As in any education process, the conferring of Degrees marks the individual’s progress. In the Loyal Orange Association, the conferring of Degrees is a ceremony, usually depicting a Biblical story, and is intended to educate and encourage members to strive for a high level of Christian, moral and ethical conduct in their personal lives. In all cases, however, the First Degree is the initiation into that Branch of the Association in which the individual has chosen to become a part.
The men’s lodges in Canada exemplify four Degrees namely, the Orange, Royal Blue, Royal Arch Purple and Royal Scarlet.
To belong to a Primary Lodge does not mean endless Ritual and Exemplification of Degrees. However important, it is but a small part of the activities and opportunities for social and community involvement. Members are provided with a forum, not only to improve personal skills in public speaking, but to acquire a knowledge of, and practice, as he or she assumes office, proper parliamentary procedure in conducting an effective meeting; the value of committee work and how to use it to advantage. One also learns how to finance, administer and record the activities of such a group; and to be in a position to take effective action in community-sponsored activities, either as an individual or as a lodge, in order to influence the life and style of that community.
PRIMARY LODGE OFFICERS
Worshipful Master/Mistress: Presides at all meetings and is responsible for order, decorum and good government in the lodge. He/she is the custodian of all lodge property and sees that the Constitution and Laws of the Association are observed.
Past Master/Mistress: Assists with the Initiation and all other Degrees of the lodge, and is often called upon for advice and guidance.
Deputy Master/Mistress: Assists the Master/Mistress in the discharge of his/her duties and presides over the lodge in the Master’s/Mistress’ absence.
Chaplain: (Not necessarily a clergy-person) Conducts the Religious Ceremonies of the Lodge.
Recording Secretary: Is the custodian of the Seal, minute book and papers of the lodge. Maintains a record of proceedings, and conducts all correspondence for the lodge.
Financial Secretary: Keeps the books of account between the lodge and its members, so as to maintain an up-to-date list of members in good standing.
Treasurer: In the custodian of the funds of the lodge and shall pay the accounts of the lodge when authorized to do so. Presents a complete statement of the financial condition of the lodge, when requested to do so.
Marshal/Director of Ceremonies: Sees that the members are properly attired and worthy of attendance. Escorts and presents visiting Dignitaries to the lodge, and directs the Processions and Ceremonies of the lodge.
Lecturers: Assist in the opening and closing ceremonies of the lodge, and instruct the newly initiated candidates and other members in the work of the Degrees.
Tyler and Sentinel: Attend the doors of the meeting place, admitting only qualified persons, and seeing that ceremonies, once in progress, are not interrupted.
Committee: Deals with breaches of the constitution and Laws of the Association and the restoration of suspended members.
PRIMARY LODGE EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
The following offices comprise the Executive Committee of Primary lodges:
- Loyal Orange Lodge: Worshipful Master, Deputy Master, Recording Secretary and Treasurer.
- Ladies Orange Benevolent Association: Worthy Mistress, Immediate Past Mistress, Junior Deputy Mistress, Recording Secretary, Financial Secretary and Treasurer.