[GLoT] Question on officers present when opening lodge

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by dhouseholder, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

    237
    2
    18
    Here is the scenario: A called meeting on the EA degree was to be opened to hear the proficiency of an EA. The officers present were the SW, SD, JD, Marshall, Tiler, and a PM (all members of the lodge), 2 FCs, and 2 EAs, for a grand total of 11 members present. The WM had given permission for the SW to open said called meeting.

    The issue: It was thought that the SW was to act as WM, but the SD, JD, Marshall, and Tiler were all required to sit in their places during the opening and closing of said lodge; and that the other brothers present were required to fill in other required places and stations. I have found nothing in the Laws of the GLoT, or the bylaws of the lodge stating this, but it was argued by some of the bretherin that all lodge officers were to occupy their elected and appointed places and not pro-temp for other "indispensable" positions.

    The question: Is it required that officers are always, no matter the reason, are to sit in their stations and places when the lodge is duly opened?

    The only articles I have found in the Law Book concerning this are the two following...

    Art. 229. (267a). Quorum for Each of the Three Degrees.
    To open a subordinate Lodge chartered by this Grand Lodge on the
    Masters Degree, and a quorum for a Lodge on said degree, requires
    the presence of not less than three Master Masons who are
    members of such Lodge, and one of said three must be the Worshipful
    Master, a Warden or a Past Master of such Lodge; to open on the
    Fellowcraft Degree, and a quorum for a Lodge on said degree,
    requires the presence of not less than five Masons of at least that
    degree, at least two of whom must be Master Masons and members
    of such Lodge and one of said two must be the Worshipful Master,
    a Warden or a Past Master of such Lodge; to open on the Entered
    Apprentice Degree, and a quorum for a Lodge on said degree,
    requires the presence of not less than seven Masons, at least one of
    whom must be the Worshipful Master, a Warden or a Past Master
    of such Lodge.

    Art. 235. (273). Called Meetings: Business Permitted.
    Called Meetings may be ordered by the Master of the Lodge, or
    by the Senior Warden in his absence, or by the Junior Warden in
    the absence of both, at any time not prohibited by law for any one
    or more of the following purposes: to receive the Grand Master
    or his Representative or other distinguished Mason; to confer
    degrees on candidates previously elected; to examine and vote on
    the proficiency of candidates; to install officers; to conduct funerals,
    to receive and vote on adoption of by-laws under Subdivision 4
    of Art. 216; to adopt by-laws and amendments thereto when duly
    called for that purpose after reasonable notice given; to transact
    any other business not required by law to be acted on at a Stated
    Meeting. The Secretary may be ordered to issue summons for such
    meetings when the circumstances are deemed such as to warrant
    it; such summons must be in writing and under the seal of the
    Lodge.

    Any light would be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  2. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

    237
    2
    18
    Re: [GLoT] Question on officers present when openning lodge

    Would a moderator be able to correct the spelling error in the title of this thread from "openning" to "opening"? Thanks!
     
  3. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

    3,328
    2,139
    183
    Re: [GLoT] Question on officers present when openning lodge

    I could only say how it goes in NM, but I'm interested to hear the answer so I can compare it.
     
  4. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

    2,442
    467
    103
    Re: [GLoT] Question on officers present when openning lodge

    The answer to your question is, yes.

    All elected and appointed officers must be in their proper positions when opening and closing. The only ones allowed to move are...

    Senior Warden to the East when the East is vacant.

    Junior Warden to the East when both the West and East are vacant. The Junior Warden can only move to the East under this condition.

    In the absence of all three principal officers, the most recent Past Master may assume the East.


    All other stations and places to be filled by qualified Brethren. You can find this information under the duties of the "Worshipful Master" relating to vacancy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  5. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

    2,442
    467
    103
    Re: [GLoT] Question on officers present when openning lodge

    Fixed.
     
  6. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

    437
    246
    63
    Re: [GLoT] Question on officers present when openning lodge

    You must sit in the place or station of your office during opening unless as Brother Stewart said above, the Master is not present.

    However, with all that you listed above, the seven required for an EA were not present as you have to be a MM to sit in an office.
     
  7. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

    2,442
    467
    103
    Re: [GLoT] Question on officers present when openning lodge

    To open an EA lodge (GLoTX) seven members must be present, only one has to be a Master Mason. Refer to the EA lecture.

    According to the original post, there were 6 MM's present, a total of 11 members.
     
    Bill Lins likes this.
  8. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

    1,598
    381
    103
    Re: [GLoT] Question on officers present when openning lodge

    Interesting. So there are potentially several scenarios where you may have a requisite number of masons present, but still unable to properly open a lodge? (ex: SW and JW absent, only others present are already officers and 1 EA there for a proficiency. In such case, a steward or Marshall could not sit for the vacancy?)

    Or is it written such that in a similar case, that rule can be overruled?


    Freemason Connect HD
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  9. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

    2,353
    26
    38
    Re: [GLoT] Question on officers present when openning lodge

    fixed.
     
  10. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

    2,442
    467
    103
    Re: [GLoT] Question on officers present when openning lodge

    In the extreme case that there is no WM, SW, JW, or the most recent Past Master; a Past Master (of the same lodge) may assume the East.

    But yes, it is conceivable that you can have the prerequisite number but not have sufficiently "qualified" members present to open.
     
    Raymond Walters likes this.
  11. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

    237
    2
    18
    Re: [GLoT] Question on officers present when openning lodge

    Thank you brother, but I cannot find this information in the Law Book, I did find...

    Art. 268. Temporary Vacancies: How Filled. The presiding
    officer alone has the right to fill vacancies pro tempore.

    ... which implies that pro-tempore positions can be filled at the presiding Master's will. Also, emphasis mine,...

    Art. 271. Vacancies in Office: How Filled. When an
    installed officer, other than the Worshipful Master, ... is unable to devote his services
    to the office, the office can only be filled pro tempore, at each
    meeting of the Lodge,
    except as hereinafter provided:
    ... the Master shall have
    the right to appoint any officer pro tempore, including Secretary or
    Treasurer, any specific meeting upon the absence of such officer
    from the particular meeting.
    (See Art. 277 for vacancy in office of
    Worshipful Master.) (Revised 1967)

    Which actually says the opposite of what you have described. Am I reading this right? I was told by more knowledgeable brethren what you have told me as well, but I must have some Missourian in my blood because I'd like to see it in the law and make sure that it wasn't a myth that continues to be propagated by word of mouth.
     
  12. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

    1,598
    381
    103
    I've heard both answers given by brothers of my lodge so I'm just as confused. I get the reasoning, but doesn't it seem strange that GL would put a rule into place that puts propriety over being able to hold a meeting?
     
  13. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

    2,442
    467
    103
    Re: [GLoT] Question on officers present when openning lodge

    Remind me of what 277 says?
     
  14. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

    2,442
    467
    103
    When in doubt go to the source yourself, consult the Law Book.
     
  15. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

    2,442
    467
    103
    In part I am teaching you to read the book directly.

    Remember you must look at the question from a couple of angles. Dig deeper the answers are in the book. Don't always trust what is "said"....


    I have been over this on several times... Have Fun, and learn in the process.
     
    Raymond Walters likes this.
  16. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

    237
    2
    18
    Re: [GLoT] Question on officers present when openning lodge

    Art. 277. (315). Office Vacant: When and How Filled. His
    office becomes vacant whenever the Worshipful Master:
    1. Is elected and installed as Grand Master or Deputy Grand
    Master; or
    2. Dies after he is installed; or
    3. Is found disqualified, or fails from any cause to be installed
    within the time prescribed by Law, and the person filling the office
    for the previous year has been installed in another office; or
    4. When the Worshipful Master has been removed by the
    Grand Master or the Grand Lodge, the Grand Master shall notify
    the Grand Secretary, and shall inform the affected subordinate
    Lodge of such action. Such action of removal shall prohibit recognition
    of such individual as a Past Master and preclude such
    individual from the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.
    (Revised 1997)
    In any such case the Senior Warden (or the Junior Warden, if
    the office of Senior Warden is also vacant) shall succeed to all the
    duties of the office.
    If a Worshipful Master, after being duly installed, dies during
    the term of his office, and if he is not suspended or under charges
    at the time of his death, he shall be classified and recorded as a
    Past Master of his Lodge.

    As far as I read it, this article says nothing on our topic.
     
  17. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

    2,353
    26
    38
    I don't know that this refers to what happens when the WM isn't there "today"
     
  18. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

    2,442
    467
    103
    See the following GLoTX Laws:

    Art. 269; Art. 270; Art. 285; Art. 286

    This should clear everything up.... Oh and of course Art. 271 first paragraph, already quoted.
     
  19. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

    237
    2
    18
    So, just to be clear, in my original scenario, it was legal to open a lodge with the officers and members present. Thanks!
     
  20. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

    2,442
    467
    103
    Yes it appears so.
     

Share My Freemasonry