BYLAWS OF THE KENT BRANCH
THE ONTARIO GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
ARTICLE I: Definitions
Society means The Ontario Genealogical Society (hereinafter referred to as "The Society")
Board means the Board of Directors of The Society
Branch means a group of members of The Ontario Genealogical Society who join together for reasons of geographical proximity and genealogical interest, and who agree to be bound by the Letters Patent and Bylaws of The Society. The Branch does not constitute a legal entity separate and apart from The Society. The property and assets held by the Branch are held in trust for the Society.
Executive Committee means the Executive Committee of the Branch
(See Article IV)
Council means the Branch Council (see Article V)
ARTICLE II: Name
2.1 Name: The name of the Branch of The Ontario Genealogical Society shall be Kent Branch (hereafter called "the Branch").
2.2 Geographical area: The geographical area for the Branch comprises the municipality of Chatham-Kent, as defined by the Board
2.3.1 to promote, encourage and foster the study of genealogy and original genealogical research in the Branch's geographical area;
2.3.2 to collect and preserve information, books, manuscripts, charts, maps, photographs. microfilms and related material relevant to genealogical study;
2.3.3 to encourage and instruct members in the ethical principles, scientific methods and effective techniques of genealogical research;
2.3.4 to publish and distribute books, bulletins, and other material as may, from time to time, be desirable to further the foregoing objects of the Branch;
2.3.5 to raise funds for any of the foregoing objects and to accept donations, gifts, legacies and bequests;
2.3.6 to support "organizations" external to The Society and within the Branch's geographical area which have a shared interest in genealogy and family history.
ARTICLE III: Branch Membership
3.1 Qualifications: Any person, corporation or institution, that is a member of The Society and is willing to subscribe to its Bylaws may become a Branch member.
3.2 Classes of Branch Membership: Individual; Family; Honorary; Corporate; lnstitutional.
3.2.1 Individual Branch member: Any person may become an individual Branch member and is entitled to all the privileges listed in Section 3.3.1.
3.2.2 Family Branch member: Two or more persons having the same address may form a family group, one as an individual Branch member and the others as family members. Each family Branch member is entitled to the privileges listed in sections 3.3.1.
3.2.3 Honorary Branch member: Any person who has made notable contributions to genealogy may be made an honorary Branch member of the Branch by vote of the Branch Council. An honorary Branch member is entitled to all privileges listed in Section 3.3.1.
3.2.4 Corporate Branch member: Any corporation may become a corporate Branch member, and is entitled to the privileges listed in Section 3.3.2.
3.2.5 Institutional Branch member: An institution, such as a library or society, may be accepted as an institutional Branch member, and is entitled to the privileges listed in Section 3.3.2.
3.2.6 Associate or Branch-Only member: Any person who was an Associate member of the Branch prior to April 26, 1997 may continue as a member and is entitled to all the privileges listed in Section 3.3.3. If such member allows the membership to lapse, he/she must then join The Society to become a Branch member again.
3.3.1 Individual, Family and Honorary Branch members are entitled:
a. to attend and participate in all regular, special and annual meetings of the Branch;
b. to vote on any issue at such meetings, including the election of officers, changes to Branch bylaws and approval of the annual budget and fee structure;
c. to serve in any capacity on any committee of the Branch; and
d. to receive without charge, one copy, per address, of all issues of the Branch's newsletter.
3.3.2 Corporate and Institutional Branch members are entitled;
a. to attend and participate in, but not vote at, all regular, special and annual meetings of the Branch;
b. to receive, without charge, one copy of all issues of the Branch's newsletter.
3.3.3 Associate or Branch-Only members are entitled:
a. to attend and participate in all regular, special and annual meetings of the Branch;
b. to serve in any capacity on any committee of the Branch but they may not serve on the Executive; and
c. to receive without charge, one copy, per address, of all issues of the Branch newsletter.
3.4 Branch Membership year: The Branch membership year shall be the calendar year. A member who joins the Branch after the last day of October in any year will become a member for the following year.
3.5 Branch Annual dues:
3.5.1 In addition to the annual dues set by The Society for each Society Class of membership, members will pay Branch dues as set from time to time;
3.5.2 The Branch fee structure will be recommended by the Branch Council, approved by the members at the annual meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose, and subsequently submitted to the Society for approval; and
3.5.3 A member who does not renew by the last day of January ceases to be a member, but may regain membership by paying dues for the current year.
ARTICLE IV: Branch Officers
4.1 Branch Officers:
4.1.1 The officers of the Branch shall be: Chair; FirstVice-Chair; Second Vice-Chair; Secretary; Treasurer;
4.1.2 The Branch officers, together with the immediate past Chair, comprise the Branch Executive Committee.
4.2 Eligibility: Each Branch officer shall be an Individual, Family, Life or Honorary member of The Society.
4.3 Election of Branch Officers:
4.3.l Branch Officers shall be elected at the Branch's annual meeting;
4.3.2 Branch Officers shall be elected by show of hands or by ballot to serve for ONE year, or until their successors are elected, and their term of office shall begin at the Annual Meeting.
4.3.3 The Chair, First Vice-Chair and Second Vice-Chair may be elected to two consecutive terms only;
4.3.4 The Secretary and Treasurer may be elected to three consecutive terms only;
4.3.5 No member shall hold more than one office, as defined in 4.l.1, at a time.
4.4 Branch Nominating Committee: At the first regular Branch meeting held in the calendar year, a Branch Nominating Committee comprising 2 or 3 members shall be approved by the Branch members. It shall be the duty of this committee to nominate candidates for the Branch offices to be filled at the Branch annual meeting for the following year. The proposed slate of candidates shall be mailed to the Branch members with the notice of the annual meeting.
ARTICLE V: Branch Council
5.1 Composition: The Branch Council shall be comprised of the Branch Executive Committee, the immediate past Chair and the chairs of standing committees of the Branch. A quorum shall consist of SEVEN Branch Executive Committee members.
5.2 Standing Committees: The standing committees of the Branch are: Newsletter, Library Services, Publications, Publicity, Program, Telephone, Special Events, Computer and Internet, Nominating and any others as deemed to be required by the Council.
5.3 Meetings: The Branch Council shall meet at least four times a year.
5.4 Committee Chairs:
5.4.1 All members of the Branch are eligible to be chairs and participants in standing, ad hoc and other committees;
5.4.2 The Branch Nominating Committee will prepare a slate of chairs. Chairs may be either elected by majority vote or appointed at the Branch annual meeting.
ARTICLE VI: Branch Meetings
6.1 Quorum: 20 members of the Branch shall constitute a quorum.
6.2 Proxy voting: There shall not be any voting by proxy.
6.3 Regular meetings: The regular meetings of the Branch are usually held on the second Friday of every month except July and August.
6.4 Annual meeting: The regular meeting held in the month of January shall be the annual meeting, and shall be for the purpose of electing officers, receiving reports of officers and committees, for announcing the appointment of the auditor(s), for approving amendments to these bylaws and for any other business that may arise.
6.5 Special meetings: Special meetings may be called by the Chair or by the Executive Committee. Special meetings shall be called upon the written request of TEN members of the Branch. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call. Thirty days notice of such meetings shall be given immediately by the Chair, in writing to all Branch members.
ARTICLE VII: Finance
7.1 Budget: The Treasurer shall prepare the budget for the fiscal year commencing January I next, and shall submit it to the Branch membership not later than the last regular meeting in the calendar year. After approval by the members the budget shall be forwarded to The Society.
7.2 Audit: The Executive Committee shall appoint at least one person who is not a member of the Branch Council who shall review the Treasurer's accounts at the close of The Society's fiscal year. The financial statement and auditor's report shall be presented to the members as soon as possible and submitted to The Society by February 28.
ARTICLE VIII: Parliamentary Authority
8.1 Authority: The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Branch in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order which the Branch or The Society may adopt.
ARTICLE IX: Repeal and Amendment
9.1 All previous Branch bylaws are revoked.
9.2 Before these bylaws and amendments hereto are submitted to the membership for approval, the Branch Council shall review them with the Regional Director to ensure absence of conflict with The Society's Bylaws.
9.3 These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority of votes cast by ballot at a Branch annual meeting.
9.4 Amendments to the Branch bylaws shall take effect at the end of the Branch annual meeting at which they are approved by Branch members.
9.5 In the event the Branch becomes inactive, is dissolved and is unable to continue its role as a branch of the Society, the Society will assume trusteeship of the Branch assets and liabilities under the by-laws of the Society.
I_______________________ Director for Region 1 of The Ontario Genealogical Society have reviewed these Bylaws (or Bylaw Amendments) with the Branch Council and have found no conflict with The Society's Bylaws:
Approved at the Branch Annual Meeting, the____________day of_______________________.
BRANCH POLICY AND PROCEDURES
DUTIES OF THE BRANCH COUNCIL
The duties of the Chairperson are:
1. to chair Executive meetings and general meetings of the Branch;
2. to conduct the business of the Branch or supervise its conduct, so that the Branch continues to remain a viable organization within The Society and responsible to The Society;
3. to become familiar with the basic rules of conducting a meeting (The Society uses Roberts Rules of Order);
4. to attend meetings at the provincial level and at the regional level and if unable to attend, to send the Vice-Chairperson or other representative so that the Branch is kept aware of The Society's decisions, which affect the Branch;
5. to be responsible to the Branch membership and the Society for all aspects of the Branch's operations. which is best done by having regular Executive meetings where various Executive and committee members report on their individual activities and responsibilities.
6. to maintain a post office box and collect and distribute the mail regularly;
7. to keep a corespondence log, entering all incoming mail and the date answered, with a brief explanation of contents. The log should be added to the Minutes Book by the end of each calendar year.
8. to forward to the Newsletter Editor all queries received for publication in the newsletter;
9. It is strongly recommended that the term of office for a Chairperson not exceed the two one-year terms which the Society's President serves under the Society's Bylaws;
10. to arrange for the training of his/her replacement.
The duties of the First Vice-Chairperson are:
1. to act in place of the Chairperson when called upon;
2. in general, the first Vice-Chairperson is nominated on the understanding that he/she will succeed the current Chairperson to the Chair;
3. to attend provincial or regional council meetings when the Chairperson is unable;
4. consideration should be given to meaningful jobs for the Vice-Chairperson to learn the operation of the Branch so that he/she will be able to succeed the current Chairperson.
The duties of the Second Vice-Chairperson are:
1. to act in place of the Chairperson and/or First Vice-Chairperson when called upon;
2. in general, the Second Vice-Chairperson is nominated on the understanding that he/she will succeed the current First Vice-Chairperson and/or Chairperson;
3. to attend provincial or regional council meetings when the Chairperson or First Vice- Chairperson is unable;
4. Consideration should be given to meaningful jobs for the Second Vice- Chairperson to learn the operation of the Branch so that he/she wiIl he able to succeed the current Chairperson and/or First Vice-Chairperson.
The duties of the Past Chairperson are:
1. to provide a link with the past, and when asked to advise the Executive from his/her experience but not to attempt to maintain control of The Branch's business;
2. to turn over any files that pertain to the conduct of The Branch's business during his/her tenure in the Chair, within a reasonable length of time of becoming Past Chairperson (about 1-2 months);
3. to head up special committees, e.g nominating committees, seminar committees, etc., if called upon because of his/her experience;
4. to attend council meetings on behalf of the Branch, if called upon, when the Chairperson and the First and Second Vice-Chairperson are unable to attend.
The duties of the Recording Secretary are:
1. to record the Minutes of the executive and general meetings. Minutes are not required to be verbatim but should accurately reflect what was said or transacted at the meeting.
2. to read the Minutes of the previous meeting, executive or general, at the next meeting and move their adoption as read or amended, before presenting to the Chairperson for signature, after adoption;
3. to be responsible for the inclusion in the Minutes Book, of all reports from the various committees and to provide copies of the Minutes to the Chairperson and all other executive members;
4. to undertake such other duties as assigned by the Chairperson, and as mutually agreed upon from time to time.
The duties of the Membership Secretary are:
1. to maintain up-to-date records on the Branch's membership, issuing membership cards as required and sending on the new member's package;
2. to maintain a supply of OGS up-to-date applications for membership on hand and to arrange for their distribution;
3. to keep the Chairperson informed as to current membership, prior to any meeting, and particularly prior a meeting of council, and prior to the preparation of the Annual Report;
4. to undertake any other task, as mutually agreed upon with the Chairperson, associated with the correspondence.
The duties of the Correspondence Secretary are:
1. to answer all mail not directed to the Chairperson or the various committees and any mail requested on behalf of the Executive;
2. to keep a corespondence log, entering all incoming mail and the date answered, with a brief explanation of contents. The log should be added to the Minutes Book by the end of each calendar year;
3. to forward to the Newsletter Editor all queries received for publication in the newsletter.
The duties of the Treasurer are;
1. to manage the Branch's financial affairs, maintain bank account(s), ensure the Branch expenditures are properly authorized, that cheques are properly signed (by 2 members) and that the Society receives the funds due it;
2. to prepare an annual statement of account and arrange, in concert with the Executive, for the books to be independently audited. Copies of these reports should be placed in the Minutes Book.
3. at each Executive and general meeting, to give a financial report containing the previous month's balance, a list of current month's debits and credits, their totals and the current balance;
4. to establish a method regarding the paying of bills etc. (eg. receipts required, time frame within which receipts are to be submitted, and any other relevant guidelines);
5. to pay promptly all expenditures sanctioned by the Executive;
6. to prepare an annual budget for approval by the Executive and/or the gencral membership and deposit said report in the Minutes Book.
The duties of the Regional Representative are:
1. to ensure that he/she is familiar with the interests of the Branches within the Region;
2. to represent his/her Region at meetings of the Board of Directors;
3. to ensure that all members of the Region are informed of all matters, including the activities of the Board of Directors and the Society which may affect them;
4. to attend at least one regular meeting of each Branch within the Region each year;
5. to communicate with, and act as consultant to, any small group of members within the Region in their efforts to achieve and maintain a recognized status within the Society.
CHAIRPERSONS OF STANDING COMMITTEES
1. NEWSLETTER EDITOR
The duties of the Newsletter Editor are:
1. to coordinate material submitted for publication, prepare the layout of the newsletter, arrange for its printing etc.on a quarterly basis;
2. to edit the material submitted, so he/she should have a knowledge of local research sources, the local history, and a good knowledge of editing procedures;
3. to co-ordinate the "queries" column or appoint another to do so;
4. to send five copies of the newsletter to the Society's office and one to the Regional Director;
5. to seek assistants where necessary.
The duties of the Librarian are:
1. to maintain the Branch's collection of materials in an orderly fashion;
2. to catalog material as received and arrange for its preservation and availability to the Branch membership and the general public;
3. to make a catalog of materials available, printed and/or computer database;
4. to submit to the Newsletter Editor, information on new aquisitions for inclusion in the newsletter on a regular basis;
5. to request that the Correspondence Secretary acknowledge any donations to the Branch's collection;
6. to advise the Executive on library procedure and the most practical methods of storing the Branch's library, keeping in mind accessibility to the membership and optimum preservation of the materials;
7. to arrange for volunteers to staff the Branch library or appoint another to do so;
8. to ensure that all library staffers are familiar with the collection and the rules regarding its use.
The duties of the Publications Committee Chairperson are:
1. to chair a committee of volunteers to seek out material of an historical and genealogical nature for publication, and prepare, edit, publish, advertise and offer for sale such material on behalf of the Branch;
2. to coordinate with the Executive as to the mandate and budget of the committee and provide regular progress reports to the general membership as well as the Executive;
3. to actively promote the publications of the Branch at home and abroad;
4. to send one copy of all Branch publications except cemetery recordings to the Society's office;
5. to send two copies of cemetery recordings to the Society's cemetery coordinator.
The duties of the Publicity Committee Chairperson are:
1. to make the public aware of the Branch's activities;
2. to make use of local newspapers, radio and TV stations for public announcements.
The duties of the Program Committee Chairperson are:
1. to chair a committee of volunteers to seek out speakers or activities for the Branch meetings;
2. to prepare a program to be submitted to the Executive and to be published for the benefit of the membership;
3. to contact the speakers as to their willingness to participate and just prior to the meeting as a follow-up;
4. to arrange for any honourarium (if required, from the Treasurer) or gift for the
5. to arrange for someone to introduce and thank each speaker;
6. to ensure that a letter of thanks is sent to each speaker.
6. TELEPHONE COMMITTEE
The duty of the Telephone Committee Chairperson is:
1. to form a committee of persons to telephone the local members prior to a
meeting or special event to remind them of the purpose, time and place.
7. SPECIAL EVENTS
The duty of the Special Events Chairperson is:
1. to form a committee of volunteers to organize and carry out any special events
such as meeting places, Regional meetings, refreshments at meetings, socials, trips, fund raising (garage sales, grocery tapes etc.) when called upon by the Branch.
8. COMPUTER AND INTERNET
The duties of the Computer person are:
1. to maintain the Branch's computer equipment,
2. to keep abreast of the latest computer software and technology (including the
3. to advise the Branch Council on the need to upgrade existing equipment and software from time to time,
4. to assist members in using the Branch's equipment and software;
5. to advise the Branch's members on the best use of the Internet and any sites
available for genealogical and historical research.
9. NOMINATING COMMITTEE
The duty of the Nominating Committee Chairperson is to form a committee of 2 or 3 volunteers to comply with Section 4.4 of the Branch Bylaws.