The American Legion
Constitution and By-Laws of the
Wilbur M. Comeau Post 4, Inc.
1314 Main Street
Haverhill, MA 01830
Adopted: April 20, 1920
Amended: February 5, 1924; October 21, 1924; November 4, 1924; June 4, 1945;
May 3, 1954; May 10, 1965; April 7, 1986; May 1, 1989; July 1, 2004; October 7, 2013
Preamble to the Constitution of The American Legion
For God and Country, we associate ourselves together for the following purposes:
To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to maintain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents of our association in the great wars; to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation; to combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses; to make right the master of might; to promote peace and good will on earth; to safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.
Section 1. The name of this Post shall be the Wilbur M. Comeau Post 4, Inc., Department of Massachusetts.
Section 2. The address is 1314 Main Street, Haverhill, MA 01830
Section 3. The word he as used in this Constitution and By-Laws shall mean either he or she.
Section 4. The Wilbur M. Comeau Post 4, Inc. hereinafter shall be the “Post”.
Section 1. The Post is a civilian organization. Membership therein does not affect nor increase liability for military or police service. Rank does not exist in the American Legion; no member shall be addressed by his Military, Naval or Air Force title at any convention or meeting of the American Legion.
Section 2. The Post shall be absolutely non-political and shall not be used for the dissemination of partisan principles or for the promotion of the candidacy of any person seeking public office.
Section 3. The Post shall co-operate with all duly recognized Veterans Organizations to the best of its ability in furtherance of the American Legion, thus providing an organization to promote and encourage comradeship among all Veterans, so that the public will forever be reminded and made aware that these Veterans, who fought and served our country to preserve peace, liberty and democracy for their nation will never be forgotten.
Section 4. Each person shall perform his full duty as a citizen according to his own conscience and understanding.
Section 1. Any person shall be eligible for membership in the Post who was a member of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard or Air Force of the United States and assigned to active duty at some time during any of the following periods: April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918; December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946; June 25, 1950, to January 31, 1955; February 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975; August 24, 1982, to July 31, 1984;
December 20, 1989 to January 31, 1990; August 2, 1990, to the date of cessation of hostilities as determined by the Government of the United States; all dates inclusive, or who, being a citizen of the United States at the time of his entry therein, served on active duty in the armed forces of any of the Governments associated with the United States; during any of said periods; provided, however, that such service shall have been terminated by honorable discharge or honorable separation, or continues honorably during or after any of said periods; provided, further, that no person shall be entitled to membership who being in such service during any of said periods, refused on conscientious, political or other grounds to subject himself to military discipline or unqualified service.
Section 2. There shall be no form or class of membership except an active membership as herein above provided.
Section 3. Honorary membership will not be granted. In lieu thereof a certificate of merit may be awarded, suitably inscribed, given by the Post to those who have rendered distinct service to the Post, Community and/or to any Veteran or his family. An annual award called “Legionnaire of the Year” may be awarded by the outgoing Commander at the Installation of Officers ceremonies, to a Post member or members who he feels has performed for him and the American Legion, during his term of office, above and beyond the call of duty to better promote the image and ideals of the American Legion. The Recipient of this award, up until the time of presentation, shall be known to the Commander only.
Section 4. A member whose dues for the current year have not been paid by January 1st shall be classed as delinquent. If the dues are paid on or before February 1st, the member shall be automatically reinstated. If still delinquent after February 1st, the member shall be suspended from all privileges. If still under suspension on June 30th of such year, membership in THE AMERICAN LEGION shall be forfeited. A member so suspended or whose membership has been so forfeited may be reinstated to active membership in good standing by vote of the Post and payment of current dues for the year in which the reinstatement occurs. Provided, however, that the Posts, Department and National Organization may waive the provisions hereof in reference to former members who have been prevented the payment of dues by reason of active military service. Payment of dues to be made for year of reinstatement.
Section 5. No member of this Post shall be a member of any other American Legion post at the same time.
Section 6. Any member who has maintained 50, or more, continuous membership years, in good standing, shall have their per capita dues paid for by the Post.
Section 1. This Post shall hold regular meetings at seven thirty P.M. on the first Monday of each month except for the months of July and August.
Section 2. The regular October meeting shall be the Annual Meeting of the Corporation. Installation of Officers should be held in this same time frame.
Section 3. If the date of the regular meeting falls upon a holiday, the meeting shall be held on the following Monday.
Section 4. Special meetings shall be called by the Commander, through the Adjutant, upon written request of ten (10) members, stating fully the reason for the meeting. Notice shall be sent to all members at least five (5) days before a special meeting is to be held and stating the reason for such meeting.
Section 5. Seven (7) members qualified to vote shall constitute a quorum at meeting of the Post, providing there are at least three (3) elected officers present to preside over the meeting.
Section 6. The rules of procedure at all meetings shall be those as set forth in Robert’s Rules of Order.
Section 1. The officers of this Post shall be elected annually during the day of the scheduled June meeting and shall comprise of: Commander, Senior Vice Commander, Junior Vice Commander, Adjutant, Treasurer, Chaplain, Historian and five (5) Executive Committee Members. The retiring Commander will automatically become a member of the Executive Committee together with the Post Officers. All of the above named Officers and the five-member Executive Committee shall be elected by an Australian ballot.
Section 2. Nomination of Officers shall be made at the regular May meeting. Nominations may be made in addition thereto by any member, in good standing, of the Post from the floor at the regular May meeting.
Section 3. Any member in good standing shall have the right to vote.
The voting polls shall be open to members in good standing from 4:30pm to 7:30pm at the Post quarters during the day of the scheduled June meeting. The Commander will appoint two (2) members to oversee the balloting and to report the results to the membership.
Section 5. No campaigning by or for a candidate shall be conducted in the building or within fifty (50) ft. of the ballot box.
Section 6. All incoming officers will assume their responsibilities on July 1 next.
Section 7. The Commander shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Post. He shall be a member of and Chairman of the Executive Committee. He is allowed to attend any committee meeting if he so desires. He shall be a delegate to the State Convention, with vote to be exercised by him as his Post’s Representative. Additional delegates and alternates shall be elected at the regular May meeting; delegate and alternate numbers are to be based on Department guidelines. The Post shall pay for the registration fee for each delegate. A Sgt-of-Arms and Service Officer shall be appointed annually by the newly elected Commander with the approval of the membership.
Section 8. The Senior and Junior Vice Commanders shall be members of the Executive Committee and in order of priority shall, in the absence of the Commander, act in his stead. In case of a vacancy in the office of Commander, again in order of priority, a Vice Commander shall complete the Commander’s term in office.
Section 9. The Adjutant shall have charge of and keep a full and correct record of all proceedings of all meetings, keep such records as the Department and National Organizations may require, render reports of membership annually or when called upon
at a meeting, and under direction of the Commander handle all correspondence of the
Post. He shall, in the name of the Commander, transact and accomplish such business as the Commander may delegate to him. He shall be a member of and act as secretary of the Executive Committee.
Section 10. The Treasurer of the Post shall have charge of all finances and see that they are safely deposited in a local bank or banks and shall report once a month to the
membership body the condition of the finances of the Post, with such recommendations as may deem expedient or necessary for raising funds with which to carry on the activities of the Post. The Treasurer shall sign all checks disbursing the monies of the Post, and shall furnish such surety bonds in such sum as shall be fixed by the Post membership. An additional Post Officer shall be listed as an additional signatory, authorized to disburse funds on behalf of the Post.
Section 11. The Historian shall be charged with the individual records and incidents of the post and post members.
Section 12. The Chaplain shall be charged with the spiritual welfare of the post comrades and will offer divine but nonsectarian service in the event of dedications, funerals, public functions, etc., adhere to such ceremonial rituals as are recommended by
the National or Department headquarters from time to time.
Section 13. The Sgt-at-Arms shall preserve order at meetings and shall perform such other duties as may be from time to time assigned by the Post Commander.
Section 14. The Service Officer appointed, shall perform in the best interest of all members of this Post and their families. He shall secure all rights and privileges under
acts of the Congress of the United States or the State Government for all member of the Post or any veteran whether or not a member of this Post.
Section 15. Any officer may be removed from his office who misses three (3) consecutive regular meetings without excuse. Said office shall be deemed vacant and will be filled by election at the next meeting.
Section 16. The Commander shall appoint the Judge Advocate. The primary duty is to
supply professional advice in the conduct of the Post business or to procure proper
counsel from the Department or National Headquarters and is the guardian of the constitutional form of post government.
Post Executive Committee
Section 1. The Executive Committee shall meet at 7:00 P.M. on the first Monday of each month, preceding the monthly membership meeting or for any emergency that may arise. The Executive Committee shall meet for such other business as may come before it at the call of the Post Commander. The Commander shall call a meeting of the Executive Committee upon the joint written request of three or more members of said Executive Committee. Five (5) members of the Executive Committee, which includes Post Officers, shall constitute a quorum.
Section 2. It shall have the power to recommend to the proper officials by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any meeting the expulsion of any Member for any violation of the Constitution and By-Laws, or for conduct unbecoming or prejudicial to the best interest of the Post; but no recommendation shall be made without one month’s written notice to the Member in question, before the expiration of which month the Member may make answer to the charges against him. In making the recommendation for expulsion of a member, the Executive Committee will, in every case, forward with the recommendation, the answer made by the Member to the charges against him. In all cases, the Constitution and By-Laws of the National and Department will be complied with.
Section 3. It may prescribe and shall enforce such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the conduct of the Post headquarters.
Section 4. It shall have the authority by two-thirds vote of the Members present at any meeting to fill vacancies occurring in its composition by death or eventuality among its Members.
Section 1. The revenue of the Post shall be derived from annual membership dues and from such other sources as may be approved by the Post Membership.
Section 2. The amount of annual dues shall be determined by the membership.
Section 3. The annual dues shall include per capita dues as levied by the Department of Massachusetts and the National Headquarters and shall be collected by the Post Treasurer and transmitted to the proper officials.
Section 4. The Commander, at his discretion, may appoint an Auditing Committee as he determines necessary to oversee the accounting procedures and methods of internal financial control.
Section 5. The Treasurer shall read the latest annual report, to the Post Membership, said report to be given during the April Post meeting.
Section 1. This Constitution and By-Laws may be altered, amended or repealed by a two-thirds vote of the members voting at any regular meeting of this Post, provided that written notice of the proposed changes has been given in the call of the meeting and has been sent to the members at least ten (10) days before the date of the meeting.
Section 2. The Constitution and By-Laws of the Post is to be made available to every member of the Post, when requested.
Section 3. All amendments to this Constitution and By-Laws must be read at three (3) consecutive regular meetings and voted upon after the third meeting. The Adjutant shall then send a copy of the amended Constitution and By-Laws to the proper authority of the Department of Massachusetts for ratification and approval.
The acceptance of a newly amended Constitution and By-Laws will supersede all previous ones.
American Legion Auxiliary/Sons of the American Legion
Section 1. This Post recognizes an auxiliary organization known as Auxiliary Unit 4 and Sons of the American Legion organization known as Squadron 4.
Section 2. Membership in the Auxiliary and Sons of the Legion shall be as prescribed by the National Constitution of said organizations.
Section 1. The Wilbur M. Comeau Post 4, Inc., American Legion, Department of Massachusetts, was incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a charitable, non-profit corporation on 28 March 1923. This was done for two reasons:
First: To protect all officers and members from personal law suits resulting from American Legion activities.
Second: To allow the Corporation to own real estate and conduct fund raising activities.
This Constitution and By-Laws were revised by the following with a vote of approval of the members of Wilbur M. Comeau Post 4 after reading at 3 Post meetings.: John Lenotte, John Kazarosian, Ray Jenkins, Ed Girroir, Theresa Brunelle and Dave DiCeglie.