The Guiding Light Oct. 2015 - Page 11

The South Gate

Recently, I was at a Masters, Wardens and Secretaries meeting and an associated Briscoe workshop. A question was posed to the attendees. A petition for the degrees of Masonry is read at a stated meeting and the Investigating Committee is split with two favorable recommendations and one unfavorable. The ballot is taken and favorable results are announced by the Worshipful Master. Immediately after the announcement, a Brother is recognized and states that he believes an error has occurred. Because of the unfavorable report from one of the investigating committee members there should not have been a ballot and the results should be reconsidered. What should the Worshipful Master do at this point?

From The Laws of The Grand Lodge Of Texas, Title IV- Chapter 2, art.420, Ballot Is a Finality When Announced. This means if the Worshipful Master has announced the results of the ballot prior to the close of the stated meeting the results are final. This then begs the question ‘Is there any relief or

avenue available to the Brother that

believes an error has occurred?’

Chapter 3 - Title IV, Protests may give some relief, Article 421, Against Whom Effective. ‘The election of a candidate to receive the degrees or any of them can be prevented or set aside by protests made to the Worshipful Master.’ Then, in Article 423, When and By Whom Made, ‘any member of a Lodge in this jurisdiction may protest, either orally or in writing, a candidate for any degree, either before or after his election’...then further on in this article we find ...’to be effective as to any petitioner for a degree, protests must be made after the petition is received by the Lodge and before conferring the degree has begun.’ Further, we find in Article 425, Effect of Protests, 'A protest shall have the same effect and value and be counted as a blackball under Art.418. Three protests or a combination of protests and blackballs with a combined total of three shall reject for one year....’

We are fortunate to have these laws to guide us and to help keep peace and harmony in our Lodges.

George Hahn, Junior Warden

The Guiding Light / Oct. 2015 11