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The Training of a Secretary:
 An Ancient Profession

 Secretary In Literature

 Universality Of The Vocation



 Other Duties As May Be Assigned By The Board Of Directors

 Taking The Minutes

 Preservation Of The Minutes

 Minutes, Meetings And Manners


 Read More Articles About: The Training of a Secretary


( Originally Published 1922 )

I have in my library a collection of the constitutions and by-laws of a number of organizations varying from an athletic club to a railroad and including societies of local, national and international repute. From these there have been selected a few paragraphs defining the duties of the Secretary where they vary, as they do vary slightly, from the example already given:


It shall be the duty of the Secretary to attend all meetings of the Club and of the Board of Directors, and to keep minutes of the proceedings in a book provided for that purpose; to certify to the Treasurer all resolutions passed by the Club or by the Board of Directors directing the payment or expenditure of the moneys of the Club; to preserve all letters, records and data of interest ; to notify members of their election or expulsion, and to notify the Treasurer of the same ; to send newly-elected members copies of the By-Laws of the club; to send to active and Life Members notices f the times and places of meetings to keep in a book provided for that purpose the names, addresses and dates of election of all members; to keep a, record of all matches, and to publish those f interest, and to perform such other similar duties as the Board of Directors may from time to time require, or as are provided for in these By-Laws.

The Secretary shall keep regular minutes of the Club and of the Board of Governors and shall send all such notices as are required to be given to the members. He shall have charge f the seal of the Club, and of all records not specially belonging to other officers. He shall report at the annual meeting of the Club and shall enter upon the minutes the names of those members who have died, and the names of those whose resignations have been accepted by him during the year.

He shall certify to the Treasurer all resolutions passed by the Club directing or authorizing the payment or expenditure of the moneys of the Club. He shall send to the Treasurer the names of all persons elected to membership immediately after their election, and perform such other duties as the Board may from time to time direct.


The Secretary shall make and preserve full and complete records of all business meetings of the Club and f the Executive Committee. These and the books and the papers relating to the Club, except the Treastirer's books and the music shall be in his custody and open to the inspection of active members. He shall notify active members of the time and place of all business meetings and the object for which any special meeting may be called. Whenever an extra rehearsal shall be appointed, or any change made in time or place f rehearsal, he shall notify all singing member's. He shall, when so directed by the Executive Committee, notify applicants of the day and hour appointed by the Conductor for their examination, and advise members f their election, and of the steps necessary to complete their membership. He shall call the roll at meetings, rehearsals, and concerts, note all absences and latenesses, and report the same after each rehearsal and concert to the Executive Committee. If called for he shall, at every meeting, read aloud and present the minutes of all preceding meetings which have not already been read and approved, and the names of those absent or late at roll call without valid excuses. He shall attest the seal f the Club upon all executed papers, and shall perform such other duties as may properly pertain to his office and as may be assigned to him by the club, the Executive Committee, or the By-Laws. He shall be the custodian of the seal of the Club.


It shall be the duty of the secretary :

To keep minutes of all meetings of the Club, and of the Board of Trustees, and to have the custody of all reports and documents connected with the business f the Club.

To keep a correct roll of the members, together with the dates of their election.

He shall receive all proposals for membership in writing, as called for by Section—, Article—, and shall mail these proposals to all members for their comments and shall lay the proposals, together with any comments received before the Board of Trustees at their next meeting. He shall notify the members elect of their election, and when the latter have complied with the regulations for the admission of members he shall furnish them with a copy of the Club book.

To keep a correct list of the name, ownership, dimensions and rig of each yacht enrolled in the Club.

To conduct the correspondence of the Club, to prepare and have printed the Club Book, and to issue notices of all meetings of the Club and of the Board of Trustees.

To present a written report at the annual meeting.


The Secretary shall give; notice of all meetings of the Club and of the Board of Governors. He shall conduct the correspondence and keep the records and Seal of the Club. He shall notify persons elected to membership of their election, and also advise the Treasurer thereof.


The President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer shall perform the duties, usually appertaining to their respective offices.


The Secretary of the Institute shall be a per-son of scientific and literary attainments, and shall receive such annual compensation for his services as may be fixed by the Board of Managers.

His duty shall be to receive members and strangers visiting the Institute; to take charge of the library, cabinets and other property of the Institute under the direction of the various committees and Curators ; to present and read at each meeting of the Institute a statement of such scientific discoveries, mechanical improvements, or novelties in arts or engineering, as he may deem of interest to the members ; and to perform such other duties as he may deem advisable to promote the objects of the Institute, or such as may, from time to time, be designated by the Institute. He shall also answer all letters addressed to the Institute, except those relating to stock, finance, or of a business character; open and maintain such correspondence as may promote its interest ; notify honorary and corresponding members of their election, and committees of the Institute of their appointment, and acknowledge all donations to the library or cabinets in the Journal, and to the donors thereof at his discretion. He shall report or cause to be reported, the proceedings of the Institute and shall deliver the report thereof, or an abstract of it, to the editor for publication.

In case of the absence or sickness of the Secretary, it shall be the duty of the President to appoint a person to perform the duties of the position pro tempore.

A suitable person shall be appointed by the Secretary, with the sanction of the Board, to act as Librarian.


The regular meetings of this Association shall be. held on the second Monday of each month, from 7.00 to 9.30 o'clock in the evening, for the purpose of receiving the monthly payments from its members. The meeting in May shall be the General Annual Meeting.

The members shall be invited by the Secretary to attend the general annual meeting, by advertising, at least twice in two daily newspapers of Philadelphia. The Association shall not be responsible for payments which are not made in the regular monthly meeting and which are not receipted at the time of such meeting.

Upon the written application of ten members, the President and Secretary shall call a special meeting by means of two daily newspapers, stating time and object of such meeting.

The Secretary shall keep correct minutes of all proceedings of the Association and Board of Directors in books provided for that purpose, and keep an accurate account with all stockholders; he shall attest all orders drawn on the Treasurer by the Board of Directors, have the safe-keeping of the seal and books of the Association (the receipt book excepted), and deliver the same over to his successor in office ; he shall at any time be prepared to inform the Board of Directors of the financial condition of the Association, and shall furnish a detailed statement thereof for the annual meeting of the stockholders. He shall receive such compensation as shall be determined by the Board of Directors.


The Secretary shall keep a record of all the meetings, conduct the correspondence, keep a correct list of the members, notify all Committees of their appointments, and act as' Secretary to all Committees.

He shall draw all orders upon the Treasurer, and perform such other duties as the Board may direct.

He shall collect all fees and dues, And when the amount in hand exceeds one hundred (100) dollars, shall deposit the same to the credit of the Chamber of Commerce in such banking institution as the Board may designate.

He shall, when required, deliver to the Board or his successor in office, all the moneys, books, valuables and papers belonging to the Chamber of Commerce, which may be in his possession.

He shall give good and sufficient bond for the faithful performance of his duties and the safe custody of the funds under his control, in such sum as the Board of Directors may require, and shall receive such salary for his services as it shall direct.

The Board of Directors shall meet on the second Thursday of each month, to transact business that may come before it. Such meetings may be omitted by action of the Board during July, August and September. Due notice of the meetings shall be mailed by the Secretary.


The Secretary shall give notice to the members of the Board of Directors and all Committees thereof of all meetings, attend the same, and record the proceedings thereof.

He shall have custody of the minutes of the Board, and its Committees, which shall be open to inspection of the members of the Board only, except upon the written order of the President, or one of the Vice-Presidents, and shall not be removed from his custody except upon a like written order.

He shall notify the several officers of the Company of all the action taken by the Board, or any of its Committees, concerning matters in their respective Departments, and transmit to the Comptroller for proper record copies of all con-tracts providing for the payment of money to or by the Company.

The issue and transfer of certificates of the Capital Stock of the Company, and the books showing the ownership thereof, shall be under his charge. He shall sign the certificates of the Capital Stock, and keep a registry of the same. He shall also have certificates duly registered and signed by the Registrar.., before delivering the same to the stockholders.

When application is made for the issue of a stock certificate in lieu of one lost or destroyed, the Secretary shall furnish the General Counsel such information as is necessary for the preparation of the required bond of indemnity.

The Secretary shall approve for voucher bills of the General Expense Account connected with the operation and maintenance of the General Office Building, when examined and approved by the Incidental Business Committee.

He shall have the custody of the originals of all contracts and agreements authorized by the Board, including patent licenses, and of other valuable papers of the Company, and, when directed by the President, or a Vice-President, shall have leases, contracts, and agreements running for a term of years, printed in pamphlet form for distribution to the proper officers.

He shall give twenty-days' notice by newspaper advertisement of the Annual Meeting and Annual Election, and ten days' notice of other general or special meetings of the stockholders

He shall have general supervision of the minutes and records pertaining to the offices of the Secretaries of the Companies operated by this Company, and shall see that a uniform system is pursued in the preparation of the same, and that proper safeguards are provided for their protection and preservation.

He shall have charge of the General Office of the Company, and of other buildings, or parts thereof, used for a like purpose, including the Executive and Stock Transfer Offices of the heating and' lighting thereof, and of all employes necessary for the proper care and operation of the same. All repairs to, alterations in, and purchases for the same, shall be made under his direction. He shall perform such other duties as the President, or the Board, may assign to him.

He shall nominate to the President, for his approval and confirmation by the Board, his subordinate officers, and shall have authority, with the approval of the President, to appoint all employes necessary for the transaction of the business under his charge.

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