Page 5 - Montana Freemason Feb 13
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Montana Freemason                February 2013          Volume 86 Number 1

There are, however, other factual positions that        I do find it necessary to address one particular
have not generally surfaced about this process and the item in more detail; the pretense that some
time leading up to the Tribunal. It is a fact that the funds were mishandled. The false accusation of
Jurisprudence Committee Chairman had informed mismanagement of funds by the Grand Secretary
RW Duffy, prior to his decision to fire the Grand was summarily dismissed at the Great Falls meeting
Secretary, that such action was a clear violation of the by the Grand Treasurer. The information in question
code and that RW Duffy did not have the authority to was the amount due for a bill that was incurred by
remove an elected officer. This recommendation was the Montana Masonic Foundation for architectural
ignored. It is also true that the firing of the elected drawings for a potential lodge room. It is a fact that
officer was being reviewed as a violation of wrongful the Executive Committee approved the motion (I will
discharge under Montana Code Annotated, which attest to this because I made the motion). It is also a
would make the Grand Lodge of Montana liable for fact that the bill came in at $6,000 from the firm, and
RW Duffy’s action. It was only the respect for our that the Grand Secretary contacted the architects and
Fraternity, held by the Grand Secretary, which staved had them change the amount to $3,000 because they
off this course of legal action.                         came in well over the motioned cost of $2,500. This
                                                               amount was paid for from two separate accounts, a
It is important to note that RW Duffy summoned not uncommon practice. The point is we paid the
the Grand Lodge Officers, Brother Prewett, and the bill, as Masons always do, and the Grand Secretary
Jurisprudence Committee to Great Falls for a special actually saved us money. All this process of simply
meeting in July. It is a fact that the duly elected and paying a bill for services rendered was twisted into a
installed Grand Secretary was not allowed to attend false charge, and it simply was not true as attested by
this meeting and speak on his behalf. Although I am the Grand Treasurer.
not a barrister, I would compare this to the suspension
of habeas corpus; not allowing a person to be           The Great Falls meeting also yielded a little
present when accused. At this meeting, there was no known fact that RW Duffy was again informed of the
evidence of wrongdoing presented, only opinions and pitfalls for him as Grand Master for violating the code
suppositions by the then Grand Master. One position through his actions. It was presented to RW Duffy by
taken was there were boxes in the Grand Lodge office Jurisprudence Committee members that he should
on the Tuesday after the Grand Lodge session was reinstate the Grand Secretary, with all rights and
completed. This is not evidence of guilt, but a clear privileges as installed, apologize for his actions, and
indication that the Grand Secretary had just returned ask the Junior Past Grand Master to contact the sitting
from session the day before and the materials had yet Masters to stave off the Tribunal and his removal. It is
to be stored or returned to other locales. Other similar a fact that RW Duffy openly refused this advice from
positions were put forth, without any evidence or fact. Jurisprudence. Similar attempts were also made by
Another example of supposed misconduct was too counsel, representing accusing masters, which were
many pine needles on the roof of the building. This also not accepted by RW Duffy.
is not the duty of the Grand Secretary to be on a roof
inspecting pine needle accumulation. However, it is     The next step in this chronology was the Tribunal
noteworthy to point out that the roof of the building which resulted in the unanimous guilty verdict on all
is inspected on a routine schedule for repair. I could, five counts, and the removal of RW Duffy as Grand
and will if necessary, go on ad nauseam to dispel each Master according to the protocols of our Code. The
and every manufactured accusation. The truth is, Tribunal was recorded by a professional stenographer,
nothing of evidence was presented at this meeting, rather than the Grand Secretary as specified by the
or subsequent thereto, even though the Grand Lodge Code, because of the existing uncertainty of who was
office was thoroughly searched for almost a month. the Grand Secretary and to avoid the appearance of
There was nothing to be found in the first place.       bias if Brother Reid were to conduct the recordings. I
                                                        approved this as Deputy Grand Master in order to have
                                                        an accurate, unbiased recording of the proceedings. I

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