Handbook for Lodge Secretaries

This is intended mainly for Brethren who have been elected and installed as Secretary of their Lodges and who are immediately confronted with the unfamiliar procedures of administering the Lodge.

It is not intended to substitute for, but rather to be complementary to, the book of Laws and Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Ireland which incorporates fully all that a Lodge Secretary should know. If in a Masonic Province, he should also be familiar with the By-Laws of his Provincial Grand Lodge. It is hoped that it will guide his path and ease his progress until his own experience may encompass the many facets of his duties.

A Brother should be quite satisfied that he has the time to give the Office of Secretary proper attention before he permits himself to be elected and invested, for the success of the Lodge depends to a large extent on him.

He should read the Grand Lodge Laws which have a direct bearing on the Office. These are Grand Lodge Laws Nos. 118, 123, 148, 158, and see also pages 80 and 119 of the 1993 edition of Grand Lodge Laws and Constitutions.

CHARGE TO THE SECRETARY

"Brother, you have been elected Secretary to this Lodge; it is your province to record the Minutes, to apprise the members of our Communications, to carry on the correspondence of the Lodge, and to make the due returns of Officers and members to the Grand Lodge. Your zeal for Freemasonry, and your attachment to this Lodge will, I am confident, induce you to discharge the duties of your Office with fidelity, as by so doing you will continue to merit the esteem and approbation of your Brethren!"

Lodge secretaries are reminded that in accordance with Grand Lodge Law No. 140, every Brother on his admission as a member must be provided with a current copy of Grand Lodge Laws and Constitutions, a current copy of the Calendar and Directory together with a copy of the By-Laws of the Lodge.

WHERE TO FIND THE RULES

The table of contents of the Laws and Constitutions of Grand Lodge is found on page 1 (unmarked) at the start of the book.

The most important and frequently used sections at Lodge level are:

Laws & Regulations for Subordinate Lodges - pages 33-50

Fees, Fines and Official Forms

including a specimen of a Minute Book - pages 60-65

Resolutions of Grand Lodge and Decisions of

the Grand Lodge Board of General Purposes - pages 67-88

Forms and Ceremonies, including Prayers

and Charges - pages 114-130

LODGE RECORDS

The Lodge will have an Attendance Book, a Minute Book and a Register of Officers and Members and it is the Secretary's duty to keep them written up to date. The Lodge should also have a Book of Application Forms and a Book of Clearance Certificates. All these items are obtainable from the Grand Secretary's Office or in some cases from Provincial Grand Lodge Offices.

Completed Minute Books, Registers, etc., which contain the history of the Lodge are valuable items and should be carefully stored and preserved for posterity. If safe and properly controlled storage facilities are unavailable, Minute Books may be deposited with Grand Lodge for safe-keeping. A newly installed Secretary should ensure that his predecessor passes on to him details of the existing records of the Lodge and their whereabouts; along with all the belongings of the Lodge duly itemised on a check-list.

AGENDA

The Agenda for each Communication should be prepared after consultation with the Worshipful Master and the Notices sent to each Member in good time, unless the Lodge is operating the Annual Card system as set out in Decision No. 49 of the Grand Lodge Board (see p. 87).

All business to be transacted at an Emergency Communication must appear on the Notice convening the Meeting as "no other business shall be entered on that Communication." (See G.L. Law No. 115).

CANDIDATES (For Initiation and Affiliation)

See Decisions of the Board of General Purposes (page 72) for full list of Decisions affecting Candidates.

On the Agenda, for Ballot, the following details of Candidates must appear: name in full, address, profession or occupation and the names of proposer and seconder. Please see Grand Lodge Law No. 128.

If it is considered necessary a Candidate may be balloted for with an interval of seven days between proposal and ballot but one of the Meetings must be a Stated Communication. Please see Grand Lodge Law No. 128.

Notes

Grand Lodge Laws 131, 132 and 133 refer to Candidates for initiation only.

Grand Lodge Laws Nos. 127 to 142 inclusive:

(a) Honorary Members 128

(b) Candidate rejected 130

(c) Minimum age 135

(d) Dispensation required 136

(e) Minimum fees 139 (must be paid in full before initiation, page 75 - Grand Lodge Board Decision No. 8)

(f) Declaration 140 (see also p. 65 for Form).

(g) Regulations on conferring of degrees 141

3. Proposal of Candidates, etc., 80, 81, 82 and 128 (Metropolitan Area 79 also).

Upon occasion it might be felt necessary to call an Emergency Communication for the purpose of conferring Degrees and in such circumstances care should be taken to see that an interval of at least three months intervenes between each Degree unless a Candidate comes under the scope of Grand Lodge Law No. 141 paras. (111), (IV), (V).

When a Brother has been Raised, or has been received as an Affiliate, the Grand Secretary's office should be notified immediately, on the requisite form. See Grand Lodge Law No. 153, but please note that only Affiliates from other Constitutions are entitled to Affiliation Certificates, and must sign a Declaration Form (see G.L. Law No. 140).

 

Copies of the current Grand Lodge Laws and Constitutions, the By-Laws of the Lodge and the current edition of the Irish Freemasons' Calendar and Directory must be presented to a Brother after he has been Initiated and has signed the Declaration contained in the Register of Members of the Lodge. Please see Grand Lodge Law No. 140.

If a Candidate for Initiation has not the necessary residential qualifications and comes from territory under the jurisdiction of another Grand Lodge, the Lodge Secretary should write to the Grand Secretary in Dublin setting out full particulars and in addition giving the names and addresses of three referees, preferably Members of the Order, from whom enquiries may be sought. The Grand Secretary will then write to the Grand Lodge concerned. Subordinate Lodges must not communicate direct to a Foreign Grand Lodge, or a Subordinate Lodge not under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, regarding a Candidate for Initiation, or on any other precept. Please see Decisions 5(a) and 22 of the Grand Lodge Board.

Please see Grand Lodge Law No. 127 for reference to the procedure which should be adopted in the case of a Brother for Affiliation. Also see Grand Lodge Law No. 151.

CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE OR DEMIT

If a Brother wishes to resign membership of his Lodge he may do so upon discharging all his liabilities to the Lodge and he may then be furnished with a Clearance Certificate (Demit) duly signed by the Master, Wardens and Secretary and having the Lodge Seal affixed thereto. (It is not necessary to have a Clearance Certificate signed by the Grand Secretary. Please see Grand Lodge Law No. 155.)

 

This Clearance Certificate is used when a Brother resigns from his Lodge and it is needed when affiliating elsewhere, either immediately or at some later date, to a Lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, or to a Lodge under another jurisdiction in amity with the Grand Lodge of Ireland. See page 64 for form of same.

Lodge Secretaries should have a book of Clearance Certificates in their possession which is available, on request, from the Grand Secretary's office or some Provincial Grand Lodge Offices.

A Brother who has been struck off the roll of the Lodge for non-payment of dues, and who subsequently pays the arrears, thereby restores himself to Good Masonic Standing and must be provided with a Clearance Certificate if he does not apply to become a rejoining member. The Lodge is not obliged to provide a recommendation of him as a joining Brother of any other Lodge.

GRAND LODGE CERTIFICATE

Every Master Mason is entitled to this which must he applied for, on the form available from the Grand Secretary's office, as soon as he has been raised to the Third Degree. (Grand Lodge Laws Nos. 153 and 154).

Where practicable the Certificate must be presented and signed in open Lodge immediately prior to, or subsequent to, the presentation.

PAST MASTER'S CERTIFICATE

This certificate will be sent to the Lodge Secretary automatically and need not be applied for, except overseas. The same rules apply as for presentation of a Grand Lodge Certificate.

DUPLICATE CERTIFICATES

If a Brother has lost or inadvertently destroyed his Grand Lodge Certificate and/or his Past Master's Certificate, he may make application, via the Secretary of his Lodge, to the Grand Lodge Board to be furnished with a replacement, however the Lodge Secretary should be satisfied that the loss or destruction is genuine. No Brother should have more than one Grand Lodge or Past Master's Certificate at any one time unless he has served the Office of Worshipful Master in more than one Lodge. If a certificate becomes damaged it may be replaced on surrender of the original. Lodge Secretaries should forward requests from Brethren, for duplicate certificates, to the Grand Secretary's office for submission to the Grand Lodge Board. In most circumstances there is a standard charge applicable which is payable by the Brother concerned, through his Lodge. (See Grand Lodge Law No. 152).

EXCLUSION OF AN OBJECTIONABLE BROTHER

Any Brother, whose continued membership may be considered objectionable or injurious to the Lodge, may be excluded from the Lodge under the provisions of Grand Lodge Law No. 159. This does not affect a Brother's right to seek affiliation with any other Lodge, or his Good Masonic Standing.

BROTHER STRUCK OFF ROLL FOR NON-PAYMENT OF DUES

See Grand Lodge Law No. 156 for the procedures. The Grand Secretary's office must he notified on the appropriate form.

Payment of the outstanding amount, for which the Brother was struck off, restores him to "good masonic standing," but not membership of the Lodge unless proposed, seconded and balloted for as a rejoining member in the same manner as for an Affiliate. (Decision No. 4 of the Grand Lodge Board on Lapsed Membership, page 74).

When a Brother pays the amount of his dues, for non-payment of which he was Struck Off the Roll of Members of his Lodge, the Grand Secretary should he notified immediately so that the Brother's name may be restored to good masonic standing in the records of Grand Lodge. If he does not wish to rejoin the Lodge, or is unsuccessful in the ballot, a Clearance Certificate should be issued.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND THE ANNUAL RETURN

The Officers of a Lodge must be elected before the 31st October annually and the Return of same sent to the Grand Secretary's office immediately, for submission to Grand Lodge - Grand Lodge Law No.119. For overseas Lodges please see Grand Lodge Law No. 120.

The Annual Return should give all particulars requested of the Brethren elected to Office; and full details of affiliations and ALL Degrees conferred by the Lodge since the completion of the previous Return. This includes Brethren who have been Initiated and Passed, as well as those Raised as Master Masons.

The Annual Return should also give exact dates of any deaths, resignations, or Members struck off the roll for non-payment of dues.

Honorary Members should not be included in the number of Subscribing Members on the Return Form, but particulars of Brethren who have been elected to Honorary Membership should be given on the Return Form. (See Grand Lodge Law No. 128, and Decision No. 43 of the Grand Lodge Board, page 85).

Lodges should be aware that granting Honorary Membership to a deserving member of the Lodge Prevents him from holding Office in the Lodge, from voting for candidates, etc. and may also render him ineligible for membership of a Royal Arch Chapter and other branches of the Order unless he is a full subscribing member in another Lodge.

Secretaries should not assume that because an Annual Return Form has been completed and posted that it has arrived at its destination. Unless a Secretary receives Leave to Install the Officers of the Lodge he should contact the Grand Secretary's office and his Provincial Grand Secretary, where appropriate, to enquire why receipt of same has been delayed. In no circumstances should the incoming Officers of a Lodge be installed prior to receipt of approval of Grand Lodge (Leave to Install) from the Grand Secretary. (See Grand Lodge Law No. 119).

INSTALLATION OF AN ACTUAL OR PAST MASTER AS WORSHIPFUL MASTER OF THE LODGE

At the Stated Communication of Grand Lodge held on December 2nd 1965, the following ruling of the Grand Lodge of Instruction was confirmed:

"When the Worshipful Master Elect of a Lodge is an Actual or Past Master he shall be installed in accordance with ancient usage after all Brethren who have not passed the Chair have retired. "

For the information and guidance of an Installing Officer, in giving effect to this ruling, the following points should be observed:

1. A Past Master must not be obligated again.

2. He must be installed in the Chair in accordance with the custom and practice of the Irish Constitution.

3. The amount of instruction to be communicated is to be left to the discretion of the outgoing Worshipful Master.

RETURN OF A WARRANT TO GRAND LODGE

In the unlikely and unfortunate situation that a Lodge fails, the Warrant must be returned to Grand Lodge following notice of motion, to this effect, in the usual manner. Notice to be handed in at one Communication of the Lodge (either Stated or Emergency) and the Motion printed in the Summons for the next Communication.

If the Motion is approved the Secretary, in conjunction with the Treasurer, should ensure that before the due date all Brethren are fully paid up as to Dues so that they may be issued with Clearance Certificates (see previous). If the Brethren are not affiliating en bloc to another Lodge each may then seek to join a Lodge of his individual choice, using his Clearance Certificate as proof of eligibility so to do.

The Secretary should submit a list of all Brethren as at the date of surrender of the Warrant indicating, in each case, if a Clearance Certificate has been issued; and, where this could not been done, with an account of the arrears of Dues owing by those Brethren not fully paid up.

Arrangements as to Lodge funds, regalia, records, property of any kind, etc. should be made with the Grand Secretary or the Provincial Grand Secretary if in a Masonic Province.

REGALIA

(a) Jewels of Office

See pages 150 and 151 of Grand Lodge Laws & Constitutions (1993 edition).

Officers' jewels in subordinate Lodges must be silver - the only exception is in the Grand Master's Lodge.

(b) Collars and Aprons

For collars of Officers of Subordinate Lodges see page 145. For aprons see pages 143 and 144.

N.B. It is not permitted for Past Masters to wear aprons with silver fringing. Such practice is in contravention of Grand Lodge Laws - see regulations for aprons of W. Masters and Past Masters.

(c) Past Masters' Jewels

These must be of silver - the only exception is for Past Acting Masters of the Grand Master's Lodge who may wear jewels of gold.

WEARING OF JEWELS

The following decision of the Grand Lodge Board of General Purposes was confirmed by Grand Lodge:

Grand Lodge Law No. 11 applies to Meetings for refreshment as well as for labour.

Please see also Grand Lodge Board Decision No. 35 re the wearing of jewels etc. when non-Masons are present.

LODGE OF RESEARCH NO. 200

The Lodge was founded and exists for the association of Installed Masters who are subscribing members of Lodges under the Irish Constitution, to encourage research into the History, Antiquities, Symbols and Ceremonies of the Order, by means of papers on such subjects and also by discussion.

For full details refer to the section in the Annual Calendar and Directory, on page 53 of the 1994 edition.

GENERAL

Secretaries of Lodges must not correspond with, nor reply to communications from Lodges other than those holding warrants from the Grand Lodge of Ireland.

Information as to the Masonic Standing of a Brother is not to be given to any Lodge other than one holding a Warrant from the Grand Lodge of Ireland. A Brother of the Irish Constitution desiring information as to the Masonic Standing of a Brother of another Lodge may only take steps to obtain such information through the Secretary of his own Lodge.

In the event of a Lodge, or a member of a Lodge, of the Irish Constitution receiving a communication from a Lodge that derives its Warrant from a Grand Lodge that is in amity with the Grand Lodge of Ireland the communication may only be acknowledged. It must be sent for reply to the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ireland who will deal with it through the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge concerned.

In the event of a Lodge under the Irish Constitution, or a member of one, receiving a letter from a Grand Lodge (Subordinate Lodge or member of the same), which is not in amity with the Grand Lodge of Ireland, or from any other body purporting to be Masonic or with Masonic connections, or which is held by the Grand Lodge of Ireland to be an irregular body, no reply of any kind may be sent, nor may any notice verbal or otherwise be taken of it. In the event of such a communication being received, it is requested that either it, or a copy of it, be sent immediately to the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ireland for filing.

The Grand Lodges that are in amity with the Grand Lodge of Ireland are all published in the Annual Calendar and Directory, a copy of which is handed to each new member (Grand Lodge Law 140), but if any Secretary of a Lodge has any doubt whatever, he must communicate with the Grand Secretary before taking any action.

Nowadays with overseas travel available to many, great care must be exercised to ensure that no Irregular Bodies, purporting to be Masonic, are inadvertently visited. To help prevent such an occurrence each Lodge and/or widely-travelling Brother should have a copy of the Masonic World Guide, available through the Grand Secretary's office.

As no woman may be a member of the Order (see General Head III, of "The Charges of a Freemason" published by Brother John Pennell, Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ireland in 1730 and printed in the Grand Lodge Laws page 93), Brethren are strictly forbidden to join by initiation, affiliation or any other way, any body of so-called Women Freemasons; nor may a Brother attend any meeting either for labour or refreshment of one of these irregular bodies.

There are many of these bodies of so called Women Freemasons. the best known are the Order of the Eastern Star and Co-Masons and the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons. The Grand Secretary will always be prepared to give such information as he may have on the subject.

The Grand Lodge Law concerning this matter is No. 32 and the penalties for a Breach of this Law are detailed therein.

In public places, Masonic Clothing may not be worn nor Masonic Toasts given, except by dispensation. (See Grand Lodge Law No. 34). On Masonic premises, see Direction No. 35 of the Grand Lodge Board.

 

BRETHREN ENTITLED TO REPLY TO THE TOAST OF :-

THE M.W GRAND MASTER, R.W DEPUTY GRAND MASTER,

R. W ASSISTANT GRAND MASTER AND GRAND OFFICERS OF THE

GRAND LODGE OF IRELAND

The Grand Lodge Board of General Purposes directed that the following circular which was sent out on 23rd February, 1949, still applies:

"Representatives of Foreign Grand Lodges are not Officers of the Grand Lodge of Ireland and therefore should not respond to the Toast."

Elected Members of the Grand Lodge of Instruction are precluded from assuming Grand Lodge rank according to Grand Lodge Laws and Constitutions. Grand Officers are defined as Grand Master down to Grand Inner Guard, all of whom are elected annually (with the exception of the Deputy Grand Master, the Assistant Grand Master and Grand Master's Standard Bearer). These Officers are proclaimed and saluted on St. John's Day along with the Deputy Grand Master, the Assistant Grand Master, Provincial Grand Masters and Grand Inspectors Overseas. The Grand Lodge of Instruction consists of the M.W. Grand Master, R.W. Deputy Grand Master, R.W. Assistant Grand Master, R.W. Grand Wardens, R.W. Grand Treasurer, R.W. Grand Registrar, R.W. Grand Secretary, the V.W. Grand Director of Ceremonies, the V.W. Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies and the V.W. Assistant Grand Secretary together with such other Past Masters as have been or shall hereafter be elected. The V.W. Grand Secretary of Instruction and the V.W. Assistant Grand Secretary for Instruction shall during their term of Office rank as Grand Officers and if they hold such Office for a continuous period of three years shall, on retirement, rank as Past Grand Officers. (Grand Lodge of Instruction Rules, 1-15).

Therefore, in the absence of an Actual or Past Grand Officer, or holder of Honorary Grand Rank, the Toast of the M.W. The Grand Master, the R.W. Deputy Grand Master, the R.W. Assistant Grand Master and Officers of the Grand Lodge of Ireland should be honoured by all present, and no response given.

It is not permissible to couple with or add to this Toast in any way, including such additions as other Grand Lodges with which the Grand Lodge is in Amity"

 

PAMPHLETS

The following pamphlets may be obtained free of charge from the Grand Secretary's office:

(a) Pamphlet for Candidates

(b) Pamphlet for Master Masons

(c) What is the Royal Arch?

(d) Information on Masonic Charities

Freemasonry in Ireland

Freemason's Hall

Programme for Change - the Way Forward

The Library and Archives of the Grand Lodge of Ireland

 

GRAND LODGE FABRIC LOAN AND GRANT FUND

(THE FABRIC FUND)

This Fund is designed to be of help to Lodges where grants and loans may be required for the maintenance, extension, refurbishing, etc., of Masonic Halls and properties.

The principles on which funds may be available are as follows:

a) A Grant of not more than 20 % of the total cost.

b) A Loan in addition to, or instead of, the grant, but with any such grant amounting to not more than 2/3rds of the total cost. Such loans to be repaid at half the Dublin Bank Rate and falling due for payment, with interest, on December 1st and June 1st each year. The term of such loans to be at the discretion of the Finance Committee and any and all grants and loans depending on evidence of a levy on members, or some other method of raising finance for the repayment of loans, being in operation. All grants, loans, etc., are in Irish Pounds (punts).

The Finance Committee requires the fullest possible documentation in support of a request for financial help from the Fund. This includes an architect's/surveyor's report, the tender that it is proposed to accept, the Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works report (if possible) and the Provincial Grand Master's recommendation. It is most important that the arrangements for the repayment of any loan are indicated to the Finance Committee, as indicated in (b) above.

Please note that in some Provinces there are Provincial Grand Lodge By-Laws relating to improvements and renovations of Masonic Premises. It is important that these be complied with fully in making any application to the Fund.

 

GRAND LODGE PUBLICATIONS

1. Freemason's Calendar and Directory.

2. Grand Lodge Laws, pocket edition.

3. Grand Lodge Laws, large edition.

4. Lodge Minute Book.

5. Lodge Register of Officers and Members.

6. Lodge Attendance Book.

7. Book of Clearance Certificates.

8. Book of Application Forms, Affiliation Forms, Struck-off Forms.

9. Declaration Forms for Brethren affiliating from other recognised Constitutions.

10. Philip Crossle's List of Lodges (Irish Masonic Records).

11. Some Interesting Dates in Irish Freemasonry (compiled by V.W. Brother Harpur Moffet).

12. Masonic Pocket Diary.

13. The Annual Report.

14. Report of the Grand Master's Committee on Charity.

15. "The Christian and the Craft" by Bro. W. W. Porter D.D.

N.B. Items 1 and 2 above, along with a copy of the Lodge By-Laws must be presented to each candidate on his admission as a member. (Grand Lodge Law No. 140).

 

ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS OF LODGES OF OTHER CONSTITUTIONS

From time to time members of the Craft may become involved, through ignorance, with Masonic bodies which are not recognised as regular by the Grand Lodge of Ireland.

The best method of avoiding this danger is for Lodges to impress upon their members that they should not make any Masonic contacts overseas with members of Lodges under other Grand Lodges without having ascertained from Grand Secretary's office that regular Freemasonry exists in the country concerned. It is particularly desirable that the new Master Mason, when being presented with his Grand Lodge certificate, should be warned of the dangers of visiting irregular Masonic Bodies abroad.

It is also to be remembered that the lists of recognised Grand Lodges differ considerably as between one Grand Lodge and another. Thus it is always possible that when a visit is made to a Lodge under another Constitution there may be present, quite regularly so far as it is concerned, members of Lodges under a Grand Lodge not recognised by the Grand Lodge of Ireland. Such a situation calls for tact and diplomacy in withdrawing without giving offence, particularly if the visit has been arranged on a formal basis. It must always be remembered that it is part of the duty of all Freemasons not to associate masonically with members of Lodges or Grand Lodges which are not recognised by the Grand Lodge of Ireland.

If a visit to a Lodge under another Grand Lodge is contemplated, particularly if the Lodge be in Europe or South or Central America, it is desirable that full information be first obtained from Grand Secretary and that the Lodge concerned is fully alive to the situation outlined in the foregoing paragraph.

 

COMMUNICATION WITH OTHER CONSTITUTIONS

Brethren, and particularly Lodge Secretaries, should also be aware of the Masonic convention that communications between Grand Lodges be conducted by Grand Secretaries. They should therefore not attempt, without permission, to make contact with the Grand Secretary, or Secretaries of subordinate Lodges, of any other Constitution, including those of the United Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

 

VISITS TO IRISH LODGES BY MEMBERS OF OTHER CONSTITUTIONS

The only Grand Lodges recognised by the Grand Lodge of Ireland are those shown in the Calendar & Directory. Only Brethren of Lodges of the Jurisdictions shown therein may visit Irish Lodges. Each visitor must produce his Grand Lodge Certificate or other. appropriate documentary evidence of Masonic identity, should be prepared to acknowledge that a personal belief in TGAOTU is an essential Landmark of Freemasonry, and should be able to produce evidence of his good standing in his Lodge. It is the Master's responsibility to ensure that the requirements of Grand Lodge Law No. 143 are met in this connection; and he should also note the provisions of Grand Lodge Laws Nos. 144 and 145.

 

CRAFT PROPERTIES LIMITED - (A Corporate Trustee for Lodges)

Craft Properties Limited has been formed to provide the services of a corporate trustee to Masonic Lodges throughout Ireland (whether North or South) and is available for such use by any Lodge, owning premises, which desires to avail of its services.

It is a private company limited by shares and was incorporated in Dublin on 12 March, 1990 under registered number 156217. Its present nominal capital is 100. The members and directors of the Company will be responsible to Grand Lodge and under its control.

In many cases in the past, Lodges which have appointed Lodge members as trustees have failed to keep their titles up to date on the deaths of trustees and, where all of the trustees are deceased, there can be difficulty and expense in finding executors or administrators and generally bringing the titles up to date. Deeds also tend to become missing.

The advantage of having a corporate trustee is that it is always available and can, if desired, keep the deeds in its custody and, even if appointed trustee along with individual trustees, can carry on as trustee though the others die.

The Company does not contemplate management of monies.

To accept appointment as trustee of Lodge premises the Company requires:

  1. The existing title deeds.

  2. To examine and report on what steps (if any) are needed to bring the title up to date.

  3. The Bye-laws of the Lodge (which may need amendment to provide for a corporate trustee).

  4. Particulars of current insurances.

  5. Consideration of any leasehold or other convenants which may affect the premises and the manner in which they may be provided for.

  6. Particulars of any Lodge members (if any) who will continue as or become co-trustees with the Company..

  7. Arrangements to be made to pay annual outgoings.

  8. Any expense involved in the appointment of Craft Properties Limited (which will vary in individual cases) will be paid by the Lodge concerned.

Applications to transfer title of Lodge premises to Craft Properties Limited as trustee, should be made in the first instance to the Grand Secretary, 17 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

 

THE TEN YEAR RULE

Ten Year Rule - Resolution of Grand Lodge - March 1989.

"It is hereby resolved that, as and from January Ist, 1991, unless in exceptional circumstances and then subject to dispensation only by the Grand Master, or the Deputy Grand Master, or the Assistant Grand Master, (or by the Provincial Grand Master within a Province) no Masonic Office or Appointment shall be held or be extended beyond a period of ten years from date of Installation or Appointment.

A Brother shall not be eligible to serve a second term in an Office or Appointment that he has already held for a period of ten years, even after an interval of time shall have elapsed. This Resolution shall not however encompass the paid Officers of the Grand Lodge, or of a Provincial Grand Lodge, whose terms and conditions of employment shall remain as heretofore; nor shall it apply to Actual or Honorary Past Grand Officers or Past Provincial Grand Officers, or Elected Members of The Grand Lodge of Instruction."

 

Grand Lodge Board Decision Clarifying the Above Rule - June, 1991.

"On completion of a total of ten years in Office as Secretary or Treasurer; or ten years, part as Secretary and the remainder as Treasurer, or vice versa, a Brother shall not be re-elected to either Office, or as Assistant Secretary or Assistant Treasurer, except by dispensation, as set out in the Rule. A Brother who has completed ten years in Office, as above, shall not subsequently be eligible for election as Director of Ceremonies, though he may be eligible for election to the other non-rotational Offices, such as Steward of Charities, Almoner or Chaplain. This decision to apply equally to Provincial Grand Lodge Offices as to subordinate Lodge Offices."

Secretaries are asked to ensure that the provisions of the Ten Year Rule are complied with fully, in letter and spirit.

 

REMINDERS FROM THE GRAND LODGE OF INSTRUCTION

(a) Salutes to Officers on Installation

Worshipful Master 9

Senior Warden 7

Junior Warden 5

Treasurer, Secretary and

Director of Ceremonies 9

All other Lodge Officers 3x3

N.B. It is the Office itself and not the holder that is being saluted; thus for example, a Past Master if being installed as Inner Guard is saluted with 3x3.

(b) Brethren entitled to a salute of 11

The M.W. Grand Master

The R.W. Deputy Grand Master

The R.W. Assistant Grand Master

R.W. and V.W. Grand Officers; Present, Past and Honorary.

R.W., VW. and W. Provincial Grand Officers; Present, Past and Honorary.

V.W. Members of the Grand Lodge of Instruction

W. Brethren holding Overseas District Grand Rank.

(c) Any Lodge demonstrating outside its Constitution must have permission from its own Grand Secretary and the Grand Secretary of the Constitution which it is visiting.

(d) Lodges within Ireland demonstrating outside the Irish Constitution must be accompanied by the Grand Secretary for Instruction or his Assistant or two Elected Members of the Grand Lodge of Instruction, at the Lodges' expense.

(e) In the ceremony of the Installation of a Worshipful Master, the Installing Officer must complete the entire ceremony as indicated in the Laws and Constitutions. It is not permissible for the Installing Officer to call on any other Brother to invest the new Master with the Collar and Jewel or to call the salute at the end of the ceremony. However if the outgoing Master is present and not acting as the Installing Officer, he must carry the Warrant in the procession and, at the appropriate time, hand it directly to his successor.

PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE

It must be stressed that, in view of the current climate with regard to litigation, it is important that Lodges arrange adequate indemnity in relation to outside events, for example

Fund-raising for Charities Golf outings Cricket matches Barbeques Cheese and Wine events Auctions etc.

Where outside events are arranged, it is essential for individual Lodges to contact their Insurance Brokers in advance so that advice may be given on the necessary action to be taken to cover any possible liability.

 

DONATIONS TO NON-MASONIC CHARITIES

Brethren are reminded of the following Resolution of Grand Lodge re Lodge Funds

In the opinion of Grand Lodge, it is not in accordance with the spirit of Freemasonry that any portion of the funds of a Subordinate Lodge should be used for the purpose of making presentations to individual members of such Lodge, unless such presentations take the form of Masonic Jewels or Insignia, or presentation of Life Governorships in one of the Masonic Charities; and any violation of this resolution may be dealt with under Grand Lodge Law 37.

and also of Decision No. 27 of the Grand Lodge Board of General Purposes:

The Board was asked if the funds of a Lodge might be used for a purpose which was not Masonic. They ruled that the funds of a Lodge were collected solely from Masonic sources for Masonic purposes only, and should not be used for any other purpose whatever unless by special permission of the Grand Master or the Deputy Grand Master.

Where a Lodge may wish to make a donation to a non-masonic Charity, it must be from funds specially collected for that purpose and, where appropriate, permission must firstly be obtained from the Deputy Grand Master, the Assistant Grand Master, the Provincial Grand Master or the Grand Inspector. Lodges not under the control of a Province or Inspectorate Area should approach the Deputy or Assistant Grand Master, to whom this duty has been delegated by the Deputy Grand Master.

 

CONFERRAL OF HONORARY MEMBERSHIP

Grand Lodge Law No. 128 covers the election of Honorary Members and their status thereafter in a Lodge No fees are payable in respect of Honorary Members so they do not pay Lodge dues.

However, what is very often over-looked when electing a Brother to Honorary membership, is the fact that, unless he is a member of another Lodge or Lodges where he is a fee-paying member, his Honorary Membership may very well render him ineligible to be a member of any other Branch of the Order, because it is a clear and strict requirement, on joining any Branch, that a Brother is a full-subscribing member of previously-joined Branches of the Order. It has recently happened, in at least two cases, that Brethren have been rendered ineligible for membership of the Higher Degrees, the Rose Croix, the Order of the Temple and the Royal Arch because their Lodges had conferred Honorary membership on them.

 

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

On personal request, and only in cases of exigency, a Lodge may grant Leave of Absence to a Brother, which must be renewed, or otherwise, on an annual basis. No fees are payable in respect of Brethren on Leave of Absence so they do not pay Lodge dues. On termination of their Leave, such Brethren again become subscribing members and dues are payable.

To Texts MenuTop of Page