For untiring contributions, Very Worshipful Brother ”Dutch” Meier of Walla Walla received Washington Freemason of the Year honors at the group’s annual convention held online on June 13.
Grand Master Charles Wood bestowed the award for the group’s business year June 2019-June 2020.
“Brother Dutch has worked tirelessly for this organization, traveling from one end of the state to the other to help our 10,000 members in the community service and charitable works we do,” Charles said.
“My theme this year was ‘one Masonic family, working united’ and Dutch was key to making that happen by being central to all the things we’ve done. When the pandemic struck and most things shut down, Meier worked from home and made the very best of a challenging and demanding situation. He embodies all the best that Freemasonry can ask of its members.”
Dutch is a master mason and past master of Blue Mountain Lodge 13 in Walla Walla. He has served two terms as deputy of the grand master for Southeast Washington. He is also a member of Kennewick Lodge 153 where he serves on the advisory council for the DeMolay Mid-Columbia Chapter.
He serves on two key Grand Lodge committees and is the public relations chairman for the statewide organization. Dutch volunteers countless hours to various charitable and philanthropic activities in the area, according to a release.
He is a knight commander in the Court of Honor in the Masonic Scottish Rite Valley of Walla Walla where he serves as secretary and chairs the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps committee and is a member of El Katif Temple of the Shrine in Spokane.
His involvement in the Masonic organization goes back to his youth. As a teen, he was past master councilor of the Itasca Chapter International Order of DeMolay in Grand Rapids, Minn.
A 1972 graduate of Grand Rapids High School, Dutch retired from the military after 23 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve and is a retired federal civil servant. He and wife Judy have three children and are expecting their fourth grandchild just before Christmas.
A supporter of programs for youth in the community, he volunteers with the JROTC program at Walla Walla High School. In keeping with a tradition begun in his family in Minnesota, he is a certified volunteer hunter education instructor with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.
“A master mason in my family’s hometown helped me find a path when I was a teenager and I’ve tried to honor and live up to his example. Freemasonry has been a beacon of service and virtue for more than 300 years,” Dutch said.
“Faith, hope and charity are the cardinal tenets of our fraternity and the hallmarks of all values-based organizations, like this of ours. It was a tremendous honor to receive this award but it best reflects not mine but the heartfelt efforts of so many masons in all their lodges everywhere.”