Secretary's Service

Secretary’s Services

The Office of the Grand Secretary is pleased to serve the more than 400 Lodges working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Provided here is information on those services the Grand Secretary’s Office can provide Lodges and individual members.

Dues Payments

Each lodge is responsible for collecting dues from its members. Many lodges makes use of the online member’s services system to collect and track dues payments electronically via credit card; some lodges use other electronic systems like PayPal; and some lodges only accept payment by cash or check. The Secretary of your lodge can tell you what forms of payment are accepted and answer any other questions about dues payments. He can also provide you with a login to the online member’s services system.

Change of Address

If you are a member of a Lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and need to update your address, you may do so utilizing our Member’s Services system. Please contact your Lodge Secretary if you are not able to logon or reset your password.

Century Club Pin

At the December 5, 2009 Quarterly Communication, then R.W. Grand Master Bro. Stephen Gardner announced the creation of the Century Club award for Pennsylvania Lodge members who have conferred a minimum of 100 Lodge degrees.

This award can be obtained by completing the application. The Lodge Secretary should complete and forward the application to his District Deputy Grand Master for approval who will then forward it to the Grand Lodge.

Grand Lodge Service Emblems

The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania recognizes members who have given significant Masonic service for many years. Special pins are awarded at 25, 50 and 75 years, and certificates for 60 and 70-year milestones.

Twenty-five year pins are awarded by the Lodge Secretary any time during the year in which a member celebrates this significant anniversary of membership. The Worshipful Master MAY use the 25-Year Pin Presentation ceremony, posted below, at his discretion.

By resolution of the Grand Lodge adopted at the Quarterly Communication, held June 5, 1940, a member of a Lodge in this Jurisdiction who has been a Master Mason in good standing for 50 years, or more, is eligible to receive a Grand Lodge Fifty-Year Masonic Service Emblem. By decision of the R.W. Grand Master, January 10, 2007, additional service award levels of 60, 70 and 75-years may also be awarded. The 75-year award shall be known as the Diamond Jubilee Award.

Eligibility

Eligibility for service emblems is determined by the length of time a member has been a continuously active member of one or more lodges recognized by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Any time during which a member was not an active member as a result of resigning from all lodges is not counted toward service emblem eligibility. Any period longer than one year during which a member was suspended is not counted toward service emblem eligibility.

Requests for Emblems

If a member feels he is eligible for one of these awards he may request it through his Lodge Secretary, although the records are usually reviewed automatically at the beginning of each year. When a member becomes eligible for a 50-Year Masonic Service Emblem, a 60 or 70-year award, or the Diamond Jubilee Award, the Lodge Secretary will request these items from the Grand Secretary’s office, in writing, at least 30-days in advance of the anticipated presentation date.

A special ceremony has been created for the presentation of Fifty-Year Emblems and for the Diamond Jubilee Award. These ceremonies will be conducted by the R.W. Grand Master, by the District Deputy Grand Master in his absence, or by a designated brother, on behalf of the Grand Master.

Ceremonies for Service Awards

Funeral Requests

Please visit our Outreach page to request a funeral service for a deceased member.

Travel Commissions

In order to visit Lodges and Grand Lodges in other Jurisdictions, members are encouraged to request an official Travel Commission from the Grand Master, as issued by the Grand Secretary’s office. A Travel Commission is only valid if it bears the original signatures of the Grand Master and Grand Secretary, and the impressed Seal of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

Please allow 3 to 4 weeks for processing and delivery of a Travel Commission.

Supplies Order Forms

On December 27, 2007, R.W Grand Master Ronald A. Aungst, Sr. introduced and approved the usage of the Lewis Jewel for Pennsylvania Masons.

The word “Lewis” denotes strength and is depicted by certain pieces of metal dovetailed into a stone, which forms a cramp, and enables the operative Mason to raise great weights to certain heights with little encumbrance, and to fix them in their proper bases. Lewis, likewise, denotes the son of a Mason; his duty is to bear the heat and burden of the day, from which his parents, by reason of their age, ought to be exempt; to help them in time of need, and thereby render the close of their days happy and comfortable; and his privilege for so doing is to be made a Mason before any other person however dignified.

In the days of operative Masonry, it was a great source of pride when a son followed in his father’s footsteps and was Entered as an Apprentice, his name “entered” on the roll, and thereby admitted to the Lodge. To study his father’s skills and learn to use his father’s tools were manifest expressions of the greatest honor and esteem a son could play. It was common to carry on the tradition through several generations in the same family.

The Lewis Jewel may be worn by a Mason, if, at the time of his Initiation, his father was a Mason in good standing. The initiate of a deceased father – in good standing at the time of his death – would also qualify. The jewel is suspended from two chains with two bars. The upper bar contains the name of the father and the date of his initiation. The lower bar contains the name of the son and date of his initiation. The Jewel comes in a wallet with a pocket holder.

The Lewis Jewel has been in use in England and other Jurisdictions under the United Grand Lodge of England for many decades to honor a new Mason’s father. The jewel has also been adopted in the Jurisdictions of Vermont, Texas, Massachusetts, Virginia, Connecticut and perhaps others in the United States and is offered throughout Canada.

Contact the Office of the Grand Secretary

Address
The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
1 North Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2598

Phone
215-988-1912

Email for Grand Secretary requests
gsoffice@pagrandlodge.org

Office of the Grand Secretary

The Mission of the Grand Secretary’s Office is to provide accurate and speedy services to Pennsylvania Blue Lodges and Grand Lodge Officers, while fulfilling the constitutional duties of the Grand Secretary.

In order to meet the Mission of the Grand Secretary’s Office, we focus on the following specific service objectives:

  1. Manage an accurate membership database.
  2. Provide speedy response to all forms of communication.
  3. Re-create all processes to minimize workload on Lodge Secretaries.
  4. Automate as many processes as is practical to effectively concentrate human resources on providing individualized services where best needed.
  5. Support all programs of the Right Worshipful Grand Master and the Grand Lodge.
  6. Establish reliable office hours for service to members and general public alike.
  7. Properly document all actions and business of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

EXCERPT FROM THE AHIMAN REZON
Or Book of the Constitution of the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of the
Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of
Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania and
Masonic Jurisdiction Thereunto Belonging

DUTIES OF THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL GRAND SECRETARY
12.09. It shall be the duty of the Grand Secretary to record the minutes of the proceedings of the Grand Lodge;

To preserve its archives and seal;

To collect and receive moneys and securities for or on account of the Grand Lodge, give the proper credits therefore, and pay the same to the Finance and Administrative Services forthwith; accept the fees for Dispensations and Grand Lodge Certificates and the moneys received for copies of the Ahiman Rezon, Digest of Decisions, and other petty cash items, which he shall pay to the Finance and Administrative Services.
Adopted December 1, 1993

To issue summons, orders, and notices, either by direction of the Grand Lodge or the Grand Master, attaching to them the seal of the Grand Lodge, and attesting the same;

To issue notices to each Lodge, of all Stated, Special and Extra Communications of the Grand Lodge;

To transmit annually, as soon as practicable, after every St. John the Evangelist’s Day, to each Subordinate Lodge within this Jurisdiction, and to all Grand Lodges in correspondence with this Grand Lodge, a copy of the printed proceedings of the Grand Lodge, published by its authority;

To receive all petitions, appeals, and other papers intended for the Grand Lodge, and lay them forthwith before the Grand Master, or other proper authority;

To keep in suitable and separate books, registries of all Warrants, Dispensations, and Certificates granted by the Grand Lodge or the Grand Officers; a registry of the returns of the Lodges; and alphabetical list of the members of the Lodges; and a record of the suspensions, expulsions, and rejections in said Lodges, and such as may be communicated by other Grand Lodges; and a registry of every item of appropriation of the moneys or funds of the Grand Lodge, and charge each appropriation with the amounts paid on account thereof;

To transmit to every Lodge in arrears, at least once a year, a statement of its account, and, in conjunction with the Grand Master, adopt such measures as may be proper to collect the same;

To conduct the correspondence of the Grand Lodge with Subordinate Lodges, under the direction of the Grand Master, preserving all letters received and copies of all letters written and properly file the same;

To report quarterly to the Grand Lodge, all Subordinate Lodges suspended, or otherwise deprived of the representation therein;

To report annually, in a condensed form, to the Grand Lodge, not later than the Quarterly Communication in June, the number of the members belonging to each Subordinate Lodge; the number of the initiations, admissions, resignations, suspensions, expulsions, and deaths, during the preceding Masonic year;

To cause the Constitution of the Grand Lodge to be carefully bound up in a book, with a sufficient number of blank leaves, on which he shall enter in their proper places, and under their proper heads, any amendment or alteration that may be made therein.

The office of the Grand Secretary shall be kept open from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., Monday through Friday.
Adopted December 7, 1977

He may appoint a Deputy Grand Secretary, with the approval of the Grand Lodge.

He shall have charge of and oversee the printing of the Annual Proceedings of the Grand Lodge.

EXCERPT FROM THE AHIMAN REZON
Or Book of the Constitution of the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of the
Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of
Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania and
Masonic Jurisdiction Thereunto Belonging

DUTIES OF THE LODGE SECRETARY
18.07. The Secretary shall keep a record of all the transactions of the Lodge proper to be committed to writing, that they may be submitted to the Master, or a committee of the Lodge, and to the Grand Master whenever required. He shall preserve a copy of the By- Laws of the Lodge, and of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge, and a list of the members of the Lodge, with the dates of their initiation or admission. He shall make a record of all the petitions for initiation and membership, or membership only, and the action of the Lodge thereon; and of the suspensions, expulsions, resignations, and deaths of members, restorations to good Masonic standing, and restorations to membership, and give notice thereof to the Grand Secretary immediately after the meeting at which the same take place. He shall immediately notify all rejected petitioners that they have been rejected.

18.08. He shall, on or immediately before the fifteenth day of November in each year, forward to the Grand Secretary a correct list of all the members of the Lodge who are also members of the Grand Lodge. He shall also make out the annual return of the Lodge which is required by Article 17.17, and retain a duplicate thereof.

18.09. He shall issue to all the Members notices for all Stated Meetings in which he shall give the full name*, age, occupation, residence of every petitioner whose petition is pending for initiation and membership, or membership only, and the names of the members forming the Committee of Inquiry, but he shall not give the names of the recommenders in said Notices. He shall also send a notice of each meeting to the District Deputy Grand Master. In the notices for the Stated Meeting of the Lodge to be held one month before the annual election, he shall state the amount of dues which may be owing by the Member to whom the notice is sent, on the night of the annual election. He shall make his returns at the time and in the form required by the Grand Lodge and perform such other duties as may pertain to his office or be required by the Ahiman Rezon. He shall perform every act as Secretary, which the Master of the Lodge may direct, in aid of the business of the Lodge or concerning the same. He shall keep a record in which shall be recorded the place of residence of each Member of the Lodge, which record shall be the best evidence of the residence of said Member.

EXCERPT FROM THE DIGEST OF DECISIONS
The following are excerpts from the Digest of Decisions relative to the duties and responsibilities of the Lodge Secretary:

78 SECRETARY

78.1 It is the duty of a Master to enforce the observance of the By-laws of his lodge and of the Rules and Regulations of the Grand Lodge, and see that the property and funds of the Lodge be justly managed and dispensed. The Secretary’s duty is prescribed by Art. 18.07-.09. In all things he must remember that the Master has charge of the Lodge, and is responsible for all that is done by it in its name. He must perform his duties to the Master’s satisfaction, and observe his will and pleasure.

78.2 A Master is responsible for the right performance by the Secretary of the duties of his office, and if the Secretary should refuse to perform them, or persist in neglecting to perform them, after repeated notice, a Master is justified in suspending the Secretary from his office, and should report his action to the Grand Master.

78.4 It is the duty of a Secretary of a Lodge to furnish his Minute Book for examination by the District Deputy Grand Master of the District in which it is located, when requested by him.

78.5 A Master can appoint an Acting Secretary from month to month. A special election need not be held unless the same is desired.

78.12 An oral motion to change the salary of a Secretary which is fixed by the By-laws is unlawful.

78.14 A Secretary shall be entitled to a salary of at least Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) per annum. A Secretary is entitled to be reimbursed from the Lodge funds for expenses incurred in the performance of the duties of his office. Such expenses, however, must be itemized and recorded in accordance with the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service pertaining to expense accounts. (Rev. 1990)

53 LODGE FUNDS

53.5 The Secretary is not the proper custodian of Lodge Funds. He should receive moneys and forthwith pay them over to the Treasurer.

EXCERPT FROM THE MODEL CODE OF BY-LAWS
The following is an excerpt from the Model Code of By-Laws relative to the duties of the Secretary:

ARTICLE 3
DUTIES OF OFFICERS

SECTION 3.03 The Secretary shall keep fair and correct minutes of the proceedings of the Lodge, and issue notices for each Stated, Special and Extra Meeting. He shall, in the notice for each Stated Meeting, set forth the name, age, occupation and residence of every petitioner for initiation and membership, or for membership only, whose petition is then pending. In the notice for the Stated Meeting next preceding the Annual Election he shall notify each member that dues for the ensuing Masonic year are payable January 1, or the member shall be subject to suspension at the January Stated Meeting; and said notices shall have printed therein Article 6 of these By-laws. He shall furnish, in writing, to the first named on each committee a list of the committee and an abstract of the business to which its attention is directed, with the papers relating thereto; which papers the Brother so first named shall be answerable for and shall return with the report of the committee. He shall keep the accounts of dues and fees between the Lodge and its members.

He shall receive all moneys which may be paid to the Lodge, report the amount received at each meeting and the persons from who received, and pay the same forthwith to the Treasurer, taking his receipt therefore. He shall furnish each member, on his admission, with a copy of the By-laws. He shall make regular Returns as required by the Ahiman Rezon and conduct the correspondence of the Lodge, under the direction of the Master. He shall have his books and accounts ready for examination whenever required by the Lodge or the Auditing Committee, and perform such services, appertaining to his office, as the Lodge may require. He shall give a bond, to be approved by the Lodge, in favor of the Master for use of the Lodge in the penal sum of $ * For his services he shall receive $**

* It is an unnecessary expenditure of a Lodge to provide for a bond unless the bond shall be in excess of $25,000. Up to $25,000 is covered by a Fidelity Bond Policy maintained by Grand Lodge. Therefore the bracketed material should be omitted.

** Digest of Decisions 78.14 ” A Secretary shall be entitled to a salary of at least Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) per annum.

A Secretary is entitled to be reimbursed from Lodge funds for expenses incurred in the performance of the duties of his office. Such expenses, however must be itemized and recorded in accordance with the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service pertaining to expense accounts.”

Note: The salary of the Secretary must be a fixed annual amount and may not automatically fluctuate with the membership of the Lodge.