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 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 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
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.
(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
(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.
1998 bylaws and landmarks are temporarily suspended and under review
at this time so they may be adapted to meet the requirements of the
(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
(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
(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
(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 shall approve by a majority vote, any and all
decisions, and proposals that arise in the operations of the grand
(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
(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
but never duplicated...
To join the WSMRA in England or Wales contact a Provincial Grand Chapter