By-Laws

[Theses by-laws are currently under review and until they are changed by the membership, they should be followed.]

Article 1: Association Name

1.1    The name of the association is “The Hungarian Self Culture Society of Welland”.

1.2    The language of the association is Hungarian and English; these languages may be used as circumstances may require.

1.3    The official seal of the association is an oval-shaped rubber stamp with the name of the association upon its circumference and the date of its foundation at the centre.

1.4    The head office of the association is in Welland, Ontario, Canada.

1.5    The aim of the association is the same as is stated in the charter, namely, (i) to unify the Hungarians of the area into one strong community; (ii) to provide the opportunities for intellectual development to its members; (iii) to cultivate the Hungarian language and culture; (iv) to keep alive the love of the native country; (v) to express respect and loyalty to the adopted country; (vi) to teach its members the laws and customs of the adopted country; (vii) to provide assistance in case of sickness or death for it’s members.  In addition to these it is the aim of the association (i) to organize social gatherings; (ii) to stage amateur theatrical performances; (iii) to promote glee-clubs or sports clubs; (iv) to further the mental and physical well-being of its members.

1.6    The association’s sphere of activity is the Province of Ontario.

Article 2:  Admission of Members

2.1    Men may be admitted as members of the association provided that they speak the Hungarian language and after their 16th and before their 45th birthday.  Women may be admitted as members of the association provided that they speak the Hungarian language and after their 16th birthday and before their 45th birthday.

2.2    Those who wish to be admitted as members of the association may submit their request at any regular meeting of the association.  The recommendation of two members of the association is a necessary condition to admittance.

2.3    If any member of the association raises an objection to the admittance of a prospective member the matter of his membership is to be decided by secret ballot.

2.4    The president of the association must impose upon all new members of the obligation to obey the rules and regulations of the association.

2.5    All new members are to receive, for a set fee, a copy of the By-laws and a badge.

2.6    Women during pregnancy and for a period of two months after giving birth may not be admitted as members of the association.

2.7    In case of illness it is the obligation of the member to report his illness to the secretary of the association.  The determination of the duration of the illness of the member is calculated from the date when notice of the illness has been received by the secretary.  If the illness must be reported by mail it must be done as soon as possible.

Article 3:  Membership Dues

3.1    Every member at the time of his or her admittance must pay $2.00 as monthly dues, $1.00 for the badge, and for the membership book.

3.2    The monthly dues must be paid in advance.

3.3    A member must accept the office entrusted to him by the association; he must discharge the duties of his office punctually; he must act promptly in carrying out the assignments and instructions of the association unless he has an acceptable and reasonable excuse for acting otherwise.

3.4    Every member must attend the meeting of the association unless illness or urgent business justifies his absence.

3.5    The secretary of the association must be notified in writing by each member within two weeks from the change of his address of his new address.

3.6    All members must be thoroughly acquainted with the by-laws because ignorance of them is no defence.

3.7    All members must promote the independence, growth and stability of the association which is the first and only association in all of Canada having its own residence.

Article 4:  The rights of the Members

4.1    Members have the right to frequent the premises of the association; there they may read the books and periodicals or use the game (for a fee to be se from time to time); all these items, however, must be returned to the custodian without damage.

4.2    Regular members of the association may vote and make notions at meetings of the association; they may nominate or be nominated at the election of officers of the association; they may control the management and supervise the administration of association funds.

4.3    Every member has the right to vote; he may elect, and he may be elected.

4.4    Every motion of major importance by a member of the association must be submitted to the president of the association eight days before the meeting at which the motion is being made.  The president will then discuss the matter with the disciplinary committee, and he will decide whether the motion can be made or not. Every minor but urgent motion may be submitted to the president at the time of the meeting; the president will then discuss the matter with the disciplinary committee which will then decide whether the motion can be made or not.

4.5    All those who have been regular and healthy members of the association for three months, who have carried on their duties and who are members in good standing in the association, and who are not in arrears with their membership dues are entitled to receive financial assistance from the association in case of illness which would prevent the member from earning his living.  The association may continue the financial assistance or take up a collection for the sick member upon consideration of the member’s health and financial circumstances and the financial circumstances of the association.

4.6    No member may demand help from the association if his illness is the result of negligence, heavy drinking or fighting.

4.7    The financial assistance will be commenced up on the fact of illness, or inability to work as a result of accident, having been proved by a doctor’s medical certificate provided that the member requesting the financial assistance is unable to work for a duration of at least seven days after the notice of his illness has been reported.  The assistance must be given from the time that the claim is reported.

4.8    In case of death the association will help the relatives of the deceased member in defraying funeral expenses; if the deceased member has no legal heir in Canada then the association will look after the funeral expenses so that the public many not be burdened with them and the good reputation of the Hungarian community may be preserved.

4.9    Female members of the association may claim assistance for a period of two weeks after childbirth.  The claim must be verified by a doctor’s medical certificate.

4.10  Members who are in arears with their membership dues may not vote or join in discussion at the regular meetings.

4.11  In matters regarding financial assistance the association will make its decisions at regular meetings and such decisions will be duly recorded in the minute book of the meeting.

4.12  Members who are in arrears in their membership dues for more than one month are not eligible to receive assistance of any kind from the association.

Article 5:  Election of Officers

5.1    For the management of the association the following officers are to be elected; president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, recording secretary, door guard, janitor, (who also serves as librarian), two members who visit the sick, two controllers for finances, three members forming the disciplinary committee, and three members forming the entertainment committee.

5.2    Officers are to be elected each year at the regular monthly meeting in the month of December.  Officers are elected for a period of one year.  Newly elected officers begin to exercise their office at the regular meeting in the month of January.  Outgoing officers and newly elected officers must have a meeting the last week of December.  At this meeting, the yearly final accounts must be given, and the books of the association are handed over to the new officers.

5.3    Only those members may be elected to offices who are members of the association for at least six months and who know how to read and write.

5.4    Two members must be nominated for each office.  Nomination must be public.  Out of the two nominated the officer must be elected by secret ballot.

5.5    If an office becomes vacant on account of any reason (e.g., resignation, transfer, etc.) then at the next monthly meeting a new officer must be elected.

5.6    In order to attend to some special matters special committees are elected at the regular meeting; the same meeting will assign the duties and responsibilities of such committees, all of which must be duly recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

5.7    The special committees will have as many members as they need; they will elect their own president and recording secretary. They are responsible to the monthly meeting and they have to report about the progress of their work at the next meeting.

Article 6:  Responsibilities of Officers

6.1    The president is an officer of the association who has the executive power in the association.  He sees to it that the laws and decisions of the association are obeyed.  He presides over the meetings which must be conducted in a parliamentary fashion; he must allow to speak those who wish to speak about the matter under discussion; after discussion he must put to a vote the matter; he must declare the result of the vote.  He may prohibit unruly members from speaking and if this is not enough, he may refer the matter to the disciplinary committee.  He certifies with his signature the official documents of the association.  The president must admonish officers who are negligent in their duties or he must refer the matter to the disciplinary committee.

6.2    The vice-president has the same duties and responsibilities as the president whenever the president cannot function.  Whenever the office of the president comes vacant the vice-president will be the acting president.

6.3    The secretary will look after the correspondence of the association; he keeps a precise register of the names and addresses of all members belonging to the association; at each meeting he calls the roll; he must keep record of all the income and expenditures of the association; he draws up all the documents of the association; he must make a precise record of admissions to or expulsions from the association, of every report of illness or recovery; he must make certain that all members are notified in time about various events in the community.

6.4    The treasurer looks after the assets of the association.  He will keep a precise record of incomes and expenditures; he will deposit the cash of the association at a bank to be determined by the meeting, and deposit it either on current or chequing accounts as he is instructed to do from time to time. The treasurer has to preserve every document related to incomes and expenditures.  Bills may be paid only if payment is authorized by the signature of the president and the secretary and confirmed by the seal of the association.

6.5    The recording secretary keeps the minutes of the meetings.  At each meeting he reads the minutes of the previous meeting; he records the balance of incomes and expenditures. He must enter in the minutes the names of new members and record the names of those who have lost their membership.

6.6    The controller will supervise the management of money, incomes, and expenditures; he looks after the bookkeeping of the association; he makes a quarterly report about the financial status of the association.

6.7    The guard will look after those who attend the meetings of the association.  He makes sure that only members are present at the meetings; without the permission of the president, he cannot allow anyone who is not a member to attend the meeting. If the preside orders some one to leave the meeting, the guard must lead that person out and the guard must make sure that he out until the business is finished.

6.8    The janitor looks after the cleanliness of the building; he watches over the property of the association; he keeps the inventory of the furniture and other moveable property.  At each monthly meeting he makes a report about the condition of the premises and makes suggestions about necessary purchases. The janitor is the librarian of the association; he lends the books for a set fee; he keeps a record of the fees and the money thus collected must be given to the treasurer at the monthly meetings.

6.9    The two members appointed to visit the sick after having been notified by the secretary must immediately visit the sick member, and they must visit thereafter at least twice a week, and they must make a report about their visiting experiences at the next meeting.

6.10  The disciplinary committee decides about the admissibility of motions; it defends and promotes the moral and financial well-being of the association. If the behaviour of an officer or a member of the association is objectionable, according to the constitutions of this association, the disciplinary committee has the sole authority to deliberate about the matter.  Decisions of the disciplinary committee are to be made public at the regular meetings of the association.  The persons concerned with the decision of the disciplinary committee may appeal – within eight days – to the so-called executive committee. This executive committee consists of seven members; three persons must be elected from the disciplinary committee; three persons must be selected by lot from the members of the association; the seventh member of the executive committee is the president of the association provided he is not personally involved in the matter under discussion.  Decisions of the executive committee are final; they cannot be appealed. 

Article 7:  Suspension, cancellation of membership, expulsion

7.1    A member who does not pay his monthly dues or fails to meet other financial obligations for a period of two months, must be asked by the secretary in writing to make payments.  If at the time of the meeting after such reminder payments still are not made his name must be stricken off the register.  He must be advised in a letter about the cancellation of his membership.

7.2    Those whose membership has been cancelled because of non-payment may ask for re-admission within the time of one month.  If they fail to do so, they may be admitted again as new members.

7.3    Members may be expelled for the following reasons; If it can be proved that at the time of admission, he gave false particulars in his application for membership or he concealed his chronic illness; if a member pretends to ill or keeps working during the time of his illness; if he hides himself from the visitors of the association or leaves his home without the doctor’s permission; if he refuses medical examination requested by the association; if he slanders the association or it’s officers; if he deliberately circumvents any point in the by-laws of the association; if he comes to the meetings or social of the association intoxicated; if he causes a disturbance at meetings or socials of the association.

7.4    Mitigating circumstances may be taken into consideration and the offending member, instead of being expelled, may be fined from 1.00 to 10.00 dollars.

7.5    Any member of officer who is found unfaithful in the management of money or property belonging to the association will be expelled from the association forever; moreover, he will be compelled to make restitution if necessary, by legal means.

7.6    Disciplinary procedure; (a) Firstly, the offending member may be publicly admonished at a regular meeting; (b) Secondly, he may be deprived from the exercise of his membership rights for three to six months; (c) Finally the offending member may be expelled from the association forever.

Article 8:  Order of the [regular membership] meetings

8.1

i.      Opening of the meeting.

ii.      Admission of new members.

iii.     Report of the secretary; reading of correspondence.

iv.     Minutes of the previous meeting. Certification of the minutes.

v.      Report of the treasurer.

vi.     Report of the controller

vii.     Report of the Janitor

viii.    Report of special committees and visitors.

ix.     Unfinished business.

x.      Recommendations.

xi.     Monthly dues.

xii.    Closing.

8.2    The regular meetings of the association are to be held once a month at a time to be determined by the minutes of the preceding meeting.  The president may instruct the secretary to call an emergency meeting concerning some urgent matter whenever prompt decision is required.

8.3    The monthly meeting (excepting the one in December) as well as the emergency meeting may transact business validly and legally regardless of the number of members present at the meeting.  The meeting held in the month of December proceeds validly and legally if the majority of the members are present at this meeting.

8.4    Every member has to attend every meeting of the association.

8.5    Members and officers during the meeting must call each other “tagtars”.

8.6    Meetings must be opened not later than 24 minutes after the appointed time for the meeting.

Article 9:  Miscellaneous Regulations

9.1    Every member must consider as an obligation to attend the funeral of a deceased member.

9.2    If a member does something willingly which aims at the breaking up of the association, such member must be expelled from the association forever.

9.3    If as a consequence of too many cased of death the monthly dues become insufficient to cover the expense, the association may impose further financial levies on the members.

9.4    Members who live far from the head office may send their monthly dues to the secretary; the secretary after acknowledging receipt of money this collected hands it over to the treasurer in the name of the members.

9.5    Suspended or expelled member may not claim a refund of any money he has paid into the treasury of the association.

9.6    Every member has to scrutinize sick members; if a member has a doubt as to whether another member is sick, he must report his doubt to the officers of the association since the association has the right to stop payment for unjustified financial assistance.

Article 10:  Amendment of the by-laws and dissolution of the association

10.1  Motions aiming at the amendment of the by-laws must be put in writing, signed by at least ten members, and presented to the disciplinary committee at the meeting held in the month of November.

10.2  If two thirds of all the members of the association are in favour of the amendment the motion is to be considered as carried, otherwise it is null and void.

10.3  The Hungarian Self Culture Society may not be disbanded at will or its activities abandoned while there are six active members.  In the event of there being less than six members its activities may be suspended, and its assets deposited in a reliable bank.  The real as well as the movable property may be either sold or auctioned and the money added to the assets in the bank or they may be leased, and the rent added to these assets.   If the activities of the Society are not revived within five years of suspension then the society by an official announcement, after consulting all the Hungarians in Welland, may cease to exist bequeathing its entire assets to the Welland County Hospital.  These amended rules have been accepted and declared to be the constitution of the association at the regular meeting held on December 2nd, 1928. These rules will come in force on January 1st, 1929.

Dated in Welland on March 3rd, 1940.

By-laws

Under construction