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By-Laws of Illinois York Rite College No. 15

(Revised March 2012)

This York Rite College hereby declares its fealty to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Illinois and to the York Rite Sovereign Grand College of North America


A. This college shall be known as Illinois York Rite College No. 15.

B. The City of Chicago, State of Illinois, shall be the home, or the usual assembly place, of this college.


A. The fiscal year of this York Rite college shall begin on 1 June and end on 31 May of the following year.


A. The purposes of this York Rite college shall be:

1. To foster a spirit of cooperation and coordination among each of the bodies of York Rite Masonry.

2. To assist in worthy efforts to improve the ritualistic and dramatic presentation of York Rite work.

3. To conduct an educational program in order to inculcate greater appreciation of the principles, ideals and programs of York Rite Masonry.

4. To strengthen York Rite Masonry in every way possible.

5. To build up a love of country and to aid and support genuine patriotism.

6. To reward outstanding service to York Rite Masonry by awards, honors and other methods of proper recognition.

7. To support charitable and benevolent endeavors of Freemasonry.


A. Membership shall be limited to regular members who are in good standing in a symbolic lodge of Master Masons, a chapter of Royal Arch Masons, a council of Cryptic Masons and a commandery or preceptory of Knights Templar, and who are actively engaged in working for the York Rite.

B. The Council, acting as a screening committee, shall consider all proposals for membership and cause them to be presented to the assembly or be filed with the Secretary. A minimum of three members of the Council must be available to screen a proposal, however a majority vote of the assembly can bring a proposal up for ballot if he qualifies by “A” above.

C. Membership in this college shall be by invitation only.

D. Any member in good standing may recommend an eligible York Rite Mason for membership on the proposal form provided for that purpose.

1. All proposals for membership shall be transmitted to the Council for preliminary pproval.

2. Proposals approved by the Council, or called for by a majority of the members in attendance, shall be presented for discussion and a secret ballot taken at the next subsequent meeting. All proposals will be printed in the minutes. Any proposal held over will not be called for a ballot if a valid objection is communicated to the Preeminent Governor. The favorable proposals for membership shall be presented to the college for a possible discussion and secret ballot. A unanimous ballot will qualify the York Rite Mason proposed for receiving an invitation to petition the college for membership.

3. No member shall reveal to any York Rite Mason being considered for membership or to any other non-member the fact that a particular person might be, is being, or has been proposed for membership until after a favorable vote in accordance with the preceding section has been made.

4. Following a favorable vote in accordance with Section 2, a written invitation to join the college, along with a petition, shall be submitted to the proposed York Rite Mason. If, however, the completed petition is not received from said York Rite Mason within one (1) year from the date the invitation was submitted to him, said invitation shall be considered withdrawn and any action taken thereon shall be null and void. After the expiration of one (1) year from the date the invitation was withdrawn, the name of said qualified York Rite Mason may again be proposed for membership.

5. Petitions received pursuant to Section 4 shall be treated as acceptances, and no further balloting is required.

E. Membership in this college shall be as follows:

1. PRIMAL – Regular member.

2. DUAL – (optional) Membership in this college plus primal membership in a different grand jurisdiction.

3. PLURAL – (optional) Membership in more than one college within this state or province.


A. The officers of this York Rite college by title and rank are:

1. Preeminent Governor

2. Eminent Deputy Governor

3. Eminent Chancellor

4. Eminent Treasurer

5. Eminent Secretary

6. Noble Primate

7. Noble Preceptor

8. Noble Seneschal

9. Noble Marshal

10. Noble Sentinel

11. Noble Organist

12. Noble Herald(s)

B. The first five (5) shall be elected at or before the Annual Assembly.

C. The Governor shall make all appointments.

D. The term of office shall be one (1) year or until a successor is duly installed. Automatic promotion to higher office solely by reason of tenure in a lower office shall not apply to this college.

E. The five elected officers shall constitute the Council of this college.

F. It shall be the duty and privilege of the Governor to preside at all the assemblies of the college. In his absence, the Deputy Governor, Chancellor, or Junior Past Governor present, in that order, will open the college and preside.

G. Should the office of Governor become vacant, the Deputy Governor or Chancellor, in that order, shall succeed to the office of Governor until the next Annual Assembly. Should a special election become necessary, the Governor General may grant his dispensation upon application.

H. The election and installation of officers must comply fully with the applicable Sovereign College regulations.


A. The Annual Assembly of this York Rite college shall be held on the regular assembly of May.

B. A regular assembly will be held on the last Thursday in January and on the third Saturday in May of each year.

C. The Governor may call special assemblies at his discretion.

D. Nine (9) companion knights shall constitute a quorum.

E. Due note shall be given of all assemblies not less than 10 days prior to the meeting.

F. The Order of Knight of York shall be conferred at least once each year. It may be conferred at the regular meetings or at any other time or place, or in conjunction with another college or colleges in the same district, at the order of the Council.


A. The fee for membership in this college shall be $150.00 plus any per capita or special assessment levied by the York Rite Sovereign College of North America.

B. The annual dues for membership in this college shall be the sum of $15.00 plus any per capita or special assessment levied by the York Rite Sovereign College of North America.

C. LIFE (PREPAID) MEMBERSHIP – Each member of this college whose dues are paid for the current year may purchase a life (prepaid) membership under the following terms:

1. The cost of a life membership shall be 30 times the amount of the current annual dues, as defined in Article VII, paragraph B, including per capita and special assessments of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America, but in no event less than $200.00.

2. Any existing life membership fund and all subsequently received life membership funds shall be kept separate and segregated from any other funds of this college, in an account known as the Life Membership Fund, and shall not be comingled with any other assets of the college.

3. Investment of the Life Membership Fund shall be consistent with the investment policies of the Grand Lodge of Illinois and shall be approved in advance by the Grand Governor and be reported to the Sovereign York Rite College.

4. The Budget and Finance Committee shall review the investments of the Life Membership Fund at least every six months and make recommendations to this college concerning the investment of the Life Membership Fund.

5. This college may use all or any part of the investment income earned by the Life Membership Fund, treating it the same as the annual dues paid by the members. This college may not use any of the principal, capital gains, or market adjustments of the Life Membership Fund.

6. The college shall in no case borrow from the Life Membership Fund, pledge its assets as security, nor loan any part of such Life Membership Fund to any individual or private entity.


A. The council shall serve as a Standing Committee on Charity and may authorize an amount not to exceed $50.00 to relieve a worthy distressed companion knight.

B. Immediately after his election, the Governor shall appoint committees on:

1. York Rite Cooperation

2. Membership

3. Budget and Finance

4. Degree Teams

5. Entertainment

6. Nominating: A committee composed of members having a wide geographical area of acquaintanceship shall be appointed prior to the annual meeting. This committee shall present nominations for the elective offices and may make recommendations to the Governor for appointive offices. The nominations and recommendations are not binding upon the college or the Governor respectively.

7. Awards: The College Council and the holders of the Order of the Purple Cross shall constitute an Awards Committee for this college. This committee may make nominations for the Order of the Purple Cross and for the Gold Honor Award for distinctive service. This committee shall operate within the by-laws of the York Rite Sovereign College which state that nominations may be made by any college member, but must have unanimous approval of the college Council and college’s holders of the Purple Cross present at a stated meeting, and the approved nominations shall be submitted to the Grand Governor of Illinois for submission to the York Rite Sovereign College.

8. Audit Committee

C. The Governor may appoint such additional committees as he sees fit in his sole discretion.

D. The Budget and Finance Committee shall consist of three (3) members, exclusive of the Eminent Secretary and Eminent Treasurer.

E. The Audit Committee shall consist of three members, exclusive of the Eminent Treasurer and Eminent Secretary. At least annually, within 30 days of the Annual Meeting, the Audit Committee shall audit the Life Membership Fund and all other funds and assets of the college and report to the Governor, and at the Annual Meeting to the membership on the condition of the finances of the college.


A. If his college shall cease to exist, except for the purpose of consolidation, the Governor and Secretary shall within thirty (30) days thereafter, transmit to the Secretary General of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America all books, papers, rituals, jewels, seals, robes, all paraphernalia, and all other property or funds, or evidence thereof, together with the charter unless the same has been arrested or removed by order of the Governor General.


A. An office may be vacated in the following way:

1. Death.

2. Inability or refusal to serve.

3. Temporary or permanent suspension.

4. Expulsion from the order.

5. Loss of pre-requisite membership.

B. Appointed officers serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

C. The Grand Governor may suspend an elected officer failing to properly fulfill the duties of his office (e.g., 2. above).


A. Anything contained herein that is in conflict with the spirit and intent of the Sovereign College constitution and laws, together with the guidelines of the Governor General and the Board of Directors, is hereby declared to be null and void.


A. Any member whose dues payments have been in arrears for two or more years shall be subject to suspension. Prior to the meeting preceding the Annual Meeting, the Secretary shall notify each member who is subject to suspension, by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. If the member has not settled his account, his name shall be presented at the annual meeting, and he may be suspended by a majority vote of the members present. A suspended member can request reinstatement in writing. A two-thirds vote of the members is required for reinstatement, plus payment of such arrears as the college shall deem appropriate.


A. All bills must be approved by a majority of the members present at a duly called meeting. The Secretary shall then issue a voucher to the Treasurer for payment. The bank account shall be in the name of the college and two of four signatures shall be required for withdrawals, namely the Governor, Deputy Governor, Treasurer and Secretary shall be on file with the bank for withdrawal of funds.

B. The Secretary shall be paid as a reimbursement for expenses and not otherwise billed an annual amount equal to $1.00 per member shown on the college annual report, or $150.00, whichever is more. This sum shall be paid at the annual meeting for the preceding college year. Expenses contemplated include, but are not limited to, offices supplies not furnished by the college, ordinary phone usage, and the use of a personal computer not furnished by the college.


A. An audit by a member of the college, designated by the Preeminent Governor, shall be made of the fiscal records of the college after the close of the books for the year.


A. These By-Laws may be amended as follows:

1. The written proposal to amend shall identify the article to be deleted, amended or replaced.

2. It shall identify the new amendment by article section and page.

3. It shall quote the new language exactly.

4. It must be received and passed by a majority vote at a regular assembly or a special assembly called for that purpose.

5. It must then lay over, due notice be given to the membership (Article VI-E), and adopted by a 2/4 majority vote at a subsequent assembly.

6. It must be properly signed and submitted in triplicate to the Secretary General for the Governor General’s signature.


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