Three Generations of Freemasonry

Here is a picture from degree work in Mitchell showing three generations in Masonry. To the right of MWB Denny Robinson is his grandson, Cooper Vermuelen, who received his MM Degree, and his son-in-law, Jon Vermuelen. Cooper recently graduated from Mitchell Sr.High and is now heading to the South Dakota School of Mines for Mechanical Engineering. He was raised at a One-Day Conferral at Resurgam Lodge #31 on August 8, 2020.



Effective July 13, 2020, and until further announcement from the Grand Master the following guidelines will regulate activities of South Dakota Lodges and Freemasons during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic

From: MWB Jason D. Swindler, Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota
To: All Masonic Lodges and all Freemasons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota

Although the State of South Dakota has been slowly getting back to business as usual while under guidelines and recommendations on the CDC, I have up to this point been reluctant to rush in making a decision on the next step of our reopening. The time has come to take the next step. With that being said, we must continue to practice “social” (physical) distancing; wearing masks when having to be closer than 6 feet from another person; and washing hands and using hand sanitizer often. It is everyone’s responsibility to use our best judgement to keep the Brothers and families of Masons protected from the spread of COVID-19 in our Jurisdiction.
The following are the requirements for Lodges that are comfortable with opening and holding a Stated meeting or conducting Degree work. If your Lodge is located in a part of the State where there are increased cases of COVID-19 please use good Masonic common sense and judgment. If you are experiencing symptoms (i.e. fever, cough, shortness of breath, dizziness, etc.) please STAY HOME! Masons in the high-risk category are the sole decision makers whether or not to attend Lodge.


1. Regular Stated Lodge meetings will be allowed:
- Contact your District Master and inform him of intention to hold regular stated meetings. The District Master has the authority to veto a Lodge reopening if, in the District Master’s discretion, he believes the Covid-19 rate within his district, or within the Lodge’s immediate community, is too high to allow a safe reopening.
- A “social” (physical) distance of 6 feet must be maintained.
- Any Brother required to be closer than 6 feet from another Brother is highly encouraged to wear a mask. Lodges are encouraged to provide masks or encourage Members to bring their own
- Hand sanitizer must be available in numerous places in the Lodge building including entrances and exits of the building and of the Lodge room(s)
- All restrooms must contain liquid hand soap

2. Conducting Degree work will be allowed with the following stipulations:
- Contact your District Master and inform him of intention to conduct degree work with his approval under the guidelines set forth in 1., above.
- All Candidates, Conductors (including the SD & JD) must wear masks for protection and use hand sanitizer before and after putting the mask on or taking it off
- Any Brother required to be closer than 6 feet from another Brother or Candidate must follow the same requirements
- Hand sanitizer must be used before and after each Section
- A “social” physical distance of 6 feet must be maintained by ALL others


In my professional duties as a Registered Pharmacist I am constantly monitoring the Covid-19 situation in South Dakota.
As Grand Master I reserve the right to update this edict at any time if the need arises. I understand this is not what we are used to as Masons in South Dakota but it is in our best interest to do whatever it takes to move forward without risking our Brother’s and their family’s safety. In this world of uncertainty, we must stand out as a Fraternity of Leaders both in our Lodges and, maybe more importantly, in our Communities.

Continue to search out Light, be the Light and shine your Light my Brothers. Use the tools we have been given to be the best Masons we can be.

Jason D. Swindler  
Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota  


Brethren, please take note of the following:
Recently there have been a number of scams going around requesting Gift Cards as fundraisers for many charities and other things. The Grand Lodge of South Dakota, Grand Master Jason Swindler, and the South Dakota Masonic Charities will never send a request to members requesting gift cards be purchased and sent in or numbers used as Masonic Fundraisers.
If any of you receive such a request, please call the Grand Lodge office, or the office of any group requesting, to let us/them know and to confirm the request. Do this for all gift card requests. Better to be safe than sorry.
Jason Swindler  
Grand Master of Masons  


The Other Masonry...

Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220 takes a field trip to learn and practice some operative masonry. EA Jeremy won the “Chip-Olympics” and won the Rough/Perfect Ashlar.


Civility: A Continuing Masonic Community Conversation

On Saturday, September 26, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. (Pacifiic Time) there will be a discussion with an exploration of the difference between racism and prejudice and bigotry. We will then hold smaller group discussions where participants will have the opportunity to share their perspectives and needs. To register:
To see a flyer with more information on this event, click:


Brothers one and all,
We have an amazing Public Awareness Committee (PAC) this year, built from Brothers across the state who are energized and ready to start taking on some challenges. We are looking at some interesting projects to get the message out that we are proud to be Masons and we want our communities to know that too.
There will be more to come on our efforts, but this will give you a little flavor of what we are working on:
- “Proud to be a Mason” program
- Grand Lodge website redesign
- Gathering, preserving, and sharing our current and past Masonic history and inspirations
- Furthering the interests of Masonic Civility within the state
- Begin building a statewide Masonic directory
Are we going to fail at some things? Absolutely! Will we learn from that and find a better or different approach? Absolutely! We are also looking for input from the body of the Craft. If there are things you feel the PAC can tackle, we are very open to hearing them and getting them into a plan for the future.
Please keep checking the Grand Lodge website for the list of members of the committee and their contact information. Feel free to reach out to any or all of us with your ideas, thoughts and Brotherly advice.
For now, we leave you with this from Simon Sinek, “The goal is not simply for you to cross the finish line, but to see how many people you can inspire to run with you.” We sincerely hope you will be inspired to run with the PAC!
Brian Pulling, PAC Chair  


Olive Branch #47 Installs Officers

The installation of Officers took place at Olive Branch #47 in Sturgis on August 30. Participants included members of the Grand Lodge, Demolay, Rebecca’s Daughters, Spearfish Lodge #18, and Olive Branch #47. Attendees were from both South Dakota and Wyoming.


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


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More News

Read the latest South Dakota Masonic Messenger.

From the East

I would like to take a few moments to share some thoughts with all of you. I am truly honored to be serving as Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota for the ensuing year. I appreciate all the kind words of support and offers to help with projects when needed. I want to thank my.... [Continue reading...]

From the Deputy Grand Master

Brethren, “I am so humbled by my election to the position of Deputy Grand Master/Grand Master Elect” is a response all good Lodge Officers have been taught to say whenever they get elected to a new position...  [Continue reading...]


From the West

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From the South

As I sit here in the last leg of my trip to the Conference of Grand Masters of North America, I can’t help but think, how many other brothers are on this plane with me? The first one I noticed just happened to be sitting...  [Continue reading...]

From the Grand Treasurer-Secretary

Well, things have been interesting, to say the least, at the Grand Lodge Office. This Covid-19 pandemic has made it necessary to change how our Grand Lodge Office does business. We had to get things set up quickly so Gwen could do most of her work from home...  [Continue reading...]

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