2019-2020 Annual Report of the Junior Grand Warden
I am so happy to write this report for all of you, that I can barely hold it in!
My very first adventure to represent your Grand Lodge, was in August to visit the Grand Lodge of Wyoming. My lady and I took the trip to Sheridan and, if you have never been there, I recommend it. It’s a wonderful city to visit. We had a great time, and the Brothers and their Ladies in Wyoming were very accommodating to us.
Also in August was the Midwest Conference of Grand Lodges held in Omaha, Nebraska. That was a fantastic experience. The fact they were able to get us into the Omaha Zoo after-hours to see some of it and to have dinner was amazing!
In September, I was off to the Leadership Conference in Oacoma, which I highly recommend for every South Dakota Mason, whether you are in a leadership role in your Lodge or not. The information was very informative. Please attend this event that is hosted by YOUR Grand Lodge yearly.
October started off district meeting time for District 10 in Armour. Other than getting a bit lost trying to find the lodge (Siri, got me lost) the meeting went well and was well-attended.
In November, District 13 had its meeting in Gettysburg, which was also well-run and well-attended. Great discussion, great food, and great fellowship!
Also in November, I and many others were invited to Pierre to witness the raising of four gentlemen who are blood brothers and I am happy to call each and everyone of them Brothers of mine. Welcome to our great fraternity gents!
In January, I was back in Pierre for the Grand Lodge mid-year meeting, which could have been better attended. I thought the meeting went well and have hopes and dreams for the following Grand Lodge meetings to be attended by more Brothers.
In February, I headed to Louisville, Kentucky, for the Conference of Grand Masters of North America. All I really have to say about it is WOW, that was a great experience! To be in a room filled with Brothers from around the world was amazing. The breakout sessions were extremely helpful and full of information! especially to find out that the Scottish Rite, Shrine and masons are working together as a unified front to help each other with membership problems, the website is called WWW.BEAFREEMASON.ORG. Be sure to check it out! May 8th I was humbled to be involved with the rededication ceremony of Incense lodge in Vermillion, that was another great experience to have and also a huge thank you to the attendees from the Grand Lodge of Iowa for joining our celebration. 150 years is something to be proud of!!
The rest of the year has been shut down due to the world wide outbreak of COVID-19, and the rest of the plans for our Grand Lodge year were cancelled I was looking forward to going to The Grand Lodge of Minnesota and The Grand Lodge of North Dakota since this year it wasn’t on the same dates as our Grand Lodge in Rapid City that was also cancelled, however we have been trying anything we can to still enjoy the fellowship of the Brothers we have in our great state of South Dakota like hosting ZOOM meetings and using Microsoft teams as another tool to stay connected. I need to tell you Brothers that I REALLY miss going to lodge and seeing my Brothers face to face like many of you do also, but in our unfortunate circumstances of this outbreak we are faced with many changes that as you all have noticed are completely out of our hands. At the time I’m writing this, the city of Sioux Falls is considering a “stay at home” ordinance that will cause us to stay home unless running errands for things we REALLY need. Reaching out to your Brothers in this time of need is especially important, if you find you haven’t talked to a Brother in a while give him a call. We all could use some encouraging words from another Brother, especially those Brothers who are unable to get out of their houses.
I think I have rambled enough, so I will part you with this. Be very aware of your actions as a Freemason especially during these very trying times of this virus, online and in public. We, as Freemasons, are to be the example for humanity by being kind and helpful to the world!
Junior Grand Warden
Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of South Dakota