Section 59. The president, or in his absence the vice president, if any, shall preside at all meetings of the directors or stockholders. In the absence of both said officers a temporary president may be chosen. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this paragraph, a company may by its by-laws provide that the chairman of the board of directors, or in his absence the president, or in the absence of both of said officers a vice president, if any, shall preside at all meetings of the directors or stockholders, and that in the absence of all of said officers a temporary presiding officer may be chosen.
The secretary shall keep the records which the company is required to keep by sections thirty-two and forty-eight of chapter one hundred and fifty-six B, a record of all policies issued and of all authorized assignments, transfers and cancellations thereof and such other books and records as the president and directors may require. A secretary who wilfully makes a false record shall be deemed guilty of perjury.
The records so kept shall be open to the inspection of any interested person, but it shall be a defense in any proceeding for neglect or refusal to exhibit for inspection such records or copies, that the actual purpose and reason for the inspection sought are to secure a list of stockholders or other information for the purpose of selling said list or information or copies thereof or of using the same for a purpose other than in the interest of the applicant, as a stockholder or policyholder, relative to the affairs of the corporation.