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George Washington Lodge No. 820
Ancient Free & Accepted Masons

under the American Canadian Grand Lodge  United Grand Lodges of Germany

Zhd. Gashthaus Schleppi
Saarbrucker 80
66901 Schonenberg-Kubelberg

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GEORGE WASHINGTON LODGE No 820 

BY-LAWS

under the
AMERICAN CANADIAN GRAND LODGE

within the
UNITED GRAND LODGES OF GERMANY


TABLE OF CONTENTS

ARTICLE I – Authority, Name, Ritual

ARTICLE II – Communications

ARTICLE III – Officers of Lodge

ARTICLE IV – Membership

ARTICLE V – Fees and Dues

ARTICLE VI – Procedures

ARTICLE VII – Duties of Officers

ARTICLE VIII – Committees

ARTICLE IX – Disposition of Funds; Dissolution

ARTICLE X – Amendments & Changes


 ARTICLE I - AUTHORITY, NAME, RITUAL

1.   By authority of the Charter granted by the United Grand Lodges of Germany (VGLvD) on 01 August 1955, this Lodge was accordingly formed as a just and duly constituted Lodge of Freemasons, bearing the name “George Washington” Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and numbered 820 on the Rolls of the United Grand Lodges of Germany.

2.   This Lodge, by virtue of its Charter, acknowledges the sovereignty of the United Grand Lodges of Germany as defined within the Magna Charta of German Freemasonry, as well as the jurisdictional authority of the American Canadian Grosse Landeslodge, A.F. & A. M., hereafter known as the American Canadian Grand Lodge (ACGL), recognizing the laws, regulations, edicts and decrees of both Bodies as binding upon this Lodge, when and where applicable.

3.   These By-Laws, having been formulated by authority of Section 2.14 of the Code of the ACGL, hereafter known as the Code, in accord with the applicable provisions of the Code, are adopted by this Lodge and take effect from the date of adoption by virtue of the approval of the Grand Master of the ACGL, as endorsed hereon.

4.   This Lodge shall be opened and closed in due form and confer the three degrees of Masonry using only the Standard Work adopted for the use of all Lodges under jurisdiction of the American Canadian Grand Lodge.  Exemplification of other ceremonies, such as Installation of Officers, Memorial Service, Lodge of Sorrow, or Funerals, shall likewise be in compliance with the ritual form adopted and promulgated by the Grand Lodge.  The authorized ritual forms may not be changed arbitrarily by the Lodge, in any way, except be dispensation of the Grand Master of the ACGL.  The provisions of the Code (2.7) shall apply to ritual.

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 ARTICLE II - COMMUNICATIONS

1.   All Communications (meetings) of this Lodge shall be held in the Gasthaus Schleppi Meeting Hall, located in 66901 Schonenberg-Kubelberg, at Saarbruecker 80, a place approved by the Grand Master of the ACGL.  Mailing address shall be the current Master or Secretary or, alternatively, the Grand Secretary, ACGL.  Authority to move the Charter to any other location, temporarily or otherwise, can be granted only by written dispensation of the Grand Master of the ACGL, as specified in the Code, upon submission of a written request which must cite the Lodge’s decision and reason for desiring to effect such move.  The Master is empowered, if he deems it necessary, to request such Dispensation without recourse to prior Lodge action.  The Charter of the Lodge must be displayed at all Communications, and Minutes of all legally convened Communications shall be kept as required by the Code and as further defined by these By-Laws.

2.   STATED (Regular) Communications of this Lodge shall be held on the second Tuesday of each calendar month, except as hereinafter provided, and will be Tiled at 1930 hours.  If a Stated Communication falls on a legal holiday recognized as such by the Armed Forces of the United States, such Communication shall be postponed to the following Tuesday.  All business requiring Lodge action may be conducted only at a Stated (Regular) Communication.

3.   SPECIAL (Called or Emergent) Communications of this Lodge may be scheduled at the will and pleasure of the Master after due notice to all members residing within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge.  Such Communications may be called for any proper purpose other than action on business matters, except that no Degree work may be performed on a Sunday on an actual candidate for any of the Three Degrees of Masonry.

4.   The ANNUAL COMMUNICATION of this Lodge shall be in conjunction with the first Stated Communication held in September each year, to which each resident member of this Lodge shall have been previously summoned in writing not less than twenty-eight days prior thereto, and as specified in Sections 2.17, 2.27 and 2.38 Para. 6, and other applicable Code sections.  (Also see Code 2.21 reference ELECTIONS)

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 ARTICLE III - OFFICERS OF LODGE

1.   The elected officers of the Lodge shall be the Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer, and Secretary, who shall be elected in accord with, and subject to the prerequisites outlined in the Code of the ACGL.  The qualifications in addition to the requirements of Section 2,23 of the ACGL Code is: to be elected to the office of Master a Warden must have conferred the first section in either the EA, FC, or MM degrees in the ACGL ritual, prior to being elected.  Subsequent vacancies as defined in the Code may be filled by election in the same manner, when authorized.

2.   The appointed officers of the Lodge shall be the Senior and Junior Deacon, Senior and Junior Steward, Chaplain, Marshall and Tiler.  They shall be appointed by the Master-elect prior to his installation.  Subsequent appointments to fill vacancies resulting from departure, or dismissal by the Master, shall be made when deemed necessary by the Master.

3.   The installation of officers elected and appointed shall be conducted in accord with the ACGL Standard Ritual for that purpose, and as specified in the Code.  After the Annual Installation, officers elected and appointed shall be installed only at a Stated Communication of this Lodge.

4.   The Lodge may, at a Stated Communication, take action to request issuance of the applicable past Lodge elected officer certificate by the ACGL, for each elected officer who has faithfully served in such capacity, upon termination of such service.  Certificates, including the VGLvD Past Master (with Jewel), are subject to the minimum requirements for service outlined within the Code.

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 ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP

1.   Membership in this Lodge may only be acquired by petitioning on the authorized ACGL form, provided for that purpose, and in accord with the applicable sections of the Code and required minimum information indicated on the petition form, in each of the following categories.

a)   For initiation into the mysteries of Freemasonry, in accord with following sections of the Code: 2.51, 2.52, 2.53 (2&3); 2.55 through 2.67 inclusive; 2.69, and as further specified in the Code respecting subsequent advancement and election in sections 2.70 through 2.80.

b)   For affiliation as a dual or plural member; in accord with the regulations outlined within the Code sections 2.51 through 2.76 inclusive, provided the other Grand Lodge(s) wherein membership is held do not forbid such dual or plural membership.  Each petitioner for affiliation under this category must present a valid certification of his good standing in each Lodge in which he holds membership, as specified in the Code.

c)   For affiliation by a Brother whose other Lodge or Grand Lodge does not authorize dual or plural membership, which affiliation, when the regulations outlined in the Code have been followed, shall be contingent upon and subject to receipt of a certified demit from the previous Lodge or Lodges.

d)   For affiliation by a Mason-at-large (he is not a member currently in any other Lodge); shall be subject to the provisions of the Code as heretofore specified, and further contingent upon presentation of certification (demit) indicating all previously held memberships were terminated in good standing.

e)   Honorary membership can be acquired only in the manner specified in section 2.53, para. 4 of the Code.  The member proposing a Brother for honorary membership shall do so in writing, and if accepted for consideration at a Stated Communication, such proposal shall lay-over for at least twenty-eight days before final ballot as required by the Code.

2.   Membership in this Lodge, once acquired, may be terminated only in one of the following ways, subject to the applicable provisions of the Code of the ACGL:

a)   By submitting a personally-signed request for demit, which must be processed in accord with Section 2.89 and 2.90 of the Code.  Payment of all indebtedness to the Lodge shall be one of the conditions precedent to granting a member a Demit, unless waived by Lodge action.

b)   Suspension from all the rights and privileges of Freemasonry for failure to remit required Lodge dues, subject to the procedures outlined in Sections 2.84 and 2.86 of the Code, and as further specified within these By-Laws.   Suspensions in this category will take effect at midnight the 31st of December, in the applicable year, provided all procedures have been strictly adhered to by the Lodge and the member is at least one calendar year in arrears.

c)   Suspension from all the rights and privileges of Freemasonry as the result of Masonic proceedings legally undertaken in accord with the applicable sections of the Code of the ACGL.

d)   Expulsion or exclusion from all the rights and privileges of Freemasonry as the result of Masonic proceedings legally undertaken in accord with the applicable sections of the Code of the ACGL.

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 ARTICLE V - FEES AND DUES

1.   The fee for the three degrees of Masonry within this Lodge shall be DM 600.00 (EUR 309.), or equivalent in U.S. Dollars, and shall further be defined as follows:

a)   Entered Apprentice degree DM 200.00 (EUR 103.00); Fellowcraft degree DM 200 (EUR 103.00); Master Mason degree DM 200 (EUR 103.00).

b)   The amount of DM 300.00 (EUR 154.50) shall be payable in advance with the petition, for consideration by the Lodge.

c)   The amount of DM 300 (EUR 154.50) shall be payable, if elected, prior to receiving the Entered Apprentice degree.

d)   If rejected by action of the Lodge, all fees paid by the Petitioner shall be immediately refunded with the required written notification of his rejection.

e)   If accepted by election for Initiation, but the Petitioner fails to appear for Initiation within one year after receipt of notice of his election and time to appear, the fee submitted with his petition may be forfeited, as indicated in the petition, and acknowledged be the petitioner prior to his signing the petition.  A refund of fees may be authorized under certain, extraordinary circumstances, provided a written request to that effect is received from the Petitioner, approved by the Lodge at a Stated Communication, and then submitted to the Grand Master of the ACGL for his approval.

f)   The fee for affiliation shall be DM 25 (EUR 13.00) payable in advance with the petition for consideration by the Lodge.  If rejected by action of the Lodge the DM 25.00 paid by the petitioner will be returned.

2.   The annual dues is payable by each voting member (excepting honorary members) on or before the first day of January of each year, shall be $50.00.  A member whose dues are paid for the current year shall be entitled to receipt of a certified dues card authorized by the VGLvD, issued in accord with regulations provided for such cards by the ACGL.  Exceptions to the above shall be only as follows:

a)   The Lodge may, at a Stated Communication, take action to excuse a member from payment of the required dues as a result of his pecuniary inability, meritorious service, or other worthy reason acknowledged as such by the Lodge.  Such excuse shall not negate the Lodge’s obligation to remit ACGL per capita dues (tax) on the member concerned.

b)   A member affiliating during the year shall be required to pay the full amount of the annual dues specified above, as of the effective date of his membership.

c)   Members raised during the calendar year shall not be required to pay dues for that year, such dues as required being included in the fees collected.

d)   Payment of all dues in arrears for any previous years, except when waived by Lodge action, shall be a condition precedent to authorizing issuance of a current Dues card when current year’s dues are received.  On Brethren who are suspended for non-payment of annual dues, reinstatement as outlined by the Code shall be condition precedent to acceptance by the Lodge of current dues.  Dues payments do not accrue during any period of suspension.

e)   A member in good standing may elect to participate in the Prepaid (Life) Membership Plan, as outlined in Section 2.53, Para. 5 (Life Membership) as amended in April 1987, of the Code.  Application for the Prepaid Membership Plan shall be made using the authorized ACGL form provided for such purpose.

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 ARTICLE VI - PROCEDURES

1.   MINUTES:  The Secretary (or pro tem replacement) shall be required to record the proceedings of each Communication of the Lodge, as outlined in Sections 2.48 and 2.49 of the Code, and as further specified in these By-Laws or by request of the Master.

2.   BALLOTING:  All petitions properly received must proceed to ballot after the expiration of the minimum time period, unless withdrawn or voided legally in accord with the Code provisions covering such matters.  Notification to the petitioner of his election or rejection may only be given by the Lodge Secretary.  When rejected, such notification shall always be in writing, on Lodge stationery.  Under no circumstances may any member reveal his own ballot, nor may any Brother present at any balloting attempt to determine another’s ballot, or in any way and at any time reveal the transactions of the Lodge respecting any ballot.

3.   SUMMONS: A Summons to appear, to show cause, to pay dues, or for any other valid reason, shall be issued only over the signature of the Master, on Lodge stationery, and carry the attestation (signature and Seal impression) of the Lodge Secretary.  A Summons may be issued for specific purposes (i.e., to pay dues in arrears) only with wording approved by the ACGL, and reference to Grand Lodge procedures must be made by the Master and Secretary to determine if such requirement exists in the particular instance for which the Summons is desired.

4.   NOTICES: Required notices, such as election to affiliation; suspension or demit; or respecting courtesy work or as otherwise requested or deemed necessary by regulation or Masonic practice, shall be issued by the Secretary on the approved or authorized form provided by the ACGL, in the manner prescribed or as deemed necessary by the Master or Secretary in the absence of prescribed procedures.

5.   DEMITS: Withdrawal of membership in this Lodge may be accomplished only in the manner prescribed by the Code of the ACGL and these By-Laws.  All prerequisites having been complied with and certified by the Secretary, every member shall have the inherent right and privilege of being granted such demit by action of the Lodge at a Stated Communication, shall thereafter be entitled to receive the authorized form attesting to his severance of membership.  Once granted, a Demit cannot be revoked except as specified in the Code.

6.   SUSPENSION FOR NON-PAYMENT OF DUES (NPD): Suspension of a member for non-payment of annual dues may be accomplished by Lodge action as specified in the Code and elsewhere in these By-Laws. A member may be suspended by this Lodge for failure to pay annual dues in arrears, only after each of the following prerequisite conditions have been satisfied, and the necessary procedures complied with by the Lodge.  A warning or reminder letter, to pay dues, as required by the Code, shall be sent via first class mail to each member in arrears no later than the 30th June.  The reminder (as well as the final summons) shall be sent to the latest known address of the member; or his permanent address; or any other Lodge in which he is known to hold membership, whichever is deemed to be the most effective and reliable address, with the primary consideration being certainty he has received such correspondence.

7.   LODGE FINANCES:  Financial records of the Secretary and Treasurer shall be kept as required by the Code, with accountability for all funds received and disbursed, and the requisite audits accomplished in accord with ACGL procedures promulgated for the purpose.

Specific funds authorized by the Lodge, and accounting procedures adopted, shall be as follows:

a)   The actual expenses incurred by a Brother on behalf of duties and obligations performed by him for the position to which elected or appointed shall be reimbursed from the Lodge General Fund.  Said expenses will be submitted to the Secretary with substantiated receipts for the issuance of a Payment Order that is countersigned by the Master, or in his absence, the Warden acting as Master.

b)   The Secretary shall receive a remuneration not to exceed $100.00 per month for faithful performance of his duty.  This remuneration will be paid on a Payment Order that is countersigned by the Master, or in his absence, the Warden acting as Master.

c)   Charity Disbursements of a sum not to exceed $100.00, or the German/EUR equivalent for any one case will be made available to the Master or Charity Committee to use for the purpose of Charity.

d)   Financial procedures and accounting methods to be used are those books and forms decree by the Grand Master.

8.    ORDER OF BUSINESS:  The following shall apply to all Stated meeting of the Lodge:

a)  Opening Ceremonies.

b)  Treasurer’s Report.

c)  Reception of Petitions.

d)  Appointment of Investigation Committees on petitions.

e)  Report of Investigation Committees on petitions.

f)   Balloting.

g)  Communications.

h)  Bills.

i)   Unfinished Business.

j)   Reports of expenditures for Charity by the Master.

k)  New Business.

l)   Reports of Special and Standing Committees.

m) Report of Sickness and Distress.

n)  Particular.

o)  Announcements, Presentations, Departing Brethren.

p)  Reading of the minutes for approval.

g)  Closing Ceremonies.

9.   The ORDER OF BUSINESS at all Special Communications (unless it shall be deemed best to vary the same by the Master) shall be as follows:

a)   Opening Ceremonies.

b)   Statement of purpose of Special Communication.

c)   Transaction of work for which the communication was called.

d)   Reading of the minutes for approval.

e)   Closing Ceremonies.

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ARTICLE VII - DUTIES OF OFFICERS

 1.   The duties and responsibilities of the elected officers of the Lodge shall be outlined in the sections 2.38 through 2.42 of the Code, and as specified in the Standard Ritual of Installation of Lodge Officers promulgated by the ACGL.

2.   The duties and responsibilities of the appointed officers of the Lodge shall be as specified in Section 2.42 of the Code, and outlined in the Installation Ritual.

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ARTICLE VIII - COMMITTEES

1.    AUDIT:  The Master shall appoint a committee to effect an audit of the Lodge financial records, as specified in Section 2.47 of the Code.  Neither the Treasurer nor Secretary may be appointed to such capacity.  The duties of this committee shall be governed by the Code and the By-Laws, and shall take into consideration all procedures affecting Lodge finances.  The reports of this committee shall be comprehensive and based upon a complete review of all aspects of Lodge finances and accounting.

2.    CHARITY:  The Master will appoint, after his installation, a Charity Committee consisting of three members of the Lodge who shall have the authority to expend not more than $100.00 or the equivalent in German Marks/EUR on any one case for that purpose.

3.    PUBLICATIONS:  The Master will appoint, after his installation, a Publications Committee consisting of not less than three members of the Lodge who will be responsible for the publication of a Trestleboard, or George Washington Newsletter, at intervals specified by the Master, but no less than one NEWSLETTER semi-annually.  The committee will publish other such publications the Lodge deems necessary.

4.   OTHER COMMITTEE:  The Master will appoint, after his installation, any other committees he may deem necessary.

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 ARTICLE IX - DISPOSITION OF FUNDS, ETC.

1.   Upon dissolution of this Lodge in accord with the provisions of the Code, all funds property and equipment (including all records of this Lodge required to be maintained) shall be turned over to the Grand Master of the ACGL, for his disposition, either in person or to his specifically authorized representative.  The funds of this Lodge, under the aforementioned circumstances, shall be placed in the safe custody of the ACGL and accounted for in the “Defunct Lodge Fund”.

2.   Under no circumstances can the United States Government nor any other Government or unit thereof, be held liable for any indebtedness of this Lodge, either before, during or after this Lodge’s dissolution or inactivation.  This Lodge, while acknowledging the Masonic jurisdiction and authority of the ACGL and the VGLvD, is a private organization established in accord with the regulations of those Bodies; liability of those Bodies for any indebtedness of this Lodge is herewith negated

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 ARTICLE X - AMENDMENTS & CHANGES

1.  Amendments or changes to these By-Laws may be made only in accord with the following:

a)   A proposed amendment or change must be submitted in writing at a Stated Communication of this Lodge; when accepted - for consideration - by the majority vote of members present, the text of the proposal must be entered into the Minutes of the Communication.

b)   The proposal shall then lay over for final consideration at a subsequent Stated Communication held not less than twenty-eight days thereafter, with written notice of the proposed amendment or change mailed together with a Summons to appear, to each member of this Lodge resident within the jurisdiction of the VGLvD.

c)   Adoption at the subsequent Stated Communication shall require a two-thirds majority of all votes cast.

d)   An Amendment or Change adopted by this Lodge in accord with the above shall take effect as of the date of adoption, or as specified in the change only after having been submitted in duplicate to the ACGL, duly attested by the Secretary and bearing the Master’s signature, and receiving the written endorsement or approval of the Grand Master of the ACGL thereon.

2.   Any regulation, rule, edict or decree issued by the ACGL which would have the effect of altering, changing, or deleting any portion of these by-laws, shall be deemed an automatic amendment without further action by this Lodge.

3.   All previous By-Laws, amendments, and changes are herewith voided as the result of this consolidation of the amendments and changes from 30 May 1999 to 10 July 2001.  The text used for these By-Laws is the ACGL Standard Text, revised October 1986.  These By-Laws have been approved by the American Canadian Grand Lodge on XX July 2001.

BY-LAWS APPROVED BY VOTE OF LODGE ON XXXXXX.  IMPLEMENTATION IS SUBJECT TO ACGL REVIEW AND APPROVAL.

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