The Masonic Benefit Fund
For the purpose of providing a fund to defray funeral expenses of deceased members and relieve the immediate distress of their widows and orphans, the members hereof associate themselves together, for the establishment and maintenance of said fund, subject to the following conditions, privileges and rights.
The name of the Association shall be “The Masonic Benefit Fund.”
SECTION 1: OFFICERS
The Officers shall consist of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretary-Treasurer, who shall constitute the Executive Committee.
SECTION 2: DUTIES OF OFFICERS
The Chairman shall preside at all meetings. He shall call an annual meeting of the members of the association during the month of March of each year for the transaction of business, and the election of officers for the ensuing year. A majority vote of the members present at any meeting shall be necessary for approval He shall have the power to call special meetings, appoint special committees, and have general supervision over the organization.
The Vice-Chairman shall perform all duties of the Chairman during his absence, or during a temporary vacancy in the office.
The Secretary-Treasurer shall be responsible for the collection of assessments, the custody of all funds, the payment of benefits, and the keeping of proper records, rendering a complete account of all financial transactions and other vital statistics at the annual meeting in March. He shall notify the membership, at least ten days in advance of the time and place of the annual meeting. He shall give bond in the amount satisfactory to the Executive Committee and at the cost of the association. He shall receive a benefit upon the payment of death benefits equal to the sum of 7.5 per cent of the amount paid. His books shall be audited annually by a committee appointed by the Chairman, and the report of the audit committee will be read at the March meeting.
The Executive Committee shall be responsible for determining those distressed worthy Master Masons eligible for assessment relief by having such assessment(s) paid from funds on deposit.
SECTION 3: MEMBERSHIP
Master Masons in good standing who are members of a Lodge recognized by the Grand Lodge of Virginia and who reside in Districts 1A, 1B, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 shall be eligible for membership. Applications cannot be made by a 3rd Party.
Applications must be on the prescribed form, accompanied with the initiation / administration fee of $20.00. Approval of the application by a majority of the Executive Committee shall constitute membership.
Any member in good standing who demits from his lodge shall be permitted to retain membership in the association and be entitled to its benefits upon compliance with these by-laws; provided, however, he shall affiliate with a Masonic Lodge within six months after date of demit, and shall notify the Secretary-Treasurer of such affiliation.
SECTION 4: ASSESSMENTS AND BENEFITS
The funds to operate the association and pay death benefits shall be derived from the initiation fees and from voluntary assessments of the members as herein prescribed. Each assessment shall be $4.00 for each death. Upon the death of a member his beneficiary shall be paid an amount equal to $3.00 for each and every member in good standing on the date of such death. Said payment shall be the only payment made to the beneficiary by the Benefit Fund. The Managing Committee may in its discretion impose an additional assessment at any time to insure the Fund shall have sufficient funds in advance to pay fifteen assessments.
The Secretary-Treasurer shall pay the prescribed death benefit to the beneficiary of record promptly upon receipt of reliable information of the death of a member in good standing. In order to receive benefits a member must have been a member for a minimum of one year and current on his assessments. Any member has the right to change his beneficiary at any time upon written request. In the event of the death of the beneficiary, or if for any other reason payment cannot be made to the beneficiary of record, within the period of one year, the death benefit shall be paid to such person, or persons as the Executive Committee may decide to be lawful and proper.
SECTION 5: FORFEITURE OF MEMBERSHIP
Should any member fail to pay an assessment within thirty days after notice has been mailed to him or lose good standing in his lodge, he shall forfeit membership in and all rights to the benefits of the FUND. He can however be restored to membership by a majority vote of the Executive Committee upon making application within one year and paying the amount in arrears due at the time of suspension or voluntary withdrawal, together with all assessments made subsequent thereto.
SECTION 6: AMENDMENTS
These By-Laws may be amended at any annual or special meeting, provided the membership has been notified, not less than ten days in advance that proposed changes are to be presented. A majority vote of the members present at any such meeting shall be necessary for approval.
(Amended April 29, 2003)(Amended April 21, 2006) Administrative changes(Amended May 29, 2012)(Amended April 29, 2019)
BENEFIT FUND ESTABLISHED 1925