THE BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES:
8.1 The Board of General Purposes (hereinafter referred as ‘the Board’) shall comprise of The Grand Master, Past Grand Masters, Deputy Grand Master, current Grand Officers ranked Right Worshipful, and the Master of each Subordinate Lodge together with the First Principal of the Holy Royal Arch. A Subordinate Lodge Master or a Royal Arch First Principal unable to attend may be substituted by the following: in the case of a Subordinate Lodge, one of the Wardens or the Secretary; in the case of the Holy Royal Arch, the Scribe E. Each attending member of the Board shall have a single vote, with a tied vote being resolved under Law 8.4. The Grand Master and/or the Board President may invite non-voting attendees whose presence they deem of benefit to the Board’s deliberations.
8.2 A President, who shall not be The Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master or an Assistant Grand Master, shall be elected from those Grand Officers identified in Law 8.1.
8.2.1 In accordance with the provisions of Law 7.1 of this Constitution the Board shall, at three-yearly intervals at the regular Board meeting immediately prior to the Semi-Annual Communication, recommend and ballot for a worthy Brother for each of the Offices of The Grand Master, Grand Secretary, President of the Board of General Purposes and Grand Treasurer.
8.3 The Board shall regularly convene on the second Thursday of the months of March, May and October, and on such other occasions as The Grand Master may command or the President so require.
8.4 A quorum of the Board shall comprise a minimum of five members of whom three shall be Grand Officers, other than in the hearing and decision of Masonic complaints when a quorum shall comprise a minimum of seven members of whom four shall be Grand Officers. All questions shall be decided by simple majority voting with the Presiding Brother having a casting vote in the case of a tied vote.
8.5 The Board has the duty to administer and control the property of Grand Lodge and shall take cognisance of all matters in any way relating to the Craft. The Board shall appoint Trustees in respect of Grand Lodge property holdings as required under Law 7.32 and subject to approval by Grand Lodge. Such property may be sold, mortgaged, leased, invested or otherwise disposed of as the Board from time to time may direct and the Trustees shall strictly effect such written directions issuing from the Board.
8.6 The Board may appoint committees to assist in the resolution of arising issues as it deems appropriate. In respect of issues arising particularly under the provisions of Laws6.25 and 8.7 the Board shall endeavour to appoint at least one legally qualified Brother to serve on a committee. Duly appointed committees shall have the duty of investigating the circumstances of the particular issue and of reporting its findings and making its recommendations to the Board. Such findings and recommendations shall not be binding on the Board and may be rejected in whole or in part at the Board’s discretion. The Board shall review the resolutions of its committees and where approving these shall present proposals accordingly for approval by Grand Lodge.
8.7 The Board may recommend or report to Grand Lodge whatever it may deem conducive to the welfare and good governance of the Craft and every recommendation or report of the Board or of any committee appointed by the Board shall, when adopted by Grand Lodge, be treated as an Edict of Grand Lodge.
8.9 The Board shall be the prime authority in formulating, reviewing, amending and submitting Laws for Grand Lodge approval and inclusion in the Constitution of SGLoM. Accordingly, any Brother’s considerations or contributions in this respect should be addressed in writing as a formal motion, preferably via his Lodge Master but only otherwise via the Office of the Grand Secretary, to be delivered at least ten days ahead of scheduled Board meetings identified in Law 8.3. Contemplated amendments or new Laws shall be styled as existing Laws and shall identify any and all Laws on which they in any way impinge.
8.10 Should the Board be satisfied that a complaint is justified or that an irregularity has occurred or that unmasonic conduct been committed then it 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 6.27.1
8.12 The Board may summon any Brother or Officer or Officers of a Subordinate Lodge to attend the Board or an appointed committee and produce any Masonic documents they may individually or jointly possess including but not limited to Grand Lodge Certificate, Warrant, books, papers or Subordinate Lodge accounts. Failure by any Brother, Officer or Officers to attend such summons or to provide timely explanation of absence satisfactory to the Board shall further require written statement by a specified date from the offending Brother, Officer or Officers as to why their individual or joint action should not be treated as contumacy and failing timely receipt of such statement or statements the Board may inflict on such Brother, Officer, Officers, or Subordinate Lodge the penalty of admonition or suspension. The Board may retain any Certificate, Warrant, books, papers or accounts produced pursuant to a sum- mons made under this Law.
8.13 In the event that a charge or complaint specifically concerns a member or members of the Board or Subordinate Lodge directly referred in the issue then such members shall not be appointed to any Board committee and shall withdraw during the Board’s deliberations.
8.14 The Board shall receive and consider only those petitions, representations or communications that are submitted in writing, duly signed, and addressed to the President of the Board.
8.15 Any matter specifically referred to the Board by The Grand Master shall have precedence over all other business.
8.16 The Board shall have the power to nominate worthy Brethren from Subordinate Lodges to represent recognised Grand Lodges at the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta.Likewise,the Board may accept nominations of worthy Brethren from recognised Grand Lodges to represent the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta at such recognised Grand Lodges. Both types of Representatives, being fully eligible to attend and participate in Grand Lodge meetings when convened, do not have voting powers vested in them unless such powers exist by virtue of their membership of the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta.
8.17 The Board shall appoint the following Standing Committees for specific purposes: (a) Grand Charity Committee, (b) Finance Committee (c) Ritual Committee and (d) Membership Committee. Such Committees shall consist of at least three members of Grand Lodge. Should the Board feel that any members of Subordinate Lodges may have a valuable contribution to make it may co-opt them to any committee.
8.18 All committees of the Board are authorised to invite any Brother to attend their deliberations where it is considered such Brother may have particular or special knowledge of the issues under review or investigation.
8.19 The Grand Charity Committee is charged to constantly remind Brethren that generous giving is central to Freemasonry, and to focus on the commitment made in this respect by every Freemason on his becoming a Member. The further positive role of the Committee is to support Masonic charities, to provide relief to distressed Masons and their dependants, and to make Grants to non-Masonic charities. The Committee shall comprise worthy Brethren recognised for their activity in the field of charity and shall be presided over by the Grand Charity Steward. Fund-raising, to which Grand Lodge shall contribute on a lump sum annual basis after having complied with the terms of Law 6.21.1 shall be a prime Committee responsibility and Appeals may be raised notwithstanding that Subordinate Lodges conduct their individual charitable programmes. All funds raised shall be held in a separate account maintained by the Grand Treasurer, and shall be distributed by the Committee as by unanimous decision it deems appropriate. Any arising lack of unanimity shall be referred to the Board of General Purposes for disbursements approval. A full financial and activities Annual Report shall be prepared by the Committee President for submission to Grand Lodge at the Annual Communication.
8.20 The Finance Committee shall always include the Grand Treasurer and shall be charged with the responsibility of submitting a proposed Budget, including the Schedule of Fees for the forthcoming Masonic year to Grand Lodge at the Annual Communication. Such Budget shall be formulated upon the recommendations of the Board.
The Finance Committee shall additionally be charged with responsibility to effect Quarterly examination of the Accounts of The Grand Master, Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer and to direct a complete audit of these Accounts to be presented to Grand Lodge at the Annual Communication. The Report of the Finance Committee together with that of the independent auditor where extant shall be submitted to Grand Lodge via the Board at the Annual Communication.
8.21 Members of the Ritual Committee, which shall always include the Grand Director of Ceremonies, shall be chosen for their outstanding knowledge of Ritual Work as well as their demonstrated abilities. They shall be appointed to serve for an initial period of two years and shall perform the following duties:
a) to inspect and advise on the Ritual Work of any Subordinate Lodge when requested to do so by the Board.
b) to ascertain that all Ritual Work within Grand Lodge is maintained to a high standard and recommend changes to existing Rituals as deemed appropriate, and formulate Rituals for exemplification of the Degrees or for other ceremonial occasions when required.
c) To develop an approved Ritual, to be known as ‘The Maltese Working’ for eventual adoption by Grand Lodge and its Subordinate Lodges, and to create a Lodge of Instruction for the further development of this Work.
8.23 The Grand Master shall have the privilege of consulting with the Board in his nominations of Brethren to hold Office in Grand Lodge and that of Auditor of Grand Lodge accounts, and such nominations shall be submitted at the semi-Annual Communication of Grand Lodge, together with a Return showing the attendance of Grand Officers during the previous year.
Laws 8.24 through 8.26 VACANT