Stated Meeting on Holidays

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by wwinger, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. wwinger

    wwinger Registered User

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    Like the Lodge mentioned in another thread, our stated meeting is specified in our by-laws as being the fourth Thursday of the month. That always means Thanksgiving and this year it also means Christmas eve.

    Our by-laws do not currently provide for alternate days in case of holidays.

    We do plan to change the by-laws after the first of the year to keep this from happening in the future. However, we have had to deal with it this year.

    We did hold a meeting on Thanksgiving night, (nine attended), primarily because we had a petition that needed to be balloted upon. However, no-one that I know of really wants to meet on Christmas Eve.

    Another member of our Lodge and I called the Grand Lodge of Texas and asked about changing the meeting date for December. We were put through to the Grand Secretary's office and talked to an employee there.

    She told us that we could not change the date of a stated meeting except through a properly made by-law change. She did say however that we could simply "go darK" and could do that three times a year.

    Three questions:

    1) The other Brother, a Past Master and recently a District Deputy Grand Master, contends that article 221, paragraph 2C, gives us the right to change the date when convenient. The Grand Secretary's office said that would require a by-law change. Who's right?

    2) We don't have any business that needs to be done before the January stated meeting so the "go dark" admonition from the Grand Secretary's office is probably our best. But where did she get this? I can't find anything that gives us the specific right to "go dark" and where does she come up with the thing about three times a year?

    3) Assuming that we do "go dark", what notification has to be given to the members, Grand Lodge and/or others.?
     
  2. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Brother, just a word of caution. I have found on several occasions the Grand Secretary's Office has not been correct, even one person contradict the other. I just ran a quick keyword search of "Dark" in the GL Law Book I have and it found none.

    I agree with no. 1. Period. It is in black and white.

    The way I read it is just notify the GS office of the no meeting this month. Thats it. Anyone elses read it differently?
     
  3. david918

    david918 Premium Member

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    That's all we did in El Campo when we went from 2 meetings a month to just 1 .Also when we changed our meeting date in Dec from the 1st Thursday to the 3rd Thursday.Just let GL know about it.
     
  4. wwinger

    wwinger Registered User

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    I'm still confused.

    I believe we can "go dark" without a by-law change, but who if anyone do we have to notify that we are doing that?

    As for holding the stated meeting on a different date, can we do that without a by-law change. (What you've quoted looks like we can change our by-laws in this regard with a simple notification to GL but I don't read it as allowing us to hold our stated meeting at a different time without changing the by-laws.)
     
  5. wwinger

    wwinger Registered User

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    What do you mean "That's all we did..."?

    Do you mean that you changed your by-laws and notified GL after doing so or that you changed your meeting dates without a by-law change?
     
  6. wwinger

    wwinger Registered User

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    I have the GL Law Book in 'pdf' form but it is not searchable. What are you using and how do I get it?
     
  7. js4253

    js4253 Premium Member Premium Member

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    Warren, when you open your pdf, you will see an area that says find. Type the word you want to find and press the arrow on the right side of the box. This will give you options. I use find next in current pdf. Try it you'll like it.
     
  8. js4253

    js4253 Premium Member Premium Member

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    CHAPTER 7- TITLE II
    MEETINGS OF THE LODGE
    Art. 228. (267). Meetings: Frequency. Every Lodge shall
    meet at least once in three months, and a Lodge failing to do so
    shall forfeit all its rights and privileges. It shall stand suspended,
    and its charter may be ordered returned; provided, the Grand
    Master, in his judgment, may grant such Lodge a dispensation to
    continue its work until the next Annual Communication of the
    Grand Lodge, at which time its charter shall be forfeited, unless
    the Grand Lodge otherwise directs.

    Based on this article, I believe you could cancel a meeting that falls on a holiday as long as you meet once in the quarter.
     
  9. kmfisher1

    kmfisher1 Registered User

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    Stated meeting 1st Monday of the month, regardless of any holiday. Ya'll come now, yahere?
     
  10. wwinger

    wwinger Registered User

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    I tried it, I do like it. Thanks.
     
  11. wwinger

    wwinger Registered User

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    I agree. Thats my reading as well. And that is what I plan to do for the 24th.

    However, some of our members are arguing that we don't need to go dark. We can just change the date of the stated meeting and notify Grand Lodge what we are doing.

    I don't agree with them. I believe that to change the meeting date, even temporarily, requires a by-law change if the provision for making such temporary meeting date changes is not already a part of the by-laws.

    What is being said is that article 221, paragraph 2C, gives the Lodge the authority to change the meeting date to suit their convenience WITHOUT making a by-law change. I DISAGREE. I believe that Art. 221-2C only gives us the right to MAKE THE BY-LAW change without prior approval from GL. I do not however believe it gives us the right to make changes in our meeting date WITHOUT changing the by-laws.
     
  12. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I would ask for aid in the matter from your DDGM. Just call and ask for guidance. See if they are willing to help with a solution that will please everyone.

    If it were me I would list all my options and see which one has the greatest outcome. But make sure you are protected in your action. Read the law and make sure you are sure of the outcome if someone gets mad. I guess in short I am saying CYA.
     
  13. wwinger

    wwinger Registered User

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    Good suggestion. And I'm going to use that as the answer to a number of other law questions I have. The DDGM may not always be right but he is always the DDGM.
     
  14. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I concur. Also, in response to your question about what El Campo Lodge did, we voted to change our bylaws & then notified the Grand Secretary's office per Art. 221 (2)c.
     
  15. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    I didn't think that you had to jump through that many hyoops to "go Dark" for a holiday. Our WM just declared our 2nd meeting of December Dark and the secretary will just include it in the minutes sent to GL.
     
  16. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Your DDGM can also ask for dispensation to change teh date for this one time due to the holidays or to not meet as long as the 1 per Quarter meeting happens.
     
  17. wwinger

    wwinger Registered User

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    Probably didn't have to, but with a membership that includes at least a dozen Brothers addressed as Worshipful, Right Worshipful, or Most Worshipful and twenty or thirty Past Masters, I have learned that no matter what I decide to do, someone is going to tell me either that I can't do that or that there is a better way to handle it. Sometimes these respected Brothers, although with the best of intentions, do not even agree with each other. I am learning, albeit slowly, that I best have the rule book and several respected Brothers in agreement before embarking on anything.
    I had originally wanted to do that but since the decision needed to be made in the final official days of the DDGM and the GM, I felt the request probably wouldn't get addressed.
     
  18. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Since when does one send their minutes to Grand Lodge?
     
  19. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    Isn't that what happens to them? I thought that is why they WM had to sign them and they had to be read or posted.
     
  20. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Nope. The WM has to sign them because he is responsible for their accuracy, but they remain in the possession of the Lodge.
     

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