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BEING A GRAND CHAPTER


About the WSMRA: It’s as Simple as it was when it started in 1998…Its up to you to keep it that way…

THE BEGINNING
The Widows Sons were founded on February 18, 1998 at the Mirage Restaurant in Schiller Park, Illinois, across the street from O’Hare Airport. The Founding members were:

Carl A Davenport, Founder, 
Robert Blixt, President,
Keith Coleman, Vice President,
Scott “Dickey Bob” Pisani, Secretary,
Tony Coleman, Treasurer,
Jeff Burbridge, (R.I.P.) Sgt at Arms,  
John Hammond

John Hammond left the group after the third stated meeting and Curtis “Jelly” Buchanan replaced him. The first chapter was named the Grand Chapter of Illinois, Widows Sons Masonic Motorcycle Association. Six months later, the Widows Sons went international when the Netherlands formed a Grand Chapter. The rest is in the chronological history of the Widows Sons. It is linked on the webpage at
http://widowssons.ws

The first English Widows Sons chapter was chartered on the 13th day of October, 2003, in Nottingham. Brother Raymond Brenni received the first English Widows Sons charter.

BEING A GRAND CHAPTER
(1) The first requirement to be a member of the Widows Sons is you must be a member in good standing of a grand lodge, recognized as a regular by the United Grand Lodge of England.
https://www.ugle.org.uk/about-us/foreign-grand-lodges

(2) The Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association is structured similar to the lodge system.  As you know, in English Freemasonry, there is the United Grand Lodge of England, which is the ultimate authority and provincial grand lodge(s) in each of its jurisdictions, which oversees all local craft lodges. We operate under the UGLE inside their Provicial Grand Lodge jurisdictions.

(2a) In the Widows Sons, the autonomous grand chapter is the Widows Sons authority in the Masonic jurisdiction in which it is chartered.
(2b) There shall be one grand chapter per Masonic jurisdiction.
(2c) The grand chapter’s authority does not prevail outside the Masonic jurisdiction of it’s charter.
(2d) No single Widows Sons Grand Chapter has authority over all grand chapters.
(2e) Each grand chapter manages its affairs in it own jurisdiction, and has no voice or vote in the affairs of other jurisdictions. Autonomous is defined as one grand chapter governing the Widows Sons affairs in its Masonic jurisdiction under the compliance of the obligations of the Masonic degrees, chartering obligations, and the 1998 bylaws and landmarks, without any interference, influence, voice or vote from anyone outside its jurisdiction.

NOTE: The 1998 bylaws and landmarks are temporarily suspended and under review at this time so they may be adapted to meet the requirements of the ongoing litigation.  

(3)The Membership or officer(s) of the Widows Sons shall not form committee(s), governing boards or any quasi-governing or consulting bodies to consolidate influence, voice or vote in the activities in more than one (1) Masonic jurisdiction. Grand chapters are the authority in a Masonic or Provincial Masonic jurisdiction.

(4)A grand chapter has no authority over Masons who are members of Grand Lodges in different grand lodge jurisdictions than the grand chapter. Members of a grand chapter are required to be members of the same Provincial Grand Lodge as their grand chapter.

 

NOTE: As the Widows Sons of England are at this time, members from outside a jurisdiction of a grand chapter will be grandfathered in. At the time a grand chapter is chartered in the Masonic jurisdiction they are members of, they must join the grand chapter the jurisdiction of their grand chapters. At this time, the grand chapters involved can make a dual membership agreement. The member must be a member of his own jurisdiction to be a dual member in another.

(5) A grand chapter forfeits its good standing in the WSMRA, and its charter will be revoked should the grand chapter allow, knowingly form, support or join any member’s or officer’s councils, or consulting or quasi-governing groups to organize and/or to consolidate influence or govern, nationally, regionally, or within their jurisdiction.
 
(6)The actions of the membership is governed by the obligations they took in each degree of Masonry and in the obligation as a member of their grand chapter. Each member should apply the promises he made in his obligations as his guide of conduct as a Widows Son.

(7)Each jurisdiction’ makes policies in and for its own jurisdiction, and those policies do not apply to other jurisdictions, and can not be enforced by one grand chapter in another grand chapter’s jurisdiction, in accordance with the Founding Landmarks of 1998, stipulating that the authority of a grand chapter is limited exclusively to within its own Masonic jurisdiction, and does not extend into other grand chapter’s Masonic jurisdictions.

(8)The Widows Sons Masonic Riders association does not endorse or support regional, national or international elected or appointed officers, representatives, coordinators, spokesmen(s), or any person(s) to make policy for the Association. All Widows Sons authority is vested in the grand chapter of its chartered jurisdiction.

(9)There are no dues or fees for being a grand chapter of the WSMRA. All funds collected or raised by a grand chapter are the assets of the grand chapter. The grand chapter shall have the sole authority to hold, save or disperse them at its will, as it sees fit. The finances of a grand chapter is under the authority of the grand chapter.  No grand chapter has a voice or vote in the financial business of another grand chapter. Any member who publicly or among membership releases or reports derogatory information about another grand chapter’s financial management of any of their funds to cause them harm will be subject to expulsion for violation of the interference clause of the WSMRA Landmarks.

(10a)The grand chapter is operated to serve the will and pleasure of the membership.
The membership shall approve by a majority vote, any and all decisions, and proposals that arise in the operations of the grand chapter.
(10b)Each grand chapter shall hold no less than eight regularly stated meetings at a regular time decided by the membership to ensure the efficient and Masonic oriented operation of the grand chapter. Special meetings may be called by the President, as determined necessary. The last meeting of the fiscal year is the chapter’s annual meeting.

(10c)The membership elects its officers by a majority of favorable votes at the annual meeting to serve as an officer at the will of the membership for the ensuing term of office. The membership can remove any elected officer(s) or member(s) by announcing and holding a discussion at a regular stated meeting, followed by a majority vote of two thirds favorable majority of the membership present at the next regular stated meeting. New officer(s) shall be installed and obligated during the meeting immediately following the removal of the any officer(s).

(10d)Dates and times of officers elections of new officers are determined by the grand chapter President. An Installation ritual is used to install regularly elected officers. Elected replacement officers must be installed before the end of the meeting they are elected in.  Length of terms of office, and the number of term permissible is determined by a majority vote and shall be added to the chapter bylaws.
 
(10e)The membership must approve all new, honorary, and associate members by unanimous vote at a regular stated meeting.

(10f)The Grand Master of the jurisdiction shall be given an Honorary membership and the chapter shall supply him a fully decorated vest in his first year as Grand Master, at the chapter’s earliest convenience.

(10g)Chapter policies that have been be voted upon and approved by the majority of the membership at a regular stated meeting that later cause conflict or disruption within the chapter or within the membership shall be reversed by introducing and discussing the issues caused on the floor of any regular stated meeting three months after the policy has been ratified and in effect. The reversal must be voted upon and approved by a two-thirds majority at the following regularly stated meeting.

(10h)A Grand Chapter can have as many affiliate chapters in its jurisdiction as it desires to govern. Grand Chapters are responsible to give affiliate chapters proper instruction as Widows Sons.

(10i)Should a dispute arise between two or more Grand Chapters, a meeting of the Presidents and Vice Presidents the involved chapters should be called to resolve the issues under Masonic Conduct. The method of resolution of the issues shall be adopted into the bylaws of each chapter involved to prevent future issues. These resolutions shall be added to the bylaws of all future grand chapters.
 
(10j)The Widows Sons ritual ceremony for chartering new Grand Chapters includes giving the new President his President’s oath and Obligation as a new Widows Son Grand Chapter President, and having his Widows Sons vest is placed on his back after he is obligated. The President is then given the duty of obligating his officers at the installation, and to members at the chapter’s next regular stated meeting. Then a toast to the future of the Grand Chapter. This obligation part of the chartering ceremony for all elected officers shall be held each time a new officers are elected, at the meeting in which they are elected.  


(10k)This is how the Widows Sons MRA chapters have operated. Your jurisdiction will differ in some methods from these guidelines, but must remain in compliance with your obligations and the Founding Landmarks of 1998 to be a recognized chapter of Widows Sons. The Founding Landmarks are what makes the Widows Sons, the Widows Sons, We are a unique organization within the boundaries of Freemasonry.
We are Masons First, then Widows Sons.


The Widows Sons MRA are often imitated,
but never duplicated...

To join the WSMRA in England or Wales contact a Provincial  Grand Chapter