Enter the spirit of visiting With the Traveling Gavel
Raiding a lodge to claim the gavel is fun! However, there are some rules of engagement:
The lodge members who wish to claim the gavel should visit the lodge that currently is in possession of the gavel.
There must be at least three members from he visiting delegation which has to include the WM or one warden, one of the visitors will be known as the ‘claiming officer’
The claiming officer will make the claim at the third rising by saying: ‘WM, I bring greetings from lodge WXYZ number 1234 and in accordance with the rules, I claim the gavel that travels from you so as to move it to our lodge, until it is successfully claimed from us.’
The host lodge WM will then seek confirmation from his JW that at least three visiting brethren are present. The JW will ask all visiting members from the claiming lodge to rise. Once the confirmation has been made he will then report to his WM that the claim is being made in accordance with the rules.
Following this the WM will deliver the gavel that travels to the claiming officer, using his own words in open lodge.
In the event that there is more than one lodge making the claim, then the JW will use the criteria listed here in that order to select a successful claiming lodge:
The lodge with the greater number of visitors present, if numbers are equal then:
The lodge from a different Masonic hall to the host lodge, if this still does not break the deadlock then:
The lodge with the most senior ranking claiming officer, or:
The lodge with the least number of occasions of holding it (as listed on the register attached to it),or as a last resort:
The lodge with the lowest number listed in the register of the UGLE.
The lodge in possession must display the gavel on the secretary’s table in the lodge room at all the meetings whilst in its care. There is the option to place it before the WM at the festive board if so desired.
The gavel can be used by the WM during the lodge meeting and, or at the festive board.
Movement between lodges is the responsibility of the group representative or in his absence the lodge secretary of the host lodge reporting its whereabouts to the both the group chairman and group secretary. They must also advise the group webmaster who will publicise the gavel movement on the Chorley and Leyland Group area of the Provincial website.
Should the group chairman decide the gavel has remained static in one lodge for too long he may seek its movement to a new lodge or Masonic hall by requesting a new claiming lodge to attend the host lodge with a view to claiming it. In these circumstances only the WM or a warden of the claiming lodge need attend, although as many visitors should be encouraged to attend as possible. The claim will be made in the third rising when the WM will say: ’WM, I bring greetings from lodge ABCD number 1234. I am here on instruction from the group chairman, to claim the gavel that travels for my lodge.’ The host WM following a consultation with his JW, will present the gavel to the claimant.
Only the lodge nominated by the group chairman may rise and claim the gavel that travels. This nomination by the group chairman will be made in writing to both lodges involved in the claim.
If your lodge claims the gavel please advise the group chairman.
Good Luck Brethren!