The purpose of the gavel program is to promote visitation of Lodges within District 18 of the Grand Lodge of Florida. Promoting cooperation, education and goodwill is the hope and intent of the Sun Coast Master Mason Association. If there are any questions, please consult the President or Vice – President of the Association.
There are Three gavels: The “Hot” Gavel – whereby the Lodge possessing it must travel and present it to another Lodge. The “Traveling” Gavel” – whereby the Lodge in possession of the gavel is visited by one or more Lodges competing to obtain it. The “Unity” Gavel – whereby the newest Master Mason at the Lodge possessing the Gavel must deliver it with the Worshipful Master to the next newest Master Mason in the District at the night of his Raising. This program is sanctioned and governed by the Sun Coast Master Mason Association. Only Masonic Lodges in District 18 are eligible to participate.
Rules: The rules for both the “Hot Gavel” and the “Traveling Gavel” are the same.
Three (3) Brothers are required to present or obtain a gavel; of these three brothers, two must be officers, one of which of must be an elected officer. In addition, they must be present at the opening and stay until the Lodge is closed. The gavels can be presented or obtained at either at Stated or Called Communications. Under no circumstances is the “Installation of Officers” or a “Funeral Lodge” to be considered for presenting or obtaining either the “hot” or “traveling” gavel.
The whole team must stay for the complete communication and claim or present the gavel at the close of the meeting. The gavel cannot normally be obtained or presented to the Lodge that was last in possession of it; at least one other Lodge must have been in possession of the gavel. Gavels should be passed on as soon as possible (within a two-month period of time or before the next Sun Coast Master Mason Association meeting.) If after two 2 months, either the “Traveling” or “Hot” Gavel has not changed locations, then the Sun Coast Master Mason Association reserves the right to summons the gavel, within ten (10) days prior to its meeting. Furthermore, the gavel shall be transmitted by the Worshipful Master or another Elected Officer of that particular Lodge to the President or presiding officer of the Association. Said Association Officer is hereby authorized to re-transmit said gavel to the Lodge with the required members and highest members present at said meeting. (Should the particular Lodge fail to deliver within two (2) months or to bring to the summoned meeting of the Association), any one of the four (4) elected officers of the Association are hereby authorized to take possession of said gavel and deliver it to the Lodge that had the required and highest number in attendance from the previous meeting held of the Association. In the event of a tie, then the President or Vice-President only shall have the discretion, to devise a suitable method to break the tie.
For the “Traveling Gavel” – In the event multiple Lodges are present to obtain the gavel, the Lodge with the most Brothers present will be awarded the gavel. In case of a tie, the Worshipful Master of the Lodge in possession of the gavel shall, at his discretion devise a suitable and fair method to break the tie.
For the “Traveling Gavel” – The visiting Lodge obtaining the gavel shall have at least one meeting scheduled, after claiming the gavel, before going dark for the summer. The “Hot Gavel” and “Traveling Gavel” cannot be exchanged at the same communications by the same Lodge. Upon transfer of a gavel, an entry will be made in the accompanying register giving date of receipt, Lodge name and number, and the names of the Brethren involved.
Gavels are to be prominently displayed in the “East” during all Stated and Called Communications and not to be taken home or otherwise moved from the Lodge except for the purpose of moving it to another Lodge.
(Rules revised after motion was presented and passed on September 19, 2018)