By-Laws of Saint Bridget Council No. 23
ARTICLE I - NAME
a) The name of this council shall be Saint Bridget Council Number 23, Knight Masons.
b) This council shall be located in the region comprising the Northeastern Area of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Illinois.
c) This council holds its charter from, and owes fealty and allegiance to, the Grand Council of Knight Masons of the United States of America. This council owes fealty and allegiance to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Illinois and the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the State of Illinois.
ARTICLE II - MEETINGS
The stated meetings of this council shall be held four (4) times per annum, such number to include the Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting for election of officers shall be held in December. Special meetings may be held at the time and place designated by the Excellent Chief.
ARTICLE III - OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES
a) The following officers shall be elected and installed each year and shall serve until their successors are duly elected and installed: Excellent Chief, Senior Knight, Junior Knight, Treasurer, and Scribe. No one individual shall simultaneously hold, nor act as, any two or more of the following offices: Excellent Chief, Treasurer, and Scribe.
b) The following officers shall be appointed by the Excellent Chief and shall serve at his pleasure: Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Director of Ceremonies, Priest, Steward, and Sentinel.
c) The Excellent Chief may appoint such additional committees as may be useful for carrying on the Council's affairs. The Excellent Chief shall be, ex officio, a member of all committees.
ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP
a) Membership in this council shall be by invitation only. To be eligible for membership a candidate must be a Holy Royal Arch Mason in good standing in his lodge and chapter. Good standing in the prerequisite bodies is necessary for continuing membership.
b) No invitation for membership shall be given unless after unanimous election by the council using secret ballot. If an invitation is not accepted within three (3) years of its date of issue, such invitation shall be rendered null and void. An individual whose invitation is rendered null and void for failure of acceptance may be re-proposed at a later date and shall be subject again to unanimous election by secret ballot.
ARTICLE V - FEES AND DUES
a) The fee for degrees shall be $50. (not less than $20.00 See article XII of the STATUTES)
b) Annual dues shall be $15 payable annually in advance.
c) A member in good standing, an elected petitioner for affiliation, or an invited candidate may become a life-member of this council by the payment of $300 (not less than 20 times annual dues) to the Life Membership Fund in addition to the initiation fee or life membership fee (as applicable) charged by the Grand Council; nothing herein shall be construed as negating the requirement that a candidate receive the degrees before becoming a member, nor as altering the provisions of Article IV hereof.
ARTICLE VI - LOCAL REGULATIONS
a) The Finance Committee shall consist of the following officers: Excellent Chief, Senior Knight, Junior Knight, and Treasurer. Cheques, drafts, withdrawals, and transfers of the council’s funds shall require the signatures of both the Treasurer and one other member of the Finance Committee.
b) The Excellent Chief shall appoint an Audit Committee consisting of three or more members in good standing in this council who are neither elected officers of this council nor acting as any elected officer of this council. The Audit Committee, Treasurer, and Secretary shall meet in November, at which time the Audit Committee shall examine the financial records of the Scribe and the Treasurer, and the account statements from the institutions holding the council’s funds. The Audit Committee shall submit a report at the annual meeting, reconciling the financial records of the Scribe and the Treasurer, and the account statements from the institutions holding the council’s funds.
c) Life membership fees shall be accounted for separately from the general funds of the council, and deposited or invested as determined by the Finance Committee in accounts separate from the accounts of the general funds of the council. Funds may be transferred annually from the life membership fund to general funds in lieu of dues or assessments. The amounts transferred shall be determined by the Finance Committee, but are not to exceed the net interest accrued by the life membership funds in the preceding year nor exceed five per-cent (5%) of the total life membership funds on deposit. “Net interest” shall mean the difference of the nominal interest accrued and the inflation rate as derived from the consumer price index.
d) The annual appointment by the Excellent Chief of the following officers shall be subject to the advice and consent of the members present at the Annual Meeting: Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Director of Ceremonies, Priest, and Steward, subject to the provisions and requirements of Article III hereof.
e) In the event of a vacancy in the office of Excellent Chief, the Senior Knight shall act as Excellent Chief and the office of Senior Knight shall be deemed vacant. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Senior Knight, the Junior Knight shall act as Senior Knight and the office of Junior Knight shall be deemed vacant. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Junior Knight, the Senior Warden shall act as Junior Knight.
f) In the event of a vacancy in the office of Treasurer, the Excellent Chief shall appoint an Acting Treasurer, subject to the approval of the Grand Council and within the restrictions contained in Article III hereof. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Scribe, the Excellent Chief shall appoint an Acting Scribe, subject to the approval of the Grand Council and within the restrictions contained in Article III hereof.
g) The stated meetings of this council shall be held within the region comprising the Northeastern Area of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Illinois.
h) No candidate nor petitioner shall be admitted to this council on the basis of annual dues payments; life membership shall be the sole form of membership in this council.
i) The Scribe shall be peculiarly liable for penalties charged by the Grand Council as a result of the Scribe’s late submission of the annual returns to the Grand Council.
ARTICLE VII - TERMINATION
In the event this council shall cease to exist, except for the purpose of consolidation or merger, the Excellent Chief, Scribe, and Treasurer shall, within thirty (30) days thereafter, transmit to the Grand Scribe all the property of the council, including, without limitation, all the books, records, jewels, paraphernalia, and funds and assets thereof.
ARTICLE VIII - CONFLICT DISCLAIMER
Anything contained in these By–Laws in conflict with the Statutes of the Grand Council of Knight Masons of the United States of America is hereby declared null and void.
ARTICLE IX - COUNCIL FUNDS
All council funds shall be kept in the name of the council in financial institutions in which the funds are insured by the FDIC, NCUSIF, or similar insurance schemes backed by the full faith and credit of the United States federal government.
ARTICLE X - AMENDMENTS
These By–Laws may be amended at any meeting of the council by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those members present if written notice has been given to the membership at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting where action is to be taken. Such by–laws shall become effective when signed by the Most Excellent Great Chief.
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