How to run a meeting
The following procedure is here to help new Presidents. It is only a guide to help you run your meetings in an orderly fashion. If some of the items mentioned do not agree with the way your branch conducts business then disregard the points.
Books you’ll need for the meeting:
Ritual and Insignia Manuel – Dress, Meetings, Initiation of Members, Installation of Officers, Ceremonies/Events, Funerals, Flags, Colour Parties/Parades, Drill Movements, Colour Party Drill
Rules of Procedures for Legion Meetings – How to run a meeting & motions
Branch Leadership Manuel – Brief History, Purposes & Objects, Articles of Faith, Organization & Structure, Branch Organization, Responsibilities of Officers, Legion Dress, Members Responsibilities, Flag etiquette & Protocol, & Royal Canadian Legion Pubications
Minutes of the Last meetings
Chairman duties found in ‘Rules of Procedure for Legion Meetings article 4’ ensure there is a quorum in accordance with your branch by-laws. This should be a responsibility of the Sergeant-at-Arms (SAA) and Membership Chairperson. The SAA should report to you “Comrade President, you have a quorum”
Open your General and Annual meetings with ‘O’ Canada
Observe all ceremonies customary to Legion meetings in accordance with ‘Rules of Procedure for Legion Meetings; and Ritual & Insignia Manuel
Ensure you introduce your guests
Ensure your Secretary has an agenda with spare copies for the membership
Check with membership chair for new members, if there are some – swear them in immediately after the opening and have the new member(s) sign and date the form also have a copy of your branch bylaws and their membership pin.
Membership chair should have the forms for any members wishing to be sworn in, transfers, and re-instated members. These should all be approved by motion.
The opening, Order of Business, and closing can be found in the Ritual & Insignia Manuel
Deal with both the General and Executive meeting minutes. General minutes “DO NOT” have to be read if they have been posted for 30 days if this is the procedure in your branch however all Executive minutes have to be read for information only (as per Rules of Procedure for Legion Meetings page 4 article f.)
All minutes must be approved. When it comes to approving the minutes you should say; the minutes have been posted for 30 days are there any errors or omissions. If there were no errors then approved them by saying “the General minutes have been posted for 30 days therefore I approved them as posted then sign them immediately. If you do not use this procedure then they must be moved and seconded and voted on. Executive minutes are only approved at Executive meetings using the same procedure as for General minutes.
Business Arising – Deal with any business arising from the minutes
ALL MOTIONS MADE AT A EXECUTIVE MEETING THAT AFFECT THE GENERAL MEMBERSHIP SHOULD BE PRECEDED BY “RECOMMEND TO THE GENERAL MEMBERSHIP”. These motions need to be made again at the General meeting
if any member has anything to say at any meeting they should be recognized by the chairperson
Deal with all motions and remember if there are any amendments to a motions the amendments must be dealt with first. All motions must be moved and seconded before there can be further discussion. It is always a good rule to adopt that only the person who made the motion can have more than one say – all others may only address the motion once unless time permits.
Together with your SAA enforce the observance of all rules for the orderly conduct of the meeting
Remember, you as the chairperson are in charge therefore you must exercise judgment and tact at all times
You MUST deal with any disorderly member immediately and if a member persists being disorderly then direct your SAA to escort the person from the meeting. If the person refuses to leave then you have no choice but to close the meeting. (‘Rules of Procedure for Legion meetings – Chapter 4 Article L’)
Ensure your Recording Secretary keeps complete and accurate records of the meeting. The minutes should include the correspondence and who ever it was distributed to.
Your Secretary should be well organized and not have to fumble looking for the correspondence to be read
Reports – all reports should be moved and seconded and dealt with as per motion procedure
AGENDAS – suggested agenda can be found in Ritual and Insignia Manuel Chap. 2 Art. 208
President’s report followed by reports from your 1st and 2nd Vices
Immediate Past President Report
Service Officer Report
Reports of Standing Committee Chairs
All reports for the benefit of the Secretary/Membership should either be hand written or typed
After reports are heard then deal with any new business and general welfare of the branch business
Zone Commanders Report – it is a courtesy to ask if the Zone Commander or his/her Deputy has anything to add to the meeting. The Zone Commander/Deputy should always be on the agenda near the end of the business
Motion for Adjournment
Close your General and Annual meetings with the ‘Royal Anthem’
Get a booklet to keep reminders of various things that happen throughout the year. This will be a benefit when it comes to rendering your Annual report
Create a filing system in your own briefcase
Ensure you have a basic knowledge of all publications
Ensure your officers and chairpersons have been provided with a up-to-date booklet pertaining to their job
Endeavour to create interest in your branch – get involved yourself – don’t just be a President in name only – the membership will not get involved if you are not involved
Encourage the membership to wear their uniform to all General/Annual meetings
Ensure you have plenty of pencils and slips of paper at the election of officers in case more than one member is after the same position
Entertain a motion to destroy the ballets after the elections
Whoever runs your elections needs be familiar with the proper procedures in accordance with R&I Manuel Chap. 4
Remember, if you have something to say or wish to make a motion you must pass the gavel and don’t forget to take it back
Responsibilities of officers can be found in ‘Branch Leadership Manuel’ Chapter 5
Legion dress – Branch Leadership Manuel chapter 8