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Masonic Notes

The Master of each Lodge shall cause a copy of the summons of every meeting of the Lodge to be forwarded to the Provincial Office, at the same time as they are forwarded to Members of the Lodge. Where upon approval it will be sent to Provincial Grand Master, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and the Provincial Grand Secretary. (By-Law 17)
Except as above:
All Applications or Communications to the Provincial Grand Master shall be made through the Provincial Grand Secretary.
Any application or communication a Brother may wish to make to Grand Lodge, or to the Grand Secretary, must not be sent direct, but must be made through the Provincial Grand Secretary.
The RW Provincial Grand Master wishes it to be known that he does NOT approve of modern Lodges adopting work or customs peculiar to certain old established Lodges, even if such be a sponsoring Lodge. The work to be adopted by any new Lodge should, in his view, follow one of the generally recognised rituals. It is most undesirable that elements of more than one ritual should be used in combination.
The Masonic Charitable Foundation: Information regarding The Masonic Charitable Foundation is published elsewhere in this yearbook. Lodges are reminded of the arrangements for supporting the foundation are as outlined by the Provincial Grand Master.
The Norfolk Freemasons Charitable Fund (Incorporating the “Le Strange” Fund) is our own Provincial Charity and it has proved invaluable in supporting many needy cases both in and of the Province. It is at the personal disposal of the Provincial Grand Master, for use in immediate and particularly confidential cases. These funds rely on the support of Norfolk Lodges, Chapters and other Degrees within the Province and each is invited to make a regular contribution of 20% of its Annual Charitable Income to the NFCF. (The Norfolk Freemasons Charitable Fund)
The Provincial Wardens, Treasurer, Almoner and Charity Steward are appointed jointly to act as Provincial Representatives for the propagation of knowledge of the Charities in general, the Norfolk Freemasons Charitable Fund in particular and the raising of monies for this purpose, as directed by the Provincial Grand Master. The Provincial Charities Committee Chairman will act as the co-ordinating Steward for all the Charities.

  1. Antient Charges: Masters of Lodges are reminded of their duty to bring the Antient Charges before the Brethren of their Lodge.
  2. Ballot: The election of Candidates for Initiation, Joining and Honorary Membership, must, without exception, be carried out by ballot. The ballot must not be left in the hands of the Worshipful Master (Rules 112, 159 and 163, Book of Constitutions).
  3. Book of Constitutions: It is a commendable practice for the Lodge to present a copy, suitably inscribed, to each newly-installed Master.
  4. By-Laws: All new Lodges should adopt the specimen form of By-Laws issued by Grand Lodge. When any alteration is required to By-Laws of older Lodges which have not yet adopted the specimen form, the opportunity to do so should be taken. This form covers all essentials and its adoption saves trouble to all concerned (see section at the end of ‘Masonic Notes’ regarding alterations)
  5. Candidates: A candidate should not be accepted for Initiation, where his usual place of residence and of business are both in another Province, in a district abroad, in London, or in an area under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland, until enquiries have been made through the Provincial Grand Secretary for transmission to the Provincial or District Grand Secretary concerned, or to the Grand Secretary, as the occasion may demand (Rules 158, 159 and 161, Book of Constitutions).
    The dates of proposal of a Candidate for Initiation and of proposal of a Candidate for Joining, or Re-Joining, together with the other particulars specified in Rule 164, must be set out in the summons for the meeting at which the ballot is to take place, and the full names of the candidate and date of his election must be given in the summons for the meeting at which he is to be initiated. The particulars inserted in the printed form of application must be read out in Open Lodge immediately before the ballot is taken (Rules 159 and 164, Book of Constitutions).
    Not more than two candidates can be Initiated, or Passed, or Raised at a Lodge Meeting, unless Dispensation has been obtained from the Provincial Grand Master (Rule 168, Book of Constitutions).
    A Lewis is the son of a Mason. He cannot claim any special privilege, other than that, should more than one candidate be initiated at the same time as himself, he can claim seniority during the ceremony. He cannot claim priority over any candidate on a waiting list, or who may have been proposed before him, but must take his due place on the rota, in accordance with the actual date his proposal is received.
  6. Collars: In every case there shall be appended to the chain or collar the jewel appropriate to the office or rank to which such chain or collar relates, and no other (Rule 254, Book of Constitutions). It is not in order for a Grand Officer involved with both Grand Rank and Provincial Grand Rank to attach a Provincial Grand Rank jewel to a Grand Rank collar. He should either wear both collars with the appropriate jewel attached to each, or his Grand Rank apron with the Provincial collar and jewel. A Grand Officer or a Provincial Grand Officer holding office in a private lodge may find it convenient to wear the Lodge collar without the other and this is in order. If he wishes to wear both, the Lodge collar should be on top, with the appropriate jewel attached to each.When two collars are worn, the practice of bringing up the jewel of the one worn underneath, so that it hangs over the top collar is not in order. Both collars should be worn full length.
  7. Communications from Grand Lodge: Masters of Lodges and Secretaries are reminded that it is their duty to keep the Brethren informed of the proceedings of Grand Lodge. The first Rising is a suitable time for informing the brethren of other communications from Grand Lodge.
  8. Directors of Ceremonies: See separate section (page 34)
  9. Dispensation: When a Lodge Meeting is held under a Dispensation, the Lodge must be informed that one has been received immediately after the Lodge is opened and it must be recorded in the Minutes accordingly. Occasions for which Dispensations are required will be found in the Book of Constitutions.
  10. Dress: Morning suit (short jacket) or dark lounge suit, white shirt, craft, provincial or black tie and black shoes are regarded to be a mark of respect for your Lodge, or any Lodge when visiting, as well as to the Craft in general and it is desired that they should be the standard of dress for all brethren when attending Lodge Meetings; except when dinner jacket is specified by the Lodge and is indicated on an invitation card. When gloves are worn at Lodge Meetings, they should be worn by all present at all times, except by candidates for the three Degrees and by the Master Elect when taking his Obligation. They should not be removed by the Master, Wardens, or others in the course of entrusting or examining candidates, or when investing officers.
  11. Election of Master and Treasurer: If there be only single nominations for these offices, the nominees may be declared elected, unless a ballot is demanded.
  12. Emergency Lodge Meetings: A Lodge of Emergency must not be summoned without a Dispensation (Rule 140, Book of Constitutions). A candidate must not be proposed or balloted for at a Lodge of Emergency, except as in Rule 160, Book of Constitutions, nor must a Joining Member be proposed or balloted for at any Emergency Lodge. Minutes must not be read or confirmed, nor are there any ‘Risings’.
  13. Entering Lodge: On entering the Lodge for the first time, Brethren should Salute from the left of the Senior Warden, giving the full signs in each Degree up to that in which the Lodge is working.
  14. Envelopes and Postcards: The Masonic rank or title of the person addressed should never appear on the outside of any envelope, postcard or wrapper. Communications of a private nature should be in sealed envelopes.
  15. Gavel: The heavy or frequent use of the Gavel is most objectionable. Except during a ceremony, when it should be used lightly, the gavel should only be used to preserve order. At the Festive Board the Master should not part with his Gavel when another brother proposes a toast.
  16. Gloves: See under ‘10. Dress’
  17. Grace: It is improper to give any sign when Grace is said.
  18. Grand Rank: It is neither necessary nor desirable to add ‘Eng’ or (Eng) after the abbreviations for Grand Rank. The expression ‘Grand Lodge Officers’ is incorrect; it should be ‘Grand Officers’ when speaking of members of the Grand Lodge.
  19. Greetings: See under ‘35. Risings and Greetings’
  20. Immediate Past Master: The Immediate Past Master, as such, is not an officer of the Lodge. He holds his position and responsibilities by virtue of his Mastership and retains that position until a succeeding Master becomes Immediate Past Master. He reoccupies the position if such succeeding Master should die, or cease to be a member of the Lodge while holding the position of Immediate Past Master. Should the Immediate Past Master be not present, the senior Past Master shall occupy the position of Immediate Past Master. When entering the Lodge, the Immediate Past Master and the Chaplain take precedence immediately in front of the Provincial Grand Officers and, when leaving, immediately following them.
  21. Invitations: Any member of a Lodge wishing to invite a guest, should give to his Lodge Secretary, the name, address and Masonic Rank of such guest, together with the name and number of the Lodge of which he is, or has been, a member. A reply to an invitation is essential and should be sent promptly, to enable secretaries to make appropriate arrangements.
  22. Installation: See under ’27. Masters’
  23. Jewels: No Masonic jewel, medal, device, or emblem shall be worn in the Grand Lodge, or any subordinate Lodge, unless it appertains to, or is consistent with, those degrees which are recognised and acknowledged by the Grand Lodge in the preliminary declaration to these Rules, as part of pure Antient Masonry, and has been approved or allowed by the Grand Master (Rule 241, Book of Constitutions). No jewel may be pinned to, or fixed to, a Grand Officer’s collar (unless especially authorised by the Grand Master), neither should it be pinned, or fixed, to any collar. Such jewels as are authorised to be worn should be pinned to the left breast in the following order, (from the centre): Past Master, Founder, Centenary, Royal Arch (of the Order), Chapter Centenary, Grand Charity, Masonic Hospital Commemorative Steward (Permanent), Steward (of the year).
  24. Lewis: See under ‘5. Candidate’
  25. Lodges, Precedence of: Lodges rank in precedence in the order of their numbers, as registered in the books of Grand Lodge. Every Lodge has a local as well as a general rank. The seniority of Lodges in their respective Province is determined by the date of their registry in the books of the Provincial Grand Lodge. The only exception to the foregoing is the Grand Stewards Lodge, which does not have a number and heads the list of all Lodges. (Rules 99 and 100, Book of Constitutions).
  26. Masonic Abbreviations: The rank of a present Provincial Grand Officer should be described as ‘Prov.’ and not as ‘P’. Past Provincial Rank may be described as ‘PProv’ (held Active Rank), or ‘PP’ (Appointed to a Past Rank). When an Active Provincial Warden or Deacon has completed his year of office, the initial letters ‘S’ or ‘J’ should continue to be included in the abbreviation. This also applies to the Past Provincial Ranks of Warden or Deacon.
  27. Masters – Installation of Master: The agenda of meetings for (a) ‘Election’ and (b) ‘Installation’, should state simply (a) ‘To Elect a Master’, and (b) ‘To Install the Master Elect’. The title of Worshipful Master should not be used for the incoming Master until after the Installation. When the Warrant of the Lodge is given into the keeping of the Master, he should stand, as he is being entrusted with property belonging to the MW The Grand Master. Installation of a Past Master: The qualifications and Antient Charges, etc., need not be recited to the ME, but he must verbally re-assert his acceptance and promise regarding them. The Obligation as to the Master’s duties must be recited by the ME alone. Guidance as to the ceremony can be obtained from the Provincial Grand Secretary. A Master continuing for a second year is announced as being re-elected and, instead of Installation, he is proclaimed once by the DC and proceeds to appoint and invest his officers. Past Masters: When the Master vacates the chair temporarily for a PM to perform a ceremony, the latter must not be invested with the Master’s collar, but must be clothed according to his rank; similarly this applies to PMs acting as Wardens and Inner Guard during the Installation of a new Master. At other times, a PM or Brother, filling an office as a substitute, should wear the collar of the office he is filling. Past Masters should wear their collars at all times.
  28. Officers: The Regular Officers of a Lodge are: The Master, Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, Deacons, Inner Guard and Tyler. A Brother cannot hold more than one regular office in the Lodge at one and the same time, but the Master must appoint an Almoner and a Charity Steward and may appoint additional officers, i.e., a Chaplain, DC, Mentor, ADC, Organist, Assistant Secretary and Stewards, but no other (Rule 104, Book of Constitutions). The Master or Wardens, only, of Private Lodges should wear their collars of office when representing their Lodges in the Grand Lodge, or in the Provincial Grand Lodge; the collars of all other officers of a private Lodge are worn only in their own Lodges, and all officers should conform to Rules 263 and 264, Book of Constitutions (but see Past Masters).
  29. Opening Ode: Brethren should not make any sign at certain words.
  30. Promotions: After any Grand Officer or Provincial Grand Officer receives promotion, the letters showing the higher rank only should be given after his name.
  31. Provincial Year Book: Every brother must receive a copy of the Provincial Year Book through his Lodge. The By-Laws of Provincial Grand Lodge are printed therein.
  32. Regular Meetings: Every meeting called for by the By-Laws must be summoned and held upon the specified day, except as provided for in Rule 139, Book of Constitutions.
  33. ‘Reigning’ Masters: Only the Grand Master and Provincial and District Grand Masters are said to occupy thrones; Masters of Lodges are installed in the ‘Master’s Chair’, therefore they should never be called ‘Reigning Masters’. The Master of a Lodge should be described as ‘Master’ or ‘Worshipful Master’; collectively as ‘Masters of (Other) Lodges’. A Brother should never be addressed as ‘Sir’ or ‘Worshipful Sir’.
  34. Resuming: A Lodge may resume from one Degree to another in any order, providing it has previously been opened and not subsequently closed, in the Degree in which it wishes to work. When doing this the Master should say, “I resume the Lodge in the ….. Degree”. A Lodge may be resumed in the Second or First Degree and then closed.
  35. Risings and Greetings: On the ‘First Rising’, communications from Grand Lodge are reported to the Brethren; on the ‘Second Rising’, those from Provincial Grand Lodge. On the ‘Third Rising’, after propositions, visitors, if qualified to do so, may give greetings. Such visitors are Masters of Lodges, but when a Master is not present, the senior member present of his Lodge, who has been authorised to do so. Only the Master or other member conveying the greetings should rise.  A member of a Lodge should not give greetings in his own Lodge as representative of another Lodge, unless he is the Worshipful Master of that (other) Lodge. In this Province it is unacceptable to;

    Give greetings from more than one Lodge, “whilst I’m on my feet” Pre address the greetings with words like “I bring hearty congratulations from ….”, or “I bring many congratulations from ….”, etc The correct address is “Greetings Worshipful Master from …. then give Lodge Name and number” which incidentally should correspond with the same as signed in the Visitors book. Brethren of other Provinces may well prefix their greetings and that should be respected accordingly.
  36. Royal Arch: It is important that every Brother taking his first office in a Lodge understands the whole structure and teaching of Craft Masonry by becoming a Companion. It is particularly so for Brethren who are installed as Worshipful Master of a Lodge. Royal Arch Masons are reminded that they should regard it as a duty to bring the Order to the notice of Master Masons. Every Lodge has a Royal Arch Representative named on its Summons, whose task is to highlight the Holy Royal Arch as the final step in Pure, Antient, Freemasonry. Becoming a Companion of the Order is not an add-on , it enables a Brother to become the complete Mason. The Royal Arch Representative has full details of how to join and will answer any questions put to him.
  37. Secretaries and Scribes E: See separate section (page 36)
  38. Toasts: The Loyal Toast is the first toast, i.e., ‘The Queen and the Craft’, and will follow the playing of the National Anthem.
  39. ‘Tyler’s Toast’: by long custom the Tyler has the right to give the last toast. The correct wording is, ‘To all poor and distressed Masons, wherever dispersed over the face of earth or water, wishing them a speedy relief from all their sufferings and a safe return to their native country should they so desire.’ (Antient Charge)
  40. Visitors: Nobody may be admitted into a Lodge unless vouched for by one of the Brethren present, or until after due examination, with production of his Grand Lodge Certificate, if required. As this certificate is only issued to Master Masons, it is not desirable that an Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft should attend Lodges other than his own, unless accompanied by a Brother who can vouch for him. When a visitor is from another jurisdiction, all requirements of Rule 125 must be carried out, (Rules 125, 126 and 127, Book of Constitutions).
  41. Vocal Music: Hymns, anthems or other vocal music should not be sung during the ceremonies, except as definitely provided for in ceremonies such as Consecrations.
  42. Working Tools: It is considered best practice to present the working tools in full on the appropriate occasion unless the Ritual practice states otherwise.

To Directors of Ceremonies
Reception of The Provincial Grand Master, The Deputy Provincial Grand Master and The Assistant Provincial Grand Masters.
No special arrangements are necessary when the Provincial Grand Master, (or his Deputy or Assistant), visits a Lodge and elects to enter with the WM. He has the choice of either opening the Lodge himself, or permitting the WM to do so, but when the WM opens the Lodge he should, immediately after the Lodge is opened and without leaving his place, offer the Gavel to the Provincial Grand Master (or his Deputy or Assistant). After the Brethren are seated, he will be saluted in the usual way.
When the Provincial Grand Master enters after the Lodge has been opened, the procedure will depend on whether or not the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies is officially present.
Either, if the ProvG.D.C. is present, he should request admission and, on being admitted, he should salute the WM and say, “WM, the RW Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Norfolk is in attendance and demands admission”.
Or, if the ProvG.D.C. is not present, the Tyler should announce to the IG, “The RW Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Norfolk is in attendance and demands admission”.
The WM should then direct the Lodge DC to select a deputation of six of the senior Provincial Grand Officers (preferably of the year) present to accompany him and his Assistant from the Lodge. Seniors should be called out first and the procession should turn about outside the door of the Lodge, so that juniors are leading on the return, with the exception of the ADC, who should lead out and in. Immediately the Provincial Grand Master has reached his place, and while the Brethren are still standing and the procession not dispersed, the WM should offer the Gavel from the Chair and so be in a position to hand the Provincial Grand Master into the Chair, should the Gavel be retained. (When offering the Gavel, the word “please” should be used rather than “condescend.”) All the Brethren, including the procession, should be seated before being called to order to salute the Provincial Grand Master.
If the Provincial Grand Master leaves before the Lodge is closed, he should be escorted from the Lodge in a similar manner, with juniors leading.
In this instruction, reference to the Provincial Grand Master is to be taken to include the Deputy or an Assistant Provincial Grand Master and reference to the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies is to be taken to include a Deputy or Assistant Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, if attending in an official capacity.
By arrangement, some of the above functions may be carried out by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies in place of the Lodge DC.
The Provincial Grand Master should be described as “for” the Province and the Deputy/Assistant Provincial Grand Master(s) “of” the Province.
Salutes, Grand Lodge:
Grand Master, Pro Grand Master and Past GM     11
Deputy and Assistant Grand Master and Past Deputy
and Past Assistant Grand Master    9
Other RW Brethren   7
VW Brethren    5
W Brethren 3
Salutes, Provincial Grand Lodge:
Provincial Grand Master and PProvGM    7
DepProvGM and PDepProvGM   5
AsstProvGM and PAsstProvGM   5
Provincial Grand Officers   3

In this Province it is customary to salute Provincial Grand Officers only on their investiture, or when visiting a Lodge at the request of the Provincial Grand Master. No Brother, whilst acting in a higher Office, may receive a salute other than that to which he is personally entitled.

Before the D.C. calls on the Brethren for a Salute, he should announce who is to be saluted and the salutes to be given. As an act of courtesy, the Brethren should stand to order when Grand Officers enter or leave the Lodge.

The Provincial Grand Master, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master and the Assistant Provincial Grand Masters should be seated on the immediate right of the Master.

Grand Officers should be seated on the Master’s right next to the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, followed by the Holders of the Provincial Grand Master’s Certificate of Merit, then the Active Provincial Grand Officers.

The Past Masters of the Lodge should be seated on the left of the Master, the IPM first and the others in order of rank, seniors first, except that the Chaplain (if any) should be seated on the left of the Master, immediately after the IPM.

When the Master vacates the Chair for a Past Master to preside, the Master should sit on the immediate left of the Chair.

When the heads of the Province are absent, but the Provincial Grand Master has requested that one of his present or past Provincial Grand Officers (usually a Provincial Grand Warden or the Provincial Grand Secretary) attend a Lodge Installation Meeting, they will be accompanied by a Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. The representative of the Provincial Grand Master will be escorted into the Lodge and saluted with three by the Brethren present. Before the Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies calls on the Brethren to salute he will announce that the Brother attends “at the behest and by the direction of the Provincial Grand Master”. He will be seated on the immediate right of the Master. In neither case does such Brother have the right to the Master’s Gavel, nor the right to preside. At the conclusion of the meeting the Brother does NOT accompany the Master out of the Lodge, but retires behind the Master and the Lodge Wardens. When a Provincial Grand Officer attends a Lodge to appeal for charity, he should be seated after the Grand Officers and not saluted.

Should the Provincial Grand Master, or his Deputy or his Assistant, preside in any Lodge, the Provincial Grand Wardens, if present and so commanded, shall act as Wardens of the Lodge while he presides, but he may command the Wardens of the Lodge, or any Master Masons, to act as Wardens.

At an Installation, the Master Elect should remove his gloves after the opening in the 2nd Degree.

To Secretaries and Scribes E.

It is important that Returns to Grand Lodge (and Chapter) are made promptly, and that they, together with those made to Provincial Grand Lodge (and Chapter), should be accompanied by the correct Dues. It is strongly recommended that those responsible for making the annual returns should keep exact copies of the details forwarded, so that every member of the Lodge (or Chapter) may be properly accounted for in the following year.
Returns of Lodge (and Chapter) Master, Wardens and Past Masters (Principals and Past First Principals) to the Grand Secretary (Scribe E) and Provincial Grand Secretary (Scribe E) must be made immediately after the Installation Meeting, via the Provincial Office (Rule 151, Book of Constitutions).
Returns of Lodge (and Chapter) members with the Dues payable must reach the Grand Secretary (Scribe E) and Provincial Grand Secretary (Scribe E) within one month after the end of the Lodge (or Chapter) financial year. With the Return, proper fees and contributions shall be remitted in respect of every member whose name appears therein, irrespective of whether the subscription has been paid or not, via the Provincial Office, as provided in Rules 146, 147 and 149, Book of Constitutions.
In accordance with Provincial By-Law 15, the Provincial Office will require a written acknowledgement that the Lodge Accounts have been approved and signed by the appropriate body.
Should the subscription of a member remain unpaid for two full years, at the expiration of that period he shall cease to be a member of the Lodge (Chapter), which fact shall be reported at the next regular meeting, entered in the minutes and notified to the Grand Secretary (Scribe E) and the Provincial Grand Secretary (Scribe E) (Rule 148, Book of Constitutions).
In issuing a Clearance Certificate under Rule 175, Book of Constitutions, Secretaries must see that the certificate shall state whether the Brother ceased to be a member by exclusion, resignation or discipline together with the date and circumstances thereof, and whether he was at the time indebted to the Lodge, and if so whether and at what time such indebtedness was discharged by him.
Alteration to By-Laws: A Lodge (Chapter) wishing to alter its by-laws must carry out the following procedure: Notice shall be given in open Lodge (Chapter) of the intended alteration.
At the next Regular Meeting, the proposed alteration having been printed on the summons, such alteration shall be proposed, seconded and voted on.
Subject to the alteration being agreed by the Lodge (Chapter), there shall be sent to the Provincial Grand Secretary (Provincial Grand Scribe E) three copies of the resolution, accompanied by a request for approval by the Provincial Grand Master (Grand Superintendent) and the Grand Master (First Grand Principal).
No alteration shall come into operation until the aforementioned approval has been received by the Lodge (Chapter).