YORK RITE SOVEREIGN COLLEGE OF NORTH AMERICA
UNIFORM CODE OF BY-LAWS
FOR USE BY ALL REGULAR COLLEGES
This Uniform Code of By-Laws contains those basic elements of the Constitution and By-Laws of the York Rite Sovereign College that every York Rite College must have in its By-Laws. Options consistent with Sovereign College Regulations may be added as amendments at the discretion of the membership and with approval of the Governor General.
This York Rite College hereby declares its fealty to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of this State or Province and to the York Rite Sovereign College of North America.
NAME, NUMBER, and LOCATION
A This College shall be known as Gulf Coast York Rite College No. 106.
B The City of Houston, State of Texas shall be the home, or the usual assembly place, of this College.
A The fiscal year of this College shall begin on 1 June and end on 31 May of the following year.
A The purposes of this York Rite College shall be:
1. To foster a spirit of cooperation and coordination among each of the bodies of York Rite Masonry.
2. To assist in worthy efforts to improve the ritualistic and dramatic presentation of York Rite work.
3. To conduct an educational program in order to inculcate greater appreciation of the principles, ideals, and programs of York Rite Masonry.
4. To strengthen York Rite Masonry in every way possible.
5. To build up a love of country and to aid and support genuine patriotism.
6. To reward outstanding service to York Rite Masonry by awards, honors and other methods of proper recognition.
7. To support Charitable and Benevolent endeavors of Free Masonry
A. Membership shall be limited to regular members who are in good standing in a Symbolic Lodge of Master Masons, a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, a Council of Cryptic Masons, and a Commandery, or Preceptory of Knights Templar, and who are actively engaged in working for The York Rite.
B. The Council, acting as a Screening Committee, shall consider all proposals for membership and cause them to be presented to the Assembly or be filed by the Secretary, but a majority vote of the Assembly can bring a Proposal up for ballot if he qualifies by "A" above.
C. Membership in this College shall be by invitation only.
D. Any member in good standing may recommend an eligible York Rite Mason for membership on the Proposal form provided for that purpose.
E. Reinstatement of a member, suspended for non-payment of dues, shall be recommended by a member of this College on the form prescribed by this College, accompanied by the reinstatement fee prescribed in Article VII, Paragraph C, and by a majority vote of the members present.
F. Membership in this College shall be as follows:
I. PRIMAL - Regular Member.
2. LIFE - Same as Primal except no dues.
3. PLURAL - (optional) Membership in more than one College within this State or
4. HONORARY - No rights, privileges, or obligations.
G. Prepaid Life Membership
a. Each of the Chartered Colleges of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America is authorized to establish a Life (or Prepaid) membership plan in order to establish a Prepaid Dues Plan.
b. Each Prepaid Dues fund shall be the property of the College adopting the Life
c. A member's dues must be current at the time of becoming a prepaid member.
d. No College shall commingle any of its assets with the Prepaid Dues Fund.
e. College shall in no case borrow from the Prepaid Dues Fund, pledge its assets as security, or loan any part of such Prepaid Dues to any individual or private corporation.
2. Establishment and Cost
a. After proper notice according to the By-Laws of a College, the members may adopt a Life Membership Plan by majority vote of its members present, at the stated Assembly designated in the notice.
b. Colleges establishing a Prepaid Dues Fund may set the amount as fifteen times the amount of annual dues.
c. Investment of the funds must be consistent with investment policies of the Grand Lodge of the State or Province in which the College is situated and must be approved in advance by the Grand Governor and be reported to the Sovereign College office.
H. A unanimous vote of those members present at a Regular Assembly, or a Special Assembly called for that purpose, shall be necessary for election to membership.
I. Any member whose dues are two (2) or more years in arrears shall be automatically suspended and the action recorded in the Minutes of the next assembly.
J. A member suspended for non-payment of dues may be reinstated by petitioning the College, paying the dues for the suspended and the current year's dues, and a favorable vote of three fourths (3/4) of the voting members present at a regular assembly. Reinstatements shall be recorded in the Minutes of the assembly.
A. The officers of this York Rite College by Title and Rank are:
1. PREEMINENT GOVERNOR shall preside at all assemblies, see that the Constitution, Regulations, and By-Laws are adhered to, and to promote the welfare of the College and its members.
2. EMINENT DEPUTY GOVERNOR who shall preside at all assemblies in the absence of the Preeminent Governor and perform his duties as necessary.
3. EMINENT CHANCELLOR who shall preside at all assemblies in the absence of the Preeminent Governor and Eminent Deputy Governor and perform their duties as necessary.
4. EMINENT TREASURER who shall receive all monies from the Eminent Secretary and pay them out at the direction of the college. He shall maintain a financial status and records of the financial condition of the College and submit a written annual report at the annual assembly.
5. EMINENT SECRETARY who shall prepare and maintain adequate minutes of assemblies, records of membership, transactions, monies received and of other matters.
6. NOBLE PRIMATE who shall lead the College in its devotions.
7. NOBLE PRECEPTOR who shall receive and maintain all paraphernalia belonging to the College and see that it is available at assemblies and at other times as required.
8. NOBLE SENESCHAL who shall see that the assembly room is properly furnished for assemblies and other occasions and shall introduce dignitaries and visitors.
9. NOBLE MARSHAL who shall form and conduct all processions.
10. NOBLE SENTINEL who shall guard against the intrusion of improper persons.
11. NOBLE ORGANIST (optional) who shall provide appropriate music as required.
12. NOBLE HERALD(s) (optional) who shall assist the Preeminent Governor as requested.
B. The first five (5) shall be elected at the Annual Assembly.
C. The Governor shall make all appointments.
D. The term of office shall be one year, or until a successor is duly installed.
E. The five (5) elected officers shall constitute the Council of this College.
F. It shall be the duty and privilege of the Governor to preside at all Assemblies of the College. In his absence, the Deputy Governor, Chancellor, or the Junior Past Governor present, in that order, will open the College and preside.
G. Should the office of Governor become vacant, the Deputy Governor or Chancellor, in that order, shall succeed to the office of Governor until the next Annual Assembly. Should a special election be necessary, the Governor General may grant his dispensation upon application.
H. The election and installation of officers must comply fully with applicable Sovereign College Regulations.
A. The Annual Assembly of this York Rite College shall be held on the third Saturday of May.
B. There shall be a minimum of eleven (11) Regular Assemblies each College Year.
C. The Governor may call Special Assemblies at his discretion.
D. Nine (9) Companion Knights shall constitute a quorum.
E. Due notice shall be given of all Assemblies.
F. All Annual and Regular Assemblies shall begin at 9:00 A.M. on the third (3rd) Saturday of each month.
G. Order of Business- The following may be the Order of Business for the Annual and Regular Meetings and may be varied by the York Rite Governor at his discretion.
I. The reading of all unapproved minutes and action thereon.
2. Reports of officers and standing committees.
3. Reports of special committees and action thereon.
4. Reading of petitions and reference to committees.
5. Unfinished business.
6. New business.
FEES and DUES
A. The fee for membership in this College shall be $50.00 plus the prescribed fee to the Sovereign College of $40.00. Total to accompany application is $90.00.
B. The annual dues for membership in this College shall be $20.00 plus the Sovereign College per capita tax of $10.00 for a total of $30.00.
C. Reinstatement Fee, after suspension for non payment of dues, shall be the yearly dues at the time of suspension plus the current year dues, a maximum of two (2) years.
A. The Council shall serve as a standing committee on charity and may authorize an amount not to exceed $25.00 to relieve a worthy distressed Companion Knight. Any further relief must be authorized by the Council.
B. Immediately after his election, the Governor shall appoint Committees on:
l. YORK RITE COOPERATION COMMITTEE who shall establish and maintain a College representative in the York Rite bodies and Blue Lodges in the local area, for the purpose of cooperating and coordinating activities involving the College. The committee shall provide degree teams when requested.
3. BUDGET AND FINANCE will be composed of the Council.
a. Prepare a yearly budget and submit a written report to the College at the assembly following the annual assembly.
b. Make financial recommendations to the College as are appropriate.
4. DEGREE TEAMS shall establish qualified teams for the following:
a. Knight of York degree
b. Blue Lodge degrees
c. Chapter degrees
d. Council degrees
e. Commandery orders
f. Order of The Silver Trowel
g. Order of The High Priesthood
h. Super Excellent Master's degree
5. ENTERTAINMENT AND REFRESHMENT COMMITEE who shall arrange for the social activities of the College as scheduled.
6. AUDIT COMMITTEE who shall audit the financial transactions of the previous year and submit a written report to the College at the assembly following the annual assembly.
7. Other committees as needed.
If this College shall cease to exist, except for the purpose of consolidation, the Governor and Secretary shall within thirty (30) days thereafter; transmit to the Secretary General of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America all books, papers, rituals, jewels, seals, robes, all paraphernalia, and all other property or funds, or evidence thereof, together with the Charter unless the same has been arrested or removed by order of the Governor General.
A. An office may be vacated in the following way:
2. Inability or refusal to serve
3. Temporary or permanent suspension
4. Expulsion from the order
5. Loss of prerequisite membership
B. Appointed officers serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
C. The Grand Governor may suspend an elected officer failing to properly fulfill the duties of his office, (e.g., 2. above).
Anything contained herein that is in conflict with the spirit and intent of the Sovereign College Constitution and Laws, together with the guidelines of the Governor General and the Board of Directors, is hereby declared to be null and void.
These By-Laws may be amended as follows:
A The written proposal to amend shall identify the Article, Section, page, and line(s) to be deleted, amended or replaced.
B. It shall identify the new Amendment by Article, Section, and page.
C. It shall quote the new language exactly.
D. It must be received and passed by a majority vote at a regular assembly called for that purpose.
E. It must then layover, due notice given to the membership (Article Vl-E), and adopted by a 2/3 majority vote at a subsequent assembly.
F. It must be properly signed and submitted in triplicate to the Secretary General for the Governor General's signature.
GULF COAST YORK RITE COLLEGE NO. 106
PREPAID LIFE MEMBERSHIP PLAN AUTHORITY
The York Rite Sovereign College of North America has granted authority for each College to establish its own Prepaid Life Membership Plan. The Plan, however, must be consistent with the guidelines of the Grand Lodge of the state in which the College is situated. This Plan is adapted from Article 318a of the Laws of the Grand Lodge of Texas. Modifications have been made to fit this College.
In addition, Article IV, paragraph F of the By-Laws of this College provides for the establishment of a Life (or Prepaid) Membership Plan and its general requirements.
Members having a Prepaid Life Membership are subject to all the provisions of the Regulations of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America and the By-Laws of this Gulf Coat York Rite College No. 106.
The Gulf Coast York Rite College shall administer this Plan and shall provide the purchaser with a Prepaid Life Membership dues card, as well as the usual yearly dues card, and shall pay the per capita assessment to the Sovereign College from the proceeds of this Plan. The College shall also issue the purchaser a Prepaid Life Membership Certificate signed by the Governor of this College.
A. Prepaid Life Membership may be purchased by the following:
1. Any member in good standing in the Gulf Coast York Rite College No. 106;
2. Any individual, group, organization, Lodge, Chapter, Council, or Commandery may purchase a Prepaid Life Membership in honor of, or in memory of a Master Mason, Companion, Sir Knight, or Companion Knight, living or deceased, who is, or was at the time of his death, a member in good standing of any York Rite College;
3. This College, after favorable vote of the College;
4. Petitioners, subject to the following restrictions:
a. For membership, the monies shall be retained by the Secretary until the Knight of York Degree has been conferred on the petitioner;
b. For affiliation, the monies shall be retained by the Secretary until a favorable ballot is recorded;
c. For reinstatement, the monies shall be retained by the Secretary until a favorable ballot is recorded.
B. Purchase price of a Prepaid Life Membership shall be fifteen (15) times the annual dues.
C. Any member in good standing may contribute not less than fifty ($50) dollars per contribution toward a Prepaid Life Membership. When a payment bas been received, the Secretary will transmit it to the Treasurer.
D. The Secretary shall receive all monies for a Prepaid Life Membership, and transfer them to the Treasurer when all restrictions have been satisfied.
E. The Treasurer shall place all monies so received in a Prepaid Life Membership Fund. The monies of this fund shal1 not be commingled with any other assets.
F. The Fund shall be invested and reinvested under the supervision of the College Council consisting of the five elected Officers. Investments shall be restricted to those secured by the United States Government.
G. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual report signed by each member of the Council and shall present it to the College for its approval at the first regular assembly after May 31st.
H. The proceeds from the investment of the Fund shall be distributed on or before May 31st of each year as follows:
1. First, the Sovereign College per capita assessment shall be transferred through the Secretary;
2. Second, 10% of the remaining proceeds shall be reinvested in the Fund;
3. Third, the remaining 90% of the proceeds shall be transferred, through the Secretary, to the College general operating fund.
I. Changes in membership are subject to the following provisions:
1. Upon the death of a member having a Prepaid Life Membership, the Fund and all the proceeds there from shall forever remain with the College.
2. Upon the transfer of membership to another College, or a demit, the Fund and all the proceeds there-from shall forever remain with the College.
3. Upon the demise of the College, suitable distribution of the Fund and proceeds will be arranged at that time.
CHANGES TO THIS PLAN
After adoption by the College, this Plan may be changed by detail-written resolutions, signed by three members of this College, read at a regular assembly, delivered to the Secretary of the College, and favorably balloted upon at a subsequent regular assembly.
Adopted at a regular meeting of the College, March 1, 2008.
Signed by Secretary: Thomas C. Snedecor