CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE FIREMEN’S BENEFIT ASSOCIATION.
Firemen interested in organizing benefit societies will be pleased to read the following, which will serve as a guide to aid them in organizing similar associations:
- This Association shall be known as the Massachusetts State Firemen’s Benefit Association; its object being to aid and benefit the families of deceased members, in a simple, inexpensive and substantial manner.
- The officers of the Association shall consist of a President, VicePresident, Secretary and Treasurer; a Board of Trustees, to consist of seven persons, of which the President and Secretary shall be two, all of whom shall be elected annually and shall hold their offices until their successors are elected and have accepted iheir positions.
- The President shall be ex-officio chairman of the Board of Trustees.
- The annual meetings of this Association shall be held each year at the same time and place ol meeting of the Massachusetts Slate Firemen’s Association.
- It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the Association. He shall have the power to call special meetings at such time and place as the Executive Committee may think best for the interest of the Association. In the absence of the President the Vice-President, in his absence the senior member of the Board of Trustees present, shall preside.
- The Secretary shall receive all money for the Association, paying the same over to the Treasurer, taking his receipt therefor. lie shall keep a true record of the proceedings of the Association, a register of all members, and make a correct report annually, or oftener if required by a majority of the Trustees, of all receipts, expenditures, number of members, condition of Association and perform all such other duties as pertain to his office.
- The Treasurer shall receive from the Secretary all money received for this Association, and give a receipt therefor, and shall deposit the same in such banks as the Trustees may direct, and all money drawn by check must be signed by the Treasurer and countersigned by the President ; shall pay all orders drawn by the President, and attested by the Secretary ; shall keep a regular and correct account of all money received and paid ; shall keep account of the Benefit Fund in a separate book, and not allow this fund to be used for any other purpose ; shall perform such other duties as the laws, rules and usages of this Association require ; shall have the accounts ready for settlement on the second Tuesday In October, annually, and at the expiration of the term of office, shall deliver to the successor in office, all money, books, papers and vouchers on hand. Before entering upon the discharge of the duties of the office, shall give to the Board of Trustees a bond, with approved security, for the faithful performance of the duty, for such an amount as the Trustees may deem satisfactory.
- The Board of Trustees shall exercise a general supervision over the Officers and business of the Association, decide all questions that may arise, and till any vacancies that may occur, cither of Officers or Committees, previous to any meeting, subject to change or revision by said annual meeting.
- The Constitution shall not be amended unless such amendments shall have been offered at the preceding annual meeting, and it shall require a vote of two-thirds of the delegates assembled, who are members, in Convention, to adopt such amendments.
- In order to become a member hereof a person must be in good health, a man of good moral character and correct habits, and at the time of his application a member of some regular and legally organized Fire Company or Department, Protective Department or an ex-member who has honorably served for a period of three years as a Fireman of New England States.
- A fee of two dollars ($2.00) will be required of every person becoming a member, to be paid to the Secretary, and this amount with first assessment must in all cases accompany the application. All applications must be on the printed forms, furnished by the Association, giving age, residence, full Chiistian name, the Company to which he belongs, and i also, with full Christian name, the person to whom he wishes the death benefit paid, and die re’ationship. This application must be recommended by the Foreman of his Company, and approved by the Chief Engineer of the Department, or if there be none, then by the Mayor or highest municipal officer of the city or town where bo resides.
- The Secretary shall be responsible to the officers of the Association for all motley collected, and lie shill at once acknowledge receipt of all j assessment notices which he may receive, lie shall keep a list of all j members of the Association.
- The Secretary shall give to each member, on payment, a dated and j numbered receipt for each assessment, and give credit on his books; such receipt or book credit shall he sufficient evidence of the good standing of the member and entitle him to liis full benefits. He shall at once upon receipt of assessment, notify each member of the same, and thereupon each member shall at once forward the amount assessed against him to said Secretary. If at the end of twenty days it remains unpaid he will be again notified by the Secretary .and if not paid within ten days from date of this second notice his name must be erased from the roll of members, and lie shall thereby forfeit all claim upon the Association. The Board of Trustees however shall have the power to reinstate a delinquent member upon his furnishing them personally or in writing a satisfactory reason for his default, pay the sums due from him at the date of his forfeiture and filing with them the certificate of the Chief Engineer of his Department or the highest municipal officer of the municipal corporation wherein he resides, that in the meantime the risk has been in no way impaired or increased. A notice directed to the residence of the member, as it appears in the books of the Association, and deposited, postage paid, in the postoffice, or given to him personally, shall be deemed a legal and sufficient notice.
- Certificates of membership shall be limited in amount of benefit to five thousand dollars.
- Upon the death of any member of this Association the Secretary of his Company or of the Fire Department of which he is a member shall transmit to the Secretary a report of the same signed by himself and two other members, together with a certificate of the attending physician and of the Foreman of his Company, giving name, age, residence and cause of death, also full name and address of beneficiary named in certificate.
- The basis of assessment shall be as follows :
- AH excess collected on any assessment shall be deposited under the direction of the Board of Trustees as a separate fund and held until enough has been accumulated to pay one certificate, then it will be so used, and the certificates not assessed for, and that fact duly stated to the members on the next assessment, and any excess of membership fees over and above amount needed inanyoneyear to run the Association on any uncalled for benefits may be used in the same way at the discretion and under the direction of the Board of Trustees.
- It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep an accurate record of the postoffice address of all members of this Association, and it shall be the duty of a member changing his place of residence to notify his Secretary of the same, who s lull forthwith enter such change of residence ( n his books, and any neglect on the part of the member to do so, will make him responsible for any failure to receive notices and fully absolve the Association from all and any blame or responsibility for loss arising tliereIrom.
- The name of the person or persons to who n the benefit is to be paid, in case of death, slnll be endorsed upon the certificate of membership and upon the register of the Ass iciation ; in case a member fails to direct ta whom it has to be paid, then it shall be given to bis widow or children ; in case there is no widow or children, and a mother living, then to her ; it not it shall be paid to the next of kin, provided, however, that should a death occur when one lull assessment on each member should not amount to the full sum provided, then the sum paid shall be one full assessment on each member in good standing in the Association at the date of death, and such a sum shall be all that can be claimed by any one.
- it. Any member may at any time withdraw from the Association bygiving notice in writing to the Secretary, and paying all assessments that may be due from him at that time—he thereby forfeiting all and every claim or benefit herein. A member does not forfeit his membership herein by voluntarily withdrawing in good standing from the Fire Service after having served three years therein and receiving a proper certificate of honorable dismissal therefrom.
- In case a member becomes addicted to intemperate or immoral habits, so as to render him unfit for duty as a Fireman, or is for any cause expelled from his company, or shall resign therefrom before lie has completed three years’ service as a Fireman, (except because cf removal from the city or town where his company is located) then he shall thereby forfeit his membership herein and all claim or benefit under the same and all money paid thereon.
- Each member of the Association shall be entitled to a copy cf these by-laws and a certificate of membership, said certificate to have on it the seal of the Association, and be attested by the President and Secretary, and should he at any time desire to change the original beneficiary he can do so by notifying the Secretary and surrendering to him the original certificate, who will make the transfer on his books and issue the new certificate as desired.
- The Secretary shall be required to execute to the President in trust for the Association and to be approved by the Executive Committee a good and sufficient bond in the sum of one thousand dollars ($rooo), for the faithful performance of his duties as Secretary; and he shall, in Compensation for all his service, receive such sum, not exceeding twelve hundred dollars per annum, as the Trustees may by vote direct.
- The Board of Trustees is empowered to levy an assessment not to exceed two dollars on each member, whenever it becomes necessary to do sp, to meet the expenses of the Association, to be collected under the same rules and penalties as a death assessment, but such assessments shall not be made oftener than once in twelve months, unless by the unanimous vote of the Trustees.
- These By-Laws may be amended in the same way only as hereinbefore provided for amending the Constitution.