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THE CODE

of the

AMERICAN CANADIAN GRAND LODGE

A.F.& A.M.

(ACGL)

 

October 1984

 

 

under the jurisdiction of the

 

UNITED GRAND LODGES OF GERMANY

(VGLvD)

 

 

 

Scanned Text by Jerry L. McKissack, Arabian Lodge No. 882, A.F. & A. M.

April 20, 1995

 


NOTES

 

1. The page content and context has been left intact with the original published document.  Although by selecting a larger font and page size, paragraphs that continue on the following page may not end exactly at the end of the line.  In such cases the sentence ends with three dashes (---).

 

2. All Amendments to the Code as of the 1994-1995 Annual Communication have been posted and are noted in red.

 

3. Where a related publication exists that expounds on a paragraph, a note has been added in purple.

 

4. All efforts have been made to identify and correct any errors resulting from the scanning process; however, errors may still have crept in.  Readers should always refer back to the official published copy of the Code as final authority.  The purpose of this document is to aid the Code user in performing research, locating paragraphs, key words and phrases.

 

5. This work was performed on a 486DX2/66MHz PC, with 16 MB RAM, using Microsoft Word 6.0 for Windows, Calera WordScan for Windows (OCR), and a Hewlett Packard ScanJet IIcx color scanner.

 

6. Bro. Jerry McKissack can be reached via the Internet at 73507.3015@compuserve.com or through the Grand Secretary.

 



THE CODE

Foreword

 

This CODE is published by the American Canadian Grand Lodge, AF & AM (ACGL) for the use of the Craft Lodges and members under its jurisdiction.  By Resolution of the Grand Lodge in 1974, "every Lodge shall present a copy of the CODE to every newly-initiated Entered Apprentice."

 

The original CODE provisions were adopted at the Annual Communication of this Grand Lodge held in Bad Hamburg on the 11th, 12th, and 13th of July 1968.  The final draft was then ratified at the Semi-annual Communication held at Leonberg on the 8th and 9th of November, 1968, and the first edition was published in February 1969.

 

In the intervening years, a number of amendments were enacted by delegates to Grand Lodge Communications, and these were consolidated and published from time to time in a separate pamphlet.

 

This second, revised edition of the CODE has been completely edited by the undersigned at the request of and by action of the Grand Lodge.  Editing involved primarily punctuation and in many instances a revised sentence structure, as well as the inclusion of a number of cross-references to several other Grand Lodge publications, some of which are published in the form of annexes to this Code.  In each instance, the original regulation remains unchanged except for rewording and editing deemed necessary to provide a clearer exposition of the original rule.

 

This edition is published in October 1984, for distribution during the Semi-annual Communication of the Grand Lodge held at Bad Kissingen on November 9th and 10th, 1984.

 

Frankfurt am Main

Attest:

 

 

Jess Minton, PGM

Grand Secretary

 


CONTENTS

 

THE ANCIENT CHARGES OF FREEMASONS

 

THE CODE

 

AUTHORITY

 

POWERS

 

RECOGNITION

 

PREAMBLE

 

SECTION 1.00 - THE GRAND LODGE (Page 14)

 

1.1   DESIGNATION

 

1.2   COMPOSITION

 

1.3   VOTING MEMBERS

 

1.4   ANNUAL COMMUNICATION

 

1.5   SPECIAL COMMUNICATIONS

 

1.6   LEGISLATION

 

1.7   ATTENDANCE

 

1.8   LODGE DELEGATE

 

1.9   PROXIES

 

1.10   ELECTED OFFICERS

 

1.11   OTHER ELECTIVE OFFICE

 

1.12   PREREQUISITES TO HOLDING ELECTIVE OFFICE

 

1.13   NOMINATIONS

 

1.14   NOMINATIONS FOR GRAND MASTER OR DEPUTY GM

 

1.15   (THIS SECTION DELETED)

 

1.16   APPOINTED OFFICERS

 

1.17   REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

 

1.18   SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE

 

1.19   VACANCIES IN OFFICE

 

1.20   RESIGNATION FROM OFFICE

 

1.21   FILLING VACANCIES

 

1.22   TITLES AND FORMS OF ADDRESS

 

1.23   PRECEDENCE

 

1.24   PAST ELECTED OFFICERS

 

1.25   INTRODUCTION OF ACGL OFFICERS

 

1.26   GRAND LODGE REGALIA

 

1.27   RENDERING HONORS

 

1.28   PUBLIC OR PRIVATE GRAND HONORS

 

1.29  THE GRAND MASTER

 

1.30  THE DEPUTY GRAND MASTER

 

1.31  THE GRAND WARDENS

 

1.32  THE GRAND TREASURER

 

1.33  THE GRAND SECRETARY

 

1.34  THE DISTRICT MASTERS

 

1.35  THE GRAND CHAPLAIN

 

1.36  THE GRAND MARSHAL

 

1.37  THE GRAND DEACONS

 

1.38  THE GRAND STEWARDS

 

1.39  THE GRAND DIRECTORS OF CEREMONIES

 

1.40  THE GRAND STANDARD BEARERS

 

1.41  THE GRAND PURSUIVANT

 

1.42  THE GRAND TILER

 

1.43   FUNDS

 

1.44   REVENUE

 

1.45   EXEMPTIONS FROM PER CAPITAS DUES (TAX)

 

1.46   BUDGET OF THE ACGL

 

1.47   BUDGETARY LIMITATIONS

 

1.48   REIMBURSEMENT SCHEDULE

 

1.49   AUTHENTICATION OF CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT

 

1.50   RATES FOR GM EXPENSES

 

1.51   ACGL COMMITTEES

 

1.52   ACGL STANDING COMMITTEES

 

1.53  THE JUDGE ADVOCATE

 

1.54  THE PROCTOR

 

1.55   BOARD OF APPEALS

 

1.56   BOARD OF DIRECTORS - GRAND LODGE ASSOCIATION

 

1.57   RULES OF ORDER AND AGENDA

 

SECTION 2.00 - THE LODGE (Page 36)

 

2.1   DEFINITION OF LODGE

 

2.2   AUTHORITY

 

2.3   MEETINGS

 

2.4   PRESIDING OFFICER

 

2.5   DECISION OF THE MASTER

 

2.6   RITUAL WORK

 

2.7   DEFINITION OF RITUAL

 

2.8   DEGREE WORK BY VISITORS

 

2.9   REQUIREMENT TO BE TILED

 

2.10   VISITORS TO LODGES

 

2.11   LODGE OFFICER REGALIA

 

2.12   INTOXICATING LIQUORS

 

2.13   PROPERTY OF A LODGE

 

2.14   LODGE BY-LAWS

 

2.15   STATED COMMUNICATIONS

 

2.16   SPECIAL OR CALLED COMMUNICATIONS

 

2.17   ANNUAL COMMUNICATION

 

2.18   LEGISLATION

 

2.19   MINIMUM ATTENDANCE FOR DEGREE WORK

 

2.20   MINUTES

 

2.21   LODGE OFFICERS

 

2.22   PREREQUISITES TO HOLDING LODGE OFFICE

 

2.23   ELIGIBILITY FOR ELECTION TO MASTER

 

2.24   EXCEPTIONS TO SECTION 2.23

 

2.25   NOMINATIONS, WHEN LEGAL

 

2.26   LIMITATIONS TO HOLDING OFFICE

 

2.27   PREREQUISITES TO HOLDING ELECTIONS

 

2.28   ELECTION PROCEDURE

 

2.29   FAILURE TO ELECT OFFICERS AT PRESCRIBED TIME

 

2.30    TIME OF INSTALLATION

 

2.31   REQUIREMENTS FOR INSTALLATIONS

 

2.32   OPEN INSTALLATIONS

 

2.33   INSTALLATIONS AT OTHER THAN LODGE HALL

 

2.34   PREREQUISITES TO INSTALLING LODGE OFFICERS

 

2.35   INSTALLATION OF THE MASTER

 

2.36   FAILURE TO INSTALL OFFICERS

 

2.37   INVESTITURE OF THE MASTER

 

2.38   POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MASTER

 

2.39   DUTIES OF THE WARDENS

 

2.40   DUTIES OF THE TREASURER

 

2.41   DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY

 

2.42   DUTIES OF OTHER OFFICERS OF THE LODGE

 

2.43   LEGAL TERMINATION OF OFFICE

 

2.44   LEGAL VACANCY IN OFFICE

 

2.45   LEGAL VACANCY IN OFFICE OF MASTER

 

2.46   FILLING VACANCIES BY ELECTION

 

2.47   LODGE COMMITTEES

 

2.48   LODGE MINUTES-MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

 

2.49   APPROVAL OF LODGE MINUTES

 

2.50   LODGE: POWERS, PRIVILEGES, RESPONSIBILITIES, DUTIES

 

2.51   MEMBERSHIP IN A LODGE

 

2.52   CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP

 

2.53   DEFINITION OF MEMBERSHIP

 

2.54   DUAL OR PLURAL MEMBERSHIP

 

2.55   STATUS OF ENTERED APPRENTICES AND FELLOWCRAFTS

 

2.56   RIGHTS AND LIMITATIONS OF EAs AND FCs

 

2.57   JURISDICTION OF A LODGE

 

2.58   CONCURRENT JURISDICTION

 

2.59   WAIVER OF JURISDICTION

 

2.60   RETENTION OF JURISDICTION

 

2.61   PETITIONS

 

2.62   REQUIREMENT FOR RECOMMENDER ON PETITIONS

 

2.63   ACCEPTANCE OF A PETITION

 

2.64   DUTIES OF INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE

 

2.65   PETITION MAY NOT BE WITHDRAWN

 

2.66   PETITION FOR AFFILIATION-PREREQUISITES

 

2.67    RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT - PETITION FOR DEGREES

 

2.68   RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT - PETITIONS FOR AFFILIATION

 

2.69   PREREQUISITES FOR PETITIONERS FOR DEGREES

 

2.70   BALLOTING ON PETITIONS INDISPENSABLE

 

2.71   OBJECTIONS TO A BALLOT

 

2.72   SUBSEQUENT BALLOTS - WHEN AUTHORIZED

 

2.73   BALLOTING PROCEDURE

 

2.74   REJECTION OF A PETITION BY BALLOT

 

2.75   EFFECT OF REJECTION

 

2.76   EFFECT OF ACCEPTANCE OF A PETITIONER BY BALLOT

 

2.77   DEGREE WORK-LIMITATION

 

2.78   PROFICIENCY AND ADVANCEMENT

 

2.79   COURTESY WORK IN OTHER LODGES

 

2.80   COURTESY WORK REQUESTED BY OTHER THAN ACGL LODGES

 

2.81   COURTESY WORK ON EAs OR FCs OF OTHER JURISDICTION

 

2.82   CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN LODGES/BY INDIVIDUAL BRETHREN

 

2.83   LODGE DUES

 

2.84   SUSPENSION FOR NON-PAYMENT OF LODGE DUES (NPD)

 

2.85   SUSPENSION FOR UNMASONIC CONDUCT

 

2.86   RESULT OF SUSPENSION FOR ANY REASON

 

2.87   REINSTATEMENT OF SUSPENDED (NPD) BROTHER

 

2.88   SUSPENSION (NPD) FROM INACTIVATED LODGE

 

2.89   VOLUNTARY WITHDRAWAL FROM MEMBERSHIP (DEMIT)

 

2.90   GOOD STANDING DEFINED

 

2.91   SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING ISSUANCE OF DEMIT

 

2.92   AFFILIATION BY DEMIT FROM ANOTHER LODGE

 

2.93  DEMIT WHEN A LODGE IS DORMANT, INACTIVATED, SUSPENDED, OR CONSOLIDATED WITH ANOTHER

 

SECTION 3.00 - MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS (Page 65)

 

3.1   DISPENSATION FOR A NEW LODGE

 

3.2   MINIMAL REQUIREMENTS FOR A NEW LODGE

 

3.3   LIMITATIONS OF LODGE UNDER DISPENSATION

 

3.4   OBTAINING A CHARTER

 

3.5   DORMANT LODGES

 

3.6   REVIVAL OF DORMANT LODGES

 

3.7   STATUS OF MEMBERS OF DORMANT LODGES

 

3.8   INACTIVATED LODGES-DEFINITION

 

3.9   RECORDS OF DORMANT LODGES

 

3.10   SUSPENSION OF LODGE RITUAL WORK

 

3.11   BUSINESS OF A SUSPENDED LODGE

 

3.12   SUSPENSION OF LODGE CHARTER

 

3.13   CUSTODY OF SUSPENDED LODGE CHARTER

 

3.14   BUSINESS OF LODGE UNDER SUSPENSION

 

3.15   RESTORATION OF CHARTER

 

3.16   INVOLUNTARY FORFEITURE OF CHARTER

 

3.17   STATUS OF MEMBERS WHEN CHARTER IS FORFEITED

 

3.18  PROPERTY, FUNDS AND EQUIPMENT OF LODGE WHEN CHARTER IS FORFEITED

 

3.19   VOLUNTARY DISSOLUTION OF LODGE

 

3.20   VOLUNTARY CONSOLIDATION OF LODGES

 

3.21   CONSOLIDATION BY DECREE

 

3.22   CLANDESTINE LODGES, BODIES OR INDIVIDUALS

 

3.23   COMMUNICATION WITH CLANDESTINE

 

3.24   ILLEGAL CIRCULARS OR APPEALS

 

3.25   PROVISIONS TO AMEND THE CODE

 

SECTION 4.00 - THE MASONIC JURIST (Page 73)

 

4.1   JUDICIAL AUTHORITY

 

4.2   MASONIC OFFENSE BY INDIVIDUAL

 

4.3   MASONIC OFFENSE BY LODGE

 

4.4   WHO MAY PREFER CHARGES

 

4.5   HOW CHARGES TO BE PREFERRED

 

4.6   PROCEDURE WHEN RECONCILIATION CANNOT BE MADE

 

4.7   WHEN CHARGES ARE PREFERRED

 

4.8   TRANSMITTAL OF CHARGES

 

4.9   ACTION BY DISTRICT MASTER

 

4.10   ACTION BY THE GRAND MASTER

 

4.11   ACTION BY GRAND SECRETARY

 

4.12   ACTION BY PROCTOR

 

4.13   DISMISSAL OF CHARGES BY GRAND MASTER

 

4.14   ACTION BY LODGE WHEN DISMISSAL RECEIVED

 

4.15   LIMITED DISMISSAL BY GRAND MASTER

 

4.16   GRAND MASTER IS PREROGATIVE

 

4.17   PROCEDURE WHEN CHARGES ARE ENTERTAINED

 

4.18   SUSPENSIONS TO BE INDEFINITE

 

4.19   REINSTATEMENT FOLLOWING SUSPENSION (UMC)

 

4.20   ACTION OF TRIAL COMMISSION ON FALSE COMPLAINT

 

4.21   SUSPENSION (PENDING TRIAL)

 

4.22   EXPULSION

 

SPACE FOR SUBSEQUENT AMENDMENTS TO THIS CODE, OR

PERSONAL NOTATIONS, MAY BE FOUND ON PAGE 80 ...

 

SECTION 5.00 - CODE OF TRIAL PROCEDURE

 

This Section published separately, deals exclusively with the procedures for conducting masonic trials, outlining the specific duties and responsibilities of those officers and members directly concerned with masonic trial proceedings, as well as the Board of Appeals.  The Code of Trial Procedure has its own very extensive index, and is not reproduced here.

 

ANNEXES

 

In addition to the above-referenced Section 5.00 of this CODE the following publications, previously published separately in pamphlet form, are, or will be, published in the same size and format as this CODE, for ease of reference and insertion in the ring binders furnished with the CODE:

 

Constitution and Bylaws - American Canadian Grossloge eV

Grand Lodge Awards Reference Manual

Standard Bylaws Text for Lodges

Lodge Elections - Eligibility Qualifications/Prerequisites

 


THE CHARGES OF A FREE MASON

 

EXTRACTED FROM THE ANCIENT RECORDS, OF LODGES BEYOND SEA,

AND OF THOSE IN ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND IRELAND,

FOR THE USE OF THE LODGES IN LONDON

 

 

CHARGE I

Concerning GOD and RELIGION

 

A Mason is obliged by his Tenure, to obey the moral Law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine.  But though in ancient Times Masons were charged in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet 'tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves; that is, to be good Men and true, or men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguished; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must else have remained at a perpetual distance.

 

CHARGE II

Of the CIVIL MAGISTRATE Supreme and subordinate

 

A Mason is a peaceable Subject to the Civil Powers, wherever he resides or works, and is never to be concerned in Plots and Conspiracies against the Peace and Welfare of the Nation, nor to behave himself undutifully to inferior Magistrates; for as Masonry hath been always injured by War, Bloodshed, and Confusion, so ancient Kings and Princes have been much disposed to encourage the Craftsmen, because of their Peaceableness and Loyalty, whereby they practically answered the cavils of their Adversaries, and promoted the Honour of the Fraternity, who ever flourished in Times of Peace. So that if a Brother should be a Rebel against the State, he is not to be countenanced in his Rebellion, however he may be pitied as an unhappy man; and if convicted of no other crime, though the loyal Brotherhood must and ought to disown his Rebellion, and give no Umbrage or Grund of political Jealousy to the Government for the time being; they cannot expel him from the Lodge, and his Relation to it remains indefeasible.

 

CHARGE III

OF LODGES

 

A LODGE is a Place where Masons assemble and work.  Hence that Assembly, or duly organized Society of Masons, is called a LODGE, and every Brother ought to belong to one, and to be subject to its By-laws and the GENERAL REGULATIONS: It is either particular or general, and will be best understood by attending it and by the Regulations of the General or Grand Lodge hereunto annexed.  In ancient Times, no Master or Fellow could be absent from it, especially when warned to appear at it, without incurring a severe censure, until it appeared to the Master and Wardens, that pure Necessity hindered him.

 

The Persons admitted members of a Lodge, must be good and true Men, free born, and of mature and discreet Age, no Bondmen, no Women, no immoral or scandalous Men, but of good Report.

 

CHARGE IV

of MASTERS, Wardens, Fellows, and Apprentices

 

All preferment among Masons is grounded upon real Worth and Personal Merit only; that so the Lords may be well served, the Brethren not put to Shame nor the Royal Craft despised; Therefore no Master or Warden is chosen by Seniority, but for his Merit. It is impossible to describe these things writing, and every Brother must attend in his Place, and learn them in a peculiar to this Fraternity: Only Candidates may know, that no Master should take an Apprentice, unless he has sufficient Imployment for him, a unless he be a perfect Youth having no Maim or Defect in his Body, that render him uncapable of learning the Art, of serving his Master's Lord, a of being made a Brother, and then a Fellow Craft in due time, even after has served such a Term of Years as the Custom of the Country directs; an that he should be descended of honest Parents; that so, when otherwise qualified, he may arrive to the Honour of being the WARDEN, and then the Master of the Lodge, the Grand Warden, and at length the GRAND MASTER of the Lodges, according to his Merit.

 

No Brother can be a WARDEN until he has passed the Part of a Fellow Craft nor a MASTER until he has acted as a Warden, nor GRAND WARDEN until he has been Master of a Lodge, nor GRAND MASTER unless he has been a Fellow Craft before his Election, who is also to be nobly born, or a Gentleman of the best Fashion, or some eminent Scholar, or some curious Architect, or other Artist, descended of honest Parents, and who is of singular great Merit in the Opinion of the Lodges.  And for the better, and easier and more honor able Discharge of his Office, the Grand Master has a Power to chuse his own DEPUTY GRAND MASTER, who must be then, or must have been formerly the Master of a particular Lodge, and has the Privilege of acting whatever the GRAND MASTER, his Principal, should act, unless the said Principal present, or interpose his Authority by a Letter.

 

These Rulers and Governors, supreme and subordinate of the ancient Lodge are to be obeyed in their respective Stations by all the Brethren, according to the old Charges and Regulations, with all Humility, Reverence, Love an Alacrity.

 

CHARGE V

of the MANAGEMENT of the CRAFT in working

 

All Masons shall work honestly on working Days, that they may live creditably on holy Days; and the time appointed by the Law of the Land, or confirmed by Custom, shall be observed.

 

The most expert of the Fellow Craftsmen shall be chosen or appointed the Master or Overseer of the Lord's work; who is to be called MASTER by those that work under him.  The Craftsmen are to avoid all ill Language and call each other by no disobliging Name, but Brother or Fellow; and to be themselves courteously within and without the Lodge.

 

The Master, knowing himself to be able of Cunning, shall undertake the Lord's Work as reasonably as possible, and truly dispend his Goods as they were his own; nor to give more wages to any brother or Apprentice the really may deserve.

Both the Master and the Masons receiving their Wages justly, shall be faithful to the Lord, and honestly finish their Work, whether Task or Journey; not put the Work to Task that hath been accustomed to Journey.

 

None shall discover Envy at the Prosperity of a Brother, nor supplant him, or put him out of his Work, if he be capable to finish the same; for no Man can finish another's Work so much to the Lord's Profit; unless he be thoroughly acquainted with the Designs and Draughts of him that began it.

 

When a Fellow Craftsman is chosen Warden of the Work under the Master, he shall be true both to Master and Fellows, shall carefully oversee the work in the Master's Absence to the Lord's Profit: and his Brethren shall obey him.

 

All Masons employed, shall meekly receive their Wages without Murmuring or Mutiny, and not desert the Master till the Work is finished.

 

A younger Brother shall be instructed in working, to prevent spoiling the Materials for want of Judgment, and for increasing and continuing of Brotherly Love.

 

All the Tools used in Working shall be approved by the Grand Lodge.

 

No Labourer shall be employed in the proper Work of Masonry, nor shall FREE MASONS work with those that are not free, without an urgent Necessity, nor shall they teach Labourers and unaccepted Masons, as they should teach a Brother or Fellow.

 

CHARGE VI

 

1. OF BEHAVIOUR, VIZ.; In the LODGE while CONSTITUTED

 

You are not to hold private Committees, or separate Conversation, without Leave from the Master, nor to talk of anything impertinent or unseemly, nor interrupt the Master or Wardens, or any Brother speaking to the Master; Nor behave yourself ludicrously or jestingly while the Lodge is engaged in what is serious or solemn; nor use any unbecoming Language upon any pretence whatsoever; but to pay due Reverence to your Master, Wardens, and Fellows, and put them to worship.

 

If any Complaint be brought, the Brother found guilty shall stand to the award and Determination of the Lodge, who are the proper and competent Judges of all such controversies (unless you carry it by Appeal to the GRAND LODGE), and to whom they ought to be referred, unless a Lord's Work be hindered the mean while, in which case a particular Reference may be made; but you must never go to the Law about what concerneth Masonry, without an absolute necessity apparent to the Lodge.

 

2.      BEHAVIOUR after the LODGE is over and the BRETHREN not gone

 

You may enjoy yourselves with innocent Mirth, treating one another according to Ability, but avoiding all Excess, or forcing any Brother to eat or drink beyond his Inclination, or hindering him from going when his Occasions call him, or doing or saying anything offensive, or that may forbid an easy and free Conversation, for that would blast our Harmony, and defeat our Laudable ---

 

Purposes.  Therefore no private Piques or Quarrels must be brought within the door of the Lodge, far less any Quarrels about Religion or Nations, or State Policy, we being only, as Masons, of the Catholic Religion above mentioned, we are also of all Nations, Tongues, Kindreds and Languages, an are resolved against all Politicks as what never yet conduced to the Welfare of the Lodge, nor ever will.  This Charge has been always strictly enjoined and observed; but especially ever since the Reformation in BRITAIN, or the Dissent and Secession of these Nations from the Communion of ROME.

 

3. BEHAVIOUR when Brethren meet without Strangers But not in a LODGE

 

You are to salute one another in a courteous manner as you will be instructed, calling each other Brother or freely giving mutual instruction as shall be thought expedient, without being overseen or overheard, and without encroaching upon each other, or derogating from that Respect which is due to any Brother, were he not a Mason: For though all Masons are as Brethren upon the same Level, yet Masonry takes no Honour from a Man that he had before; nay rather it adds to his Honour; especially if he has deserved well of the Brotherhood, who must give Honour to whom it is due, and avoid ill Manners.

 

4. BEHAVIOUR in Presence of Strangers not MASONS

 

You shall be cautious in your Words and Carriage, that the most penetratin Stranger shall not be able to discover or find out what it is not proper to be intimated; and sometimes you shall divert a discourse, and manage it prudently for the Honour of the Worshipful Fraternity.

 

5. BEHAVIOUR at HOME and in your Neighborhood

 

You are to act as becomes a moral and Wise Man; particularly, not to let your Family, Friends, and Neighbours know the Concerns of the Lodge, & c., but wisely to consult your own Honour, and that of the Ancient Brotherhood for Reasons not to be mentioned here. You must also consult your Health, not continuing together too late, or too long from Home, after Lodge hours are past; and by avoiding of Gluttony or Drunkenness, that your Families b not neglected, or injured, nor you disabled from Working.

 

6. BEHAVIOUR towards a Strange Brother

 

You are cautiously to examine him, in such a Method as Prudence shall dire you, that you may not be imposed upon by an ignorant false Pretender, whom you are to reject with Contempt and Derision, and beware of giving him any hints of Knowledge.  But if you discover him to be a true and genuine Brother, you are to respect him accordingly; and if he is in want, you must relieve him if you can, or else direct him how he may be relieved.  You may employ him some days, or else recommend him to be employed.  But you are not charged to do beyond Ability, only to prefer a poor Brother, that is a good Man and true, before any other poor People in the same circumstances.

 

FINALLY, all these CHARGES you are to observe, and also those that shall be communicated to you in another way; cultivating BROTHERLY LOVE, the foundation and Capstone, the Cement and Glory of this Ancient Fraternity, avoiding all Wrangling and Quarrelling, all Slander and Backbiting, nor permiting others to slander any honest Brother, but defending his Character, and doing him all good Offices, as far as is consistent with your Honour and Safety, and no further.  And if any of them do you injury, you must apply to your own or his Lodge; and from thence you may appeal to the GRAND LODGE at the quarterly Communication, and from thence to the Annual GRAND LODGE, as has been the ancient laudable Conduct of our Forefathers in every nation; never taking a legal Course but when the case cannot be otherwise decided, and patiently listening to the honest and friendly advice of Master and Fellows, when they would prevent your going to Law with Strangers, or would excite you to put a speedy Period to all Lawsuits, that so you may mind the Affair of MASONRY with the more Alacrity and Success; but with respect to Brothers or Fellows at Law, the Master and Brethren should kindly offer their Mediation, which ought to be thankfully submitted to by the contending Brethren; and if that submission is impracticable, they must however carry on their Process, or Lawsuit, without Wrath and Rancour (not in the common way) saying or doing nothing which may hinder Brotherly Love, and good Offices to be renewed and continued; that all may see the benign Influence of MASONRY, as all true Masons have done from the Beginning of the World, and will do to the end of Time.

 

Amen, so mote it be,

 


THE CODE OF THE AMERICAN-CANADIAN GRAND LODGE, A.F. & A.M.

 

AUTHORITY

 

By Decree of the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the United Grand Lodges of Germany-Brotherhood of German Freemasons (hereinafter called VGLvD" or "VGL"), and by authority of a Patent dated the 29th day of September, 1962 (5962 A.L.), the American Canadian (Provincial) Grand Lodge. AF & AM. (hereinafter called "ACGL") was duly constituted and established by appointment of Brother Peter Marius Rasmussen as the designated Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master named therein, which Patent was presented to him during the Annual Konvent (Convention) of the VGL held in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt am Main on the same date.

 

By Decree of the Grand Master of the VGLvD dated 23 October 1970, this Grand Lodge was declared to be an autonomous, constituent Grand Lodge within the VGLvD, and a new Patent attesting to such status was granted and issued at the Annual Konvent of the VGLvD held on that same date.

 

In accord with the terms of said Patent, the American Canadian Grand Lodge is an integral part of the United Grand Lodges of Germany and is guaranteed all rights, privileges and responsibilities as set forth in the Magna Charta of German Freemasonry of 1958, as subsequently modified or amended.  The right of representation as one of the constituent Grand Lodges within the United Grand Lodges of Germany, as well as the right of each constituent ACGL Lodge to voting rights within the VGLvD, is set forth and guaranteed within the Magna Charta.

 

POWERS

 

Subject to the limitations of the Magna Charta of German Freemasonry or any VGLvD laws, edicts, resolves or agreements as existing or hereafter enacted or modified, this American Canadian Grand Lodge is delegated to exercise full and complete control over all Lodges chartered by the VGL which have been granted the right to work in the English language, provided their membership is composed predominantly of Brothers of American or Canadian nationality.

 

The powers of this ACGL are legislative, judicial and executive, subject to above and/or contained within such limitations outlined this Code, to include the right and power of framing suitable laws and regulations for the government of all Lodges and individual members under its declared Jurisdiction, provided however that no such law, regulation, edict or decree shall conflict with or be contrary to the laws of the VGLvD.

 

RECOGNITION

 

This ACGL, while recognizing no Degree of Masonry except those conferred under its authority or that of the VGLvD. nevertheless recognizes the regularity of degrees conferred by or under the authority of those Grand Bodies recognized by the VGLvD.  In addition, this ACGL recognizes those masonic bodies acknowledged as such by the Grand Lodges of the United States and Canada.

 

PREAMBLE

 

As an expression of the simplest form of the faith of Freemasonry, exhaustive, but incontrovertible and suggestive, this ACGL subscribes following basic precepts as the

 

THE MASONIC BELIEF

 

1.    There is but one God (Supreme Being), the Father of all men.

 

2.    The Holy Bible, or Volume of Sacred Law, is the Great Light in Masonry, and is the Rule and Guide for our faith and practice.

 

3.    The soul is immortal.

 

4.      Character determines destiny.

 

5.    Love of God is Man's first duty.

 

6.    Love of Man is Man' s second duty.

 

7.    Truth is righteous.

 

8.      Communion with God, in the form of prayer, is helpful.

 

Recognizing the impossibility of confining the teachings of Masonry fixed, narrow forms of expression, yet acknowledging the value of authoritative statements of fundamental principles, this ACGL affirms and the following as the basic Masonic teaching:

 

"Masonry teaches Man to practice charity and benevolence, to protect chastity, to respect the ties of blood and friendship, to adopt the principles and revere the ordinances of religion, to assist the feeble, guide the blind, raise up the downtrodden, shelter the orphan, guard the altar, support the government, inculcate morality, promote learning, love Man, revere God and implore His mercy, and to hope for happiness."

 

THE LODGE

 

This ACGL acknowledges a Lodge of Freemasons as an assembly of recognized and accepted Freemasons gathered in a place furnished with the Volume of Sacred Law together with a Charter or Dispensation granted by a recognized Grand Lodge which authorizes them to work as Freemasons.  It is therein Freemasons shall exemplify those noble attributes embodied in the great articles of Noah.  It is therein also that the Lodge, through exemplification of the Work, becomes the center of union among the Brethren, and the happy means of cementing and conciliating into one Body those might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance, thereby strength the divine obligations of religion and love.  It is therein also the Mason shall learn to avoid private piques and quarrels and to avoid manner of excess or intemperance, the indulgence of which might lead h reflect dishonor on our ancient fraternity.  It is also therein that a learns that his obligations as a citizen and subject of his government not be relaxed, but rather enforced, so far as these obligations are infringed upon beyond the bounds of reason or religion.  It is also therein that a Mason shall learn of the joys of true friendship, the pride of self accomplishment, and the value of increased knowledge.

 


THE CODE

 

SECTION 1.00

 

This section contains the general rules and regulations for the government of the American Canadian Grand Lodge.  Every Grand Lodge officer and member should be familiar with its provisions.  Its fifty-seven consecutively numbered sections outline the basic duties and responsibilities of Grand Lodge officers, and provide specific guidelines for the conduct of the Annual Communication and election of officers.  Members of the Grand Lodge include voting and non-voting members, and their specific responsibilities are clearly detailed in the appropriate sections.

 

Reference is made herein to the American Canadian Grand Lodge Association, the legally registered counterpart of the Grand Lodge known officially as the "American Canadian Grossloge e.V." ... the "e.V." standing for the German words, "eingetragene Verein" (i.e.: registered association).  When the Association was established, a separate constitution and bylaws for its government was adopted, with published copies made available to each member.  For convenience, a copy of that constitution and bylaws is published as one of several annexes to this Code.

 

The required annual meeting of the Verein is held concurrent with that of the Grand Lodge; each Lodge is a member of the Verein, and the Master or other authorized voting delegate of each Lodge represents his Lodge during the Verein meeting just as he does at all other sessions of the Grand Lodge.  It is therefore necessary that each elected Lodge officer take the time to familiarize himself with the slightly different structure of the Verein, and its rules and regulations.

 

1.1    DESIGNATION: This Grand Lodge shall be known officially as the AMERICAN CANADIAN GRAND LODGE.  AF & AM within the United Grand Lodges of Germany-Brotherhood of Freemasons (VGLvD) and shall herein after be referred to simply as ACGL or Grand Lodge.  The registered association of this Grand Lodge, known as the "American Canadian Grossloge e.V." shall hereinafter be referred to as the 'Verein' or 'Association'.

 

1.2    COMPOSITION: This ACGL shall be composed of its present and past elected officers (who shall be Past Masters of ACGL Lodges) and duly installed Masters, Senior Wardens, Junior Wardens, Treasurers and Secretaries of its constituent lodges, and Past Masters who are members in good standing of ACGL lodges. {amended 11/87}

 

1.3   VOTING MEMBERS:  The following members shall be entitled to voting rights at all Grand Lodge Communications in accord with the following entitlements: The Master or other duly authorized representative of each constituent Lodge (who shall be called the delegate one vote; Past Grand Masters of the ACGL - one vote each; the Grand Master of the VGLvD - one vote.  In the event of a tie vote only, the Grand Master of the ACGL shall be entitled to one vote.  When the Master of a Lodge is absent from an ACGL Communication, the wardens of the Lodge -in order of succession- shall be entitled t vote as the delegate.  If the Master and both wardens are not in attendance, the duly elected or appointed proxy, when properly certified, shall be entitled to exercise the delegate vote on behalf of the Lodge. (see Sections 1.8 and 1.9)

 

1.4  ANNUAL COMMUNICATION:  The Annual Communication of the ACGL shall be held each year during the month of April at a time and place to be determined and announced by the Grand Master; if the Annual Communication is held in conjunction with and immediately preceding any Konvent of the VGL, and then only, at the Grand Master's discretion, such Annual Communication may be held in May.  The elected and appointed Grand Lodge officers and all Lodges shall receive notification or summons, which shall include the date and place of the Annual Communication, not less than sixty days prior to its convening, verified by the postmark.

 

1.5    SPECIAL COMMUNICATIONS: Special Communications may be called by the Grand Master at any time, except that no legislation affecting any of the provisions of this Code shall be enacted at such Communications unless notice has been served in the same manner prescribed for the Annual Communication, such notice to contain, in addition, the text of the proposed legislation.  However, this shall not be interpreted as hindering discussion, preplanning or introduction of proposed legislation at any called Communication, provided due and timely notice of such Communication was sent to all Lodges and ACGL Officers.

 

1.6    LEGISLATION: No legislation may be enacted at any Communication o the ACGL when less than twenty-five percent (25%) of active ACGL Lodges are represented.

 

1.7   ATTENDANCE: ACGL Communications shall be open to all Master Masons in good standing of a recognized Lodge within the VGLvD and of any other recognized Lodges, except when the announcement of the Communication includes a specific restriction because of limited facilities.  However, at all times adequate arrangements must be made to accommodate no less than three members of each constituent Lodge plus all Grand Lodge officers.  The attendance of at least one authorized delegate from each Lodge -who must be authorized to vote for his respective Lodge in accord with this Code- shall be mandatory at each session of the Annual Communication of Grand Lodge, unless specifically excused by the Grand Master.

 

1.8   LODGE DELEGATE: The Master of each Lodge shall represent his Lodge at called Communications of the ACGL.  In his absence, one of the installed wardens -in succession- shall automatically serve as the Lodge delegate.  In the Canadian Lodges the IPM shall be deemed an automatic delegate after the Master and wardens.  Only those who have been properly reported to the Grand Secretary on the required certificate of election as duly elected and installed Masters or Wardens shall be entitled to automatic recognition as delegate.

 

1.9   PROXIES: To qualify as the voting delegate in the absence of the Master and Wardens of his Lodge, when registering with the ACGL Credentials Committee a proxy must present a valid certificate attesting to his election by the Lodge or appointment by the Master as proxy.  A proxy must be a member in good standing of the Lodge he is representing; the certificate he presents must be prepared on Lodge stationery in the form approved by Grand Lodge and bear the signatures of the Master, the Secretary, and his own, as well as the Lodge Seal impression.

 

1.10  ELECTED OFFICERS OF THE ACGL: The election and installation of ACGL officers shall take place at the Annual Communication in accord with the Rules of Order.  The elected Grand Lodge officers shall be the Grand Master (GM); Deputy Grand Master (DGM); Senior Grand Warden (SGW); Junior Grand Warden (JGW); the Grand Treasurer (GTr); and Grand Secretary (GSec).  After Installation, each shall serve until his lawful successor is duly installed.

 

1.11  OTHER ELECTIVE OFFICE: The only other elective offices authorized by this Grand Lodge shall be the Board of Directors of the Grand Lodge 'Verein', who shall be elected in accordance with the rules and regulations specified in the constitution and bylaws of said 'Verein', and in the manner and for the periods therein outlined. (Note:  The 'Verein' Constitution and Bylaws, published separately and distributed previously to each constituent Lodge, will be found appended as an Annex to this Code.)

 

1.12   PREREQUISITES TO HOLDING ELECTIVE OFFICE: When a member is nominated for any elected or elective office specified in the foregoing sections 1.10 and 1.11, he must be certified as currently in good Masonic standing in all Lodges to which he may belong, as defined by this Code, as well as being a member of this Grand Lodge at the time of his nomination.

 

1.13    NOMINATIONS:  Nominations for any elected office in the ACGL may be entered by any member of the ACGL present when nominations are opened, in accord with Rule 15 of the Rules of Order.

 

1.14    NOMINATION FOR GRAND MASTER OR DEPUTY GRAND MASTER: A member who is otherwise qualified for nomination to either of these two offices in Grand Lodge, shall not be eligible for nomination to either of these offices if at the time of nomination he holds an office of similar nature or importance in any other Masonic body or organization composed of Masons; nor may he accept or hold such position in those bodies during his ACGL tenure if elected to the office of Grand Master or Deputy Grand Master.

 

1.15  (This original section was superseded by subsequent amendment to Section 1.33 and is deleted without substitution, but the original numerical sequence in this Code has been retained.)

 

1.16      APPOINTED OFFICERS: The Grand Master-elect shall appoint those officers not required to be elected after the conclusion of all required elections.  Should this be in-expedient at the Annual Communication because of time or other factors, he may notify all lodges of his appointments, in writing, within thirty days.

 

1.17      REMOVAL FROM OFFICE:  An elected officer of the ACGL may be removed from office by the Grand Master by due process of law as outlined within this Code.  Appointed officers may be removed at the will and pleasure of the Grand Master.

 

1.18      SUSPENSION FROM OFFICE:  The Grand Master may suspend any elected officer of the ACGL from exercising the functions of the respective office, for cause.  However, if charges are not placed against the officer concerned within thirty days, the Grand Master shall communicate his action and his reason for such suspension, to all ACGL Lodges within the same period.  If a majority of the constituent Lodges dissent in writing within ninety days, that shall have the effect of rescinding the Grand Master's action.

 

1.19    VACANCIES IN OFFICE:  Under no circumstance shall a vacancy in the office of Grand Master be deemed to exist between Annual Communications.  A vacancy in another elected position in the ACGL shall be deemed to exist only if one of the following applies in the particular instance: suspension from membership in any Lodge; demit from all ACGL Lodges; conviction of a Masonic offense by a Trial Commission, provided such conviction is upheld when and if appealed; permanent departure from the ACGL or VGL jurisdiction.

 

1.20      RESIGNATION FROM OFFICE:  The resignation of other than the Grand Treasurer shall not be authorized during the tenure of any elected ACGL officer.  A resignation by the Grand Treasurer must be submitted in writing via registered first-class mail direct to the address of the Grand Master, not less than thirty days prior to the requested effective date.  The Grand Master may then appoint a pro tempore replacement until the next Annual Communication, and shall immediately send notification of such appointment to all the ACGL Lodges.  His appointee shall be regarded as confirmed provided a -- majority of ACGL Lodges do not dissent in writing within thirty days after receipt of the Grand Master's notification.

 

1.21    FILLING VACANCIES:  The GM may appoint pro tempore officers to fill any vacancy in an ACGL office, except that a replacement for an elected office vacancy shall not entitle such replacement to past rank at the conclusion of his service in that capacity.

 

1.22  TITLES AND FORMS OF ADDRESS:  The Grand Master shall be entitled to be addressed as "Right Worshipful".  Each of the other elected Grand Lodge officers and each District Master shall be addressed as "Very Worshipful", unless otherwise entitled to be addressed as "Right Worshipful" by virtue of prior service as the Grand Master.  With the same stipulation (entitlement by virtue of prior service), the only form of address authorized for other appointed Grand Lodge officers shall be "Worshipful". (see 1.25)

 

1.23    PRECEDENCE:  The following comprises the complete listing of Grand Lodge officers who shall take precedence among themselves in the order indicated: Grand Master; Deputy Grand Master; Senior Grand Warden; Junior Grand Warden; Grand Treasurer; Grand Secretary; District Masters; Grand Chaplain; Grand Marshal (during any procession he shall always take precedence at the head); Senior Grand Deacon; Junior Grand Deacon; Senior Grand Steward; Junior Grand Steward; Grand Directors of Ceremonies (2); Grand Standard Bearers (2); Grand Sword Bearers (2); Grand Pursuivant; and Grand Tiler. (See Section 1.24)

 

1.24  PAST ELECTED OFFICERS:  Each past elected ACGL officer shall be entitled to precedence in processions or otherwise, immediately following the current holder of the same office.

 

1.25    INTRODUCTION OF ACGL OFFICERS:  Each elected or appointed officer of the Grand Lodge shall at all times be introduced and addressed by his proper Grand Lodge title only.

 

1.26  GRAND LODGE REGALIA:  Each installed Grand Lodge officer shall be entitled to wear the authorized ACGL regalia when visiting a Lodge other than his own; wearing of the Grand Lodge regalia is optional when attending his own Lodge.  However, no officer or member shall be permitted to remove any Grand Lodge regalia or equipment from the territorial jurisdiction of the ACGL except when specifically authorized by the Grand Master, and then only for the temporary period specified by the Grand Master.

 

1.27      RENDERING HONORS:  Grand Lodge officers shall be received in constituent Lodges befitting their Masonic rank.  Honors, when rendered, are to the office-holder as well as the office he holds; this rule shall apply irrespective of whether the office holder is clothed in the proper regalia of his office when visiting a Lodge.

 

1.28  PUBLIC OR PRIVATE GRAND HONORS:  Public Grand Honors shall always be given in the German fashion of three-times-three and shall be authorized for reception of Masters, Past Masters and any ACGL officers when the particular occasion warrants rendering same.

 

      Private Grand Honors consist of the signs of the Degree upon which a Lodge is open at the time of reception, and are authorized only for the following officers, in the frequency given: Grand Master or Deputy Grand Master of the VGLvD - seven times; Grand Master of the ACGL - five times; Deputy Grand Master ACGL - three times.  Past holders of these ranks, as well as officers of other recognized Grand Lodges holding equivalent rank, shall likewise be authorized Private Grand Honors when visiting ACGL Lodges.

 

1.29  GRAND MASTER:  It shall be the duty of the Grand Master to uphold and obey the laws of the VGLvD and the ACGL and to enforce obedience to these laws by all Lodges and Brethren within the ACGL jurisdiction.  Further, at the Annual Communication of Grand Lodge he shall present his written report which shall contain an outline of his official acts, including any edicts or decrees he may have issued during his tenure, and his review of the general condition of Masonry within the ACGL.  His report may include any particular recommendations for legislation he considers necessary or believes would be beneficial to the best interests of the Craft.  The Grand Master shall have the power, responsibility and authority to:

 

1.      Exercise all executive functions of the ACGL; preside at all its Communications, and exercise such judicial prerogatives or authority as may be granted him by this Code.

 

2.      Appoint all officers, committees and boards not required to be elected, and to fill vacancies as specified herein.

 

3.      Require any officer or other member of the ACGL to attend called Communications of the ACGL or to demand masonic information from any member of a Lodge under the ACGL.

 

4.       Convene Grand Lodge committees or boards at such time and place as he may determine.

 

5.      Suspend an officer from office in accord with due process as prescribed by this Code.

 

6.      Suspend any member of a constituent Lodge for cause, when deemed warranted, only in accord with due process.

 

7.       Supervise, direct and approve the functions of all Grand Lodge officers, pertaining to their specific duties.

 

8.      Convene any ACGL Lodge at any time; open and/or close the same without ceremony if he so desires, presiding therein at his will and pleasure; to inspect its records and proceedings; and to require its conformity to the laws of the ACGL.

 

9.      Suspend the charter of an ACGL Lodge or its authority to perform ritual work, or both, for just cause as outlined herein.

 

10.      Grant dispensation to enable a Lodge to elect or install its officers when a Lodge has, for reasons deemed adequate, failed to accomplish those duties at the designated time and place.

 

11.      Grant dispensation, when requested and deemed beneficial, to enable a Lodge to temporarily move its charter for an approved purpose to a location other than that named in its bylaws.

 

12.      Grant dispensation to permit a Lodge to hold its Stated Communication on a day other than that specified in its bylaws, or to permit a Lodge to be placed in temporary darkness to preclude having its bylaws violated because of inability to hold required meetings due to involuntary circumstances beyond its control,

 

13.      Grant dispensation to permit election of a Master when a legal vacancy is deemed to exist, between annual Lodge elections.

 

14.      Order consolidation of any ACGL Lodge with another when and as permitted by this Code and in accord with any requirements as may be further specified in a particular Lodge's bylaws.

 

15.      Authorize disbursements by the Grand Secretary.

 

16.      Recommend and request of the Grand Master of the VGLvD the issuance of a dispensation or charter to form a new Lodge, in accord with the laws of both the VGLvD and the ACGL.

 

17.      Issue edicts or decrees which shall have the force of law until the next Annual Communication of the ACGL, except that when such instrument shall have the effect of abrogating or amending any portion of this Code, the written approval of the Grand Master of the VGLvD shall be required to validate such edict or decree.

 

18.      Issue directives establishing administrative and any other procedures not in conflict with this Code, which shall be binding upon all Lodges within the ACGL during his tenure.

 

19.      Institute and consecrate Lodges on behalf of the VGLvD in person or by a duly appointed representative, in accord with the masonic laws and tradition within this Jurisdiction.

 

20.      Receive and distribute properties, furniture and regalia of any inactivated Lodges, with the exception of financial assets.

 

21.      Grant such other dispensations not specifically outlined above, if requested and deemed beneficial to the Lodge concerned, provided no conflict with established custom or usage shall exist.

 

22.      Preserve order and harmony within the ACGL and to exercise any specific powers or prerogatives granted him by this Code.

 

23.      Order a disbursement for the relief of brethren in this or another Grand Jurisdiction in the event of calamity or disaster, in accord with the regulations of the Grand Lodge Association and within the scope of the budget adopted for such purpose.

 

1.30  DEPUTY GRAND MASTER: It shall be the duty of the DGM to assist the GM as he may direct and in his absence to preside at the Communications of the ACGL.  In the event of the death of the GM, his severance from membership in all ACGL Lodges, suspension from office by the Grand Master of the VGLvD, his permanent departure from the Jurisdictional area of the ACGL, or his suspension from membership in any Lodge in which he may be a member, the DGM shall assume the rights, privileges and responsibilities of the GM and shall be known as the "Acting Grand Master."

 

1.31  GRAND WARDENS: It shall be the duty of the Grand Wardens to assist the Grand Master or Deputy Grand Master as directed.  In the absence of both the GM and the DGM, the Grand Wardens -in succession- will preside at the Annual Communication of Grand Lodge.  When and if a vacancy exists in the offices of the GM and DGM, the Grand Wardens -in succession- shall assume their duties until the next Annual Communication.

 

1.32  GRAND TREASURER:  The Grand Treasurer shall be responsible for performing the following specific duties:

 

1.      He shall deposit all funds transferred to him by the Grand Secretary to the applicable Grand Lodge account(s), effecting only such disbursements authorized by payment order as executed by and certified by the Grand Secretary on the applicable form.  In the extended absence of the Secretary, he may effect a disbursement by virtue of a payment order personally executed by the Grand Master; or in his absence, by an authorized Director of the Grand Lodge Association (Verein), who shall be entitled to issue such payment orders only in the afore-mentioned circumstance, and in an amount not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.-) in each instance.

 

2.      He shall be required to report the receipt of any funds or credits received by him, to the Grand Secretary, and ensure that all such funds received are deposited to the credit of the ACGL.

 

3.       He shall record and maintain proper records pertaining to all transactions, in accord with prescribed procedures.

 

4.      When requested to do so, he shall attend upon the Grand Master, the Verein Board of Directors, or the Finance Committee, with all papers and documents pertinent to his office.

 

5.      He shall report to the Grand Lodge at its Annual Communication -and as may be lawfully required at other intervals- a full and accurate accounting of all receipts and disbursements, in the form of a financial statement or balance sheet, as prescribed.

 

6.      He shall be required to turn over to his duly-elected and installed successor at the close of the Annual Communication, all assets, records, and documents or papers pertinent to his office and in his possession.  Any additional properties, equipment, and supplies in his possession shall be turned over to his successor within five working days after the Annual Communication.

 

7.      He shall ascertain that a bond or guarantee in such penal sum and with whatever sureties may be required, is duly executed within thirty days after his installation in office, conditioned that he will faithfully discharge his prescribed duties and will effect prompt transfer to his successor of all Grand Lodge/Verein properties in his possession.  Such bond shall be filed with, and paid for by, the Grand Lodge.

 

8.      He shall be required to perform such other duties as may be pertinent to his office and required by the Grand Master.

 

1.33  GRAND SECRETARY: The Grand Secretary shall be elected for a term of two years.  His status as an employee shall be regulated by the registered association (Verein), and he shall be responsible for ensuring the proper administration of the masonic, business, and financial affairs of this Grand Lodge as may pertain to his office.  He shall be entitled to a contract formulated in accord with all necessary and applicable legal requirements, outlining the specific terms of his employment status.  The Grand Secretary shall have the particular responsibility of:

 

1.      Recording and maintaining the transactions of the ACGL.

 

2.      Collecting and receiving all monies due and/or payable to Grand Lodge, transferring such funds with all possible dispatch direct to the Grand Treasurer, taking his receipt for the same, or in lieu thereof depositing direct to the applicable accounts.  He shall maintain a full and accurate accounting of all receipts in the form of a permanent record book.

 

3.      Receiving, properly filing and preserving all papers and documents of the ACGL committed to his care.

 

4.      Maintaining regular office hours in the Grand Lodge office of seven and one-half hours per day, five days per week, excepting such legal holidays and authorized leave time required by law, and as may be further specified in his employment contract.

 

5.      Ordering disbursements necessary to effect timely payment of obligations incurred by the Grand Lodge, in each instance to be supported by applicable documentation such as bills, invoices, or vouchers; maintaining a permanent, complete and accurate record of all such disbursements and accompanying supporting documentation.

 

6.      Maintaining current and updated individual masonic records for all members of ACGL Lodges, present or past, including a file of all rejections or deaths reported to him by ACGL Lodges.

 

7.      Conducting all routine correspondence of the ACGL pertaining to his office, including liaison with all other Grand Lodges.

 

8.       Certifying all instruments of the ACGL as required, by affixing the Grand Lodge Seal, which shall be in his sole custody.

 

9.      Ordering such supplies as may be needed by the ACGL or its constituent lodges for masonic purposes, subject to any necessary reimbursement as may be applicable.

 

10.      Reporting all financial transactions related to his office in the form of a detailed statement illustrating allocation of all receipts and disbursements by budget item, at the Annual Communication of Grand Lodge, and as may be otherwise required during the period between Grand Lodge communications.

 

11.      Assuming custody of and safely maintaining all Grand Lodge physical and financial assets committed to his immediate care and responsibility, as may be pertinent to his office.

 

12.      Executing and filing with the Grand Lodge a bond or surety guarantee that he will faithfully perform the duties of his office and will transfer to his lawful, installed successor all assets of the Grand Lodge committed to his care within seven working days of the installation of his successor.  These assets shall include all equipment, properties, documents, financial assets and records.  Such bond or surety shall be in the sum required by the Board of Directors' of the "Verein", and shall be paid for by the ACGL.

 

13.      Perform such other administrative duties as may be inherent to his office, and pertain to his responsibilities to the Grand Lodge.

 

1.34      DISTRICT DEPUTY GRAND MASTERS (DDGM): Each District Deputy Grand Master shall be a Past Master who is a member in good standing of an ACGL Lodge, preferably one in the District in which he shall serve.  When particular circumstances exist which would preclude such appointment, one of the Masters within the District may be appointed District Deputy Grand Master.  Each DDGM shall have the following duties and responsibilities:  {amended 11/87}

 

1.      To thoroughly familiarize himself with the laws and the administrative procedures of the ACGL.

 

2.      To aid and advise the Masters of Lodges in his District when requested and as may be necessary.

 

3.      To represent the GM at all times within his District (unless otherwise directed) and to act as the direct Mason between the Masters of Lodges in his District and the GM.

 

4.      To take possession of the funds, property and records of inactivated Lodges within his District; disposing of the property as directed by the GM, and ensuring that all funds and records received by him are turned over to the Grand Secretary, who will issue a receipt for such items.

 

5.      To officially visit each Lodge within his District at least once during his tenure (Masonic year); examine its books and records to obtain necessary data required to complete his report of inspection; point out any errors he may discover in the conduct of the Lodge business, including the ritual work.  He shall be empowered to take immediate steps to correct masonic abuse or disharmony discovered within the district, and shall report his actions or projected actions directly to the Grand Master, to whom he shall be directly responsible for all his acts.

 

6.      To submit to the Grand Master a written report not later than forty-five days prior to the Annual Communication, stating the general condition of Masonry within his District and providing all required data as well as such other information as may be of value to the GM or the ACGL.  The report shall be in an approved format, or on the form provided by the Grand Lodge.

 

7.      When required by the Grand Secretary, to submit specific statistical data respecting Lodges and members in his District.

 

8.      To recommend to the GM the suspension of ritual work in a particular Lodge when he deems the quality of the work performed as being so unsatisfactory and ineffectual as to render continued exemplification detrimental to the best interests of the Craft.

 

9.      To perform such other duties required by the Grand Master, as may pertain to the office of District Master.

 

1.35  GRAND CHAPLAIN:  He shall perform those services normally required of and pertaining to his office, officiating at Masonic functions at the request of the Grand Master.

 

1.36  GRAND MARSHALL:  He shall have the following specific duties and responsibilities:

 

1.      To proclaim the installation of ACGL Officers and such other proclamations as may be directed.

 

2.      To introduce the representatives of other Grand Jurisdictions and all distinguished visitors, as requested by the GM.

 

3.      To form and conduct the processions of the ACGL, performing such other duties commensurate with his office as directed.

 

1.37  GRAND DEACONS: It shall be their responsibility to carry messages as requested and assist the Grand Master in such manner as the ancient usages of the Craft prescribe.

 

1.38  GRAND STEWARDS: It shall be their duty to assist the Grand Wardens in their duties about the Lodge and during the hours of refreshment as well as to assist the Host Lodge(s) in respect of arrangements pertaining to the festive occasions of the ACGL.

 

1.39  GRAND DIRECTORS OF CEREMONIES: It shall be their duty to arrange all ceremonies and processions under the direction of the Grand Marshal; and to prepare ballots for distribution at ACGL elections, collecting same and transferring to the Tellers.

 

1.40  GRAND STANDARD BEARERS:  It shall be their duty to care for, carry, and display the flags of the United States, Canada, and the Federal Republic of Germany in all ACGL processions when directed.

 

1.41  GRAND PURSUIVANT:  He shall be responsible for guarding the inner door, ensuring the security of the Grand Lodge in session, communicating with the Grand Tiler when necessary, allowing none to leave the Lodge room except by permission of the Grand Master.  In addition to ensuring that Brethren enter and leave in proper form, and ensuring each is properly clothed, he shall announce the name and proper Masonic title of each Brother permitted to enter the Lodge room after the ACGL has been officially opened, making such announcement direct to the GM, or as otherwise directed.

 

1.42  GRAND TILER:  He shall be responsible for the security of the outer door to the Lodge room while Grand Lodge is in session, communicating with the Grand Pursuivant when necessary to report the names and Masonic titles of those desiring to enter after the ACGL has opened.  In addition to examining the credentials of all Brethren desiring admittance, in accord with the ancient usages of the Craft and these laws he will be required to make any necessary preparations and arrangements pertaining to the Lodge room as may be delegated to him by the GM.  During any recess or adjournment of the ACGL during a Communication he shall be responsible for ensuring the security and safekeeping of the furnishings, regalia, jewels, and other paraphernalia of the ACGL and its delegates.

 

1.43  ACGL FUNDS:  The funds of the ACGL shall be maintained and administered in accord with accepted accounting procedures and as may be further specified within this Section.  No expenditures are authorized from these funds except in accord with the adopted and approved budget and as approved by the Grand Master and the Board of Directors of the Grand Lodge "Verein" as applicable:

 

1.      INVESTMENT FUND: Which shall consist of that portion of the capital assets of the ACGL invested as recommended by the Board of Directors of the "Verein" and approved by the GM.  This fund may include any excess funds not immediately required to discharge the budgetary and other legal obligations of the ACGL.

 

2.      GENERAL FUND:  Which shall consist of that portion of the capital assets of the ACGL adopted annually for the discharge of the legitimate obligations of the ACGL, as specified in the Budget adopted for the particular year.  The fund may consist of checking and/or savings accounts, and shall be of such type as to ensure ready availability at all times for immediate processing of these obligations.

 

3.      EQUIPMENT FUND:  Which shall consist of that portion of the capital assets allocated within the budget adopted at each Annual Communication for the purpose of purchasing non-expendable equipment inventory items.  This fund shall be accounted for separately and disbursements from the fund recorded as inventory.  Expenditure from this fund shall be at the discretion of the Grand Master and the Grand Secretary.

 

4.      SUPPLEMENTARY FUNDS:  The following shall consist of the assets specified in each instance, and be accounted for separately in each annual statement:

 

a.      Defunct Lodge Fund:  This fund shall consist of all resources received from or for any defunct, inactivated or dormant Lodges.

 

      They are to be recorded in full as to the amount, source and date received, and shall be held by the Grand Lodge in custodianship, and returned to Lodges that may be reactivated.  The ACGL may, upon application by any needy Lodge, allocate financial assistance or outright grants from the fund by action at an Annual Communication, when the Finance Committee has indicated its prior approval to such application.

 

5.      PETER M. RASMUSSEN FUND:  Established as a memorial to the distinguished brother whose name it bears, this fund shall consist of all donations or testaments for charitable and benevolent purposes, as well as any receipts derived as the result of any appeal for charitable and benevolent causes.  In addition, the net interest earnings of all funds invested in the name of the Grand Lodge shall be automatically credited to the assets of this fund, unless otherwise resolved by Grand Lodge.  A specific portion of the annual per capita levied by Grand Lodge may also be credited to the fund's assets by action of the Grand Lodge.  Disbursements from this fund shall be effected only when authorized by the Grand Lodge's adoption of a specified budget for charitable and benevolent purposes at its Annual Communication.  Extraordinary disbursements not covered in the annual budget, such as for an emergency situation, may be made only if an appropriate resolution to that effect was incorporated in the text of the annual budget, which resolution must specify the limits of an extraordinary disbursement and the circumstances under which such may be disbursed.  The fund shall be administered in accord with the regulations applicable to the finances of the Grand Lodge, subject to the above provisions.

 

1.44    REVENUE:  The revenue of the ACGL shall be derived from the following sources, and shall be accounted for as to source, date and amount received:

 

1.      Each constituent Lodge shall be required to pay an annual per capita dues to the ACGL, payable not later than the fifteenth (15th) of February in each year, based on the last rate adopted by Grand Lodge at its previous Annual Communication.  The per capita dues shall be computed for each Master Mason member, based on the membership in the Lodge as of midnight on 31 December of the year immediately preceding, and may be reduced only by those specific exemptions noted in Section 1.45.

 

2.      Per capita dues shall be payable for each reinstatement at the rate in effect for the year in which reinstated, and shall be required to be remitted to the Grand Lodge together with the monthly Lodge report in which such reinstatement is reported.

 

3.      Donations and Testament.

 

4.      Fee payable with a petition to grant a Dispensation to form a new Lodge shall be DM 300.-, plus any additional costs due to future inflation, refundable if the petition is denied.

 

5.      Fee for granting a Charter to a Lodge shall be DM 500.-, plus any additional costs resulting from future inflation.

 

1.45      EXEMPTIONS FROM PER CAPITA DUES:  When a Brother is a member of more than one ACGL Lodge, the per capita payable by each ACGL Lodge in which he holds membership as of midnight, 31 December of each year shall be one-half the normal per capita rate.

 

1.46  BUDGET of the ACGL:  All proposed budgets to be submitted for consideration and approval by the Grand Lodge at its Annual Communication each year shall incorporate allocations -as indicated in each instance- for each of the following:

 

1.      GM EXPENSE ACCOUNT:  This shall consist of an established sum upon which the Grand Master may draw for expenses incurred in the performance of his duties and responsibilities to the Grand Lodge.  He shall not be authorized any additional funds to cover his expenses other than those allocated under this heading.  He shall submit an annual statement of the funds received and expended by him and for what purpose, in accord with the provisions of Section 1.50 of this Code.

 

2.      ACGL OFFICE: The Grand Lodge official domicile shall be Frankfurt am Main, where appropriate office facilities necessary to satisfy Grand Lodge requirements shall be maintained, in which the Grand Secretary is to perform his duties.  The office facility shall be maintained commensurate with the funds allocated for the purpose in the annual budget.  The Grand Lodge office may not be moved from the official domicile except by proper amendment to this Code at an Annual Communication, provided such action shall not conflict with any legal requirements resulting from existing contractual arrangement properly entered into by the Grand Lodge Association. [A resolution passed at the 1996 Annual will change the words "Frankfurt am Main, to "within Germany" if ratified.]

 

3.      REMUNERATIONS: The services of the Grand Secretary shall be remunerated in accord with legal requirements on the basis of a regular contract of employment between the Grand Lodge Association and the Grand Secretary, and shall take effect after installation in office.  When authorized, the Grand Treasurer shall likewise be entitled to remuneration, based on actual time expended performing his duties.  Remuneration of either officer shall be terminated in accord with any applicable legal requirements and/or the terms of any existing, legally consummated contract of employment.

 

4.      PER DIEM AND TRAVEL: When adequate funding is included in an annual budget, and when authorized by the Grand Master, each of the following, upon presentation of proper supporting vouchers, shall be entitled to reimbursement of certain expenses incurred in the performance of their Grand Lodge duties:

 

a.      The ACGL Representative to the Senate of the VGLvD.

 

b.      District Masters, only in respect of an authorized official visit.

 

c.      The ACGL elected officers, except the Grand Master.

 

d.      A special Representative of the Grand Master, when so designated.

 

e.      When a specific allocation is included in an annual budget for the purpose (see Para. 7 below), Lodge voting delegates and ACGL officers who attend ACGL Communications.

 

5.      PER CAPITA DUES TO THE VGLvD: Which shall be that amount needed to discharge the indebtedness of the ACGL to the VGLvD based on the current agreement or regulation by the VGLvD.

 

6.      FRATERNAL RELATIONS & PUBLICATIONS: Provision to include contributions to other masonic and/or concordant or allied Bodies and organizations, as well as adequate funding for publication of an American Canadian Trestleboard (TACT) or any other publications of the Grand Lodge, should be considered in every budget.

 

7.      ANNUAL COMMUNICATION: In this category shall be included any authorized reimbursement of Host Lodge expenses which are the direct result of planning or arranging any of the functions of an Annual Communication; any reimbursement of Lodge delegates for per diem, travel, or both, when and if a specific allocation for that purpose is included in the adopted budget; and any expenses of the Grand Lodge directly related to its function as a Host to other visiting Grand Lodge dignitaries, and/or subsidizing costs of ACGL Communications not covered by registration fees.

 

8.      MISCELLANEOUS: Under this heading shall be included any amounts necessary to cover expenses difficult to combine under one major appropriation.  The annual statement shall include a detailed breakdown of such expenditures.

 

1.47      BUDGETARY LIMITATIONS: Expenditures authorized in an annual budget shall not exceed the anticipated income of the Grand Lodge, and shall take into consideration accounts payable and receivable.

 

1.48      REIMBURSEMENT SCHEDULE: When authorized, the following schedule of rates shall apply within Germany when determining reimbursement to those brethren named in Section 1.46, paragraph 4 of this Code:

 

1.      When hotel or other commercial overnight accommodations are involved: based on the actual bills presented.

 

2.      When no overnight accommodations are involved as in paragraph 1. but when at least one meal other than breakfast is taken in a public accommodation: based on actual bills presented.

 

3.      Travel by train, which may be first class fare plus taxi charges to and from the nearest railroad stations involved, when no other means of transportation is available or practical or offered.

 

4.      Travel by air, which must have the prior approval of the GM and which may not, under any circumstances, exceed the authorized rate for personal motor vehicle, except that the delegate from the Saudi Arabian Lodges shall be reimbursed at the economy air rate.

 

5.      Travel by personal motor vehicle: based on actual bills presented when not otherwise reimbursed.  Such reimbursement shall be made only to the owner of the vehicle or the one who actually incurred the expense, irrespective of the number of brethren who traveled within the vehicle.

 

1.49      AUTHENTICATING REIMBURSEMENT CLAIMS: When reimbursement is authorized as specified within this Code, authentication of actual attendance at each session of the Communication for which claim is submitted is required.  A claim for reimbursement of valid expenses can only be submitted on the authorized claim form issued by the Grand Lodge, and must be personally signed by the claimant and accompanied by substantiating vouchers (i.e.: receipts, bills, canceled tickets, etc.).  Reimbursement may be withheld by order of the GM from any member of the ACGL who failed to attend all of the sessions of the Communication unless excused by the GM.  In the case of a Lodge delegate to an ACGL Communication for which claim for reimbursement is submitted, the Lodge must be represented by a voting delegate at all times; and under no circumstances will any reimbursement be made for more than one delegate per Lodge.

 

1.50  GRAND MASTER'S EXPENSE (RATES):  When traveling on Grand Lodge business, his actual expenses incurred, supported by proper bills, tickets, receipts, vouchers, or certifications, duly filed with the Grand Lodge, as further clarified in Section 1.46, Para. 1.

 

1.51  ACGL COMMITTEES:  The Grand Master shall appoint a Credentials Committee, the, members of which are charged with the following duties prior to the opening of the Annual Communication:

 

1.      To register the delegates of all ACGL Lodges attending the Communication, ascertaining that their papers are in order, in accord with the provisions of this Code.

 

2.       To register all members of the Grand Lodge (see Section 1.2) and all visiting brethren and guests of the Grand Lodge.

 

3.      To ascertain the number of votes represented based on the registered attendance at the Communication, filing their report to that effect with the Grand Secretary and the Grand Master.

 

4.      To ascertain the number of votes present at each session of the ACGL, based on roll-call or personal observation, assisted by the Directors of Ceremonies.  No voting may ensue unless the total is fully clarified to the satisfaction of the Grand Master.

 

5.      To perform such other duties when registering members of the ACGL as may be directed, such as distribution of publications containing the program, agenda, notices, bulletins, etc.

 

1.52  ACGL STANDING COMMITTEES: Immediately after his Installation the Grand Master shall appoint the following committees prior to the closing of the Annual Communication.  When this is not practical or feasible, he may announce such appointments within thirty days.

 

1.      FINANCE COMMITTEE:  This Committee shall be charged with the responsibility of submitting a proposed budget in March of each year for the current calendar year (1 January through 31 December) to the ACGL at its Annual Communication. They shall formulate such proposed budget based upon the recommendations of the Grand Master and various Committees of Grand Lodge, who shall communicate their proposals to the Finance Committee in writing.  The Committee shall be charged with the responsibility of examining the accounts of the Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer semiannually, and to direct a complete audit of these accounts during the month of February of each year; evaluating said audit report; and devising a proposed budget during March of each year, for presentation to the Grand Lodge at the Annual Communication.  The Committee report, as well as the report of an independent auditor when such services are required and contracted for, shall be submitted at the Annual Communication.

 

2.      COMMITTEE ON RESOLUTIONS: To this committee shall be referred all resolutions to amend, rescind or otherwise alter the laws of the ACGL.  The committee may recommend adoption or non-adoption of resolutions received by them, outlining their reasons for such action.  They may not alter any resolution received, but may present for consideration to the proposer(s) of such resolution their recommendation for any specific change(s) which, if accepted by the proposer(s) on the floor of the ACGL, may then be acted upon by Grand Lodge.  Without such approval, the committee shall not have the right to alter or eliminate any proposal submitted to them.

 

3.      COMMITTEE ON WORKS:  A Committee on Works shall consist of 3 or 5 members, to which shall be referred all questions/suggested changes in the esoteric and monitorial work.  It shall be the duty of the committee to report its recommendations in writing with respect thereto as soon as practicable to the Grand Lodge.  Action(s) when necessary, shall be taken only at an annual communication and after receipt of committee's recommendation.

 

Annually, following the close of the annual communication, the committee or such member or members thereof as the committee shall designate, shall meet with the Grand Secretary and prepare notice of any and all changes adopted at such communication, which shall be promptly transmitted by the Grand Secretary to the constituent Lodges. {amended 11/87}

 

4.      COMMITTEE ON LODGE SERVICES:  This committee shall be charged to develop, organize and recommend to the Grand Master any standard form and administrative procedure which may be beneficial to the Lodges, as well as to recommend formulation, adoption, and distribution of various pamphlets on Masonic education.  They shall also be responsible for recommending media and methods to promote increased learning and efficiency of Lodges and brethren, assisting Lodges in all matters of administration when requested.

 

5.      COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC RELATIONS:  This committee shall be charged with the responsibility of overseeing and reviewing all aspects of the Craft's public relations, and make recommendations for utilization of the various methods of communication such as radio, television, public notices or other publications or media.  In addition this committee shall be responsible for publication and distribution of 'TACT' (The American Canadian Trestleboard).

 

6.      CHARITY AND BENEVOLENCE COMMITTEE:  This committee shall be composed of not less than three qualified Master Masons appointed in accord with the provisions of Article IV, Paragraph la of the bylaws of the A.C.G.L. e.V. (registered association), who shall be charged with responsibility for reviewing, researching, investigating and evaluating all requests for aid or relief submitted in proper form to the Grand Lodge, and to devise a suitable program of charitable and benevolent allocations in the form of a budget.  The Committee's findings in each instance, and the budget proposal incorporating its recommendations, shall be presented in a written report for consideration and action by the Grand Lodge at its Annual Communication.

 

7.      COMMITTEE ON ACGL AWARDS:  To this committee shall be submitted all recommendations for awards received by the Grand Secretary or Grand Master.  The committee is charged to carefully review the qualifications pertaining to each individual proposal for a Grand Lodge award, and to submit its recommendations to the Grand Lodge for confirmation and adoption.  When the committee is unable to recommend approval of an individual award proposal, its decision shall not be reported to the Grand Lodge in session; in such instance the committee chairman shall return the proposal to the initiating Lodge together with a letter advising of the Committee's decision and the criteria used to arrive at such decision.  The Lodge may appeal the Committee's decision to the Grand Master if it so desires, and in such instance the Grand Master's decision win be binding on all concerned.  When evaluating any proposal the Committee -and the Grand Master in the event of an appeal- shall be guided by the following criteria:

 

The ACGL Distinguished Service Award (DSA) in either the gold or silver categories shall not be awarded on the basis of a written recommendation indicating normal, superior performance expected of all Brethren and particularly Lodge officers, but shall consider only such outstanding contributions considered as above and beyond the superior level of performance.  The DSA is authorized for three specific categories of achievement, as follows:

 

1.      Bronze: The award shall be granted only to those brethren who have distinguished themselves by exceptional and outstanding contributions of time, knowledge and energy while serving as an officer of a Lodge, utilizing the same criteria.

 

2.      Silver: The award shall be granted only to a Brother who has, in accord with the foregoing, qualified for consideration in this category by distinguished efforts and contributions of time, knowledge and energy on a local level (Lodge or District), when such acts have immeasurably added to the honor of the Craft in general.

 

3.      Gold: This award shall be granted only to a Brother who has, in accord with the foregoing, qualified for consideration in this category by virtue of his exceptionally outstanding work on a national level; that is, to one who has distinguished himself through contributions which have brought honor to the fraternity as a whole, and immeasurably added to the welfare of ALL constituent ACGL lodges.

 

{see GRAND LODGE AWARDS - REFERENCE MANUAL}

 

8.      JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:  This committee shall be composed of all Past Grand Masters together with an equal number of members of the ACGL, provided that a minimum of ten members shall compose the committee at all times, plus the Judge Advocate and Proctor as ex-officio members without vote.  The members shall be appointed by the Grand Master-elect at the Annual Communication, or if this is not feasible, within thirty days thereafter.  The committee shall be charged with the duty of reviewing all matters or disputes involving Masonic jurisdiction or Masonic law or custom referred to it in accord with this Code.  When necessary the committee shall have the authority to retain the services of any lawyer who is a member of a Lodge within the jurisdiction of the VGLvD, subject to the approval of the Grand Master.

 

1.53  JUDGE ADVOCATE:  The Judge Advocate shall be a Brother well versed in Masonic law, custom, and practice, who shall serve as the legal advisor to the Grand Master and the Judiciary Committee; when and if feasible a Brother appointed to this position should either be a lawyer by profession or one who is well grounded in civil law.

 

1.54  THE PROCTOR:  To the Proctor will be referred all matters involving Masonic charges or complaints rendered in accord with this Code.  He shall assist the GM in reviewing such matters and conduct any further investigations related to such matters as may be required of him by the GM.  He shall also be responsible for the administrative work entailed in preparation of Masonic trials when charges are entertained and a Trial Commission appointed.

 

1.55  BOARD OF APPEALS:  This Board shall consist only of Past Masters or Masters who have been Master Masons not less than two years immediately preceding their appointment to this board; if a Master or Past Master is a lawyer by profession, the two-year requirement noted above shall not apply.  An elected officer of Grand Lodge may not be appointed to serve on this Board during his tenure.  Each of those appointed shall be required to serve the full term, which shall be one year; except that the chairman may, at the option of the Grand Master, be appointed to serve for two consecutive years.  The normal rotation dates of the members of this committee shall be known prior to appointment.  The Board shall receive and review all appeals processed in accord with this Code, for determination and final action; at all times a quorum comprised of an odd number of Board members shall be mandatory.

 

1.56  (This section formerly specified the composition and duties of a 'Board of Trustees' and was superseded by the Board of Directors -see Section 1.11- of the Grand Lodge Association since adoption of the constitution and bylaws of said Association.  In this revision of the Code the original numbering sequence has been retained, and the original text is simply deleted without substitution.)

 

1.57  RULES OF ORDER:  At the third stroke of the Grand Master's gavel at the opening of the Annual Communication of the ACGL, a general silence shall prevail.  The following Rules of Order shall apply in governing the conduct and manner in which the business of the ACGL is to be accomplished, in accord with the official Agenda:

 

RULE 1.      Any Brother who breaks silence or leaves his place in the Lodge without leave from the Chair shall subject himself to public admonishment or reprimand.

 

RULE 2.      Unless specifically granted permission, none but members of the ACGL (voting and non-voting) may speak on any question.

 

RULE 3.      None shall be permitted to leave the session in progress without permission, except when specific provision has been made for that purpose by the Chair.

 

RULE 4.      A Brother desiring to speak shall stand in his place and give the sign of fidelity; when recognized he shall announce his full name and Lodge name and number, and his Masonic title therein and address his further remarks to the Chair.

 

RULE 5.       No Brother may speak more than once to the same question without permission from the Chair.  In nominating or seconding, a Brother may speak no longer than three minutes.

 

RULE 6.       A Brother shall remain standing while speaking, addressing himself to the Chair, and no member shall interrupt him except on a point of order.  If admonished, a speaker may proceed provided he observes due order and decorum.

 

RULE 7.      If a Brother has been called to order twice during any session, and continues to transgress these Rules; or as the result of unruly or obstreperous conduct obstructs the proceedings; or is obviously under the influence of intoxicating beverages or drugs; the Chair may peremptorily order him to leave the Communication for the balance of the day.

 

RULE 8.      A Point of Order shall take precedence at all times, and be resolved immediately by the Chair.

 

RULE 9.       There shall be no recourse from any decision of the Chair rendered consistent with his prerogatives, responsibilities, and these Rules.  Although inconceivable that such be necessary with respect to so high a Masonic station, a member desiring recourse shall call a Point of Order and state his willingness to prefer Masonic charges, stating the abuse in terms of a Masonic offense as defined by this Code.

 

RULE 10.      Should the Grand Master quit his station temporarily he may designate either the Deputy or a Past GM to preside in his absence, provided no legislation other than election of officers is enacted during his temporary absence, unless permitted by him prior to leaving.

 

RULE 11.      To be considered a proposition must be reduced to written form and read prior to voting.  This shall apply equally to any changes or amendments to propositions.

 

RULE 12.      All motions shall be decided by a majority of votes, by show of hands or by roll-call.  To effect a roll-call, a motion to that effect must be presented by a member, be seconded, and then be carried by a majority show of hands.

 

RULE 13.      Elections of officers or other elective office shall be by secret ballot.  All voting members present must cast a ballot, and a majority of all votes cast will be required to elect.  When a majority is not attained, the nominee with the lowest number of votes will be announced by the Committee of Tellers and his name withdrawn prior to reballoting, unless a nominee voluntarily withdraws prior to such announcement, but after all votes are counted.

 

RULE 14.      Votes will be counted by the Deacons, the Grand Master, and the Chairman of the Credentials Committee, except that ballots shall be collected by the Directors of Ceremonies and handed to a Committee of Tellers who shall be appointed from among non-voting members and charged to tally such ballots.  Under all circumstances the total number of ballots or votes cast shall be announced, and the total must coincide with the total number of authorized voting members present and accounted for prior to voting.

 

RULE 15.      Nominations for elective office may be made by any ACGL member present, except that when a nomination is made by any nonvoting member, it must be seconded by a voting member in order to be considered.  A nominee for office must be present and signify his willingness to serve if elected.  Nominations may be closed only after all nominations from the floor have been received.

 

RULE 16.      When only one name is placed in nomination the Chair shall request a show of hands, and a majority vote shall result in the election being proclaimed unanimous.

 

RULE 17.      No item on the following Agenda may be omitted, although action on specific recommendations embodied in Committee reports may be deferred until all reports have been received and rendered.  Acceptance of a Committee report shall not constitute adoption of any recommendations contained therein, unless a specific motion to that effect is made, seconded and carried.  The Grand Master may schedule recesses, or interpose presentations of awards, provided such scheduling shall not hinder completion of the entire business before the ACGL by its scheduled and announced closing.  While in session, after the first day the ACGL shall convene promptly each day at 0900 hours.  A motion to adjourn or close may be entertained only after completion of all items on the Agenda.  Additional items may be added to the Agenda if desired, provided they are announced by the Grand Master in his annual report.

 

OFFICIAL AGENDA

of the

ANNUAL COMMUNICATION

 

1.    Opening Grand Lodge

 

2.    Credentials Committee report

 

3.    Roll-call of Lodges and Grand Lodge officers

 

4.    Confirmation of published minutes of previous Communications

 

5.    Report of the Grand Secretary and action thereon

 

6.    Report of the Grand Treasurer and action thereon

 

7.    Appointments to vacancies in Standing Committees

 

8.    Necrology Committee report

 

9.    Report of the Grand Master and action thereon

 

10.   Report of Board of Directors, ACGL e.V. and action

 

11.    Reports of Standing Committees and Boards, and action

 

12.    Reports of Special Committees, if any

 

13.    Unfinished Business

 

14.    Amendments to the Code

 

15.   New business other than amendments

 

16.    Miscellaneous

 

17.    Election of officers (and Board when applicable)

 

18.    Appointments by Grand Master-elect

 

19.    Installation of officers

 

20.    Closing of Grand Lodge, and Recession of officers

 


THE CODE

 

SECTION 2.00

 

 

This section contains the general rules and regulations for the government of the Craft Lodges under the Jurisdiction of the American Canadian Grand Lodge AF&AM within the United Grand Lodges of Germany.  It should be carefully studied by every member of a constituent Lodge, and particularly each officer.  Every officer and member is charged to be aware of his respective responsibility and duty, to his own Lodge in particular and to the fraternity in general.  Each member has an equal share in the responsibility of ensuring all aspects of Lodge work are conducted in accord with the regulations contained herein, as well as the provisions of his own Lodge bylaws.

 

Any constituent Lodge bylaw found to be in conflict with any portion of this Code shall be deemed to be automatically superseded by this CODE, with no further action required by the Lodge, except to ensure that due notification is given to each member and the bylaws corrected accordingly.

 

Administrative forms and procedures published or promulgated by the Grand Lodge in implementation of the regulations covered by this Code (see Lodge Secretary's Handbook of Administrative Procedures and Forms) shall be construed as extensions of the specific rules or regulations contained herein, except that when any administrative procedure or form may be found to be in direct conflict with a specific Code provision, it shall be subject to such revision as may be necessary to eliminate such conflict.

 

2.1   LODGE DEFINITION: A Lodge within the Jurisdiction of this ACGL is defined as an organized body of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, empowered by a Charter, Warrant, or Dispensation granted by the United Grand Lodges of Germany (VGLvD), to make and admit Masons, performing such authorized work in the English language.

 

2.2    AUTHORITY: A Lodge can meet only by virtue of the authority of its Charter or Dispensation, Which must always be prominently displayed whenever the Lodge is in session.  No Lodge meeting can be considered lawful, nor may Minutes of a meeting be regarded as masonic or legal, when said Charter or Dispensation is not present and displayed during such meeting.

 

2.3    MEETINGS: Every ACGL Lodge may hold its meetings in either the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, or Master Mason degree of Masonry, effecting all business of the Lodge in the degree in which opened. (see Section 2.18 for further clarification).

 

2.4            PRESIDING OFFICER: The Master and Senior and Junior Wardens are the principal officers of a Lodge.  In the Master's absence, the Senior Warden shall preside, and in the absence of both Master and Senior Warden, the Junior Warden shall preside.  This shall apply to all Stated meetings of the Lodge and such other meetings as authorized by the Master.  In the absence of the Master and both Wardens, the Lodge may be opened only by a Past Master who is a member of the Lodge, and then only when there is no objection from any member of the Lodge then present.  In Lodges working under a Canadian Ritual, the I.P.M. shall be permitted to preside in the absence of the Master, provided no objection is interposed by the Wardens and Brethren then present.

 

2.5    DECISION OF THE MASTER: There shall be no appeal within the Lodge from the decision of the Master.  However, any member shall have the right to appeal, direct to the Grand Master, a decision he deems inconsistent with the Code and/or Lodge bylaws.  The Grand Master's decision in such instance shall be final and binding.

 

2.6   RITUAL WORK: All ACGL Lodges except the Lodges working under a Canadian Ritual shall practice and exemplify the Standard Work of the ACGL, when adopted, as may be subsequently amended by any ACGL ruling or law.  In the absence of such standard ritual each Lodge shall exemplify an approved ritual specified within its by-laws.  Canadian Lodges shall exemplify an approved Ritual of one of the Grand Jurisdictions of Canada unless they voluntarily elect to adopt the ACGL standard ritual.  The first section of each degree exemplification must be performed by those concerned without the use of any printed or written aid in evidence.

 

2.7    DEFINITION OF RITUAL: Ritual work as prescribed in the foregoing section shall be defined as those masonic ceremonies required to open and close a Lodge, exemplify any of the three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry including the associated lectures and charges, and such other masonic ceremonies adopted by the ACGL for other specific masonic purposes, such as installation of officers, funeral services, Lodges of Sorrow (memorials), when promulgated.

 

      No portion of these rituals may be omitted during exemplification, nor is any deviation from the work authorized (except as noted in section 2.8 below) unless approved by the Grand Master.

 

2.8   DEGREE WORK BY VISITORS:  When authorized by the Grand Master, a visiting Brother or degree team from another recognized Lodge may perform any portion of the degree work in the ritual in which he or they are best qualified to exemplify.  Such permission must be recorded in the Minutes of the applicable Lodge Communication. (This applies to a ritual other than that specified in sections 2.6 and 2.7 above)

 

2.9    REQUIREMENT TO BE TILED:  Every Lodge meeting (communication) irrespective of whether Degree work is performed, must be Tiled by a Master Mason who is in good standing in a recognized Lodge.

 

2.10    VISITORS TO LODGES:  A prerequisite to being admitted to any Lodge shall be avouchment of a Brother as a recognized Mason by one of the Brothers present.  Such avouchment can only be made by a Brother when he can state without reservation that he had been present in a recognized Craft Lodge when the visiting Brother was also present.  If such avouchment cannot be made, such visitor(s) must be properly examined by a committee.  In addition, a visiting Brother shall be required to authenticate himself by presenting a current dues card (or other authorized documentation) which shall contain the following minimum information:

 

1.      His name and Masonic Degree.

 

2.      Signature of the Lodge Secretary and/or Grand Secretary issuing the document, attested by Seal impression.

 

3.      The Brother's signature, which must be compared with his signature in the Visitor's Book.

 

4.      Certification by the Grand Secretary of the recognized Grand Lodge in which the Lodge issuing the dues card is located, attesting to the regularity of the Lodge.  This shall be checked with the current issue of the "List of Lodges-Masonic" prior to examining the visiting Brother.

 

      In addition to the above, immediately prior to his being examined, a visiting Brother shall be required to repeat the Tiler's Oath in the presence of the Lodge's examining committee.

 

2.11  LODGE OFFICER REGALIA:  The jewels or badges of constituent Lodge officers shall be of silver or silver-colored metal.  Their aprons shall be white, or white with a blue border or skirting, and their collars (to which are appended the jewel of office held) shall be of a Masonic blue color, with ornamentation of any kind in silver or silver color.  American or English regalia designs are authorized, provided the above requirements are met.

 

2.12    INTOXICATING LIQUORS:  Intoxicating beverages, or food, shall not be permitted at any time within the ritual rooms of an ACGL Lodge when the altar is in evidence.  Unless the Lodge by-laws specifically forbid such beverages as wine or beer, these may be consumed in moderation in the collation rooms, after the close of the Lodge.  Liquor shall not be permitted at any time within the Lodge rooms.

 

2.13    PROPERTY OF A LODGE:  Every Lodge shall be required to keep, maintain and safely store the following listed items, which shall be regarded as minimum requirements.  These may not be destroyed or confiscated by anyone, unless authorized by the Grand Master, and then only when such items are of no further value or use:

 

1.      A Seal press containing the name and number of the Lodge.

 

2.      Five copies of this CODE, and a copy of the Magna Charta of German Freemasonry and the laws issued by the VGLvD.

 

3.      A 'Bylaw Book' containing the signature of each Master Mason member since the institution of the Lodge.

 

4.      Minutes book(s) in which the proceedings of the Lodge are permanently recorded.

 

5.      An attendance Register or book, in which each member and each visiting Brother shall sign his name when attending the Lodge.  A visitor must also print the name, number and location of his Lodge next to his signature.

 

6.      A permanent record book in which the name and information as listed below is recorded individually for each member of the Lodge, including affiliated members.  Each individual member's record must include the following as a minimum:

 

a.      The member's full name (no initials; all given names).

 

b.      His date and place of birth.

 

c.      Permanent address or legal home-of-record, which is to be updated when and as applicable.

 

d.      Current (or last known) address, and mailing address when different to be updated when and as applicable.

 

e.      Complete masonic history, including the date his petition was received by the Secretary; date petition officially read in the Lodge; names of each member of the investigating committee assigned; date petition was subsequently balloted upon, and result; date of each Degree received (and where); date of proficiency in each Degree (for each initiated in the Lodge).  And when applicable, the following:  date of membership in any other Lodge(s); date of demit from the Lodge or any other Lodge; date of suspension by the Lodge (for lawful reason); date of expulsion for lawful reason; date of reinstatement; and date of death.  Summing-up, each member's record in the Lodge must contain all necessary data to permit easy reconstruction of his masonic progress as may be required in the future.

 

7.      Alphabetical file of all petitioners maintained under the following separate headings: Current members; demitted Brethren; members suspended for non-payment of dues (NPD); members suspended or expelled for unmasonic conduct; members deceased; petitioners rejected.  Each individual file must contain the original petition signed by the member and recommender(s), and the Lodge Secretary and investigating committee; reports of investigation with letters of reference received; and all papers, documents, correspondence from, or concerning, the individual Brother or petitioner.

 

8.      Copies of Grand Lodge Proceedings when published, as well as required copies of all other official documents released by the Grand Lodge regularly to all constituent Lodges.

 

9.      A copy of the latest publication "List of Lodges-Masonic" approved by Grand Lodge, listing recognized Lodges in the world.

 

10.      Financial records of the Secretary and Treasurer, which must include bound books clearly listing all monetary transactions of the Lodge; all bank statements; deposit slips; check books, and canceled checks; receipts; dues cards and stubs; and all other records and vouchers of these two officers.  These records must be kept in accord with the standard procedures adopted by the Grand Lodge, in the manner and form published by the Grand Lodge in "The Lodge Secretary Is Handbook of Administrative Procedures and Forms".

 

11.      All correspondence and suspense files as may be necessary to properly conduct the administration of the Lodge, which must be filed or kept in an orderly manner as to permit readily available research or reference to them when necessary.

 

12.      A complete chronological file of all Grand Lodge releases including Directives, Communicators, administrative bulletins, or other correspondence published and released to all Lodges.

 

THE ABOVE CONSTITUTE THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS, WHICH MAY BE SUPPLEMENTED, PROVIDED GRAND LODGE RULINGS OR PROCEDURES ARE NOT COMPROMISED.  THE INTERESTS OF ALL PAST AND PRESENT MEMBERS ARE VITALLY INVOLVED.

 

2.14  LODGE BY-LAWS:  Each ACGL Lodge is empowered to frame by-laws for its own internal government, utilizing only the standard bylaw provisions adopted by Grand Lodge, and further subject to approval of the Grand Master.  Lodge bylaws may not omit any of the required standard provisions, or conflict with the laws of the ACGL or the VGLvD.  When adopted by an individual Lodge in accord with ACGL regulations, bylaws (or any amendments to them) must be submitted in duplicate to the Grand Secretary, using the forms provided for such purpose, for review and approval of the Grand Master.  Lodge by-laws, or any amendments to them, shall take effect only after approved by the Grand Master; the effective date in most instances will be retroactive to date of adoption by the Lodge.  Each Master Mason shall consummate membership in the Lodge -in accordance with this Code- by signing his name in the Bylaw Book, attesting thereby that he has received the bylaws (which govern his relationship to the Lodge) and will abide by them at all times.

 

      If a Brother resides outside the jurisdiction of the Lodge when he is able to consummate membership, (i.e.; after courtesy work elsewhere, etc.) a 'Bylaw Proxy' form shall be sent to him for his completion, authorizing either the Master or Secretary to sign the Bylaw Book for him.  In such instance, the Bylaw Proxy must then be filed by the Lodge, either by attachment to the Bylaw Book, or in the member's personal file.  In the latter case, the Bylaw Book should be annotated to reflect the fact the proxy form is filed in his personal file.  Lodge bylaws must be framed in accord with the "Standard Bylaw Text" adopted by Grand Lodge, copies of which have been distributed to each Lodge as permanent property.  The text is again published as an Annex to this revised edition of the Code, a copy of which must always be available in each Lodge.  The following list of minimum requirements for inclusion in Lodge bylaws is published for information only; the Standard Text must be referred to for the actual wording and complete text:

 

1.      Name and number of the Lodge, and date of its Charter.

 

2.      Exact location of the Lodge, which shall not be changed -even temporarily- without dispensation granted by the Grand Master, and as noted in the Standard Text.

 

3.      The ritual adopted by the Lodge.

 

4.      The exact day(s) and time(s) of Stated Communications of the Lodge, and the Annual Communication, which may not be changed without dispensation of the GM, and as outlined within the bylaws themselves.

 

5.      Provisions pertaining to holidays or periods of darkness, when the Lodge shall or may be closed.

 

6.      The amount of annual Dues payable to the Lodge which shall be payable on the first of January in each year.

 

7.      The amount of the fees for the Three Degrees of Masonry.

 

8.      Procedure to be followed in suspending members for non-payment of dues (NPD), in accord with the Code.

 

9.      Provisions for appointment of standing committees and such other special committees required.

 

10.      Procedures for amending the Bylaws.

 

11.      Provisions for surrendering the Charter, or consolidation or liquidation of assets and property upon dissolution.

 

12.      Date of adoption by the Lodge, and proper endorsements of the Master and Secretary, as well as the final endorsement by the Grand Lodge, when approved.

 

2.15  STATED COMMUNICATIONS:  Except for those periods of darkness or holidays authorized in Article II, Sections 2 and 5 of Lodge by-laws, each Lodge shall hold at least one Stated Communication in each month.  A Stated Communication may be postponed only by the Grand Master (except as may be specified in the approved bylaws, i.e.: holidays and/or periods of darkness), by his dispensation.  When granted, a copy of said dispensation shall be affixed to the Minutes of the Lodge, when received.  Failure to hold any Stated Communication stipulated in the bylaws may subject the Lodge to masonic discipline.  However, an indispensable prerequisite to opening a Lodge shall be three Master Masons, one of whom must be eligible to preside in accord with the Code, plus a Tiler.

 

2.16    SPECIAL OR CALLED COMMUNICATION:  Special Communications of the Lodge may be called only at the will and pleasure of the Master, provided however that no communication is called for the purpose of conferring any of the degrees on a Sunday.  Due notice of any Special Communication shall be given to all the resident members of the Lodge, (Note minimum attendance for opening, and for conferring of degrees on candidates.)

 

2.17  ANNUAL COMMUNICATION:  The Annual Communication of each constituent Lodge shall be the first Stated Communication in September, at which time written annual reports of the retiring Master, Secretary, Treasurer and Audit Committee shall be presented and entered into the minutes, with copies forwarded to the Grand Lodge within one week thereafter.

 

2.18    LEGISLATION:  No legislation may be enacted at any communication of a Lodge except as provided within the written laws of the ACGL.  Other than degree workings, all business of the Lodge shall take place only at Stated Communications.

 

2.19      MINIMUM ATTENDANCE FOR DEGREES:  No degree may be conferred at any communication of a Lodge unless a minimum of seven brethren capable of working in that Degree are physically present.

 

2.20    MINUTES:  Every communication of a Lodge must be recorded as prescribed by this Code, and these records shall be known as the Minutes of the Lodge. (see Section 2.48 for minimum requirements)

 

2.21  LODGE OFFICERS:  Each ACGL Lodge shall elect by secret ballot, at a duly summoned, Stated Communication held during June, July, August or September of each year, the following officers: Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer, and Secretary.  Prior to the Installation of these officers (which may not be accomplished prior to the Annual Communication of the Lodge), the Master-elect shall appoint a Senior and Junior Deacon and a Tiler, and such other officers as the by-laws and ritual of the Lodge authorize.

 

2.22    PREREQUISITES TO HOLDING LODGE OFFICE:  Other than the Tiler of a Lodge, who may be a member in good standing of any recognized Lodge, membership in good standing (dues-paying membership) in the Lodge shall be an indispensable requirement to holding elected or appointed office therein.  Every dues-paying member in good standing shall be regarded as eligible for any office within his Lodge, as may be further defined in this Code, except that of Master.

 

2.23    ELIGIBILITY FOR ELECTION TO MASTER:  Except in emergency circumstances (and then only by dispensation of the GM), eligibility for nomination and subsequent election as Master of a Lodge shall be as follows: The Brother concerned must have demonstrated his ability to confer the first sections of each of the three Degrees in accord with this Code, or he must have previously served (when nominated) as an elected and duly installed Warden of a recognized Lodge.  Further, in order to qualify for the office of Master, a Brother must have been a Master Mason for at least one year prior to his nomination.  In addition, he shall be able to represent his Lodge as its Master at the next Annual Communication of the ACGL after his installation.  (Note: Official clarification of the above provision by Grand Masters, released annually, is published for permanent reference as an Annex to this Code.)

 

2.24    EXCEPTIONS TO SECTION 2.23:  When in accord with the above Section (2.23) of this Code, only one Brother shall be found to be eligible for the office of Master, the Grand Master shall be notified in sufficient time prior to the election, to enable him to determine the advisability of granting a dispensation to authorize additional nominees for the office of Master, from among qualified members of the Lodge.

 

2.25    NOMINATIONS-WHEN LEGAL:  When a Brother is nominated for any office, he must signify his acceptance of such nomination in order for his nomination to be considered.  If a nominee is not present at the time of nomination, he may (in anticipation of nomination) signify his acceptance and willingness to serve, if elected, by personally designating a member who will be present in the Lodge at the time of nomination, to impart this information.

 

2.26    LIMITATION TO HOLDING OFFICE:  Other than the Treasurer of a Lodge, elected office may not be held by any Brother in more than one Lodge at the same time.

 

2.27 PREREQUISITES TO HOLDING ELECTIONS:  The annual election of Lodge officers, or an election held at any subsequent Stated Communication (when a lawful vacancy may exist) shall not be held unless all resident members (those residing within the territorial jurisdiction of the VGLvD) shall have been duly-summoned not less than twenty-eight days prior to the date of the scheduled election The summons shall specify the date of the election, the office(s) to be filled by election, and shall be mailed to each member's local address by First Class mail, and on the same day and in the same manner, a copy of the summons to one Brother (not copies of all the summonses) must be mailed to the Grand Secretary's office.  In addition, at each Communication of the Lodge held between the date of mailing of the summons and the election, announcement of the scheduled election must be made and recorded in the Minutes.

 

2.28    ELECTION PROCEDURE: All elections to Lodge office as required by Section 2.21, shall be by secret ballot.  All members of the Lodge -as defined by this Code- present, must submit a ballot.  The ballots shall be counted by a Committee of Tellers consisting of three members (or visiting brethren) who are not nominees for the elected position being considered.  They shall announce the number of blank ballots cast, when applicable, as well as the result of the ballot, The number of votes cast for each nominee shall not be announced.  A majority of all ballots, excluding any blank ballots cast, shall determine the outcome of any election.  When a majority does not appear, balloting must be resumed until a majority can be announced.  The Master (or other officer presiding) shall announce the name of the Brother elected to office immediately after the name is presented to him by the Committee of Tellers.

 

2.29      FAILURE TO ELECT OFFICERS AT PRESCRIBED TIME:  If a Lodge fails to elect its officers at the prescribed time (at the summoned Stated Communication), the Master or acting Master shall request a dispensation from the Grand Master to hold a special election (at a subsequent Stated Communication), which request shall state the reason for the failure to elect at the prescribed time.

 

2.30  TIME OF INSTALLATION:  The Annual Installation of the elected and appointed officers of the Lodge shall take place at its Annual Communication (in September) or at a subsequent communication held not later than thirty days thereafter, or prior to the Semi-annual Communication of the ACGL, if earlier.

 

2.31    REQUIREMENTS FOR INSTALLATIONS:  The only authorized ritual to be used when installing the officers of a Lodge shall be the ritual promulgated by Grand Lodge, except when/if waived by dispensation of the Grand Master.  Installation of Officers shall be restricted to the Craft unless the Lodge had previously voted (and such fact is duly-noted in its minutes) to hold an Open Installation.

 

2.32  OPEN INSTALLATIONS:  If an installation of Officers shall be open to invited non-masonic guests, the Lodge shall be opened in due form prior to the admission of the guests, and thereafter duly called to refreshment "for the purpose of conducting the scheduled Open Installation", and so noted in the Minutes.  When called to refreshment for that purpose, the Volume of Sacred Law shall be closed on the altar, with the square and compasses placed upon it in closed position.  The Lesser Lights will remain lighted.  Only after this procedure has been completed, may non-masonic guests be admitted.  When Open Installation ceremonies are completed, guests shall be requested to leave the Lodge room, the Lodge shall again be Tiled, recalled to labor, and then closed in due form.

 

2.33      INSTALLATION AT A PLACE OTHER THAN THE REGULAR LODGE ROOM:  If a Lodge adopts a resolution to conduct an Open Installation in a place other than the regular location specified in the Lodge bylaws, a request for dispensation to permit such ceremony shall be submitted in writing for the Grand Master's consideration, well in advance.  Only when dispensation is granted by the Grand Master for that purpose may Installation ceremonies be held in other than the regular Lodge rooms.  In such instance, the same procedure as outlined in Section 2.32 shall be followed, with this exception: The Lodge shall be opened at its regular location (unless waived in the dispensation), but the ceremonies of Installation shall be held at the place named in the dispensation.  Under such circumstances care must be exercised to ensure the ceremonies are held in such manner that uninvited persons cannot observe or hear the proceedings.  After the Installation ceremonies, the officers must return to the Lodge, be called from refreshment to labor and the Lodge closed in due form prior to midnight the same day.

 

2.34      PREREQUISITES TO INSTALLING LODGE OFFICERS: All officers, including those re-elected or re-appointed, must be installed according to the ritual.  The following rules must be observed:

 

1.      If an officer-elect, other than the Master, is unable to attend the Installation due to circumstances beyond his control, and his acceptance of the office is known, he may be installed by use of a proxy, who must be a Master Mason member of the Lodge.  If acceptance of the office in question is uncertain, installation of that particular officer shall be postponed.

 

2.      The Master-elect may not be installed by proxy. (In such instance, none of the officers may be installed until the Master is available for installation.)

 

3.      No Lodge officer shall be installed -in person or by use of a proxy- whose known, imminent permanent departure from the jurisdictional area of the Lodge would preclude the possibility of his continuing the proper functions of that office for the major portion of the term of office for which he was elected.

 

2.35      INSTALLATION OF THE MASTER: At his Installation, the Master shall receive in charge the VGLvD Master's collar jewel, which may be worn only by him while serving as Master.  This jewel shall be worn by him at all masonic communications he may attend within the jurisdiction of the VGLvD.  It shall remain in his custody at all times, and should he depart the jurisdiction prior to his normal termination of office, he is required to place the Master's jewel in the safe custody of the Lodge.  At all times, the Master's jewel will be presented to each lawful successor, when duly installed.

 

2.36    FAILURE TO INSTALL OFFICERS:  If a Lodge fails to install its officers-elect within the prescribed time specified in this Code, a request for dispensation shall be forwarded to the Grand Master in proper form, requesting permission to install those officers at a later date; the request must state the reason for the inability to install the officers within the prescribed time.

 

2.37    INVESTITURE OF THE MASTER: At any time after his Installation the Master of a Lodge may be invested with the "Secrets of the Chair" (Rite of Investiture) in accord with Grand Lodge rules.  Such Rite of Investiture may only be performed at the time and place authorized by the Grand Master, if not received during the Semi-annual Communication of the ACGL following Installation.

 

2.38  POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MASTER: The Master of each Lodge shall have the responsibility of obeying and ensuring that the written laws of the Grand Lodge and his own Lodge bylaws are enforced within his Lodge, among the members, and to all visiting brethren as applicable.  He shall have the prerogative of directing and controlling all business and work of his Lodge, except when the Grand Master, or his District Master, is present and presiding in the Lodge.  With the exception of elections, the Master shall be entitled to an additional vote, if desired, when deemed necessary to break a tie vote on any proposal brought before the Lodge.  His direction and control of the order of business and the work shall be construed to include any periods of refreshment, when concerned with Masonic matters.  In addition to requiring the observance and obedience to the laws of this jurisdiction he shall have the specific responsibility and duty:

 

1.      To preside in his Lodge, except that he may permit any properly qualified Master Mason to occupy the East in his Lodge for purpose of conferring any of the three Degrees.

 

2.      To convene his Lodge in accord with the By-laws.

 

3.      To discharge the executive functions of his office, ensuring that the duties of his officers and the members of the Lodge committees are faithfully and punctually performed, and also to see that all required reports, records, files and correspondence are submitted and/or maintained as required by this Code.

 

4.      To appoint or remove any officer not required to be elected, in accord with this Code and the Lodge bylaws, and any committees or members thereof, in accord with the bylaws.

 

5.      To issue all summonses requiring attendance of a member or members, over his signature, which shall require the attestation (signature and Seal) of the Lodge Secretary.

 

6.      To represent his Lodge at all times.

 

7.      When deemed essential, to rescind any actions taken by his wardens during his absence from the Lodge.

 

8.      To admit visitors to his Lodge only after proper avouchment or examination, provided there is no objection placed by any member present, to the admittance of any visitor.

 

9.      To admonish, but not reprimand, an unruly Brother whose actions within the Lodge warrant such admonishment.

 

10.      To eject an insolent or disrespectful Brother or one whose actions or demeanor disturb the harmony of his Lodge.

 

11.      To request the Grand Master to suspend an elected officer of his Lodge from the functions of that office, for cause.

 

12.      To appoint a temporary replacement for any absent elected or appointed officer, from among the Brethren present in the Lodge, for that particular Communication.

 

2.39  DUTIES OF THE WARDENS:  Each Warden shall be required to qualify himself to discharge all the duties of the Master, and in the Master's absence, in proper succession, to assume the functions of the Master.  In addition, he shall perform such other functions as required of him by the Master, in accord with Masonic tradition.

 

2.40  DUTIES OF THE TREASURER:  The Treasurer shall receive from the Secretary of the Lodge all monies due and received on account of the Lodge, giving a receipt in return for such funds.  He shall be required to keep an accurate and just accounting of all funds by item and source, in accord with the published Grand Lodge standard procedures, depositing all funds to the credit and account of the Lodge.  He shall effect disbursements by order of the Lodge, upon receipt of a Payment Order signed by the Secretary and approved by the Master.  He shall safely preserve and maintain all documents related to disbursements and other financial transactions of the Lodge, and at all times be prepared to exhibit all records for review or audit when required by the Lodge or the Master, and to answer any lawful inquiry pertaining to his duties as Treasurer.

 

2.41  DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY:  The Secretary shall record all proceedings (Minutes) of the Lodge proper to be recorded, which shall be read prior to closing ceremonies at the Communication to which they refer, for approval.  When approved at that time (with needed corrections, if applicable), he shall thereafter faithfully record these proceedings in a permanent Minute book, retaining the notes upon which his minutes are based until the next Stated Meeting of the Lodge.  When the permanent Minutes are signed by the Master and attested to by the Secretary, the notes may then be destroyed.  He shall also have the following responsibilities and duties:

 

1.      The Secretary shall have custody of the Lodge Seal, and he shall certify and attest (by signature) all official documents of the Lodge, impressing the Lodge Seal to such papers as applicable.

 

2.      He shall be responsible for receiving all monies due the Lodge, maintaining an accurate and proper accounting of all funds received, and disbursed, in accord with the Grand Lodge procedures outlined in the Secretary's Handbook of Administrative Procedures and Forms.  He shall transfer all funds received to the Treasurer, promptly, taking that officer's receipt for such funds, and shall maintain the required permanent record of any expenditure, retaining copies of Payment Orders given or sent to the Treasurer, as well as all documentation, including all vouchers, statements, invoices, etc..

 

3.      He shall have custody of and properly maintain the permanent records, files find documents (other than the Charter) as may be required by this Code and other ACGL administrative procedures.

 

4.      He shall conduct the correspondence of the Lodge under the direction of the Master, maintaining proper suspense procedures to ensure prompt, efficient administration of Lodge matters.

 

5.      He shall be required to submit the following reports and records on the proper Grand Lodge forms, transmitting the same to the Grand Secretary:

 

a.      A monthly report, listing all required information, no later than the fifteenth of each month, which shall list all membership, petition and degree actions for the previous month.

 

b.      Masonic Data Cards (MDC) containing all information required, to be forwarded with each monthly report.  An MDC is to be submitted when a Brother is initiated, affiliated, suspended, reinstated, or expelled; and for each rejected petitioner.

 

c.      Annual Per Capita Return, to be submitted not later than the fifteenth day for February for the preceding year, using the form supplied by the Grand Secretary.

 

d.      A Certificate of Election, which must be submitted not later than fifteen days after his Lodge's Annual election of officers, or immediately after any subsequent, legally summoned election, reporting such election(s) on the proper form supplied by the Grand Secretary.

 

e.      An affidavit or any other certification that may be required after any election of a Lodge officer, using the proper form (when applicable) supplied by the Grand Lodge.

 

f.      An MDC for each rejection action taken by the Lodge, including the petitioner's name, date and place of birth, date of petition, date of rejection, and permanent and overseas addresses.

 

6.      The Secretary shall be responsible for notifying each rejected petitioner of the Lodge's action, ensuring that all monies received from the rejected petitioner are refunded, and a check to cover such refund is enclosed with his letter to the petitioner.  Such refund shall be effected in accord with proper disbursement procedure, by payment order to the Treasurer.  He shall also advise the petitioner concerning the laws pertaining to repositioning, as may be applicable. (See mandatory letter in Handbook, page 9-10)

 

7.      The Secretary shall be charged with the responsibility and duty of effecting the orderly transfer of all permanent Lodge records; files; equipment; property; documents; supplies; Seal; and any other papers in his possession which were placed under his charge and responsibility, to his duly-installed successor, as prescribed within this Code.  He shall be entitled to receive a receipt for all items transferred, from his successor in office.  The transfer of these items shall take place immediately before or after the installation of his successor, or as soon thereafter as feasible, at the direction of the Master of the Lodge.

 

2.42  DUTIES OF OTHER LODGE OFFICERS:  The basic duties of each of the officers of the lodge are specifically detailed in the ritual of Installation of Lodge Officers, and further outlined within the Lodge Officers' Handbook published by the Grand Lodge, in addition to any specific requirements of the degree work.  Each officer may be further charged to perform other duties; related to his office as may be lawfully requested by the Master.

 

2.43  LEGAL TERMINATION OF OFFICE:  The term of any Lodge Officer shall be deemed legally terminated when any one of the following occurs: demit from the Lodge; lawful suspension or expulsion from any Lodge in which he holds membership; lawful removal from office in accord with this Code; resignation of other than the Master or Wardens (see Section 2.44 following); or death.  Termination in all other instances occurs at the time of Installation of any lawfully elected or appointed successor, when in accord with this Code.

 

2.44  LEGAL VACANCY IN OFFICE:  Other than the office of Master, a vacancy shall be deemed to exist in respect of any elective Lodge office only as a result of the following:

 

1.                Death

 

2.      Demit from the Lodge in which office is held.

 

3.      Suspension or expulsion from any Lodge.

 

4.      Resignation of other than a warden, who may not resign.

 

5.                Election to a higher office as result of a legal

vacancy.

 

6.      Lawful removal from office, by due process.

 

7.      Permanent departure from the jurisdiction of the VGLvD, when such departure shall render impossible the officer's ability to fulfill the functions of his office for the balance of the term for which elected.  The only exception to this will be granted by the Grand Master, by dispensation, based upon a request in writing confirming the permanent departure of a warden from the Lodge jurisdiction, thereby rendering impossible his ability to attend Lodge and fulfill the functions of his office.

 

2.45  LEGAL VACANCY IN THE OFFICE OF MASTER:  A vacancy in the office of Master shall be deemed to exist as a result of one of the following, only:

 

1.      Death.

 

2.      Demit from the Lodge.

 

3.      Suspension or expulsion from any Lodge.

 

4.      Lawful removal from office.

 

2.46      FILLING VACANCIES BY ELECTION:  A vacancy in the office of Master may be filled by election only by authority of a dispensation granted by the Grand Master.  A lawful vacancy in any other elective office may be filled only by an election held in accord with the provisions of this Code (2.27), as well as the sections which pertain to Installations.

 

2.47  LODGE COMMITTEES:  Each Lodge shall be required to have an Audit Committee appointed by the Master.  Neither the Treasurer nor the Secretary may be members of this Committee. This requirement is to be specified in the Lodge By-laws.  The duties of the Audit Committee shall be to examine and audit the books, accounts, records, vouchers, receipts and any other papers or documents of the Treasurer and Secretary, pertaining to an financial transactions of the Lodge, in accord with the audit procedures published by the Grand Lodge in the 'Handbook of Administrative Procedures and Forms'.  This committee shall be required to effect such audit at least twice in each Masonic year, or when necessary, as further directed by the Master or Lodge.  One of these audits must be made immediately prior to the Annual Communication of the Lodge, and the report of the Audit Committee must be rendered and made a part of the minutes of the Annual Communication.

 

Such other committees specified within the Lodge By-laws or as required by this Code shall be appointed by the Master, who shall also appoint other special committees deemed essential, even when not specified within the By-laws or this Code.

 

2.48  LODGE MINUTES-MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:  The Minutes of each Lodge Communication shall include the following minimum information:

 

1.      The names of an regular Lodge officers present.

 

2.      The name of each appointed protem officer for the meeting.

 

3.      The total number of members present.

 

4.      The total number of visitors present.

 

5.      The full name, Lodge name, number, location, and Masonic rank of each first-time visitor.

 

6.      All actions, transactions and resolutions of the Lodge as may be proper to be written.

 

7.      When degree work is performed, the name of each candidate, and date of proficiency in preceding degree as applicable.  When in respect of a courtesy candidate (which may only be accepted in accord with Grand Lodge regulations), the name, number, and location of his Lodge.

 

8.      Name of Brother conferring the Degree, if not the Master.

 

9.      When a dispensation applies to the specific communication, it must be read in its entirety, made a matter of record in the Minutes thereof, by number and purpose, and thereafter permanently attached to the final, approved Minutes.

 

2.49      APPROVAL OF LODGE MINUTES:  Prior to closing ceremonies of a Lodge Communication, the Minutes shall be read and corrected when necessary, and approved for adoption by the Lodge (refer to 2.41). Once approved, they cannot be altered, amended, or changed, except by action of the Lodge at a subsequent Stated Communication, and then only to correct additional errors that may be noted.  However, this shall not be interpreted as preventing action by the Lodge to reverse or cancel previous actions taken by the Lodge.  The Minutes are simply the actual, complete record of all transactions or acts of the Lodge, even when later action is taken at another Stated Communication to reverse or cancel.  Once Minutes have been approved and written or typed in final form, they must be signed by the Master and Secretary and impressed with the Lodge Seal.

 

2.50      POWERS, PRIVILEGES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES OF A LODGE:  A Lodge's powers, privileges, responsibilities and duties, and its limitations, are as defined within its Charter, Dispensation, or Warrant, and the written laws of the ACGL and the VGLvD, whenever and wherever applicable.  In particular, the following shall apply:

 

1.      No Lodge may distribute any of its funds among its members except that a Lodge may make voluntary appropriation for relief of needy or outright destitute, worthy Masons, their wives, widows, children or orphans, as applicable.  However, lodges must exercise caution to ensure that the proper debts of the Lodge may, at all times, be discharged, including but not limited to, payment of any rent or heating obligations, and annual per capita dues to Grand Lodge.  No Lodge should be permitted to exercise such irresponsible administration as to render the Lodge incapable of discharging its legal obligations when such obligations are due.

 

2.      A Lodge may assess (tax) its members for Masonic purposes only.  Such assessment can be adopted only at a properly summoned Stated Communication to which each resident member of the Lodge had been summoned not less than twenty-eight days previous to such communication.  An assessment must be approved by a majority of no less than two-thirds of all members present.  In no instance may an adopted assessment exceed one-half the amount of the then current Lodge dues.  Failure to pay a lawfully adopted assessment shall be deemed a failure to perform a Masonic duty, except that each member shall have the right to request and be granted (in accord with this Code) a demit, in lieu of payment of the assessment.

 

2.51      MEMBERSHIP IN A LODGE:  An absolute requirement is fluency in the English language, adequate to enable the petitioner to readily understand the proceedings and ritual work of a Lodge.  Petitions for membership received from anyone who is not one of following named nationalities shall require clearing through the ACGL (and the VGLvD) prior to being accepted by a constituent ACGL Lodge.  The only exception shall be that a constituent Lodge not located within the Federal Republic of Germany may receive petitions from local nationals if no recognized Grand Lodge has prior territorial jurisdictional claim.  In all instances, membership in constituent ACGL lodges may be acquired by one of the following methods by any petitioner of American, Canadian, German or British nationality:

 

1.      By being enrolled as a member of a constituent ACGL Lodge at the time such Lodge is granted a Charter.

 

2.      By properly petitioning a Lodge, and after acceptance in accord with this Code, and having then received the three degrees of Masonry, paid the required dues and signed the Lodge bylaws.

 

3.      By submitting a petition for affiliation, and in accord with this Code and any applicable laws of the other Grand Lodge(s) concerned, being elected to membership, paying the required dues, and signing the by-laws.

 

4.      By virtue of being a member in good standing in one ACGL Lodge when such Lodge is lawfully consolidated with another.

 

5.      By election to Honorary Membership in a Lodge, provided the Brother concerned holds regular membership in another Lodge.

 

Honorary membership does not carry the same rights and privileges as regular membership, and is valid only as long as the recipient maintains his regular membership elsewhere. (refer to Sec. 2.52)

 

2.52      CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP:  Membership in an ACGL Lodge shall further be defined in accord with the following:

 

1.      VOTING MEMBERS (regular members), who shall be defined as those Master Masons who have legally signed the Lodge Bylaws after election to affiliation, or after raising to Master Mason, and are carried on the Lodge Rolls as members in good standing.  They shall be further defined as dual or plural members when applicable.

 

2.      NON-VOTING MEMBERS, including any Brother legally entitled to sign the bylaws, but has not done so, and Honorary members.

 

2.53      DEFINITION OF MEMBERSHIP:  Within those categories outlined in Section 2.52, the following additional classifications apply:

 

1.      CONDITIONAL MEMBERS, shall be those who are duly elected to affiliation in accord with this Code, but who cannot legally consummate membership by signing the By-laws until the mandatory Certificate of Good Standing or Demit (as applicable) is received and filed with the Lodge.  Only when the required documentation is filed with the Lodge can he then be permitted to sign the bylaws, and shall thereafter be recorded as a Voting Member; in the case of dual or plural membership, as of the date of election by ballot in the Lodge; when affiliating by demit from another Lodge, as of the effective date of the demit or the date elected by ballot in the Lodge, which ever date is the latest.  In effect, until these requirements have been complied with the Brother concerned holds neither Voting nor Non-Voting status.

 

2.      MEMBERS-FOR-THE-RECORD ONLY are Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts who have not advanced, who must remain permanently on the Lodge Rolls, irrespective of when initiated or passed.

 

3.      RESIDENT MEMBERS are those Voting Members of the Lodge who currently reside, or are recorded as currently residing within the Federal Republic of Germany, the City of Berlin, or when the Lodge is chartered to work in another country, resident therein.

 

4.      HONORARY MEMBERS are those Brethren who maintain regular membership in good standing in a Lodge other than the one granting the Honorary membership.  Honorary Membership shall automatically cease when regular voting membership in any Lodge is terminated by suspension or expulsion.  Honorary members must be elected in the same manner as any other member of the Lodge, by secret ballot.  They shall not be entitled to vote or hold office as Honorary members, but may be accorded such other privileges as the particular Lodge may bestow, as may be outlined in its bylaws, provided such privilege is not in conflict with this Code or Masonic tradition or practice.

 

5.      LIFE MEMBERSHIP:  Life Membership is authorized within the jurisdiction of the ACGL only in accord with the "Paid-up Membership Plan" as adopted by the Grand Lodge.

 

{amended 11/87 - Prepaid Life Membership Plan}

 

2.54  DUAL OR PLURAL MEMBERSHIP:  Each voting member of an ACGL Lodge shall, when and as applicable, be carried on the Lodge Rolls as either a Dual or Plural member.  An affiliated Brother from another jurisdiction is subject to the laws of the Grand Lodge from which he hails, as well as the laws of this ACGL.

 

No Brother may be accepted for affiliation as a dual or plural member if he is a member of a Lodge or Lodges whose Grand Lodge(s) law prohibit such membership.  In the same manner, a member of an ACGL Lodge may affiliate as a dual or a plural member with a Lodge under another Grand jurisdiction, and shall be equally subject to the pertinent regulations of the other Grand Lodge, provided there is no conflict with respect to any ACGL law.

 

Within the ACGL (as well as within the VGLvD) jurisdiction any Brother may hold membership in two lodges provided the regulations concerning affiliation are carefully observed.  Membership in more than two Lodges within the ACGL/VGLvD shall be subject to prior approval of the Grand Master, based on a written request by the member concerned.  The approval, when granted, shall be in the form of a dispensation.  However, within the jurisdiction of the ACGL, membership in more than one Lodge within a declared 'concurrent jurisdictional' area is prohibited, except for those memberships consummated prior to adoption of this Code.

 

A member of an ACGL Lodge may affiliate with a Lodge or Lodges in other jurisdictions, subject to the pertinent laws, and further subject to the rule that suspension or expulsion in any one Lodge shall automatically result in suspension or expulsion in any and all Lodges, upon receipt of official notification of such action.

 

When applying for affiliation in any other Lodge under this or any other Grand Lodge jurisdiction, a member of an ACGL Lodge must notify his ACGL Lodge(s) of such intent, either direct, or through the Grand Secretary, for the purpose of obtaining a Certification of Good Standing authorizing such affiliation.  Further, whenever a member of an ACGL Lodge is elected to membership in another Lodge, the Brother concerned must ensure that such fact is officially reported to the office of the Grand Secretary.

 

2.55  STATUS OF ENTERED APPRENTICES AND FELLOWCRAFTS:  An Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft member who has failed to advance further, shall be retained permanently on the Lodge Rolls (see Section 2.53), and shall suffer no penalty for failure to advance further.  When advancement from one degree to the next is not accomplished within twelve months, prior to his being permitted to progress at a later date, he shall be required to petition his Lodge for permission to progress, in a personally signed letter in which he provides his reason for not having done so within the twelve month period.  His written request must be read at a Stated Meeting of his Lodge, and if approved by a simple majority vote of all members then present (except that a secret ballot may be called for by a member, which requires unanimous vote), the Lodge may then authorize his further progress, either in his Lodge or by properly requesting courtesy work elsewhere, provided that any necessary proficiency is obtained from him in the preceding Degree, and all necessary and required fees have been received.  The records of all EAs and FCs shall be permanently maintained by every Lodge.

 

2.56  RIGHTS AND LIMITATIONS OF EAs AND FCs: An Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft shall have the right and responsibility or duty to attend his Lodge when the Lodge is convened on the degree he has attained.  He shall not be entitled to vote therein, and shall not be required to pay dues.  When permitted by the Master, he shall be otherwise entitled to participate in the business and degree work of the Lodge on such occasions.  An Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft is subject to the following limitations:

 

1.      He shall not be automatically entitled to masonic burial; nor shall he, his wife or children, (or if he is deceased, his widow or surviving children) automatically be entitled to masonic relief.  When and if such assistance is necessary, masonic relief may be granted in the same manner and to the same extent as would normally be done were he not a member of the fraternity.

 

2.      An Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft may not be granted a demit (withdrawal of membership), nor may he request or receive advancement in any other Lodge, in any jurisdiction, except when a Waiver of Jurisdiction is requested, and granted by his Lodge, or a request for courtesy work (see 2.55) is approved by his Lodge in accord with this Code.

 

3.      Charges may be preferred against an EA or FC, and he is equally subject to Masonic Trial and disciplinary actions on the same level as a Master Mason, to the extent of his obligation.

 

4.      An EA or a FC of a Lodge which has been closed and is no longer in existence may, upon receipt of required certification, apply to any Lodge within the jurisdiction in which he resides for advancement.  If such application is accepted by that Lodge, subject to the applicable by-laws and regulations, he may thereafter become a member of that Lodge upon being Raised.

 

2.57  LODGE JURISDICTION:  A Lodge shall retain jurisdiction over all its members; and for purposes of processing masonic complaints or charges (when authorized), over all brethren of American -or Canadian nationality residing closer to that Lodge than any other ACGL Lodge, when such brethren do not come under the jurisdiction of any other Lodge within the VGLvD.  Further, a Lodge shall have jurisdiction over eligible petitioners (see 2.51) residing closer to that Lodge than any other ACGL Lodge, except in such instances where concurrent jurisdiction has been declared.  A jurisdictional dispute between Lodges shall, when reported, have the effect of freezing all further action on the case until the GM shall render his decision, which shall be final and binding on all concerned.

 

Jurisdiction over petitioners for the degrees shall be subject to the laws of other Grand jurisdictions, when applicable.  As an example, a Waiver of Jurisdiction or clearance must be obtained on a petitioner whose home of record (or permanent address) is known to be within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.  When this applies, the original petition must be forwarded to the  ---

 

[A resolution passed at the 1996 Annual Communication would eliminate the jurisdictional boundaries of ACGL Lodges, if ratified.]

 

Grand Secretary, who will request such clearance or waiver.

 

2.58      CONCURRENT JURISDICTION:  Each Lodge in a declared concurrent jurisdiction shall be required to notify any other Lodge sharing the concurrent jurisdiction, of the names of all petitions for the degrees or for affiliation.  The purpose of such coordination is to ensure an investigation in depth of the particular petitioner, who may be known to members of both Lodges sharing jurisdiction.  Such concurrent jurisdiction will be deemed to exist in every instance where more than one ACGL Lodge is located in the same city, and as otherwise promulgated by the Grand Master.

 

2.59  WAIVER OF JURISDICTION:  When a petitioner who resides within one Lodge's jurisdiction (primary jurisdiction), is assigned to a military post or has a secondary residence or has an established business within the jurisdiction of another Lodge, the latter may accept a petition from him, subject to first requesting and receiving a waiver of jurisdiction from the Lodge having primary jurisdiction.  Under any other circumstance, such waiver may be granted only by the Grand Master. at his discretion and in the form of a dispensation, upon receipt of a formal request.

 

2.60      RETENTION OF JURISDICTION:  Unless waived by action of the GM in writing, a Lodge shall retain jurisdiction over each petitioner whose petition has been read and referred to committee, when such action has been duly recorded in its Minutes.  Each Lodge shall also retain jurisdiction over all petitioners rejected by Lodge action, for a period of five years from the date of rejection.

 

2.61      PETITIONS:  Petitions for the degrees or for affiliation may be received only in accord with the jurisdictional requirements of this Code.  Such petitions shall be accepted only upon the official ACGL form, and then only when it has been properly completed and personally signed by the petitioner, and is properly recommended as required by this Code and the Lodge bylaws.  No petition may be accepted unless accompanied by the fees specified in the bylaws.

 

An exception to the above shall be authorized only in respect of a formerly demitted member of an ACGL Lodge, who shall be permitted to petition his former ACGL Lodge for affiliation as a nonresident-affiliate member when be cannot otherwise comply with the residence requirement.  In such instance, the residency requirement specified in this Code shall be automatically waived, and the top of the first page of his petition shall boldly and clearly contain the words: "NON-RESIDENT'.

 

If accepted without objection by his former Lodge, his petition shall be processed in the normal manner, except that the Lodge may waive, at the same time the petition is received, the requirement for an investigating committee, which fact must be recorded in the minutes.  The required duplicate copy of his affiliation petition shall be sent immediately to the Grand Secretary, for necessary approval.  The Grand Secretary will determine if the regulations of any Grand Lodge (or the ACGL) preclude acceptance of the petition, and he will notify the Lodge accordingly.  The Lodge shall not permit the Brother concerned to consummate membership until the Grand Secretary's approval has been received and recorded.

 

2.62      PETITIONS-RECOMMENDER(S) REQUIRED:  Every petition must be recommended and signed by at least one Master Mason member in good standing in the Lodge receiving the petition; a Recommender, by his signature, attests to the good character of the petitioner.  When such recommendation is not possible, the Lodge may, in its discretion, accept a petition recommended and signed by three Master Masons of another Lodge, who are known to the Lodge.

 

2.63      ACCEPTANCE OF A PETITION:  When a petition has been received in accord with this Code, it shall be presented at the next Stated Communication of the Lodge, and if accepted with no objection, it shall be referred to a committee consisting of not less than three Master Mason members of the Lodge, for investigation.  In respect of each petition, the committee shall be named by the Master of the Lodge and made a matter of permanent record in those minutes.

 

2.64  DUTIES OF INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE:  When a petitioner resides within a concurrent jurisdictional area, the Secretaries of those Lodges concerned must be consulted by the committee to determine if any detrimental facts relating to the petitioner are known to the other Lodge, and a statement as to the result of such inquiry shall be attached to the report of the committee.  When a committee has completed any investigation, in accord with masonic practice and any applicable laws, they shall be required to render a report as to their findings at a Stated Meeting of the Lodge not earlier than twenty-eight days after the petition was first accepted and referred to them.  Their report must be unanimous and include a statement that they have duly investigated the petitioner and have found him either "favorable" or "unfavorable"; their report shall be rendered in the form of their signatures affixed to the portion of the petition containing such statement.  The committee report shall be recorded in the minutes, and the original petition (including their signatures) shall be permanently and securely filed with the Lodge.  If one member of the committee reports the petitioner as being unfavorable for consideration, this shall result in the entire committee report being rendered unfavorable.  At no time shall the details of any committee deliberations or the decision of an individual member of the committee be made known in any manner, except as noted above; the identity of any dissenting committeeman shall be kept secret, known only to the committee.

 

2.65      PETITION MAY NOT BE WITHDRAWN: When read and accepted by the Lodge without objection, a petition shall be referred to committee for investigation, and cannot be withdrawn or voided except by due action of the Lodge at a Stated Communication; such action shall be conditioned upon receipt of approval in writing from the Grand Master, prior to taking effect.  This shall apply to all petitions for the degrees.  A petition for affiliation may be withdrawn at any time prior to balloting.  However, after election by ballot to affiliation, and having consummated his membership by signing the bylaws, the Brother concerned can terminate his membership only in accord with the regulations pertaining to demit action.

 

2.66      PETITION FOR AFFILIATION-PREREQUISITES:  A Lodge may accept a petition for affiliation from a member of a Lodge in another jurisdiction only after first ensuring the other Lodge is under a Grand Lodge recognized by the VGLvD; such fact can be verified by referring to the current 'List of Lodges-Masonic'.  If his intent is to affiliate as a dual or plural member, it must further be confirmed that the other Grand Lodge(s) permit such affiliation.  If any other Grand Lodge concerned prohibits either dual or plural membership, his petition can be accepted only if he intends to comply with such regulation, and he will be able to consummate membership only by obtaining the necessary demit or demits, as applicable.  Any affiliation later found to have been in violation of the laws of any Grand Lodge concerned, shall be voided and his name struck from the Rolls of the ACGL Lodge, and this fact shall thereafter be duly noted in the minutes.

 

2.67      RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT-PETITIONS FOR DEGREES: A petition for the degrees may be received by a Lodge only after the petitioner has resided or been continuously stationed within the jurisdiction of the VGLvD for a period of not less than six months and within the Lodge jurisdiction for a period of no less than three months.

 

2.68      RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT-AFFILIATION PETITIONS: A petition for affiliation may be received by a Lodge only after the Brother concerned has resided or been continuously stationed within the Lodge jurisdiction for a period of not less than sixty days.  The provisions of Section 2.57 shall equally apply in such instances.

 

2.69      PREREQUISITES FOR PETITIONERS FOR DEGREES:  Every petitioner for the degrees of Masonry must, in order for his petition to be received, possess and acknowledge the following qualifications:

 

1.      He must be at least twenty-one years of age.

 

2.      He must profess his belief in God or a Supreme Being.

 

3.      He must acknowledge a belief in immortality of the soul.

 

4.      He must have the ability to reasonably conform to the physical requirements of the ritual work, with or without artificial aids.  However, the Grand Master shall have the prerogative of granting a dispensation, if requested, to waive this provision, when a particular disability of the petitioner prevents absolute conformity to the physical requirements of the degree work (disability), except that the Grand Master shall not have the authority to waive the provision of paragraph 5 below.

 

5.      He must be able to earn his own living, or otherwise be able to provide for himself, his family and those others dependent upon him, and he must clearly state that the financial requirements of Freemasonry will not deprive him or his family of their immediate and normal needs.

 

2.70      BALLOTING ON PETITIONS INDISPENSABLE: A secret ballot must be taken on every petition accepted and referred to Investigation Committee, except on those petitions legally withdrawn in accord with this Code, or those which have been improperly received and accepted.  Balloting may take place only at a Stated Communication of the Lodge, only after compliance with all procedures and other requirements of this Code and the Lodge bylaws.  Balloting may be deferred only if a valid objection has been placed privately with the Master or announced on the floor of the Lodge.  Every voting member of the Lodge present (including the Tiler and other members who may be outside) must cast a ballot.  A Brother may not, at any time, divulge his ballot to anyone.

 

2.71      OBJECTIONS TO A BALLOT: Prior to balloting on any petition, any member of the Lodge may register an objection to the ballot being spread at that time.  Such objection shall be made privately to the Master, or openly on the floor of the Lodge, if necessary.  If the objection is not purely procedural in nature, discussion of the reason for the objection, or of the petitioner, is prohibited.  An objection raised in this manner will automatically defer taking a ballot for a period of ninety days, unless the procedural matter is clearly resolved, or if for any other reason, the objection is withdrawn by the same Brother prior to the ninety day limit.

 

2.72      SUBSEQUENT BALLOTS-WHEN AUTHORIZED:  A request to ballot on a candidate for any degree is the undeniable eight of every voting member of the Lodge.  When such a request has been placed with the Master privately, or demanded on the floor of the Lodge if unable to privately inform the Master, a ballot must be spread.  If such a ballot shall be taken on a petitioner after his prior election, but before he is Initiated, an unfavorable ballot shall have the same effect as if the petitioner had been initially rejected, and he shall be so informed in accord with this Code.  When a ballot is requested and spread after a Brother's Initiation but prior to his further advancement, are unfavorable ballot shall automatically result in deferring the Brother's advancement for ninety days, and a report of such action shall be filed with the Grand Secretary.

 

2.73      BALLOTING PROCEDURE:  The Master and Wardens shall inspect the ballot box, ascertaining there are at least as many white balls or cubes as the total number of voting members present on the Lodge premises, and a minimum of six black balls or cubes.  The ballot box shall be held or placed during balloting in such manner as to ensure the absolute secrecy of each member's ballot is guaranteed.  Balloting procedure outlined within the ritual is to be implicitly followed, provided there exists no conflict with any provision of this Code.  When all members have cast their ballots, the ballot box shall be carefully examined by the Junior and Senior Wardens, and then presented to the Master for inspection.  Each shall ensure that an equal number of ballots have been cast as there are voting members present.  When the Master inspects the ballot box and notes any black balls or cubes present, he may -provided he ensures the result is not announced- personally destroy the ballot and request the ballot be spread again.  In like manner he may destroy a second ballot, but under no circumstance can he circumvent announcing the result of the third ballot, which shall be final.  One black ball or cube shall be sufficient to effect rejection for degrees or for affiliation; or when spread for advancement defer the advancement.  Once begun, balloting must be completed at the same Communication.

 

2.74      REJECTION OF PETITION BY BALLOT:  Any petitioner rejected for the degrees or affiliation shall be advised of the fact in writing without delay, by the Secretary, in the manner and form prescribed by the Grand Lodge; any fees received from the petitioner shall be refunded with such notification.  A rejected petition must be duly recorded in the minutes, and the petition annotated as rejected and permanently filed by the Lodge.  The Secretary shall ensure a report of each rejection is filed with the Grand Secretary on the monthly report for that month, together with a Masonic Data Card.

 

2.75  EFFECT OF REJECTION:  A rejected petitioner for the degrees shall be advised he may not repetition the same Lodge or any other Lodge until after the expiration of twelve months.  He shall also be advised that masonic law prohibits any other Lodge from legally accepting his petition after the twelve-month period, for the next four years thereafter, without first applying for and receiving a Waiver of Jurisdiction from the Lodge in which he was rejected.  Jurisdiction is retained for a period of five years from the date of rejection; after five years, the Lodge rejecting him shall have no further claim to jurisdiction over the rejected candidate.  The same procedure applies in respect of a rejected affiliation, with the exception that a Brother can submit a new petition for affiliation after the expiration of sixty days from date of rejection.

 

2.76  EFFECT OF ACCEPTANCE (ELECTION) OF PETITIONER BY BALLOT: When a petitioner for the degrees is duly elected r initiation as outlined within this Code, he shall be accordingly notified by the Secretary, and notified when to appear for Initiation.  Unless an objection is interposed as outlined, the Lodge may proceed to confer the degree.

 

When a petitioner is elected for affiliation as prescribed by this Code and a Certificate of Good Standing has not been received and duly filed with the Lodge, his membership remains conditional, pending receipt of such Certificate.  He shall have no membership rights and cannot be permitted to consummate membership by signing the Lodge By-laws until the certification is received, generally through the Grand Lodge.  Such certificate must be attested to by the issuing Lodge Secretary, and have that Lodge' s Seal impressed.  Once received and filed with the ACGL Lodge, the Brother may then consummate membership by paying the required dues and signing the bylaws.  Dual or plural membership takes effect as of the date the Brother was elected.  If the required certificate is not received prior to expiration of six months from the date of ballot, and/or the Brother does not consummate membership within that period, his conditional membership shall be voided, due record of that fact made in the minutes, and the Grand Secretary notified in writing.  Under no circumstance shall an affiliation be reported until after the Brother has consummated membership (signed the bylaws and paid required dues) in accord with the Code; such report shall be made in the month in which he actually signs the bylaws, on that monthly, together with required Notice of Affiliation forms, and MDC.

 

2.77  DEGREE WORK-LIMITATION:  The degrees of Masonry may not be conferred on more than five candidates at any one Communication of an ACGL Lodge.  A petitioner may be Initiated only after a minimum of twenty-eight days have passed since his petition was first read and accepted; the report of the investigating committee has been properly filed; and he has been elected in accord with this Code.  The Fellowcraft and Master Mason degrees may be conferred only on a qualified Brother who has first given satisfactory evidence of his proficiency in the preceding degree as outlined in the ritual, and then only after the expiration of a minimum of twenty-eight days after receiving the previous degree.

 

2.78      PROFICIENCY AND ADVANCEMENT: A Brother may not be passed to Fellowcraft or raised to Master Mason without first exhibiting his proficiency in the preceding degree.  Such proficiency shall be by examination in open Lodge or by a committee of three brethren, one of whom must be a member who had previously exhibited proficiency in that degree in open Lodge.  All three members of the committee must certify to a Brother's proficiency and such fact recorded in the minutes, prior to authorizing the Brother's advancement.  If a complaint is registered with the Master concerning any candidate for any degree, such complaint shall have the effect of blocking advancement until investigated and disposed of in proper manner.

 

2.79      COURTESY WORK IN OTHER LODGES:  A Lodge may request another Lodge within the ACGL to confer any degree as a courtesy on one of its own candidates, provided a motion to that effect is introduced at a Stated Meeting of the requesting Lodge and is accepted by a majority of the members present.  Such request must be prepared on the authorized Grand Lodge form, for transmittal as specified by Grand Lodge regulations.  Under no circumstances may the Master or any other officer or member of a Lodge privately arrange for the advancement of a Brother in another Lodge.  Transmittal of courtesy requests between ACGL Lodges may be direct, provided the necessary copy is concurrently sent to the Grand Secretary.

 

2.80      COURTESY WORK REQUESTS INVOLVING OTHER THAN ACGL LODGES:  Any request for courtesy work from an ACGL Lodge to a Lodge outside the jurisdiction of the ACGL must likewise be approved as outlined in Section 2.79, and shall be transmitted only through the Grand Secretary.  No Lodge or member may conduct direct correspondence on such matters with any other Lodge or Grand Lodge outside the ACGL jurisdiction, unless specifically authorized in writing.

 

2.81      COURTESY WORK FOR LODGES IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS:  An Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft of a Lodge under another Grand Lodge may not be advanced within any ACGL Lodge without an official request having been received from the Grand Secretary's office.  A request for courtesy work on such a candidate must originate in his Lodge, and transmitted by that Lodge to the Grand Secretary of its Grand Lodge.  If the Lodge in question no longer exists, an inquiry must be made to the Grand Secretary, providing all pertinent facts.  All courtesy work requests involving Lodges outside the jurisdiction of the ACGL must be processed only through the Grand Secretary.  Direct correspondence, unless specifically authorized in writing in each instance by the Grand Secretary, is not permitted.

 

2.82      CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN LODGES - AND/OR BY INDIVIDUALS:  Direct correspondence between ACGL Lodges is authorized, except when specifically required (or requested) to send copies through the Grand Secretary.  An individual Brother may correspond at all times direct to any Lodge in which he holds, or held, membership.  Direct correspondence to any Grand Lodge committee by a Lodge or an individual Brother is authorized, provided a copy is mailed at the same time to the Grand Secretary.  Preferred procedure is to transmit all such correspondence through the Grand Secretary, in duplicate.  Direct correspondence by an ACGL Lodge to any Lodge or Grand Lodge outside the jurisdiction of the ACGL is not authorized and must be forwarded through the Grand Secretary, except in the following instances (copies to be forwarded to ACGL always):

 

1.      Masonic funeral arrangements, when authorized.

 

2.      Requests for other than Masonic data or information.

 

3.      Requests for information on other than a Brother.

 

4.      Transmittal of demits as prescribed by Grand Lodge.

 

5.      Direct correspondence specifically permitted in writing.

 

2.83  LODGE DUES:  Each constituent Lodge, as outlined in this Code and in the standard bylaw text, shall clearly state within its bylaws the amount of annual dues payable by its members.  However, no Lodge may establish an annual dues rate lower than the per capita dues payable, to the Grand Lodge for each member.

 

2.84      SUSPENSION FOR NON-PAYMENT OF DUES (NPD):  A member may be suspended by a Lodge for failure to pay annual dues in arrears, only after each of the following prerequisite conditions have been satisfied, and necessary procedures complied with by his Lodge.  A suspended member shall be deprived of the rights and privileges of masonry except the right to petition for reinstatement.  Following are the minimum prerequisites referred to in the foregoing:

 

1.      Dues must be a minimum of one calendar year in arrears as of the effective date of suspension.

 

2.      At least one reminder letter must have been mailed as required, prior to June 30th, to the member in arrears.

 

3.      A Summons to pay dues (after compliance with Para. 2) must have been mailed to the member's last known address, via registered or certified mail with return receipt request, which shall be postmarked not later than sixty days in advance of the date the it proposed suspension is to take effect. [Amended 1994]

 

4.      The Summons form used shall be that prescribed by Grand Lodge, and must be signed personally by the Master of the Lodge, and attested to by signature of the Secretary with Seal impression.  The Summons must also contain the correct mailing address(es) of the Lodge and be issued on Lodge stationery.

 

5.      The effective date of such suspension shall normally be as prescribed in Article IV, 2b of Lodge bylaws, provided a motion to that effect, including the name of each member recommended for suspension, the amount owed by him, and the years(s) concerned, is adopted at a prior Stated Communication, and duly recorded in the minutes of that Communication.  If still in arrears at the time of the last Stated Communication in December, his name shall be announced at that Communication.  Any suspension action taken in violation of these regulations shall be rescinded.

 

2.85      SUSPENSION FOR UNMASONIC CONDUCT: Suspension of a member for a reason other than non-payment of dues may not be made by a Lodge arbitrarily.  The Code provisions pertaining to unmasonic conduct, disciplinary matters, and trials shall apply in such instances.

 

2.86  RESULT OF SUSPENSION FOR ANY REASON (PENALTIES):  A Brother lawfully suspended for any reason shall not be entitled to any of the benefits or privileges of Freemasonry during such suspension.  When a suspended Brother is known or presumed to hold membership in any other Lodge, notification of his suspension shall be sent to the other Lodge(s) by the Lodge Secretary, in duplicate, using the specified format (see Handbook) on Lodge stationery.  All such notifications shall be signed by the Master, properly attested by the Secretary, and must be forwarded through the Grand Secretary.  The suspended Brother shall also receive notice of his suspension by registered or certified mail, in the same manner required for Summonses.  All Notices of Suspensions must clearly state the fact that suspension from any Lodge shall affect membership in any and all other Lodges.  Likewise, if an ACGL Lodge receives an official notification of the suspension of one of its members who holds or held dual or plural membership in another Lodge, the Lodge shall take action at the next Stated Communication to suspend him with effect as of the date of that Communication.  Such reciprocal suspension shall remain in effect until notification of reinstatement by the Lodge which first suspended him is received, at which time the reciprocal suspension will automatically terminate.

 

2.87      REINSTATEMENT OF SUSPENDED BROTHER (NPD ONLY):  A Brother suspended for non-payment of dues may be reinstated by a simple majority vote of a Lodge at a Stated Communication, provided the Lodge has received a personally signed request for reinstatement from the Brother; he has remitted payment of the arrears owed and the current annual dues; and no masonic reason exists to preclude such action.  A prerequisite to reinstatement shall always be the payment of all indebtedness to the Lodge by the Brother concerned, except that a Lodge may enact a resolution to waive payment of any portion of the amounts owed, for reason of pecuniary inability or other circumstance accepted as reasonable by the Lodge.  However, such waiver shall not be construed as exempting a Lodge from payment of any required per capita dues payable.

 

2.88  NPD SUSPENSION FROM INACTIVATED LODGE:  When a Lodge is inactivated or consolidated with another Lodge, any member who is, one or more years in arrears in respect of his dues at that time, shall be suspended from membership until he has complied with the prerequisites for reinstatement, by either corresponding direct to the consolidated Lodge when the address is known to him, or to the Grand Secretary if his Lodge was inactivated.

 

2.89      VOLUNTARY TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP BY DEMIT:  Each member in good standing as defined by Section 2.90, shall have the right to withdraw from membership in the Lodge provided he has submitted a personally signed request for a demit.  The procedure for handling such requests, and granting demits is as follows:

 

1.      The personally signed request for demit shall be read and recorded in the Minutes of the next Stated Communication held after receipt of the request by the Secretary.

 

2.      Prior to any action by the Lodge the Secretary shall be required to certify, and record in the minutes, that the Brother has paid all indebtedness owed, including current dues payable.

 

3.      The members present at such Stated Communication shall be asked if any masonic reason exists to preclude granting the demit, such as masonic charges pending, complaint, etc.

 

4.      All prerequisites having been complied with, the Lodge may then act to grant the demit, which shall be issued on the authorized form, and signed by the Master and Secretary.  In all instances, the demit shall bear the date of the Stated Communication when granted and take effect as of: that date; a future date; or another date authorized in writing by the Grand Secretary. (see Section 2.91)

 

2.90  GOOD STANDING-DEFINED:  A member shall be considered as being in good standing within his Lodge when all his indebtedness to the Lodge has been paid in full (or remitted by Lodge action), and no masonic reason (knowledge of unmasonic acts; complaint or charges pending or in process of preparation, suspension or expulsion from any masonic lodge, etc.) exists to preclude his right to withdraw from membership.  A Certificate of Good Standing may be issued to members deemed by the above criteria to be in good standing, but no such certificate shall be authorized which will extend beyond the thirty-first day of December of the year issued.

 

2.91      SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES RESPECTING ISSUANCE OF DEMITS:  When a demit has been approved by the Lodge as specified in the foregoing but prior to its actual delivery or mailing to the Brother or to a specified Lodge (which should be as soon as possible after the Communication) information or facts are made known that would have precluded action on, and granting of, the Demit, were such facts known at that time, release of the demit shall be held in abeyance by the Secretary, who shall immediately notify the Master of the Lodge, and the Brother concerned.  The Master shall immediately report the particulars in the case to the Grand Master, who will render a final decision as to withholding issuance of the demit further.  The facts relating to the withholding of a demit shall be entered into the minutes of the next Communication, as well as the decision made by the Grand Master.

 

2.92      AFFILIATION BY DEMIT FROM ANOTHER LODGE: A Lodge may accept a petition for affiliation from a Brother who does not, at the time he presents such petition, hold regular membership in any other Lodge, provided his petition is accompanied by a valid demit from his last Lodge.  A demit may be deemed as holding the Brother in good standing for a period not to exceed one year from the date it was issued, unless otherwise stated on the demit itself.

 

2.93  DEMIT FROM A DORMANT, INACTIVATED, CONSOLIDATED, OR SUSPENDED LODGE: Specific procedures pertaining to the issuance of demits from such Lodges shall be obtained from those Code sections which apply to such Lodges.  Eventual circumstances not foreseen by this Code shall be resolved by the Grand Master, or by subsequent action to amend this Code.

 

 


THE CODE

 

SECTION 3.00

 

 

This Section pertains to the prerequisites required for the establishment of a Lodge Under Dispensation, as well as the prerequisites necessary for issuance of a permanent Charter.

 

Also contained herein are specific regulations pertaining to dormant and suspended Lodges; consolidation or merger of Lodges; definition of clandestine Lodges or other bodies, and miscellaneous provisions pertaining to individual brethren.

 

Of prime importance to constituent Lodges and members are those regulations contained in this Section which explain the procedures necessary to effect amendment to any portion of this CODE.

 

3.1      DISPENSATION FOR A NEW LODGE: A group of not less than ten recognized Master Masons in possession of certificates of good standing or demits (as applicable) shall be an indispensable prerequisite to petitioning the Grand Lodge for a dispensation to establish a new Lodge.  The request for such dispensation shall include the full names of the brethren petitioning, their Lodge affiliations, a listing of the proposed officers of the new Lodge, and should be accompanied by a proposed set of bylaws for the new Lodge.  If approved by the Grand Master-ACGL, the Grand Master of the VGLvD will be requested to grant and issue such dispensation.

 

3.2   NEW LODGE - MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: A dispensation to form a new Lodge shall not be granted unless the following minimum prerequisites have been established:

 

1.      A suitable location for the proposed Lodge is available.

 

2.      The proposed officers have demonstrated their ability to open and close a Lodge in each of the three degrees in accord with the ritual, without the use of any printed or written aid.

 

3.      The approval of all Lodges within a radius of 75 kilometers has been obtained in writing.

 

4.      Minimum furniture and equipment for use by the Lodge has been obtained or is available.

 

3.3      LIMITATIONS OF LODGE UNDER DISPENSATION:  A Lodge Under Dispensation may not confer any degree on an actual candidate until the officers of the Lodge have attained a degree of proficiency in each degree satisfactorily to the requirements of this Code and the Grand Master, whose permission in writing must be obtained prior to authorizing conferring degrees on candidates.  This permission may be obtained when the Lodge has demonstrated its ability to confer the first sections of each degree without the use of any printed or written aid; lectures and charges may be read.  A Lodge Under Dispensation may not elect officers or be represented by vote at ACGL Communications.

 

3.4      OBTAINING A CHARTER:  A Lodge Under Dispensation should qualify for issuance of a permanent charter within six months subsequent to its institution.  Failure to qualify can result in dissolution of the Lodge, at the option of the GM.  A charter may be granted after a minimum of ninety days if the Lodge has demonstrated the required proficiency in the ritual and administrative work, and shall further be entitled to elect officers for a chartered Lodge, under the following conditions:

 

1.      The officers-elect in the Lodge will be able to complete their respective terms (based on their known rotation dates), as outlined in this Code.

 

2.      The officers-elect have demonstrated their proficiency in the stations for which they are proposed.

3.      The proposed Master and at least one warden have demonstrated the ability to confer the first sections of all three degrees without the use of any written or printed aid.

 

4.      All materials, equipment and property necessary to conform to the requirements of this Code have either been purchased or are otherwise available.

 

3.5      DORMANT LODGES: A dormant Lodge is one which has been placed in temporary darkness as a direct result of its inability to obtain the necessary minimum number of members required by this Code and circumstances indicate the situation will prevail over an extended period of time.  A dormant Lodge may not hold Stated or Special Communications or confer degrees, but its normal administration may be assigned by the Grand Master to any qualified member of the Lodge remaining in the area.  Alternatively, a dormant Lodge's affairs may be placed under the direct administration of the Grand Secretary.  When placed under his direct custodianship, the Grand Secretary shall issue and attest to all instruments pertaining to such a Lodge, such as demits.  Lodges may be placed in temporary dormant status by the Grand Master for the following reasons, but permanent dormancy shall require the approval of the Grand Master of the VGLvD:

 

1.      Failure to meet and hold a Stated Communication for a period of one Masonic year.

 

2.      Failure to remit per capita dues to the ACGL for a period of two consecutive calendar years.

 

3.      Failure to be represented at the Annual Communication of the ACGL for two consecutive years, except when the Lodge is not physically located within Germany.

 

3.6      REVIVAL OF DORMANT LODGES: The same requirements as specified for Lodges Under Dispensation shall apply when considering any request for revival of a dormant Lodge.  In each such instance the Grand Master shall make any final determination.

 

3.7   STATUS OF MEMBERS OF DORMANT LODGES: A member of a Lodge placed in a dormant status shall have the right to request and receive a demit.  A member of a dormant Lodge who is one year or more in arrears in payment of dues shall be summoned and, when applicable, suspended in the same manner as members in similar status in other Lodges, except that payment of dues in arrears by a suspended member of a dormant Lodge shall result in his automatic reinstatement without necessity for Lodge action.  All known members of a Lodge placed in dormant status shall be notified of such action.

 

3.8      INACTIVATED LODGES-DEFINITION: An inactivated Lodge is one whose charter has been returned to the VGLvD.  It is a Lodge that has been closed and no longer exists.  A member of such a Lodge shall become non-affiliated at the time the inactivation of the Lodge is announced as effective.  A member of a Lodge that is inactivated who is in arrears in payment of his Lodge dues on the date of the inactivation may be subject to suspension as of that date, in accord with the Lodge bylaws.

 

3.9      RECORDS OF INACTIVATED LODGES: The records, equipment and funds of inactivated Lodges shall be placed in the custody of the ACGL.  Correspondence relating to members of inactivated Lodges shall be directed to, and handled by, the Grand Secretary.

 

3.10      SUSPENSION OF LODGE RITUAL WORK: When the Grand Master deems the ritual work of a Lodge to be inefficient, ineffectual, or otherwise detrimental to the best interests of candidates or the Craft, he may suspend the right to perform all or any portion of such ritual work pending examination of the work by the Committee on Works or any other delegated representative.  Such examination shall be at the request, and expense, of the Lodge whose work had been suspended.

 

3.11      BUSINESS OF LODGE WHILE UNDER SUSPENSION (Sec. 3.10): During the period Lodge ritual work is under suspension, Stated meetings of the Lodge shall continue to be held in accord with its bylaws and this Code.  Special communications may be called provided no degree work involving an actual candidate is involved, except in such instances where only a portion of such degree work has been suspended, in which case the Lodge may continue to perform that portion of the work not suspended.  In all other respects the Lodge will continue to function in accord with this Code, subject to the limitations placed upon it in the notice of suspension.

 

3.12      SUSPENSION OF LODGE CHARTER:  The charter of a Lodge may be suspended by the Grand Master when he determines that an offense committed by the Lodge warrants a Masonic Trial.  When charges are officially placed against the Lodge within sixty days, the suspension shall continue pending outcome of the Trial.  If charges are not placed against the lodge within that period, or further investigation of the circumstances discloses the charges are unfounded, the suspension shall be lifted.  When a Lodge admits its guilt concerning a specified offense, and accepts disciplinary action and waives its right to a Trial, the charter of the Lodge shall be suspended for a period not to exceed ninety days.

 

3.13      CUSTODY OF CHARTER WHILE UNDER SUSPENSION:  The Grand Secretary shall take custody of the charter of a Lodge placed under suspension in accord with Section 3.12. The Master of the suspended Lodge shall be charged with the duty of delivering the charter personally, or by registered German mail, to the Grand Secretary within 48 hours after being notified of the suspension, unless the Grand Master grants an extension for the purpose.

 

3.14      BUSINESS OF A LODGE UNDER SUSPENSION: The normal administration and correspondence work of a Lodge placed under suspension shall be continued by the Secretary of the affected Lodge, provided no action is taken which may tend to circumvent or obstruct Masonic proceedings against the Lodge or any of its members.  Actions which would normally require Lodge approval at Stated meetings (which may not be held while under suspension) may not be performed by the Secretary, except as follows:

 

1.      Issuance of demits, when authorized.

 

2.      Arranging courtesy work under the supervision of the Master.

 

3.      Payment of just debts by pay order to the Treasurer, which must be signed by the Master and Secretary, provided that new debts are not incurred voluntarily while under suspension.

 

3.15      RESTORATION OF CHARTER:  When a Lodge whose charter was suspended has its charter returned after trial or termination of the period of suspension, the Lodge Secretary shall report all actions taken by him at the first Stated meeting to be held, to enable the Lodge to take normal action on all the transactions of the Secretary which would normally have required Lodge approval, such as granting of demits, authorizing courtesy work requests, etc.   The Lodge action on the Secretary's report and each of the matters concerned, shall be recorded in the Minutes of the Lodge.

 

3.16      INVOLUNTARY FORFEITURE OF CHARTER: A Lodge may be dissolved and its charter forfeited for cause by action of the Grand Lodge at an Annual Communication, subject to subsequent approval of the Grand Master of the VGLvD.  The loss of a charter by forfeiture, when approved by the VGLvD, shall be conclusive upon the Lodge and each of its members.

 

3.17  STATUS OF MEMBERS WHEN CHARTER IS FORFEITED: The members of a Lodge whose charter has been legally forfeited shall be non-affiliated as of the effective date of such forfeiture.

 

3.18  LODGE PROPERTY AND FUNDS WHEN CHARTER IS FORFEITED: The assets, including all property, records, funds and paraphernalia of a Lodge whose charter has been forfeited shall be delivered to the Grand Secretary or to such other location as may be specified by the Grand Master.

 

3.19      VOLUNTARY DISSOLUTION OF A LODGE: A resolution to dissolve a Lodge may be introduced by any member of the Lodge at a Stated meeting, and shall require a two-thirds vote of all members then present in order to be entertained.  If entertained, all resident members must be summoned to attend the next Stated Meeting, such summons to contain the exact wording of the proposed resolution to dissolve.  If the resolution is carried at the next Stated meeting by a three-fourth majority vote of all members present, a letter requesting voluntary dissolution shall be sent immediately via registered German mail, together with the charter, to the Grand Master.  The Lodge will then automatically be placed in the same status as a dormant Lodge, but will not be inactivated until the charter is officially accepted by the Grand Master of the VGLvD.  Responsibility for the records, funds, property and administration of the Lodge will continue to rest with the Lodge officers as is outlined in the Section entitled 'Dormant Lodges'. until official notice is received of the acceptance of the charter by the VGLvD.

 

3.20      VOLUNTARY LODGE CONSOLIDATIONS: Two or more Lodges within the ACGL may consolidate (merge) under the following conditions-.

 

1.      Each Lodge involved must agree to the consolidation, having previously summoned its members in writing, which summons must include the purpose of the meeting; when the proposal for consolidation is placed for action, acceptance by a two thirds majority of the members present shall be required.

 

2.      Each Lodge concerned agrees to surrender its charter if and when required to effect the consolidation.  In lieu thereof, each Lodge concerned may take action to retain the charter of one of the Lodges involved, for the consolidated Lodge.

 

3.      All members in good standing in the Lodges involved shall have the undeniable right of membership in the consolidated Lodge, when and if such consolidation is approved.

 

4.      If the charters are to be surrendered, all Lodges involved must agree to a name proposed for the consolidated Lodge.

 

5.      The Lodges concerned accept the bylaws of one of the Lodges, or a new set of bylaws acceptable to each concerned Lodge has been adopted respectively by each Lodge.

 

6.      Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts of the Lodges concerned shall automatically become entitled to the same privileges in the consolidated Lodge.

 

7.      Total assets of the Lodges involved in the consolidation shall be merged and become the property of the consolidated Lodge, provided all excess or surplus property shall be reported to the Grand Master for his disposition.

 

3.21      CONSOLIDATION BY DECREE: If the bylaws of a Lodge authorize the Grand Master to consolidate the Lodge under certain circumstances, or in lieu thereof, the approval of the VGLvD has been obtained by the Grand Master, a decree directing the consolidation of a Lodge with another may be granted subject to the following conditions:

 

1.      Less than five resident members are available who attend Lodge regularly.

 

2.      Investigation reveals little or no possibility that the Lodge may be revived (if dormant) or continue to operate in accord with this Code and its own bylaws.

 

3.      The Lodge selected by the Grand Master to absorb the Lodge to be consolidated, shall have first agreed to accept the merger by action at a Stated meeting to which its members have been duly summoned, as outlined in Section 3.20.

 

3.22      CLANDESTINE LODGES, BODIES, OR INDIVIDUALS: All organizations claiming to be Masonic which use any portion or reference to the esoteric work, signs or symbols of the Three Degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry and are not recognized by the United Grand Lodges of Germany shall be regarded as clandestine.

 

      Any person who has received any degree, or holds membership in any clandestine Lodge or organization shall be considered clandestine.

 

3.23      COMMUNICATION WITH CLANDESTINE LODGES OR PERSONS: Any Mason under this jurisdiction who shall take or receive any degree, or confer or assist or be present at the conferring of any degree, grade, or order within or under the authority of an organization regarded as clandestine, shall be guilty of a Masonic offense.  Any Mason who knowingly holds masonic communication in any manner with a clandestine, a profane, or with any Mason who has been suspended or expelled, shall be guilty of a Masonic offense.  Likewise, any Mason who knowingly is present in a Masonic Lodge in the company of a clandestine, or with a Mason who has been suspended or expelled, shall be guilty of a Masonic offense.

 

3.24      ILLEGAL CIRCULARS OR APPEALS:  Circulars and/or appeals to other Lodges or brethren for donations shall not be issued by Lodges or brethren within the ACGL without the approval of the Grand Master.  Any appeal for funds which cannot be confirmed as having received the approval of the Grand Lodge, shall, upon receipt by any Lodge, be immediately referred to the Grand Master.  When any appeal for financial aid is made by a member of a constituent Lodge, he shall make such appeal only to the Lodge in which he holds membership.  An exception may be made if another Lodge agrees to accept such appeal and grant the requested aid, but before doing so requests and then receives the Grand Master's approval.

 

3.25      PROVISIONS TO AMEND THE CODE OF THE ACGL: No amendment to this Code, other than the definitions included herein, shall be made or have any effect unless the following procedures have been complied with:

 

1.      A proposed amendment (including any changes of any type) must be submitted in writing to the Grand Lodge before February 1st prior to the Annual Communication.  Upon receipt, the Grand Secretary will forward copies of such proposed legislation to the Grand Master and the chairman of the Committee on Resolutions.  [Amended 1989]

 

2.      All proposals submitted within the prescribed time to the Grand Lodge shall be published to all Lodges for review not later than thirty days prior to the Annual Communication.  All proposed amendments and changes will be studied by the Committee and submitted with their report and recommendations to the Grand Lodge at its Annual Communication.

 

3.      The Committee on Resolutions shall present all Resolutions received by them to the Annual Communication.  Their report shall indicate those resolutions not recommended for adoption by the committee, together with their reasons for such determination.  They shall also indicate any changes they may recommend to any resolution which, in their opinion, would render such resolution acceptable for consideration.  Only those resolutions receiving a favorable vote by action of the Grand Lodge will be referred to the Lodges for ratification.

 

4.      When adopted by the Grand Lodge at its Annual Communication, the Grand Secretary shall publish and forward the amendments to all constituent Lodges within thirty days subsequent to the Annual Communication.

 

5.      Upon receipt, the Master of each Lodge will present the text of adopted amendment(s) at the first Stated meeting of his Lodge held thereafter, for Lodge action.  A report of each Lodge's vote on each of the amendments shall be forwarded immediately thereafter to the Grand Secretary.  Failure of a Lodge to submit its report on action taken on the amendments, within a period of sixty days after the post-marked date of mailing filed with the Grand Secretary, shall result in the assumption that the Lodge concurs in the amendments, and such fact will be duly recorded by the Grand Secretary.

 

6.      Any amendment favorably ratified by action of the majority of ACGL Lodges within the prescribed time shall take effect as law, except in such instances as may require the approval of the VGLvD.  At the expiration of the prescribed period, the Grand Secretary will publish the results of such action.


 

7.      During the period between adoption by the Grand Lodge at its Annual Communication and ratification by the ACGL Lodges, an amendment may be considered as a guide to follow when and if such amendment conflicts with the current Code provisions, provided the Grand Master indicates his prior approval of such practice before closing the Annual Communication.

 

 


THE CODE

 

SECTION 4.00

 

This Section of the Code of the ACGL provides definition of Masonic offences by individual members and Lodges; explains basic procedures for preferring complaints, and investigation and further processing of complaints; responsibility for the formulation and introduction of Masonic charges; as well as other mandatory judicial procedures in specific instances.

 

All brethren are urged to familiarize themselves with this Section, in particular those Lodge officers whose duties and responsibilities may require them to handle and process such unpleasant tasks during their term of office.

 

A further annex, referred to as 'Section 5.001 of this CODE, entitled the "Code of Trial Procedure", is available as a separate publication.  It is actually a manual of procedure concerned solely with pre-Trial and Trial procedures, and any subsequent appeals, and generally concerns only those actually involved in masonic proceedings subsequent to those covered by Section 4.00. After completion of necessary editing and revision (it was adopted originally on 9 June 1964) it will be republished in the same format as the CODE.

 

4.1      JUDICIAL AUTHORITY:  Masons owing allegiance to this jurisdiction by virtue of having been initiated or affiliated in a constituent Lodge under the American Canadian Grand Lodge, AF&AM, within the United Grand Lodges of Germany, must obey the civil laws of their respective countries, as well as those of the Federal Republic of Germany while in the territorial jurisdiction.  They must support the establishment of government; observe the Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry and retain as inviolable the mysteries of the Order; preserve and obey the laws, regulations, and resolutions of the ACGL and the VGL; and discharge their duties and obligations to their families, to each other, and to mankind in general.  A Mason of American or Canadian nationality who is not a member of a Lodge in this jurisdiction, but is sojourning or residing within the jurisdictional area of an ACGL Lodge, shall be subject to the same laws of Masonry while residing or sojourning within this Grand Lodge jurisdiction, and shall be subject to disciplinary action in the same manner.  When necessary, a waiver of penal jurisdiction shall be requested of the Grand Lodge from which he hails.

 

      WILLFUL FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ANY OF THESE REQUIREMENTS SHALL CONSTITUTE A MASONIC OFFENSE AND MAY SUBJECT THE OFFENDER TO MASONIC TRIAL, AND IF FOUND GUILTY OF SUCH OFFENSE, TO DISCIPLINE AS OUTLINED WITHIN THIS CODE.

 

4.2      MASONIC OFFENSE BY AN INDIVIDUAL: Masonic offences which may subject an individual offender to Trial and possible disciplinary action are as follows:

 

1.      Acts or conduct tending to impair the purity of the Masonic Institution or its usefulness, or to cause scandal or degrade it in the public estimation, or which are in any way contrary to the principles, obligations or teachings of Freemasonry.

 

2.      A violation of this CODE or any of the laws, rules, resolves, edicts or decrees of the VGLvD or ACGL; or the failure to observe such laws.

 

3.      Disobedience to process authorized by any law of recognized Masonry, including this CODE.

 

4.      Disobedience or contumacy to lawful Masonic authority.

 

5.      Contemptuous, disrespectful or provocative language and/or conduct toward any lawful Masonic authority at a time and place when such authority is acting as such.

 

4.3      MASONIC OFFENSE BY A LODGE: Masonic offences which may subject an individual Lodge to Trial, and disciplinary action are as follows:

 

1.      Departure from the original plan of recognized Freemasonry and the Ancient Landmarks.

 

2.      A violation of this CODE or any of the laws, rules, resolves, edicts or decrees of the VGLvD or ACGL; or the failure to obey or observe the same.

 

3.      Disobedience or contumacy to the authority of the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge.

 

4.      Disobedience to process authorized by any law of recognized Masonry, including this CODE.

 

4.4   WHO MAY PREFER CHARGES: Any officer or member of a constituent Lodge may make written accusations against any officer, member, non-affiliate, Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft of the Lodge in respect of a Masonic offense committed; or against any sojourning, recognized Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, or Master Mason, in respect of an offense committed within the jurisdictional area of the Lodge, or while such sojourning Mason is residing or maintains a place of business within the jurisdiction.

 

      IT IS THE DUTY OF ANY LODGE OFFICER WHO KNOWS OF A MASONIC OFFENSE COMMITTED BY A MEMBER OF HIS LODGE, TO PREFER CHARGES.

 

4.5   HOW CHARGES ARE TO BE PREFERRED:  When a Brother is a member of a Lodge in good Masonic standing he shall make his accusations in writing, insofar as may be proper, setting out first, the charges; second, the specifications of circumstances or acts upon which the charges are based, stating so far as possible the time and place of the offense(s) referred to, indicating willingness to render an oral statement of such portions of the accusation as may not, with propriety, be written.  These shall be delivered by the Accuser to the Master of the Lodge having jurisdiction.  The Master shall then appoint a committee of no less than two Master Masons who shall be charged with investigating the complaint, and pledged to secrecy.  When possible, the committee shall effect a proper reconciliation to the mutual satisfaction of the Accuser and the Accused.  If the committee is successful in effecting such reconciliation, they shall obtain a written statement of withdrawal of the complaint by the Accuser, and shall present the same to the Master, who shall retain such record in a confidential file and consider the matter closed.

 

4.6      PROCEDURE IF RECONCILIATION CANNOT BE MADE:  If the Master ascertains the offense is not a personal one between the Accused and an Accuser, or when personal, the efforts of his committee to effect a reconciliation are unavailing, the Master shall instruct the Junior Warden to prepare and deliver to him such charges and specifications in writing, in duplicate, in a format approved by the Grand Lodge, The Master Will then present the charges at the first Stated Communication held after delivery to him; the charges shall be entered into the Minutes of that Communication and shall not be withdrawn except at a subsequent Stated Communication of the Lodge, and then only by unanimous consent of the Lodge.

 

4.7   WHEN CHARGES ARE PREFERRED: While under charges as outlined in Section 4.6 above, no Brother can act as Master or other officer of the Lodge (except the duly installed Master himself unless that officer is suspended by the Grand Master), but he shall have the right to ballot or vote until found guilty.

 

4.8      TRANSMITTAL OF CHARGES: If the charges preferred are against the Master of the Lodge, the Secretary shall send them immediately, by registered (Einschreiben) mail direct to the Grand Master.  If the charges are preferred against any other Brother, the Secretary shall transmit them within 10 days after the Stated Meeting at which received and read into the Minutes, either in person or by registered mail, to his District Master, together with a cover letter containing the Lodge seal and his signature.  At the same time, and in the same manner he shall notify the Accused that charges have been entered against him, and shall retain a copy of the notice together with a copy of the charges in his files.

 

4.9   ACTION BY THE DISTRICT MASTER: When charges are received by the District Master (as outlined in Section 4.8), he shall attempt to make diligent inquiry and investigation concerning those charges, and attempt to effect a reconciliation between the Accused and the Accuser.  If this is impossible, he shall prepare a written report of his investigation, findings, and his personal commentary, in an acceptable format, and shall forward his report, together with all original documents or papers received from the Lodge Secretary, to the Grand Master, by registered mail or in person, within ten days of receipt by him, if possible.

 

4.10  ACTION BY THE GRAND MASTER: When the Grand Master receives charges and tentatively agrees to consider them, he will forward all papers received to the Proctor.  The Proctor will review the charges and conduct Any further investigation necessary to ascertain additional facts, and shall thereafter submit his recommendations to the Grand Master.  The Grand Master shall then notify the Proctor in writing of his decision as to whether he has entertained the charges.  If entertained, the Grand Master will appoint a Trial Commission composed of not less than five members plus an alternate, from among the members of the Grand Lodge Judiciary Committee, providing the Grand Secretary with the names of the appointed Commissioners.

 

4.11  ACTION BY THE GRAND SECRETARY:  Upon receipt of notification from the Grand Master, in person or in writing, of the appointment of a Trial Commission, he will notify each of the members of the Trial Commission of their appointment by first-class mail, at the same time forwarding their names, addresses and telephone numbers, if known, to the Proctor.

 

4.12  ACTION OF PROCTOR WHEN CHARGES ARE ENTERTAINED: When the original charges are entertained by the Grand Master, the Proctor will then reformulate the charges in proper form, if necessary, and proceed as outlined within the Code of Trial Procedure.

 

4.13  WHEN CHARGES ARE DISMISSED: After completion of the review by the Proctor, if the Grand Master's decision is to dismiss the charges, he shall advise the Master of the Lodge concerned, in writing, and shall so notify the Proctor by a copy of that letter, filing one copy of his letter permanently with the charges in his possession.  The letter to the Master shall state the reasons for dismissal of the charges, and outline such evidence as prompted the decision.

 

4.14  ACTION BY THE LODGE WHEN DISMISSAL RECEIVED: Upon receipt of the notification from the Grand Master that charges have been dismissed, the originating Lodge shall have the option to either accept or reject the dismissal by majority vote at a Stated meeting.  If the Grand Master's dismissal is rejected, the Lodge shall submit a letter to the Grand Master requesting him to reconsider the case.  When the Grand Master again dismisses the case to the Lodge's dissatisfaction, the case will be held in abeyance until the next Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge, at which time the Accuser and/or the Master of the Lodge in question shall have the right and duty to place the entire matter before the Judiciary, for their determination.  The recommendation of the Judiciary will be rendered in a report to the Grand Lodge in session, and the final determination as to whether the charges are to be entertained shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the voting members present.

 

When the Grand Master's dismissal is accepted by action of the Lodge, the Lodge Secretary shall notify the Grand Secretary in writing, who shall then notify the Proctor.  Upon receipt of such notification, the Proctor shall forward all papers related to the case direct to the Lodge for its permanent files.  Upon receipt of these papers, a record of such receipt shall be entered into the Minutes of the next Stated meeting held thereafter.

 

4.15      LIMITED DISMISSAL BY THE GRAND MASTER: If the Grand Master dismisses charges as outlined herein, nothing shall preclude his authority to render a reprimand to the Accused if the offense be of some minor nature, or if in the Grand Master's view, inadequate to warrant the expense of convening a Trial Commission.  A limited dismissal, when so noted by the Grand Master, shall be acted upon by the Lodge in the same manner as an outright dismissal.  When a limited dismissal is involved, the Grand Master's letter to the Lodge shall be accompanied by a reprimand in writing, signed by him and properly attested.  If accepted by the Lodge by majority vote, it shall be read to the Accused in open Lodge, for which purpose the Master shall have the power of summoning the offender to appear.  Failure to appear at the time and date specified in the summons, without satisfactory reasons in writing, shall subject the Accused to an indefinite suspension by the Grand Master, and notification of such suspension shall be made by the Grand Master to all Lodges, with further distribution when necessary through the VGLvD.

 

4.16  GRAND MASTER PREROGATIVE: Nothing in the foregoing sections shall be construed as precluding the Grand Master from personally preferring charges against any Brother within the jurisdiction of the ACGL.  When such charges do not involve an elected officer of the ACGL, they will be introduced in the manner prescribed, as though the Grand Master were a member of the Lodge concerned.

 

4.17      PROCEDURE WHEN CHARGES ENTERTAINED: When the Grand Master Is decision is to entertain charges submitted to him as outlined in the foregoing sections, the procedures to be followed with respect to obtaining depositions, service of papers, establishing a trial date and venue, conduct of the trial, etc., shall be as prescribed in the Code of Trial Procedures of the ACGL (Section 5), published separately as an Annex to, but an integral part of, this Code.

 

4.18      SUSPENSIONS TO BE INDEFINITE:  Suspension of a Brother resulting from his unmasonic conduct as determined by a Masonic Trial held in accordance with this CODE, shall always be for an indefinite time and shall remain in force unless and until action is taken as prescribed in section 4.19.  Suspension and expulsions involve absolute exclusion from all the rights and privileges of Masonry throughout the world.

 

4.19      REINSTATEMENT FOLLOWING SUSPENSION:  A Mason suspended for unmasonic conduct may make written application for reinstatement, after a period of six months from date of his suspension; his application shall be directed to the Lodge in which the charges resulting in his suspension were originated.  His request for reinstatement shall be placed before the Lodge and acted upon by secret ballot and shall require a unanimous vote for approval.  If his request is rejected, a suspended member shall be eligible to apply for reinstatement six months after the date of rejection and, when necessary, at each six months interval thereafter.

 

4.20  ACTION OF TRIAL COMMISSION ON FALSE COMPLAINT:  After proceedings have been initiated in respect of complaints and charges as noted in the foregoing, it shall be discovered during pre-trial or even during trial proceedings that the complainant cannot support his charges because they are groundless and not based on true fact, or the result of hatred, malice or some other unwarranted passion, the Accused may incur such penalty as the Trial Commission shall determine.

 

4.21      SUSPENSION: In his absolute discretion, the Grand Master shall have the authority to suspend an Accused pending outcome of a Trial, if he deems such suspension is warranted by the facts.

 

If any Brother shall in any way make known the kind of ballot cast by himself or another on any secret ballot, or, if after a ballot he shall reveal either his own vote or a specific number of white or black balls or cubes cast, he shall, upon conviction thereof, be suspended.  This shall not apply in respect of divulging one's own vote following an election of Lodge officers.

 

A Brother convicted of a felony by judgment of a court of law of competent jurisdiction, including a military Court-Martial, shall forthwith stand suspended, until such court judgment be reversed or set aside, or until a Masonic Trial shall have resulted in the Brother's acquittal of charges based on said court judgment, or until such suspension is terminated by the ACGL in session.

 

The Grand Master may suspend any member of a constituent Lodge for a period of not more than sixty (60) days, during which period charges must be preferred and served.  A suspension under these condition shall be specified for a definite number of days.

 

4.22      EXPULSION: The expulsion of a Brother shall take effect only upon conviction of a Masonic offense and sentence by a Trial Commission and approval of the ACGL in session.  It shall be compulsory upon conviction of any of the following offenses that the sentence be expulsion from Masonry:

 

1.      An offense constituting a felony under the laws of Germany, Canada or the United States, which involve moral turpitude.

 

2.      Concealment or the practice of deceit in any manner in respect of any previous application for initiation or affiliation.

 

3.      Taking the Tiler' s Oath to gain admission to a Lodge, knowing himself to be at that time suspended for non-payment of dues or other reason.

 

 


AMENDMENTS - NOTES

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE ACGL CODE

1986 – 1987

 

NOTE to all Lodges and Brethren: Paste the following amendments on page 80 of the Code, and annotate the pages which the original sections appear (in the margin) to refer to amendments on page 80.

 

Frankfurt/Main       Jess Minton

1 November 1987      Grand Secretary

 

1.2      Amended April 1986 (ratified September 1986) as follows:

 

Insert the word "Treasurers" between the words "Junior Wardens and Secretaries".

 

1.34      Amended April 1987 (ratified October 1987) as follows:

 

Replace the words "District Master" with "District Deputy Grand Master" or, when abbreviated, as "DDGM".  All other references in the Code to District Masters are automatically affected without requirement for any further amendment action.

 

1.52  (Para. 3) Amended April 1986 (ratified September 1986) by the deletion of the entire text and substituting the following:

 

"A Committee an Works shall consist of 3 or 5 Members, to which shall be referred all questions/suggested changes in the esoteric and monitorial work.  It shall be the duty of the committee to report its recommendations in writing with respect thereto as soon as practicable to the Grand Lodge.  Action(s) when necessary, shall be taken only at an annual communication and after receipt of committee's recommendation.

 

Annually, following the close of the annual communication, the committee or such member or Members thereof as the committee shall designate, shall meet with the Grand Secretary and prepare notice of any and all changes adopted at such communication, which shall be promptly transmitted by the Grand Secretary to the constituent Lodges.'

 

2.53  (Para, 5) Amended April 1987 (ratified October 1987) to read as follows:

 

"Life Membership is authorized within the jurisdiction of the ACGL only in accord with the 'Paid-up Membership Plan' as adopted by the Grand Lodge."

 

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE ACGL CODE

1988 - 1994

 

The following are amendments to the ACGL Code that have been adopted during the period of 1988 to 1994.  Annotate your copy of the Code and post this notice on page 80.

 

2.84            Amended April 1994 as follows.

 

Delete the words, "via registered or certified mail with “return receipt requested".

 

3.25            Amended April 1989 as follows:

 

Replace the words "not less than forty-five days" with "before February 1st".

 

Other resolutions adopted but are not Code amendments:

 

J.D. Skoglund Memorial Scholarship Fund (1991)

 

GL Lecture System (1992)

 

Other resolutions currently pending (1996):

 

1.         Allow the Grand Lodge to be located anywhere within Germany.

 

2.            Eliminate the jurisdictional boundaries of ACGL Lodges.

 

3.            Reduce the number of members needed to conduct an FC degree from seven to five.

 

 


THE CODE

 

SECTION 5.00

 

 

Sub-titled "Code of Trial Procedure" , this section contains the general rules and procedures for the conduct of certain Masonic Trial proceedings, once initiated in accord with the provisions of Section 4.00 of the Code.

 

The 117 separate sections herein deal primarily with most of the administrative preliminaries required of the Proctor of the Grand Lodge (who serves as the prosecutor); the members of the Trial Commission, in particular the chairman; the Grand Master; the Grand Secretary; the Accused Brother or Lodge; and the Board of Appeals.  The taking of depositions and statements from witnesses is also dealt with in detail.

 

Originally adopted with effect as of 9 June 1964, portions of the original 'Code of Procedure' were eventually written into Section 4.00 of the Code when the Code was adopted in 1968.  This revision includes the remaining sections of the original, edited to eliminate errors, and conflicts wherever the (later-adopted) Code provisions superseded the original version.  Some rewording has also been made in an attempt to permit easier reading, with little success in view of the terminology and subject matter.

 

This section is published in January 1985 as an Annex to the Code, in limited quantity, adequate to allow distribution of at least five copies for each constituent Lodge, and one to each Grand Lodge officer.  Subject to further review by the Judiciary, Board of Appeals, Judge Advocate, Proctor, and the Works Committee, and pending possible amendment action as a result of such review, publication for inclusion with all released copies of the Code is held in abeyance.

 

Attest:

Frankfurt/Main      Jess Minton

January 1985      Grand Secretary

 

 

 

2nd printing - January 1988

 


SECTION 5.00

 

CODE OF TRIAL PROCEDURE

 

 

Subdivision I

Preliminary Provisions

 

5.1   Title of the Code

5.2 Foundation of Masonic jurisprudence

5.3 Purpose of Masonic discipline

5.4      Regulation of Masonic disciplinary proceedings

5.5      Masonic offenses by an individual

5.6      Masonic offenses by a Lodge

5.7      Statute of Limitations-general rule

5.8      Statute of Limitations-when convicted of felony

5.9      Statute of Limitations-involving misrepresentation, concealment, or deceit in relation to petition for Initiation


5.10      Statute of Limitations-involving misconduct by Master of a Lodge

5.11      Prosecution-when commenced

5.12      Requirement for Masonic Trial

5.13      Definition of Masonic Trial

5.14      Service of Papers-time limitations

5.15      Service of Papers-to other than Accused

5.16      Singular or plural clarified

 

 

Subdivision II

Instituting A Masonic Trial

 

5.17      Parties defined and designated

5.18      Complaint defined

5.19      Charges defined

5.20  How a Masonic trial is instituted

5.21  Who may make complaint

5.22      Contents of complaint

5.23  Action by Grand Master upon complaint

5.24 Procedure when complaint "dismissed' by Grand Master

5.25 Dismissal of complaint by Grand Master not a defence

5.26      Procedure when complaint "entertained" by Grand Master

5.27      Notification to the Proctor

5.28  How Trial Commission composed

5.29      Preparation of charges

5.30  Form of charges

5.31      Charges and notice must be served on Accused

5.32  Manner of serving or transmitting charges to Accused

5.33  Who may make service

5.34  Proof of service

5.35  Answer by Accused and effect of default

5.36 Permissible forms of answer

5.37  Time within which Accused must answer

5.38  Trial Commission-right to challenge

5.39  Trial Commission challenge-form thereof

5.40      Proctor's action upon receipt of challenge

5.41  Grand Master decision on receipt of challenge

5.42      Proctor's duty when challenge is sustained

5.43  Trial Commission substitution-right to challenge

5.44 Abatement of prosecution

 

 

Subdivision III

Commissions to take Testimony

 

5.45      Securing commission

5.46  When and to whom issued

5.47      Settlement of interrogatories

5.48 Mandatory question in interrogatories

5.49 Transmitting interrogatories

5.50      Examiner to fix time and place for taking testimony

5.51      Compelling attendance of witness before Examiner

5.52      Testimony on interrogatories, how taken

5.53  Return of deposition

5.54  Use and effect of deposition

 

 

Subdivision IV

Proceedings before Trial Commission

 

5.55  When Accused fails to answer after personal service or receipt of

5.56  When Accused not personally served fails to answer

5.57  When Accused admits charges but pleads in mitigation

5.58  When Accused denies charges or pleads exculpatory facts

5.59      Employment of stenographer

5.60      Counsel

5.61      Impeachment of witness

5.62      Testimony of witness

5.63  Right of Accused to confront witness

5.64      Securing attendance of witnesses

5.65      Evidence-generally

5.66  Same-effect of conviction by state or federal court

 

 

Subdivision V

Determination and Decision of Trial Commission

 

5.67      Determination-when Accused denies charges or pleads exculpatory facts

5.68  Same-when Accused not personally served fails to answer

5.69  Same-when Accused admits charges but pleads in mitigation

5.70  Same-when Accused personally served fails to answer

5.71      Penalties imposable upon individual

5.72      Penalties imposable upon Lodge

5.73      Forfeiture of Lodge charter

5.74  Trial Commission to prepare written decision

5.75  Form of decision

5.76      Dissenting report

5.77  Filing decision-general rule

5.78  Same-recommending forfeiture of Lodge Charter

5.79  Filing minutes of Trial and exhibits

5.80  Notice of decision to Accused and Lodge

5.81  Effect of decision

 

 

Subdivision VI

Opening Defaults

 

5.82  Right to open default

5.83 Application to open default

5.84  Duty of Proctor before decision filed

5.85  Duty of Proctor after decision filed

5.86  Oral argument not permitted

5.87 Proctor may file statement in opposition

5.88      Decision on petition-by whom and how made

5.89      Procedure if petition granted

5.90      Procedure if petition denied

5.91  Denial of petition appealable

 

 

Subdivision VII

Costs

 

5.92  What are costs

5.93  When payable by Lodge or Grand Lodge

 

 

Subdivision VIII

Appeal

 

5.94 Masonic appeal defined

5.95 Appellate authority

5.96 Sessions of Board of Appeals-when and where held

5.97 What appealable

5.98  Who may appeal

5.99 Designation of parties

5.100 Notice of appeal

5.101 Time within which notice served.

5.102 Filing notice.

5.103      Extension of time not permitted.

5.104 Stay of execution pending appeal.

5.105      Transmitting papers to Board of Appeals

5.106 Notice of submission or argument.

5.107 Briefs and written argument.

5.108 Method of determining appeal.

5.109      Decisions permissible.

5.110 Effect of reversal.

 

 

Subdivision IX

Restoration

 

 

5.111      Restoration a privilege.

5.112      Petition for restoration.

5.113 Notice of Trial Commissioners and Aggrieved Lodge.

5.114      Favorable Recommendation-when required.

5.115      Favorable recommendation-when not required.

5.116 Action on petition for restoration.

5.117      Termination of Suspension.

 

 

SECTION 5.00

CODE OF TRIAL PROCEDURE

 

5.1   Title

This law shall be known as the Code of Trial Procedure.

 

5.2      Foundation of Masonic jurisprudence

Masonic jurisprudence is generally based on the ancient usages, customs, and so-called Landmarks of the Craft.  Throughout the history of the Craft, these have been defined and developed into what may be termed the 'common law' of Freemasonry, which, in turn, are based on solemn obligations assumed by each of its members.

 

5.3      Purpose of Masonic discipline

The primary purpose of Masonic discipline is to maintain and preserve the reputation, integrity, and credibility of the Masonic institution, by invoking suitable punishment or penalty for an individual Lodge or member whose acts or neglects tend to injure a particular Lodge, an individual member, or the Craft as a whole.  Masonic jurisprudence is never to be resorted to in respect of any disputes of a religious or political nature.  It is also not the primary intent of masonic jurisprudence to settle such disputes as may result from business, professional, or other a secular activities or transactions, except in such instances as may involve or are the result of acts of fraud, embezzlement, or misrepresentation by an accused while acting in a fiduciary capacity; or when an accused is found guilty of larceny as defined by the penal statutes of the Federal Republic of Germany, the United States, Canada, or of their respective military forces.

 

5.4      Regulation of Masonic disciplinary proceedings

The method by which Masonic discipline may be invoked within this jurisdiction, and the mandatory procedures for prosecution and trial of masonic offenses, shall be regulated solely by this Code of Trial Procedure.

 

5.5      Masonic offenses by an individual

Masonic offenses which may subject an individual member to trial and punishment are those listed in Section 4.02 of the CODE of the American Canadian Grand Lodge.

 

5.6      Masonic offenses by a Lodge

Masonic offenses which may subject an individual Lodge to trial and punishment are those listed in Section 4.03 of the CODE of the American Canadian Grand Lodge.

 

5.7      Statute of Limitations-general rule

Except as hereinafter provided a prosecution for a Masonic offense must be commenced within five years after the commission of such offense.

 

5.8      Statute of Limitations-when convicted felony

A prosecution for an offense which constitutes a felony as defined by the penal laws of the Federal Republic of Germany, the United States, Canada, or of their respective military forces, when the ---

 

Accused has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction, may be commenced at any time within five years after the date of such judgment.

 

5.9      Statute of Limitations-involving misrepresentation, concealment, or deceit in relation to Initiation

A prosecution for making any misrepresentation to the Lodge in which he was initiated, or to a committee of investigation appointed by such lodge, or of practicing concealment or deceit in relation to his initiation, may be commenced against an offender without regard to any time limitation.

 

5.10      Statute of Limitations-involving misconduct by Master of a Lodge

A prosecution for official misconduct while holding the office of Master may be commenced against a Master or Past Master of a Lodge only during his term of office, or within one year after the expiration of the term of office during which the offense was committed, except that this limitation shall not apply if the offense or misconduct for which charged involves moral turpitude.

 

5.11      Prosecution-when commenced

A prosecution shall be deemed to have commenced when the complaint is officially presented to the Grand Master.

 

5.12      Requirements for Masonic Trial

Except in those rare instances in which a Lodge or its Master, or the Grand Master, has an inherent right to exercise disciplinary power, no Mason may be punished for a Masonic offense except upon conviction by a duly convened Trial Commission as outlined herein.

 

5.13      Definition of Masonic Trial

A Masonic trial is that official proceeding by which a Brother or a particular Lodge charged with a Masonic offense is prosecuted before a lawfully convened Trial Commission appointed pursuant to the provisions of the CODE, irrespective of whether an issue of law or fact, or both, shall have been interposed as the result of an answer or question raised by the Accused.

 

5.14      Service of Papers-time limitations

The date of service of any paper shall be deemed to be the date of the personal delivery thereof or, if mailed, the date of the postal cancellations In computing the time within which an act or response must be accomplished, the first day shall be excluded and the last day included, except when the last day falls on a Sunday or legal holiday, in which instance it shall likewise be excluded.

 

5.15      Service of Papers-to other than Accused

Except in the case of any charges and/or notice mandated by Code 5.31 herein, any paper or notice required by this Code of Trial Procedure to be served on the Accused, may be sent by first-class mail to attorney delegated by the Accused.

 

5.16  Single or plural clarified

Words in the singular shall include the plural, and any words in the plural shall likewise include the singular.

 

5.17      Parties defined and designated

A Masonic trial is prosecuted in the name of a Brother, Lodge, or Grand Lodge preferring the charges, hereinafter called the Complainant, against an individual member or particular Lodge charged with an offense, hereinafter called the Accused.

 

5.18      Complaint defined

The complaint is the allegation made to the Grand Master that an individual or a particular Lodge has been guilty of a Masonic offense or violation as defined by the CODE.

 

5.19      Charges defined

The charges shall be defined as the formal allegation of the commission of a specified Masonic offense or of any violation by an Accused, in writing, and shall include all necessary facts and circumstances tending to support such allegation.

 

5.20  How a Masonic trial is instituted

A proceeding seeking to penalize or discipline a Mason or a particular Lodge for unmasonic acts or conduct by means of Masonic trial, may be instituted only as the result of a written complaint prepared and processed in the manner outlined in Section 4.00 of the CODE.

 

5.21  Who may make complaint

Any Mason in good standing may enter a complaint against another Mason or against a particular Lodge, as outlined in Section 4.4 of the CODE.

 

5.22      Contents of complaint

A complaint must be in writing, and submitted direct to the Lodge concerned, as outlined in Section 4.5 of the CODE, If the Accused is not a member of a Lodge within this jurisdiction, the complaint shall be sent to the Grand Secretary for determination of jurisdictional authority.  No specific form is prescribed, except that the complaint must include the minimum information prescribed in Section 4.5, including the name, address, telephone numbers, and signature of the complainant.  If specific facts concerning the Accused are unknown, the complainant must state the source(s) of his information, and attest to his belief in the validity of the facts as stated in his complaint.

 

5.23  Action by Grand Master upon complaint

After a complaint has been received by the Grand Master, he may direct an attempt to adjust the matter without a prosecution or he may, in his absolute discretion, determine whether or not the same shall be prosecuted or dismissed.  According to his determination, he shall endorse the complaint 'entertained' or 'dismissed,' followed by his signature and title.

 

5.24      Procedure when complaint "dismissed" by Grand Master

When the Grand Master has dismissed a complaint as specified in Section 4.13 of the Code, he shall forward a copy of the same to the office of the Grand Secretary, where it shall be kept on file for a period of six years.

 

5.25      Dismissal of complaint by Grand Master not a defence

If the Grand Master dismisses a complaint, the procedures outlined in Section 4.14 of the Code shall apply.  In view of the procedure therein outlined, the Grand Master's dismissal cannot be interpreted as a defence to future charges bearing on the same matter.

 

5.26      Procedure when complaint "entertained" by Grand Master

When the Grand Master has entertained a complaint as specified in Section 4.10 of the Code, the procedures for appointment of a Trial Commission shall apply, as outlined in Section 4.11 of the Code.

 

5.27      Notification to the Proctor

When a Trial Commission is appointed by warrant, the procedure for notification to the Proctor shall be as outlined in Section 4.11.

 

5.28  How Trial Commission composed

The appointment and composition of a Trial Commission shall be in accordance with the requirements specified in Section 4.10 of the Code.  The first one named in the warrant shall serve as chairman.

 

5.29      Preparation of charges

Upon receipt of a complaint or charges entertained by the Grand Master, the Proctor shall prepare the charges in proper format as necessary, and shall proceed in accord with the regulations and procedures outlined hereinafter.

 

5.30  Form of charges

The charges shall be clearly and concisely formulated to delineate the Complainant, as well as the Accused, and shall be signed by the Proctor.  The basic violation shall be listed as a Charge, quoting the specific subsection of Section 4.00 of the Code as applicable; the individual acts tending to support the allegations subjoined to the Charge as Specification 1, 2, etc.  When the complaint alleges more than one violation or Charge, these may be joined together in one instrument citing the specific Charges as 1, II, etc., in each instance to be supported by itemizing each of the several different occasions on which such acts or offenses were alleged to have taken place, in the form of subjoined specifications to each Charge.

 

5.31      Charges and notice must be served on Accused

Promptly after the charges have been prepared as specified herein, the Proctor shall cause a copy of the same to be served upon the Accused in the manner hereinafter specified, together with a copy of the Warrant of Appointment of the Trial Commissioners.  It shall be the Proctor's duty to advise the Accused that failure to answer to the charges within the time specified shall be interpreted as an admission of guilt in respect of each charge and specification.

 

5.32  Manner of serving or transmitting charges to Accused

The charges and notification required to be served by the Proctor may be served upon the Accused either by delivering the same to him personally or by depositing the same in a properly sealed, postpaid wrapper in a post office or mail box regularly maintained by the postal services of Germany, Canada or the United States, addressed to the Accused by name, using the last known address brought to the attention of the Proctor or, when a currently valid address may be unknown or uncertain, to the last address of Accused as it appears on the books of the Lodge of which he is or last was a member, If the Accused is a Lodge, the charges and notice shall be served on either the Master or Secretary of such Lodge in the same manner as specified for the service of charges upon an individual. (In actual practice, registered/certified mail with return receipt request is the preferred method of service.)

 

5.33  Who may make service

Other than the Complainant, any person over the age of twenty-one years may make service upon the Accused.  In all instances, service should be effected by a Master Mason when possible.

 

5 .34 Proof of service

Proof of service upon an Accused shall be a signed certification by the Master Mason effecting such service or by sworn affidavit if other than a Master Mason effects service.  In all- instances, the date, time, place and manner of service shall be detailed.

 

5.35  Answer by Accused and effect of default

The Accused must answer the charges in writing, with the original and one copy of his answer provided to the Proctor within the time specified in the Proctor' a notice.  Failure by the Accused to reply within the specified period shall be interpreted as an admission of the validity of the charges and specifications served upon the Accused, provided said notice was served upon him personally, or if by mail, a registry return receipt signed by him or by someone in his behalf shall have been received and filed by the Proctor.


 

5.36      Permissible forms of answer

An answer to the charge or charges or to any specification thereof may consist of:

 

(a)      a general denial;

 

(b)      an admission with the addition of an exculpatory statement or explanation; or

 

(c)      an admission without exculpatory statement or explanation, with or without a plea entered in mitigation of punishment.

 

5.37  Time within which Accused must answer

An Accused shall be required to respond to charges received within the following time periods:

 

1.      When charges have been served by personal delivery;

 

a)      Within the Federal Republic of Germany or another European country - twenty (20) days;

 

b)      In Canada, the United States, the Canal Zone, Hawaii or Puerto Rico - thirty (30) days;

 

c)      In any other location, sixty (60) days,

 

2.      If the charges have been served by mail;

 

a)      Within the Federal Republic of Germany or another European country - thirty (30) days;

 

b)      To Canada, the United States, the Canal Zone, Hawaii or Puerto Rico - forty (40) days;

 

c)      To any other location not mentioned above - ninety (90) days.

 

5.38  Trial Commission-right to challenge

When the Accused responds to the charges within the specified time period, he shall have the right to challenge one or more of the trial commissioners for bias, actual or implied including consanguinity; or affinity based on business, professional, or other association.

 

5.39  Trial Commission challenge-form thereof

A challenge to a trial commissioner must be in writing, and shall state the facts or circumstances upon which the allegation of bias is predicated.  The Accused must include a statement certifying such facts or circumstances to be true, if his challenge is to be considered.

 

5.40      Proctor's action upon receipt of challenge

Upon receipt of a challenge to a Trial Commissioner, the Proctor shall furnish a copy thereof to the commissioner concerned, who shall thereupon forward his reply thereto to the Proctor.  Both the challenge and reply shall be forwarded by the Proctor to the Grand Master,

 

5.41  Grand Master's decision on receipt of challenge

The Grand Master, in his absolute discretion, may sustain or overrule a challenge to a trial commissioner.  If he shall overrule a challenge, the effect shall be the same as if no challenge had been interposed.  If sustained he shall appoint a substitute commissioner and notify the Proctor and Grand Secretary of such appointment.

 

5.42      Proctor's duty when challenge is sustained

Upon receipt of notice of the appointment of a substitute trial commissioner, the Proctor shall notify the Accused of the Grand Master's decision by ordinary mail, including the name of the substitute appointed,

 

5.43  Trial Commission substitution-right to challenge

The Accused may challenge a substitute trial commissioner provided such challenge is received by the Proctor after the mailing of notice of the substitution as follows:

 

a)      Within ten days if the address of the Accused is within Germany or an adding country;

 

b)      Within twenty days if the accused resides in Canada, the United States, the Canal Zone, Hawaii and Puerto Rico;

 

c)      or within forty-five days if it is in any other place.

 

5.44      Abatement of prosecution

A prosecution to punish for a Masonic offense shall abate upon the death of the Accused, but not upon the death of the Complainant.

 

5.45      Securing commission for purpose of obtaining testimony

If either party requires the testimony of a witness who resides at a distance from the place of trial, the Proctor and the Accused (either in person or by his attorney) may request that such testimony be taken by commission.  If not so stipulated, the party desiring such commission may apply to the chairman of the Trial Commission for a commission to take the testimony of such witness, provided at least five days notice is given to the adverse party of such intent.

 

5.46  When and to whom issued

When it is stipulated that testimony of a witness be taken by commission or, on subsequent application therefor, the chairman of the Trial Commission shall determine that the application is made in good faith and that the testimony sought is material to the applicant, he shall issue a commission to the Master of a Lodge convenient to the residence of the witness, directing and empowering him to act as Examiner.

 

5.47      Settlement of interrogatories

At the time of applying for a commission, or at such other time as shall be agreed upon or appointed by the chairman of the Trial Commission, both parties shall submit to him for settlement their respective interrogatories and cross-interrogatories. and he shall note his settlement thereof in writing upon both.

 

5.48      Mandatory question in interrogatories

Interrogatories and cross-interrogatories shall each conclude with the question: "Do you know of anything concerning the matters at issue in this proceeding that may tend to the advantage of the Complainant or Accused (as applicable)?  If affirmative, state the same as fully and at such length as if you had been particularly questioned concerning the same."

 

5.49      Transmitting interrogatories

When the interrogatories and cross-interrogatories shall have been settled, they shall be delivered to the Proctor together with the commission, who shall, in turn, transmit them to the Examiner named in the commission. together with a copy of the charges and answer.

 

5.50      Examiner to fix time and place for taking testimony

Upon receipt of the commission, the Examiner shall fix a time and place for taking the testimony of the witness named therein.

 

5.51      Compelling attendance of witness before Examiner

The attendance of a witness at the time and place fixed by the Examiner for taking his testimony shall be compelled by a summons if necessary, which summons may be signed by either the chairman of the Trial Commission or by the Examiner.

 

5.52      Testimony on interrogatories, how taken

The Examiner shall read to the witness the several interrogatories and cross-interrogatories and shall record in writing the answers thereto in the witness' own language, and shall cause him to sign his name to the end of his deposition.

 

5.53  Return of deposition

When the Examiner shall have finished taking the testimony of the witness, he shall certify the same and return the commission and deposition, together with the copy of the charges and answer, to the chairman of the Trial Commission.

 

5.54  Use and effect of deposition

A deposition taken in accord with the foregoing may be read in evidence by either party, and in the absence of the witness shall have the same effect as the oral testimony would have, Any objection to the competency of the witness, or to a question and answer, may be made as if the witness were being then personally examined; but an objection only to the form of a question is waived unless noted upon the deposition.

 

5.55  When Accused fails to answer after personal charges by registered mail or receipt of charges by registered mail

If the Accused shall fail to answer after the charges and notice have been served upon him personally, or by registered mail, when a registry return receipt signed by him (or by some other person in his behalf) shall have been received, the Proctor shall notify the chairman of the Trial Commission, who shall thereupon fix a convenient time and place for the Trial Commission to meet for the purpose of fixing the penalty to be imposed, at which time and place the Proctor shall be entitled to be heard.

 

5.56  When Accused not personally served fails to answer

If the charges and notice were not served upon the Accused personally; and a registry return receipt signed by him or by some other person in his behalf, shall not have been received, and he falls to answer, the Proctor shall notify the chairman of the Trial Commission, who shall thereupon fix a convenient time and place for the trial.  At the same time he shall designate a qualified Brother to act as counsel for the Accused, to whom the Proctor shall furnish a copy of the charges.

 

5.57  When Accused admits charges but pleads in mitigation

If the Accused shall admit to the charges and plead facts in mitigation of punishment, the Proctor shall notify the chairman of the Trial Commission whether the Complainant is willing to accept as true the facts alleged in mitigation.  If the same shall be deemed true, it shall be considered by the Trial Commission in reaching its determination.  If not, the matter shall be set down for hearing - in this issue only - as specified in Section 5.58.

 

5.58  When Accused denies charges or pleads exculpatory facts

In all cases in which the Accused Is answer shall be a denial of the charges, in whole or in part, or when the Accused shall have pleaded exculpatory facts not accepted as true by the Proctor, upon receipt of such answer, the Proctor shall deliver to each Trial Commissioner a copy of the charges and answer; and the chairman shall thereupon fix a convenient time and place for the trial.  Notice thereof shall be sent via first-class mail by the Proctor, to the Accused, no less than ten days prior to the date set.  If the Accused does not reside at an address in Germany or in an adjoining country, such notice shall be sent at least twenty days prior, ---

 

5.59      Employment of stenographer

The Trial Commission may employ a Master Mason as stenographer, who shall also act as clerk, and his reasonable charges shall be a lawful expense of the trial.  Such expense may be paid to such party in such manner as the Trial Commission shall direct.  Under all circumstances, the testimony of witnesses shall be reduced to writing by question and answer.

 

5.60      Counsel

The Complainant in all cases shall be represented by the Proctor or by such substitute as the latter may select.  The Accused may defend in person or he may, at his own expense, be represented by any Master Mason in good standing acting as his attorney.

 

5.61      Impeachment of witness.

The credibility of any witness may be impeached.

 

5.62      Testimony of witness

A witness who is a Mason shall testify by virtue of his obligation and without being sworn.  A witness who is not a Mason shall first be sworn before some officer duly authorized to administer an oath or, if he shall refuse to be sworn, he shall be required to affirm that the testimony he is about to give will be the truth.

 

5.63  Right of accused to confront witness

It is the right of the Accused to be confronted with any witness against him, in the presence of the Trial Commission except:

 

(a)      where the witness has been examined by commission as specified by this Code of Procedure or,

 

(b)      where the Accused has previously been tried upon charges embracing the same offense and it is shown to the satisfaction of the Trial Commission that a witness who testified at such former trial is dead; legally declared mentally incompetent; or cannot be located within Germany.  In such instance, his testimony (or deposition) may be read in evidence upon any subsequent trial of the same charges.

 

5.64      Securing attendance of witnesses

The attendance of a witness who is a Mason may be enforced by a summons, signed by the chairman of the Trial Commission, which shall require no seal; however, no summons shall be signed by the chairman unless it bears the name of the witness whose attendance is desired.  Such summons may be served by mailing a copy to the witness or by exhibiting to him the original and handing him an exact copy.  The original, properly certified by affidavit of the person serving it, giving the time and manner of service, shall be delivered to the chairman of the Trial Commission.

 

5.65      Evidence-generally

The rules of evidence established and recognized by the courts of law in Germany, Canada, and the United States, or in their respective military courts, should be observed in the ordinary administration of justice, including those relating to the admissibility of testimony and competency of witnesses, as may be consistent with the primary purpose of Masonic discipline.  In a case in which the Complainant has introduced in evidence a record of the judgment of conviction of a state, federal or military court, the Accused may introduce in evidence a certified copy of the entire transcript of the trial for which such judgment was rendered.

 

5.66  Same-effect of conviction by state or federal court

If the Masonic offense charged is one of which the Accused has been convicted by a state, federal or military court, a record of the judgment of such court, properly certified or exemplified, shall be presumptive evidence of the commission of such offense, sufficient to justify a conviction by a Trial Commission unless:

 

(a)      the presumption of identity of person arising from identity or substantial identity of names be overcome by affirmative proof;

 

(b)      the presumption arising therefrom be overcome by affirmative proof tending to establish the innocence of the Accused in reference to the offense described in such record of judgment;

 

(c)      it be proven that such judgment has been reversed or set aside.

 

Pending an appeal from such judgment or conviction in a state, federal or military court, the Grand Master, at his discretion, may stay the commencement of the Masonic trial without prejudice to the proceedings thereof.

 

5.67      Determination-when Accused denies charges or pleads exculpatory facts

Upon conclusion of a trial held pursuant to the provisions of Code 5.58, in a proceeding in which the Accused shall have answered with a denial of the charges, either in whole or in part, or shall have pleaded exculpatory facts, the Trial Commission shall, by majority vote, determine the guilt or innocence of the Accused and fix the penalty to be imposed, if any.

 

5.68  Same-when Accused not personally fails to answer

Upon conclusion of a trial held pursuant to the provisions of Code 5.56, in a proceeding in which the charges and notice required by Code 5.31 shall not have been served upon the Accused personally and/or a registry return receipt signed by him (or by some other person in his behalf) shall not have been received and the Accused shall have failed to answer, the Trial Commission shall determine, by a majority vote, the guilt or innocence of the Accused, and fix the penalty to be imposed, if any.

 

5.69  Same-when Accused admits charges but pleads in mitigation

Upon conclusion of a trial held pursuant to the provisions of Code 5.57, in a proceeding in which the charges are admitted and the Accused pleads facts in mitigation, the truth of which is at issue, the Trial Commission shall determine by majority vote the truth of such issue, and fix the penalty to be imposed, if any.

 

5.70  Same-when Accused personally served fails to answer

In a proceeding in which the Accused fails to answer after the charges and notice required by Code 5.31 shall have been served upon him personally or by registered mail, and a registry return receipt signed by him or by some other person in his behalf shall have been received, the Trial Commission, by majority vote, shall fix the penalty to be imposed, if any.

 

5.71      Penalties imposable upon individual

A Trial Commission may inflict upon an individual Mason any one or more of the following penalties:

 

(a)      Reprimand;

 

(b)      Fine;

 

(c)      Payment of costs;

 

(d)      Suspension from all the rights and privileges of Masonry in accord with the Code;

 

(e)      Suspension from all the rights and privileges of Masonry until such time as a specified fine, costs, or monetary judgment, or any combination of these, shall have been paid by him;

 

(f)      Expulsion.

 

5 .72      Penalties imposable upon Lodge

A Trial Commission may inflict upon a Lodge any one or more of the following penalties:

 

(a)      Reprimand;

 

(b)      Fine;

 

(c)      Payment of costs,

 

5.73      Forfeiture of Lodge

In addition to the penalties which may be inflicted upon a Lodge under the provisions of Code 5.72, a Trial Commission may recommend to Grand Lodge that the Lodge charter be forfeited, but such forfeiture shall not be declared final except by action of the Grand Lodge at its next Annual Communication, at which time the findings of the Trial Commission shall be submitted for action by the Grand Lodge.

 

5.74  Trial Commission to prepare written determination

After a Trial Commission has made its determination in accordance with the provisions contained herein, it shall cause its written decision to be prepared with all convenient speed, which decision shall embody its determination.

 

5.75  Form of decision

The decision of a Trial Commission must be signed by each Trial commissioner concurring therein; must state its conclusion with respect to the guilt or innocence of the Accused in respect of each separate charge and specification; and must state the penalty imposed, if any.  The decision need not contain separate findings of fact or conclusions of law.

 

5.76      Dissenting report

If the decision of a Trial Commission is not unanimous, the dissenting trial commissioner(s) may express his(their) dissent in an addendum to the written decision, or in a separate dissenting opinion, which must likewise be duly signed.

 

5.77  Filing decision-general rule

Except as specified hereinafter, the chairman of a Trial Commission shall cause its original decision to be filed in the office of the Grand Secretary with all convenient speed and a copy thereof, with notice of its filing, to be delivered direct to the Proctor.

 

5.78  Same-recommending forfeiture of Lodge Charter

When the decision of a Trial Commission includes a recommendation that the charter of a Lodge be forfeited, the chairman of such Trial Commission shall cause its original decision to be delivered to the Grand Master, who will ensure the same shall be placed on the agenda of the next Annual Communication for action pursuant to the provisions of this Code.

 

5.79  Filing minutes of Trial and exhibits

At the time of filing its decision as specified herein, the chairman of a Trial Commission shall cause the minutes of all hearings, and all exhibits which have been received in evidence, to be filed in the office of the Grand Secretary, from whose custody either party may withdraw his own exhibits if no appeal shall have been taken within the prescribed time.

 

5.80  Notice of decision to Accused and Lodge

Upon receipt of a copy of the decision and notice of its filing as specified in Code 5.77, it shall be the duty of the Proctor to serve the Accused with a copy thereof, together with notice of the date of filing, and also to provide the Lodge of which the Accused is or last was a member, with a copy of the decision.

 

5.81  Effect of decision

A Trial Commission decision, when filed with the Grand Secretary as specified, shall be final unless reversed or modified pursuant to an appeal taken in accord with the provisions of this Code.

 

5.82  Right to open default

If the Accused shall have failed to answer within the specified time for that purpose, or having answered, shall fail to appear at the time and place fixed for trial, he may apply to be relieved from his default.

 

5.83      Application to open default

A petition to open a default shall be in writing, forwarded to the Proctor, and shall contain the petitioner's statement of reasons for his default, together with a statement of facts tending to indicate that he is not guilty of the charges.

 

5.84  Duty of Proctor before decision filed

If the petition to open a default is received before the filing of the decision of the Trial Commission, the Proctor shall forward said petition to the chairman of the Trial Commission.

 

5.85  Duty of Proctor after decision filed

If the petition to open a default be received after the filing of the decision of the Trial Commission, the Proctor shall forward the petition to the Grand Master.

 

5.86  Oral argument not permitted

No oral argument shall be permitted on petition to open a default

 

5.87      Proctor may file statement in opposition

In transmitting a petition to open a default to the Commission or to the Grand Master, as applicable, the Proctor may submit a written statement in opposition thereto.

 

5.88      Decision on petition-by whom and how made

The granting or denial of a petition to open a default shall be determined by the chairman of the Trial Commission or by the Grand Master, as applicable, by endorsing said petition with his written determination and, in the case of a denial, the reasons therefor.  When a petition to open a default is granted by the Grand Master, the petition, together with his endorsement, shall be transmitted direct to the chairman of the Trial Commission.

 

5.89 Procedure if petition granted

If a petition to open a default be granted, the chairman of the Trial Commission shall fix a time and place for trial as if no default had occurred.

 

5.90      Procedure if petition denied

If a petition to open a default is denied by' the chairman of a Trial Commission, his determination thereto shall be filed together with the decision of the Trial Commission when such decision is filed.  When denied by the Grand Master, his determination shall be transmitted to the Proctor who shall file the same in the office of the Grand Secretary, at the same time notifying the petitioner of the action taken upon his petition.

 

5.91  Denial of petition appealable

A denial of a petition to open a default shall be subject to review when appealed in the manner specified in this Code of Procedure.

 

5.92  What are costs

Costs as referred to herein shall be defined only 'as those actual expenses incurred as the result of the conduct of a trial.

 

5.93  When payable by Lodge or Grand Lodge

When a Trial Commission shall impose upon either party the payment of any costs and the same shall not have been paid within a reasonable time, the Grand Master may order that the same, or any part thereof, be paid by the Lodge of which the party against whom the same was imposed is or was a member, or by the Grand Lodge; but such payment shall not relieve the party against whom they were imposed, and his continued refusal to reimburse the Lodge or Grand Lodge may be punished as a Masonic offense.

 

5.94      Masonic appeal defined

A Masonic appeal is a proceeding to review the decision of a Trial Commission; or the decision of the chairman of a Trial Commission or the Grand Master denying a petition to open a default; for the purpose of reviewing alleged errors of law or fact made by either.

 

5.95      Appellate authority

The primary appellate authority of Grand Lodge shall be exercised by the Board of Appeals, chosen in the manner provided by the Code.  The Board shall file a written report at each Annual Communication of Grand Lodge in respect of all appeals determined by the Board during the preceding Masonic year, and the decision of Grand Lodge upon such report -approval, disapproval, or modification- shall be conclusive upon all parties.

 

5.96      Sessions of Board of Appeals-when and where held

The Board of Appeals shall appoint at least four sessions, when and if necessary, during each Masonic year, at a location to be determined by the Grand Master, when they will sit to pass upon appeals.  Notice of such sessions shall be filed with the Grand Secretary.

 

5.97  What appealable

An appeal may be taken from any decision of a Trial Commission, in whole or in part, except in a case in which it has recommended the suspension or forfeiture of a Lodge charter, or from any decision denying a petition to open a default.

 

5.98  Who may appeal

An appeal may be taken by the Proctor or by the Accused Lodge or individual.

 

5.99      Designation of parties

The parties to an appeal are respectively the Appellant, who seeks the review, and the Respondent, against whom the review is sought.

 

5.100 Notice of appeal

An appeal by the Proctor shall be in the form of a written notice containing a detailed statement of the grounds for such appeal, to be served upon the Accused Lodge or Brother; if by the Accused, by serving a similar notice in like manner upon the Proctor.

 

5.101 Time within which notice served

The notice of appeal must be served on the opposite party within sixty days of the service of notice of the decision and filing thereof, as specified in Code 5.80.

 

5.102 Filing notice

A copy of the notice of appeal shall be filed in the office of the Grand Secretary within five days after the service thereof; such filing shall be deemed a jurisdictional requirement, failure to comply with which shall result in dismissal of the appeal.

 

5.103      Extension of time not permitted,

There is no authority for any extension or variation of the time fixed in Code 5.101 or 5.102.

 

5.104 Stay of execution pending appeal

Upon application of appellant after service of the notice of appeal, the Grand Master may, in his discretion, stay the execution of sentence pending final disposition of the appeal.

 

5.105      Transmitting papers to Board of Appeals

Upon the filing of a copy of the notice of appeal as specified in Code 5.102, the Grand Secretary, with all convenient speed, shall transmit all papers pertaining to the case to the chairman of the Board of Appeals.

 

5.106 Notice of submission or argument

Notice of the submission or argument of an appeal must be served upon the opposing party in all cases at least ten days before the day in which it is to be brought on and may be given by either appellant or respondent.

 

5.107 Briefs and written arguments.

At least ten days before the date noticed for the submission. or argument of an appeal, the appellant shall serve his printed or typewritten argument upon the respondent and at the same time shall file three copies thereof with the Grand Secretary; and within five days thereafter the respondent shall serve his brief or written argument, similarly prepared, upon the appellant, and file three copies thereof with the Grand Secretary.  Failure of either party to do so shall not prevent the Board of Appeals from disposing of the appeal.

 

5.108 Method of determining appeal.

An appeal shall be determined on the record of the case as filed in the office of the Grand Secretary; the briefs and written arguments of the parties, if any shall have been filed; and, if desired, on the oral argument or either party who has filed a brief or written argument as provided in Code 5.106.

 

5.109      Decisions permissible.

The decision on an appeal shall be either affirmance, modification of sentence, or reversal; but no decision shall be reversed for technical irregularity or technical violation of the rules of evidence unless injustice has been done by such violation.  In case of reversal, a new trial may be ordered in a proper case or the Board of Appeals may recommend such judgment as may seem just and proper, to the end that complete justice may be achieved without requiring a new trial.

 

5.110 Effect of reversal.

Reversal of a decision suspending or expelling the Accused, when approved by Grand Lodge as provided by Code 5.95, shall have the effect of restoring him to all the rights and privileges of Masonry, including membership in the Lodge of which he was a member at the time the decision of the Trial Commission was rendered.

 

5.111      Restoration a privilege.

After the expiration of one year beginning with the commencement of a sentence of expulsion, a repentant Brother may be restored to Masonic rights and privileges.  Such restoration is a voluntary act on the part of the Grand Lodge and cannot be claimed as a matter of right.

 

5.112      Petition for restoration.

An application for restoration is by petition to Grand Lodges which must be filed with the Grand Secretary at least sixty days prior to the Annual Communication, and must contain a copy of the charges upon which the petitioner was tried, and a statement of the grounds upon which he seeks restoration.

 

5.113 Notice of Trial Commissioners and Aggrieved Lodge.

At the time of filing his petition as specified in Code 5.112, the petitioner shall give notice thereof, in writing, to the surviving members of the Trial Commission which imposed punishment upon him, and also to the Aggrieved Lodge when the punishment imposed was the result of false statements in a petition for membership.  An Aggrieved Lodge shall be defined for these purposes as that Lodge to which the erring Brother seeking restoration had petitioned for membership, and which duly rejected him.

 

5.114      Favorable recommendation-when required.

Except as provided in the next section, no action can or shall be taken on a petition for restoration unless it be accompanied by the favorable recommendation of the Lodge of which the petitioner was, or had last been, a member at the time of his expulsion.  The Lodge recommendation must have been adopted at a Stated Communication of the Lodge, to which its members had been duly summoned.  The same shall apply in the case of the Aggrieved Lodge, when applicable, which must have been duly adopted in like manner.

 

5.115      Favorable recommendation - when not required

The filing of a favorable recommendation by the petitioner's former Lodge -or of an Aggrieved Lodge when applicable- is unnecessary if proof be furnished that written notice of the intended application had been served on the Lodge(s) concerned, not less than sixty nor more than ninety days prior to the Annual Communication; or that the Lodge(s) concerned no longer exist.

 

5.116 Action on petition for restoration

When accompanied by the documentation specified in the foregoing sections 5.114 or 5.115, the petition shall be referred to the Board of Appeals, which shall render its written recommendation on the case to the Grand Lodge at the Annual Communication.  Adoption of a favorable report rendered by the Board, by majority vote of the Grand Lodge, shall have the effect of restoring the petitioner to the rights and privileges of a non-affiliated Mason.

 

5.117      Termination of Suspension

A penalty of suspension inflicted by a Trial Commission may be terminated in accord with the provisions of Section 4.19 of the Code.  This shall not preclude the right of the Grand Lodge to grant termination of suspension upon receipt of a written request from a suspended member, when the applicant's requests to his Lodge shall have been repeatedly rejected; however, any favorable action by the Grand Lodge shall have the effect of restoring the petitioner only to the rights and privileges of a non-affiliated Mason.