The purpose of the Traveling Gavel program is to promote fellowship and visitation among all Lodges. It should be an instrument of goodwill and fun, allowing for friendly competition and camaraderie. The program should give all of those who participate both the opportunity and the reason to visit more and in so doing, create more enthusiasm for Masonry in our area. Following are the guidelines for the program and should be followed. Questions about the program should be directed to one of the Seventh District Masonic Convention officers or your District Deputy to the Grand Master.
1. There will be eight Traveling Gavels, one for each of the Sub-Districts and each Gavel must remain within that respective Sub-District. A Lodge will receive one (1) credit for each time they visit and take back the Gavel and one (1) credit each time they visit and deliver the Gavel to another Lodge (See # 5 and # 7 below). The records, which accompany the Gavel, must be completed to show the lodges visiting, the number of officers, the number of Past Masters and the total number of visiting brethren. This record, along with the Gavel, will be submitted to the District Deputy to the Grand Master by March 31st. An award will be presented at the Annual Communication of the Seventh District Masonic Convention to that Lodge in each respective Sub-District which has accumulated the most number of credits. In the event of a tie between Lodges, the Lodge which has had the most number of officers to visit during the year wins.
2. The program is designed to reward the Lodge which has had the Gavel the most number of times, not the Lodge which has held it the longest period of time.
3. Five (5) members from a visiting lodge will be the minimum number which can take the Traveling Gavel. Two (2) of these must be officers. A member of a visiting Lodge who also holds dual membership with another Lodge, other than any Georgia Daylight Lodge, must be counted only as a member of his home Lodge. If more than one Lodge is competing on the same night for the Gavel, then the Lodge with the most members at the meeting wins. If there is a tie in the total number of members present, then the Lodge with the most officers in attendance wins. Should there be a tie in the total number of officers, then the Lodge with the most Past Masters in attendance wins. Honorary members of a Lodge cannot be counted.
4. The presentation of the Gavel to the visiting Lodge should take place immediately preceding Work and Lectures.
5. The Traveling Gavel can only be taken from the Lodge currently holding it on its regular meeting night. The Lodge currently holding the Gavel must open a regular communication while the Gavel is in its possession before the Gavel can be taken from it, or before it can deliver the Gavel to another Lodge.
6. A visiting Lodge which meets on the same night as the Lodge holding the Gavel is not eligible to receive it. This means that a Lodge cannot open, put the Lodge at ease and go to the Lodge holding the Gavel and get it.
7. A Lodge holding the Traveling Gavel may elect, once it has opened a regular communication with the Gavel in its possession, to visit another Lodge and present the Gavel to them. The Lodge electing to present the Gavel to another Lodge in such manner will receive the same credit as if they had visited and taken the Gavel. To receive the credit, the delivering Lodge must meet the same requirements for the minimum number of members as in section 3 above (Five with two officers). Remember that the is to promote visitation. One member could carry the Gavel to another Lodge; however, there would be no credit given. The Lodge that it is presented to must not be the same Lodge that it was last taken from and you cannot deliver it and receive it back on the same night. It would be good if the Gavel was presented to a Lodge with low attendance or participation.
8. Each and every Lodge within each Sub-District shall be eligible to participate equally in this program, including our Daylight Lodges, and all rules will apply equally to all Lodges.
9. Each Lodge will now have an incentive, not just to go get the Traveling Gavel, but also to keep it in circulation. A Lodge now could receive two (2) credits … One (1) for going to get the Gavel and another when they deliver and present it to another Lodge.
The Traveling Gavels will be redistributed on Saturday of the Annual Communication of the Seventh District Masonic Convention. The Lodge from each Sub-District having the most members in attendance that day will take the Gavel back and, as such, will begin the new program year with one credit. In the event of a tie in the number of members present on that day, the winner will be determined by officers, the Past Masters, etc. as above.