Grand and Glorious Order of Hillbilly Degree

Article 1 – Membership

This Organization shall be restricted to members in good standing of a MASONIC BLUE LODGE and SHRINERS INTERNATIONAL.

Article 2 – Purpose

The purpose of this Organization is to promote sociability among members and to provide finances for Shriners Hospitals for Children and Shrine Center Transportation funds.

Article 3 – Officers

This degree has THREE main officers – Raban of the Clan, Keeper of the Cob and
Guardian of the Still.  They shall be elected for a one-year term, at the clan annual meeting and may succeed themselves if duly elected. The clan may also have more elected officers. (Keeper of the Quill is recommended). Raban my appoint any officers except the 3 main officers.

Article 4 – Duties of Officers

ALL officers are expected to donate their time and efforts, without cost to the Organization, to conduct ritual work, and to handle finances and properties belonging to the order.

Article 5 – Petitions

New members shall be admitted upon application and presentation of proof of current membership in a Masonic Blue Lodge and the Shriners International and the payment of the stated initiation fee. Initiation rituals will be conducted periodically by the officers at Clan sponsored fundraisers or Annual Clan meetings only! Pictures or recording of active ritual work is STRICTLY prohibited!!!

Article 6 – Dues

No annual dues shall be required, other than the initiation fee! All members are expected to promote the Organization and to assist in any way, the Raban of their Clan to perform his duties.  Annual sustaining memberships dues may be collected on a volunteer basis!!

Article 7 – Membership Cards

ALL MEMBERSHIP CARDS are to be ordered from the IMPERIAL CLAN only. ($2.00 each) and must run in consecutive numbered order for each clan. A roster must be kept, and a copy of membership card numbers and currents addresses, of yearly new members, submitted with the required yearly report. Outhouses must purchase their cards from their main clan at the fee established by the main clan and provide a new membership roster, yearly report to the main clan, and registration fee if required.  Authority of membership card of new clans with copies of the ritual can be obtained from the Imperial Clan by request from certified Clan Members. At least three and payment of the required charter fees.

Article 8 – Finance

All monies collected by any clan shall be used for approved expenses. All remaining funds after established yearly startup fund and a one-year equal backup fund, shall be donated to either the Shriners Hospitals for Children or a Shrine Centers Transportation Fund.  Failure of sending in reports, non-payment of fees and information for new members are cause for suspension.



Article 9 – Amendments

These by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the membership present at the Annual Imperial Clan Meeting. (Convention) All new amendments, by-laws changes and proposed changes to amendments and by-laws, must be placed thru Imperial Clan and membership must be informed using the official Hillbilly Website three months prior to vote. Only certified members in good standing and properly registered for convention may vote. A certified member is a Member that belongs to a Currently Chartered and Active Clan.

Article 10 – Clan Meetings

ALL CLANS must hold six or more meetings or fundraising functions per year.

Article 11 – Shrine Rules

All Clans, Outhouses and Hillbillies can do NOTHING that conflicts with the SHRINERS INTERNATIONAL LAWS.

Article 12 – Official Publication shall be considered the “Official Imperial Website or any written publication sanctioned by the Imperial Clan.” All Clans are required to submit an active e-mail address for automatic website update alerts.

Article 13 – Registration Fees

All clans and outhouses are required to access a onetime registration fee of $10, for each new member on behalf of the Imperial Clan.

Article 14 – Insurance

99% of the time Shriners are covered under the umbrella of a sponsoring Shrine Center.  Check with your Shrine Center or the Raban of your clan if applicable for information.

Article 15 – Banned Members

Any individual, Male or Female, that has been banned for any reason from attending a Shrine Temple’s events or banned from entering or remaining on property owned or maintained by a Shrine Temple, will also be banned from attending or participating in any Hillbilly events or activities, such as but not limited to parades, festivals, etc.

Article 16 – Clan Contact Information

All clans are required to have an up-to-date regular mailing address, phone number and an active e-mail address on file with Imperial Clan at ALL TIMES.


Official Interpretations

1. Membership: In the clan permits a hillbilly to participate in activities of any clan. All true hillbilllies will extend the hospitality expected for all visiting hillbilllies. Any hillbilly in good standing, desiring membership in other clans can obtain an associate membership card (non- numbered) in that clan for payment of a modest fee (determined by clan) and will not be required to participate in the ritual again. An associate does not have voting rights.

2. Recruiting Members: Any clan may recruit new hillbilly members from any place in the world, where there is no existing clan. Shrine Center areas are no barrier to the recruitment of new members. However, if a clan is established in the Shrine Center area, where recruiting is planned, then their permission is required.

3. Clan Areas: There will be only one clan in any Shrine Center Jurisdiction. No other clan can be established.

4. Outhouses: All clans have the authority to create outhouses (Sub-Groups) within their Shrine Centers Jurisdiction. They will be governed by the Main Clan under which the charter is so assigned. They will be considered the same as the main clan. All reports must be sent to the main clan to be combined as one. There may be as many outhouses as the main clan approves within their jurisdiction.

5. Ladies Auxiliary: all clans and outhouses have the authority to permit the establishment of a
lady’s auxiliary. The ladies auxiliary must adhere to the following stipulations.
A. Eligibility: You must be married to a Noble AND Hillbilly in good standing or the widow thereof.
B. Ladies will be an auxiliary only group. They cannot in any way have their own clan, charter or unit.
C. Ladies will neither join the clan, nor participate in any clan’s business meetings or men’s rituals.
D. The ladies auxiliary must work for the same basic principles upon which the clan is established. They may conduct the Ladies rituals, if approved by the clan.
E. Profits generated from the Ladies Auxiliary must be turned over to the Clan of affiliation at the end of each year.
a. Ladies may have a checking account only, there will be no savings, petty cash, CD’s or money kept at anyone’s house, if this happens all money will be turned over to the Clan and the lady’s unit will be dissolved immediately.
b. The Ladies Auxiliary will be required to turn in an annual report. This report shall have the following: beginning of the year bank statement and an end of the year bank statement. A list of all new members. A list of approved purchases made by the auxiliary. And a list of the year’s officers.        c. Ladies Auxiliary can keep a maximum of $500.00 per year for startup costs.  The balance over $500.00 will be turned over to their Clan of affiliation at the end of each year to be donated to their transportation fund and/or the Shriners Hospital for Children.
d. Clan will report the women’s donations on their annual report.
e. Ladies Auxiliary must have an officer of the Clan (men’s) on the checking account at all times. This is to ensure that if something was to happen to the Ladies Auxiliary the account cannot be taken by an individual but will be turned over to the Clan.
f. In order to be an officer, you must be in good standing and have attended at least 3 meeting in that year prior to nominations. Unless you are starting a new Ladies Auxiliary in that year.
g. Hillbilly Gals Removal – If a member divorces his wife and she is a member, she may remain so unless a member submits in writing to the governing board to have her removed as a member and approved by a majority vote of the members of the governing board.  The member requesting removal may not have a vote on the governing board.

6. Clan Seals: Each clan and outhouse are hereby authorized to obtain a Hand Seal to apply official impressions to documents, membership certificates, etc. These can be ordered from any office supply store. They must include the official hillbilly man, Clan number (outhouse number also) and the word degree.

7. Hillbilly Emblems: The hillbilly degree has three official emblems. The cob, crescent, hillbilly man, hillbilly women are copy righted by the imperial clan and each hillbilly clan charter in good standing are authorized to reproduce these to promote the degree.

8. New Clans: Any clans receiving inquiries regarding establishment of a new clan, MUST have inquiries forwarded to the Imperial Clan as soon as possible. The Imperial Clan will answer all inquiries promptly.

9. Reports: All clans and outhouses MUST submit a yearly report containing a list of new members and the total monetary value of donations for the year, along with registration fee for new members to the Imperial Keeper of the Cob, by March 31st, of the following year. Non-Compliance for over 2 years, is a violation of Article 9, can result in Charter removal.

10. Clan Publication: International Shrine Hillbilly website will carry ALL official announcements and notices of Imperial Clan and Chartered Clans and their outhouses.

11. International Hillbilly Convention: There will be an annual convention of the Hillbilly Degree in October (unless otherwise approved off by Imperial Clan and voted at convention).  Date, Time and place will be announced in the official Imperial Clan Publications. It will be open to all initiated hillbillies in good standing and their hillbilly gals.

12. Imperial Business Session: The imperial session at the annual convention will be restricted to Noble Hillbilly members in good standing, with Shriners International and a Blue Lodge and approved guests, seeking to form a new clan.

13. Internal Revenue Service: Each clan can apply for a separate IRS tax exemption, which can be obtained by filing Form 1023, available at any Internal Revenue Service Office.

14. Imperial Clan: Declared by unanimous Membership vote at the 1988 International Convention, to be the sole governing body and copy right holder of the Grand and Glorious Order of the Hillbilly Degree. Its officers shall consist of the following: Imperial Raban, Imperial Keeper of the Cob, and Imperial Guardian of the Still. Other officers may be added by order of the Imperial Raban. All vacancies are to be filled by appointment only, by the Imperial Raban.  Their duties are to be determined by the Imperial Raban and published on official Imperial Website. All decisions made by this body, regarding the constitution and by-laws are to be final.  All decisions on disputes between clans and between cousins concerning hillbilly degree articles can be appealed and outcome of appeal is final. All cousins serving in this clan, must be a legal member in good standing of a Blue Lodge, Shriners International and a Currently Chartered and Active Clan.

15. Payments: Any checks sent to the Imperial Clan should be made out to Grand and Glorious.  New member fees should be mailed to the Imperial Keeper of the Cob.  All other payments of any kind should be mailed to the Imperial Guardian of the Still.

16. Contacts for Imperial Officers:

Imperial Raban – Don Cox
798 Glendale Street, Portsmouth Ohio 45662

Imperial Keeper of the Cob – Roger Morgan
68 Camp Street, Franklin Furnace, Ohio 45629

Imperial Guardian of the Still – Jody Vaughters
320 Possum Hollow Rd, Wheelersburg, Ohio 45694