Charter for the Order of the Pelican of the Kingdom of Trimaris








I. PREAMBLE

A. Whereas, the Companions of the Order of the Pelican in Trimaris seek to maintain continuity of action and purpose; therefore do we set forth in this Charter the manner 
in which the business of the Order shall be conducted.  The Order recognizes that this Charter is a means of self-governance and, therefore, nonbinding upon any Crown of Trimaris and that the Governing Documents (Corpora) and Kingdom Law supersede this charter in the event of conflicts between the documents.

II. DEFINITIONS


A. The following definitions will be used throughout this charter:
B. "Crown" - The King and Queen of Trimaris.
C. "Tanist(s)" - The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Trimaris
D. "Order" - The Order of the Pelican for the Kingdom of Trimaris.
E. "Companion" - a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism who currently holds the rank of Companion of the Order of the Pelican
F. "Active Companion" - a Companion who has a current valid membership in the Society for Creative Anachronism and resides in the Kingdom of Trimaris.
G. "Candidate" - a member of the populace who is being evaluated by the Order as to whether or not the Order wishes to recommend that populace member for elevation into the peerage.
H. "Circle" - an official gathering of Companions convened for the purpose of conducting the business of the Order.
I. "Vote" - a polling of the Active Companions present at a Circle concerning the business of the Order.  Votes are generally conducted to determine any official recommendation that the Order will provide to the Crown.

III. GOVERNANCE

A. The Kingdom Principal of the Order for Trimaris:

1. This office is the principal spokesperson for the Order.  The Kingdom Principal for the Order for Trimaris shall be responsible for communicating official recommendations of the Order to the Crown and or Populace of Trimaris.  In the event the Kingdom Principal is unavailable or unable to so speak on behalf of the Order, he/she must designate an Active Companion to speak on the Order's behalf.  In the absence of such a delegation, the responsibility to designate a speaker will become the Secretary of the Order's responsibility
2. The Order shall speak in public with one Voice, that of the Principal, as directed by the Circle of Companions.
3. The office of Kingdom Principle of the Order for Trimaris is offered to the most senior Active Companion (based on date of elevation) who was elevated to the Order within the geographic area that now encompasses the Kingdom of Trimaris.  The office may be declined without prejudice to the Companion's membership and participation in the Order.  If accepted the Companion shall be designated as the Kingdom Principal of the Order of the Pelican for Trimaris.  If this person is not willing or able to serve the Order in this office then the office shall be offered under the same terms to the next most senior Active Companion.  This process will continue until the position is filled.
4. The Kingdom Principal of the Order may resign without prejudice to his/her continued membership in the Order.  If the Kingdom Principal of the Order resigns, the position of the Kingdom Principal of the Order shall be offered to the next most senior Active Companion.

B. The Secretary of the Order

1. Only an Active Companion of the Order may serve as Secretary to the Order.
2. The duties of the Secretary shall include, but not be limited to, establishing Circle agendas, chairing the regularly scheduled Circles, recording summaries of these Circles, compiling and distributing to Companions the summaries of these Circles prior to the beginning of the next Circle, collecting and disseminating recommendations, handling correspondence and other administrative functions as necessary, scheduling a temporary replacement for unattended meetings, maintaining (as provided by Companions) an attendance record of the Circles, and keeping (as provided by Companions) a current mailing list of Companions.
3. When any business is discussed within the Circle, the summaries of the Circle provided by the Secretary of the Order should contain an overview of the Companion’s comments and concerns raised during the discussion.  No expectation is made of a verbatim transcription of the discussions held within the circle.
4. The Secretary's term of office shall be two years.  Successive terms may be served subject to the procedures below.
5. The current Secretary shall announce, and include within the summary of the Circle, the end of their tenure two Circles prior to the ending date.  At the next Circle, being the Circle immediately before the end of the current Secretary's tenure, those who wish to serve as Secretary shall be placed on a docket which shall be voted upon by the Companions present.  The person receiving the highest number of votes shall assume the duties of Secretary of the Order at the next Circle.  The retiring Secretary shall turn over all records of the Order at the aforementioned Circle.
6. If for any reason the current Secretary wishes to end their tenure, or fails to perform their duties for two successive Circles, this shall be announced at the requisite Circle.  At the next Circle a docket shall be established and voted upon and a new Secretary installed according to the procedures above.
7. The Secretary shall provide a current copy of the Charter for the Order and the summary of the last four (4) Circles to all newly elevated Companions within two weeks of receiving their correct mailing address.  The Secretary shall make his/her best attempt to deliver this information within two weeks of the elevation of the new Companion.

C. Meetings of the Order


1. Official meetings of the Order shall be known as Circles.
2. Circles are held for the purpose of advising the Crown regarding the elevation of new members, the recommendation of subjects worthy of recognition short of elevation to the order, and to attend to any other such business as befits the Order.
3. Circles shall be convened, at a minimum, at each Coronation and Crown Tourney event.
4. Additional Circles may be convened as necessary, by the Crown or by the consensus of those member attending a regularly schedule Circle.  Additional Circles called for by consensus must be held prior to the next regularly scheduled Circle, or a new consensus must be obtained.
5. Circles may be divided into "open" and "closed" portions.
6. “Open” portion of the Circle
a) The Crown or the Secretary of the Order may waive the “open” portion of the meeting if they so choose.
b) If a portion of the Circle is designated as "open" that portion may be attended by the Crowns, the Tanists, the Companions, the Principal Laurel, the Premier Chevalier, the Protégés, and other individuals receiving permission from the Crown, or the Secretary of the Order to present business to the Order.
c) If a Circle is begun with an ‘open” portion, such portion will be kept to the minimum time possible to present any needed business to the Order.
7. “Closed Portion of the Circle
a) The portion designated "closed" may only be attended by the Crown, the Tanists, the Companions of the Order and those guests that the Crown may expressly choose to invite. 
b) A candidate announced as a future recipient of the Order may not attend the "closed" portion of any Circle until such time that the candidate has officially been elevated to the Order by the Crown, or unless the candidate has been expressly invited by the Crown as Their guest.
c) All recommendations for awards or discussion of candidates shall occur only in the "closed" portion of the Circle.
8. It is the express wish of the Order that the closed portion of Circles be opened and closed with the following Invocations.
a) Opening Invocation: This Circle of the Order of the Pelican is called in the name of the Society.  As all are called to the service of the Crown, let us also be called to the service of our brethren.  Let us, each and all, be free to speak, and let none fail to speak that each may know the thoughts of all.  Let no word spoken here pass beyond this Circle save as permitted by our cousins here assembled.  In service to the Crown and Folk of Trimaris, this Circle is begun.
b) Closing Invocation: As Pelicans of Trimaris assembled, we declare our thoughts spoken and our business ended.  Let no word spoken here pass beyond this Circle save as permitted by our cousins here assembled.  This Circle is closed.
9. Order of Business - In general, and barring any expressed desire of the Crown otherwise, the order of business during the “closed” portion of the circle will be as follows
a) Old Business, not including candidate discussions or award recommendations.
b) Formal discussion and votes on new candidates
c) Informal discussion of Candidates
(1) Candidates will be discussed in the order that the request for formal discussion was submitted to the Secretary for inclusion on the agenda.  Exceptions to this order of discussion require the consent of the Crown.
(2) Based on the feedback received, the sponsor may or may not wish to request a formal discussion of the Candidate at the next Circle.
(3) The discussion may also lead to recommendation for lesser awards for the Candidate under discussion.
d) Award recommendations for those not yet ready for discussion as candidates for admission to the Order.
e) New Business
10. To provide Companions reasonable opportunity to prepare for a Circle, any requests for business (including, but not limited to, additions to the "watch list", informal discussions, formal discussions, and votes) should be verbally announced by the requestor at the Circle that is immediately prior to the Circle where that business would be scheduled.
a) Companions shall provide this information to the Secretary in writing to insure the dissemination of correct information.
b) The Secretary shall include this business in the summary of the Circle at which the announcement was made and on the agenda for the next Circle.

D. Voting

1. All Active Companions in attendance at a Circle are eligible to vote.
2. All Companions are permitted to offer their counsel to the Crown during discussion but their votes will not be included in the recommendation of the Order unless they are Active Companions.

E. Voting Procedures:

1. Companions may vote "yes," "no," or "abstain."
2. A minimum of Fifty percent or more of the Companions participating in a vote must definitively vote "yes" or "'no'" for a vote to be considered valid.
3. Abstention votes shall be removed from the total number of votes cast and shall not be taken into consideration regarding the percentage of votes necessary to obtain an affirmative vote.   Abstentions are discouraged but do not affect an Active Companions ability to participate in future votes.

IV. DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATION OF CANDIDATES 


A. The Crown may request the Order discuss a particular candidate at any point during the "closed" portion of the circle.  Further, the Crown has the absolute right to request the Order's formal opinion (vote) on a candidate at any time.

B. In the absence of express direction from the Crown the following order should be followed for the discussion of candidates.

C. In general, to facilitate each Companion's ability to provide commentary on, and consider, a candidate, an informal discussion of a candidate will be held to obtain commentary from the Companions.   If a Companion wishes to initiate an informal discussion of a candidate they shall address the Secretary requesting the discussion be placed upon the agenda.  The Secretary will give these requests priority over all other requests except for a request for formal discussion of a candidate.  Upon conclusion of this informal discussion, the Companion may request that a formal discussion be scheduled at the next Circle.

D. Members of the Order are expected to conscientiously strive to be knowledgeable of the skills and qualifications of candidates.  Members of the Order are expected to courteously, honestly, and fully discuss both the positive aspects of candidates and any potential reservations concerning candidates, and suggestions for improvement when applicable, prior to the initiation of any polling upon a candidate.

E. If a formal discussion is scheduled at a Circle, it is incumbent on all Active Companions to acquaint themselves with the candidate in order that they may offer informed advice to the Crown. 

F. Companions who are unable to attend a scheduled formal discussion may submit a written commentary to the Secretary of the Order to be read into the discussion.  The Secretary should read any such communications at the opening of the formal discussion.  This is distinct from a proxy vote which is addressed in section “I”. 

G. Upon conclusion of the formal discussion a motion for a vote on the candidate will be entertained.   This motion will require no second.  The vote will be to determine the will of the Order regarding a formal recommendation of the Order to the Crown concerning the candidate's elevation.  In the event that such a motion is not made at the end of the formal discussion, the candidate shall not be reconsidered for discussion in the Circle for two consecutive regularly scheduled Circles.

H. If a motion to vote on a candidate is made, the vote will be taken at the Circle which held the formal discussion.  If an Active Companion cannot, for whatever reason, attend the Circle at which a formal discussion is scheduled; they may submit a proxy vote thru the Secretary of the Order.

I. Proxy votes must be submitted in writing to the Secretary of the Order prior to the opening of the meeting during which a formal discussion is scheduled.  Acceptable methods of delivery are left to the discretion of the Secretary of the Order.   The proxy vote shall, at a minimum, identify the name of the Active Companion submitting the vote, the name of the candidate being voted on, the vote ( either affirmative or opposed), and the meeting the proxy vote is valid for.  Commentary should be submitted separately as per “F” above.  Proxy votes shall be considered valid only for the one meeting.  Verbal proxy votes are explicitly disallowed.  Proxy votes shall (insofar as possible) remain unread by the Secretary until a vote is called for.  In the event no vote is called for during the meeting, the Secretary shall dispose of the unused proxy votes by appropriate means.

J. An affirmative vote (positive recommendation to the Crown) is defined as 66 percent of the Active Companions casting a definitive "yes" vote during a valid vote.  (This percentage is based on standard mathematical practices wherein a percentage less than 0.4 is rounded down and 0.5 or higher is rounded up. 

K. Upon conclusion of the vote the Principal of the Order consult with the Secretary of the Order and shall return to the Crown of the total number of votes cast and the total number of affirmative votes cast as well as a "Yea" or "Nay" statement on behalf of the Order.  The Principal may also convey any appropriate commentary he/she, on behalf of the Order, may deem suitable.

L. If the vote regarding a candidate does not result in an affirmative vote (positive recommendation to the Crown), that candidate shall not be reconsidered for discussion or a vote for two consecutive regularly scheduled Circles

M. Recommendations made unto the Crown by the Order shall be considered as being effective for the period of 2 reigns (i.e., one year).  If no action has been taken by the Crown by the end of the second Reign, the Order shall consider the recommendation to the Crown as having been rejected.  The candidate may be considered through the discussion process as described above again if the Order wishes.

V. GENERAL


A. Members of the Order are expected to maintain, at all times, the same attributes expected of a candidate to the Order

B. In general, the intention to belt Proteges shall be announced to the Companions as a courtesy.

C. A gold or yellow belt shall be the token a Protege bears.

VI. CHANGES TO THIS CHARTER


A. Changes, amendments, or additions to this document require the endorsement of a minimum of sixty (60) percent of the Active Companions at a Circle convened at either a Crown Tournament Event or Coronation Event.

B. Changes, amendments, or additions to this document will take effect during the next scheduled Crown Tournament Event or Coronation Event.

1. ORIGINAL DATED 13 MARCH 1987
2. REVISED 1 S E P T E M B E R 1991
3. REVISED 6 SEPTEMBER 1994
4. REVISED 4 A P R I L 1996
5. REVISED 31 MARCH 1997
6. REVISED 1 S E P T E M B E R 2001
7. REVISED 1 AUGUST 2004
8. REVISED 11 NOVEMBER 2014