New Secretary - help!

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New Secretary - help!

Postby Stevecoath » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:20 pm

Brethren
In a few short hours I will be taking over as my Lodge Secretary for the first time.
I have noticed there are a list of books which I am supposed to have.
Speaking with the current Secretary has not shed any light as to where I obtain them from.

Constitutions and Regulations of Grand Charity
Information on Masonic Charities
Grand Charity’s Lodge Relief Chest Handbook
Masonic Conduct - Guide to Investigations


The following I already possess so no problems there
Book of Constitutions (Latest Edition) plus Amendments.
Information for Guidance of Members of the Craft (Latest Edition) *
Masonic Year Book from Grand Lodge (Latest Edition )*
Provincial Year Book
PM Edmonton Latymer Lodge 5026 UGLE (Hertfordshire); PZ Edmonton Latymer Chapter 5026
MM, Gladsmuir MMM 367; Gladsmuir RAM 367; Waltham Holy Cross A&AR 372; Blaise Pascal SRIA 70;
Jacques de Molay KT 670: Hertfordshire KTP 29, Walnut Tree Conclave RCC 440;
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby Richard George » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:29 pm

Don't forget the Grand Charity doesn't exist as such now; you'll need the bits from MCF instead. For all of these first stop should be your charity steward who should already have these, or failing that contact your Provincial Charity Steward.

Masonic conduct stuff is really only applicable at Provincial level so you can ask, but don't expect any paperwork; anything along these lines should just be referred directly to the Provincial Secretary.
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby Stevecoath » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:55 am

Thank you Richard
PM Edmonton Latymer Lodge 5026 UGLE (Hertfordshire); PZ Edmonton Latymer Chapter 5026
MM, Gladsmuir MMM 367; Gladsmuir RAM 367; Waltham Holy Cross A&AR 372; Blaise Pascal SRIA 70;
Jacques de Molay KT 670: Hertfordshire KTP 29, Walnut Tree Conclave RCC 440;
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby Richard George » Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:42 pm

Comes of being a former ProvAGSec!

As far a misconduct is concerned, what generally happens is that it gets reported to the Province. The PGM then forms a committee of senior members, ideally with a legal background - magistrates, lawyers etc, who will then ivestigate the allegations and make recommendations to the PGM. He then consults upwards (with GQS) and the final judgement is then handed down. Lodge Secretaries don't get involved until the judgement is fed back down, and then only if he is required to announce it to the members. Remember GL are the only ones who can issue penalties for misconduct.
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby Trouillogan » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:36 am

Stevecoath wrote:Brethren
In a few short hours I will be taking over as my Lodge Secretary for the first time.
I have noticed there are a list of books which I am supposed to have.
Speaking with the current Secretary has not shed any light as to where I obtain them from.

Constitutions and Regulations of Grand Charity
Information on Masonic Charities
Grand Charity’s Lodge Relief Chest Handbook
Masonic Conduct - Guide to Investigations


The following I already possess so no problems there
Book of Constitutions (Latest Edition) plus Amendments.
Information for Guidance of Members of the Craft (Latest Edition) *
Masonic Year Book from Grand Lodge (Latest Edition )*
Provincial Year Book

All those in your list you can get from Letchworths at GQS, except your provincial stuff which comes from your provincial office. You can also get the B of C and some of the others from Lewis Masonic. See if there's a price differential. Check the web sites.
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby forester » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:48 pm

maybe worth checking with PGL office as I tend to get all my stuff from there, initiates pack etc. etc. feel free to pm if you require any guidance etc. happy to assist.

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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby Mike Martin » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:08 pm

As has been mentioned the amalgamation of the old Masonic Charities into the Masonic Charitable Foundation has made those notes a bit out of date.

Rather than looking for paper copies I would recommend the following page to keep abreast of your Lodge's Relief Chest operations, I would also recommend that you (as Secretary) read Section 5 but most especially 5.4. Sadly many Lodges give sole management of their Relief Chest to their Charity Steward who rarely investigates the full spectrum of its use available to the Lodge most especially the question of "donations to individuals" often telling their membership that the Relief Chest can only be used to donate to registered charities or Provincial Festivals which is not true. Lodges often have the means to assist their own members and or their dependents but don't realise it. https://mcf.org.uk/reliefchest/forms/

Likewise "Information on the Masonic Charities" (aka the little yellow book) is nowadays "Information for Freemasons and their families" and can be accessed or ordered from the following page and clicking on "Other Documents": https://mcf.org.uk/resources/
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby Stevecoath » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:22 am

Thank you for the help Brethren,
My next question is regarding keeping of records.

What actually needs to be kept?
I have been handed 12 archive boxes that only go back over the last decade.
In there is every piece of paper either sent to the Treasurer or Secretary and every thing sent by them.

Do I actually need to keep these: -
Menus for festive boards
Communications from Provincial Grand Lodge on Golf Days etc
Booking dates for LOI rooms
Letters to the caterers with numbers dining and menu requests
Quarterly Communications from GL
Apology letters for meetings
Letters saying who is bringing a guest
Personal communication between Secretarys and members (that should really have been in strict confidence)
PM Edmonton Latymer Lodge 5026 UGLE (Hertfordshire); PZ Edmonton Latymer Chapter 5026
MM, Gladsmuir MMM 367; Gladsmuir RAM 367; Waltham Holy Cross A&AR 372; Blaise Pascal SRIA 70;
Jacques de Molay KT 670: Hertfordshire KTP 29, Walnut Tree Conclave RCC 440;
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby Trouillogan » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:54 am

Briefly, anything that could be of interest to future historians would be good to retain. Even menus - they are frequently of interest! There's no need to keep the GL Quarterly Communications because those are on record at GL anyway. Because of past retentions, we now know considerable detail about the habits of individual lodges going back for over 300 or so years. We know who was present and from that, the social connections made which influenced things in the outside world. The more complete the record, the fuller the picture. I'm very wary of throwing anything away but records must be on paper; electronic records are useless because technologies change quite rapidly. The private correspondence is especially valuable; historians are pretty careful about not revealing correspondence relating to living persons. If we didn't have access to Elias Ashmole's or William Stukeley's or the Swedish Count Jacob de la Gardie's private diaries and correspondence, to name just three, we would know so much less about the development of the order. Mostly we only have half of an exchange of correspondence and that's a pity in many cases.

In short, I would suggest you be very careful about what you destroy, for once destroyed such records are lost for ever.
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby Mike Martin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:37 pm

Stevecoath wrote:What actually needs to be kept?
Do I actually need to keep these: -
1) Menus for festive boards - ONLY if it was a "special" meeting such as a Lodge centenary or something
2) Communications from Provincial Grand Lodge on Golf Days etc - NO as records at PGL, UNLESS your Lodge is singled out
3) Booking dates for LOI rooms - NO unless it was a "special" LoI see 1 above.
4) Letters to the caterers with numbers dining and menu requests - NO unless 1 above
5) Quarterly Communications from GL - No as records held at GL, UNLESS your Lodge is singled out
6) Apology letters for meetings - NO - as fact and reason is usually recorded in the Minutes of the meeting
7) Letters saying who is bringing a guest - NO as this should be recorded in the Signature book and thereby transferred to the Minutes of the meeting
8) Personal communication between Secretarys and members (that should really have been in strict confidence) - IF it is personal it is not a matter of public record and should be destroyed


I would personally answer as above.
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby Stevecoath » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:33 pm

Now that is really useful Mike and along with my own thoughts - anything that is not already captured elsewhere.

Due to my accommodation (I rent near where I work and travel home at the weekends) I have been forced to store these boxes in the loft where they are subject to damp so the chances of them lasting more than a few years is pretty slim.

The private correspondence is a real touchy subject as it contains very scathing remarks about another member (who is still a member) but also another letter written in a very non-masonic manner raising personal opinions regarding a member who just so happened to recently become Secretary
PM Edmonton Latymer Lodge 5026 UGLE (Hertfordshire); PZ Edmonton Latymer Chapter 5026
MM, Gladsmuir MMM 367; Gladsmuir RAM 367; Waltham Holy Cross A&AR 372; Blaise Pascal SRIA 70;
Jacques de Molay KT 670: Hertfordshire KTP 29, Walnut Tree Conclave RCC 440;
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby Trouillogan » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:43 pm

Stevecoath wrote:Now that is really useful Mike and along with my own thoughts - anything that is not already captured elsewhere.

Due to my accommodation (I rent near where I work and travel home at the weekends) I have been forced to store these boxes in the loft where they are subject to damp so the chances of them lasting more than a few years is pretty slim.

The private correspondence is a real touchy subject as it contains very scathing remarks about another member (who is still a member) but also another letter written in a very non-masonic manner raising personal opinions regarding a member who just so happened to recently become Secretary

Storage can be a problem as not many masonic premises have the specialised facilities with environmental control for long term storage of records. Faced with this same situation, I am using the advice of the GL LibMus to make arrangements with our County Records Office (CRO). That advice includes a standard agreement drawn up by the GL LibMus stating, among other things, that the items remain the lodge's property. I put into their care minutes and correspondence that are over a century old, maintaining a curated record in the lodge's possession so we know what's there. The records in the CRO are available to the public but usually only to those with a CRO readers' card. What you will find in your CRO will shed new light on some of your lodge's records, just as they shed light on the other public records. Our CRO makes no charge, which is good! The records are then safe, available and conserved. What's not to like?
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby Richard George » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:15 pm

Stevecoath wrote: but also another letter written in a very non-masonic manner raising personal opinions regarding a member who just so happened to recently become Secretary


Ouch!
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby forester » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:46 am

Interesting to read the comments re storage - as secretary of my own lodge i have numerous books that currently follow me around. Also as curator of my hall museum I have responsibility for minute books of older lodges going back to 1870's. these are stored in a fire safe but it is becoming full. CRO is a future possibility. does anyone know the costs of using this facility ?

kind regards
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby Trouillogan » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:15 am

forester wrote:Interesting to read the comments re storage - as secretary of my own lodge i have numerous books that currently follow me around. Also as curator of my hall museum I have responsibility for minute books of older lodges going back to 1870's. these are stored in a fire safe but it is becoming full. CRO is a future possibility. does anyone know the costs of using this facility ?

kind regards
Chas

There may not be a cost but I'd recommend not mentioning 'storage' but classing the deposit in the light of local social history records on 'permanent loan'. That seems to get them excited. Before making any contact with your CRO, speak to the LibMus at GQS and get them to send you their advice sheets on this.
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby forester » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:13 am

Trouillogan wrote:
forester wrote:Interesting to read the comments re storage - as secretary of my own lodge i have numerous books that currently follow me around. Also as curator of my hall museum I have responsibility for minute books of older lodges going back to 1870's. these are stored in a fire safe but it is becoming full. CRO is a future possibility. does anyone know the costs of using this facility ?

kind regards
Chas

There may not be a cost but I'd recommend not mentioning 'storage' but classing the deposit in the light of local social history records on 'permanent loan'. That seems to get them excited. Before making any contact with your CRO, speak to the LibMus at GQS and get them to send you their advice sheets on this.


thanks, I will mention it at next MLMG meet in September
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby Trouillogan » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:39 am

forester wrote:
Trouillogan wrote:
forester wrote:Interesting to read the comments re storage - as secretary of my own lodge i have numerous books that currently follow me around. Also as curator of my hall museum I have responsibility for minute books of older lodges going back to 1870's. these are stored in a fire safe but it is becoming full. CRO is a future possibility. does anyone know the costs of using this facility ?

kind regards
Chas

There may not be a cost but I'd recommend not mentioning 'storage' but classing the deposit in the light of local social history records on 'permanent loan'. That seems to get them excited. Before making any contact with your CRO, speak to the LibMus at GQS and get them to send you their advice sheets on this.


thanks, I will mention it at next MLMG meet in September

May I suggest that you prepare the ground thoroughly first, before mentioning anything to anyone. The reason is that very few, if any, of the lodge members are likely to understand why lodge records need to be preserved; they get very nervous about putting them in the public domain, as they would see it. While technically they would be in the public domain, very few people spend time researching these sorts of records and, in any case, the GL LibMus advice enables you to put in place certain safeguards.

Just a few years ago there was some GL money available for conservation of records in poor condition. That might have run out now but it's worth asking the LibMus, if you have some in poor condition.
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Re: New Secretary - help!

Postby forester » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:58 pm

no drama, thanks for the update, am used to issues with this sort of thing & PMs :-)
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