Gray Lodge By-Laws

BY-LAWS
Gray Lodge No. 329

Article I
Name of the Lodge

 This Lodge was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Texas on the 24th day of June, 1870, and shall be known by the name and style of Gray Lodge No. 329, of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

This Lodge subscribes to and shall be governed by the Constitution, Laws, Resolutions, and Edicts of the Grand Lodge of Texas.

Article II
Meetings of the Lodge

 Section 1. The stated meetings shall be held on the first Wednesday of every month, at six-thirty (6:30) o’clock p.m. If the first Wednesday of the month falls on a nationally observed holiday such as New Year’s Day or the Fourth of July, the stated meeting shall be held on the second Wednesday of the month.

Section 2. Called meetings may be made by the Worshipful Master (or in his absence or inability to serve by the Senior Warden, or in the absence of both Master and Senior Warden, then by the Junior Warden), at such times as they, or either of them, having the right to act, may think important, or to the interest of the Craft.

Section 3. As many members as possible should be notified of such called meetings, and no business shall be transacted at same, except such as was specified in the call.

Article III
Officers of the Lodge

The officers of this Lodge shall be a Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, Chaplain, Senior and Junior Deacons, Senior and Junior Stewards, (Marshall and/or Master of Ceremonies and/or Musician optional), and Tiler.

Article IV
Election of Officers of the Lodge

Section 1. The Worshipful Master, Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, and Tiler shall be elected. All other officers shall be appointed. (Note: Appointments by Worshipful Master.)

Section 2. In the election of officers, should only one name be placed in nomination, the vote may be taken without ballot, but should more than one Brother be placed in nomination, the members shall prepare their ballots, which shall be taken up and counted at the Secretary’s desk, and the number of votes received by each Brother reported to the presiding officer, and he shall declare the Brother receiving a majority of all the votes cast duly elected.

Section 3. In the event no Brother has such majority, the ballot will be repeated until such result is attained. Blank votes shall not be considered in determining the result.

Article V
Duties of the Officers

Section 1. Worshipful Master – It shall be the duty of the Worshipful Master to see that the By-Laws of the Lodge, as well as the Constitution and Regulations of the Grand Lodge are duly observed, and that the officers attend strictly to their duties.

Section 2. Treasurer – It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to hold all deeds, certificates of stock, notes, bonds, obligations, or other property of a financial character belonging to the Lodge, and to collect and receive the same when directed by the Lodge; to receive all moneys from the hands of the Secretary, passing his receipt for the same; and pay them out only upon the order of the Worshipful Master and consent of the Lodge.

Section 3. He shall keep a correct account of the same, and report minutely the financial condition of the Lodge at the stated Meeting next succeeding the festival of St. John the Baptist and at such other times as the Lodge may direct.

Section 4. Secretary – It shall be the duty of the Secretary to carefully observe the proceedings of the Lodge; make a correct record of all things proper to be written, and to receive all moneys due the Lodge; turning them over to the Treasurer, taking his receipt for the same.

Section 5. It shall also be the duty of the Secretary:

  1.  To keep all books and papers relating to the proceedings of the Lodge.
  2.  To authenticate all official papers and documents emanating from the Lodge with the seal of the same.
  3.  To notify all Brethren of their election to office, if they were not present at the time of election.
  4.  To notify the Grand Secretary, as prescribed by law, of the suspension or expulsion of members, and of the rejection of applicants; to issue all summons, dimits, and notices as he may be directed; to make out and transmit to the Grand Secretary the annual returns of this Lodge; remit also to him the Grand Lodge dues; report to the Grand Secretary the names of all Brethren elected to Parent or Plural Membership; and perform all other duties appertaining to his office.

Section 6. Tiler – It shall be the duty of the Tiler to see that the Lodgeroom is kept clean and in order; and that the various articles of furniture are in their appropriate places; to strictly guard the door during the sitting of the Lodge; to summon the members of the Lodge to all called meetings where a summons is necessary, and be punctual in this attendance.

Section 7. The Lodge may vote to exempt the Secretary and or Treasurer from payment of dues. The Lodge may vote to pay the Secretary and/or Treasurer some amount at some frequency. If payments are made, all federal and state law concerning withholdings, filings, and required reports must be properly executed.

Article VI
Standing Committees

Section 1. The Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens shall constitute Standing Committees on Fraternal Assistance, Sickness, and Arbitration, a majority of whom may at all times, act; and are responsible to the Lodge. Their duties are as follows:

  1. Fraternal Assistance – It is their duty to examine all claimants for assistance, and, if necessary, they may draw upon the Treasury, in each instance, for an amount not exceeding ten dollars; reporting the facts in each case to the Lodge at its next stated meeting, thereafter.
  2. Sickness – It shall be their duty to visit all sick Brethren (unless it would be dangerous or imprudent to do so), and ascertain their condition and necessities; and to take such action as they may deem proper and necessary, both in regard to the Brother and his family.
  3. Arbitration – It shall also be the duty of this committee to settle all differences between Brethren, unless the parties prefer to bring the matter before the Lodge.

Section 2. Committee on Finance – It shall be the duty of the Worshipful Master, at the first stated meeting after the 24th of June, of each year, to appoint a Standing Committee on Finance, to be composed of three discreet Master Masons, members of this Lodge, and, if possible, men practically acquainted with bookkeeping.

Section 3. It shall be the duty of this committee, at the close of each Masonic year, as soon as appointed, and oftener if required, to carefully examine and check up the reports, books, and vouchers of the Secretary and Treasurer, and any other financial matters referred to them; and make a full and accurate report at the next stated meeting of the Lodge, showing the condition of the books and accounts. And should any inaccuracies be found, recommend the necessary steps for their correction. In the matter of ordinary accounts referred to them, they may, if satisfied, report instanter.

Section 4. The reports of said Committee on Finance thus made, shall be read in open Lodge and spread upon the minutes, noting the action taken by the Lodge; and all accounts and claims against the Lodge, when demanded by any Brother, shall first be referred to this committee, before being allowed.

Article VII
Fees for Degrees

The fees for the degrees of this Lodge shall be an amount not less than prescribed in Article 307 of the Constitution and Laws and set by this Lodge from time to time. In addition to the regular fees collected by the Lodge a contribution, the amount as specified in Article 163 of the Constitution and Laws, to the Masonic Home and School of Texas shall be collected from each applicant for the Master Mason’s degree.

In addition to the regular fee for Initiation a donation, the amount as specified in Article 163 of the Constitution and Laws, to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial shall be collected from each applicant for the Entered Apprentice Degree.

Article VIII
Dimits

A member is chargeable with the pro rata portion of his dues as provided in Article 317.

Article IX
Lodge Dues

Each member of this Lodge (unless herein exempted) shall pay dues from the time of his raising or affiliation, an amount set by the Lodge from time to time provided that as they are not less than prescribed in Article 311 of the Constitution and Laws. A member, however, shall not be required to pay such dues if he purchases an Endowed Membership in accordance with the Laws of Grand Lodge.

Article X
Visiting Brethren

Section 1. A visitor shall not be admitted except upon due examination or lawful avouchment.

Section 2. In the event that the visiting Brother is a stranger and hails from some Lodge in another Grand jurisdiction, it shall be the duty of the Secretary to notify the visitor’s Lodge that we have had the pleasure of a visit by one of its members, giving the name and date.

Article XI
Miscellaneous Regulations

Section 1. Weapons – Weapons, either offensive or defensive, shall not be carried into the Lodgeroom.

Section 2. Humphrey Benevolent Fund – The Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer and Secretary shall constitute the Trustees of the Humphrey Benevolent Fund, a majority of whom may at all times act, and are responsible to the Lodge for the management of the endowed and charity funds according to the W. H. Humphrey Estate and Fund By-Laws.

Section 3. Fidelity Bonds – The Worshipful Master, Treasurer, and Secretary shall at the expense of the Lodge, give a bond payable to the Lodge in the sum of Fifty Thousand Dollars.

Section 4. Frank E. Ahrendt Scholarship Fund – The Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer, and Secretary shall constitute the Trustees of the Frank E. Ahrendt Scholarship Fund, a majority of whom may at all times act, and are responsible to the Lodge for the management of the endowed and scholarship funds according to the Frank E. Ahrendt Scholarship Fund By-Laws.

Section 5. Budget – The Treasurer, with the assistance of the Senior Warden (or Worshipful Master-Elect), shall prepare a proposed budget for the ensuing Masonic year. This statement should be prepared in such form as to show the prior year’s expenses compared to the prior year’s budget along with the proposed budget. This should be presented to the Lodge membership for approv­al at a stated meeting no later than August of each year.

Section 6. Committee on Investments – It shall be the duty of the Worship­ful Master, at the first stated meeting after his installation, to appoint a standing Committee on Investments to be composed of the Worshipful Master, the Senior Warden, the Treasurer, and four other members of the Lodge, and if possible men who are astute in finance. Funds of the Lodge shall be invested and reinvested from time to time under the supervision of the Investment Com­mittee with the approval of the Lodge.

The investment policy of this committee should take into account the financial needs of the Lodge, the amount of funds available for investment, diversity, yield, and safety. It will be the duty of the Treasurer of the Lodge to report to the Lodge membership the investments made by this commit­tee. If the Treasurer feels an emergency financial situation exists, he will notify the members of the Investment Committee by telephone. If a majority of members of this committee agree on the action to be taken, the Treasurer is empowered to act.

 

Article XII
Business

At stated meetings after opening the Lodge in due and Ancient form, a quorum being present, the Order of Business, unless otherwise ordered by the Lodge, or the Worshipful Master, shall be as follows:

  1.  Reading, correcting and approval of Minutes of previous meetings.
  2.  Receiving and referring to Committees of Petitions and Applications.
  3.  Reports of Special Committees.
  4.  Balloting on Petitions and Applications.
  5.  Reports of Standing Committees.
  6.  Communications from the Grand Master and the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
  7.  Unfinished Business.
  8.  Motions, Resolutions and New Business.
  9.  Examinations for Proficiency in the proper degree.
  10.  Voting on Proficiency.
  11.  Claims and Accounts.

 Article XIII
Rules of Business

The rules of conducting the business of this Lodge shall be as nearly as possible the same as those prescribed for the Grand Lodge, and in addition, as follows:

Section 1. When a question is decided, the same matter shall not again be acted on during that meeting, unless on motion to reconsider, which can only be by a member voting in the majority, and at that or the next stated meeting, when there must be an equal or greater number of members present than when the action was had.

Section 2. All questions of order shall be decided by the Worshipful Master without appeal or debate; but the Master may ask the advice of any member before deciding; and he has the right, at any time, to declare the Lodge closed or called off, for the purpose of stopping angry debate or confusion.

Article XIV
Amendment of By-Laws

Section 1. No amendments of these By-Laws, either by alteration or addition, shall be made, unless in the following manner:

Section 2. The proposed amendment must be in writing, signed by the proposer, and presented and read at a stated meeting of this Lodge, at which time it may be discussed and amended, if necessary.

Section 3. At the next stated meeting of this Lodge, it shall be considered and voted upon without further amendment; and if approved by a majority of the votes of the members present, shall become a part of these By-Laws, upon compliance with the other provisions of this Article.

Section 4. All amendments of these By-Laws must be submitted to the Grand Lodge for its approval before they take effect, except the following:

  1.  Fixing, raising, or lowering the fee for each degree, or the annual dues, within the minimum limitation fixed by the Laws of the Grand Lodge, except as provided in Article 309.
  2. Provisions in Article V, Section 7, Compensation of Officers
  3. The day and hour of meeting, or the number of stated meetings per month may be changed to suit its convenience. Whenever a change in the number of meetings per month, or the day of meeting, is made, the Grand Secretary must be notified at once.
  4. Adopting its own regulations to perform charitable work or public service which enables the Lodge to qualify for tax exemption as permitted by the Texas Property Tax Code.

 Article XV

 Section 1. The above By-Laws having been approved by the M... W... Grand Lodge of Texas, on the 6th day of December, A.D. 2014, for adoption; this is to certify that Gray Lodge No. 329, A.F. & A.M., located at Houston, Texas, has on this 4th day of June, A.D. 2014, adopted the same.