GRAND LODGE OF NOVA SCOTIA
BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES
The Board of General Purposes met October 4, 2014 at Corinthian Lodge #63 in Great Village. The following items were covered:
Report from the Long Range Planning Committee. There will be a full progress report at the February meeting. The plan is to develop a five year long range plan defining specific goals and objectives and including an evaluation process to determine if the goals and objective are being accomplished. Workshops will be held in all districts to seek input from all masons in the GLNS.
A motion was passed to permit Charity Lodge to go into darkness.
It was pointed out that the procedures of the GLNS state that the Report on the Condition of the Order as presented at the Annual Communication in June is to be discussed at the October meeting of the Board of General Purposes. This item was not on the agenda. It will be on the agenda for the November meeting.
A motion was passed to approve the appointment of committee members.
The budget was presented estimating total 2015 expenditures of $ 199 100 thus requiring an annual assessment rate of $37.38, an increase of $1.77 over the 2014 rate. After much discussion, the allotment for the Annual Communication was cut by $1 000, the Public Relations allotment was cut by $11 800. With a few other adjustments the estimated expenditures are now $ 188 800 resulting in an annual assessment of $ 35.27 a decrease of $.34 over the 2014 assessment. This amended budget was moved and passed.
A motion was presented and passed to move the responsibility for the Grand Lodge Website from the Public Relations Committee to the Grand Secretary’s Office for the purposes of maintenance and/or rebuilding of the site.
R W Bro Jack Boyd
Elected Representative for Cumberland District
MINUTES of the BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES
October 4, 2014
Corinthian Masonic Hall, Great Village
The meeting was called to order at 11:00 am by the Pro Tem Chairman, RW Bro. Gary Patterson. There was an opening prayer followed by a moment of silence to honour the brethren who have gone to the Grand Lodge Above. He then thanked everyone for coming and then asked the members present to introduce themselves.
Grand Master Remarks:
The Deputy Grand Master, Bro. Peter Ponsford brought regrets from the Grand Master and best wishes for a successful meeting.
Approval of Minutes:
It was regularly moved and seconded that the minutes of the May 10, 2014 meeting be approved as circulated. The question was called and the motion was Carried.
Motion to Deviate from the Order of the Published Agenda:
It was regularly moved and seconded that the Chairman be permitted to deviate from the order of the published agenda. The question was called and the motion was Carried.
MW Bro. Daniel Campbell asked that the Condition of the Order Report from the Annual Communication be added to the Agenda.
Business Arising from the Minutes:
There was no business arising from the Minutes.
Establishing Membership of Board Committees
The Grand Secretary noted that there was a Board of General Purposes Layout distributed to all of the Board Members asking them to respond if they did not want to be on the Committee where they were listed. He reported that there were no objections. It was regularly moved and seconded that the membership on the committees remain as previously distributed to the members. The question was called and the motion was Carried.
The Chairman noted that the Board Policies was also distributed to the Board Members. MW Bro. Campbell noted that one item that was previously listed under Board Policies was the review of the Condition of the Order Report which is no longer there. Bro. Campbell stated that the report was usually dealt with at the first meeting following the Annual Communication in September.
The Grand Secretary stated that he received regrets from M.W. Bro. Lawrin Armstrong, Chairman of the Jurisprudence Committee who indicated that he had nothing to report for this meeting.
Long Range Planning Committee:
Bro. David Ross, Chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee updated the Board members on who is on the Committee and reminded the members of the mandate of the Committee.
The plan will provide processes for Strategic Planning, accountability, transparency, more effective management of time resources and funds, more effective communications and information sharing and improve organizational structure.
It was regularly moved and seconded that the report of the Long Range Planning Committee be accepted. The question was called and the motion was Carried.
MW Bro. Harold Crosby noted that the 2015 Operating Budget was sent out to all members. He also stated that Laurie Lodge No. 70 have still not paid their 2014 Assessment.
Bro. Crosby went through a few of the line items. One of the items is office staff which is increased by $2,500 and the purpose is to have someone in part-time who would learn the job of the Office Secretary, Pat Richards in the event that Pat becomes ill and can’t work or decides she’s going to retire. We would have someone ready to step in.
A new item (no. 10), the board approved making a more permanent record of the membership records at the May 2014 meeting and amortizing the cost over 5 years.
Supply sales have decreased over the last few years.
Item 26 – Salary Recoveries – the Masonic Foundation pays a fee to Grand Lodge for administration of their various programs. This item has been increased by $2,000 this year, to $27,000.
Bro. Crosby stated that if this budget is approved, there will be a per capita assessment of $37.38 per member which is a 9.7% increase over last year. Bro. Crosby noted that the decrease in membership is 3.7% so most of the increase is due to the reduction of membership.
Bro. Crosby also noted that there are 2 recommendations from the Finance Committee and those are:
1. The Finance Committee recommends that the Board of General Purposes approve the proposed 2015 operating budget and set the Per Capita Assessment rate for 2015 at $37.38.
2. The Finance Committee recommends expenditures by the Public Relations Committee must not exceed the amount allocated for each activity that the Committee proposes to undertake, as contained in the approved budget.
It was regularly moved and seconded that the Board of General Purposes approve the Proposed Budget for 2015 and set the Per Capita Assessment for 2015 at $37.38.
The Chairman asked if there was any discussion.
Bro. John Cameron asked about the membership decrease and noted that since 2007 there’s been a 45.8% increase over an 8 year period and that he was surprised that the budget was presented and voted on at the same meeting. He believes Lodges should be able to review the budget before it’s approved at the Board. He objects to the increase and the procedural process to enable us to be more transparent to the Lodges.
The Chairman noted that the Motion was to accept the report of the Finance Committee and approve the Proposed Budget for 2015 and set the Per Capita Assessment for 2015 at $37.38.
Bro. Cameron then asked about the Public Relations Budget and why there was a difference between the PR request and the budget line item. Bro. Crosby noted that the difference is the website which will be removed from the PR budget and added as a separate line item after the Notice of Motion from the Grand Secretary to take on the website. Bro. Cameron stated that the Budget as presented is incorrect if voted on to approve it as presented as the PR request is less than the line item. Bro. Crosby again noted that the website portion $2,500, would be moved.
Bro. Cameron then asked about the $11,000 for the Annual Communication. He feels it doesn’t seem to be necessary – a lot of pomp and circumstance which doesn’t seem to justify the cost.
Bro. Cameron asked about the 150th Anniversary and the $5,000 budgeted for that. He would like to have details around where that money will be spent to see if the amount is appropriate.
Bro. Cameron then went back to the Public Relations budget and seriously questioned the value of advertising on SeaSide FM as it is a community radio station not heard outside of the community and he feels he can’t justify voting on that. He then asked about the vignettes and who is watching them. He feels the Public Relations portion of the budget could hold up approval of the entire budget.
Bro. Frank Gammell also spoke about the Public Relations Budget especially the SeaSide FM ads that are not heard outside of that community. He also questioned if there are any new Masons coming in from the vignettes. Bro. Gammell also questioned where the $1,800 for parades goes. He stated that in Pictou County they do a total of 5 parades and do not spend anywhere close to $1,800 for parade floats.
Bro. Crosby stated that the reason the Budget comes before the Board is so that members get an opportunity to ask questions and they can then make amendments to the Budget. He stated that he will try to answer any questions posed about the budget.
Bro. Crosby noted the comment on the 45.8% increase over the 8 year period and stated that there has been a 30% decrease in membership over that period so a lot of the increase is a result of the decrease in membership. The $5,000 for the 150th Anniversary was $7,500 initially when it was included in the PR Budget. The Finance Committee felt that the 150th Anniversary should be the responsibility of the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge Officers and not the PR Committee and reduced the amount to $5,000 and then the Finance Committee reduced the PR Budget to $10,300 with $2,500 becoming a new category.
MW Bro. Shane MacFarlane stated that what has to be remembered is that Masonry in Nova Scotia is not just Halifax and the media area of Halifax. Bro. MacFarlane stated that “we as a group have been forgetting that” and Public Relations has been dealing with specific areas.
Bro. Jack Boyd stated that there is a procedural problem that includes a motion that comes later today to remove the website from Public Relations Committee and place the responsibility under the Grand Secretary’s Office.
Bro. Crosby stated that the $2,500 for the website will be in the budget regardless of where the line item is.
MW Bro. Daniel Campbell moved an amendment to the Budget that the $2,500 for the website be removed from the Public Relations budget and have a separate line items that states Website Maintenance. The motion was seconded, the question was called and the motion was Carried.
Bro. Crosby noted that part of the Annual Communication budget is the Friday evening event which has replaced the Grand Master’s invitational banquet. Bro. Crosby suggested that the evening costs could be reduced by making it more of a get together with small snacks.
Bro. John Cameron suggested that perhaps a registration fee of $10 would help offset costs and Bro. Crosby noted that it has been suggested in the past and always defeated.
Bro. Cosby then asked what the members felt about reducing the costs of the Friday evening event. Bro. Dan Campbell stated that it is meant to be strictly a social for all members and not an evening meal and that he would support reducing the Friday night event to strictly a social even. Bro. MacFarlane stated that when he was Grand Master Friday night was open to everyone at a cost of $1,500 and he underwrote the remainder.
Bro. Frank Gammell moved an amendment that the Committee look at the $11,000 for the Annual Communication to reduce it by $2,000. The motion was seconded, the question was called and the motion was Carried.
Bro. John Cameron moved an amendment that the Public Relations Budget be removed from the Budget for further consideration. The motion was seconded. Bro. Peter Ponsford spoke to the amendment and cautioned the members to think carefully about removing the PR Budget.
Bro. Crosby noted that from a procedural point of view, that would be difficult because the Budget is being set for 2015 and that the Budget is set at the September meeting of the Board of Directors which sets the per capita for the ensuing year giving Lodges time to adjust their budgets.
The question was called on the amendment that the Public Relations Budget be removed from the Budget for further consideration. The question was called and the motion was Defeated.
Bro. John Cameron moved an amendment to the amendment that the Public Relations budget be reduced to $2,500 for the vignettes. The motion was seconded.
Bro. Jack Boyd asked if the motion could be divided – approve the per capita rate now and vote on the budget at the November meeting.
Bro. Dan Campbell noted that the Public Relations Committee has assisted Lodges in other Communities and if their budget is limited to $2,500 that help may disappear.
Bro. Campbell moved an amendment to the amendment to approve $3,500 in the Public Relations budget to allow the PR Committee to continue to support Lodges in their communities. The motion was seconded. Discussion followed. The question was called and the motion was Carried.
Bro. Crosby stated that the per capita rate would be reduced by $2.10 for a new rate of $35.27 with the budget now being $189,800.
The Chairman then stated that the original motion by the Grand Treasurer with the amendments was now being voted on. The question was called and the motion was Carried.
Motion to Amend the Responsibility of the Website:
Bro. Robert Northup moved that the responsibility of the Grand Lodge Website be immediately placed under the control of the Grand Secretary’s Office for the purposes of maintenance and/or rebuilding of the site.
The motion was seconded, the question was called and the motion Carried.
Bro. Graham Shauffenburg noted that Charity Lodge No. 69 have voted and decided that they will retire their Charter on December 31, 2014 and ask the Board of General Purposes permission to do that. Bro. Shauffenburg moved that the Board grant approval to Charity Lodge No. 69 to retire their Charter. The motion was seconded and the question was called. Motion Carried.
Condition of the Order:
Bro. Dan Campbell stated that the report of the Condition of the Order should have been dealt with at this meeting of the Board and moved that the report and recommendations of the Condition of the Order be dealt with at the next meeting of the Board in November and at that time he will bring forth a Motion that the report of the Condition of the Order be dealt with at the September meeting of the Board of General Purposes. The motion was seconded, the question was called and the motion was Carried.
Bro. Shane MacFarlane noted that the regalia of the Grand Master is in poor condition and the Grand Secretary noted that it is brand new.
Bro. Frank Gammell read a letter from a Lodge member regarding the comments made by the Worthy Grand Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island which was received by Grand Lodge soon after the Annual Communication.
The next regular meeting of the Board of General Purposes will be held on November 29, 2014 at the Tru-Fel Masonic Hall in Bible Hill commencing at 11:00 am.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned on a regular motion at 12:45 pm.