With the risk of this blog becoming stale, I want to offer some final thoughts on the 47th Grand Lodge Convention held May 1-3 in San Marcos. This Convention was an active and busy event for the 260-plus delegates who were selected by you, the members. As you know, the convention is held every four years according to Grand Lodge Laws, and it brings with it the opportunity for members to voice their approval or disapproval of decisions made during the past four years and to consider decisions regarding the future, and to vote on them.
The fraternal system of governance is defined in Title 6, Section 885.051 of the Texas Insurance Code. The first requirement mandated in the Texas Insurance Code for a fraternal benefit society to operate in Texas is for it to have a “lodge system and a representative form of government.” Section 885.052 of the Texas Insurance Code further states “control of a fraternal benefit society must be ultimately vested in the membership.” What power and responsibilities the members of a fraternal benefit society have been given as convention delegates and how important their decisions, responsibilities and votes are!
The new format of educational seminars and direct discussions by management with the delegates via presentations was successful based on the comments the delegates made to me. I thoroughly enjoyed making my presentations as chairman of the Laws Committee and as your Vice President of Investments. I am eagerly looking forward to doing these presentations again in four years and hope to make them better for you!
The delegates, elected by the members from their various lodges, established new governance and a new name, thereby setting in motion a new path for the next generation. That path, your voice, has been established and it will allow the duly elected Board of Directors and the appointed President and CEO to lead Hermann Sons Life far into the future.
As stated in the previous paragraph, in order to have a “representative form of government,” our convention system has many similarities to the United States governance system, especially if one remembers their high school government classes. For instance, both the United States and Hermann Sons Life have a “representative form of government.” Congressional members are voted into office by the citizens representing the 50 states. The fraternal system has convention delegates who are chosen to attend a quadrennial convention by their lodges to elect the equivalent of Congress, your Board of Directors.
As we celebrate the Fourth of July and our independence, we can all rejoice in a U.S. Constitution which has endured since its effective date of March 4, 1789, even though it has been amended 27 times to meet the changing needs of our nation. Likewise, since Sept. 2, 1891, Hermann Sons Life’s Charter and Laws have been amended to meet the changing needs of our members. The 2017 Convention delegates were an important part of the process to insure we maintain a “representative form of government.”
Congratulations to all of the delegates who attended the 47th Grand Lodge Convention for a job well done and their diligence! I hope you and all potential 2021 delegates are looking forward to another stimulating convention and are making their plans now to be a delegate and help plan the direction of Hermann Sons Life for the next 127 years through your votes.