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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8

Report of the Special Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand

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Report of the Special Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand

To the R. W. Grand Lodge of the United States:

The duty of visiting Australia and New Zealand, under the resolution of this body at its last session, devolved upon the Deputy Grand Sire. Nothing but my sense of obligation to the Order could have induced me to abandon business and take the hazards of the trip. At one time I had concluded that the object in view did not justify the money to be expended, nor the other personal sacrifices to be made, and, therefore, refused to accept the alternative appointment of the resolution. It was matter of doubt, too, whether those jurisdictions would consent to the plan decided upon, and the mortification of failure would be my only compensation. After correspondence between the Grand Sire, the Grand Secretary, and myself, I decided to accept the appointment. For that correspondence see the reports of those officers.

1. On the 15th day of April, 1878, your Commissioner left San Francisco, and landed at Auckland, May 7th. The correspondence just named will show the plan of adjustment he intended to propose to Australia and New Zealand. The situation was this: The Grand Lodge of Australia existed under Charter issued in 1868 by the G. L. of U. S., and was exercising jurisdiction over the whole of Australia and Tasmania or Van Diemen s Land. The Grand Lodge of New Zealand existed under Charter issued February 13, 1869, by said Grand Lodge of Australia, and was exercising jurisdiction over New Zealand. No other Grand Lodges existed or now exist in either country.

The Charter of the Grand Lodge of Australia made it a quasi sovereignty there; reserving to the G. L. of U. S. the power to prescribe the work, the traveling password, and the qualifications for membership in the Order. (Journal G. L. of U. S., 4295.)

This Grand Lodge has, apparently, always understood this Charter to embrace Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand: and hence, until recently, our correspondence has been with the Grand Lodge of Australia alone. This seems strange, because on its face the Charter includes Australia only, and has nothing to do with the other two countries, which are totally distinct from Australia in all respects. The real difficulty has been the general ignorance in Europe and America of these far-off Colonies of Great Britain; the ignorance on the part of the Odd Fellows there of the intention of the G. L. of U. S. in 1868 to create one sovereign Grand Lodge for the whole of Australasia. Possibly, we were not then quite so clear as to our own intentions as we are now. Time has taught us many things.

Further, up to this hour the G. L. of U. S. has never seen the Charter of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, nor has it known its contents. A copy of it is hereto annexed, marked "Exhibit A," and it is an exact copy (names being changed) of the Charter issued by this body to the Grand Lodge of Australia just referred to. That is to say, the Grand Lodge of Australia, having received from us a Charter with quasi sovereign power in Australia, at once granted New Zealand a Charter with like power there: as to which I will say more in another part of this report.

As this Charter was delivered to the Grand Lodge of New Zealand by Special Commissioner Meacham, it is not surprising that thereafter that Lodge page 2 considered itself independent of Australia, with the consent of the G. L. of U. S. There was, however, between those countries a difference of opinion as to their respective powers. New Zealand claimed to be independent; and in Australia opinions varied—some holding that New Zealand was right in her claim, others that she was subordinate. Both jurisdictions were opposed to the formation of a new Grand Lodge to which they should yield obedience. New Zealand especially was averse to any connection with Australia. Indeed, in the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, at its session in September, October, and November, 1877, the Proceedings of which reached me a few days before leaving California, an amendment to its Constitution was offered, the preamble of which says: "Whereas, among other privileges, this G. L. of N. Z., having by virtue of its Constitution full power to adjust its system of government on the same principles as the Grand Lodges of the United States and the Get man Empire," &c. This was laid over for action until this year.

Here was assumption of the most enlarged powers, by a body we designed to be subordinate to the one Grand Lodge created by us in 1868. As confirmation of this I may add, that the first time I entered a Lodge in New Zealand, the Initiatory and Degree Books placed in my hands bore on their title pages these words: "Reprinted by the authority of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand. P. V. G. F. Humffray, Printer, 1875." The next page runs:

"Officers of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand.


(Here follow the names of the five elective officers.)


(Five names follow.)

Past Grand Masters.

(Three names follow.)"

Such was the condition upon the arrival of your Commissioner in New Zealand. The correspondence between the Grand Sire, Grand Secretary, and myself before mentioned, had resulted in the following plan as the proper solution of the Australian troubles:

1st. To erect into a sovereignty, similar to the Grand Lodge of the German Empire, the Lodges and Encampments, Grand and Subordinate, in Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania, under the name of "The R. W. Grand Lodge of Australasia, I. O. O. F." with jurisdiction over the whole of that country, and with a Charter from the G. L. of U. S.

2d. To have the Grand Lodges of Australia and New Zealand surrender their existing Charters and each to accept a new one from said Grand Lodge of Australasia; except that in the case of Australia, the Charter should be to the Grand Lodge of Victoria, with jurisdiction over the Subordinates in that Colony, leaving the Subordinates in the other Colonies of Australia and in Tasmania under the direct jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Australasia until Grand Lodges were established; or attaching such Subordinates to the Grand Lodge of Victoria, as should be deemed best; thus inaugurating in Australasia a governmental system precisely like our own.

The resolution of the G. L. of U S at its last session was construed to give the Grand Sire and Grand Secretary full power to issue a Charter from the G. L. of U. S. to such Grand Lodge of Australasia. Accordingly such a Charter was prepared and placed in possession of your Commissioner, a copy of which is annexed to the report of the Grand Secretary.

Upon reaching Dunedin, after visiting many Subordinates on the way, your Commissioner found that the Grand Lodge of New Zealand had been regularly summoned in special session to meet him. He drew up and presented to that body for adoption, the preamble and resolutions, a copy of which is hereto annexed marked "Exhibit B," as embodying the plan proposed. There was opposition, but after full discussion, on two nights, the resolutions were unanimously passed, and the sentiment finally became as strong page 3 for as it had been against the new Grand Lodge. The Charter of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand issued by the Grand Lodge of Australia in 1869, as before stated, was put in my hands as Representative of New Zealand, to be surrendered to the Grand Lodge of Australasia when formed.

The members of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand met your Commissioner in the most fraternal spirit, and entered into all our mutual discussions with the most liberal and intelligent views. They had never clearly understood our system of government in Odd Fellowship. When it was thoroughly expounded, they saw its perfect fitness to Australasia. Not only so; but they became satisfied that the Order would never be fully grown there without the prestige and controlling power of a Supreme Grand Lodge.

Looking to the future, it is proper here to state a fact and make some suggestions. The main objection in New Zealand to the new plan was that this country was a totally distinct country from Australia, the two having nothing whatever in common. This surprised me. In America we regard them as essentially one; one geographically; peopled by the same race, and governed by the same Queen. Nothing can be further from the truth. New Zealand is as distinct from Australia as France from England or Spain. It is further from New Zealand to Australia than from Africa to South America, and between the two former rolls a rough and mountainous ocean. Sir Charles Dilke, an Englishman, in his recent book entitled "The Greater Britain," says:

"Australasia is a term much used at home to express the whole of our antipodean possessions; in the Colonies themselves the name is almost unknown, or, if used, is meant to embrace Australia and Tasmania, not Australia and New Zealand. * * * * *

"Had Australia and New Zealand been close together, instead of as far apart as Africa and South America, there could have been no political connection between them so long as the traditions of their first settlement endured. Not only is the name 'Australasia' politically meaningless, however, but it is also geographically incorrect, for New Zealand and Australia are as completely separated from each other as Great Britain and Massa-chusetts. No promontory of Australia runs out to within one thousand miles of any New Zealand Cape, the distance between Sydney and Wellington is fourteen hundred miles, from Sydney to Auckland is as far. The distance from the nearest point of New Zealand to Tasman's peninsula, which itself projects somewhat from Tasmania, is greater than that of London from Algiers; from Wellington to Sydney, opposite ports, is as far as from Manchester to Iceland, or from Africa to Brazil * * * * The seas which separate Australia from New Zealand are cold, bottomless, without islands, torn by Arctic currents, swept by polar gales, and traversed in all weathers by a mountainous swell. * * * * * Not only is the intervening ocean wide and cold, but New Zealand presents to Australia a rugged coast guarded by reefs and bars, and backed by a snowy range, while she turns toward Polynesia and America all her ports and bays.

"No two countries in the world are so wholly distinct as Australia and New Zealand. The islands of New Zealand are inhabited by Polynesians, the Australian continent by negroes. New Zealand is ethnologically nearer to America, Australia to Africa, than New Zealand to Australia.

"If we turn from ethnology to scenery and climate the countries are still more distinct * * * * * It is impossible to conceive countries more unlike each other than are our two great divisions of the South. Their very fossils are as dissimilar as are their flora and fauna of our time."

Having read this book on my trip out; having conversed with new Zealanders and Australians on the ship, having, after reaching Auckland and during my journey thence to Dunedin, put to scores of persons this question: "If New Zealand and Australia were to separate from England, would the former unite with Australia or form an independent nation?" and having uniformly received the answer: "New Zealand would be a nation by itself:" your Commissioner had nearly concluded that New Zealand ought page 4 to be an independent sovereignty in Odd Fellowship, as the leading men of the Order there maintained.

A few, however, insisted that in case of separation from England, New Zealand, Australia, and Tasmania would form a Confederation. Besides, just now there are quite a number of English and Colonial Statesmen who are advancing the idea of a great Confederation for the entire British Empire: and this is the special plan of Sir Julius Vogel, one of New Zealand's most influential public men.

So that all things considered your Commissioner determined to adhere, if possible, to the original plan; bent all his energies to it, and succeeded. It seemed unwise for Odd Fellows to set the example of disunion. The case of Canadian Odd Fellowship under the jurisdiction of the G. L. of U. S., notwithstanding that Canada is politically united with England, at once offered proof that unity in Odd Fellowship, is consistent with disunion in politics. At all events the plan should have a fair trial.

There was so much question as to its practical working, that it was verbally understood between your Commissioner and the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, that the power should be somewhere reserved to the G. L. of U. S. hereafter to detach New Zealand from the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Australasia if experience proved it wise. Upon suggesting this to the Standing Committee of the Grand Lodge of Australia, it was agreed to insert in the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Australasia a provision to that effect. All in Australia said, that without such agreement there would be no difficulty in future separation should New Zealand desire it.

2. Having obtained the consent of New Zealand to the formation of the Grand Lodge of Australasia, your Commissioner proceeded to Melbourne, and at once opened negotiations with the authorities there.

The Grand Master had called a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Grand Lodge of Australia by proper previous notice, instead of a meeting of the whole Grand Lodge. This was under a provision of its Constitution, that when the Grand Lodge is not in session the Standing Committee (composed of the Elective Officers, and the Junior P. G. M.) should constitute and have all the powers of the Grand Lodge, except the power to repeal, alter, and amend its Constitution. Under this clause the Standing Committee supposed they had power to assent to the formation of the Grand Lodge of Australasia. As, however, the plan proposed involved surrender of the Charter of the Grand Lodge of Australia, a change of name to the Grand Lodge of Victoria, and the acceptance of a new Charter from the Grand Lodge of Australasia, it was doubtful whether the powers of the committee were sufficient. But, under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Australia, there was not time to summon the whole Grand Lodge.

After two sessions of the Standing Committee, at which your Commissioner as such, and as Representative of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, was present, the plan proposed was informally agreed to, and the committee adjourned to July 1, 1878.

It was determined that in the interim your Commissioner should visit as many Subordinate Lodges as possible, explain the plan and get it approved by members of the Grand Lodge. This was done; and everywhere the committee were advised to adopt it.

After visiting Subordinates, your Commissioner returned to Melbourne, June 28th. Meanwhile he had resolved upon this course, to wit:

1st. To assume that the Standing Committee constituted the Grand Lodge for all the purposes in hand, and to have it adopt the plan named.

2d. To have the committee report its action to the Grand Lodge at its session in August for ratification.

3d. To summon as many members of the Grand Lodge as could get to Melbourne in time, and on the 1st day of July to institute them and the Standing Committee as the "Grand Lodge of Australasia."

Accordingly, July 1, 1878. at noon, the Standing Committee met pursuant to adjournment and adopted the following preamble and resolution:

page 5

(The Preamble is identical with that prefixed to the New Zealand resolutions hereinbefore referred to, and marked Exhibit B.)

The resolution is as follows:

"Resolved: That this R. W. Grand Lodge hereby consents to the formation of said 'The R. W. Grand Lodge of Australasia, I. O O. F.' in accordance with said proposition and under said Charter; and further consents to accept from said. 'The R. W. Grand Lodge of Australasia, I. O. O. F..' in lieu of the Charter which it now has, a new Charter with the powers in all matters relating to Odd Fellowship in Victoria usually granted in Charters from the Grand Lodge of the United States to its several State Grand Lodges."

In the afternoon of that day I instituted the Grand Lodge of Australasia at Odd Fellows' Hall. Melbourne, with the following members: Wm. Gane, G. M., Wm. Judge, D. G. M.; W. H. T. Wilks, G. W.; J. H. B. Curtis, G. Sec.; Wm. stirling, G. T.; Past Grand Masters Wright, Crews, Batcheldor, Kidston, Moir, Ross, Dunn, and Laing; Past Grands Braim, Griffiths, E. D. Williams, Barnard, Thomson. Kelly, Collis, Libthorpe, Condy, McIver, J. L. Williams, Williamson, McMasters, Burton, Einsikdel, Allow, Watron, Bissmir. Taylor, Drummond, McKee, McKenzie, Gordon, King, and Lee; and delivered to the Lodge the Charter hereinbefore named.

The Lodge then elected the following officers:

William Stirling, M. W Grand Sire; Michael Kidston, R. W. Deputy Grand Sire; J. H. B Curtis, Grand Secretary; John Moir, Grand Treasurer.

The Grand Sire appointed the following officers:

Fredrick Batcheldor, Grand Marshal; T. W. Wright, Grand Guardian; Wm. Judge, Grand Messenger—all of whom were regularly installed, when the Grand Lodge adjourned to Saturday, July 6, 1878, to adopt a Constitution. On that day the Lodge met, and a draft of a Constitution previously prepared by your Commissioner in consultation with the Standing Committee of the Grand Lodge of Australia, and modeled after the Constitution of the G. L. of U. S., was considered; when the Lodge, after ordering a seal and directing that a Charter be issued to the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, postponed the further consideration of a Constitution until October, to which time the Lodge adjourned.

It was impossible to convert the Grand Lodge of Australia into the Grand Lodge of Victoria, in accordance with the plan, before I left, because of certain formalities required by a new Friendly Societies' Act.

Both in New Zealand and Australia new Acts had been passed at the last session of their Parliaments, and committees of the Grand Bodies were preparing new Constitutions and rules for registration under those Acts when I arrived. This was fortunate, as the new system of government in Odd Fellowship will be harmonized with the new laws of the land.

The Grand Lodge of Australasia has started with a superior set of officers. All of them, including the appointed officers, are Past Grand Masters, excepting Bro. Judge, who is D. G. M., and Bro. Curtis, who is, and since the death of Bro. Vine has been, Grand Secretary of the G. L. of Australia. Grand Sire Stirling was first Grand Master of the G. L. of Australia, and is a business man of wealth and standing in the community; one of those men whose integrity is unsullied, whose word is as good as his bond. He has the unbounded confidence of Odd Fellows and his heart is in the new organization. Deputy Grand Sire Kidston is a lawyer of high character, with most refined tastes, whom to know well is to love. Grand Secretary Curtis is a learned man, of brain, heart, and energy; the right man in the right place. Grand Treasurer Moir, with whom I have less acquaintance, is one of the clearest-headed men I met. Similar things could be said of the appointed officers. Many of the other members of the Grand Lodge, several of whom are Past Grand Masters, are men of experience, intelligence, and of strong determination to make the Lodge a complete success.

3. Before leaving I addressed a letter of instruction and suggestion to the Grand Lodge of Australasia, of which I have no copy. The substance of it page 6 was a clear idea of the manner in which the G. L. of U. S. conducted its business, whether in open or secret session; the duty of guarding carefully the secret work, which should now pass into the custody of the Grand Lodge of Australasia; and suggestions as to the propriety of the Grand Sire of that Lodge consulting the Grand Sire of the G. L. of U. S. in certain supposed cases before acting himself.

Your Commissioner had no trouble in getting Australia and New Zealand to adopt our views as to the necessity of having all cards issued by the Grand Lodge of the United States.

This brings me to a point where I desire to present a thought or two in connection with our foreign jurisdictions. In what respects are they sovereign? In what are they more sovereign than our State Grand Lodges, save in the power to grant Charters to new Grand Bodies? In the Charters to the Grand Lodge of the German Empire and to the Grand Lodge of Australasia we reserve the power to give the work written and unwritten, the traveling password, and the card. The questions suggested involve the extent of these reservations, and I think the reservations will in the future be found to cover a large number of practical questions which will arise in these foreign countries; that it will be necessary for us to hold that the G. L. of U. S. has the exclusive power to construe these reservations. Otherwise there might be a half dozen conflicting decisions by different foreign sovereign Grand Bodies.

Your Commissioner, therefore, respectfully advised the Grand Sire of the Grand Lodge of Australasia and also the Grand Lodge itself, that if a question arose which might involve these reservations, it would be wise at once to seek a decision by the Grand Sire of the G. L. of U. S., as that decision would be reviewed by that body in the ordinary course of business without appeal, and its action be final.

Again: it has been seen that the Grand Lodge of Australia granted to New Zealand a Charter with power in that country as sovereign as Australia itself possessed. I contended at Dunedin that their Charter was originally void, because in excess of the power granted to the Grand Lodge of Australia, and that any action by the G. L. of U. S. recognizing that Charter was in ignorance of its terms. In short, this is the proposition: Can the Grand Lodge of the German Empire, for example, create within Germany another Sovereign Grand Lodge? No, in my judgment. In such case, the principle that delegated power cannot itself be delegated, must apply; else we may in time have a hundred so-called Sovereign Grand Lodges not created by the G. L. of U. S.

Again: If these foreign Grand Lodges have the secret work, it would seem that they ought also to have copies of some portions at least of our secret Journal; otherwise they must remain ignorant of many things essential to uniformity. They are in theory bound by legislation of which they can know nothing.

4. This report might end here, as it contains a history of the final adjustment of our complications in Australasia. This adjustment, however, your Commissioner feels to be a very small part of his mission. The new life which has been infused into the Odd Fellowship of that country constitutes the success, and amply justifies the time and money expended. The real good done has been on the floor of the Subordinate Lodge; and I would be faithless to my brothers there and to the Order, if I omitted all account of our meetings. It is impracticable to give details of visits to Subordinates, of daily private instructions and advice to individuals. It would be interesting to do so; and each Lodge naturally wishes an account of its part in the general movement. To gratify the wish would swell this report into hundreds of pages. I was on land nine weeks Setting aside two weeks for direct efforts in reorganizing the Grand Bodies, seven weeks were left, during which your Commissioner, so far as he had capacity, turned himself into an apostle of Odd Fellowship and went around on a pilgrimage; making in that time forty-five addresses, besides initiating, exemplifying the work, page 7 and conversing nearly the whole day. In short every hour from nine in the morning till one o'clock at night was occupied. To write out an account of it all would make a book; and my brothers in Australia and New Zealand must excuse brevity upon this field of our common labors.

In New Zealand I visited Lodges at Wellington, Christchurch, Timaru, Oamaru, and Dunedin; and in Australia, at places too numerous to name. Your Commissioner soon saw that what was wanted was an earnest discussion of the higher principles of the Order; and that nothing need be said upon its financial features. Men join the Lodge, and are not seen in it again for a year; but their dues are punctually passed through the wicket by their wives or children and the receipt passed out. The benefit system is better understood and managed in Australasia than here. The scale of dues and benefits is fixed by an actuary. No guess-work about it. It is settled on business principles. Indeed Lodges furnish the doctor and medicine for members and their families. Advertisements like this in papers may be seen any time in New Zealand and Australia.

"Tenders are required for Medical Attendance for the members, their wives, and families, for ensuing six months. Tenders will be received up to 8 p. M., on the 26th inst.______Henry Summers, Secretary."

On such a notice doctors put in bids. The result of the system is that a brother pays five dollars per year additional dues and gets doctor and medicine free. Statistics show that the doctor receives about twenty-five dollars per year for each member he attends. So that financially considered the system works well for the brother, the doctor, and the Lodge. Men join the Lodge for this express purpose.

Your Commissioner, therefore, devoted his energies to the intellectual and moral features of Odd Fellowship; to the lifting of it from the mire and slough of a mere benefit society into the upper sky of human sympathy, of organized good will among men. How far he succeeded is for time and others to tell. He ought to say, that everywhere he was greeted with a loud, "Amen." Effort in this direction was the one great need. The soil of Odd Fellowship was becoming crusted over; and wanted deep ploughing, thorough harrowing, and fresh seeding. Friendly societies there are far more numerous than here; and their almost exclusive aim is money aid. Hence their members are generally men who earn their daily bread by the daily labor of their hands. Men of more means and more cultivation do not want such aid and do not join such societies. In other words these societies there are not composed of all classes of men as here; and therefore they lack our power for good. Odd Fellowship is surrounded by such societies and feels the effect. To make it cut loose from such moorings and set its sail to stronger winds, was the object of your Commissioner. He believes, too, he has left behind him brothers who will keep the ball in motion. Braithwaite, Wheeler, Boyd, Bracken, McGaw, and others in New Zealand; Stirling, Kidston, Curtis, Batcheldor, Cook, Gane, Dunn, Ross, and others in Australia, are capable of doing so. I would rejoice to tell of my delightful intercourse with them; it will remain a memory forever.

Upon leaving Melbourne your Commissioner was presented with an address, a copy of which is hereto annexed, marked "Exhibit C."

5. A word as to the Manchester Unity. Your Commissioner thought, and doubtless this Grand Lodge thinks, that our Order in Australasia is largely composed of former or present members of the Unity. This is an entire mistake. Scarcely any members of the Manchester Unity have joined us. I know of none. The laws of the Unity forbid it. A man cannot belong to both Orders. The men who affiliated with us were the Ancient Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having no connection whatever with the Unity. I was told by two Provincial Grand Masters of the Unity that the laws just mentioned will be repealed this fall, and that they intended to unite with us—not leaving the Unity however. But our ranks must be filled mainly from the outside world. The Unity is, and in my opinion will remain, a competing institution. It is strong in numbers and money; comes from Great Britain, page 8 the fatherland of most of the men of Australia and New Zealand, and hence has their sympathies; and is, by virtue of its character as a prudent and merely beneficial society, in harmony with their natural tendencies and their education. But of late years these countries are becoming filled with the thoughts, the aspirations, and the energies of the age; and the younger men are responding and will, respond to the loftier principles of American Odd Fellowship. I believe the union of our Order with the Manchester Unity will be effected, if at all, through Australasian Odd Fellows; and if such men as Grand Master Leslie (M. U.), of Dunedin, and Grand Master Stewart (M. U., of Ballarat, both of whom are noble specimens of clear heads and big hearts, would will it, a union might be made.

For my own part, as a step toward practical union, I see no objection to a system by which members of either Order could visit Lodges of the other. Give them a card, password, sign, and obligation and the thing is done. Let them thus become familiar with the merits of both institutions and take their choice.

6. Australia and New Zealand are great fields for our Order. They are as free in their political government as we are. The will of the people is as potent there as here. A noble future is in store for them. They will become the home of a highly civilized people or all signs will fail. Climate, soil, products are of the best. Even now they can boast of free schools, public libraries, museums, hospitals, asylums, and numerous churches. Melbourne has a library of over one hundred thousand volumes, a gallery of paintings, and an organ 73 feet wide, 47 feet deep, and 47 feet high. Both countries are entering upon a most prosperous career, and are fit places for

Our present membership in Australia is as follows:
Victoria 46 Lodges 2850 members.
Tasmania 2 Lodges 150 members.
New South Wales 4 Lodges 328 members.
South Australia 12 Lodges 834 members.
Total 64 Lodges 4,162 members.

In New Zealand, 17 Lodges, and about 1,400 members.

On my last visit in Melbourne at the institution of Abbotsford Lodge, about fifty candidates were initiated, with ten to twenty more ready.

The outline of the work as performed in both countries is correct; remarkably so under the circumstances. Commissioner Bro. Meacham evidently gave thorough instruction; and considering the extraordinary difficulties under which he labored, used great tact and judgment in establishing the Order. The brothers there uniformly spoke of him with strong affection.

I cannot conclude without stating that the American Vice Consul General at Melbourne, Bro. Samuel P. Lord, an old and respected merchant, was constant in his attentions; placing one of the rooms of the Consulate at my disposal, and facilitating my intercourse with the public authorities.

The Governments of New Zealand, Victoria, and New South Wales are entitled to the thanks of this Grand Lodge for passes over their railroads to your Commissioner and for many public documents and maps. These courtesies were extended to me both as your representative and as an American citizen.

7. On the way, going and coming, the steamer stops at Honolulu. There I was met by a committee, and received a fraternal greeting worthy of the noblest Odd Fellows. I visited Harmony Lodge at its regular meeting, Monday, August 5th. D. D. G. S. Parke had notified Excelsior Lodge, and a large number of members of both Lodges were present.

Much could be said about the Order in the Sandwich Islands, and I hope to have a chance to say it when the Grand Lodge is in session, and also to page 9 say many things of interest as to Australia and New Zealand which I do not think best to put in this report.

8. I have said nothing as to the Encampment branch of the Order, for the reason that as yet it is weak. There is but one Encampment in New Zealand and but three or four in Australia. To them I gave instructions, and further advised the Grand Lodge of Australasia that the Royal Purple Degree is an essential qualification for membership therein.

John B. Harmon,

Deputy Grand Sire and Special Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand.

"Exhibit A." Original Charter of Grand Lodge of New Zealand, 1869.

A. I. O. O. F.

To all whom it may concern:

Know Ye, That the Grand Lodge of Victoria, of the Ancient Independent Order of Odd Fellows, as the source of all true and legitimate Odd Fellowship in the Australian colonies, and by virtue of its constitutional authority to organize Lodges, Grand and Subordinate, doth hereby create and erect into a distinct sovereignty the various Lodges of Odd Fellows heretofore existing in New Zealand, by the name and style of The Grand Lodge of A. I. O. O. F. of New Zealand, with power in all matters relating to Odd Fellowship within the said province, except in the following respects, viz.: That the said Grand Lodge of New Zealand shall not at any time hereafter in any wise alter or repudiate any of the signs, tokens, passwords, lectures, or charges, or any part or portion of either the written or unwritten work of the Order, as known and practised within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Victoria.

That this Grand Lodge reserves to itself the right to give to the said The Grand Lodge of New Zealand, the annual traveling password to be used within the jurisdiction of the said The Grand Lodge of New Zealand, and both jurisdictions shall use the same traveling password.

That the qualifications for membership in the Subordinate Lodges within the jurisdiction of the said "The Grand Lodge of New Zealand," shall be identical with those established for membership in Subordinate Lodges within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Victoria.

Otherwise, this Dispensation to be of no force or effect.

Given under my hand and the seal of the Grand Lodge of Victoria, at the city of Melbourne, in the Colony of Victoria, this nineteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine.

By the

Grand Master,

[Seal,] (Signed,)

J. B. Crews, Grand Master.


A. J. Cohen, Grand Secretary.

"Exhibit B." Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, May 29, 1878.

Whereas Questions have arisen as to the powers of the Grand Lodge of Australia, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and as to the powers of this Grand Lodge; and as to the relations of each and both to the Right Worthy Grand Lodge of the United States of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; and

Whereas, John B. Harmon, Deputy Grand Sire of said Grand Lodge of the United States, is now present in this Grand Lodge as Special Commissioner, with power to adjust such questions, and, for the purpose of such adjustment, has proposed and now proposes, that this Grand Lodge, together with the Subordinate Lodges under its jurisdiction, and said Grand Lodge of Aus- page 10 tralia, together with the Subordinate Lodges and the Grand and Subordinate Encampments under its jurisdiction. be created and erected into a distinct sovereignty in Odd Fellowship, under the name of "The Right Worthy Grand Lodge of Australasia," with jurisdiction over the continent and countries known as Australasia, under a Charter from said Grand Lodge of the United States, which proposed Charter, dated the fourth day of March, A. D. 1878, and signed by John W. Stokes, Grand Sire, and Jas. L. Ridgely, Gr. Cor. and Rec Secretary, and under the seal of said Grand Lodge of the United States, is now exhibited to and examined by this Grand Lodge:

Now, therefore, Resolved, That this Grand Lodge hereby consents to the formation of said "The Right Worthy Grand Lodge of Australasia," in accordance with said proposition and under said Charter.

Resolved, That said John B. Harmon be and he is hereby appointed to represent this Grand Lodge, in the city of Melbourne, or elsewhere in Australia, in a conference with said Grand Lodge of Australia, for the formation of said Grand Lodge of Australasia, with full power in the premises, including the power to surrender to said last-named Grand Lodge when formed, or to said Special Commissioner, or to such other Grand Body as he deems best, the present Charter of this Grand Lodge, dated February 19, 1809, and granted by the Grand Lodge of Victoria, A. I. O. O. F., when said Grand Lodge of Australasia has granted to this Grand Lodge a Charter under the name of "The R. W. Grand Lodge of New Zealand of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows," with the powers in all matters relating to Odd Fellowship in New Zealand usually granted in Charters from said Grand Lodge of the United States to its several State Grand Lodges.

Resolved, That when said Grand Lodge of Australasia has granted said Charter to this Grand Lodge it shall take effect immediately; and the Constitution, laws, rules, and regulations of this Grand Lodge, and the officers and members thereof, shall at once be the Constitution, laws, rules, regulations, officers, and members of said "The Right Worthy Grand Lodge of New Zealand of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows," under said new Charter and all Subordinate Lodges in New Zealand now under the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge shall at once be under the said jurisdiction of said Grand Lodge of New Zealand under said Charter.

"Exhibit C."

I. O. O. F.


To John B. Harmon, Esq.,

R. W. Deputy Grand Sire, G. L. of U. S.:

Dear Sir and Brother,—We cannot suffer you to depart from our shores without a formal expression of those feelings which we believe you must often have read in our hearts during the past few weeks. Never will the memory of your affectionate and eloquent words be obliterated from our minds. Your presence amongst us has wrought a work that will produce fruit a hundredfold, not merely in the present generation of Odd Fellows, but in that brilliant future which, we trust, is destined to be achieved by means of that organization which has been effected in so admirable a manner through your instrumentality. May Heaven's protecting hand guide and guard you to the home of your love! Tell your fellow-workers in the great cause how much we thank them for having sent us so able an ambassador; and tell your deal wife and children that you found a host of men in Australia whose hearts have throbbed with love because they were privileged to hail you as a brother. Farewell!

On Behalf of the Brotherhood in Australia.

W. Stirling, Grand Sire of Grand Lodge of Australasia.

W. Gane, Grand Master of Grand Lodge of Australia.