MINUTES of the BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES
September 19, 2015
Tru-Fel Masonic Hall, Bible Hill
The meeting was called to order at 11:00 am by the 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 asked the members present to introduce
Grand Master Remarks:
The Grand Master, MW Bro. Peter Ponsford was not present and the Deputy Grand Master, RW Bro.
George O’Leary brought greetings from the Grand Master.
Approval of Minutes:
It was regularly moved and seconded that the minutes of the May 9, 2015 meeting be approved as
circulated. Bro. John Cameron noted that he has asked that under the website update he had asked that
the RFP include a comment on the ownership of the intellectual property that would be residing on the
website and noted that it was not included in either the RFP or the minutes. It was regularly moved and
seconded that the minutes be amended to include Bro. Cameron’s comment on the RFP for the website.
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.
Business Arising from the Minutes:
Bro. Cameron stated that the minutes contain a passage on Masonic Music and that the music has been
completed and will be distributed. He asked for an update on the distribution. The Chairman stated that
he has not yet met with the Grand Lecturer to pass the information to him with regards to the distribution.
The Grand Secretary noted that the responses to the RFP have been distributed to all members of the
Board. He asked the Board what their thoughts are on the responses. He was then asked by a member
of the Board for his opinion.
MW Bro. Northup stated that the website is working now due to a member’s work, Bro. Oleg Yefimov,
who owns an IT development company. When the site came down, Bro. Oleg offered to fix the website,
which he did. Bro. Oleg has done a lot of work to the website and currently our website is doing
everything we need it to do. Bro. Northup stated that rather than spend a lot of money on the website
which would be a burden to the Craft, his recommendation would be to stick with what we currently have.
Bro. Oleg is willing to maintain the website and the only time it will involve a cost is when he is required to
involve his staff. The rate would normally be $100 an hour but he would charge us $75 per hour.
It was regularly moved and seconded that we keep the website as is and authorize Grand Lodge to pay
whatever maintenance fees necessary to maintain it.
Discussion followed. Bro. Shauffenburg asked if there is a plan in place to maintain the website in-house
should something happen to Bro. Oleg or his company. Bro. Northup stated that the site is now at a point
where anyone who knows Drupal can do the updates.
Bro. John Cameron stated that he appreciates the work gone into the website, but he is asking where it is
hosted. Bro. Northup stated that it is currently with MDD Hosting.
Bro. Jack Boyd wonders if there should be a time put on the website so we can review it again to see if
it’s working. The Chairman stated that all decisions of the Board can be reviewed at any time. Bro.
Northup stated that if in the future any problems arise with the website, they would be immediately
reported to the Board.
It was asked if we should enter into a formal contract with Bro. Oleg’s company and the Grand Secretary
noted that currently his services are free and if we enter into a contract with him, we would have to pay a
The Chairman reiterated the motion on the floor. The question was called and the motion was Carried.
Fraternal Relations Committee
MW Bro. Shane MacFarlane was unable to be present.
RW Bro. David White represented MW Bro. Harold Crosby, Grand Treasurer at the meeting.
Bro. White noted that the report of the Finance Committee and proposed operating budget was sent out
with the call for the meeting and reviewed the report.
Bro. White stated that if this budget is approved, there will be a per capita assessment of $35.37 per
member which is a 10 cent increase over last year.
With regards to the Public Relations Committee budget request for $16,000, the Finance Committee is
recommending a maximum of $5,000 for that Committee and that the Committee be required to present a
detailed plan to the November meeting of the Board of General Purposes on how the $5,000 will be
Bro. White also reported that the following Lodges are in arrears with their Annual Assessment:
Philadelphia Lodge No. 47, Minas Lodge No. 67, Laurie Lodge No. 70 and Sophia Perrrinis, U.D. for a
total owing of $5,571.99.
It was regularly moved and seconded that the Board of General Purposes approve the Proposed Budget
for 2016 in the amount of $183,500 and set the Per Capita Assessment for 2016 at $35.37. The question
was called and discussion followed.
RW Bro. Cameron asked if occupancy was for rent of the office and if it’s paid monthly. The Grand
Secretary advised that we pay Freemasons Hall rent on a quarterly basis.
Bro. Cameron also asked about the Public Relations Committee because we are approving an
expenditure of $5,000 without receiving the Project Charter of the Committee which in May it was agreed
to use the Project Charter and so far, it hasn’t been forthcoming. Bro. Cameron is suggesting that the
$5,000 budget for Public Relations Committee be held in trust until the Project Charter is received and
then the $5,000 could be released. Bro. White stated that there is a second motion coming that deals
with that very topic.
RW Bro. White moved on behalf of the Finance Committee that the Public Relations Committee be
required to provide to the Board for its approval, at the November 2015 meeting, a detailed plan on how
the approved funds will be spent. The motion was seconded, the question was called and the motion was
The Chairman then returned to the original motion. The question was called and the motion was Carried.
There was no report.
RW Bro. Graham Shauffenburg noted that he has sent an email off to all of the DDGMs and the District
Education Officers whose names he has.
RW Bro. Graham Shauffenburg noted that there is a motion that he has been looking at and he would like
more time to send it off to the Districts for their input. He asked for permission from the Board to have
more time to review it. The Chairman of the Board directed the Grand Lecturer to prepare the question
for distribution and forward to the Grand Secretary so it could be distributed to the Lodges and Districts in
hopes of getting feedback on the question prior to the next Board Meeting.
Long Range Planning
RW Bro. John Cameron stated that much of the work was completed by the previous committee so it will
be relatively easy to continue the work.
The Chairman noted that because of the distance between all of the members of the Long Range
Planning Committee should try to meet via Skype.
RW Bro. Gordon MacDonald stated that the structure for the Committee should have himself listed as
Chairman of that Committee.
Bro. MacDonald reported that the Library project is progressing. Many important items deemed as
irreplaceable will be stored in the Archives for proper storage.
He also noted that refurbishing of display cases has also taken place under the direction of the Grand
Also of interest is that the Grand Archivist, newly appoint this year, is still acquainting himself with the
The Chairman, MW Bro. Roy Lively reviewed the progress of the Public Relations Committee for the 2015
year. He also stated that what the Committee requests in the Budget doesn’t always get spent and what
doesn’t get spent goes back to the Craft. The Committee will follow the Project Charter which will be
presented at the next meeting of the Board of General Purposes.
Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the Board of General Purposes
RW Bro. John Dollimount, on behalf of the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee, presented the preliminary
report on the review of the Board of General Purposes which was circulated to the Board members. Bro.
Dollimount noted that this is just a preliminary report and much work needs to be done yet. Bro.
Dollimount stated that there isn’t a clearly defined strategy of who we are and where we want to go.
Once that is decided then that is where the focus can be directed in any given year.
RW Bro. John Cameron stated that he took exception to the remark about the Finance Committee and
the reporting on a quarterly basis to the Board because the Board is the governing body of Grand Lodge
and is responsible for all aspects of the running of the entire body including how Grand Lodge is doing
with the Budget.
Ad Hoc Search Committee on the Office of Grand Secretary
The Chairman of the Board stated that this report was also sent out the Board members and it is a very
initial, interim report and if any members have suggestions they should go to the Committee. The
Chairman then read the Terms of Reference that was sent to the Committee. He stated that the timeline
was for an initial report today and an in-depth report for the next meeting including what will be sent out to
the Craft and then a final report in February.
MW Bro. Lawrin Armstrong stated that the Constitution must be followed. The Board is to make the final
decision on who gets recommended to the Grand Master for the appointment of the Grand Secretary and
the Grand Treasurer.
The Chairman stated that it is the Committee’s job to vet the applicants and then to bring those names
deemed qualified to the Board for their consideration and selection.
RW Bro. Graham Shauffenburg noted that in the interim report, the Committee is asking for direction on
whether or not to also put in place an Assistant Grand Secretary. The Chairman noted that is a question
that cannot be decided without a great deal of consideration. He stated that in November, when the
report if finalized, it will be decided then.
RW Bro. John Cameron stated that if there is something in the final report that the Board doesn’t agree
with, it could take hours for a decision to be made. He also asked why the recommendation for a Grand
Secretary needs to be decided in February when the recommendation to the Grand Master won’t be
made until May.
Condition of the Order Report
The Chairman of the Board noted that the Chairman is not present, but that the Junior Warden and
Committee member, RW Bro. Jim Luddington presented the report which was previously forwarded to the
It is recommended that a system of reporting be established that will identify demits given as a result of
lodge closings combined with future affiliations. It would be useful to also list in the Grand Secretary’s
yearend report the number of Degrees conferred on an Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master
It was regularly moved and seconded that a system of reporting be established that will identify demits
given as a result of Lodge closings combined with future affiliations. Discussion followed and it was
stated that this information shows up in the report now that the Grand Secretary gives. The Grand
Secretary stated that because a member demits from a Lodge going into darkness for example, he may
affiliate with another Lodge but that not all demitted members do.
The Chairman asked for clarification on what exactly the Committee wants from this recommendation.
RW Bro. Luddington stated that he would bring it back to the Committee for clarification. This
recommendation was set aside.
As to the rest of recommendation 1:
The Grand Historian, Heritage Committee, Grand librarian and Grand Archivist have done a great
service throughout the year to maintain and preserve the history of Masonry in Nova Scotia for future
generations. The Grand Historian in his report expressed a concern that many lodges were not
forwarding information on lodge activities, celebrations, awards, functions etc. that make up the Masonic
social fabric of our jurisdiction. He suggested that the lodges be encouraged to submit yearend Historian
reports or even a summary of lodge meeting minutes to the Grand Lodge for preservation for use in future
RW Bro. Luddington is taking that back to the Committee as well for clarification.
It was reported that the Mentor Program was in limited, or not used at all, in a number of lodges. Given
the number of new initiates to our Craft, this is not a good thing. It misses a prime opportunity to engage
the new members and give them a sound footing on which to begin their Masonic journey.
It is recommended that the Board of General Purposes have the appropriate committee review the
existing Mentor Program and make available to all lodges the associated booklets and program details as
soon as possible. We further recommend that a “Train the Trainer” workshop be organized on a yearly
basis in different districts to put qualified persons in every lodge in our jurisdiction.
It was regularly moved and seconded that the Board of General Purpose strike a Committee to review the
Mentorship Program and make recommendations back to the Board.
Discussion followed. The Chairman advised the Grand Lecturer that this review falls under Ritual and
Education and is assigned to his Committee.
The question was called and the motion was Carried.
District Deputy Grand Masters:
Reports from 8 of 13 District Deputy Grand Masters were received and reviewed by the Committee on the
Condition of the Order. The reports in general showed a marked improvement in content and quality over
previous years. Most reports indicated a clear understanding of the purpose of the reports. Sadly over
1/3 of this year’s DDGM’s did not submit yearend reports, for whatever reason. Their important role of
apprising the Grand Master of the Condition of the Order in their district goes undone.
As mentioned in the Condition of the Order report last year, District Deputy Grand Masters should be held
accountable for not completing their duties on time and in a qualitative manner. Once again this year this
committee echo’s that comment. We urge Grand Masters to consider consequences when their
representatives in the districts show a disregard for the duties of their office.
It is recommended that the Board of General Purposes take a closer look at the procedure of nominating
District Deputy Grand Masters and make recommendations to Grand Lodge. We suggest a two stage
nomination process. The nomination from the district would be submitted two years in advance to the
nominations, organize orientation and training for the nominees to DDGM over the two years prior to them
being installed. The candidates would also be as should be encouraged to provide a leadership role with
their respective District Associations at least the two years prior to assuming the office of DDGM. The
final confirmation of appointment to Grand Lodge would be confirmed early the year before serving as the
District Deputy Grand Master. Should the Deputy Grand Master have any concerns about the individual
being able or qualified to serve as DDGM, before or at this time, the district would be asked submit
another nominee with appropriate qualifications.
It was regularly moved and seconded that an appropriate Committee take a closer look at the procedure
of selecting District Deputy Grand Masters and make recommendations to Grand Lodge.
The question was called, discussion followed, and the motion was Carried. The Chairman of the Board
assigned this work to the Committee on Masonic Renewal.
Structure of the Board of General Purposes
The Chairman went over the document sent out on the Structure of the Board. He advised that he went
to the Committee Chairmen to get their input.
It was regularly moved and seconded that the document be approved by the Board of General Purposes.
The question was called and the motion was Carried.
Regalia at Grand Lodge
RW Bro. John Cameron noted that when appointed to an office and being installed at Grand Lodge, the
regalia gets mixed up on the table where it’s placed.
The Chairman noted that the arrangements committee falls under Grand Lodge and not the Board of
General Purposes. It was noted that some of the Districts make sure that their incoming officers are
passed the regalia and is not placed on the table.
The Grand Secretary noted that the time between the announcement to return the regalia and the
installation is quite short and perhaps the announcement should be made earlier in the day.
RW Bro. Frank Gammell noted that appropriate dress is in the Protocol and Etiquette Handbook and that
some Lodges are having “casual” nights. He is wondering whether or not something could come out from
the Grand Secretary’s office stating that there is no such thing as “casual” night.
Discussion followed, and it was felt that at times, there is nothing wrong with the Worshipful Master
having a “casual” night.
I, Robert Northup, Grand Secretary move the following amendment to the Regulations of Grand Lodge
Chapter 16 by replacing paragraph (c) (as shown in bold) and renumbering the remaining paragraph as
(a) A member suspended for non-payment of dues shall be immediately restored to his former
membership in the Lodge, without a new ballot, upon payment in full within three years
from the date of his suspension, of all arrears owing at the time of his suspension.
(b) A member suspended for non-payment of dues, desirous of re-instatement shall, if a period
exceeding three years has elapsed since the date of his suspension, or if he is desirous of
re-instatement on payment of an amount which is less than the amount owing at the time of
his suspension, petition for re-instatement. Such petition shall be referred to the
Investigating Committee for report to the Lodge at any regular meeting of the Lodge when a
ballot shall be taken, providing his name, age, place of residence and occupation has been
placed in the notice of the meeting at which such ballot is to be taken. Two black cubes
appearing against him shall prevent re-instatement; and all money accompanying his
petition shall be at once refunded.
(c) A member suspended for non-payment of dues from a lodge which has surrendered
or retired its’ warrant and who is desirous of re-instatement may petition another
lodge in this jurisdiction for admission. The lodge to which the suspended member
has applied may set an amount for dues owing as the lodge shall determine. Such
petition shall then be referred to the Investigating Committee for report to the Lodge
at any regular meeting of the Lodge when a ballot shall be taken, providing that his
name, age, place of residence and occupation has been placed in the notice of the
meeting at which such ballot is to be taken. Two black cubes appearing against him
shall prevent re-instatement; and all money accompanying his petition shall be at
All re-instatements shall be reported forthwith to the Grand Secretary.
The motion was seconded, the question was called and the motion was Carried.
Notice of Motion
I, Robert Hillier, DDGM, Halifax District 2, will move or cause to be moved at the next meeting of the
Board of General Purposes, the following change to the Regulations of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia.
Regulation 1, Section F to include the following addition:
“, and replaces all previous authorized editions.”
All past rituals state they are authorized and the current 6th edition does not state that it replaces all
The next regular meeting of the Board of General Purposes will be held on November 28, 2015 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 1:54 pm.
BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES REPORT
MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 19, 2015
It was announced that the Grand Master has appointed M W Bro Robert Northup as Grand Secretary for this year. The committee developing the list of qualifications expected of the new Grand Secretary will report at the November meeting with hopes of making a selection by the February meeting.
A new chair has been appointed to the Long Range Planning Committee. R W Bro Bill Merriam has been appointed a new member of this committee. The plans for consultation are in place. The committee will begin the process soon.
Bro. MacDonald, chair of the Heritage Committee gave an overview of the items and articles on display at Grand Lodge. It sounds like an interesting display to view.
The Ritual Committee requested and was granted more time to review the motion to shorten the process for moving from degree to degree in open lodge.
The report of the Condition of the Order was presented. Recommendation # 1 (that a method of keeping track of demits as a result of lodge closing be developed) was moved and passed. This would keep better track of membership as these brothers join other lodges. Recommendation # 2 ( that a review of the mentorship program be carried out ) was moved and passed. Recommendation # # ( that the Board examine the procedure of selecting DDGM’s and make recommendations to Grand Lodge ) was moved and passed.
It was intended that a company be selected to develop a new we page for Grand Lodge during this meeting. However, the Grand Secretary reported that Bro Oleg Yefimou has successfully repaired all the problems that the present web page had. He will provide continuing backup at a minimal cost. The Board agreed to accept that offer.
It was noted that the present Ritual is the only authorized work of Grand Lodge and replaces all previously published Rituals.
A motion describing the process for reinstatement was passed.
R W Jack Boyd
Elected Representative for Cumberland