The Midlothian Legacy chapter of DeMolay returned from the 86th annual state conclave in Austin this week with many awards and a few prestigious recognitions.

At the four-day convention, DeMolay chapters and members from across Texas participated in sporting competitions, ritual events, enjoyed a banquet and bonded through brotherhood. Midlothian’s 5-year-old Legacy chapter stood out among its peers as this year’s winningest group at the conclave.

“This was our third year in a row as the top DeMolay chapter in Texas, our first year to place in the top three in proficiency and we were named the winningest chapter for 2012,” Chapter Advisor Felest Ingersoll said. “We’re just a baby chapter, but we were pretty prominent this year.”

Aside from the competitions, the conclave is also a time when voting members of DeMolay, which is an honor in itself, elect state officers from local chapters to represent the state.

The caucus elected Legacy chapter’s Master Councilor Daniel O’Briant as the State Senior Councilor.

“I had mixed emotions about it,” O’Briant said. “That fact that I was elected means they think highly of me and my character, but I’m also anxious about it. The weight of the duties and responsibility of representing DeMolay across the state puts in me on a tight rope. I’m happy to be in this position, and I plan on getting the job done the right way and represent DeMolay well.”

In group and individual competitions, the Legacy chapter members competed in the two degree ceremonies, the Initiatory Degree and DeMolay Degree.

DeMolay chapters recite the seven virtues of a DeMolay and the scripted parts of each Preceptor during the Initiatory Degree, when inducting a new member.

“It’s a little simpler and usually easier for our younger members to recite the precepts,” Ingersoll said. “Out of our 10 boys who competed, eight placed in the top three.”

One of the longest preceptor parts of the ceremony is that of the marshal, for which Senior Councilor Justin Duco first place. For the part of chaplain, three Legacy members competed taking the top three spots in the rankings – a tie for first and second place.

Charter Master Councilor of Legacy Aaron Ingersoll earned first place in the Master Councilor preceptor, first place in chaplain preceptor. This was Aaron’s last year competing at state conclave, as he will turn 21 this December and age out of DeMolay.

“This year was bittersweet, but I’m excited about all of the medals we won as a chapter,” Aaron said. “We’ve gotten better each year and haven’t reached our peak just yet.”

For the DeMolay Degree competition, members of each chapter compete as a group in a one act play of Jacques DeMolay’s trial on March 18, 1314. DeMolay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, and hundreds of other knights were persecuted by Philip the Fair, King of France, and thrown into prison on false charges. DeMolay was executed after disavowing a forged confession used in his trial to sentence him.

O’Briant earned first place for his performance of the Master Inquisitor, Duco earned first place for Jacques DeMolay and Aaron earned second place for Orator.

Within one hour of coming home from the state conclave, many of the Legacy chapter members packed their bags and headed to Oklahoma for a leadership conference. When the members return, the chapter will hold what Felest described as a “laugh ‘n cry” ceremony when they are officially presented with their medals and they review the judges comments – the good and the bad.

For more information about DeMolay, visit www.demolay.org.

Follow Aaron on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AaronSchwadererWDL. Contact him at 469-517-1456 or a.schwaderer@wninews.com.