COMPOSITION AND GOVERNANCE OF
THE SOVEREIGN GRAND LODGE OF MALTA:
6.1 The Governance of Craft Lodges practicing Symbolic Masonry within the Republic of Malta is vested solely in the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta AF & AM hereinafter referred to as ‘Grand Lodge’, which is composed of its Grand Master, Grand Officers, Past Grand Officers, and Masters and Wardens of its Subordinate Lodges. Nothing in this Constitution shall be interpreted as derogating from the powers inherent in the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta. Except for the improbable effectuation of Law 7.3, such powers are vested in the Office of the Most Worshipful The Grand Master as the highest recognised Masonic authority. Consequently, all boards, committees, tribunals, and any other bodies, are deemed to be of an advisory nature only. Any decisions taken by the said bodies are likewise of an advisory nature until ratified by Grand Lodge. All members of Grand Lodge shall be subscribing members of a Subordinate Lodge warranted by Grand Lodge. Honorary Grand rank held by Brethren of Founding Lodges immediately before the formation of this Grand Lodge shall be honoured with equivalent Honorary Grand rank in this Grand Lodge.
6.1.2 Members of Grand Lodge shall rank in the following order:
Most Worshipful The Grand Master
Most Worshipful Past Grand Masters
Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master
Right Worshipful Past Deputy Grand Masters
Right Worshipful Assistant Grand Masters
Right Worshipful Past Assistant Grand Masters
Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden
Right Worshipful Past Senior Grand Wardens
Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden
Right Worshipful Past Junior Grand Wardens
Right Worshipful Grand Secretary
Right Worshipful Past Grand Secretaries
Right Worshipful Deputy GrandSecretaries
Right Worshipful Past Deputy Grand Secretaries
Right Worshipful Grand Treasurer
Right Worshipful Past Grand Treasurers
Right Worshipful Grand Mentor
Right Worshipful Past Grand Mentors
Right Worshipful Grand Chancellor
Right Worshipful Past Grand Chancellors
Right Worshipful Depty Grand Chancellor
Right Worshipful Past Deputy Grand Chancellors
Right Worshipful Grand Director of Ceremonies
Right Worshipful Past Grand Directors of Ceremonies
Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies
Right Worshipful Past Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies
Right Worshipful Grand Chaplain
Right Worshipful Past Grand Chaplains
Right Worshipful President of the Board of General Purposes
Right Worshipful Past President of the Board of General Purposes
Very Worshipful Senior Grand Deacon
Very Worshipful Junior Grand Deacon
Very Worshipful Past Grand Deacons
Very Worshipful Grand Sword Bearer
Very Worshipful Past Grand Sword Bearers
Very Worshipful Grand Superintendent of Works,
Very Worshipful Past Grand Superintendents of Works
Very Worshipful Grand Charity Steward
Very Worshipful Past Grand Charity Stewards
Very Worshipful Grand Steward
Very Worshipful Past Grand Stewards
Very Worshipful Grand Standard Bearers
Very Worshipful Past Grand Standard Bearers
Very Worshipful Grand Almoner
Very Worshipful Past Grand Almoners
Very Worshipful Grand Inner Guard
Very Worshipful Past Grand Inner Guards
Very Worshipful Grand Organist
Very Worshipful Past Grand Organists
Very Worshipful Grand Tyler
Very Worshipful Past Grand Tylers
Worshipful Masters and Wardens of every Subordinate Lodge.
6.2 Grand Lodge shall meet always in the Republic of Malta for the despatch of business on the Saturday before the fourth Monday in the months of April (Semi-Annual Communication) and November (Annual Communication) each year or on such other day and at such hour as The Grand Master, or in his absence the Deputy Grand Master, or in their absence an Assistant Grand Master may proclaim, and as may be occasioned by circumstance, and at other times when duly summoned. Grand Officers elected for appointment for the ensuing years shall be proclaimed and saluted at the November Annual Communication of Grand Lodge. Grand Lodge shall be opened in the Third Degree, but The Grand Master may direct otherwise provided always that due notice has been given.
6.3 At each Communication Grand Lodge shall be opened and ruled by The Grand Master or in his absence by the Deputy Grand Master or in his absence by an Assistant Grand Master or in his absence by that member of Grand Lodge then present who shall be next in order of precedence according to Law 6.1.2
6.4 Attendance at Grand Lodge Communications of other than Grand Lodge members shall be at the sole discretion of the Presiding Officer. Such Brothers shall have no voting rights and may address the Chair only with the permission of the Presiding Officer.
6.5 Attendees at Grand Lodge Communications shall, before entering, sign their name in the attendance book provided.
6.6 Every Brother attending Grand Lodge or a Subordinate Lodge shall wear the Apron, Collar and Jewel appropriate to his rank and no member of Grand Lodge or of any Subordinate Lodge or visitor thereto shall be permitted to wear any insignia belonging to any Order or Degree beyond that of a Master Mason in which the Jewel of a Past Master is included. Foreign Grand Lodge Representatives may wear the insignia of the Grand Lodges they represent.
6.7 Grand Officers, Past Grand Officers, and Honorary Past Grand Officers shall wear regalia in gold. Masters and Wardens of Subordinate Lodges shall wear regalia in silver.
6.8 The wearing of evening dress, dress apron, chain of office, jewel of rank, gauntlets and white gloves at Grand Lodge Communications is obligatory for all members of Grand Lodge. Past Grand Officers and Honorary Past Grand Officers are to wear collars in place of chain of office.
Law 6.8.1 No Masonic jewels other than the appropriate Grand Lodge jewels shall be worn by Grand Lodge Officers during Grand Lodge ceremonies or Grand Lodge delegations.
6.9 Grand Lodge Communication procedures shall normally be in the following sequence:
a. The Grand Secretary shall:
1. ascertain the representation of Subordinate Lodges and receive apologies for absence,
2. offer the Minutes of the last Communication to be taken ‘as read’ and, subject to approval or the hearing of amendments, have them submitted for signature by the Presiding Officer,
3. receive and record Motions of which due notice has been given.
b. The President of the Board of General Purposes shall then:
1. report on the proceedings of the Board,
2. put forward its recommendations to Grand Lodge.
c. The Grand Treasurer shall then:
1. present his Financial Report and receive arising questions,
2. put forward the Financial Report for adoption by Grand Lodge,
3. have them submitted for signature by the Presiding Officer.
d. The Grand Secretary shall then:
1. present his report and receive arising questions,
2. report on Foreign Relations,
3. receive written notices of motions addressed to the Board of General Purposes by members of Grand Lodge.
e. The Most Worshipful The Grand Master at his pleasure may:
1. address Grand Lodge,
2. carry out investitures and appointments,
3. acknowledge and welcome visitors.
6.9.1 Grand Lodge reserves to itself the power of hearing and determining all applications and petitions that it may deem proper whether or not previously submitted to the Board of General Purposes.
6.10 Any Masonic question, dispute, difference or complaint which cannot be settled between the parties concerned may be referred in writing to the Grand Secretary for deliberation by the Board of General Purposes. On receipt of such notification, the Grand Secretary shall promptly advise the Brother or Lodge so charged with the details of the charge.
6.11 Motions considered by Grand Lodge shall be determined by a majority vote of voting members, subject only that the Presiding Officer shall have an additional casting vote in the event of equal voting.
6.12 Annual Returns and Payments, properly due to Grand Lodge by Subordinate Lodges, and remaining unfulfilled beyond the 31st of March shall disqualify such Subordinate Lodges from exercising their votes or serving on any board or committee of Grand Lodge.
6.13 A Brother shall always stand whilst addressing the Chair and shall suffer no interruption other than being called to order by the Presiding Officer or by special motion to Order.
6.14 A Brother shall not be at liberty to speak more than once on the same motion, unless in explanation or reply, or when called upon by the Presiding Officer. If any Brother behaves in Grand Lodge in such a manner as to disturb the harmony of Grand Lodge he shall be formally admonished by the Presiding Officer and if he persists in his irregular conduct he shall be excluded for the remainder of the meeting on the majority vote of the members present.
6.15 A notice for the enactment of a new Law or for the alteration or repeal of an existing Law shall be entertained at any Communication of Grand Lodge; provided that due notice thereof in writing shall have been given; such notice shall be printed in the summons for those Communications and a copy of such summons shall be sent to the Secretaries of Subordinate Lodges at least ten days before the next Communication. However, the Grand Officer who is to preside, having received prior notice of a matter and deeming it to be of pressing urgency, may agree, prior to any Communication of Grand Lodge, to admit such matter for discussion and resolution.
6.16 Following the Communication of Grand Lodge, Lodge Secretaries shall be advised of any Notices relating to any alterations or additions to these Laws, together with the appointment of Grand Representatives near foreign Grand Lodges, and Appeals from Subordinate Lodges or Brethren.
6.17 A discretionary power is vested in the Presiding Officer of rejecting, at the time of its being handed in, any notice of motion, if such shall be deemed by him improper, unlawful, or inconsistent with the Ancient Landmarks.
6.18 Any motion, the substance of which Grand Lodge has already considered and decided upon, shall not be again brought forward or otherwise discussed until after the lapse of six months from the date of such decision.
6.19 In the absence of the proposer or his nominee to move a motion it shall be agreeable for any other member of Grand Lodge to move the motion as if he had originally given notice thereof only should Grand Lodge not consent to a postponement.
6.20 Any communication from a Subordinate Lodge submitted to Grand Lodge shall be signed by the Master and Secretary, and have the Lodge Seal affixed.
6.21 Proceedings or any comment thereon or reference thereto, of Grand Lodge or of a Subordinate Lodge or of any of their members or of any of their committees shall be published externally only with the prior written permission of the Grand Master. Such publications include the internet, websites, the press and social media.
6.21.1 Grand Lodge shall donate annually to such charities as it shall from time to time decide. Such donations shall be the subject of a motion annually in Grand Lodge.
6.21.2 The financial accounts of Grand Lodge and the Grand Charity shall, as soon as possible following 31st December year-end audit and before 1st March annually, be printed and forwarded to Subordinate Lodges.
6.21.3 Full detail of all new Laws and a Report of the number of Subordinate Lodge Warrants issued, restored, suspended, or cancelled will be included with the annual distribution of Grand Lodge financial accounts.
6.22 Neither the Grand Secretary nor the Grand Treasurer shall hold a similar office in a Subordinate Lodge.
6.23 Grand Lodge declares as unlawful in Malta any assembly or activity purporting to be Masonic under any title whatsoever which is without a Warrant or Constitution from Grand Lodge or other Masonic Grand Body which it recognises and is in Masonic union.
6.23.1 Grand Lodge, cognisant of the counsel of the Board of General of Purposes may suspend or impose such penalty as it may determine upon any member of a Subordinate Lodge who joins, takes membership of or takes part in any activity of any body or society purporting to be Masonic but which is without Warrant or Constitution from Grand Lodge or other Masonic body which it recognises and is in Masonic union
6.23.2 Grand Lodge prohibits any response by its Subordinate Lodges or members thereof as to the standing of a member or in reply to enquiry from any non-recognised Body.
6.23.3 Grand Lodge prohibits discussions of matters religious or political in any Masonic assembly on any pretence whatever.
6.24 Grand Officers shall wear their chains of office when forming part of a Grand Lodge delegation, unless specifically authorised otherwise by the Board of General Purposes or being specifically ordered to represent The Grand Master.
6.25 In the event that the Board of General Purposes determines that the nature of the complaint as submitted under Law 6.10 warrants the convening of an ad hoc Disciplinary Hearing Committee, then the President of the Board of General Purposes shall so advise the Deputy Grand Master who, in his capacity as Chairman of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee, shall appoint to the Committee such a member or members of the Board of General Purposes as the Chairman shall in his sole discretion decide.
6.25.1 When the Deputy Grand Master is unavailable to act as Chairman, then an Assistant Grand Master, or failing that a Grand Officer, may be delegated by the Board to act as Chairman of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee.
6.25.2 The Disciplinary Hearing Committee shall be authorized to interview whomsoever and to consider whatsoever it deems appropriate in order to investigate the circumstances of the case and report and make recommendations on it to the Board of General Purposes. The Board of General Purposes, on receipt of the recommendations of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee, may impose such penalty of admonition or suspension upon the Lodge or Brother, as the case may be, and its decision shall be final unless an Appeal be made, pursuant to Law 6.27.
If however, also on the recommendation of the Disciplinary Hearing Committee, the Board determines that a Subordinate Lodge be erased or a Brother expelled, then the matter will be referred to the Grand Master for his decision. In this instance, the Grand Master’s decision is final and is not subject to Appeal.
6.25.3 The Grand Secretary will notify the parties concerned of the decision of the Board of General Purposes as soon as possible after the decision has been made.
6.25.4 A recommendation that a Subordinate Lodge be Erased or a Brother be Expelled or invited to Resign shall take effect as a penalty of Suspension until such time as the question of Erasure or Expulsion shall have been considered by the Grand Master, or the Brother shall have Resigned.
6.27 An Appeal Panel will be appointed annually by the Grand Master at the October Regular Meeting of the Board of General Purposes. The panel will be composed of five (5) Brethren, one of whom will be appointed as the Presiding Officer. Members may remaineligible to be re-appointed as often as the Grand Master may see fit. If a member of the Appeals Panel shall no longer be able to discharge his duties, or resign or become disqualified, the Grand Master may appoint an eligible Brother to fill the vacancy. No member of the Board of General Purposes is eligible for consideration.
6.27.1 Any Subordinate Lodge or Brother aggrieved by a decision determined by the Board of General Purposes may appeal the decision. The Appeal is to be made in writing, couched in proper and respectful language, and be delivered to the Grand Secretary within 30 days of the date of advice of the Board of General Purposes decision.
6.27.2 When considering an Appeal, the presence of three (3) members of the Panel shall be considered to form a quorum. If the Presiding Officer is not available, the members present will elect a Presiding Officer for that Appeal.
6.27.3 The Appeals Panel may confirm or rescind a decision of the Board of General Purposes or may vary the same by increasing or decreasing the penalty or by substituting a direction that a Brother be invited to resign from the Craft.
6.27.4 If a Brother be invited to resign, it shall take effect as a penalty of suspension until the Brother shall have resigned. If he fails to do so, the original ruling will take affect.
6.27.5 The decision of the Appeals Panel shall be final and binding on the parties to the Appeal, and they shall be notified thereof by the Grand Secretary as soon as possible.