By-Laws of The District Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Jamaica & The Cayman Islands
1. (i) The District Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands (hereinafter referred to as the District Grand Chapter) shall meet (subject to the provisions of Rule 37 of the General Regulations of Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England) in the months of January and July in every year at a time and place appointed by the Grand Superintendent or at approximately half-yearly intervals in such other months as may be appointed by the Grand Superintendent. In these By-Laws the earlier of such regular meetings in each year is referred to as "the Regular Convocation in January" and the later of such regular meetings in each year is referred to as "the Regular Convocation in July".
(ii) The Grand Superintendent may summon a special meeting of the District Grand Chapter whenever in his judgment it may be necessary to do so. The reason for convening it shall be stated in the Summons and no other business shall be entered upon at that meeting.
READING OF REGULATIONS AND BY-LAWS
2. The District Grand Chapter having been opened, such of the General Regulations of Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England and of these By-Laws may be read.
3. A visiting Companion may attend the District Grand Chapter by permission of the Grand Superintendent or Officer presiding and, if admitted, he shall not speak on any question without leave of the Grand Superintendent, or the Officer presiding, nor shall he be permitted to vote, and he must retire from the District Grand Chapter if called on so to do by the Grand Superintendent or Officer presiding. The First Principal of each Chapter, or in his absence the Officer next in rank present, who is himself a member of the District Grand Chapter shall answer for the qualification of any member of his Chapter who may apply to be admitted as a visitor to the District Grand Chapter.
ELECTION AND APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS
4. At the Regular Convocation in January the election of a District Grand Treasurer and the appointment of District Grand Officers shall take place, and after such election and appointment, they shall be invested whenever practicable.
DISTRICT GRAND CHAPTER DUES AND REGISTRATION FEES
Every private Chapter in the District Grand Chapter shall contribute as follows:-
5. (i) One Thousand Dollars (J$1,000.00) or such lesser amount as District Grand Chapter shall by resolution from time to time determine for each of its Subscribing Members who have been on the Register of the Chapter during any part of the year in respect of which the Return of Members is made annually in accordance with By-Law 10.
(ii) Five Hundred Dollars (J$500.00) for each Mason who shall have been exalted or joined the Chapter from some other recognized Constitution since the last return.
(iii) Five Hundred Dollars (J$500.00) for each Companion of the Supreme Grand Chapter of England who shall join the Chapter since the last Return.
(iv) For each Dispensation, Five Hundred Dollars (J$500.00).
(v) For Registration of By-Laws or amendments thereto, Five Hundred Dollars (J$500.00).
6. (i) Every Companion on his first appointment to Office in the District Grand Chapter or to Past Rank shall pay to the District Grand Chapter Fund a registration Fee of One Thousand Dollars ($1000.00). All such fees as collected in the District Grand Chapter Fund shall be donated to the District Board of Benevolence.
(ii) No Companion shall be eligible to be invested and the offer to him of an office in the District Grand Chapter shall lapse (unless The Grand Superintendent shall otherwise direct) unless he signifies his acceptance of the office and pays the requisite fee to District Grand Treasurer not less than 30 days prior to the Regular Convocation in January and, if required, produces a certificate from the First Principal and Treasurer of the Chapter or Chapters of which he is a member confirming his dues have been paid to the 31st December of the previous year.
7. (i) If a vacancy occurs in any of the offices of the District Grand Chapter, other than that of the District Grand Treasurer, the Grand Superintendent may appoint a Companion to serve such office for the remainder of the period for which the previous holder of that office had been appointed, and the Companion so appointed shall rank in the same manner as if he had been appointed at the Regular Convocation in January. A report of every such appointment shall be entered in the minutes of the following Convocation.
(ii) If the vacancy be in the office of the District Grand Treasurer, the vacancy shall be filled by election at the next Regular Convocation of the District Grand Chapter, and in the meantime and until such election, the Grand Superintendent may appoint a Companion to discharge the duties of the office.
(iii) During the temporary absence of any District Grand Officer, the Grand Superintendent may appoint another Companion to act in his place.
8. The accounts of the District Grand Chapter shall be audited annually by a committee of three members of the District Grand Chapter elected at the Regular Convocation in January and shall be produced to the District Grand Chapter at the Regular Convocation in July in each year, and a copy thereof transmitted to each Chapter in the District.
RETURNS TO DISTRICT GRAND SCRIBE E
9. The First Principal or in his absence the Principal in charge of every Chapter in the District shall on or before the twenty-eighth day of February in each and every year, transmit or cause to be transmitted to the District Grand Scribe E two returns each up to the end of the previous calendar year as follows:?
(i) A return of all members of his Chapter who claim to be entitled to attend the District Grand Chapter, furnishing their correct Postal Addresses, distinguishing the First Principals for the time being, and Past First Principals with the dates in chronological order when they served the office of First Principal, the members of the Chapter who are Past First Principals of other Chapters under the Supreme Grand Chapter with the number of the Chapter in which and the year when they served the office of First Principal.
(ii) A return of all Companions exalted to membership of the Chapter with the dates of their exaltation and in the case of joining members the Chapter in which they were exalted.
These returns are to be signed on each sheet by the First Principal and Scribe E.
RETURNS TO DISTRICT GRAND TREASURER
10. The First Principal, or in his absence the Principal in charge, of every Chapter in the District shall on or before the twenty-eighth day of February in each and every year, transmit or cause to be transmitted to the District Grand Treasurer, a return in duplicate, made up to the end of the previous calendar year of all subscribing members, and Companions admitted to membership of the Chapter or exalted since the last return, with the dates of their admission or exaltation and shall remit therewith the proper fees and contributions in respect of every member whose name appears therein, irrespective of whether the subscription has been paid or not. The following particulars shall likewise be included in this return:?
(i) The names and date of election of Companions elected to Honorary membership.
(ii) If a Companion is in arrears the date to which he is clear in the books of the Chapter.
(iii) When such arrears are cleared, the period that the Companion was in arrears shall be noted against the Companion’s name in the next yearly return.
(iv) The date of cessation or exclusion of membership of a Companion stating the applicable Rule.
This return is to be signed on each sheet by the First Principal, the Scribe E and the Treasurer.
In addition to the Return there shall be submitted to the District Grand Treasurer a Certificate confirming that no Companion other than those appearing in By-Law 10 (iv) above is in breach of Rule 71 of the General Regulations of Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England duly signed by the First Principal, Scribe E and Treasurer.
MEMBERSHIP OF DISTRICT COMMITTEE OF GENERAL PURPOSES
11. There shall be a District Committee of General Purposes (hereinafter called “the Committee”) which shall consist of :-
(i) A President to be appointed by the Grand Superintendent at the Annual Convocation in January.
(ii) The holders of the following Offices in the District Grand Chapter:-
(a) Deputy Grand Superintendent
(b) 2nd District Grand Principal
(c) 3rd District Grand Principal
(d) District Grand Scribe E
(e) District Grand Treasurer
(f) District Grand Registrar
All of whom shall be ex-officio members of the Committee
(iii) Two Companions being members of District Grand Chapter who shall be appointed by the Grand Superintendent for a period of two years, and shall be eligible for re-appointment if thought fit.
(iv) Four other Companions being Members of District Grand Chapter who shall be elected by ballot in the manner set forth (mutatis mutandis) in the By-Laws of the District Grand Chapter, to serve for a period of two years, of whom two shall retire annually in rotation and shall be eligible for re-election.
(v) Five members of the Committee shall form a quorum and in the absence of the President, the member highest in Rank in the District Grand Chapter shall preside. Vacancies in the Committee shall likewise be filled (mutatis mutandis) as set out in the District Grand Chapter By-Laws and the Committee may act notwithstanding any casual vacancy or vacancies in their numbers.
(vi) The District Grand Scribe E shall be Secretary of the Board but these duties may be performed on his behalf by an Assistant Secretary approved by the Board and who need not be a Member of the Board.
(vii) The Board may act, notwithstanding any casual vacancy or vacancies in its numbers.
ELECTION TO DISTRICT COMMITTEE OF GENERAL PURPOSES
12. The manner of election of the four Companions to the Committee shall be as follows:?
(i) Every Chapter in the District shall be entitled, at a regular meeting, to nominate one brother who need not be a member of the Chapter but must be a member of and entitled to vote in the District Grand Chapter.
(ii) Such nominations containing the name of the Companion, together with the name and number of the Chapter and his Masonic rank, shall be delivered personally or sent by registered post or email to the District Grand Scribe E to reach him not later than the 30th November prior to the Regular Convocation in January.
(iii) The District Grand Scribe E shall prepare a sufficient number of ballot papers containing the names of the several Companions so nominated, in alphabetical order with the name and number of the Chapter and the Masonic Rank of each candidate.
(iv) Every Companion attending and eligible to vote in the District Grand Chapter at the regular Convocation in January each year shall be provided with a ballot paper on which to record his vote for the exact number of candidates necessary to fill the vacancies in the number of elected members created by members retiring annually by rotation. Every Companion shall deposit his duly marked ballot paper in ballot boxes which will be placed at convenient places adjacent to the meeting room.
(v) After every Companion has deposited his ballot in keeping with sub paragraph (iv) of clause 12, the ballot boxes shall be collected and delivered to the District Grand Scribe E for safe keeping by not less than two scrutineers who shall be elected annually by the Committee at the meeting of the Committee preceding the regular Convocation in January. If less than two scrutineers are present the Grand Superintendent or the Presiding Officer shall appoint a substitute or substitutes.
(vi) Within seven days after the Convocation the scrutineers shall count the ballot papers and forward a correct report of the result of the ballot in writing to the Grand Superintendent and a copy thereof verified by the District Grand Scribe E shall be immediately posted at the Masonic Building, 45-47 Barbados Avenue, Kingston 5, and remain exhibited for one month for the information of the Order. In event of an equality of votes, the Grand Superintendent in addition to his original vote, shall give a casting vote or votes.
FILLING OF VACANCIES IN MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE
13. If any member of the Board dies, resigns, becomes incapable of serving, or be removed from office, or be disqualified by any law or regulation, or ceases to be a member of the District Grand Chapter, or in the case of an elected member shall become an ex-officio or appointed member, the vacancy shall be filled in the following manner:
(i) Ex-Officio Members:
By the Officer of the District Grand Chapter (if any) appointed to fill his place.
(ii) Appointed members:
By the Grand Superintendent.
(iii) Elected members:
By the Companion who received the highest number of votes among those who were not elected at the immediately preceding election of members of the Committee or failing him, by the Companion who receive the next highest number of votes at such election and so on until the vacancy is filled. In the event that two or more eligible Brethren received the same number of votes the Grand Superintendent shall select one of them to fill the vacancy.
14. A member of the Committee who fills a vacancy shall retire at such time as the Companion he replaces would have retired had he served the full term.
MEETINGS OF THE COMMITTEE
15. (i) The Committee shall meet not less than fourteen days before the days appointed for the regular half-yearly Convocation of the District Grand Chapter, and if required, not less than seven days before the meeting of any special District Grand Chapter, for the purpose of considering and reporting upon all business to be dealt with by the District Grand Chapter at each Communication or special meeting. The Committee shall also meet at other times by order of the Grand Superintendent, or by the authority of the President, or in his absence the Companion highest in Rank in the District Grand Chapter shall preside.
(ii) At least seven days notice of the time and place of the meeting shall be given to each member of the Committee, unless the Companion convening the meeting shall be of the opinion that the business of the meeting is of so urgent a nature that a shorter notice is expedient.
(iii) Five members of the Committee shall form a quorum and proceed to business, except in the investigation of Masonic complaints or irregularities referred to them by the Grand Superintendent, for which purpose the quorum shall be seven.
(iv) All questions shall be decided by a majority of votes, the presiding Companion, in case of equality, having a second or casting vote.
(v) All transactions and resolutions of the Committee shall be entered in a minute book.
COMMITTEES OF THE COMMITTEE
16. (i) The President and Scribe E shall be ex-officio members of all committees appointed by the Committee.
(ii) A committee appointed by the Committee may invite Companions (whether or not members of the Committee) to any of its meetings for the purpose of consultation.
(iii) At its regular meeting after the Regular Convocation in January, the Committee may appoint an Executive Committee, which shall comprise the following:
President - Chairman
Deputy Grand Superintendent
A District Grand Principal
District Grand Treasurer
District Grand Scribe E
District Grand Registrar
The Executive Committee will act on matters referred to it by the Committee and shall be responsible for the resolution of any issues that involve co-ordination between the various organs of the District Grand Chapter or issues that might arise between Committee meetings which the Grand Superintendent or the President decide require urgent attention.
(iv) The Committee may appoint such other committees from any of its members to consider such matters of Masonic discipline as may be generally or specifically referred to them by the Committee.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMMITTEE
17. (i) The Committee shall have the administration and control of the property and finances of the District Grand Chapter and the regulation of all the affairs of the District Grand Chapter and may investigate and report to the Grand Superintendent on all matters which he may refer to them, and generally the Committee shall take cognizance of all matters in any way relating to the Order in Jamaica and The Cayman Islands, including the examination of the books and By-Laws of the several Chapters in the District.
(ii) Nothing herein shall prevent the District Grand Chapter or the Committee from incorporating or causing a body corporate or bodies corporate to be incorporated or established with such objects and powers and for such purposes as may be considered expedient or desirable in which event the Board of Directors, Committee of Management or other governing body of such body corporate shall be entitled to exercise such rights, perform such duties and carry out such functions as may be vested in them by the Articles of Incorporation or Rules of any such body corporate. Any proposed amendment to the Articles of Incorporation or the Rules of such body corporate other than amendments of a minor nature shall require the prior approval of either the District Grand Chapter or the Committee.
18. (i) All money belonging to the District Grand Chapter shall be deposited in such bank or banks, and to such accounts, as the Committee may from time to time determine.
(ii) The Committee shall have power to inspect all books and papers relating to the accounts of the District Grand Chapter, and to give such directions as may be necessary, and to require the attendance of any books, papers, documents or accounts belonging to the District Grand Chapter.
19. (i) Any member of the District Grand Chapter desiring to make a motion therein, or to submit any matter for consideration at the regular half-yearly Convocation of the District Grand Chapter or other meeting thereof, shall give notice in writing to the District Grand Scribe E of the terms of such intended motion or the precise nature of such matter not less than three days before the regular meeting of the Board immediately preceding such half-yearly Convocation or meeting. No such motion or matter shall be dealt with in the District Grand Chapter, unless such notice has been given, except either by special leave of the Grand Superintendent or Officer presiding in the District Grand Chapter or the District Grand Chapter by majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present shall decide to deal with it at such half-yearly Convocation or meeting.
(ii) Nothing in this By-Law shall affect the procedure directed by the Book of Constitutions to be followed in the case of the increase of the contributions or fees payable to the District Grand Chapter.
(iii) The Grand Superintendent or Officer presiding in the District Grand Chapter may allow to be introduced or discussed at any regular half-yearly Convocation or other meeting of the District Grand Chapter, without notice, any business or motion which he shall consider to be urgent.
(iv) Nothing in this By-Law shall require notice to be given of any motion to adopt or otherwise deal with any report or recommendation, not coming within the provisions of paragraph (ii) of this By-Law or the provisions of By-Law 27, of any Committee of the District Grand Chapter or of any Board of Directors, Committee of Management or other governing body of any body corporate incorporated or established pursuant to By-Law 17.
REPRESENTATIONS TO THE COMMITTEE
20. All representations to the Committee must be in writing and duly signed but the Committee may on written request permit the attendance of any Companion to explain or amplify any matter, and shall do so if the interests of the Companion, or of the Chapter of which he is the First Principal or Principal in charge, are involved.
DUTIES OF DISTRICT GRAND TREASURER
21. The District Grand Treasurer:
(i) shall keep a Cash Book in which he shall enter a record of all moneys received and paid by him and shall give a receipt for all moneys paid to him.
The Cash Book and every other book in his custody, being the property of the District Grand Chapter, shall be produced at every meeting of the District Grand Chapter and whenever the Grand Superintendent or his Deputy or the Committee may direct.
(ii) shall pay no claim against District Grand Chapter without sanction of the Grand Superintendent or of the Deputy Grand Superintendent or the Officer in charge of the District or of the Committee.
(iii) shall keep a record of all subscribing members of the Order under the District Grand Chapter specifying the amounts remitted to him on account of each member in each return rendered by the Chapters.
DUTIES OF DISTRICT GRAND SCRIBE E
22. (i) The duties of District Grand Scribe E shall include the issue of summonses, in proper time, for the Convocations and other meetings of the District Grand Chapter; making minutes of the proceedings of such Convocation and other meetings and under the direction of the Grand Superintendent or his Deputy, reporting the same to all Chapters in the District; keeping a Register of the Companion in the several Chapters in the District, noting the date of exaltation.
(ii) The District Grand Scribe E shall also perform such other duties as may from time to time be assigned to him by the Grand Superintendent, or his Deputy, the District Grand Chapter or the Committee.
(iii) The District Grand Scribe E shall also, when required by the Grand Superintendent or his Deputy, examine the books of the several Chapters in the District and report thereon.
DUTIES OF DISTRICT GRAND JANITOR
23. The District Grand Janitor shall attend all Convocations and visitations of District Grand Chapter, when required. He shall be responsible for the safe custody of the regalia, clothing, insignia and jewels of the District Grand Chapter, and produce them for inspection when required.
24. (i) No communication on any Masonic matter shall be made to the Grand Superintendent except through the District Grand Scribe E unless otherwise ordered or permitted by the Grand Superintendent.
(ii) All communications to Supreme Grand Chapter and District Grand Chapter, or to the Committee, on any matter must be addressed to the District Grand Scribe E.
(iii) The First Principal of every Chapter in the District shall cause a copy of the summons for every meeting of the Chapter to be forwarded to the Grand Superintendent, the Deputy Grand Superintendent the Second District Grand Principal, the Third District Grand Principal, the District Grand Treasurer and the District Grand Scribe E.
REPORT OF CHAPTER PROCEEDINGS
25. The First Principal of every Chapter in the District shall at least one month before the Installation meeting of his Chapter, send to the District Grand Scribe E for the information of the Grand Superintendent the Minute Book, Attendance Register and Record of Members, a report of its proceedings during the past administrative year, including the number of meetings held, of exaltations, and such other information concerning the condition of the Chapter that he may consider necessary or which may be required by the Grand Superintendent or Officer in charge of the District Grand Chapter.
APPLICATION OF BOOK OF REGULATIONS
26. In all matters not provided for in these By-Laws, all Regulations relating to the Supreme Grand Chapter or to any Committee thereof, or to any Grand Officer shall apply, mutatis mutandis to the District Grand Chapter, any Committee thereof and to the corresponding District Grand Chapter Officer, as the case may be, but nothing in these By-Laws shall render it obligatory on the District Grand Chapter to establish any Board or Fund, hold any Festival or Ceremony, or appoint any Committee, or Officer, not otherwise expressly provided for in these By-Laws.
AMENDMENTS OF BY-LAWS
27. Except as otherwise required by Rule 35 of the Regulations of Supreme Grand Chapter these By-Laws or any of them may be revised, altered or amended by notice of motion in writing stating what is proposed, which shall be delivered to the District Grand Scribe E not less than three days before the regular meeting of the Committee immediately preceding the regular half-yearly Convocation or other meeting of the District Grand Chapter in order that it may be printed on the agenda for such Convocation or meeting.
CONFIRMATION AND APPROVAL OF AMENDMENTS
28. If the motion is passed at such Convocation or meeting, with or without amendment, and confirmed at the next Regular Convocation or at a special Communication convened for the purpose, it shall become valid when approved by the Grand Superintendent.APPROVED AT THE REGULAR CONVOCATION OF DISTRICT GRAND CHAPTER ON JANUARY 18TH 2014
Robert N Forbes Walter H Scott District Grand Scribe E
January 18th 2014
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