MHS Resources: Constitution and Bylaws of the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba (1887)

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Name | Object | Members | Election of Members | Fees and Dues | Government | Officers | Vacancies | Annual Meeting | Presiding Officer | Corresponding Secretary | Recording Secretary | Treasurer | Auditors | Librarian | Amendments | By-Laws

Constitution of the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba.


This Society shall be called the HISTORICAL AND SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY of Manitoba.

Article I—Object

The object of the Society shall be to collect and maintain a general library of scientific and popular literature, also to embody, arrange and preserve a library of books, pamphlets, maps, manuscripts, prints, papers or paintings; a cabinet and museum of minerals, archeological curiosities and objects generally illustrative of the civil, religious, literary and natural history of the lands and territories north and west of Lake Superior; to rescue from oblivion the memory of the early missionaries, fur traders, explorers and settlers of the aforesaid lands and territories, and to obtain and preserve narratives in print, manuscripts, or otherwise, of their travels, adventures, labors and observations; to ascertain, record, preserve and publish, when necessary, information with regard to the history and present condition of the said regions, and the Society may take steps to promote the study of History and, Science by lectures and other means.

Article II—Members

The Society shall consist of active, corresponding, honorary and life members.

Active members shall consist of persons residing in the Province of Manitoba.

Corresponding members shall be persons residing elsewhere who feel an interest in the Society and its objects, and are willing to aid it by representing it in their vicinity and procuring donations for its library and museum.

Honorary members shall consist more particularly of persons whose careers have been associated with the history of the Dominion of Canada, in trade, explorations, science, art, literature, or missionary labors.

Article III—Election of Members

No person shall hereafter be elected a member unless proposed and seconded at a regular meeting of the Society or Executive Council, and balloted for at the next succeeding meeting of the Society, and one negative vote on every five cast shall exclude the candidate.

Article IV—Fees and Dues

1. Each active member shall on admission pay five dollars in full of entrance fee and all dues for the first year, which shall be enclosed with the application for membership, and shall pay five dollars yearly in advance thereafter, and shall be entitled to all privileges of the Society, and all subscriptions shall end on 31st of December in each year.

2. Any person by paying $25 at one time shall become a life member and shall thereafter be free from the payment of annual dues.

3. Should any member fail to pay the annual dues within one month after the first of January his name may he erased from the roll of membership and if in arrears for one year he shall cease to be a member.

4. When an active member removes from the Province his name may, upon notice to the Recording Secretary, be placed on the list of corresponding members, and when a corresponding member becomes a resident of the Province he may on application be entered on the list of active members on the payment of the entrance fee and dues.

Article V—Government

1. The government of the Society shall be vested in an Executive Council of fifteen members to be chosen by ballot after nomination at the annual meeting of the Society, and notice of said meeting shall be given in at least two daily newspapers published in the City of Winnipeg.

2. The Executive Council so elected shall have the custody of the buildings, funds, securities and properties of all kinds belonging to the Society. They shall have in their hands the entire control and regulation of its affairs in the interval between the annual elections. They shall have control of the collection and disbursements of funds and shall take all needful measures for the success and proper management of the Society. They shall have power to appoint such standing or other committees from their own number as they shall deem necessary to the successful operation of the Society and its several departments, and may frame by-laws for the regulation of the museum and library as they may see fit, provided the same are not inconsistent with the provisions of this constitution and the Act of Incorporation. They shall fill vacancies in their own number caused by death, removal from the Province, resignation or any other cause, or among the officers of the Society, and may declare the place of any member of the Council vacant, who shall be absent from more than three successive monthly meetings of the Council without sending a reasonable excuse therefor to the Society.

Article VI—Officers

1. The officers of the Society who shall be chosen from the members of the Executive Council shall be as follows: President, 1st Vice-President, 2nd Vice-President, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer.

2. The above officers shall be elected by ballot after nomination at the annual meeting of the Society. They shall serve for the term of one year and until their successors are appointed.

3. No such officer of the Society or member of the Executive Council shall receive any salary for his services.

4. If any officer is absent from the monthly meetings of the Executive Council more than three successive meetings, unless detained by sickness, absence from the Province or any other just cause his office may be declared vacant.

Article VII—Vacancies

If a vacancy shall happen in any of the offices of the Society or in the Executive Council it shall be filled by election at the next regular meeting of the Executive Council and the person so elected shall hold his office for the unexpired term of the person vacating the same.

Article VIII—Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Society shall be held on the second Tuesday of February in each year at 19:30 o’clock, and the name of no person shall be entered on the list of active members eligible to vote, who shall not have paid his fees for the current year on or before the Saturday preceding the annual meeting.

Article IX—Presiding Officer

The President, or in his absence, one of the Vice-Presidents, or in their absence a chairman pro tem shall preside at all meetings of the Society and of the Executive Council and shall have a casting vote. He shall preserve order and shall decide all questions of order subject to an appeal.

Article X—Corresponding Secretary

The Corresponding Secretary shall carry on the correspondence with honorary and corresponding members as well as with all literary and scientific correspondents, individual or corporate of the Society, and shall preserve the originals of all letters received by him and lay them before the Executive Council at its meetings. He shall make a written report of the operations of the Society through the Executive Council to the annual meeting of the Society. He shall be ex-officio a member of all standing committees without vote.

Article XI—Recording Secretary

The Recording Secretary shall keep the minutes and records of the Society, give due notice of all meetings of the Society or Executive Council. He shall record the death of members and report the same to the next meeting.

Article XII—Treasurer

The Treasurer shall receive all moneys belonging to the Society and disburse the same only on the order of the Executive Council attested by the Recording Secretary. He shall keep a true account of his receipts and payments and report the same in full to the Society at its annual meeting. He shall also report to the Executive Council quarterly at its meetings in January, April, July and October, and at such other times as the Executive Council may request the amount of receipts and payments, and the balance then on hand.

Article XIII—Auditors

The annual meeting of the Society shall appoint two auditors whose duty it shall be to audit the quarterly and annual reports of the Treasurer. In case of their resignation or their inability to act the Executive Council shall appoint others in their stead.

Article XIV—Librarian

A Librarian may be appointed annually by the Executive Council and paid for his services. He shall, under the direction of said Council, have charge and superintendence of the library and museum of the Society and the care and arrangement of the books, manuscripts, maps, paintings, &c., belonging to the same. He shall properly preserve, arrange and keep them in order; he shall prepare and keep a proper catalogue and list of the same. He shall keep a book in which shall be recorded all donations to the Society of whatever nature with the name of the donor and date of presentation and shall acknowledge the receipt thereof and also carefully label such donations with the title of the Society and the name of the donor. He shall under no circumstances permit any book of reference, manuscript, document, maps, pictures, property belonging to the museum, or any books or works not intended for general circulation belonging to the Society to be removed from the rooms, unless permission has been granted by the Executive Council or their standing committee on library and museum. At each monthly meeting of the Executive Council he shall report the donations received since last meeting, and at each annual meeting he shall make a full report on the condition and progress of the library and museum. He shall also attend to any other duties required of him by the Executive Council as to the collection of dues or other work in furtherance of the objects and maintenance of the Society. The Council may also appoint such assistants as may be necessary.

Article XV—Amendments to the Constitution

This constitution can be altered or amended only at a general meeting of the of the Society called for that purpose, and notice of such proposed amendments must be given at a meeting of the Executive Council at least one month previous to such general meeting; and each paid up member of the Society shall be notified thereof, eight days before the meeting at which the amendment is to be considered.


No. 1—The regular meeting of the Executive Council shall be held on the second Thursday of each month at 20 o’clock, and a regular meeting of the Society shall be called for the fourth Thursday at 20 o’clock.

No. 2—Special meetings of the Council or of the Society may be called by the authority of the President, or of either of the Vice-Presidents, and it shall be the duty of said President or Vice-Presidents to call a special meeting upon the requisition of five active or life members, of which due notice, either written or printed stating the purpose of the meeting, shall be given; and at any such meeting business of an ordinary character may be transacted, but for such last mentioned purpose the consent of at least two-thirds of the members present shall be necessary.

No. 3—At any regular meeting of the Society the order of business shall be that proposed by the Executive Council and announced by the Chairman. In the absence of such prepared order of business the following shall be observed:

1. Calling to order.

2. Reading and confirming of minutes.

3. Reading and referring letters, memorials, accounts, &c.

4. Reports of standing and other committees.

5. Reports of the Corresponding Secretary, the Recording Secretary, the Treasurer and the Librarian.

6. Inquiries and notices of motion.

7. Nomination and election of members.

8. Unfinished and miscellaneous business.

9. Adjournment.

No. 4—Five members of the Executive Council shall form a quorum of the same for the transaction of business, but a less number may agree to adjourn the meeting, after half an hour has elapsed from the advertised time of the meeting.

No. 5—STANDING AND OTHER COMMITTEES, &c., shall be appointed by the Executive Council and there shall not be less than three members of any committee of whom a majority shall form a quorum.

1. FINANCE AND PROPERTY COMMITTEE, whose duty it shall be to examine all bills or accounts against the Society and report upon them, and supervise the quarterly and annual reports of the Treasurer, manage the property of the Society, and attend to its leasing and other matters connected therewith.

2. LIBRARY AND PUBLICATION COMMITTEE, whose duty it shall be with the Librarian to take general superintendence of the library, the purchase of books, the exchange of publications, acceptance and acknowledgement of donations, editing and supervising such papers as the Society may decide to have printed, providing and deciding upon what papers shall be read before the Society and to secure suitable furniture and appliances for the library or rooms of the Society.

3. ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND NATURAL HISTORY COMMITTEE, whose duty it shall be to take, with the Librarian, general superintendence of the museum, to secure and record all facts concerning the history, religion and habits of the aboriginal inhabitants and the present Indian tribes and inhabitants of the region included within the operations of the Society, and to collect and preserve for the museum such relics and curiosities as will best illustrate such facts, as well as to prepare and arrange for the collection of the Society such specimens illustrating the natural history of the country as they may collect, or as may be presented to the Society for preservation.

No. 6—All committees, both standing and special, shall report on the subject referred to them, at the next succeeding meeting of the Council. Such report must be in writing, and signed by the chairman of the committee.

No. 7—No alteration shall be made in the by-laws unless such proposed alteration shall have been proposed in writing at a regular meeting of the Executive Council at least one month previous, and shall be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members present at the next regular meeting of the Council.

No. 8—There shall be a Special Library Committee consisting of three members, which shall, in conjunction with the Library Committee of the City Council have the charge and management of the circulating library, in pursuance of the agreement with the City Council adopted on Dec. 27th, 1887.