Constitution
OFFICERS' MESS
CANADIAN FORCES BASE ESQUIMALT

CONSTITUTION

NAME

The name of the institution shall be the Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt Officers’ Mess, hereinafter referred to as the “Mess”.  The Mess includes the Naden Wardroom and the Gunroom located at VENTURE, the Naval Officers Training Centre (NOTC).  The latter will operate as an adjunct to the Naden Wardroom, primarily, but not exclusively, for the purposes of serving the officers and cadets of VENTURE NOTC.

AUTHORITY

The Mess is established under the authority of QR and O 27.01.  It shall be operated pursuant to regulations, orders and directives governing the operation of Messes in the Canadian Forces (CF) as set out in A-AD-262-000/AG-000, A-FN-105-001/AG-001, other pertinent CF Publications, the instructions contained in this Constitution and the supporting By-Laws.

PURPOSE

The Mess shall be operated for the purpose of building “esprit de corps” and comradeship; and to provide entertainment, goods, services, and amenities to all Members.  The Mess has a vital role in fostering the traditions of the Canadian Forces and in particular the customs and traditions of the Canadian Navy.  Therefore, wherever feasible and desirable, Naval customs will be used and practiced in the Mess.

CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS

The constitution enunciates the authorized principles according to which the Mess is formed and governed.  The By-Laws amplify the Constitution.

MEMBERSHIP

The membership of the Mess shall consist of Ordinary, Associate and Honorary Members.

Ordinary Members of the Mess shall comprise the following:

All officers of the Canadian Regular Force and Reserve Force on Class B or C service in a Regular Force Vancouver Island unit situated south of a line drawn between Tofino and Parksville (with the exception of officers who are Ordinary Members of other Regular Force Messes) and who are serving at CFB Esquimalt on temporary or attached duty in excess of 14 days; and

Officers of the Armed Forces of other countries who are on exchange with or on loan to the Canadian Forces, and who are employed at CFB Esquimalt or one of its integral shore or lodger units.

Associate Members may consist of those within the following categories:

Retired

Officers honourably released from the Regular Force or Reserve Forces of Canada who are entitled to an immediate or deferred annuity, and equivalent officers from allied nations; and

For officers identified at 5. b. (1) (a) above, who release from a Regular Force Vancouver Island unit situated south of a line drawn between Tofino and Parksville, or are current Wardroom members, a six months free Retired Associate Membership will be offered, after which time the officer will be invited to apply for a paid Retired Associate Membership.

For officers identified at 5. b. (1) (a) above, at the discretion of the Mess Executive, a six months free Retired Associate Membership may be offered to an officer who moves back to Vancouver Island after retiring from a unit in a different geographical region, after which time the officer will be invited to apply for a paid Retired Associate Membership.

Working

DND civilian employees of officer status who are employed at CFB Esquimalt or one of its integral shore or lodger units;

Officers of the Supplementary Reserve, Cadet Instructors Cadre or Canadian Rangers.

Social

This category comprises persons other than retired, working or Officer Cadet Members who may be admitted to membership upon the recommendation of the Mess Committee and the majority vote of those present at a General Mess Meeting.  Associate membership under this category will be reviewed annually at the first General Mess Meeting of the calendar year.  The number of Social Associate Members shall not exceed 25% of the normal maximum Ordinary membership.

Honorary Members

Honorary Members of the Mess include all Canadian Regular Force or Reserve Officers who are not Ordinary or Associate Members of the Mess.  As well, Honorary membership may be extended to any distinguished person for a term not to exceed one year, without prejudice to renewal of membership for further one year terms, upon the recommendation of the Mess Committee, a majority vote of those present at the general Mess Meeting, and the approval of the Base Commander.

Honorary Captains (N) and Colonels, and sponsors of HMC Ships will be granted Honorary membership status unless they already hold one of the above mentioned membership status.

Upon the death of an Ordinary Member, the surviving spouse will be given a complimentary six-month Associate membership in their name. The surviving spouse will be extended the offer to continue their Associate Social Membership thereafter under normal terms, in accordance with Bylaw 13. d. with automatic sponsorship of the Wardroom Mess Executive.

Upon the death of an Associate Member, the remaining mess dues of the deceased member shall be automatically applied to an Associate Social membership in the name of the surviving spouse with a complimentary six month extension to the paid membership term. The surviving spouse will be extended the offer to continue their Associate Social Membership thereafter under normal terms, in accordance with Bylaw 13. d. with automatic sponsorship of the Wardroom Mess Executive, however, if the surviving spouse requested to have the remaining prepaid Mess Dues refunded, that request would be honoured.

Honorary Guest Members

Honorary Guest Members are those former officers who were provided Honorary Lifetime Memberships from the CFB Esquimalt Wardroom, which were subsequently revoked in the late 1980s. 

FINANCES

The Mess is an independent financial entity exclusive of the Base Fund.  Sources of revenue for the Mess include:

Mess subscription;
other Mess assessments;
bar profits;
receipts from entertainment tickets;
gifts and bequests; and
miscellaneous revenue.

The funds of the Mess will be expended in accordance with an annual budget and the By-Laws.  The Base Commander may order allocation of Mess revenues to the Base Fund within the limitations prescribed in relevant CF regulations and orders.

ENTERTAINMENT POLICY

Annually, at the General Mess Meeting immediately preceding the beginning of the new NPF fiscal year, the Mess Committee will present an outline of entertainment events using Mess funds for the coming fiscal year for approval in principle by the membership.

Ordinary Members of the Mess are entitled to attend any function, which is totally or partially supported by Mess funds, limited only by the space available for the function.  This entitlement does not necessarily include official functions, which are funded by Official Entertainment allowances, which may have a limited invitation list.

Associate Members and Honorary Guest Members may attend Mess functions space permitting and may be charged an entertainment subsidy over and above the cost paid by an Ordinary Member.

Honorary Members may normally make use of Mess facilities.  The Mess Committee will determine charges for attendance at organized Mess functions.

The effect of entertainment on Living-In Members is to be considered in planning. Conflict between functions is to be minimized.  If such exists, priority for use of the Mess will be given in the following order:

Command functions;
Base functions;
Mess functions; and
Private entertainment.

The Base Commander or the PMC may, at his/her discretion, authorize the use of the Mess by out-of-service groups in order to meet public social obligations or to benefit community relations.  Individual Mess Members may be permitted to sponsor certain functions for out-of-service groups on a personal entertainment basis with prior approval of the President.  The Mess will not be made available to any out-of-service organizations or individual solely for the purpose of supplementing Mess funds.

MESS PRESIDENT

The Base Administration Officer is the President of the Mess.

MESS COMMITTEE

The Mess shall be administered by the Mess President and a Committee.  The Committee shall be comprised of Members elected by and from the Ordinary membership of the Mess at a General Mess Meeting or appointed by the Base Commander as follows:

President (PMC) (appointed as per paragraph 14 above);
Vice-President - Naden (VPMC - Naden);
Vice-President – Gunroom (VPMC – Gunroom) (appointed - Executive Officer, VENTURE NOTC;
Bar Officer;
Entertainment Officer;
Infrastructure Officer;
Living-In Representative;
Membership Officer;
Secretary; 
Treasurer, and
Communications Officer.


The following individuals will normally attend the Mess Committee meetings in an ex-officio/advisory capacity:

Associate Member representative;
Base Food Services Officer (BFoodsO);
Non-Public Funds Accounting Administrator (NPFAA); and
Mess Manager Naden and Mess Manager Gunroom.

Sub-Committees may be formed for specific reasons, under the Chairmanship of a Member of the Mess Committee, with membership coming from the Mess at large.

MESS MANAGERS

The Wardroom Mess Manager is responsible to the President for the planning and the effective functioning of the day-to-day operations of the Mess, including the Gunroom.  The Mess Manager Gunroom is responsible to the Wardroom Mess Manager and responsive to the VPMC – Gunroom for all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the Gunroom.  The Wardroom Mess Manager will be the supervisor, including divisional responsibilities, for the Mess Manager Gunroom, with input from the VPMC Gunroom.

MEETINGS

General Mess Meetings will be held immediately preceding the beginning of a new NPF fiscal year and on at least one other occasion in a year.  The attendance of all Ordinary Members is expected, unless military duties preclude.  General Mess Meetings are called to consider:

constitutional changes;
the budget and other financial matters;
the election of Members to the Mess Committee;
proposed Mess activities;
renewal of Social Associate and Honorary Members (once a year, normally in February); and
any appropriate business.

An Extraordinary Mess Meeting may be called at any time by the Base Commander or the President.  A meeting will be called by the President on application in writing of 25 percent of the Ordinary Members to deal with a specific matter, normally of an urgent nature.

A General Mess Meeting or an Extraordinary General Mess Meeting shall not be valid or competent unless a quorum is present.  A meeting composed of not less than 50 percent of the Ordinary Members shall normally constitute a quorum.  The PMC may declare the percentage of Members present to be a quorum, subject to later approval by the Base Commander (CFP 262 Art 302 para 5).

Mess Committee Meetings will normally be held monthly to consider:

proposals for amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws;
the budget and other financial matters;
proposals for capital expenditures;
Mess activities;
matters concerning the operation of the Mess; and
any appropriate business.

Sub-Committees will meet as required to deal with specific matters in detail.

AMENDMENTS TO MESS CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS

The majority vote of a General Mess Meeting and subsequent approval of the Base Commander shall be required to amend the Constitution or By-Laws.

Proposals to amend the Constitution and By-Laws are to be made in writing to the President.  A proposed amendment to the Constitution or By-Laws shall be promulgated by electronic means and published on Mess notice boards for at least seven (7) days prior to a General or Extraordinary Mess Meeting.

PRECEDENCE

None of the rules or provisions contained in this Constitution shall be deemed to contravene any instructions having precedence over this Constitution.  Should any rule or provision contravene or conflict with instructions issued by higher authority for the operation of this Mess, the Mess Committee shall cause the pertinent rule or provision to be repealed or amended as applicable.
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