Approved by the AGM 2014, and amended by each AGM since.
I. Establishment. This Club shall consist of officers of the Royal Navy, of the rank of Commander and above, serving or retired, who are or were eligible to be appointed to command one of HM warships at sea. In addition, officers of the Royal Navy of Lieutenant Commander’s rank henceforth appointed to command and qualified CQ2 or, serving or retired have proven command experience of one of HM seagoing warships, of 300 tons displacement or more, at sea, are also eligible to become members. Officers eligible to become Members cannot normally be admitted as Honorary Members or Visitors although, former members excepted, they may be admitted on one occasion only as guests of Members or of the Committee. No officer who has been dismissed the Service can belong to the Club unless reinstated.
II. Mode of electing Members. Any qualifying officer applying for membership shall be deemed to have been proposed by the Naval Secretary and will no longer require proposal by two Members. The Secretary is empowered to accept suitably qualified candidates as Members on behalf of the Committee, on receipt of a completed application form and after checking their bona fides as necessary. New Members will be reported to the committee, and if in any doubt, that application shall be referred to the committee for a decision, where if opposed by at least three members it will be excluded. The names of those recently joined shall be announced by the President before the first dinner following their successful application.
III. Subscription. The subscription shall be as determined by the Committee from time to time. It shall be due on the first bank working day in April each year.
IV. Arrears. In the event of any Member falling into arrears of subscription, the Secretary shall make application for payment in the name of the Committee. Any Member failing to pay his subscription at the due date in two consecutive years shall, after application has been made to him by the Secretary, be regarded as wishing to withdraw from the Club, and be removed from the List of Members.
V. Committee. The Committee shall consist of a minimum of ten Club Members, of whom two shall be of Flag Rank, two Commodores/Captains, four Commanders, one Lieutenant Commander, and the Chairman of Trustees; ideally balanced equally between retired and serving. Four will be considered a quorum. The remaining trustees shall be considered ex-officio, attending when asked to do so. Members of the Committee who have served for three years shall retire, after finding and nominating their own relief, and not be eligible again for Committee service until after the lapse of one year. The Committee shall elect their Chairman and Vice Chairman when successors are required, and reliefs for Members retiring. The Committee shall meet at least three times each year shortly before or on a Dinner Day and at any time the Chairman may think necessary. The assistance of ordinary Club Members, perhaps in influential posts or geographically useful locations, may be enlisted from time to time for set tasks or sub-committees under the chairmanship of a permanent committee member, and suitably rewarded.
VI. Sub Committees. The Chairman, Vice Chairman and Chairman of Trustees shall form an Executive Sub Group (or “Chairman’s Group”). The Committee may appoint from time to time other Sub Committees for particular purposes.
VII. General Meetings. The Committee shall be empowered to call a General Meeting at any time and shall do so on the written requisition of not less than twenty Members.
Resolutions. Resolutions for decisions at General Meetings shall be promulgated in writing to all Members of the Club at least one month before the date of the Meeting. Resolutions which have not been so promulgated, or which are proposed at the Meeting, shall be submitted to a subsequent General Meeting. Resolutions at General Meetings shall be decided by a majority of two thirds of the Members present, provided there shall be at least twelve.
AGM. The Annual General Meeting shall be held before the Dinner to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar when the Committee shall lay before it the Accounts for the preceding year, a general statement of the finances of the Club and a list of those Members who have not paid up their subscriptions. At this Meeting any proposal for amending the Rules of the Club or for making new Rules shall be brought forward.
Accounts. The accounts of the Club shall be subject to independent examination once in each year. Reports of the examined accounts shall be posted on the Club website at least one month before the date of the Annual General Meeting and are also available to members on request to the Secretary.
VIII. Dinner Days. The Meetings of the Club shall commence each year on or about the 4th February, commonly known as Founders’ Day, being the anniversary of the day on which the Navy Society was established in 1765. Succeeding Meetings shall commemorate naval actions or achievements selected by the Committee, always including the Battle of Trafalgar. The Sovereign’s Birthday shall be celebrated and a Dinner shall be given to the members of the Admiralty Board and the Commandant General Royal Marines. At the discretion of the Committee, Dinners other than that to celebrate Founders’ Day may be designated Guest Nights (see Members’ Notices: Guest Nights – guidance for members). The programme shall be advertised on the Card of Meetings and posted in selected Clubs and Messes. The dinner hour shall be 7.00 p.m., except when otherwise specified on the Card.
IX. Dinner Contribution. A sum, to be fixed from time to time by the Club Committee, shall be paid by each Member dining, and the balance of the dinner bill shall be paid out of the Funds, but not the Surplus Fund, of the Club. The Secretary shall keep records of Dinners and Members who dine, for the information of the Committee, and to enable them to certify to the balance due.
X. The President. The Committee is empowered to appoint the President for the respective Dinners. Except on Guest Nights, the President alone shall be entitled to bring a friend who is to be considered the guest of the Club,
XI. No business shall be done on a Club day after the dinner is served.
XII. Surplus Fund. The Trusts on which the Surplus Fund is held are embodied in a Trust Deed dated 7th day of November 1927 as amended from time to time. Copies of this Deed may be obtained from the Secretary. The Surplus Fund shall be invested in the joint names of not less than three nor more than five Trustees who shall be Members of the Club, or in the name of a Corporation, in the purchase, or upon the security, of any property, real or personal, of whatsoever nature and wheresoever situate, as the Trustees shall in their absolute discretion think fit to the intent that the Trustees shall have the same powers of investing and transposing investments in all respects as if they were themselves absolutely and beneficially entitled to the Surplus Fund. The income from any investments shall only be applied in the relief of distressed widows and widowers, orphan children, siblings and dependants of those who have been Members of the Club, provided that the former Member was not more than one year in arrear with his subscription and that a former Member who ceased to be a Member by death or resignation had been a Member for not less than five years. In cases where exceptional circumstances exist, the application of these two provisos shall be at the discretion of the Trustees. Particularly regarding “dependants”, which will be considered in its broadest sense. The Committee shall accept on behalf of the Club any money, stocks, shares, or investments which shall be presented to the Club, and shall add the same to the Surplus Fund so as to form part thereof, and the Trustees shall hold such stocks, shares and investments, notwithstanding that they may not be of the kind hereinbefore authorised as investments for the Surplus money, but any reinvestments shall be made only in the securities hereinbefore authorised. The Committee and the Trustees may, in their discretion, comply with specific instructions, conditions or wishes attached to any gift by the donor. But no stocks, shares or investments not fully paid up or involving other pecuniary liability shall under any circumstances be held by the Trustees.
XIII. Applications for relief from the Surplus Fund. All applications for relief from the Surplus fund of the Club must be made by Memorial, according to the form prescribed, copies of which may at any time be obtained from the Secretary. Such Memorials, duly filled up and signed by the applicant, and attested by a Member of the Club (except in those cases in which the applicant has received grants for at least five consecutive years, when the first certificate only need be signed, and if the signature of a Member of the Club cannot be obtained by an applicant, the first certificate may be signed by a Minister of Religion, Justice of the Peace or Bank Manager), must be sent to the Secretary.
XIV. Distribution of Surplus Fund. The Secretary shall prepare in January each year recommendations for the grants of relief to be made during the following financial year from the Surplus Fund to Memorialists who have applied under Rule XIII and shall submit these recommendations to the Trustees at a Trustees’ Meeting prior to the 1st April. At the subsequent Committee Meeting at least six members of the Committee other than the Trustees shall be present to take note of the Trustees’ decisions.
XV. Disposals of the Funds entrusted to the Committee. All surplus monies arising from the annual subscriptions and Balances in hand, (except the interest of the money now invested, or which may hereafter be invested, to be appropriated according to Rule XII), shall be reserved for such purposes as the Committee may judge best, and that they may be enabled to meet all exigencies, to maintain the honour, and to ensure the respectability, comfort and conviviality of the Society. No transfer of balance from the General Fund to the Surplus Fund for the investment shall take place unless there remains a balance of at least £150 after such transfer.
XVI. Powers of the Committee in reference to any Member whose conduct may be injurious to the character and interests of the Club. In case any circumstances should occur likely to endanger or disturb the welfare, good feeling, honour or conviviality of the Club, the Committee shall call a General Meeting, giving fourteen days’ notice; and in the event of it being voted by two thirds of the Members (not less than fifteen Members being present) that the name of any Member should be removed from the list of the Club, the subscription for the current year shall be returned to such Member, and he shall cease to belong to the Club.