Per regulation 13.000 of the Indiana Blue Book of Masonic Law regarding Lodges under dispensation, the following is the annual report of Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research for 2022-23:
To the Grand Lodge:
The Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research strives to be the premier research body for the Grand Lodge of Indiana. Over the last several years we have strengthened our mission to actively work in tandem with both the Masonic Library & Museum of Indiana and the Grand Lodge Historical Commission as a functioning research arm of those committees. Our combined strengths and abilities complement each other to provide more useful educational and historical resources for Indiana Freemasonry.
As a lodge operating each year under dispensation, we do not confer degrees. Our two stated meetings have traditionally been held after the annual communication in May, and following the close of Founders Day activities in January. Those meetings are usually held on the 5th floor of the Indianapolis Masonic Temple, adjacent to the Library & Museum. However, ever since the COVID pandemic shutdown in 2020, the Grand Lodge has reduced its annual communication business, installation and banquet down to a single full day, which leaves us little or no time to meet. Consequently, our May meeting in 2022 was canceled.
Instead, the lodge hosted an extensive guided tour of the Indianapolis Masonic Temple/Indiana Freemasons Hall in April of 2022. Over 50 people were in attendance for this event. Worshipful Brothers James Dillman and Chris Hodapp provided an excellent tour of the building, where visitors were shown some areas they’d normally never get to see. WB Hodapp then spoke about the history of the building and the two previous Masonic Temples in Indianapolis that have been the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Indiana since 1851, as well as the importance of our Freemason’s Hall to future generations. The feedback from guests was fantastic and they look forward to the lodge of research hosting this event again.
On Monday evening before the annual communication in May, the lodge hosted a dinner and a presentation by the distinguished Brother Roberto Sanchez, Past Master of two Texas lodges, Past District Deputy Grand Master for the Grand Lodge of Texas, Past Grand Master and now Chancellor of the Grand Lodge of the State of Mexico. The event was held in the Equestrian Room of the Murat Shrine Oasis Event Center, and RW Sanchez spoke on the subject of the “Chamber of Reflection,” its history, and its usefulness in preparing a candidate for the solemnity of the degrees of Masonry. The event was extremely well received.
In October 2022 the lodge attended the dedication of the Bartholomew County Masonic Library & Museum in Columbus. Our Worshipful Master, Barry B.L. White, is the president and curator of that new facility, which is the official depository for the archives, artifacts, and memorabilia for the lodges and appendant bodies in that county. We encourage all Indiana Masons to check out their website at www.bartholomewcountyfreemasonry.com and to visit this exciting new resource.
Our Founders Day meeting in January 2023 featured a live demonstration of operative masonry by professional stone carver, Worshipful Brother Tyler Whittaker. As he spoke, he explained the various working tools of his profession, including a Lewis and various hand chisels. He worked as he spoke, and the assembled members and guests watched the stone slowly transform over the course of the presentation into a final, finished carving of a square and compass, which he presented to the newest Mason in attendance as a gift. In February, the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia celebrated the 100th anniversary of its completion, and WB Whittaker provided a specially carved re-dedication stone for that gala event. So we were quite honored for him to spend some time with us.
A planned springtime lodge trip to tour the new Center for Fraternal Collections & Research at Indiana University in Bloomington was postponed. They are in the process of moving the massive collection of WB Ken Moder’s J.H. Rathbone Museum of Fraternal History in Lafayette to its new home at the IU Center. Several of our members are deeply involved in this project, under the direction of Dr. Heather Calloway. We intend to reschedule in the fall.
All Indiana Masons with an interest in the rich history and heritage of our fraternity in this stateare welcomed and encouraged to attend our meetings, contribute to our growing number of written and audio/visual presentations, and join us as full members. Our by-laws also permit any regular, recognized Freemasons from jurisdictions in amity with the Grand Lodge F&AM of Indiana to affiliate with us as non-voting, associate members. Our current annual dues remains $25.
We continue to serve at the will and pleasure of the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue that mission for the benefit of the entire Indiana Masonic community. Please follow us on Facebook and visit our website at http://www.dlslodgeofresearch.com.
Barry B. L. White, PM — Worshipful Master 2022-23
David J. Hosler, PM — Senior Warden
James A. Buckhorn, PM — Junior Warden
Christopher L. Hodapp, PM — Secretary