The three Degrees in Freemasonry, ENTERED APPRENTICE, FELLOWCRAFT and MASTER are the prerequisites of becoming a better man.
BY LAWS of SMITHFIELD LODGE No. 455 A.F. & A.M.
Article I -- NAME OF THE LODGE
This Lodge was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Texas on the 10th day of June, 1876, and shall be known by the name and style of SMITHFIELD Lodge No. 455, of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.
Article II -- MEETINGS OF THE LODGE
Section 1. The stated meeting shall be held on first Thursday of every month, at 7:30 o'clock p.m.
Section 2. Called meetings may be made by the Worshipful Master (or in his absence or inability to serve, by the Senior Warden, or in the absence of both Master and Senior Warden, then by the Junior Warden), at such times as they, or either of them, having the right to act, may think important, or to the interest of the Craft.
Section 3. As many members as possible should be notified of such called meetings, and no business shall be transacted at same, except such as was specified in the call.
Article III -- OFFICERS OF THE LODGE
The officers of the Lodge shall be a Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, Chaplain, Senior and Junior Deacons, Senior and Junior Stewards, (Marshall and/or Master of Ceremonies and/or Musician optional) and Tiler.
Article IV -- ELECTION OF OFFICERS OF THE LODGE
Section 1. The Worshipful Master, Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary and Tiler shall be elected.
Section 2. In the election of officers, should only one name be placed in nomination, the vote may be taken without ballot, but should more than one Brother be placed in nomination, the members shall prepare their ballots, which shall be taken up and counted at the Secretary's desk, and the number of votes received by each Brother reported to the presiding officer, and he shall declare the Brother receiving a majority of all the votes cast duly elected.
Section 3. In the event no Brother has such a majority; the ballot will be repeated until such result is attained. Blank votes shall not be considered in determining the result.
Article V. -- DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS
Section 1. Worshipful Master - It shall be the duty of the Worshipful Master to see that the by-laws of the Lodge, as well as the Constitution and Regulations of the Grand Lodge are duly observed, and that the officers attend strictly to their duties.
Section 2. Treasurer - It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to hold all deeds, certificates of stock, notes, bonds obligations, or other property of a financial character belonging to the Lodge, and to collect and receive the same when directed by the Lodge; to receive all moneys from the hands of the Secretary, passing his receipt for the same; and pay them out only upon the order of the Worshipful Master and consent of the Lodge.
Section 3. He shall keep a correct account of the same, and report minutely the financial condition of the Lodge at the stated meeting next succeeding the festival of St. John the Baptist and at such other times as the Lodge may direct.
Section 4. Secretary - It shall be the duty of the Secretary to carefully observe the proceedings of the Lodge; make a correct record of all things proper to be written, and to receive all moneys due the Lodge; turning them over to the Treasurer, taking his receipt for the same.
Section 5. It shall also be the duty of the Secretary:
(1) To keep all books and papers relating to the proceedings of the Lodge.
(2) To authenticate all official papers and documents emanating from the Lodge with the seal of the same.
(3) To notify all Brethren of their election to office, if they were not present at the time of the election.
(4) To notify the Grand Secretary, as prescribed by law, of the suspension or expulsion of members, and of the rejection of applicants; to issue all summons, demits, and notices as he may be directed; to make out and transmit to the Grand Lodge dues; report to the Grand Secretary the names of all Brethren elected to Parent or Plural membership; and perform all other duties appertaining to his office.
(5) For his services he shall receive an amount as set by the Lodge from time to time.
Section 6. Tiler - It shall be the duty of the Tiler to see that the Lodge room is kept clean and in order; and that the various articles of furniture are kept in their appropriate places; to strictly guard the door during the sitting of the Lodge; to summon the members of the Lodge to all called meetings where a summons is necessary, and be punctual in his attendance.
Article VI -- STANDING COMMITTEES
Section 1. The Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens shall constitute a Standing Committee on Fraternal Assistance, Sickness and Arbitration, a majority of whom may at all times, act, and are responsible to the Lodge. Their duties are as follows:
Fraternal Assistance - It is their duty to examine all claimants for assistance, and if necessary, they may draw upon the Treasurer, in each instance, for an amount not to exceed three hundred dollars; (if it does not exceed budgetary requirements) reporting the facts in each case to the Lodge at its next Stated Meeting, thereafter.
Sickness - It shall be their duty to visit all sick Brethren (unless it would be dangerous or imprudent to do so) and ascertain their condition and necessities; and to take action, as they deem proper and necessary, both in regard to the Brother and his Family.
Arbitration - It shall be the duty of this Committee to settle all differences between Brethren, unless parties prefer to bring the matter before the Lodge.
Section 2. Committee on Finance - It shall be the duty of the Worshipful Master, at the first stated meeting after the 24th of June, of each year, to appoint a standing Committee on Finance, to be composed of three discreet Master Masons, members of this Lodge, and, if possible, men particularly acquainted with bookkeeping.
It shall be the duty of this Committee on Finance, at the close of each Masonic Year, as soon as appointed, and more often if required, to carefully examine and check the reports, books and vouchers of the Secretary and Treasurer, and any other financial matters referred to them; and make full and accurate report at the next Stated Meeting of the Lodge showing the condition of the books and accounts, and should any inaccuracies be found, recommend the necessary steps for their correction. In the matter of ordinary accounts deferred to them, they may, if satisfied, report instated.
The reports of said Committee on Finance thus made, shall be read in open Lodge and spread upon the minutes, noting the action taken by the Lodge; and all accounts and claims against the Lodge.
Section 3. Other Standing Committees: Masonic Education, Building and Maintenance, Laggards and Reinstatement, along with Endowment Trustee.
Article VII -- FEES FOR DEGREES
Section 1. The fees for degrees of this Lodge shall be an amount not less than prescribed in article 307 of the constitution and laws of the Grand Lodge of Texas and set by this Lodge from time to time.
In addition to the regular fees collected by the Lodge, a candidate for the Entered Apprentice Degree shall pay an additional ten dollars as a contribution to the support of the George Washington National Memorial.
In addition to the regular fees collected by the Lodge, a twenty-five dollar contribution to the Masonic Home and School shall be collected from each applicant for the Master's Degree.
Article VIII -- DEMITS
A member is chargeable with the pro rata portion of his dues as provided in Art. 317.
Article IX -- DUES OF THE LODGE
Each member of this Lodge (unless here-in exempted) shall pay Dues from the time of his Raising or Affiliation at a rate equal to or greater than that set as the minimum by the Grand Lodge of Texas for constituent Lodges. Reference article 311 of the Constitution and Laws. A member, however, shall not be required to pay dues if he purchases an Endowed Membership in accordance with the Laws of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
Article X -- VISITING BRETHREN
Section 1. A visitor shall not be admitted except upon due examination or lawful avouchment.
Section 2. In the event that a visiting Brother is a stranger and hails from some other Lodge in another Grand Jurisdiction, it shall be the duty of the Secretary to notify the visitor's Lodge that we have had the pleasure of a visit of one of it's members, giving the name and the date.
Article XI -- MISCELLANEOUS REGULATIONS
Weapons - Weapons, either offensive or defensive, shall not be carried into the Lodge room. (Additional regulations not provided for or in conflict with the Constitution and Laws of this Grand Lodge may be added to this article).
Article XII -- ORDER OF BUSINESS
At Stated Meetings after opening the Lodge in Due and Ancient form, a quorum being present, the Order of Business, unless otherwise ordered by the Lodge, or the Worshipful Master, shall be as follows:
Reading, correcting and approval of Minutes of previous meetings.
Receiving and referring to Committees of Petitions and Applications.
Reports of Special Committees.
Balloting on Petitions and Applications.
Reports of Standing Committees.
Communications from the Grand Master and the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
Motions, Resolutions and New Business.
Examinations for Proficiency in the proper degrees.
Voting on Proficiency.
Claims and Accounts.
Article XIII -- RULES OF BUSINESS
The rules of conducting the business of this Lodge shall be as nearly as possible the same as those prescribed for the Grand Lodge, and in addition, as follows:
Section 1. When a question is decided, the same matter shall not again be acted on during that meeting, unless on motion to reconsider, which can only be made by a member voting in the majority, and at that or at the next stated meeting, when there must be an equal or greater number of members present than when the action was had.
Section 2. The Worshipful Master without appeal or debate shall decide all questions of order; but the Master may ask the advice of any member before deciding; and he has the right, at any time, to declare the Lodge closed or called off, for the purpose of stopping angry debate or confusion.
Article XIV -- SMITHFIELD ENDOWMENT FUND
The Lodge will have a permanent Endowment Fund whose purpose will be to supplement the income of the Lodge, to help hold the yearly Dues to a level that will not become a burden to the Brethren, to remit the Dues for indigent Brothers, to practice charity and benevolence, and such other purposes that may be in accordance with Masonic principles and practices that may be approved by the Lodge.
The operation of this fund will be controlled by and governed by a set of rules and regulations, approved by the Lodge.
Article XV -- AMENDMENTS OF BY-LAWS
No amendment of these By-laws, either by alteration or addition shall be made, unless in the following manner:
(1). The proposed amendment must be in writing, signed by the proposer, and presented and read at a Stated Meeting of this Lodge, at which time it may be discussed and amended, if necessary.
(2). At the next stated meeting of this Lodge, it shall be considered and voted upon without further amendment; and if approved by a majority of the votes of the members present, shall become a part of these by-laws, upon compliance with the other provisions of this article.
(3). All amendments of these by-laws must be submitted to the Grand Lodge for its approval before they take affect, except the following:
(a). Fixing, raising or lowering the fee for each degree, or the annual dues, within the minimum limitations fixed by the Laws of the Grand Lodge, except a provided in Art. 309.
(b). Adopting its own regulations as to the payment of its Treasurer, Secretary and Tiler.
(c). The day and hour of the meeting, or the number of stated meetings per month may be changed to suit its convenience. Whenever a change in the number of meetings per month, or the day of the meeting, is made, the Grand Secretary must be notified at once.
(d). Adopting its own regulations to perform charitable work or public service, which enables the Lodge to qualify for tax exemption as, permitted by the Texas Property Tax Code.
Section 1. The above By-Laws having been approved by the M: W: Grand Lodge of Texas, on the ___ day of ____________ A.D. __________, for adoption; this is to certify that Smithfield Lodge No. 455, A.F. & A.M., located at N. Richland Hills, Texas, has on this ______ day of __________, A.D. __________, adopted the same.
By order of the Lodge Secretary.