maryland, Hall said Bowie-Collington understands that the achievements of civil servants are very important because most people don’t know what they do on a daily basis. Having obligatory days isn’t just a learning experience for DeMolays, but for those who live within and outside the community as well, she said.
“One of the virtues of DeMolay is to become a better leader and citizen. This is one way we can honor our civil servants,” Hall said.
Eight chapter members, along with several other visitors, listened to a brief presentation from Prince George’s County Council Chairman Derrick L. Davis (D) and Turner before they sur- prised him with a plaque and took photos.
Twelve-year-old Corey Bast, the youngest member who attends Benjamin Tasker Middle School, said it was a cool experience, having been his first time honoring a council member.
“It’s cool to come here and honor somebody [like Councilman Turner] because I haven’t really done that ever,” said Bast, who has future plans of becoming a master councilor of his chapter. “As a chapter, we want to gain more members and we’re trying to spread the word about DeMolay.”
As the oldest member, 19-year-old Francis Hall said he’s had an opportunity to watch some of his younger peers mature. He said it’s not only important to set a good example for them, but also ensure they’re following the right path.
“The Order of DeMolay is heavily built on patriotism and being proud of civil liberty” he said. “It’s just good to show how much we appreciate those who do so much for us.”
Hall, a political science major at Howard University who plans on obtaining a career in foreign policy, said DeMolay helped mature and teach him about comradeship and patriotism.
“I guess it’s just very important lessons that we get from our organization as it teaches you so much that you take on later in life,” he said. “Being the only chapter in the county now I think is very important that we keep this going because we don’t want to see it die out.”
Turner said although he wasn’t expecting an award, he is glad to support and encourage a group of young men who continue to make a positive impact in the community.
“We’re helping these young men develop their leadership skills, being able to work together and achieve what they want to do with respect to that,” Turner said. “That kind of service element is a big part of the work that they do and … doing these little things that one rarely wouldn’t think of by taking these positions and being a group that supports each other, which I think is very important for their growth as well.”
Members of the Maryland DeMolay, Bowie-Collington Chapter participate in a meeting with Prince George’s County Council Chairman Derrick L. Davis and Councilman Todd M. Turner July 21 at the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro in observance of DeMolay’s “My Government Day.” Councilman Turner was honored by the local boys fraternity for his exemplary service and leadership to District 4.
Chapter member 19-year-old Francis Hall, the oldest member who is a political science major at Howard University, presents a plaque to Turner in honor of his exemplary service as a civil servant and local government leader.