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CANADIAN SOCIETY OF MAYFLOWER DESCENDANTS

 

CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE I

Definition

 Section 1. The name of the Society shall be the "Canadian Society of Mayflower Descendants", hereinafter referred to as the Society

 Section 2. The Society is incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the laws of Canada and is entitled to operate in Canada and elsewhere.

ARTICLE II

Objects

 Section 1. To perpetuate the memory of the Pilgrims, whose unfailing strength and undying courage, inspired their descendants to travel vast distances to found, settle and populate towns on a new continent; and in so doing were instrumental in the development and history of what became Canada.

 Section 2. To educate and inform the public of this part of Canadian history through charitable and educational activities by which means we further our heritage.

 Section 3. To build a substantial research library, accessible to the public, to assist Canadians in researching their New England family history.

ARTICLE III

Membership & Governance

 Section 1. Membership is open to persons according to the By-Laws of the Society.

 Section 2. Governance of the Society shall be vested in the Board of Assistants according to the By-Laws of the Society.

BY-LAWS

ARTICLE I

 Section 1. Full membership in the Society is open to those who are 18 years of age or older and who are lineal descendants of any passenger on the voyage of the Mayflower which terminated at Plymouth, New England, in December 1620. Persons who are less than eighteen years of age shall be eligible for Junior Membership.

 Section 2. Associate membership in the Society is available to persons who are not full members. Associate members receive a subscription to the Society newsletter, Canadian Pilgrim, and may attend all meetings of the membershp. Associate members may not vote or hold office.

 Section 3. New life memberships are no longer offered however, all existing life memberships shall be honoured.

 Section 4. A member may also hold membership in more than one of the Societies of the General Society; this is referred to as dual membership.

 Section 5. Preliminary applications (worksheets) shall be filled out by the applicant and forwarded to the Historian for investigation, approval and issuance of the final lineage paper.

 Section 6. The final application for membership shall be made on a lineage paper furnished by the Society. Such application shall bear the signature of the applicant.

 Section 7. No person shall become a member of the Society until his or her line of descent has been verified and approved by the Historian General.

 Section 8. A member in good standing in another Mayflower Society, wishing to transfer to the Society, must obtain from the Historian General of the General Society or from the Historian from where he transfers, a copy of all his lineage papers and a statement of good standing to file with the Society Historian.

 Section 9. Requests for transfer to another Mayflower Society shall be presented in writing, and if all dues are paid, a statement of good standing to that Society shall be issued and the transfer shall take effect at once. Life memberships are not transferable from one Mayflower Society to another.

 Section 10. Members may resign from the Society in good standing by insuring that their dues are paid in full and by submitting a written resignation to the Treasurer, to be kept by the Treasurer, who will inform the Recording Secretary. Said member may reinstate his/her membership at any time upon payment of the current year's dues.

ARTICLE II

Board of Assistants

 Section 1. The Board of Assistants (Corporate Board of Directors), hereinafter referred to as the Board, shall consist of the Officers of the Society and up to six others who shall be known as Assistants or Members-at-Large (not to exceed 16 in total).

 Section 2. The Officers of the Society shall be: Governor, Deputy Governor, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, Historian, Elder, Captain, Surgeon and Counselor. Deputy Governors General, Assistant Generals and former Governors, who are members in good standing of this Society may be ex-officio members of the Board.

ARTICLE III

Seal

 Section 1. The Society shall have two seals, one for the office of the Governor, and one for the office of Deputy Governor. These seals are to be kept in their custody to certify, where necessary, documents of the Society.

ARTICLE IV

Amendment

 Section 1. The By-laws may be amended by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members present at any duly convened meeting of the Society and by mailed-in ballot received before the meeting, provided notice of the proposed amendment has been mailed to each member at least 21 days prior to the meeting. The repeal or amendment of By-laws not embodied in the letters patent shall not be enforced or acted upon until approval of the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs has been obtained.

ARTICLE V

Election of Officers and Assistants

Section 1. Members over the age of 18 who are in good standing in the Society, i.e. dues are paid to date, are eligible to hold office and vote. No person shall be eligible to be nominated or elected to the office of Governor or Deputy Governor who has not served on the Board.

Section 2. The Board shall appoint a nominating committee of three to five members of the Society, who shall name candidates for the offices to be filled at the annual meeting. The Chairperson of the Nominating Committee shall be a member of the Board of Assistants. The slate named by the Nominating Committee shall be mailed in the newsletter to each member of the Society at least fourteen days before the annual meeting. Any member of the Society may also be nominated for any office to be filled, by five members of the Society, but all such nominations must be communicated to the Recording Secretary by a notice in writing signed by the members making the nomination before the annual meeting.

Section 3. The Officers and Assistants shall be elected by the members at the annual meeting, to serve for a term of three years. The terms of the Assistants are to be staggered beginning in 1989, so that at least two are elected each year for a three year term. The persons elected shall enter upon the offices at the beginning of the following year and hold the same until the close of the third year.

Section 4. Election shall be by ballot; a plurality of vote of members present will determine the choice, except that, where there is only one candidate for an office, the ballot may be dispensed with by a unanimous vote.

Section 5. Officers, members of the Board and of Committees shall receive no remuneration for serving as such. Officers, members of the Board and of Committees are able to vacate office in writing to the Recording Secretary of the Corporation and Officers and Assistants and ex-officio directors may be removed by two-thirds vote of the members present at a general or special meeting of the members of the Society.

ARTICLE VI

Duties of Officers

 Section 1. The Governor, or in his/her absence the Deputy Governor, or in their absence, a Chairperson Pro Tempore, shall preside at all meetings of the Society and of the Board. The Governor shall have the power to appoint and relieve all committee members. The Governor shall also appoint an Auditor, ratified by the Board and approved by the membership at the annual meeting. The Governor shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and shall perform all the usual duties of his/her office. It is the responsibility of the Governor to send newly approved members a copy of the constitution, a newsletter, a membership certificate and a letter of welcome.

 Section 2. The Deputy Governor shall exercise all the functions of the office of Governor during his/her absence or disability. In the case of a vacancy in the office of Governor by death or otherwise, he/she will succeed to that office for the remainder of the term.

 Section 3. The Recording Secretary shall record the proceedings of the Society and of the Board and mail said minutes to each Board member; shall give due notice of all meetings of the Society and the Board; shall have custody of such records as are not specifically in charge of other officers; shall in general perform all duties usually appertaining to such office, such as keeping track of address changes. He/she shall inform the General Society of the death, resignation or dropping of any member, or of the transfer of any member from another Mayflower Society; shall fill out and return all forms submitted to us by the General Society; shall, with the Governor or Deputy Governor, certify all acts and orders of the Society, using the seal where necessary.

 Section 4. The Corresponding Secretary shall conduct correspondence, handle the ordering of Mayflower insignia and perform such other secretarial duties as the Society or office requires.

 Section 5. The Treasurer shall take charge of all funds belonging to the Society; keep suitable books of account; charge, collect and receive all fees and dues and all other monies payable to the Society; make all necessary disbursements authorized by the Board. The Treasurer will present an audited account of all monies received and disbursed for the preceeding year at the annual meeting and report at each Board meeting and annual meeting an account of all monies received and disbursed and shall forward an account of the Society's finances for the previous year to the Editor of the Canadian Pilgrim for publication in the spring issue of that newsletter.

 Section 6. The Historian shall supply information in the form of guidelines and worksheet, and fee structures to those who are interested in applying for membership; shall inform them of the documentation requirements as set forth by the General Society; shall assist the applicant in preparing preliminary worksheets and shall assist the applicant in preparing the final lineage paper on archival quality, acid free paper, once the documentation requirements have been fulfilled; shall sign and date said paper constituting approval by the Society and shall forward said paper along with one copy of all documentation to the Historian General in Plymouth for final approval by the General Society. Once approved, the lineage paper is returned to the Historian and the date of approval of the General Society is then the election, or joining, date of the newly approved member. The Historian shall then assign a Canadian Society membership number, shall take two photo-copies of said paper, retain one copy for the Canadian files and one for said member and return the original to Plymouth for the assignment of the General Society membership number. Once the Historian is advised of the General Society number, he/she shall type up the General Society membership certificate and forward it to the Society Governor, along with copies of the lineage paper, constitution and newsletter, which will be mailed to the newly approved member with a letter of welcome from the Governor. The Society Historian shall keep all members' files containing all their correspondence and one copy of each lineage paper and documentation, shall have custody of all historical and genealogical books, papers and manuscripts required to aid in research for applicants; shall make and keep up to date an inventory of all items pertaining to the office of the Historian, which shall be kept in metal files furnished by the Society; all items will be marked "Property of Canadian Society of Mayflower Descendants". The Historian will make a report at each Board meeting.

 Section 7. The Elder shall officiate when called upon at any meeting of the Society and Board meetings; shall send the Society's message of condolence to the family of a deceased member; shall read the necrology at each annual meeting; shall have functioned as an Elder, Bishop, Minister, Priest or Deacon of a Christian Church.

 Section 8. The Captain shall carry out all orders of the Governor; shall be responsible for the proper care and preservation of the flags and see that they are properly displayed at all meetings and other occasions requiring them; shall act as Marshall at parades and on occasions of ceremony.

 Section 9. The Surgeon shall have been duly admitted to the practice of medicine and shall be under the orders of the Governor and Board.

 Section 10. The Counselor shall be licensed to practice law and shall provide legal aid and opinions upon matters pertaining to the Society when requested to do so by the Governor and Board.

 Section 11. The Assistants shall aid the officers in the performance of their duties on the Board and shall in most instances chair a standing committee.

 Section 12. The Board shall have general charge and direction of the affairs of the Society; shall fill vacancies among the Officers for the unexpired term and shall nominate the Deputy Governor General and Assistant General to service on the General Board.

ARTICLE VII

Standing Committees

 Section 1. The Standing Committees and their duties shall be as follows:

 a) The Membership Committee shall devise measures to increase the number of members in the Society.

 b) The Junior Membership Committee shall continually strive to increase the number of Juniors by planning and carrying out a program of interest to them, to help them participate in Society meetings.

 c) The Finance Committee, chaired by the Society Treasurer, shall advise the Board on all matters pertaining to the financial affairs of the Society, including recommendations as to the investments, and availability of funds for specific purposes being considered by the Board.

 d) The Public Relations Committee shall seek to advance the interests of the Society through the use of news releases to newspapers and radio stations, and by such other means of publicity as may be available.

 e) The Arrangements Hospitality Committee shall provide for meeting places and refreshments for all Society meetings. This committee shall also advise and assist the Governor in providing a suitable program for the meeting.

 f) The Library Committee, chaired by the Librarian shall keep abreast of new genealogical releases and strive to add to the Society's collection, with the approval of the Board; shall maintain an up to date list of the collection and shall report in the Canadian Pilgrim all new acquisitions and donations. All books and periodicals shall be held in the North York Central or other suitable library, under the supervision of the Librarian.

 g) The Reference and Resource Committee shall be composed of members who have volunteered to assist our Historian by submitting a list of their genealogical holdings or who may be willing to personally check records in their area. Upon request by the Historian, these members shall photocopy and submit pertinent data the Historian might require in order to assist applicants to document their lineages.

 Section 2. The Special Committees shall receive and act upon all matters assigned them.

ARTICLE VIII

Meetings

 Section 1. There shall be at least two regular meetings of the membership of the Society held each year. The annual meeting is to be held in Canada in November on the first Saturday after Remembrance Day unless decided otherwise by the Board. The semi-annual meeting is to be held on a Saturday in April or May, both meetings at a time, place and date determined by the Board.

 Section 2. The Board shall meet approximately every three or four months to conduct Society business.

 Section 3. In addition to the regular meetings, special meetings of the membership may be held in Canada at any specific time and place at the call of the Governor, or a written request of ten members. The object of such special meeting must be stated in the notice.

 Section 4. In addition to the regular meetings, both special and emergency meetings of the Board may be held at any specific time and place at the call of the Governor, or on request of three members of the Board. The object of any special meeting must be stated in the notice. Emergency meetings will be held to deal only with items which cannot be postponed to a special meeting. Any decisions made at an emergency meeting must be ratified at the following regular meeting.

 Section 5. At least fourteen days' notice in writing shall be mailed of all regular or special meetings of the Board and fourteen days' notice in writing of all meetings of the members of the Society. Emergency meetings of the Board will not require notice but members of the Board, where practical, must be contacted.

 Section 6. At all regular or special meetings of the members of the Society, 10 members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Each member present shall have the right to exercise one vote on issues properly brought before the meeting in accordance with rules of order being utilized. At all meetings of the Board, three of the members shall constitute a quorom.

 Section 7. The order of business at the annual meeting of the membership of the Society shall be as follows:

 Calling meeting to order

 Reading of the Mayflower Compact

 Descendants Roll Call

 Necrology & Grace by Elder

 Minutes of the last meeting

 Communications

 Reports of Officers & Committees

 Unfinished Business

 New Business

 Election of Officers and Assistants

 Guest Speaker

 Adjournment

ARTICLE IX

Colonies

 Section 1. Fifteen members in good standing in the Society who wish to form a Colony of the Society may petition the Board for permission to do so.

 Section 2. The Board shall lay down prerequisites for the formation of Colonies and shall authorize a Colony when they deem those conditions to have been met.

 Section 3. The leadership of a Colony shall consist of a Regent and Treasurer and whatever other officers the Colony membership desire, all of the leaders to be elected in a democratic fashion, in conditions of time and place as decided by the membership of the Colony.

 Section 4. In order to assist Colonies to operate more effectively, the Society shall remit a per member rebate to each Colony on a yearly basis as follows:

 a) All Society members residing in a province shall be deemed members of that provincial colony.

 b) The Board shall annually, by November 1st, count the members in each Colony that are a) life members, b) have paid their dues by November 1st.

 c) The Society Treasurer will remit Colony rebates to each Colony Treasurer, based on the above membership count, on November 1st each year.

 d) The per member rebate will be maintained until financial needs warrant a policy change.

ARTICLE X

Entrance Fees and Dues

 Section 1. The application fee must accompany the preliminary draft application worksheet.

 Section 2. The application fee, junior fee and annual dues shall be determined by the Board, with the annual dues payable in advance for the year beginning 1 January.

 Section 3. Annual dues must be paid by each member, excepting life members. The Board shall determine the amount of yearly dues, including the increase of said dues and all other fees as necessary.

 Section 4. Any member whose dues are in arrears for a given year will be dropped by the Treasurer by November 1st of that year. Should a member be dropped, that member may be reinstated at the discretion of the Board and payment of the current year's dues.

 Section 5. To transfer membership from another Mayflower Society to our Society, annual dues must accompany the application.

 Section 6. New members and transfers received after 1 July shall pay half the required dues for that year.

 Section 7. There shall also be a fee set for the filing of supplemental lines.

ARTICLE XI

Funds

 Section 1. The life membership fee, all donations and legacies unless otherwise specified by the donor, shall be put into a Permanent Fund, together with such other sums as the Board may appropriate for that purpose.

ARTICLE XII

Canadian Pilgrim

 Section 1. The Society shall publish a newsletter at least twice a year, to be called Canadian Pilgrim. Compilation, printing and mailing of the newsletter shall be the responsibility of the newsletter Editor or a person delegated by the Board.

ARTICLE XIII

 Section 1. Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the officers and action of the Society, except when contrary to the By-Laws, and the Constitution and By-Laws of the General Society.

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Last Updated:  April 2013
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