“to record all proceedings of the Lodge proper to be written....”
You hold an office that requires many skills, zeal for your lodge, and great personal integrity. You must work closely with the Worshipful Master, assisting him in the planning of the meetings and the laying out of his program in advance for the year. Be ready to advise him on the Constitutions of Grand Lodge and the by-laws of your lodge, and guard against any infringement of them. You should be approachable and courteous and able to work in harmony with the other officers of the lodge.
You should arrive at the lodge with all your records in order for the meeting, early enough to allow sufficient time to discuss with the Worshipful Master any matters pertaining to the meeting he may have in mind, and to confer with any of the brethren who may have business to transact, or require information or assistance. You come into personal contact with the brethren of your lodge more often than any other officer, and thus have a great opportunity to be a friend and promoter of harmony.
You are virtually a “strong right arm” to the Worshipful Master in the conduct of the business. Therefore, your regular attendance at all communications is essential.
The following directives are given for your assistance. You should make frequent references to the Book of Constitutions for more detailed information.
01. A copy of all lodge notices, and programs, must be sent to the Grand Master, Grand Secretary, District Deputy Grand Master and Regional Representative.
02. Nicknames should not be used in the minutes, or in the preparation of notices, programs, or formal correspondence.
03. All notices of lodge meetings should be sent in sealed envelopes (except funerals). (See “Notices” under Rulings). Emailing of lodge notices and minutes is permitted by Grand Lodge with the approval of the lodge and written permission of recipients. Caution is to be observed in confirming accuracy of mail addresses.
04. The name of the candidate must appear on the notice for the meeting at which it is proposed to confer the degree. This also applies to courtesy degrees.
05. Five days notice, at least, shall be given of all lodge communications, except in case of funerals.
06. The applicant’s full name, age, profession or occupation, and address, shall be sent to all members of the lodge in the notice for the Regular Communication before the applicant’s petition can be balloted on.
07. A Lodge shall not confer the E.A. degree on a candidate until at least two weeks have elapsed since his election by ballot. His name shall have appeared on the notice calling the meeting for his Initiation.
08. A Fellow Craft should be notified of a meeting when the Fellow Craft or Entered Apprentice degree is to be conferred. (See “Fellow Crafts” under Rulings). This would stand true for an Entered Apprentice as well.
09. No lodge notice or programme should be sent out until a draft has been submitted to the Worshipful Master for his approval.
10. An Emergent Communication of the lodge may be called at any time, except Sundays, by the Worshipful Master. The business to be transacted must be expressed in the notice and recorded in the minutes. No other business can be transacted thereat.
11. Where a notice of motion is presented, it shall be given at one Regular Communication and placed on the notice for the next Regular Communication.
12. It is your duty to collect all dues and moneys owing to the lodge, in accordance with the Book of Constitutions and by-laws of your lodge, issue dues cards and receipts affixed with your signature and lodge seal, and keep a correct account for each of its members.
13. Dues are payable in advance.
14. Dues commence on a pro rata basis when the candidate becomes a Master Mason, or when a Master Mason affiliates with the lodge.
15. Dues cease when an application for a demit is read in open lodge however dues for the year the demit was requested must be paid.
16. Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts do not pay dues.
17. When dues are remitted because the member is unable to pay, it is not necessary to pay per capita dues to Grand Lodge.
18. Annual Returns and Grand Lodge per capita dues etc. must be in the hands of the Grand Secretary not later than 1 March, for the preceding calendar year. There is a penalty assessed of $1.00 per day that the per capita is received late in the Grand Secretary’s office.
19. In case a member has neglected to pay his dues for three months, you shall formally notify him by personal contact, telephone, or in writing that he is subject to suspension.(R74)
20. If a member is suspended for non-payment of dues he must apply for reinstatement, be investigated and balloted on.
REGARDING LODGE FINANCES:
21. It is your duty to keep an accurate account of all lodge finances separate from the Treasurer’s records, in a set of books approved by the lodge, which shall be subject to a financial review, and present a detailed statement of the affairs of the lodge annually.
22. A list of accounts to be paid shall be submitted to the lodge at each Regular Communication. These accounts when approved by the lodge shall be paid by cheque signed by two of the authorized officers.
23. As lodge by-laws vary, consult them in relation to your specific banking procedures.
24. It is your duty to keep a record of all transactions of the lodge proper to be written including a list of members and visitors present at each meeting.
25. The pages of the minute book should be numbered consecutively, and if loose leaf in form, bound annually.
26. The name and number of your lodge, place, date and hour of meeting must be explicitly stated, e.g., at a (Regular or Emergent) Communication of ……Lodge No… held in…… Hall on (date) at (hour). Present were (then list all officers commencing with the Worshipful Master).
27. The opening and closing time of the lodge must be stated in the minutes of each meeting.
28. The names of the candidates for each degree and for affiliation together with all the required particulars must be recorded in the minutes.
29. The utmost care should be taken that the dates of initiations, passings, and raisings, demits, deaths, suspensions, and expulsion of members, as entered in the minutes are correct.
30. All corrections and postscripts in the minutes should be initialed by the Worshipful Master and yourself.
31. A summary of the receipts and disbursements for each month should be included in the minutes.
32. The name of every brother suspended or reinstated, together with the reasons, shall be recorded in the minutes.
33. A record of the election of officers must be carefully kept.
34. A factual account of the Annual Installation of Officers must be recorded in the minutes.
35. An accurate resume of all applications for membership and how they were dealt with must be included in the minutes.
36. After the minutes have been read and confirmed in open lodge, you and the Worshipful Master shall affix your signatures to them. If the Grand Master and/or District Deputy Grand Master are present it is appropriate for them to sign as well.
REGARDING THE LODGE SECRETARY’S RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE GRAND SECRETARY:
37. You shall submit to the Grand Secretary, each month on a Form 56, or in such form and at such stated periods as the Grand Secretary may require, the information requested, including the following particulars, and where applicable, full names, addresses, and occupations of the parties concerned, namely:
a. Notice of all Regular and Emergent Communications
b. Petitions for the degrees and for affiliation.
c. Results of ballots, or other action on petitions.
d. Demits granted.
e. Applications for waiver of jurisdiction.
f. Results of application for waiver of jurisdiction.
g. Suspensions for non-payment of dues.
h. Suspensions or recommendations for expulsion for unmasonic conduct.
i. Restorations to rights and privileges.
j. Refusals to grant reinstatement.
k. E.A.s and F.C.s dropped from the roll.
l. Dual or plural membership.
m. Religious services attended by lodge members in regalia.
n. Monies received for special Grand Lodge funds.
o. Death of members.
p. Loss of lodge property through theft or fire (reported on Annual Return).
q. Information with rgard to imposters or clandestines.
r. Installation of new officers (Annually on Form 64).
REGARDING CANDIDATES AND AFFILIATES:
38. After an applicant’s petition has been received in open lodge, at a Regular Communication and an Investigating Committee appointed, you shall provide the committee with the necessary forms and all available information.
39. After the applicant has been balloted upon in open lodge it is your duty to inform the Applicant by letter:
a. If he has been accepted or rejected.
b. The time and place he is to receive his degrees.
40. An applicant seeking affiliation shall submit to you proof of his status in Freemasonry, to be confirmed by the Grand Secretary’s office.
41. You shall keep a copy of all documentary proof of memberships submitted to you by an applicant for affiliation, and endorse on the originals and copies all of the pertinent facts.
42. You shall procure a Grand Lodge certificate to be paid for by the lodge, for every member raised.
43. The certificate shall be signed by the new Master Mason in the presence of the Worshipful Master or yourself.
44. You shall procure a Master Mason apron, a copy of the Book of Constitutions, and the lodge by-laws for candidates receiving the Master Mason degree. (R148)
45. There must be two days intervening between meetings called to confer degrees. (R87)
46. A period of two weeks must have elapsed before a candidate can be advanced to a higher Degree.
REGARDING BY-LAWS AND CONSTITUTIONS:
47. You should always have a current copy of the Book of Constitutions with all available amendments. See freemasonry.bcy.ca/lodgesecretary/
48. Any clause in the by-laws of Constituent lodges conflicting with the Constitutions of Grand Lodge shall be repealed.
49. The date, hour and place of the Regular Communication as specified in the lodge by-laws cannot be changed or departed from without dispensation from the Grand Master.
50. A copy of the lodge by-laws must be available. Everyone upon becoming a member shall sign the by-laws in token of his submission thereto.
51. You must be prepared to read the section pertaining to the secrecy of ballot in the lodge by-laws when an applicant has been rejected, or a member reprimanded or suspended.
52. The minute book, records, and by-laws must be available for inspection by the District Deputy Grand Master.
53. The lodge seal and your signature must be affixed to all dues cards and documents proper to be issued.
54. No lodge shall hold a meeting on a Sunday. (See “Sunday Meetings” Digest of Rulings and Edicts - Book of Constitutions)
55. Circular letters must not be sent to lodges without the consent of the Grand Master. (See “Circular Letters” Digest of Rulings and Edicts - Book of Constitutions)
56. To avoid unnecessary work for the Grand Secretary, study the Book of Constitutions thoroughly before consulting him on controversial matters. If, however, there is any doubt, be sure to obtain a clarification from him.
57. Before printing any forms such as demits, applications, etc., consult the Book of Forms and Ceremonies, and the Grand Secretary.
58. Although it is the duty of the Worshipful Master to see that lodge property is insured, you should double check this important matter.
59. The correspondence should be read, but it is the prerogative of the Worshipful Master to withhold the reading of any communication except that from Grand Lodge.
60. However experienced you may be you should avoid any suggestion of endeavouring to rule the Worshipful Master and the lodge. Tact can overcome many difficulties.
61. You should keep a register listing each member, showing his name, address, age, occupation, date of initiation, passing, raising, affiliation, or death, spouse and/or next of kin, and other pertinent facts.
62. You should notify committee members of their appointment and duties.
64. If a member of the lodge commits a masonic offense or a misdemeanor repugnant to the Order, it is suggested that before any action is taken, the Grand Secretary should be consulted to avoid confusion or error.
65. It is not proper for a lodge, or a member of a lodge, to communicate directly with a lodge or a Grand Lodge outside the jurisdiction of our Grand Lodge. Such communications must be made through the Grand Secretary’s office.