As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold in our communities as restrictions and guidelines are established to better slow the spread of this deadly virus, we must all do our part as Masons to ensure the safety and well being of our families, Brothers and our communities.
Remember your obligation “to help those in need if not a danger to ourselves.” Reach out and check on loved ones and Brothers. We are in this situation together and must assist whenever possible ensuring needs are met. I solicit each of our Lodges and Brothers to check on one another and identify anyone in need. If a Brother’'s needs are beyond capabilities of his Lodge, please contact the Grand Lodge Office for assistance. In times of Distress, “You are your Brother’s keeper.”
We continue monitoring the COVID-19 situation and encourage everyone to do their part by social distancing or isolation, practicing personal hygiene, minimizing travel, and following established guidelines provided through federal, state and local authorities or visit the CDC at CORONAVIRUS.GOV for latest guidance. Current estimates state the situation may not peak until May so we must do our best to adjust as necessary. Updates will be provided as circumstances dictate and changes to our policies are required.
Reach out to family, friends, and Brothers ensuring all are safe and their needs are being met. Utilize electronic means if possible to minimize exposure as we communicate with others. Changing your method of shopping by using phone-in orders with either delivery or curb side pickup can help. Consider ways to stay safe and encourage others to do likewise.
Practice our great tradition of Brothers helping Brothers, Widows and Orphans. I encourage you to continue this theme as we go through this matter together. Your Grand Lodge is standing by to assist in any way we can. I wish all Masons and their families continued health and safety during this wearisome time.
Harold D. Ireland, Grand Master of Masons  



March 18, 2020

Grand Lodge Office Update

Lots going on in the office due to the COVID-19 situation. The Sioux Falls MBA building is following recommended guidance of city, state, and federal governments. This will limit access to this building to Keyed Tenants only. They currently plan to have building Manager in Building 9 am to Noon Monday through Friday. Front door will be locked, and access limited to deliveries and people with direct business in the building. So, in the building, office hours over the next few weeks:
Mar. 23 - Mar. 27: 10:00 am to noon
Mar. 30 - Apr. 3: 10:00 am to noon
Apr. 6 - Apr. 10: 9:00 am to noon
Apr. 13 - Apr. 17: 9:00 am to noon
Apr. 20 - Apr. 24: 9:00 am to noon
Apr. 27 - May 1: 9:00 am to noon

Gwen will be in the office during these posted hours. She now has remote access to her office computer from home. She will check office voice mails during normal business hours.
Please do not come to the office unless it is absolutely necessary, and then by appointment only.
We hope to be able to return to normal operation on May 4. Any questions please reach out to me or Gwen and we will do the best we can to help!

James J Burma Jr.  
Grand Treasurer - Secretary  
Grand Lodge of South Dakota  


Golden Book Available Online

The Counselor’s Golden Book of Masonic Information, revised by Brothers of Resugam Lodge #31, is now available online. This is an enormous and valuable resource for all Brothers, particularly Lodge Secretaries.


Greetings from the Grand Master.
This is a reminder that Nomination packets for any elected Grand Lodge position or any proposed Legislation to be considered at the Annual Communication this June, according to the Grand Lodge By-laws, must be received in the Grand Lodge Office by 5:00PM CDT Friday, 20 March 2020.
Harold Ireland


Summons to the 146th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota

To the Worshipful Masters of all Lodges in the Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of South Dakota:
You are hereby summoned, with your Wardens and Past Masters (whom you will please notify), to attend the One Hundred and Forty Sixth Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of South Dakota to be opened at 10:00 AM (Mountain Daylight Time) on Friday, 19 June 2020 in the Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center, 2111 N. Lacrosse, Rapid City, South Dakota.
Worshipful Masters and Wardens unable to attend will appoint qualified Proxies to attend and vote in their stead. All Members must show their current 2020 Dues Card, and if attending as a Proxy, they must present a properly signed proxy card. All Master Masons, in good standing, in a recognized Lodge, are cordially invited to attend.
The Secretary of each Lodge shall read this summons in open Lodge at the first meeting after its receipt.
Harold D. Ireland, Grand Master

Presenters at the 146th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota

2020 Grand Lodge of South Dakota Registration Form


Lodge Education Officer of the Year Nominations

It’s time to nominate the Lodge Education Officer (LEO) of the Year:


KOTA TV Covers “Save A Child” Program

KOTA TV, in Rapid City, produced a good story on the “Save A Child” program that helps teachers, janitors, and bus drivers recognize at-risk behaviors in students:



Open this link for an imporant edict from the Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota.

“In compliance with the State of Emergency declared both federally [and] in South Dakota, and the latest guidance directed by the President and CDC last evening of not more than 10 individuals meeting as a group, we must take measures to contain the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Acting under my authority as Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota, I do hereby order all Lodge activities, including all Regular and Special Communications of subordinate Lodges, ritual practices, fundraisers, and social events be cancelled or postponed until further notice...”[for the full text click here.]


Spearfish Lodge #18 and Cedar Lodge #124

On March 14, Brothers of Spearfish Lodge #18 and Cedar Lodge #124 in Belle Fourche worked together to pass three Entered Apprentices to Fellowcraft, and then turn around and raise them to Master Mason status the same day. Those being passed and raised were John Larson and Don Nelson of Spearfish, and Wallace Eddy of Belle Fourche. Assisting in the presentation of the degrees were Brothers and officers from the Sundance and Gillette, Wyoming, Lodges.

Fellowcraft and Master Mason Degree work for candidates from Belle Fourche and Spearfish


March 12, 2020
Given the national and statewide concern regarding the COVID-19 Virus (coronavirus) and its impact around the world, in consultation with our SDCHIP healthcare partners, Grand Master Ireland has directed a temporary pause in conducting South Dakota Child Identification Events until further notice.
We take COVID-19 seriously and are committed to the safety of our communities, volunteers, and fellow Masons along with the mitigation of the disease. While there is no need to panic, we need to be cautious and responsible. More information on the COVID-19 can be found on the state’s website at or on the CDC’s website,
We thank you for your understanding in this matter and appreciate your commitment to the South Dakota Child Identification Program. Please contact me with any further questions.
Mike Rodman, Chair
SD Child ID Program


Scholarship Applications Deadline Extended to April 15

The deadline for submitting Grand Lodge Scholarship Applications has been extended to April 15:


Brother David Vuich Honored

Brother David Vuich, 33o, has been honored by the Republic of Serbia with the Order of Karađorđe’s Star of First Degree, commemorating his extensive contribution to the Apollo space program. This honor has been bestowed to only one other Serbian-American — the esteemed inventor Nikola Tesla.
Brother Vuich was raised a Master Mason in Rapid City Lodge December 17, 1957, and has remained a member of Rapid City Lodge all these years.

Republic of Serbia
Secretariat General of the
President of the Republic

Esteemed Mr. Vuich,
It is with great joy and pleasure that I inform you that the President of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Aleksandar Vučić has decided to decorate you with the Order of Karađorđe’s Star of First Degree on the occasion of Sretenje — the National Day of Serbia.
Appreciating the significant results, you have achieved working on the Apollo cosmic program as well as valuing your contribution to the advancement of the reputation of the Serbian community in America, as well as the Serbian Nation all over the World, the President has decided to decorate you with this high award.
Please accept my sincere congratulations, along with my wishes that for many years to come you wear this medal in good health, for the pride of your family and all the citizens of Serbia.
The ceremonial presentation of the decoration will be held at the New Palace, Andrićev venac 1 in Belgrade, on February 15, 2020, at 1:00 pm.
In hope that we will meet you on Sretenje, I send you my kindest regards
Secretary General
Nikola Selaković


South Dakota DeMolay Conclave 2020

On Friday and Saturday, February 28 and 29, several young men from across South Dakota and Wyoming attended the DeMolay Spring Conclave. Carrying on a 100-year tradition, sixteen young men ranging in ages from 12-20, with their adult advisors, spent the weekend at the Sturgis Masonic Lodge, engaged in the fellowship and leadership opportunities that DeMolay provides. DeMolay has been a part of Sturgis history since 1949. Many of those young men of the Sturgis Chapter of DeMolay have gone on to serve their communities as doctors, lawyers, business. and military men and became great husbands and fathers.
This Spring Conclave gave an opportunity for these young men to come together to do Degree Work. The DeMolay degrees teach life lessons that encourage filial love, sacred things, courtesy, comradeship, fidelity, cleanliness, and patriotism. These youth also had the opportunity to meet young men from other Chapters.

SD and Wyoming DeMolay Spring Conclave 29 February 2020

DeMolay is the premier international youth leadership organization, striving to shape young men into leaders of character by epitomizing timeless values, and accepting the challenge of leadership. Both by character and action, the young men of DeMolay transform themselves into citizens of the highest caliber. DeMolay is an inclusive organization that only asks interested young men to believe in a higher being.
Each young man takes ownership of his DeMolay experience. From generating ideas, planning events, coordinating logistics, and executing their plans, each DeMolay Chapter is responsible for defining its success. This is accomplished under the mentorship of trained advisors, selected from the local community, enabling each Chapter to be uniquely tailored to support the interests of its members.
The Black Hills Scottish Rite, Valley of Deadwood, acquired its set of backdrops from Kansas City in 1935. One of these historic backdrops happens to be the one used in 1921 at the first International Meeting of DeMolay. The participants had a unique opportunity to have their picture taken with that backdrop during their Spring Conclave weekend.

First International Order of DeMolay (1921) in Kansas City

The DeMolay youth also had a joint meeting with the Job’s Daughters Bethel #12 from Sturgis. Afterward the two youth groups attended the Rapid City Rush Hockey game Saturday night.


Welcome to the The Grand Lodge office and library are located at the Masonic Center in Sioux Falls.


How to Contact Us




MW Charles W. Nash Masonic Burial Rites

On Saturday, May 2, 2020, MW Harold D. Ireland, Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota, will preside over the Final Masonic Burial Rites, for MWB C.W. Nash, our founding Master, at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.
MWB Nash was Captain of Hatch’s Battalion, Minnesota Cavalry, which was sent to Ft. Pembina in the fall of 1863, during the Sioux uprising. Their military duties were to ensure the safety of local residents and to assist in guarding the border between Dakota Territory and Rupert’s Land, British Territory.
Within this military unit were a number of Masons who wished to continue their Fraternal Fellowship while stationed at Ft. Pembina and thus reached out to the Grand Lodge of Minnesota for an ability to do so.
MWB Nash was appointed the founding Master of Northern Light Lodge U.D., at Ft. Pembina, Dakota Territory, when it was given a Dispensation to operate as such, on September 18, 1863. He personally carried this Dispensation with him from St. Paul as the soldiers made their way north.
While pondering a proper name for his Lodge one winter evening, Nash witnessed a beautiful display of color and light high above him and was compelled to call his lodge, Northern Light.
This name continues today under the affiliation of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba A.F. & A.M.
A number of prominent individuals and soldiers from the Red River Settlement (present day Winnipeg) wished to join the Masons and, knowing of the Lodge operating at Ft. Pembina, traveled south to receive their Degrees.
When the soldiers from Minnesota were no longer needed along the border they returned home to Minnesota during the month of June, 1864. All the meeting records, membership list and the original Dispensation were returned and given to the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota.
In the meantime, the northern Brothers had petitioned MWB, A.T.C. Pierson, Grand Master of Minnesota to reinstate the Dispensation of Northern Light Lodge U.D., Red River Settlement, Ruperts Land, which he signed on May 20, 1864. He also appointed Bro. John Shultz to act a Master.
WB Shultz would later become the fifth Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, serving from 1888 to 1895.
This original Northern Light Lodge U.D. became a cornerstone Lodge of three who originally formed the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, and it operates today as Northern Light Prince Rupert’s Lodge No.1, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In its formative years the Grand Lodge of Manitoba held Fraternal authority of all lands to the west within Ruperts Land, including present day Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
MWB Nash, returned to the Minneapolis, St. Paul area and was an active member of the community as well as the Masonic Lodge. He held a law degree and founded the Pioneer Printing Company. Prior to arriving in Minnesota he had also held the office of Mayor at Ft. Dodge, IA.
On April 21, 1868, a fire destroyed the building that housed the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, and all records from the past were consumed in the flames, but our unique history with Northern Light Lodge continued on.
WB Nash was nominated and elected, off the floor of the Minnesota Grand Lodge to the position of Grand Master without ever holding another office! And, on January 10, 1872, as Grand Master of Masons in Minnesota, he signed the Charter for Yellowstone Lodge No. 88, Ft. Buford, Dakota Territory, which became the first Chartered Lodge in what is now the State of North Dakota.
Thus, he became a Grand Master of Masonry, which eventually held leadership over several million square-miles, and a Father of Masonry for many historically recognized Lodges in the U. S. and Canada, including the noted Northwest Mounted Police Lodge No. 11, at Regina, Saskatchewan.

Schedule of Events:
-May 1: Welcome Steak Fry at 73 Steakhouse for fellowship
-May 2: 8:00 Breakfast and Program at Senior Center
-10:30 Masonic Rites at grave site in Philip Masonic Cemetery

For Lodging Reservations:
- Motel West, 421 Auto Ave, Philip, SD 57567, 605-859-2546
- Americas Best, 401 SD-73, Kadoka, SD 57543, 605-837-2188
- Lakota Lodge, 106 SD-73, Kadoka, SD 57543, 605-837-2151
- Sundowner Motel, 510 SD-73, Kadoka, SD 57543, 605-837-2296

Kadoka is about 20 miles south of Philip, and the roads are in good condition, so spending the overnight there should not create too much of a problem for those who have to travel back and forth.
The public is invited to attend the services and dedication at the cemetery, and all Members and Ladies from any Jurisdiction are welcome to attend both the steak fry and breakfast on Saturday morning.
The committee is asking that if you intend to attend the steak fry or the morning breakfas, to please contact the Brothers Philip Lodge No. 153 listed below within a reasonable amount of time. They will need this information in order to have enough provisions on hand for everyone when they arrive.

Duke Westerberg,
Master, Philip Masonic Lodge No. 153
PO Box 456
Philip, SD 57567
Mobile: (605) 515-3281

Doug Thorson
Past Master, Philip Lodge No. 153
22750 Cottonwood Rd
Quinn , SD 57775-3200
Mobile (605) 515-1590


More News

Read the latest South Dakota Masonic Messenger.

From the East

As Grand Master of Masons of South Dakota, it has been a very busy but rewarding year to witness the great work we do in so many of our communities across the jurisdiction. Your Grand Lodge is working extremely hard to live up to the commitment... [Continue reading...]

From the Deputy

I have been debating on what I wanted to write about for this article. I finally decided to give a few of my thoughts on something you may not have expected. One of the most challenging, yet rewarding, tasks I have been faced with as an adult is parenting... [Continue reading...]


From the West

As we look at the health of our Lodges, I believe we have gotten a few things sideways. First, I believe that the officers of the Lodge should be the best Brothers to run the Lodge, both in terms of time... [Continue reading...]

From the South

I hope everyone had a fantastic set of Holidays. Time to get back to the grind! I think we all had a good time at the Grand Lodge mid-year meeting in Pierre — and looking forward to more ...[Continue reading...]

From the Grand Treasurer-Secretary

I want to first say thank you the Grand Master Harold Ireland for this appointment. It is an honor to be asked to serve and help out in the Grand Lodge Office. Since joining the team in November, I have been working hard to get up to speed and help where needed... [Continue reading...]

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