WB Clayton Sloat Honored
Brookings Lodge #24 honored WB Clayton Sloat, a World War II veteran, at the 2019 Fourth of July Parade in Brookings.
Tin City Lodge #112 Installation
Officers for Tin City Lodge #112 in Hill City for the 2019-2020 year were installed on June 29. Very impressive Installing Officers made it an awesome day for the new officers. Installing Officers were SGW Jeff VanCuren, Installing Marshal; PGM Mike Rodman, Installing Master; PGM Yancey Smith, Installing Secretary; and Grand Chaplain John McKnight, Installing Chaplain. The Installation was well-attended, and the light lunch was enjoyed by all.
Since Jack has done this a few times, several Past Grand Masters were there to impress on him that he was to do it right this time.
Officers installed: Joe Klein, Marshal; Brian Ireland, Sr. Deacon; Jim Olson, Jr. Warden; PGM Jack H. Welker, Master; PM LaMonte Morrow, Tyler; and PM John Knapp, Secretary and Co-Master Builder for Region C.
South Dakota Masonic Charities Announces New Director of Philanthropy
South Dakota Masonic Charities Foundation board chairman, Floyd Rummel has announced the selection of Susan Ricci as our Director of Philanthropy on a part time basis. Ms. Ricci is well known in the non-profit circles in South Dakota and has successfully secured foundation grants for SDMC in the past.
Ms. Ricci will be working with the SDMC board to establish a long-term growth plan to ensure that the foundation is able to provide the necessary funding for our charitable endeavors.
South Dakota Masonic Charities is a 501(c)3, which allows us to accept charitable donations under IRS rules. Currently, SDMC oversees the following charitable programs for the Grand Lodge: Masonic Model Student Assistance Training Program, better known as Save A Child, a program that trains education professionals across the state to help students at risk; South Dakota Child Identification Program which provides the most comprehensive child protection packets with all the information necessary to assist law enforcement in cases of missing children; The Masonic Scholarship program that provides funding for students’ secondary education; and one of our newest programs, the Matching Grant program, which provides local Lodges up to $500 in matching funds for local community service programs, provided that the Lodge generates local publicity for the donation.
South Dakota Masonic Charities is also developing criteria under IRS rules that would allow local Lodges or building associations to have their own 501(c)3 fund managed by the foundation to allow for deductible donations and grant applications for the restoration and preservation of their Masonic buildings.
Grand Master Wood Receives Award of Recognition from the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Board
The Memorial continues the tower restoration project this year on the 3rd through 5th levels. Along with repair and cleaning of a number of damaged stones on the exterior of the building, fabrication and replacement of new windows for the Memorial Hall is also underway. This will return to the original plan of the architect and will dramatically change Memorial Hall. For more information or to donate to the Memorial projects, log on to: https://gwmemorial.org/
Making the presentation was MWB Bob Conley, PGM of Michigan and immediate past chairman of the GWMNMA board of directors, along with MWB Mike Rodman, of the GWMNMA board.
GM Wears Dakota Territory Jewel for Cornerstone Ceremony
In a moving tribute at the 100th Anniversary rededication ceremony at Mount Theodore Roosevelt Friendship Tower, MWB Lowell Domier, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of North Dakota presented MWB Harold Ireland, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota, the Dakota Territorial Grand Master’s jewel to wear during the ceremony. The cornerstone ceremony was a recreation of the Dakota Territory Grand Lodge and had participation by both North and South Dakota Grand Lodges. This is believed to be only the third time this jewel has been worn by a Grand Master in South Dakota since 1889.
The Masonic Jewel was crafted in Ohio in 1885 for the 11th Anniversary of the Dakota Territory Grand Lodge and was presented at the annual communication that year in Fargo. The entire set of Grand Lodge jewels (18) were purchased for $152.
In 1889, the Dakota Territory Grand Lodge was divided into North and South Dakota Grand Lodges at the annual communication in Mitchell. MWB George Ayres, in his first act as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota was to present the Dakota Territory jewels to the Grand Lodge of North Dakota in what he called, “A spirit of fraternity and brotherly love.” These priceless jewels are kept in a locked vault by the Grand Lodge of North Dakota and are only displayed annually for special events.
Grand Master Ireland stated, “We certainly are grateful to GM Domier and the Grand Lodge of North Dakota for allowing me to wear and the Masons of South Dakota the opportunity to see this extraordinary piece of history.”
Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department Receives New Generator from Local Masons
Olive Branch #47 AF & AM of Sturgis and the Grand Lodge of South Dakota, through the South Dakota Masonic Charities Matching Grant program, presented a portable generator to the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department on July 30, 2019.
Fire Chief Shawn Barrows has a plan for the new addition to the department. The generator will go on the heavy rescue truck, which has a light tower to illuminate the fire scene. The portable generator will allow for additional lights on the far side of a structure fire. Additional lighting will provide added safety for the department. The generator will also allow power for tools and other equipment.
Harold Ireland, Grand Master of Masons of South Dakota said, “Olive Branch #47 is the first Lodge in the state to apply for the Matching Grant program.” The South Dakota Masonic Charities administers the Matching Grant program which allows local Lodges to donate items to improve their communities.
Olive Branch #47 AF & AM has been a part of the Sturgis community dating back to 1883. Many times, the Masonic fraternity has contributed to local community projects. Olive Branch #47 participates with the SVFD serving the elementary school children at the annual fire safety week each fall.
Shawn Barrows, Fire Chief; Harold Ireland, Grand Master; Todd Knutson, Worshipful Master, Olive Branch #47; Dusty Barker; Bob Tesch, Secretary, Olive Branch #47; Harold Walker, District Master District 17
Bro. West: 2019 LEO
Joseph D. West of Jeptha Lodge #121 was recognized as the 2019 South Dakota Lodge Education Officer at the 145th Annual Communication in June.
The South Dakota Grand Lodge Masonic Education Commission recognizes a Lodge Education Officer (LEO) each year. LEOs are selected from names submitted by their Constituent Lodges. The nomination form must be signed by the Worshipful Master and Secretary of the Lodge. The Commission bases their selection on originality of education topics presented at meetings, mentoring, and involvement in constituent bodies. The nomination form and criteria are available for download on the SD Grand Lodge website. The LEO selected has his name engraved on the plaque and that plaque is displayed at the recipient's Lodge during that Masonic year.
Pictured with him are Larry Madsen, current Chairman of the SD Masonic Education Commission and Mike Lamb, the incoming Chairman of the SD Masonic Education Commission.
PM John Knapp Receives Master Builder Award
Past Master John Knapp’s name was submitted by Tin City Lodge #112 for the Grand Lodge’s Master Builder Award for his leadership and ability to inspire those around him to serve. The point system utilized by the Grand Loge resulted in a tie between John and Past Master Ardel Reder of Pasque Lodge #214. Accordingly, the Grand Master approved both as co-recipients of the award.
The framed certificates were presented at the 145th Annual Communication, but as John was not in attendance, it was presented to him at the next Lodge meeting. Following completion of the individual plaques from the Grand Lodge, John’s plaque was presented to him at the Tin City Lodge #112 Installation of Officers held on June 29th.
This is not only a very deserving award for a well-respected Brother, but also serves as a thank you to John for a great year of service.
Grand Master’s 2019 Award of Merit Recipient
Grand Master DaNiel Wood presented the 2019 Grand Master’s Award of Merit to MWB Jack Welker during the Annual Communication at the Grand Master’s banquet in Sioux Falls on June 21, 2019. The Grand Master acknowledged the many Masonic activities that Jack has been involved in this year, including the Vice-Chairman of South Dakota Masonic Charities, the West River South Dakota Child Identification coordinator, and the Vice-Chairman of the 2019 Conference of Grand Masters planning committee.
The Award of Merit is designed to be given to that special Mason that “toils quietly in the quarry,” not worried about recognition, just serving Freemasonry and working for the betterment of the Craft. Congratulations MWB Welker!
MWB DaNiel Wood presents the Grand Master’s Award of Merit to MWB Jack Welker. Assisting him is MWBs Mike Rodman and Yancey Smith
Michael J. Fitzmaurice South Dakota State Veterans Home to Celebrate 130th Anniversary with Parade, Governor’s Visit and the Grand Lodge of South Dakota Cornerstone Rededication
The Grand Lodge of South Dakota has been invited to be a part of the 130th Anniversary and Rededication of the Michael J. Fitzmaurice South Dakota State Veterans Home in Hot Springs, SD to be held on September 20, 2019 starting at 10:00 a.m. There is a full day of activities and events planned, with the highlight being a speech delivered by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. The speech will be delivered at 11:00 a.m. at the State Veterans Home, located at 2500 Minnekahta Avenue in Hot Springs.
Other events include a parade coordinated by the American Legion Post 71. The parade will step off at 9:00 a.m. from Centennial Park in downtown Hot Springs. The route will take them up North River Street and then onto Minnekahta Avenue, with the procession arriving at the Home around 10:30 a.m. Parade entrants should pick up registration forms from the Chamber of Commerce offices at the Mueller Civic Center.
Following the Governor’s speech, there will be a meal by donation at 11:30 a.m., with food provided by VFW Post 3442, with live entertainment expected during this time as well. From 12:30 p.m. to around 2:00 p.m., State Home staff will be providing regular tours and presenting the history of the State Veterans Home. At 1:30 p.m., there will be a rededication ceremony of the original historic State Veterans Home building by the Masons of The Grand Lodge of South Dakota.
Originally intended to serve as a home for disabled veterans of the Civil War, Hot Springs was selected as the location for the Home by the Dakota Territory legislature. Members of The Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization of Civil War-era veterans, lobbied for the location. They found the naturally warm mineral springs and mild weather of the Hot Springs area to be conducive to good health.
The Home’s original construction began with the placing of the cornerstone on November 5, 1889 in a ceremony by the Grand Lodge of South Dakota and the Home opened a year later. Its first resident registered on November 25, 1890. The Home’s historic original building, known informally as “Building Two,” was made from locally quarried sandstone and is still on campus. A newly designed home was opened in 2016. It is a 144,000-square-foot stacked two story facility with living spaces broken into eight neighborhoods that provide a home-like environment to the residents.
The Home has served its mission “to honor and serve our South Dakota military veterans, their spouses, widows, or widowers now and for generations to come.”
Grand Lodge Library Cornerstone Opened
On Wednesday, June 19, members of the Grand Lodge and the local community gathered at 415 South Main in Sioux Falls, the site of the former Masonic Grand Lodge Building and Library that now houses Architecture, Inc. The significant purpose for this gathering was to view the contents of the sealed time capsule from June 6th, 1924 that was part of the buildings cornerstone.
The history of the Grand Lodge notes that nearly 1,200 people attended the dedication of the Grand Lodge building that day in 1924. Then Grand Master Edgar Brookman proclaimed in part, “This magnificent building, when finished will reflect credit upon the fraternity at large. It will mark an epoch in Masonic history of South Dakota. The growth of our Order has kept pace with the splendid material development of our young state, and the future is big with promise.” The cost of the building was $75,000.
The Grand Lodge Building and Library were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The building was sold to Architecture, Inc., in 2000.
Dozens of items were removed from a box set in the building’s cornerstone, including a Masonic Bible, several editions of the Argus Leader newspaper and a typed copy of the address given during the time capsule ceremony 95 years ago. The time capsule also included a sealed envelope with stamps and coins, proceedings of the Grand Lodge, proceedings of appendant and concordant bodies, a local phone directory and the US flag.
Several more items were added for the next time the capsule is unveiled, including a Rapid City Journal newspaper article about the Grand Lodge’s hosting of the 2019 Conference of Grand Masters, several Grand Masters’ pins and other Masonic materials.
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A Historic First for the Grand Lodge of South Dakota
With the June 21st Installation of MWB Harold Ireland as Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota, history was made as it is the first time in SD Masonry that biological brothers have served as Grand Master. Masonry has been an important part of the Ireland family as their father, Forrest “Shorty” Ireland was a very well-known and active Mason in western South Dakota for 62 years. Currently there are eight active Masons in the Ireland family.
MWB Kenneth Ireland, 117th Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota; MWB Harold Ireland, 137th and current Grand Master; and WB Howard Ireland, Master of Mt. Moriah Lodge #155 in Kadoka.
Rapid City Lodge #25 Earns Lodge of the Year for Region “C” for 2nd Consecutive Year
At the annual awards dinner, held Thursday, June 20th during the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of SD, Rapid City Lodge #25 was honored to earn the distinction of Lodge of the Year for Region “C” for the second consecutive year.
To earn the title, Lodge 25 completed a number of mandatory and optional requirements, such as Raising Master Masons, Ritual Proficiency, visiting other Lodges, attendance at District and Grand Lodge meetings, community involvement and public presence, etc.
Region C comprises 21 Lodges in four Districts.
The Brethren of Lodge 25 with the Lodge of the Year Award: Br. Don Humes; WB Herb Cook; WB Bruce Crisman, Master; MWB Yancey Smith; WB George Bauder; MWB Lowell Holmgren; Br. Mike Lamb, SW.
Grand Lodge Installation of Officers for 2019-2020
The Annual Communication was held in Sioux Falls at the Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center on the 21st and 22nd June. As part of the event the following Grand Lodge Officers were installed on Friday, June 21st to carry on the business of the jurisdiction into the future for the betterment of the Craft. The installing officers were MWB Mike Rodman, Installing Grand Master; MWB Dean Behrens, Installing Grand Marshal; MWB Kenneth Ireland, Installing Grand Secretary; and MWB Jack Welker, Installing Grand Chaplain.
The 2019-2020 Grand Lodge Elected Officers include: Harold Ireland of Piedmont as Grand Master, Jason Swindler of Mitchell as Deputy Grand Master/Grand Master Elect, Jeffery VanCuren of Rapid City as Senior Grand Warden, Daniel Nace of Sioux Falls as Junior Grand Warden, Terry Knutson of Sioux Falls as Grand Treasurer-Secretary.
The 2019-2020 Grand Lodge Appointed Officers include: John McKnight of Rapid City as Grand Chaplain, Kendig Bergstresser of Sioux Falls as Grand Orator, Tony Larsen of Mobridge as Grand Marshal, Dane Bloch of Sioux Falls as Senior Grand Deacon, LaMonte Morrow of Custer as Junior Grand Deacon, Alan Bishop of Hermosa as Senior Grand Steward, Todd Knutson of Whitewood as Junior Grand Steward, Timothy Helms of Sturgis as Grand Standard Bearer, Michael Lamb of Rapid City as Grand Pursuivant, Justin Stanek of Pierre as Grand Historian, James Frey of Avon as Grand Musician, and Brian Teller of Buffalo as Grand Tyler.
The District Masters for the ensuing Masonic year are Bradley Hazuka in District 1, Kyle Orth in District 3, Jeffrey Jung in District 4, Benjamin Johnson in District 6, Doug Bjorke in District 9, Larry Hornstra in District 10, Jack Frantz in District 12, Christopher Kaus in District 13, Matthew Miller in District 14, Mitch Kammerer in District 15, Vernon “Pete” Isaacs in District 16, and Harold Walker in District 17.
Civility versus Charity
Once again I am humbled to be appointed our Civility Ambassador to the Grand Lodge of South Dakota. I started during MWB Mike Rodman’s year when the Masons were a part of a national group called The Civility Project. After some disagreements, exploitations of Masonry for profit and a need for Masons to maintain individual identity while remaining a stand-alone nonprofit organization, the Masonic Family Civility Project was formed www.masoniccivility.org.
MWB Russ Charvonia of California is the Chair. I’ve attended several online training programs and attend monthly online meetings with this group of Grand Masters from all over the world, where the discussion is always Civility. On their website is a “Tool box” we may draw from, as well as a speech scorecard to judge various presentations as they rate for staying civil. There was a first for this group with a “Call to Civility” convention at the George Washington Memorial this past spring, where several politicians were invited to test their knowledge of and learn how to be more civil in their interactions with one another. The next convention is scheduled for the spring of 2022. “How” we as a Grand Lodge choose to use these tools and to what extent is at the discretion of the Grand Master. We have presented several Civility Championship awards from across the state so far and are always open to more cases of a civil action to be recognized. My first tasking by Grand Master Harold Ireland is to define the difference between Civility and Charity. Not always so easy to differentiate, but I’ll try to help each of us learn.
Civility can be defined as “Claiming and caring for ones identity, need and beliefs without degrading someone else in the process” (from The Institute for Civility in Government) or “The action of working together productively to reach a common goal, and often with beneficent purposes” (from Masonic Family Civility Project definition accepted by Wikipedia).
Some of you may have read George Washington’s Rules of Civility, which he transcribed from an earlier publication by Francis Hawkin (1661) entitled Youth’s Behavior, or Decencie in Conversation Among Men. Or maybe you read Mark Tabberts “George Washington’s Rules for Freemasons in Life and Lodge” (2016). In this publication, Brother Mark “modernizes to today” several of the 110 Rules for Lodge Meetings and Refreshment by George Washington. Things such as not crossing your legs while in Lodge, picking your teeth at the table, speaking with a mouthful of food and keeping your forearms off the dining table are included. Or maybe you’ve read the English translated version of the original Hawkins book? If you have read any or all of them, hopefully you see, as I do, the common theme with all these rules — that being, the correct way to interact with one another verbally, physically, and emotionally, even when in disagreement.
Charity differs in that it is a gift that has a quantitative element, such as monetary, time, etc. There are many examples of Civility on the web these days, one of which I like is “Small Acts of Civility in the Workplace” to help your career at: www.bellapetite.com. No wonder we Masons are the right men to perpetuate Civility among each other and the world at Large.
We are the Masons.
WB Dave Meltz, Civility Ambassador
Grand Lodge of South Dakota