The rule book text has been scanned and OCR’d and proofread. There’s a pdf of the scanned book attached, in case of doubt. If you spot any errors, please leave a comment below. Enjoy, and be grateful for the welfare state!
A FRIENDLY SOCIETY,
TRADESMEN, ARTIFICERS, HUSBANDMEN, HANDICRAFTSMEN, AND OTHERS,
In the Village of Eversholt, Bedfordshire, and the neighbourhood,
for Supporting the Sick and Burying the Dead:
REVISED AND AMENDED 1930,
“The Eversholt Friendly Society.”
Fisher and Sons, Printers, Woburn. 1930
1.—That the Rector of Eversholt for the time being be President of this Society.
2.—That there be Two Trustees and Treasurers, whose appointment shall rest with the whole Club.
3—That a Secretary may be appointed by the Society, at a salary of one guinea per year, or such other sum as the committee think fit ; who shall keep all the accounts and also make an entry in the minute book of all the proceedings of this Society.
4.— That a paid Steward who shall serve for twelve months be appointed annually at the January General Meeting, at a salary to be fixed by the members : that he shall attend every meeting to receive the payments of the members, from half-past seven until nine o’clock in the evening, in April and July ; and from half-past six to eight in October and January, after which time no money will be received.
5.—That at the General Annual Meeting, ten members shall be yearly chosen, who, or the survivors of them, together with the President, the Trustees, and the Steward for the time being, shall form a Committee to order, manage, and regulate all claims and matters belonging to this Society, which shall in all respects and at all times be ruled and governed by them ; and that the President, Steward, or Secretary on any urgent occasion may call the Committee or body together, and if any Committee-man, or any member, after having been summoned, shall refuse or neglect (provided he live within four miles of the School Room, in the Parish of Eversholt) to attend, or attending, shall leave the room before the business is over, unless in case of sickness or giving satisfactory reason to the Committee or body present, he shall forfeit the sum of one shilling.
6.—That no person be admitted into this Society under fourteen years of age. Every member upon admission to pay sixpence for a copy of these rules ; all entering between the age of 18 and 25 to pay one shilling as entrance fee ; between 25 and 30 years of age, three shillings ; between 30 and 35 years of age, five shillings ; and that no person be admitted above 35 years of age. and all persons desiring admission shall present their papers, duly signed, to the Steward at any meeting, and shall be elected or rejected at the quarterly meeting next ensuing.
7.—That no person having been afflicted with gout or other chronic disease, or any accustomed malady, shall be admitted a member of this Society; and that all persons hereafter admitted members of this Society who can be proved to have had at or before the time of their admission, any or either of the above disqualifications, shall be excluded, and forfeit all payments made : and that any member recommending any such new member knowing him to be disqualified, whereby he is chosen a member, shall forfeit the sum of five shillings.
8.—That a book shall be kept by the Secretary of this Society, wherein shall be entered an account of all monies received and paid on account of this Society, and that each member shall pay the sum of 4/- every quarter, and if any member shall neglect payment for two quarters, he shall be excluded; but he may be re-elected at any time subject to approval of the committee, and the payment of a fine of 5/-. And if any member shall neglect his payments, and any affliction, sickness, or misfortune befall him after such neglect, he shall not be entitled to any benefit or pay from this Society, until he shall have paid all his arrears and forfeitures. And when any member shall have omitted to pay his quarterly payments a notice shall be sent to him by the Steward informing him that he is in arrear, and that if his full payments together with fines, etc. be not paid on the next pay night (date mentioned) he will cease to be a member of the Club.
10.—That each member of this Society after having paid into the same one year, who shall be afflicted by sickness of mind or body through the visitation of Almighty God, or be disabled by any unforeseen or unavoidable accident or misfortune from working at his labour, and not through his own wilfulness, intoxication, or folly, shall, subject to limitations hereafter mentioned, receive out of the common stock of this Society during the continuance of such his sickness or disability to work, the sum of 12/- per week or 2/- per day full sick pay, or 6/- per week or 1/- per day in the case of those in receipt of half sick pay. No member to receive more than twenty-six weeks’ full sick pay in any twelve calendar months ; nor more than twenty-six weeks’ half sick pay in the next twelve calendar months ; and then his pay will cease, unless he should recover, and become a sound member for the space of one year, and that two or more of the nearest members do visit him and make their reports to the steward. All members are required to give notice by the surgeon stating the nature of their complaint. If any member be found out of his house after sunset or before sunrise, he shall pay back all money he has received, and forfeit the sum of five shillings,
11.—If any member that shall have received pay, shall have laboured at any work during that time, then such member shall be excluded from this society. And each member shall continue his quarterly payment as well in sickness as in health.
12.—That every member in receipt of sick pay shall, if not at home when the steward calls, leave word where he is to be found, that the steward may see him if he wishes, or in default shall forfeit the sum of two shillings, and that every member who shall be found frequenting the public house, or in any way intoxicated or gambling while in receipt of sick pay shall forfeit the sum of five shillings.
13.—That the club looks to the medical man to decide how long it is absolutely necessary that any member should continue in receipt of sick pay
14.—That no member residing within a distance of four miles from the School Room of Eversholt can be admitted to the receipt of sick pay unless he present a certificate signed by the Doctor, and that no certificate signed by any medical man in the case of members residing at a distance further than four miles, shall be in force more than four weeks.
N.B.—The Doctor’s certificate supplied to the Secretary of the approved Society shall suffice in the case of those who are State insured.
15.—That five of the committee whom they may think proper, shall be named a visiting committee, that is, to visit a doubtful case. They shall be empowered to visit at all reasonable hours when they think proper, and make their reports to the general committee, who will take such steps as the case requires ; and one or more of the five shall upon orders given him or them from the whole committee, visit at any distance, if there is any suspicion or notice given them of any member feigning illness : and to be paid at the rate arranged by the Committee.
16.—If any member enter into His Majesty’s service by sea or land, he shall not be entitled to any benefit from this society while in actual service, but if he continue his pay and return a sound member, he shall from the time of his return be taken as a member in all respects as though he had not been absent.
17.—That if any member of this society shall at any meeting curse, swear, or strike another member in the society room, he shall for every such offence forfeit and pay the sum of five shillings ; or shall quarrel with, abuse, or call any member out of his name, or make any disturbance, or behave indecently in the society room, or shall not behave soberly, or shall stay at the steward’s table after being warned to depart therefrom, or be intoxicated at any meeting, he shall for every such offence pay the sum of one shilling ; or if any member shall charge either the steward or the secretary with injustice, and fail in proof thereof, he shall for every such offence forfeit and pay the sum of two shillings and sixpence.
18.—That any member of this society known to be living in any disreputable way or to be a drunkard, swearer, gambler, or in any other way wilfully and deliberately taking up or practising evil courses, thereby rendering himself liable to the just judgment of Almighty God, provided it can be satisfactorily proved to the majority of the committee, shall be excluded from this society.
19.—That if any member of this society shall be convicted of felony, he shall from the time of such conviction be excluded from this society, and no person shall be admitted a member that has been convicted of felony, or has been found guilty of fraud or dishonesty in any other society.
20.—That if the steward or secretary shall be proved before the committee, or at a general meeting, guilty of having knowingly and wilfully embezzled, concealed, misspent, or misused any money or other things belonging to this society, or shall otherwise defraud it, then the person so convicted shall pay back and return all the money or other things so embezzled, concealed, misspent and misused, and be expelled from the society.
21.—That the Committee hold a quarterly meeting on the 2nd Monday after every quarter-day, at half-past seven o’clock in the evening, for the purpose of comparing the amount of money in the box with the Secretary’s book, and for the consideration of any matter affecting the interest of the club or any member of it ; five members shall form a quorum for the transaction of business, and if there be not a quorum present and consequently no business done, then every member of the committee who shall be absent, except on account of illness or other urgent necessity, shall forfeit the sum of one shilling—but when there is a quorum present and business is done, there shall be no forfeit in any case ; and when the quorum is not present every member of the committee present shall be free from any fine or forfeit even though no business can be done. And if any dispute or doubt arise with reference to the meaning of any expression in the Society’s rules, the decision of a majority of a quarterly meeting of the committee shall be final; the President having a casting vote in all cases of equality. When, however, the meaning of a rule is clear and does not admit of doubt, the committee shall have no power to alter it.
22.—That all fines, forfeitures and arrears shall be paid at the second quarterly meeting at farthest, after the same shall have been incurred, if not hereby directed to be paid sooner, and every member who shall refuse or neglect to pay the same within the time aforesaid, shall no longer be a member of this Society.
23.—That there be held annually a general meeting of this society on the third Monday in January, in the School Room, Eversholt, at 7.30, and that the Committee be empowered to arrange for a Feast at any time, if they think fit.
24.—That the day of the General Annual Meeting may be altered at any time by the committee.
25.—That every member shall pay up all his arrears and forfeitures at the meeting next before the general meeting, or he shall cease to be a member of the Club.
26.—That the accounts of the Society be made up and audited by the Committee every year, on some evening previous to the annual General Meeting in January, and that a statement of the year’s accounts be distributed amongst the members at the Annual General Meeting.
27.—That £6 out of the Permanent Fund of the Club shall remain in the hands of the steward for the purpose of sick pay ; that Ten Pounds out of the Permanent Fund shall be placed in the Club Box, one key of which shall be kept by the President or Secretary, and one by the Steward, for the purpose of Sick pay whenever it amounts to more than the quarterly payments ; and whenever any of the £10 is so used, it shall be replaced at the earliest opportunity from the quarterly payments of members so that the £10 may be kept as part of the permanent fund of the Club. That the remainder of the Permanent Fund shall be invested by the Trustees for the benefit of the Club.
28.—That every person desiring admission to this society, be furnished with the following forms, which he shall deliver to the steward properly filled in and signed, together with proof of his age, if required.
I certify that I have examined _____________ and as far as I am able to judge, he is a proper person to be admitted a member of the Eversholt Friendly Society.
Dated this _____________ day of 19 _____________
I hereby certify that _____________ Son of _____________ of _____________ is, as far as I am able to judge, a proper person to be admitted a member of the Eversholt Friendly Society.
We, the undersigned, believing _____________ to be a sober and industrious person, do recommend him for admittance into our Society.
Signed, _____________ _____________ Members of The Eversholt Friendly Society.
The above General Rules were read and passed at a General Meeting of the Club convened for the Purpose, on the 29th June, 1863. They were amended at a General Meeting convened for the purpose in Dec, 1863, and further amended in 1871, 1879, and 1896. On April 21st and 29th, 1913, they were amended and reconstructed at General Meetings called specially for the purpose, in order to bring them into line with the altered conditions rendered necessary by the State Insurance Act, 1911. And in 1930 they were redrafted and amended as above.
W. ESCOTT COLLINS,