Covis-10 Update April 02 2020
On behalf of your Grand Lodge leadership, we felt that is was once again time to communicate to you with some details of policy decisions made, event scheduling , etc. as a result of the continuing Covid-19 crisis.
First, let us express a wish that you and all your families remain healthy and strong during this period of lockdown and social isolation.
You are aware that all masonic meetings and events in the Province have been cancelled until further notice. Formally, we are now announcing that this cancellation period will extend until AT LEAST June 01 2020. Please follow any local governmental ordinance that extends this further.
Based on the above it will not be necessary to send out any cancellation notices via the Grand Lodge Events Digest for specific events occurring prior to June 01.
Many of you have been asking about holding virtual meetings. The present policy regarding virtual meetings is to be followed:
No virtual Lodge meetings are to be held (tyled meetings - regular or emergent)
Committee of General Purposes meetings can be held virtually under the following conditions:
• No ritual is performed (including openings and closings)
• No dispensation is required unless specified in the lodge bylaws
• Minutes must be kept
• All business discussed and approved at a Committee of General Purposes must subsequently be presented to the Lodge for ratification
• Every effort must be made to allow any member wishing to participate in the Committee of General Purposes to attend the virtual meeting
Naturally, social gatherings and check-ins by virtual means are of course encouraged (and no minutes are required). Education discussions on any masonic topic could be presented.
At the present time all plans are moving ahead to hold our Annual Communication in July at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. We are however busy preparing alternate plans should the situation deem necessary. Further communications will be sent out as more information becomes available.
Thus, at this time no changes are being made regarding Grand Lodge elections or elections for the position of District Deputy Grand Master. Any changes will be communicated when available.
As a result of the shutdown of all Lodge meetings and Events certain temporary policies have had to be implemented. In response to your many questions, these policy changes, as of this date, are as follows:
Dispensation not required to cancel meetings until further notice.
DDGM Official Visits:
DDGM Official visits have been cancelled and will NOT be rescheduled. Lodges and DDGMs will complete the L-forms to the best of their ability and submit in accordance with the original timings.
Paying the Bills:
The Grand Master has already authorized the Worshipful Master, Secretary and Treasurer to pay the lodge bills during suspension of labours.
Rescheduled Elections and Installations:
Many Lodge elections and Installations will be postponed.
All existing Lodge officers are to remain in their positions until an election can be held.
Assuming that this year’s Elections and Installations will be able to be conducted sometime in the next few months, the Elections and Installations for the following masonic year will revert to the original dates identified in the Lodge bylaws.
In 2020-2021, if a new Worshipful Master does not serve 12 months, the Grand Master will authorize past rank upon request.
Once labours have resumed, Elections may be held at an emergent meeting, followed by the Installation at the next regular meeting.
Resumption of Lodge meetings:
Once labours have resumed meetings can resume with the proper issue of a summons. If the meeting is scheduled within the first nine days of labour resuming Section 269 will apply. That is, providing no member in attendance objects, the lodge may conduct ordinary business but no degree work, balloting or material business.
Amalgamations and Surrenders may proceed if the Terms of Reference have been approved by the membership. The ceremony may be rescheduled. Pending Lodge Surrenders – contact the Grand Secretary.
Lodge Anniversaries - Silver to Gold Ceremonies:
If the Silver to Gold Ceremony has been cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19, permission has been granted for the brethren to wear gold braided regalia as of the next regularly scheduled meeting, provided that date is after the Date of Institution of the Lodge.
The names of any brethren more than 12 months in arrears must still be read out at the next regular meeting of the lodge and the Worshipful Master will then declare them suspended. The brethren will be suspended as of the date of the end of the 12 month period.
Note that the updating of the above changes as well as the need for additional changes may be required and will be communicated as needed.
Garry D. Garry Dowling,