By-Laws of the German Society, 1992

Section I - Purposes of the Society

The purposes of the Society, founded on April 21st, 1835, are:

  1. To aid needy members and other persons, who, because of failing health, misfortune or adverse circumstances, require help.
  2. To support projects of other Canadian charitable organizations and social agencies in the Greater Montreal area whose objectives are such that participation or contributions by the Society would be considered a meaningful extension of the Society's own work. However, such projects should not be joined or given financial assistance without obtaining the consent of the Trustees of the Relief and Welfare Fund of the German Society.
  3. To keep alive among its members the German language and cultural heritage and, in general, be supportive of efforts to enhance the knowledge and appreciation of German culture in its diversity, evolution throughout history and manifestations in North America.

Section II -  Conditions of Membership

  1. Membership is open to anyone wishing to further the purposes of the Society.
  2. Applications for membership, seconded by two members in good standing, shall be submitted to the Society's Board of Management for final decision.
  3. Annual dues shall be charged to all members at the beginning of the Society's fiscal year and must be paid before fiscal year-end to ensure membership in good standing. Adjustments of such dues shall be proposed by the Board of Management at the annual general meeting and shall require immediate ratification.
  4. Members who have not paid their dues for two consecutive years shall lose the status of member.

Section III -  Meetings

  1. The end of the Society's fiscal year shall be March 31st. The annual meeting shall be held on April 21st, anniversary of the founding of the Society, or as close as possible to that date, but in any event not later than May 31st.
  2. Special meetings of the Society may be called by the President or at the written request of at least five members. The agenda of such meetings shall be announced in the notice of meeting which shall be mailed at least two weeks prior thereto, and the business of such meetings shall be confined to the announced agenda.
  3. Nine members shall constitute a quorum at any general membership meeting.
  4. Notice of all general meetings shall be mailed to the members.
  5. All meetings shall be conducted according to parliamentary rules. Unless otherwise provided in the By-Laws, decisions shall be made by simple majority vote. In case of a tie, the President has the deciding vote.
  6. The President shall have the right to postpone any vote on motions until the next meeting.

Section IV -  Procedure of Meetings

  1. The procedure of business meetings shall be as follows:
    1. Reading and acceptance of minutes of the last meeting and signing of the minutes by the President
    2. If and when required, reports by the Treasurer and of the Committees
    3. Introduction of new members
    4. Dispatch of current business
    5. Dispatch of new business
  2. The procedure at the annual meeting shall be as follows:
    1. Reading and acceptance of minutes of the last meeting and signing of the minutes by the President
    2. Report of the Secretary
    3. Report of the Treasurer
    4. Reports of the Permanent Committees
    5. Report of the Auditors
    6. Appointment of Chairperson of Elections
    7. Election of the Board of Management
    8. Appointment of Auditors
  3. All above mentioned reports at the annual meeting shall be submitted in writing.

Section V - Board of Management

The Board of Management shall consist of nine members:         

  • The President
  • The Vice-President
  • The Secretary
  • The Treasurer

who shall hold office for two years;

  • Five Councilors

who shall be elected annually.

Section VI - Elections

  1. At a business meeting preceding the annual meeting by not less than two months, the Board of Management shall appoint a Nominating Committee preferably consisting of five former members of said Board who shall not seek office in the following term. The names of these five members shall be mailed to the membership together with the date of the Annual Meeting.
  2. The Nominating Committee's proposed single slate of officers and respective positions together with all other nominations received from the membership shall be sent to all members together with notice of annual meeting not less than fourteen days before the Meeting.
  3. Candidates for the Board of Management may also be proposed by three members in good standing, provided the Secretary has received such nominations in writing at least thirty days prior to the annual meeting. These nominations shall be mailed to the official address of the Society.
  4. Should the Nominating Committee be unable to submit a slate, candidates for office shall be nominated from the floor at the annual meeting and shall then be voted upon.

Section VII - Duties of the Board of Management

  1. The Board of Management shall hold monthly business meetings excepting July and August, and shall appoint the committees.
  2. The President shall conduct the meetings, five members to constitute a quorum. In the absence of the President, the Vice-President shall assume his or her prerogatives and duties. If both are absent, the Board of Management  present shall select a Chairperson. The President shall call additional meetings of the Board of Management whenever required.
  3. The Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings and conduct the correspondence of the Society.
  4. The Treasurer shall manage the assets of the Society, collect the dues and keep the membership list.

Section VIII - Trustees

The Society's charitable work and fundraising activities are carried out in compliance with federal and/or provincial directives governing the recognition of charitable organizations.

Observance of such regulations shall be the responsibility of the Trustees of the Relief and Welfare Fund of the German Society of Montreal, three of whom shall be appointed by the Board of Management for five-year periods. The Society's Treasurer shall serve "ex officio" as the fourth Trustee as stipulated in the Trust Deed dated January 19, 1968. The Welfare Committee shall function under the supervision and subject to agreement of the Board of Trustees.

Section IX - Committees

The Permanent Committees shall be:

  • The Welfare Committee
  • The Activities Committee
  • The Cultural Affairs and Entertainment Committee
  • The Fundraising Committee

Section X - Composition and Duties of the Committees

  1. Welfare Committee shall consist of five members and shall include the Treasurer and two Councilors. The Treasurer shall chair the meetings.
    The Welfare Committee shall:
    1. Examine all applications for assistance
    2. Aid those worthy of support. Any individual member of the Welfare Committee shall have the right to make one cash payment not to exceed $50.00 for support. Further requests for assistance shall be submitted to the Board of Management. Their decision shall be arrived at by simple majority vote.
    3. It shall be left to the discretion of the Board of Management in liaison with the Welfare Committee to:
      1. make outright gifts;
      2. lend money without collateral;
      3. exact collateral for a loan, in which case any collateral, if not redeemed within an agreed time, shall be disposed of for the benefit of the Society.
  2. Activities Committee shall consist of at least three members, two of whom shall be members of the Board of Management and one of whom shall chair the meetings.
    The Activities Committee shall:
    1. maintain regular get-togethers;
    2. provide the base for special interest groups and the pursuit of their activities.
  3. Cultural Affairs and Entertainment Committee shall consist of a minimum of three members, at least one of whom shall be a member of the Board of Management and who shall chair the meetings.
    The Cultural Affairs and Entertainment Committee shall:
    1. organize and manage social functions of the Society;
    2. plan and organize activities designed to foster German culture and traditions.
  4. Fundraising Committee shall consist of five members; the President of the Society, the respective chairpersons of the Activities and the Cultural Affairs and Entertainment Committees and two councilors.
    The Fundraising Committee shall execute under the direction of and in close cooperation with the Board of Management all organizational and administrative duties pertaining to fundraising.

Section XI - Termination of Membership

If a member of the Board of Management or of the Committees resigns or is unable to fulfill his duties during the fiscal year of the Society, the Board of Management shall appoint a successor until the next annual meeting.

Section XII - Expulsions

By simple majority vote of the Board of Management, a member may be expelled if he or she has repeatedly and in violation of the By-Laws damaged the reputation of the Society, hindered or defeated the accomplishments of the Society's purposes or otherwise demonstrated by his or her conduct that he or she is not interested in promoting the purposes of the Society.

Section XIII - Change of By-Laws

Amendment to these By-Laws may be passed at any regularly convened meeting of the Board of Management but shall be subject to ratification by vote two-thirds of the members present at a special meeting of members duly called for that purpose and held not later than the next annual meeting.

Section XIV - Dissolution of the Society

In the event of dissolution of the Society, the assets thereof shall be used solely for charitable purposes and be distributed to charitable organizations at the discretion of the Board of Management.

Section XV

In all cases of dispute the English text shall prevail.

The foregoing revised By-Laws, prepared by the Society's By-Law Committee, were adopted at a special membership meeting held on 2nd September 1992.

Signed
Barbara Brunner-Zaharescu, President
Dr. Heinrich Mohr, Secretary

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