Section I – Initiation Fees
The initiation fee, annual dues, and life membership fee shall be set by the Council and may be altered from time to time as occasion warrants.
Section II – Governor
The Governor, or in the Governor’s absence, the Lieutenant Governor, or a Chairman pro tem, shall preside at all Assemblies of the Society and shall exercise the duties of a presiding officer under parliamentary rules. The Governor shall be a member ex-officio of all committees except the Nominating Committee and shall have power to convene the Council at his or her discretion.
Section III – Secretary
The Secretary shall:
1. Conduct and keep a record of the general correspondence of the Society.
2. Certify all acts of the Society and, when required to, authenticate them under the Seal.
3. Keep records of the proceedings and acts of the Society and of the Council and shall notify each officer or member who may be affected by them.
4. Give due notice of the time and lace of all Assemblies of the Society and of meetings of the Council.
5. Notify all accepted candidates of their election and send them certificates of membership, a pin, and a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws.
6. Have access to the Seal and custody of the Certificate of Incorporation, the By-Laws, historical and other documents, and records of the Society other than those required to be deposited with the Registrar.
7. Have charge of printing and publications issued by the Society and all publications donated to or acquired by purchase for the Society.
In the Secretary’s absence, another member who is in attendance may be designated as Secretary pro tem.
When deemed desirable the Council may authorize the Governor to appoint one or more persons, not necessarily members of the Society, to assist the Secretary in carrying out the duties of the office.
Section IV – Treasurer
The Treasurer shall collect and keep the funds and securities of the Society and shall deposit them in the name of “The Society of The Ark and The Dove” in a bank in the State of Maryland designated by the Council, and such funds shall be drawn upon for the purposes of the Society only, by a check signed by the Treasurer, or by the Governor or, if necessary, by someone designated by the Council to do so. Out of these funds he or she shall pay only such sums as may be ordered by the Society or by the Council, or necessary expenses appertaining to the Treasurer’s office. He or she shall keep a true count of the receipts and disbursements and at each meeting render the same to the Council and annually to the Society.
For the faithful performance of the Treasurer’s duty, he or she may be required to give such security as the Council may deem proper.
Section V – Registrar
The Registrar shall receive and have custody of all applications and proofs upon which membership has been granted and report at the next General Assembly the names of candidates who have been admitted to membership and of those who are no longer members by reason of death, resignation, or for any other reason.
Section VI – Historian
The Historian shall keep a detailed record of all historical and commemorative observances of the Society and shall edit for publication any historical addresses, papers, and other documents as the Society may see fit to publish.
Section VII – Chancellor
The Chancellor shall be learned in the law, duly admitted to the bar, whose duty it is to give or obtain legal opinions on matters affecting the Society when called upon by the Governor or the Council to do so.
Section VIII – Surgeon
The Surgeon shall be a graduate of a medical college and a practicing or retired physician whose duty is to officiate when called upon.
Section IX – Chaplain
The Chaplain shall be a bishop, priest, or other ordained minister of religion.
Section X – The Council
The Council is empowered to call special Assemblies of the Society and arrange for celebrations. The Council shall have control and management of the affairs and funds of the Society and shall perform such duties as shall be prescribed by the Constitution and By-Laws, but they shall at no time take any action or contract any debt for which they shall be liable. They may accept the resignation of any member of the Society. They may meet as often as they determine or at the call of the Governor.
Five members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. At one General Assembly each year they shall submit to the Society a report of their proceedings. The Council shall have power to drop from the roll the name of any member of the Society whose dues are at least two years in arrears and who fails on written notice to pay the same within sixty days, and, on being dropped, his or her membership shall be terminated. The Council may suspend any officer for just cause, which must be reported to the Society at the next General Assembly.
Section XI – Vacancies and Terms of Office
Whenever an officer of this Society shall die, resign, or for any reason be unable to perform his or her duties, and whenever an office is vacant which the Society has not yet filled by election, the Council may appoint a member to such office pro tem, who shall act in that capacity until the Society elects someone to fill the vacant office or until the original occupant of the office is willing and able to resume his or her duties. The Council may fill vacancies among its members under the same conditions, and should any member of the Council other than an officer be absent without an acceptable excuse for three consecutive meetings, his or her place may be declared vacant by the Council and filled by appointment until the election of a successor. Subject to these provisions, all officers and members of the Council shall from the time of their election continue in their respective offices until their term expires or until their successors are chosen.
Section XII – Disqualification and Expulsion
Any person who has in good faith been admitted to membership shall remain a member even though his or her proof of descent later becomes questionable, but future applications of persons of the same descent will not be accepted until more complete documentation is offered.
The Council is empowered to suspend or drop from the rolls of the Society any member whose conduct is deemed detrimental or antagonistic to the interest or objects of the Society, or for other just cause after written charges against that person are presented to the Council giving the reasons why it should be done. If the Council votes to expel such members, he or she shall be required to return his or her insignia to the Treasurer of the Society.
Section XIII – Admission to Membership
Upon receiving a favorable report from the Membership Committee attesting to an applicant’s acceptable proof of descent, the Council may elect a person to membership.
Section XIV – Membership Committee
The Membership Committee shall consist of members appointed by the Council.
In addition to regular members of the Society who have documented descent from passengers aboard the Ark and the Dove, 1633-1634, the Council may from time to time name as honorary members of the Society persons who are deeply interested in the original settlement and early history of Maryland and who have made notable contributions to the purposes for which the Society was created. The Council is empowered to terminate the membership of such persons at any time.
Section XV – General Assemblies
The General Assembly of the Society at which the election of officers takes place shall be held on, or as near as conveniently may be, the anniversary of the settlement of St. Mary’s City by the first colonists of Maryland on March 27, 1634.
Each year on the anniversary of the sailing of the Ark and the Dove from the Isle of Wight, November 22, 1633, or as near as conveniently may be, the Society shall hold a social Assembly at which the entertainment may be determined by the Council.
Section XVI – Notice of Members’ Address Changes
Every member must inform the Secretary in writing of his or her place of residence and of any change of address.
Section XVII – Amendments
Amendments to the By-Laws proposed by any member must be sent to the Council and, if approved by them, shall be submitted to the next General Assembly. In such a case, the Secretary shall send a copy of the proposed amendment to each member of the Society and state the date and place of the Assembly at which it will be voted on. For adoption, proposed amendments must receive at least three quarters of the vote cast by the members in attendance at that Assembly.
Section XVIII – Standing Rules
The Council of the Society may from time to time establish Standing Rules having to do with practical and procedural details relating to the carrying out of the By-Laws, provided that they are in conformity with the Constitution and/or a reasonable interpretation of the purposes fro which the Society was formed.