COMPOSITION AND GOVERNANCE OF THE SOVEREIGN GRAND LODGE OF MALTA:
1.1. The Governance of Craft Lodges practicing Symbolic Masonry within the Republic of Malta is vested solely in the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta AF & AM hereinafter referred to as 'Grand Lodge', which is composed of its Grand Master, Grand Officers, Past Grand Officers, and Masters and Wardens of its Subordinate Lodges. Nothing in this Constitution shall be interpreted as derogating from the powers inherent in the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta. Except for the improbable effectuation of Law 30, such powers are vested in the Office of the Most Worshipful The Grand Master as the highest recognised Masonic authority. Consequently, all boards, committees, tribunals, and any other bodies, are deemed to be of an advisory nature only. Any decisions taken by the said bodies are likewise of an advisory nature until ratified by Grand Lodge. All members of Grand Lodge shall be subscribing members of a Subordinate Lodge warranted by Grand Lodge. Honorary Grand rank held by Brethren of Founding Lodges immediately before the formation of this Grand Lodge shall be honoured with equivalent Honorary Grand rank in this Grand Lodge.
2.Members of Grand Lodge shall rank in the following order:
Most Worshipful The Grand Master
Most Worshipful Past Grand Masters
Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master
Right Worshipful Past Deputy Grand Masters
Right Worshipful Assistant Grand Masters
Right Worshipful Past Assistant Grand Masters
Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden
Right Worshipful Past Senior Grand Wardens
Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden
Right Worshipful Past Junior Grand Wardens
Right Worshipful Grand Secretary
Right Worshipful Past Grand Secretaries
Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Secretary
Right Worshipful Past Deputy Grand Secretaries
Right Worshipful Grand Treasurer
Right Worshipful Past Grand Treasurers
Right Worshipfil Grand Chancellor
Right Worshipfil Past Grand Chancellors
Right Worshipful Grand Director of Ceremonies
Right Worshipful Past Grand Directors of Ceremonies
Right Worshipful Grand Chaplain
Right Worshipful Past Grand Chaplains
Very Worshipful Senior Grand Deacon
Very Worshipful Junior Grand Deacon
Very Worshipful Past Grand Deacons
Very Worshipful Grand Sword Bearer
Very Worshipful Past Grand Sword Bearers
Very Worshipful Grand Superintendent of Works,
Very Worshipful Past Grand Superintendents of Works
Very Worshipful Grand Charity Steward
Very Worshipful Past Grand Charity Stewards
Very Worshipful Grand Steward
Very Worshipful Past Grand Stewards
Very Worshipful Grand Standard Bearers
Very Worshipful Past Grand Standard Bearers
Very Worshipful Grand Almoner
Very Worshipful Past Grand Almoners
Very Worshipful Grand Inner Guard
Very Worshipful Past Grand Inner Guards
Very Worshipful Grand Organist
Very Worshipful Past Grand Organists
Very Worshipful Grand Tyler
Very Worshipful Past Grand Tylers
Worshipful Masters and Wardens of every Subordinate Lodge.
2.Grand Lodge shall meet always in the Republic of Malta for the despatch of business on the third Saturday in the months of April (semi-Annual Communication) and November (Annual Communication) each year or on such other day and at such hour as The Grand Master, or in his absence the Deputy Grand Master, or in their absence an Assistant Grand Master may proclaim, and as may be occasioned by circumstance, and at other times when duly summoned.Grand Officers elected for appointment for the ensuing years shall be proclaimed and saluted at the November Annual Communication of Grand Lodge.Grand Lodge shall be opened in the Third Degree, but The Grand Master may direct otherwise provided always that due notice has been given.
3.At each Communication Grand Lodge shall be opened and ruled by The Grand Master or in his absence by the Deputy Grand Master or in his absence by an Assistant Grand Master or in his absence by that member of Grand Lodge then present who shall be next in order of precedence according to Law 1.2
4.Attendance at Grand Lodge Communications of other than Grand Lodge members shall be at the sole discretion of the Presiding Officer. Such Brothers shall have no voting rights and may address the Chair only with the permission of the Presiding Officer.
5.Attendees at Grand Lodge Communications shall, before entering, sign their name in the book provided.
6.Every Brother attending Grand Lodge or a Subordinate Lodge shall wear the Apron, Collar and Jewel appropriate to his rank and no member of Grand Lodge or of any Subordinate Lodge or visitor thereto shall be permitted to wear any insignia belonging to any Order or Degree beyond that of a Master Mason in which the Jewel of a Past Master is included. Foreign Grand Lodge Representatives may wear the insignia of the Grand Lodges they represent.
7.Grand Officers, Past Grand Officers, and Honorary Past Grand Officers shall wear regalia in gold. Masters and Wardens of Subordinate Lodges shall wear regalia in silver.
8.The wearing of evening dress and white gloves at Grand Lodge Communications is obligatory for all members of Grand Lodge, including Honorary Past Grand Officers.
9.Grand Lodge Communication procedures shall normally be in the following sequence:
The Grand Secretary shall:
- ascertain the representation of Subordinate Lodges and receive apologies for absence,
- offer the Minutes of the last Communication to be taken 'as read' and, subject to approval or the hearing of amendments, have themsubmitted for signature by the Presiding Officer,
- receive and record motions of which due notice has been given.
The President of the Board of General Purposes shall then:
- report on the proceedings of the Board,
- put forward its recommendations for adoption by Grand Lodge.
The Grand Treasurer shall then:
- present his financial report and receive arising questions,
- put forward the financial report for adoption by Grand Lodge,
- have them submitted for signature by the Presiding Officer.
The Grand Secretary shall then:
- present his report and receive arising questions,
- report on Foreign Relations,
- receive written notices of motions addressed to the Board of General Purposes by members of Grand Lodge.
The Most Worshipful The Grand Master at his pleasure may:
- address Grand Lodge,
- carry out investitures and appointments,
- acknowledge and welcome visitors.
9a.Grand Lodge reserves to itself the power of hearing and determining all applications and petitions that it may deem proper whether or not previously submitted to the Board of General Purposes.
10.Differences between Subordinate Lodges and/or Brethren, not dealt with under Law 25, may be referred in writing for determination by the Board of General Purposes. Any Subordinate Lodge or Brother aggrieved by a decision may appeal to Grand Lodge. Such appeal shall be made in writing, couched in proper and respectful language, and be delivered to the Grand Secretary within 30 days of the date of advice of the Board of General Purposes decision.
11.Motions considered by Grand Lodge shall be determined by a majority vote of voting members, subject only that the Presiding Officer shall have an additional casting vote in the event of equal voting.
12. Annual Returns and Payments, properly due to Grand Lodge by Subordinate Lodges, and remaining unfulfilled beyond the 31st of March shall disqualify such Subordinate Lodges from exercising their votes or serving on any board or committee of Grand Lodge.
13.A Brother shall always stand whilst addressing the Chair and shall suffer no interruption other than being called to order by the Presiding Officer or by special motion to Order.
14.A Brother shall not be at liberty to speak more than once on the same motion, unless in explanation or reply, or when called upon by the Presiding Officer. If any Brother behaves in Grand Lodge in such a manner as to disturb the harmony of Grand Lodge he shall be formally admonished by the Presiding Officer and if he persists in his irregular conduct he shall be excluded for the remainder of the meeting on the majority vote of the members present.
15.A notice for the enactment of a new Law or for the alteration or repeal of an existing Law shall be entertained at any Communication of Grand Lodge; provided that due notice thereof in writing shall have been given; such notice shall be printed in the summons for those Communications and a copy of such summons shall be sent to the Secretaries of Subordinate Lodges at least ten days before the next Communication. However, the Grand Officer who is to preside, having received prior notice of a matter and deeming it to be of pressing urgency, may agree, prior to any Communication of Grand Lodge, to admit such matter for discussion and resolution.
16.Following the Communication of Grand Lodge, Lodge Secretaries shall be
advised of any Notices relating to any alterations or additions to these Laws, together with the appointment of Grand Representatives near foreign Grand Lodges, and Appeals from Subordinate Lodges or Brethren.
17.A discretionary power is vested in the Presiding Officer of rejecting, at the time of its being handed in, any notice of motion, if such shall be deemed by him improper, unlawful, or inconsistent with the Ancient Landmarks.
18.Any motion, the substance of which Grand Lodge has already considered and decided upon, shall not be again brought forward or otherwise discussed until after the lapse of six months from the date of such decision.
19.In the absence of the proposer or his nominee to move a motion it shall be agreeable for any other member of Grand Lodge to move the motion as if he had originally given notice thereof only should Grand Lodge not consent to a postponement.
20.Any communication from a Subordinate Lodge submitted to Grand Lodge shall be signed by the Master and Secretary, and have the Lodge Seal affixed.
21.1.Proceedings or any comment thereon or reference thereto, of Grand Lodge or of a Subordinate Lodge or of any Masonic committee or other body, shall be published externally only with the prior written permission of the Grand Â Master.
2.Grand Lodge shall donate annually to such charities as it shall from time to time decide. Such donations shall be the subject of motion Â annually in Grand Lodge.
3.The financial accounts of Grand Lodge and the Grand Charity shall, as soon as possible following 31st December year-end audit and before 1st March Â annually, be printed and forwarded to Subordinate Lodges.
4.Full detail of all new Laws and a Report of the number of Subordinate Lodge Warrants issued, restored, suspended, or cancelled will be included with the annual distribution of Grand Lodge financial accounts
22.Neither the Grand Secretary nor the Grand Treasurer shall hold a similar office in a Subordinate Lodge.
23.1.Grand Lodge declares as unlawful in Malta any assembly or activity Â purporting to be Masonic under any title whatsoever which is without a Warrant or Constitution from Grand Lodge or other Masonic Grand Body Â which it recognises and is in Masonic union.
2.Grand Lodge, cognisant of the counsel of the Board of General of Purposes may suspend or impose such penalty as it may determine upon any member of a Subordinate Lodge who joins, takes membership of or takes Â part in any activity of any body or society purporting to be Masonic but which is without Warrant or Constitution from Grand Lodge or other Â Masonic body which it recognises and is in Masonic union
3.Grand Lodge prohibits any response by its Subordinate Lodges or members thereof as to the standing of a member or in reply to enquiry from any non-recognised Body.
4.Grand Lodge prohibits discussions of matters religious or political in any Â Masonic assembly on any pretense whatever.
24.Grand Lodge Officers shall wear their chains of Office at Grand Lodge assembled and when forming part of a Grand Lodge delegation, unless specifically authorised otherwise by Â the Board of General Purposes or being specifically ordered to represent The Grand Master.
25. Any charge, accusation or indictment which seeks the cancellation of a Subordinate Lodge Warrant or the exclusion or expulsion of any Brother of this Sovereign Grand Lodge shall be formally pursued immediately following the receipt of such charge in writing by the Office of the Grand Secretary. On receipt of such a charge the Grand Secretary shall advise the Deputy Grand Master and the President of the Board of General Purposes who shall promptly convene an ad hoc Disciplinary Hearing Committee which shall comprise of the Deputy Grand Master as Chairman together with such member or members of the Board of General Purposes as the Chairman shall in his sole discretion decide.
This Committee shall be authorized to interview whomsoever and to consider whatsoever it deems appropriate in order to establish whether or not a prima facie case has been made and in so doing shall endeavour to resolve the charge or complaint to the mutual satisfaction of all parties and interests and failing which shall promptly inform its findings via the Office of the Grand Secretary for referral to the Board of General Purposes. The Deputy Grand Master, in consideration of the nature and circumstance of the indictment or charge, may seek the approval of The Grand Master that the Subordinate Lodge or Brother so charged be temporarily suspended from all Masonic activity until such time as The Grand Master in his sole discretion sees fit to lift the prohibition order.
- The Board of General Purposes shall consider the charge, accusation or indictment together with the findings of the ad hoc Disciplinary Hearing Committee and having decided that a prima facie case has been made shall
- cause the Master of the Subordinate Lodge or the Brother so charged to be summoned to attend on a date and at a place designated to answer the charge before the Board of General Purposes or such committee thereof appointed for a Hearing, and
- require that the summons, which shall include details of the charge and the designated Hearing, be served personally or by registered post to the last known address of the Master of the Subordinate Lodge or the Brother so charged always requiring that there shall be a minimum of seven days between the date of serving or postal despatch and the designated Hearing, and
- on proof of serving of the summons and whether or not the Master of the Subordinate Lodge or the Brother choose to attend, require the Hearing as specified at the date and time designated to proceed with the object of considering all proofs or evidence or argument pertaining to the charge always allowing that the Hearing Chairman may adjourn proceedings to enable an equitable appraisal of the charge, and
- require thefindings of the Hearing in the form of a Report as to its perception of the facts, circumstances and evidence presented together with perceived guilt, innocence, responsibility or blame and its recommendations for disciplinary action, and
- prepare a full Report and Recommendations for consideration and deliberation at its next meeting for decision as deemed appropriate.
- The decision(s) of Grand Lodge in respect of a Subordinate Lodge or a Brother charged under this Law may be appealed by an aggrieved Subordinate Lodge or Brother within thirty days of the communication requesting a re-Hearing of the case by an Appeals Committee duly appointed for such purpose.
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