To our Brethren in South Carolina, this updated information is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in our Grand Jurisdiction. Until further notice, IT IS MY CONTINUED ORDER THAT ALL MASONIC LODGE MEETINGS IN SOUTH CAROLINA remain suspended through the entire month of June. This ORDER will remain in effect until it is cancelled or updated.
I have consulted numerous Past Grand Masters, Grand Lodge Officers, Lodge Officers, and Appendant Body Officers and members. The overwhelming majority of the Craft has said: “Grand Master, we all want to go back to our meetings but, for our safety, I think it is still too early.” I thank each one of you for your wise counsel. More than ever it is imperative that our Masonic families remain united. United we stand, divided we fall.
I want to personally extend a “Thank You” to every Masonic organization in South Carolina that continues unwavering compliance to the Grand Master’s decision and Order in this Grand Jurisdiction. I have spoken with every Grand Master in the Southeastern Region. Each has serious challenges, under different rules in each state, but one thing is certain, we all have the interest and wellbeing of the Craft at the heart with every decision.
I am convinced that we have not reached the COVID-19 bell curve or apex of cases or deaths in South Carolina. I hope and pray that the summer heat will cause the virus count to drop off at an accelerated rate. By my estimate, the cases of infection from Memorial Day weekend exposure will not be realized until at least the June 12-19th .
As a reminder, no Lodge Hall is to be used during this time period. I have stopped several Lodge functions that Lodge members organized either through ZOOM Media, phone, or other venues. Brethren, as a reminder, it is a grave Masonic Offense, to conduct any irregular meeting or business during this time.
I am asking the Worshipful Masters and Wardens to consider a plan for a reopening of your lodge in the near future. We are working on guidelines to help, but each Lodge has a different floor plan. What would you need to have in place for your Brethren to meet and observe social distancing? What supplies do you need to decontaminate your Lodge after each meeting? Please start getting some thoughts together for your plan.
If circumstances change, we will communicate through Grandview postings, the official Grand Lodge Facebook page, and the Grand Lodge website. Your Grand Lodge Officers are working hard to secure a future date for our annual communication, and we thank you for your continued patience.
Subordinate Lodges will NOT be penalized for their inability to meet until Grand Lodge has given clearance and all established government mandates in your area are discontinued. We will issue an update by July 1, 2020 or shortly after concerning the status.
We recommend all Brethren follow health and safety guidelines or mandates issued by federal, state, and local governments in your particular area. All Brethren with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis or who have been exposed to someone with a confirmed diagnosis PLEASE SELF-QUARANTINE.
Please stay in touch with local elderly Brethren, any Brother living alone, or any Brother with chronic health issues. Please realize that we do not need a large group of men together to help those in need. Individually we can wear our rings, shirts, and hats while assisting those in need in society.
Lady Laura and I are praying for the health and safety of each of you, our state, nation, and world. Please do all that you can to prevent any further transmission of this virus. Please practice all safety precautions so we can soon live in the social setting we miss so much right now. Pray for our country and all of our leaders. Do good unto all and demonstrate the tenets we are taught within our sacred walls with those outside so they will see, know, and desire to be amongst us.
May God continue to Bless our Craft, the state of South Carolina, and the United States of America.
Respectfully and Fraternally,
Walter C. Disher II – Grand Master