WILTON LODGE NO. 156 OF
ANCIENT FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS
Revised to January 9, 2007
Charter Dated May 4, 1870
Section 1. The members of this Lodge do solemnly pledge themselves to adhere to the Ancient Usage's and Customs of Masons; to preserve and cultivate the true spirit of masonry; to maintain the Ancient Landmarks so far as they come to their knowledge, and stand to, and abide by, the Constitution and General Regulations of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Maine.
Section 1. The Stated Communications of this Lodge shall be held monthly on the Fourth Wednesday except that for the months of November and December the stated Communications shall be on the Third Wednesday. The hour of meeting shall be 7:30 P.M. Provided, also, that by vote of the Lodge regular meetings may be suspended during any three consecutive months once in any fiscal year.
Section 2. The Master, or in his absence the Senior Warden, or if both be absent, the Junior Warden shall have power to call Special Communications, whenever, in his opinion, the interests of the Lodge require it.
Section 3. No Stated Communications can be called off beyond the day and night in which it was opened, and the Lodge must be regularly closed before the Brethren disperse.
Officers and Election
Section 1. The Stated Meeting in November shall be the Annual Meeting at which Annually the Lodge shall elect a Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, Senior and Junior Deacons, who shall be chosen severally, by written ballot, without previous nominations; and to constitute an election, each officer must receive a majority of all the votes cast. The Master, as soon after his installation as may be, shall appoint the Stewards and Tyler. He may also appoint a Chaplain, Marshal and Sentinel. No Brother shall hold more than one office in the Lodge at one and the same time.
Section 2. A Standing Committee of Finance, consisting of three, shall be chosen at the Annual Meeting in the manner prescribed by Section 1 of this Article for the election of officers. It shall be the duty of the Committee of Finance to attend all meetings of the Lodge, when consistent, to inspect the books and accounts of the Treasurer and Secretary and audit the same annually, and report thereon, in writing, to the Lodge, at the Annual Meeting before the election of officers; also to examine and audit the accounts of all officers or committees charged with the receipts and expenditures of money; to examine bills for current expenses, and all accounts or demands against the Lodge, from time to time as they may be presented for payment, and if found justly due, to approve the same, and report them to the Lodge for action.
Section 3. The Officers shall be installed as soon after their election as may be convenient.
Section 4. All preferment among Masons is grounded upon real worth and personal merit only, therefore no Master, Warden or other Officer shall be chosen by seniority, but for his merit.
Duties and Compensation of Officers
Section 1. The Treasurer shall have charge of all of the funds of the Lodge and see that they are properly invested and attended to, collect all interest arising from the same, pay all legal demands upon the Lodge; but shall make no investment or disbursements of funds without approval and consent of the Lodge under its seal, and shall report whenever action is necessary. He shall attend all meetings of the Lodge when consistent, and at the last Stated Communication next preceding the Annual Meeting, shall have his books and accounts ready for examination by the Committee of Finance, and at the Annual Meeting shall make a full report, with vouchers, of his transactions for the year, render a just and fair account of all moneys received and paid, and also a correct statement of funds and liabilities. He shall deliver all the property of the Lodge entrusted to his care to his successor in office, taking duplicate receipts for the same, one of which shall be kept by the Secretary. For the faithful performance of his duties, he shall receive such compensation, as the Lodge shall determine.
Section 2. The Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Lodge when consistent, make a fair record of proceedings, and read the same when requested, collect all dues and assessments not included in the Treasurer's duty, and pay the same to the Treasurer once a month, taking his receipt therefore; keep a correct list of the names of the members and their residence, and report the names of all delinquents to the Lodge at the Annual Meeting before the election of officers; present the Chairman of every committee with a copy of its appointment, issue such notifications, and perform such clerical duties as are prescribed by the Lodge, or may be required by the Master. At the last Stated Communication next preceding the Annual Meeting he shall have his books and accounts ready for examination by the Committee of Finance, and at the Annual Meeting shall make a full report with vouchers of his transactions for the year; render a just and fair account of all moneys received and paid, and also a correct statement of balances due from members. He shall deliver all property of the Lodge entrusted to his care, to his successor in office, taking duplicate receipts for the same, one of which shall be kept by the Treasurer. For the faithful performance of his duties he shall receive such compensation, as the Lodge shall determine.
Section 3. The Tyler shall tyle the Lodge at its meetings, distribute notices, and perform such other services as may be prescribed by the Lodge, or required by the Master, and for the faithful performance of his duties he shall received such compensation as the Lodge shall determine.
Regulations Respecting Candidates
Section 1. Every Candidate for the Degrees conferred in this Lodge shall make application in writing, signed by himself, stating his age, residence and occupation and whether he has ever made application to and been rejected by any other Lodge, accompanied with a recommendation signed by two members of the Lodge, and shall deposit with the Secretary the sum of ten dollars to be in part for his making, if he be accepted and initiated, but to be returned immediately, if he be rejected. If he be accepted and shall refuse or neglect to attend for six months after his acceptance, or make a reasonable excuse for such neglect the deposit shall be forfeited to the use of the Lodge.
Section 2. A Committee of Inquiry, consisting of three members of this Lodge, shall be appointed by the Master at a Stated Communication on each petition for degrees or for membership, whose duty it shall be strictly to inquire into the moral character and reputation of the applicant and report thereon in writing to the Lodge at a subsequent Stated Communication. No Candidate shall be balloted for a Special Communication, nor until his petition has been submitted for the consideration of the members at least one month, and a report made by the Committee of Inquiry, excepting under dispensation as allowed by the Grand Lodge of Maine.
Section 3. The ballot shall be taken in open Lodge, and every member present shall vote unless excused by the Lodge. No member shall be excused from balloting unless he makes the request before the balloting commences, nor unless he receives the unanimous consent of the Lodge given by the secret ballot. No one shall inspect the ballot, save the Master and Wardens and no Brother shall make known to another, or to the Lodge, what manner of vote he cast. No restriction of any sort shall be placed upon a member in the matter of voting, nor shall he be questioned how or why he exercised that right.
Membership and Dues
Section 1. Every Brother on being admitted a member of this Lodge, shall furnish the Secretary with the place of his residence, and in case of changing it, he shall notify him thereof at the earliest convenience.
Section 2. Each member of this Lodge shall pay to the Secretary on or before November 1 of each year, annual dues of $25.00 plus an amount equal to the annual Grand Lodge of Maine per capita tax and all assessments, rounded to the next highest dollar. Annual dues, per capita tax and assessments shall be paid in advance. Members, who have paid dues for fifty years, prior to November 1, 2007, shall be exempt from annual dues, Grand Lodge of Maine per capita tax and all assessments. Members, who have paid dues for fifty years after November 1, 2007, shall be exempt from the annual dues of Wilton Lodge, but will be subject to Grand Lodge of Maine per capita tax and all assessments, rounded to the next highest dollar. The practice of purchasing Life Memberships shall be discontinued, however, those members who have purchased Life Memberships before November 16, 2006, the date of this By-law change, shall be exempt from annual dues, Grand Lodge of Maine per capita tax and all assessments.
Section 3. No certificate of membership or of good standing shall be given to any member to enable him to visit another Lodge until his annual dues and assessments for the preceding year shall first be paid or remitted.
Section 4. Any member neglecting for the period of two Masonic years (Nov. 1 - Oct. 31) to pay his annual dues plus an amount equal to the annual Grand Lodge of Maine per capita tax and all assessments, shall after due trial, be suspended from membership for nonpayment of dues, unless the same shall be remitted by vote of the Lodge. Any member suspended from membership for nonpayment of annual dues and Grand Lodge Assessments may be reinstated as provided in Section 117 of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Maine.
Of the General Concerns of the Lodge
Section 1. No disputes nor discussions concerning nations, politics, religion, or other exciting topics not connected with Freemasonry, shall in any case be permitted in this Lodge.
Any Brother who shall violate this provision or be guilty of any irregular or immoral conduct at any meeting shall, for the first offense, be admonished or reprimanded by the Master; if he repeat such offense, he may be suspended or expelled.
Section 2. It shall be the duty of the Junior Warden, in his official capacity, to file charges for Masonic misdemeanors whenever the Lodge shall so direct.
Section 3. No person shall be examined for the purpose of visiting this Lodge until he presents satisfactory written evidence under seal that he was made in a regular Lodge, and shall be allowed to visit only after examination or being legally vouched for. No Brother can legally vouch for another until after having sat in a Lodge of Master Masons with him, or as one of the Committee appointed by the Master to examine him.
Section 4. No Brother shall leave the Lodge without permission from the Master, or engage in any private conversation while the Brethren are at work.
Section 5. All transactions and proceedings of this Lodge shall be kept inviolably secret, except they may be communicated to him or them to whom the same may justly and lawfully belong.
Any member who shall reveal the name of any Brother who may have opposed the admission of a Candidate into the institution, or who shall divulge any of the transactions or proceedings of the Lodge, required by Ancient Usage to be kept secret, shall be liable to be suspended or expelled. If any visiting Brother shall be guilty of the violation of this Article he may be forever after excluded from a seat in this Lodge.
Notifications and Assessments
Section 1. Each member shall be notified of the Annual Meeting, and furnished with a correct statement of the amount of his annual dues and assessments. The notices shall be issued by the Secretary, and either personally served upon each member, or sent by mail or otherwise, to his last known place of residence, at least forty-eight hours before the meeting.
Section 2. Assessments, in addition to the annual dues may be made upon the members, of such sums as the Lodge shall vote; provided that notice of such an assessment has been given in writing, at a previous Stated Communication, and notice of the time an intended assessment is to be acted upon, has been given the members, in the manner prescribed in Section 1 of this article for delivering notices.
Section 1. The fees for the three Degrees, including Diploma, shall be seventy dollars and shall be apportioned as follows:
Deposit with application $20.00
One time donation, with the application, to the George Washington Memorial Fund $ 5.00
For the First, Second and Third Degrees, when the Candidate is initiated In this Lodge, the fee will be $15.00 for each Degree, for a total of $45.00
For the Second and Third Degrees, when not initiated here $30.00
For the Third Degree when not initiated or crafted here $15.00
No fee for affiliation shall be required in this Lodge
Section 1. These By-laws shall not be altered or amended, unless such alteration or amendment be first proposed in writing at a Stated Communication, when the Lodge shall proceed to consider the question whether the proposition shall be entertained; and if decided in the affirmative, the proposed alteration or amendment shall lie over until the next Stated Communication when it shall be deemed in order to take up the subject and act upon it definitely, and not sooner. But no alteration or amendment shall be adopted, unless previous notice of the time a proposed amendment is to come up for action has been given the members as required in making assessments, nor unless two-thirds of the members present concur therein.
Section 2. All former By-laws for the government of this Lodge are hereby repealed.