LOUISIANA GRAND CHAPTER
Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter
Constitution and By-Laws
Article. 1 Name
This organization shall be known as The Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter. The Widows Sons are a non-profit organization. The Louisiana Grand Chapter meeting place will be decided upon by and announced to the membership.
The Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter shall be the parent chapter for all Widows Sons “Affiliate Chapters” in the State of Louisiana, and shall have jurisdiction over membership of any and all Louisiana affiliate chapters as described in this constitution.
The Right for chapter chartering throughout the State of Louisiana is reserved for future consideration by The Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter.
The Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter reserves all rights to issue or deny any and all use of any future copyrighted Widows Sons patch and or logos and trademarks to any chapter that has been designated a charter by the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter and reserves the right to revoke the charter or copyrighted patches of any chapter(s) and/or members to which a patch has been issued within the boundaries of the State of Louisiana, or by whom violates the bylaws of THE MOST WORSHIPFUL GRAND LODGE OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA, F. & A. M. and or the bylaws of The Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter, or governs themselves in an un-Masonic manner, and/or brings disgrace to or embarrassment to any chapter of The Widows Sons or any Blue Lodge, THE MOST WORSHIPFUL GRAND LODGE OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA, F. & A. M. or any other Masonic body.
Article 2. Purpose
It shall be the goal and the objective of The Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter to create a Widows Fund and use it to contribute to the aid and relief of widows of Master Masons, to encourage their membership to remain in good standing in the records of their blue lodge, to engage in proper conduct, and reasonable legal activities to persuade the public opinion of the desirability of The Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter. It shall be the objective of the Louisiana Grand Chapter to obtain proper, reasonable and legal means whereby we may protect the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter from any threat caused by person(s) outside or within any chapter. It shall be the objective of any and all affiliate chapters to file in writing to the Louisiana Grand Chapter within 5 (five) business days; any potential that may violate this section of the constitution.
This association shall not engage in political, religious or any activities that promote separation rather than unity, or cause disharmony within the chapter. It is the duty of the President to cease any activity within his Chapter that may cause disagreement or controversy in his chapter.
No Member shall wear support apparel for any 1% club, local or national Motorcycle Club (MC). There will be NO EXCEPTIONS; any violation will result in immediate expulsion of members(s). No member shall wear any future Widows Sons logos, insignias, patches, or any item that identifies them as a Widows Sons inside a 1% clubhouse, or while associating with a 1% club.
It shall be the objective of each chapter to contribute to the relief of the widows of Master Masons within the boundaries of their jurisdiction, by founding a Widows Fund within their state. The proceeds of this fund shall be used solely for the purpose of contributing to the aid and relief of widows and orphans of worthy Master masons. The Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter shall have no other charity or charities, or monetary, or fund raising devices that shall take precedence over the Widows Fund.
It shall further be an objective of this association to receive, manage, invest, expend or otherwise use any funds and property of this association to achieve the objectives set forth in this constitution and for such additional purposes and objects not inconsistent therewith as will further the interest of this association, and its members directly or indirectly.
Article 3. Membership
This association shall be composed of Master Masons recognized by THE MOST WORSHIPFUL GRAND LODGE OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA, F. & A. M.
Upon approval of the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter, petitions for membership in the Widows Sons can be accepted from those who are Master Masons from a blue lodge recognized by THE MOST WORSHIPFUL GRAND LODGE OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA ,F. & A. M. EA and FC Masons may attend Widow Sons functions by request or by invitation but cannot vote, hold office or wear any trademarks, patches or items identifying them as Widow Sons until they have completed their Master Masons degree, applied for membership and have been approved by secret ballot.
Members accepted into the Widows Sons who are not yet Master Masons are required to complete their unfinished degree work within 1 (one) year of membership. Widows Sons who are not Master Masons and have been unable to complete their Master mason degree within 1 (one) year due to their Lodge being unable to advance them in a timely manner, must provide their Chapter with a written explanation signed by their Lodge Secretary and Worshipful Master.
There shall be no restrictions applied to the membership of The Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter or Affiliate Chapters in accordance with the type or make of their highway-legal motorcycle a member should ride. The Louisiana Grand Chapter or Affiliate Chapters shall not exceed 10% of non-riding members; non- riding members have no vote on chapter activities.
No chapter shall have in its chapter any member of a clandestine lodge.
No Chapter shall include in their membership anyone who is a Master Mason not in good standing in the records of his lodge, or any petitioner whose petition has not been accepted by a recognized lodge of THE MOST WORSHIPFUL GRAND LODGE OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA, F. & A. M.
It shall be the responsibility of the President of the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter to ensure the present Grand Master of THE MOST WORSHIPFUL GRAND LODGE OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA, F. & A. M. will be made an Honorary Member of the Widows Sons Louisiana.
It shall be by the order of the President of the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter only, that any chapter President may waive the Initiation fee for any current Worshipful Master within their region with no obligation due to the Louisiana Grand Chapter.
Each member of the Widows Sons shall have equal rights and privileges in connection with attending meetings and the participation in the deliberations of such meetings. Each Affiliate Chapter shall have up to three (3) delegates, which shall attend one (1) meeting per year of the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter. The delegates attending the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter meeting shall discuss and vote to correct issues and resolve any disputes within the State of Louisiana pertaining to or involving interpretations of the Louisiana Grand Chapter on state issues. There shall be no proxy votes. These delegates shall have no power in making additions or amendments to these founding by-laws.
New member applications will be taken only at the monthly stated meetings. At this time the application(s) will be turned over to the investigating committee. Upon the committee’s investigation and their findings being reported back to the President, will the new member application(s) be voted on by the membership. This will be a thirty (30) day process and will be a majority vote by secret ballot.
Upon acceptance of membership there will be a One Hundred USD ($100) initiation fee. This fee will cover membership and the cost of a patch for the new member and other administrative costs. At inception of the Grand Chapter, no annual dues will be assessed. The Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter reserves the right to establish a dues structure in the future.
If for any reason a member no longer desires to be a member of the Widows Sons that member will be given ½ (one half) of the purchase price of the Widows Sons patch, logo, or trademark when the patch, logo or trademark is returned in good condition with their membership card. Patches, logos and/or trademarks remain property of Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter.
Article 4. Retirement
Due to age or medical reasons a member can apply for retirement. Upon acceptance he gives up voting rights, but can attend functions. Dues can be waived by a membership majority vote. A retiree can apply for reinstatement with majority vote of membership.
Article 5. Officers
The President of the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter shall be the General President of the Widows Sons Motorcycle Association of Louisiana. He shall enforce all provisions of the constitution and bylaws. The President shall have the power to establish such committees necessary, provided that there shall be an auditing committee. The President may determine the order of business and shall regulate all debates and the conduct of the members. The President or his appointee shall be the sole officer to issue charters to new Grand Chapters of other States upon their promise to abide by and adhere to the Founding Intentions and Landmarks and these Founding Bylaws, and any and all issuing of new grand Chapters is reserved for the Louisiana Grand Chapter President or his appointee.
A chapter petitioning for a Charter must have at least 7 (seven) members and maintain a membership of at least (7) seven members at all times. All members of any chapter must be Master Masons with exceptions explained in Article 3 (three). The Officers of the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Road Captain, and two (2) appointed Trustees, a Guardian of Membership and a Sergeant at Arms. The Officers of Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter shall be the Grand Board of Officers for Widows Sons Louisiana affiliate chapters. Officers must attend eight stated meetings per year to maintain position.
The Vice-President, in the absence of the President, shall preside and perform all duties pertaining to the office of the President, except issue newly chartered Grand Chapters, and render any and all assistance as may be required.
The Secretary shall keep current records of the proceedings of the association and shall keep a separate account and register for each member of the association. He shall conduct all association correspondence under the direction of the President. He shall issue all notices when directed. He shall receive all monies paid into the Louisiana Widows Sons, the Secretary shall receive any and all funds donated to the Widows Fund and shall record the amounts in the monthly financial record which shall become part of the minutes of each meeting and pay them over to the Treasurer, taking his receipt thereof. The Secretary shall take over the duties of the President in the absence of the President and Vice President. He shall present an annual report at the annual meeting.
The Treasurer shall have charge of all funds of the association, including the Widows Fund, and shall keep regular and accurate accounts of all monies received by him. He shall pay them out by the order of the President and with the consent of the association. He shall keep them in deposit in a bank in the name of the association and shall render a detailed report of the receipts and duly established disbursements at the annual meeting and at other times as requested by the President or by majority vote of the members present at any stated meetings. He shall keep a separate account of the Widows Fund. The Treasurer shall take over the duties of the President in the absence of the President, Vice President and Secretary.
The Road Captain(s) will have the duty of ensuring that all members’ motorcycles are in compliance with Louisiana State laws, and each member is condition to participate on a ride. The Road Captain will also be responsible to work with a committee and organize runs; he will also be responsible for routing the run and providing all members with directions. The road captain will also be responsible for informing others who ride with the chapter of what is expected and the intended route. The Road Captain will inform the other members when it is time to ride.
There shall be two trustees who will serve as activity directors; they will work under the authority of the Road Captain to organize runs and assist in performance of his duties. Will communicate with other future chapters, coordinate any meetings with other future Grand Chapters, and handle all public relations. If the Road Captain(s) cannot participate, one or both of the Trustees will perform the duties of the Road Captain. State Trustees will oversee widows’ business when Affiliate Chapter Trustees receive requests for aid from any widow in their state. There shall be no committees formed or appointed or allowed of non Widows Sons members to handle any of the widows’ business of the Widows Sons. No committees or “clubs” or social groups of wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, or any other person who is not a member of the Widows Sons should have any involvement in any widows’ business of the Widows Sons.
The Guardian of Membership shall ensure that all by-laws are respected; members conduct themselves in an orderly manner, and that the intentions of the association are carried out in the best interest of the organization. He will also assist the Sgt. of Arms in the greeting all visitors and non-members.
The Sgt. of Arms shall be responsible for accommodating visiting brethren, superintending the membership during meetings, and assisting the Guardian of Membership. The Sgt. of Arms will also accompany the President and the Vice President while on rides and events.
Article 6. Election of Officers
The four primary officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer) are in elected positions. Majority vote by secret ballot is the method of election. This election will be held in January at the stated meeting for the next year term. These four primary officers will be elected by members present to a one (1) year term. All terms are from February 1st to January 31st of the same year. If within this same year one of the four primary officers resigns there will be a special election by the members present to fill this position for the remainder of that term.
No officer shall move up, they must fulfill their obligation to the office in which they are elected.
In the event any Officer or Trustee make the decision to step down and remain a member, they shall be allowed to do so.
Officers who are unable to attend annual meetings or special elections may vote by write-in-ballot. Write-in ballots must be delivered to the secretary no later than fourteen (14) days prior to any election. In the event any Affiliate Chapter has fewer members than required, they will then be allowed 90 days to find members to fulfill the position. After 90 days of unfulfilled offices they will become part of the Louisiana Grand Chapter. Concessions will be made until the membership requirement is completed. The affiliate chapter will then be re-instated.
The Road Captains, Guardian of Membership and Sergeant at Arms will be appointed positions. Trustees will be the same.
Members interested in holding office will submit an application to the Secretary forty-five (45) days prior to the elections. The Secretary will announce all names at each stated meeting held before the election date.
After an Affiliate Chapter is founded with its founding officers and has been in existence for three (3) years, any member who desires to serve in any elected position must have a minimum of two (2) years membership with the Widows Sons chapter.
Article 7. Charges and Disputes
A grievance committee will be appointed by the Louisiana Grand Chapter President to hear any and all charges or disputes from Affiliate Chapters and make report to the Louisiana Grand Chapter for a decision or resolution. The decision of the Louisiana Grand Chapter is final and no dispute of the decision will be heard.
A. Whenever charges are preferred against any member or officer of an Affiliate Chapter by a member of that chapter, the charges shall be filed in writing with the Louisiana Grand Chapter Grievance Committee.
B. No member or officer of any Chapter shall be tried unless the Secretary or the Guardian-of-Membership, in person, shall serve him with a written copy of such charges specifying the nature of the offense of which he is accused. The accused shall be required to appear before the Grievance Committee for a hearing, at the time and place designated by the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter. The accused may select only one member, in good standing within his chapter, to assist him in his defense, and the charging party may select one member, in good standing within his chapter, to assist him in the presentation of evidence in support of the charges.
C. A member of one Affiliate Chapter shall have the right to file charges against a member of another separate Affiliate Chapter. Such charges must be filed with the Secretary of the Louisiana Grand Chapter and the Secretary will set a date for a hearing.
D. If charges filed against any member are sustained by the Louisiana Grand Chapter, the members of the Chapter in question shall render judgment and impose disciplinary action. The Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter shall forward a written copy of findings to the Affiliate Chapter.
E. Upon the filing of charges that are of such magnitude and seriousness as to jeopardize the interests of the Louisiana Grand Chapter or one of its Affiliate Chapters, the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter may suspend such member(s), officer(s) or Chapter(s), pending hearing.
F. If a member is found guilty of an offense that is so egregious as to cause them to be stricken from membership in the Widows Sons, such charges will be reported to the Grand Lodge of Louisiana.
Article 8. Meetings
The monthly stated meeting shall be held on the second Sunday of each month. The month of December shall be dark. Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the President. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the Roberts Rules of Order. All members are required to attend eight (8) of the eleven (11) stated meetings. Any Officer who cannot attend must notify the President, Vice-President, or Secretary of his absence.
All future Affiliate Chapters will have one (1) business meeting per month with a monthly report sent to the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter Secretary.
The Louisiana Grand Chapter will send a quarterly communication to all future Chapters to distribute to the member of their Chapter.
Special business or regular stated meetings will be attended by members only. Exceptions to this article can be made for Special Event meetings, non-stated or special business meetings, where guests may be invited to participate in or otherwise support the planning and execution of an event.
The meeting place and designated time can be changed when deemed necessary by the Louisiana Grand Chapter President or by the majority of the members of the Founding Grand Chapter.
The order of meetings should be as follows:
1. Opening of Meeting call to order (Sgt. of Arms)
2. Introductions of Officers (Sgt. of Arms)
3. Opening prayer.
4. Visitors introduced by the member who brought them if not a stated meeting.
5. Minutes read by the Secretary, new applications read.
6. Announcements from the Treasurer, Secretary, and Vice President.
7. New members are welcomed by all existing members.
8. Then any announcements from the President will be done and any communication with regard to the other chapters.
9. The Road Captain will then inform all members of any rides that are upcoming so that there can be a general vote as to participation.
10. The floor is open for any announcements.
11. Closing prayer.
12. Meeting room is cleaned before departure.
Article 9. Mandatory Runs
There shall be two (2) scheduled annual runs or events. These runs and events will be identified and planned by the Grand Chapter. The Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter may call additional runs or events as agreed upon by the membership. It is a mandatory requirement for each member to participate therein and support the Widows Fund events, runs and fundraisers.
Article 10. Funerals
Each future affiliated Chapter shall attend the funeral of any member of that Chapter or his immediate family. Three (3) Funeral Members shall be sent to funerals of other chapters at the expense of the chapter.
Article 11. Logos and Property
The Treasurer will order, hold, and distribute, under the order of the President or his appointee, any and all future logos, patches, trademarks and all other items with the “Widows Sons” logo for the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter.
The logo, patch or trademark shall identify the State of Louisiana as the origin of the chapter on the back of black leather vest. The design adopted by the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter is in conformance with the recognized standards. The Grand Chapter’s patch will bear gold trimmed embroidery; Affiliate Chapters will bear silver trimmed embroidery. A Masonic emblem of a square and compasses will be displayed over the heart on the front of the vest. Honorary Members will wear honorary logos, patches trademarks or other identification as deemed necessary at the time the Louisiana Grand Chapter decides to issue the same.
The Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter has the authority to suspend officers/trustees, or revoke any Chapter. In the event the officers/trustees are suspended, or the Chapter is revoked, all of its funds, books, papers, and other properties shall be forwarded to the Secretary of the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter, who shall hold them for reorganization. If no reorganization occurs within a period of six (6) months, such funds shall be transferred to the Widows Sons Louisiana Grand Chapter to be donated to the “Widows Fund”.
Article 12. Bikes and Riding Order
All bikes must be on the road and attend the first run unless excused by the Chapter President. Members participating in runs are required to have liability insurance, current license plates, and ensure that their bikes are street legal or conform to the State of Louisiana motor vehicle standards.
All members are
responsible to maintain their bikes and ensure that they are in safe
When a chase vehicle is required, the Road Captains will review the route and safety with the driver(s) of the chase vehicle(s).
At the back of the line, the “Sgt of Arms” shall ride. If anyone breaks down, he will be responsible for communicating to the officers in the front.
Article 13. Finances
Initiation fees for new members shall be One Hundred USD ($100.00) payable to the Louisiana Grand Chapter. The dues and due dates of the Widows Sons Louisiana affiliate chapter shall be set by the affiliate chapter and included in the monthly report to the Louisiana Grand Chapter Secretary.