2022 Annual Communication

The 147th Annual Communication will be held June 16, 17, and 18, 2022, at the Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center, Pierre, SD.


From: MWB Jeffery P. VanCuren, Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota

To: All Masonic Lodges and all Freemasons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota

In light of the events over the past two years, I have noticed a trend that smaller rural lodges have been unable to meet due to COVID-19. This has made it incredibly hard to maintain positive growth in membership and has put some Lodges in jeopardy of permanently closing. Although this is by no means the only solution, I think we need to get creative and look for opportunities to meet together. Remember Psalms 133: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
I therefor encourage Lodges to seek opportunities to hold and conduct joint Lodges, A format that was proven successful was that One Lodge provide the Principle Officers to open the Lodge, conduct any business that needs to be done, call the Lodge to recess, switch Principle Officers to the second Lodge, conduct any business that needs to be done, and then close the Lodge with the second Lodge's Officers.
This format does not need to be limited to two Lodges. However, if business is needed to be done, it will require either the visiting Lodge to have a dispensation from their District Master to change the time and place of their stated meeting. If no business is required, then a Masters may call special meetings at a location convenient to the Lodges.


Life on Molar 1

— Leslie Silverman
The Delta Dental van treated students at the Hill City School District the week of January 10. The cost of the site visit was $2,500, which ensures site partners will have people available for check ups and treatment. Each year the Hill City Masons raise that $2,500 as a means to give back to the community.
The Delta Dental van is more of a truck, stretching 40 feet in length. There are two of them, Molar 1 and Molar 2, that travel around the state serving people up to 21 years of age who either live over 85 miles from a dentist or have not seen one in the last two years.
Each is followed by a “creeper can”, which transports staff. The staff — one full-time dentist, a full-time hygienist, two dental assistants, and a truck coordinator — travel 40 weeks out of the year, staying in hotels from their arrival Monday afternoon until their departure on Friday.
Being on staff isn’t for everyone. Teresa Mastellar has driven Molar 1 for four years. She describes her job as “very rewarding,” while admitting at times it can get “very hectic and crazy.” But she adds, “the pros outweigh the cons and we do our best so that many kids can get healthy smiles.”
It is quite an endeavor to plan the comings and goings of the trucks. Weather may prompt visits to be cut short. Each week, hotels need to be lined up. Vickie Samuleson, logistic coordinator, has mapped out each hotel for 2022. She also creates a rooming list for the staff.
The trucks serve approximately 3,000 children each year and have visited over 86 communities since the program’s inception in 2004. It costs approximately $25,000 a week to operate Molar 1 or Molar 2, yet communities only get billed $2,500 for a visit.
Sometimes retired dentists who want to keep their licences or local partner dentists are brought in for a site visit. Externs and students who need clinical hours may also be involved.
The teams perform treatments from extractions to cleanings, from crowns to sealants. The only thing they don’t do is root canals. And anything they can’t do due to behavior issues or treatment that is beyond the scope of their mobile capability is referred to other dentists.
The staff is on a tight schedule. They arrive at the site Monday afternoon and spend the remainder of the day and Tuesday mornings doing exams. Treatments are set up for the rest of the week. Depending on children’s needs, treatments can be so cumbersome that the van must return to the area.
Molar 1 last visited Hill City in January 2021. Forty-one students were served, and almost half of them had tooth decay. Staff placed 205 sealants in that visit, to prevent further tooth decay. The value of the care provided was nearly $30,000.
First Interstate Bank was originally the local sponsor for Delta Dental, and over the years Hill City Masonic Lodge No. 112 took over, about six years ago.
Masons contribute their own time and money and receive support from local businesses and individuals to bring the dental vans to the community.

Chocolate, Chili Attract Large Crowd

By Leslie Silverman
It was a brisk day for the 10th Annual Polar Bear Chilli Cook Off.
The fundraising event for the Tin City Masonic Lodge No. 112 allows people to sample various chilis and support the community organization.
There were several different themed booths at the Polar Bear Chili Cook Off, all vying for best decorated. Krull’s Market had a road kill scene. They joked their road kill red chili was made with roadkill off the side of the road and put into a chili.
Truthfully, it contained four different meats, including hot Italian sausage, chorizo, smoked sausage and ground beef. They were 2017 and 2018 winners coming back to defend their title.
Carmen and Chad Ronish had a “Welcome to Margaritaville” theme. The couple was tired of the cold and was serving margaritas along with their chili. They had several chilis, including one containing yak. It was described as a very simple recipe with a smooth flavor. Yak makes a somewhat sweet addition to chili and is a lean protein. They were also making sure everybody who came to their booth got leis. Carmen jokes they were “leiing everybody.”
First place booth winner was Kade McVey, while Krull’s Market placed second and Chad Ronish took third. Elizabeth Knapp had the best red chili and Shane Alexander had the best white chili. People’s choice went to Alyssa Wiess.
Jenny Bradford and Kayla Hernandez were sampling the chili for the first time at the Polar Bear Cookoff.
“It’s a nice activity to be outside. There are a lot of great chilis,” said Bradford.
Also on Saturday was the Hill City Tour de Chocolate. The event attracted visitors from around the region. The Museum @ Black Hills Institute was handing out chocolate ice cubes, a throwback candy from a different time.
“My boss liked them as a child and found them online,” said Nadine Adams, who noted the museum traffic was busier than usual for a Saturday.
Lisa Schneider of Belle Fourche came down with her husband and another couple.
“It’s so clean,” she remarked about the town.
The couples had each bought something in town and joked, “we left our money in Hill City.”


GL of Montana Presents Logan James Shedd 70-Year Masonic Pin

On February 8th, 2022, Deadwood Golden Star Lodge #7 Brother Logan James (Jim) Shedd was presented his 70-Year Pin and certificate at a special ceremony at Ashlar Lodge #29 in Billings, Montana, as a courtesy for Deadwood Goden Star Lodge #7 and the Grand Lodge of South Dakota.
Officiating in this special ceremony were MWB Bill Murphy, Grand Master of Masons of Montana; RWB Dave Schantz, Senior Grand Warden, Grand Lodge of Montana; Jason Smith, Senior Grand Deacon, GLM; Darren DeHass, Grand Chaplin, GLM; Dylan Crouse, Grand Organist, GLM; and John Hugdahl, Grand Historian, GLM.
Brother Shedd became a Mason on May 11, 1951, in the Deadwood Masonic Lodge. He and his wife, Marilyn, ran Shedd Jewelers in Deadwood for many years.

Jim Shedd, 70-year Mason; John Hugdahl, Grand Historian, and Bill Murphy Grand Master of Masons of Montana (Photo courtesy of David Allen)

70-Year Mason Jim Shedd and wife Marilyn with family that attended the ceremony in Billings, MT. (Photo courtesy of David Allen)


Welcome to the Web site of the


How to Contact Us




certified civil
Learn About Certified CivilTM.


More News

From the East

It is difficult to express the gratitude and sheer overwhelming sense of responsibility that I now garner from being elected and installed as the 131st Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota..... [Continue reading...]

From the Grand Treasurer-Secretary

Things are starting to get going again across our State. Again, your Grand Lodge office is ready to help if any Lodges need help getting started again. We still need all Lodges to update Member Contact Information. This...  [Continue reading...]

Are you curious about Masonry?

What is Masonry?