Page 17 - MFM Session Issue April 21
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Montana Freemason  April 2016  Volume 92 Number 3

                                   Grand Master’s Recommendation No. 2016-02
  A Grand Masters recommendation to amend Article V - Grand Lodge Officers, Section 510 -
  Elected and Appointed, of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of Montana so
  that the Deputy Grand Master is not the Grand Master- elect and requiring that the Grand
  Master be elected by ballot the same as the other elected Grand Lodge Officers.
Be it resolved that:
Section 510, of the Constitution be amended as follows:

510. ELECTED AND APPOINTED. The Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Senior Grand Warden,
Junior Grand Warden, Grand Treasurer and Grand Secretary shall be elected by ballot at each annual
communication. Each installed Deputy Grand Master shall be considered the Grand Master-elect and
will be installed as Most Worshipful Grand Master at the succeeding Annual Communication. Should the
Deputy Grand Master (Grand Master-elect) be unable, for any reason, to be installed in the office of Most
Worshipful Grand Master, there shall be elected by ballot from the brethren who are eligible, a Grand
Master, in addition to the other elected Grand Officers. A majority of the votes cast shall be necessary for
an election. All other Grand Lodge Officers shall be appointed by the Grand Master.

Grand Master’s Explanation of GMR-2016-02:
In 2005, when this recommendation was adopted, the then Grand Master’s primary Rationale was ‘This
would make it possible for the Deputy Grand Master to present the programs he has put into the five year
plan and into Montana Masonry into the hands of the craft earlier.’ There was concern that the Deputy
Grand Master could not, with full confidence, commit to making arrangements, i.e. hotel, entertainment,
speakers, and so forth. We have since discovered that such is not the case. There are no good arguments for
having this in place, and problems have subsequently arisen by it. In addition, there are no provisions in our
CODE to address a variety of possible scenarios such as: What happens if the Deputy Grand Master dies
or is incapacitated ? What if he takes a tyrannical stance on important issues because he knows he can’t be
‘unelected’? Other Jurisdictions have experienced serious problems arising from the Deputy Grand Masters
automatically becoming Grand Master Elects and, as a result, have subsequently removed it from their
Code. Quite simply, Grand Masters should stand for election, just like everyone else. For these reasons, I
recommend this amendment be passed.

         “There is one, and only one Masonic way to seek office and that is by best deserving
         it. Office gained and held by merit is an honor to the bearer, and to those who bestow
         it, otherwise a dishonor…There is more satisfying enjoyment to the well balanced and
         trained soul in deserving success, though not attained, than anyone can feel by attaining it
         undeserved.”

                                                             - Cornelius Hedges, MWPGM
                                                              Grand Secretary of Montana 1872-1907

Committee on Jurisprudence Comments:
This resolution seeks to remove from the newly elected Deputy Grand Master the automatic conferral
of the right of succession to Grand Master by being designated as the Grand Master-elect. As such, the
Grand Master would be required to be elected by ballot at each annual communication, just as would the
other elected Grand Lodge officers.
This Recommendation seeks to amend the Constitution. Agreeable to Article VIII, Section 810, the
proposed Constitutional Amendment would need to be referred to a special committee for review. The
committee can make corrections, substantive amendments or a substitute Constitutional amendment that
does not change the recommendation’s intent. That committee shall report back to the members with their
recommendation. If the proposed Constitutional amendment and any amendments to it or a substitute
Constitutional amendment is approved by a majority (50% + 1 vote) it is then referred to the Committee
on Jurisprudence to report on at the next annual communication. A three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote at
that subsequent communication is required for adoption.
If GMR-2016-02 passes it would be necessary for companion legislation CJ-2016-02 to be considered
in order to bring the Code and Constitution into compliance. If Resolution R-2016-03 is defeated,
companion legislation CJ-2016-02 would be withdrawn.

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