The Petition Process
Every candidate for Initiation should read and approve the By-Laws of the Lodge and must present his petition in writing vouched for by two members of the Lodge at a Stated Communication, which must lie over at least one month for the Brethren to make due inquiry into the character and standing of the candidate and review a criminal background investigative report of the candidate. And a petition thus presented cannot be withdrawn but must be acted upon, and if rejected, cannot again be presented within six months. But rejections for Passing and Raising, and for membership, shall not be required to lie over six months but may be renewed at any subsequent Stated Communication of the Lodge. (Digest of Masonic Law; 2009) (Art. X, Sec. 14)
Part 1: The Petition
When members of the Lodge feel it is appropriate, prospective candidates who have been consistently attending events will be offered a Petition (an application for membership). This important document requires two current Lodge members to sign it, serving as a testament to the candidate's integrity. Regular attendance at open events and dinners are crucial to ensure the candidate has established a positive relationship with the Brothers of the Lodge. Additionally, the Petition must be submitted with the appropriate payment, including fees for a background investigation.
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Part 2: Background Investigation
Our organization places a great emphasis on maintaining the highest standards of integrity and safety, and therefore, we conduct a comprehensive criminal background investigation for each prospective candidate. This thorough investigation allows us to thoroughly assess the character and suitability of each candidate, ensuring that our fraternity is made up of individuals who share our values and commitment to the betterment of society.
It is important to note that individuals who have been convicted of a felony and have not had their full rights restored will be deemed ineligible for membership. This is a necessary step in maintaining the safety of our members and the community at large. While we recognize that everyone makes mistakes, we hold our members to the highest standards of conduct and character, and therefore, we cannot overlook a history of criminal activity. This policy ensures that our organization comprises individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to upholding the law and behaving ethically in all aspects of their lives. For questions regarding this policy, please speak privately with the Petitions Committee.
Part 3: Home Visit
As part of our comprehensive evaluation process, the Lodge will establish an investigation committee to assess each prospective candidate thoroughly. This committee, comprised of at least three Brothers, will arrange an in-home visit to meet with both the candidate and their family. This visit allows the committee to gain deeper insight into the candidate's character, values, and motivations. Additionally, the candidate's family is invited to ask any questions they may have.
Part 4: Balloting
Once all investigations have been completed, the investigation committee will present their report at the next Stated Meeting. Following this, a secret ballot vote will be conducted, requiring a unanimous decision for the petition to be accepted and for the candidate to proceed with initiation into Freemasonry. This important step in the process ensures that each new member is carefully vetted and meets the high standards of our organization.
Fees for the Degrees
In every case, the fee shall be paid to the Secretary in advance, without which no petition or application shall be read or announced, and in every case of rejection, the fee shall be promptly returned from the treasury upon the Master's order.
(Eureka-North Shore By-Laws; 2013) (9.01)