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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

(Reply to I.)

(Reply to I.)

Grand Lodge, I.O.O.F., Dunedin, W. E. Watt, Esq., D.D.G.M., I.O.O.F., Marton.

Dear Sir and Brother,—

I have to acknowledge receipt of yours of the 8th instant re Marton Lodge, contents of which were laid before my colleagues for consideration. We have to compliment you for the stand you have taken in this unpleasant affair,—a position which is perfectly in accordance with the laws and principles of the Order, and by which all members, on entrance, obligate themselves as men and Oddfellows to abide by. We regret that there should have been cause for you to take the steps you did, in view of the fact that this Lodge started under such favourable auspices.

The Lodge forfeits everything, according to Laws 52 and 56, excepting one-half of moneys and land; but even this exception is annulled, because the members held no meeting for six months, and consequently are all unfinancial, through owing more than three months' contributions,—therefore, by their own act and consent, they can have no status respecting the funds and property of the Lodge. The case would have assumed a different aspect had the members dissolved the Lodge when they were financial, the remaining ones owing not more than three months' contributions would then have been entitled to one-half of the cash and land, as per Law 56. The position of matters now is, that all property of whatsoever kind is absolutely forfeited to the G. Lodge, the late members of the Marton Lodge having entirely disqualified themselves from any participation therein, just in the same way that any member now of any Lodge forfeits all benefits and interest in the property of his Lodge when he owes more than three months' subscriptions.

The late members of the Marton Lodge must bear this important fact in mind, viz.: if any members or their wives had died during the time that they owed up to one quarter's dues, the G. Lodge would have had to pay their funeral claims. With yourself, we grieve to hear that the members endeavour to ignore the Grand Lodge and their obligations when they joined the Order, by affirming that because their Lodge was not registered, therefore they were not under the jurisdiction of the G. Lodge. This is an unmanly position to take up, and is as unwarrantable as it is unjust. The fact that the G. Lodge instituted the Lodge by charter, and through its proper officers, ought to be sufficient in the eyes of men of principle to completely refute that assertion. We desire you to act so that all the property will be handed over to the G. Lodge; and if within six months the Marton Lodge wishes to be resuscitated, the G. Lodge will with pleasure consider the propriety of returning the main part of the property, so as to give it a good start. We are extremely anxious that the Lodge should carry on its operations, and express the hope that this may be the ultimatum. Perhaps some amicable arrangement can be come to between the members by which harmony could be restored;—however, it must be distinctly understood that the Lodge cannot be re-instituted until the permission to do so is first otbained from the G. Lodge. The laws of the Order are registered under the present F. .societies Act. Our Order is attaining great proportions, being now in Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, and other parts on the Continent of page 51 Europe, making rapid progress therein. We are now, all told, about 500,000 financial members.

We have to cordially thank you for the trouble taken re Marton Lodge, and hope yet that all may turn out mutually satisfactory.