Tidings from the Grand Treasurer-Secretary (posted July 2017)

It never crossed my mind that I would be considered for such a prestigious position in the Grand Lodge. I am honored and humbled that you consider me to be worthy of such responsibility. It quickly becomes apparent in this position that communication is the name of the game. I will strive to ensure that we keep everyone informed of what is going on and respond to all inquiries in a timely manner. If there is anything we in the Grand Lodge office can do to help the Lodges, do not hesitate to let us know. Thank you for bestowing this honor upon me.

Fraternally,  
Terry Knutson, Grand Treasurer-Secretary  

 

Dedication of Celestial Lodge Marker

On June 7, the Grand Lodge of South Dakota rededicated the Celestial Lodge at Mt. Moriah Cemetery in honor of the installation of a Masonic marker and interpretive panel developed in conjunction with the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission.

On June 13, 1877, Deadwood Lodge #7 was charted and in May 1878, Lawrence County purchased land for the development of Mt. Moriah Cemetery. In 1887, the Deadwood Masonic Lodge purchased 1.5 acres in Mt. Moriah for a new burial ground, which would become known as Section 10. On December 10, 1892, a group of concerned citizens created the Deadwood Cemetery Association. The first five-member board included Byron P. Dague, who became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota. This association ran the cemetery for the next 46 years before turning it over to the City of Deadwood. In 1914 the Deadwood Lodge #7 installed concrete walls, sidewalks and granite altar that contains the names of the members buried within 25 feet of the concrete circle, forming the Celestial Lodge.
Knights Templar Arch of Steel presentation at Deadwood Welcome Center cornerstone ceremony.

 

From the East (posted June 2017)

It is indeed an honor to write this article as your new Grand Master. The last three years since I was elected Junior Grand Warden have flown by and I am humbled to be serving.
There are many responsible for putting me here, including those who have mentored me, scolded me and given me advice — good and bad. Thank you. Thank you also to the Brethren who voted me here.
Masonry is a lifelong journey, not something to be entered into lightly, or on a whim. It is a process of self-transformation and improvement. I am still in that process, even as Grand Master, and will be all of my life. It is my hope that the self-improvement I have achieved thus far will serve me to guide the Craft this coming year.
In everything I do, I will have the best interests of the Craft at heart, and though some make take issue with the decision, please know it was intended for the betterment of Masonry.
I look forward to seeing old friends, making new friends, and improving Masonry as I travel this year. Please keep me, the other Officers and District Masters, and the Grand Lodge office, notified of your events. We would love to attend if possible.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve.

Fraternally,  
Yancey Smih, Grand Master  

 

From the South (posted June 2016)

Thank you for your vote of confidence and allowing me the privilege to serve you as Junior Grand Warden.  I take this honor seriously and will do everything possible, to make Freemasonry in South Dakota better.  Better is hard to define, regarding improving Freemasonry, as we all see “better” as a different strategy or vision.  My vision at this point is cloudy, but I do know we will have to make changes.  We must make changes to stop the decline in Masonry by making, and keeping, new Masons.  We need good quality Masons and the quantity will fix itself.

Fraternally,  
Richard Hagler, Junior Grand Warden  

 

Masters, Wardens, Deacons and Anyone Wanting to Better His Lodge

If you have a desire to see your Lodge become a thriving, vibrant hub of activity, where people actually want to come and spend some time; if you want to see your Lodge become a force for good in your community; if you want to attract the best possible candidates to your Lodge, or if you are just wondering what Lodge Leadership is all about, YOU need to attend the Grand Lodge Leadership Conference.
Your Grand Lodge is once again offering Leadership Training to anyone interested. We have Most Worshipful Brother Daren Kellerman, PGM of Kansas, returning to provide training on how to select the BEST men to be allowed to join, how to keep them interested and coming back (and maybe get those “older” member to return as well), to give Lodge leadership teams the tools they need to provide a quality program for their Lodge this year and to talk about rising above mediocrity and taking pride once again in what we do.
Assisting MWB Kellerman will be RWB Adam Hathaway, DGM of New Mexico, who will also let you know how to tell if your Lodge will be here in 10 years.
Those of you who attended last year know how great this Conference was. This year will be even better. We have tailored our trainings to be more specific and relevant to South Dakota, while providing leadership skills you can use in other areas of your life. This is an event you will not want to miss.
The Leadership Conference will once again be held at Cedar Shores Resort on August 25 and 26. Registration is $40.00 and includes all training materials and lunch on Saturday. Registration forms can be found at the end of this article or at mygrandlodge.org (please print and mail the form). We have reserved a block of rooms at Cedar Shores. Please call 888-697-6363 or go to www.cedarshore.com to reserve a room.
We will have an informal gathering Friday night, starting about 7:00, with some fun and games. There will plenty of time to socialize and enjoy some fellowship. We will start again at 9:00 am Saturday and finish up about 4:30.
Please call the Grand Lodge office or any of your elected line with questions.
Make your reservations now to secure your spot at this year’s conference.
The Leadership Conference will once again be held at Cedar Shores Resort on August 25 and 26. Registration is $40.00 and includes all training materials and lunch on Saturday. Registration forms can be found at the end of this article or at mygrandlodge.org (please print and mail the form). We have reserved a block of rooms at Cedar Shores. Please call 888-697-6363 or go to www.cedarshore.com to reserve a room.
We will have an informal gathering Friday night, starting about 7:00, with some fun and games. There will plenty of time to socialize and enjoy some fellowship. We will start again at 9:00 am Saturday and finish up about 4:30.
Please call the Grand Lodge office or any of your elected line with questions.
Make your reservations now to secure your spot at this year’s conference.

Leadership Conference Registration Form

Leadership Conference Flyer