Report of Proceedings.
Woodifield, Jolly & Co. Dunedin "Atmospheric" Printing Works Octagon., 1879page break
Report of Proceedings of Half-Yearly Meeting of District Committee
- Prov. G.M. Fish, in the Chair.
- Deputy P.G.M. Cox.
- Prov. C.S. Black.
- Hand & Heart Lodge P.P.G.M. Robin, P.G. Sherwin, N.G. Brown, V.G. Robertson.
- Dunedin Lodge P.P.G.M. Sherwin, P.P.G.M. Leslie, P.G. Ibbotson.
- Dalton Lodge P.G. Reunert.
- Prince of Wales Lodge P.G. Stephens, P.G. Lee.
- Albion Lodge P.P.G.M. Davie, Past E.S. Smith.
- Tuapeka Pioneer Lodge P.D.P.G.M. Coverlid, P.G. Forsyth.
- Waitahuna Lodge P.G. Lucas, P.G. Moter.
- Blue Spur Lodge P.G. Allan, G.M. Deacon.
- Naseby Lodge P.P.G.M. Geddes.
- Alexandra Lodge P.G. Burn.
- Lake Wakatip Lodge P.G. Harrop, P.G. Gibb.
- Cromwell Lodge Past C.S. Sligo.
- Mount Wendon Lodge P.G. McNally, P.G. Robert Allan.
- Outran Lodge Per. Sec. McNicoll V.G. Williams.
The following Lodges were unrepresented:—Oamaru, Prince Alfred, Waipori, Roxburgh, Tapanui, Palmerston, Band of Friendship, Arrow, Heart of Friendship.
A letter was read from the Delegate for the Loyal Oamnru Lodge (P.P.G.M. Palmer) excusing his absence in consequence of illness.
The Prov. G.M. intimated that P.G. Bro. John Allan had been duly elected a delegate for the Loyal Blue Spur Lodge, but had lost or mislaid his certificate. It was resolved that P.G. Allan be allowed to take his seat.
Provincial Grand Master's Address
Worthy Deputy Grand Master and Delegates,—We meet this evening according to custom for the transaction of the business on the paper now in the hands of delegates. The business which you have to consider, although not lengthy, is, nevertheless, somewhat important. No. 5 notice on the paper, providing for Lodges having the option of allowing the family of a deceased brother to receive medical attendance on payment of the Lodge medical fees, partakes of this character. The general rules of the Order are silent upon this point, and it may perhaps justly be said that a Lodge can do as it likes with its Incidental Expense Fund, out of which these fees are paid. I think, however, as a matter of general principle, Lodges should not go beyond the scope intended by the general laws, and I am much inclined to the opinion that it will be unwise to encourage Lodges to enlarge their operations in the direction indicated by the motion, at any rate by any official sanction of this Committee. No. 7 notice on the paper also deserves, as doubtless it will receive, the careful consideration of the Delegates. It should be remembered that in consequence of the reductions made in the proposed scale of contributions, which, as you are aware, was calculated on a four per cent, basis,—fully six per cent, will be required to make up that deficiency, judged by the experience of the Unity, upon which those calculations were based. This being so, it appears to me to be a most imprudent thing to reduce the interest applicable to the Sick and Funeral Fund to four per cent. In any event, even if the resolution is carried, Lodges must bear in mind that the Friendly Societies Act must be amended by Act of Parliament before it can be acted upon, and I must confess that I think it extremely improbable that the Assembly will allow an amendment of such a character, until at any rate a larger experience of the working of the Act has been obtained, especially with regard to its operation upon the financial position of Lodges. It must also be borne in mind that, so far as I am aware, this is the only Society in New Zealand which has ever adopted the practice of appropriating any portion of the interest arising from the investment of Sick and Funeral capital for any other purpose.page 5
Seeing also that by the new district rules you have agreed that valuations of the Lodges should be made next year, I put it to you, would it not be more prudent to postpone the attempt to make any change until the result of that valuation is before the brethren, when surely, if a deficiency should be shown, no brother having the true interests of the Order at heart would be so unwise as to desire this alteration? On the other hand, should a surplus be shown, we can with better grace request the Assembly to agree to the proposed alteration, and with a much better chance of success.
I have the greatest pleasure in congratulating the members of the Unity in this district upon the passing of a new set of District Rules, and upon the adoption of a new and increased scale of contributions, for although the increase is not so large as I think it should have been, yet its effect will be to place the Lodges in such a state of financial soundness as, up to the present time, the majority have not possessed. These rules will come into operation on the first of July next, and it will be gratifying for you to know that they have been adopted by the Registrar without amendment.
In connection with the new table of contributions and preparation of rules, I should not be doing my duty were I to neglect the opportunity of expressing my sense of the obligation the district is under to Past Provincial Grand Master Leslie, in connection with Bros. Black and Sligo, for the time, labor, and care he has bestowed upon their preparation, and I am pleased to see by the business paper it is proposed to record our appreciation of those services in a substantial manner.
The rules are now being printed, and will as speedily as possible be available for Lodges and members.
You will be aware that by the new rules the election of District Officers must take place at the Annual Meeting in March, instead of, as in the past, in October. This, as far as I can see, involves the necessity of the present officers remaining in office until that period, and it remains for this meeting to say whether or no there should be another District Meeting before then, or whether it should be left to the discretion of the District Officers to call the Standing Committee together should the necessity arise.
In obedience to a resolution of the District Committee, held at Lawrence, the last Purple Lecture was held at Outram, and which, I regret to say, was poorly attended, except by members of the Outram Lodge. 1 think that, as a general principle, except upon special occasions, these lectures should be held in the metropolis, and I trust the Delegates to-night will endorse that view, at any ate, with regard to the next lecture.
I will now ask your attention to a few statistics in connection with the Unity in this District, which I have compiled from the Annual Returns of Lodges prepared by the C.S. for the year ending December 31st, 1878, shewing in all cases a comparison With the previous year.page 6
On the 1st of January, 1879, as at 1st of January, 1878, the number of Lodges in the District was 23; the total number of members was 1630, as against 1594, shewing an increase for the year of 36; the number of initiations was 194, and by clearance 15, as against 200 and 32 respectively for the year 1877. The number left by clearance is 25, by arrears 137, and by death 11, as against for previous year, 39, 136, and 8 respectively.
It will thus be seen that although the number of members in the aggregate shew an increase of 36, we have really admitted less members by 13 than the previous year, the increase arising from the fact that fewer members have left by clearance and otherwise than previously.
The average age of members is 34 years 2¾ weeks, as against 33 years 4 weeks. The number of members wives who have died is seven, being the same as previous year. 163 members received sick pay as against 172 the previous year.
The number of weeks paid for is 1161-5 days, as against 1263 weeks 3 days, the average per member being 4 days, 23¾ hours, as against 5 days 13¼ hours. The average amount of sick pay has been 12s Id per member, as against 13s 9d. The sickness in periods will be found to be as follows, viz.:—For first six months, 726 weeks 4 days; second do, 99 weeks 2 days; after twelve months, 335 weeks 6 days, as against 881 weeks 2 days, 111 weeks 4 days, and 170 weeks 4 days respectively for the previous year. The receipts from all sources has been £7557 12s 6d, and the expenditure £5234 19s 4d, as against £7685 7s 5d and £5002 4s 5d respectively. The value of Lodge funds is £24,344 1s 11d, as against £22,087 4s 5d. The average value per member is £14 19s, as against £13 17s Id. The amount received for interest and rents to both funds is £1575 3s 10d, as against £1517 17s 6d.
The total indebtedness of Lodges to the Sick and Funeral Fund is £917 6s 11d as against £987 4s 5d. The number of Lodges so indebted is twelve as against thirteen previously. The number of Lodges who have reduced their indebtedness is seven to the amount of £176 4s 4d, as against seven with the amount of £140 18s 9d. Five Lodges have increased their indebtedness by the sum of £105 17s 2d, as against £192 17s 3d for the previous year.
The total amount to the credit of the Incidental Fund, is £2796 19s 8d, as against £2535 3s 7d. This amount belongs to twelve Lodges only, eleven having nothing to their credit. The total amount to the credit of the Sick and Funeral Fund is £19,923 1s 4d; other funds and goods, £1624 0s 11d; which added to the amount of Incidental Funds makes the total value of Lodge funds as before stated £24,344 1s 11d, or an increase for the year of £2256 17s 6d.
To the enquiring member these statistics will present some interesting facts. It appears that whilst the number of members page 7 have not actually decreased, yet it is apparent that in this respect the District is not advancing so rapidly as could be wished. It is certainly amazing to me that, comparatively speaking, so few working men take advantage of the benefits provided by the order, a fact which can, I think, only be accounted for in one of two ways, i.e., either they are so well off as to think they can do without providing for a rainy day, or that they are less provident than their fellows in other places.
I also have to regret that, no new Lodges have been opened during the year, the opening of the proposed one at Stirling having been, in consequence of the late floods, indefinitely postponed.
Another feature of importance is the large sum owing by Lodges to the Sick and Funeral Fund; for although the amount has been slightly decreased during the year, still it is now greatly in excess of what it should be. Two or three Lodges have increased their indebtedness, and prominent amongst these, I regret to say, is the Cromwell, which, with a membership of only 55, has increased its debt by the large sum of £45 2s 7d. This is is a state of things which must be put a stop to, a course which it is the intention of the District Officers to adopt. On the other hand, 1 am much pleased to be able to commend three Lodges, viz., the Dalton, Prince of Wales, and Outram, who have respectively reduced their indebtedness by £53 13s 3d, £71 19s 0d, and £25 14s 5d.
I would remind those lodges so indebted that they are committing a positive breach of the law, and are at any moment liable to a penalty for so doing. There is a very simple remedy for this state of things, and, which I am glad to say, one Lodge (the Albion) has adopted—viz., to raise the subscription to the Incidental Fund by such an amount as will at least gradually extinguish their indebtedness, and I earnestly appeal to the manliness and self-reliance of members to adopt this suggestion.
Another most noticeable feature shown by the figures is the large increase, this year as against the previous one, in the period of sicknesss after twelve months, which shews 335 weeks, as against 170. I notice also that one Lodge (the Palmerston), with a membership of only 27, have gone back in their funds in (to them) the large amount of £34 7s 6d, and shew an average of sickness for the year of 2 weeks, 1 day, 4 hours per member. This, I trust, arises from exceptional circumstances, but it most forcibly points out the necessity of caution.
These facts, I think, clearly and distinctly shows that as the Lodges grow older we must expect a large increase in permanent cases of sickness, and it should operate as a warning to those amongst us who are always exclaiming that "sufficient for the day is the evil thereof," and who invariably oppose any enquiry involving the necessity of financial reform.
I fear I may have somewhat wearied you with these statistics. If I have, my excuse must be that I consider the most serious page 8 matter which the members of the Order should be well informed upon is its financial position, so that they may the more readily be enabled to form an opinion upon this most important point.
In conclusion, Worthy Deputy and Brethren, I earnestly trust that the year we are now passing through may be not less but more prosperous than its predecessors, and that a larger number of persons may be induced to join us and partake of the substantial benefits which the Order confers upon its members.
H. S. Fish, June,
Provincial Grand Master,
April 9th, 1879.
Resolved—That the Prov. Grand Master be thanked for his Address, and that it be adopted and printed in the Reports of the Meeting.
2. Balance Sheet and Auditors Report.
Your Auditors have to certify that they have carefully examined the various accounts of the District for the four months ending December 31, 1878, the new Act rendering it necessary that the accounts be passed up to that date. This makes the accounts appear in an incomplete state, the usual half-yearly levies not coming in till January. Your newly elected Secretary, Bro. P. Black, promises well as an accountant, his accounts being well, carefully, and efficiently kept.
T. Burton, W. Stronach,Auditors.
M.U.I.O.O.F.—Otago District.page 10
Resolved—That the Balance Sheet and Auditors' Report be received.
After some discussion as to the propriety of presenting a Balance Sheet up to the end of the year only, the adoption of the Balance Sheet and Auditors' Report was moved and carried.
Note.—The numbers on the margin refer to the Propositions, &c., as they were numbered on the Business Paper.
3. Nominations for District Officers and Treasurer.
The following Brethren were nominated for the various offices, viz.:—
For Prov. G.M.—P.D.P.G.M. Coverlid, D.P.G.M. Cox, Past C.S. Sligo, P.G. Stronach, P.G. Thomas Johnston (Dunedin Lodge), P.G. Thomas Johnston (Dalton Lodge).
For Deputy P.G.M.—P.G. lbbotson, P.P.G.M. Davie, P.G. Sherwin, P.G. Gibb, P.G. Harrop, and all the Brothers nominated for Prov. G.M., except the present Deputy Prov. G.M.
For Prov. C.S.—C.S. Black, Per. Sec. Fulton, Per. Sec. Burton, P.G. Stronach.
For District Treasurer—P.P.G.M. Robin, P.P.G.M. Leslie, P.G. Harrop.
4. Appointment of Place, Date, and Time for holding next Purple and Past Officers' Lectures and Degrees.
Moved—That the the next Purple Lecture be held at Loyal Hand and Heart Lodge-room.
Moved as an Amendment—That the Lecture be held at the Loyal Dunedin Lodge-room on the last Wednesday in July, at the hour of half-past seven. On being put to the meeting, the amendment was declared carried.
5. From Dalton Lodge—That it be optional with Lodges to allow the widow of a deceased member (so long as she remains a widow) to have the benefit of Medical Attendance and Medicine for herself and family, by payment of the Lodge Medical Fees, and a small sum for the use of books, &c.
P.G. Reunert moved the adoption of the motion as on the Business Paper.
Per. Sec. M'Nicoll suggested that the word children should be substituted in place of the word family in the motion. The suggestion was accepted by P.G. Reunert.
Moved as an amendment by P.P.G.M. Robin, and seconded by P.P.G.M. Leslie—That this District Meeting is of opinion that the matter dealt with in No. 5 on the Business Paper is one which Lodges have power to make rules for themselves.
On being put to the meeting, there voted for the amendment 13, and against it 12. The motion was therefore declared lost.
On the amendment being put as a substantive motion, the voting was 12 for, and 12 against. The Prov. G.M. then gave his casting vote in favour of the amendment.page 11
P.P.G.M. Sherwin moved—That a division take place and that the votes be recorded. Carried.
- P.G. Lee
- P.G. Stephens
- V.G. Robertson
- P.P.G.M. Leslie
- P.G. Gibb
- Per. Sec. M'Nicoll
- V.G. Williams
- P.G. Allan
- P.G. Ibbotson
- N.G. Brown
- P.P.G.M. Robin
- Past C.S. Sligo
- Prov. G.M. Fish
- P.P.G.M. Geddes
- P.G. Moter
- P.G. Lucas
- P.G. Reunert
- P.P.G.M. Sherwin
- P.D.P.G.M. Coverlid
- P.G. Sherwin
- P.G. Forsyth
- P.G. Bum
- G.M. Deacon
- P.P.G.M. Davie
- Past C.S. Smith
6. From Alexandra Lodge—Application for permission to hold the Lodge Meetings Monthly (on the last Wednesday in each month) instead of Fortnightly, as heretofore.
Resolved—That the application be sanctioned.
7. From Hand and Heart Lodge—That in the opinion of this District Meeting, Friendly Societies realising a larger amount of interest than 4 per cent, per annum on the gross amount of their Benefit Funds, should be allowed the option of carrying such surplus to such other fund or funds as they may think fit—Interest to be calculated every 6 or 12 months on the balance to credit of Benefit Funds at the end of the preceding year. That in compliance with the desire of the Special meeting of 1879, called for the revision of Rules, this District meeting take such steps as they may see fit for the purpose of urging the desirability of an alteration of the law in respect to appropriation of interest.
Past C.S. Sligo moved the motion as on the Business Paper, seconded by P.G. Lucas. A long discussion ensued upon the question, after which (Past C.S. Sligo having replied) the motion was put to the meeting and carried.
Moved by Past C.S. Sligo—That a Committee be appointed to give effect to the resolution, such Committee to consist of P.G. Harrop, P.P.G.M. Sherwin, N.G. Brown, P.G. Ibbotson, P.P.G.M. Robin, together with the District Officers and the mover. Carried.
8. From Outram Lodge—That this District desires to record its hearty thanks to Past Prov. G.M. Leslie for the earnestness and zeal he has displayed in the interests of the Unity in this District, in devoting so much of his valuable time to the calculation of the tables of contributions recently recommended for adoption; and also for the praiseworthy manner in which he performed the duties of Prov. Grand Master.—Further that the distribution of subscrip- page 12 tion lists to the various Lodges in the District be authorised in order that brethren may have an opportunity of practically demonstrating their appreciation of his services by raising a sum for the purchase of such testimonial as may be hereafter decided upon for presentation to him.
P.P.G.M. Leslie was requested to retire previous to the consideration of this question, but before doing so expressed a wish to have the resolution withdrawn. After considerable discussion the resolution was withdrawn as requested.
9. Appointment of Place, Date, and Time for holding next District Meeting.
Moved by Past C.S. Sligo—That the next District Meeting be held at the Oddfellows' Hall, Dunedin.
Moved as an amendment by P.P.G.M. Leslie—That the next District Meeting be held at Palmerston. On being put to the Meeting the amendment was carried.
Resolved—That it be left with the District Officers to fix the Date and Time for holding next District Meeting.
10. To fix the rate of District Levies for half-year.
Resolved—That the Levies for the half-year be 1s 9d for Funeral Fund, and Is 3d for Incidental Fund, as recommended by District Officers.
Resolved—That the Auditors and Tiler receive the usual fees.
Resolved—That the usual number of Reports of the Meeting be printed and circulated among the Lodges.
The Minutes of the Meeting were read and confirmed.
The Prov. G.M. then declared the meeting closed.
Report of Proceedings of Special District Meetings, Held at Carroll's Hotel, February 3rd 1879, and February 21st, 1879, For The Consideration of New Dtstrici Rules.
- Prov. G.M. Fish, in the Chair.
- Deputy P.G.M. Cox.
- Prov. C.S. Black.
- Hand and Heart Lodge—P.P.G.M, Grouden; P.G. Gow; V.G. Robertson.
- Dunedin Lodge—P.P.G.M. Sherwin; P.G. Bowie; G.M. Deacon.
- Balton Lodge—N.G. Hogg.
- Prince of Wales Lodge—P.G. Nicholls; N.G. Schumaker.
- Albion Lodge—P.P.G.M. Anderson; P.P.G.M. Davie.page 13
- Oamaru Lodge—P.P.G.M. Palmer.
- Tuapeka Poineer Lodge—P.D.P.G.M. Coverlid; P.G. Forsyth.
- Waitahuna Lodge—P.G. Ferris; P.G. Hansen.
- Blue Spur Lodge—P.P.G.M. Leslie; P.G. Allan.
- Naseby Lodge—P.P.G.M. Geddes.
- Roxburgh Lodge—P.G. Westland.
- Alexandra Lodge—P.G. Burn.
- Tapanni Lodge—P.P.G.M. Swan.
- Lake Wakatip Lodge—P.G. Harrop; P.G. Gibb.
- Cromwell Lodge—Past C.S. Sligo.
- Band of Friendship Lodge—P.P.G.M. Robin.
- Arrow Lodge—P.G. Ibbotson.
- Heart of Friendship Lodge—P.G. Flowers.
- Outram Lodge—P.G. Haswell; Per. Sec. M'Nicoll.
The following Lodges were unrepresented, viz.:—Prince Alfred, Waipori, Palmerston, and Mount Wendon.
The New Rules as drafted by the Revision Committee appointed at the District Meeting in April, 1878, were submitted for consideration. The alterations made were in all cases merely of a verbal nature, except with regard to the Scales of Contributious, which were considerably modified.
The following Scales of Contributions were adopted, to apply to future members only, and to come into operation on the 1st July, 1879.
|Age 18 not exceeding||20||2||0|
|Age 20 not exceeding||25||2||4|
|Age 25 not exceeding||30||2||8|
|Age 30 not exceeding||35||3||3|
|Age 35 not exceeding||40||3||9|
|Age 40 not exceeding||45||4||0|
|Age 18 not exceeding||20||2||0|
|Age 20 not exceeding||25||2||4|
|Age 25 not exceeding||30||2||10|
|Age 30 not exceeding||35||3||4|
|Age 35 not exceeding||40||4||0|
And in addition a Clearance Fee of 2s 6d.
It was also decided that an endeavour should be made to get the Friendly Societies Act so amended as to admit of Lodges appropriating all interest over 4 per cent, per annum accruing from Sick and Funeral Fund investments for management expenses.
Special Notice to Lodge Secretaries.
The Government having been empowered by the "Friendly Societies Act 1877," to obtain the fullest information in reference to Friendly Societies, and having power to inflict penalties when Societies fail in sending in complete returns, it is absolutely necessary that all Lodges should make special efforts to enable the required information to be given in a satisfactory manner.
It is requested that particular attention be directed to the following points:—
To keep separate and distinct accounts of the Sick and Funeral, and of the Incidental Funds, and see that the Receipts and Expenditure of these funds are properly debited and credited to each, and that no portion of the Sick and Funeral Fund capital be applied for the use of the Incidental Fund. To keep a ledger account of these funds, which shall be balanced, ruled off, and the balances brought down at the end of every June and December.
To keep a proper register of Members and their ages, being careful to add the years elapsed since initiation, to the age at initiation, when filling up the Returns. The Register should also contain a record of when, and for what reason, any membership may lapse.
To obtain at once, and keep up, a list of the married Members, and, as far as possible, of the wives ages.
To keep a proper record of sickness, and be able to make the sickness returns tally with the amount paid for sickness during the year.
"Section 13. (1) Every registered Society shall—
(d) Once in every year before the 1st day of April send to the Registrar a general statement to be called the Annual Return) of the receipts and expenditure, funds, and effects of the Society as audited, which shall show separately the expenditure in respect of the several objects of the Society, and shall be made out to the 31st December, then last inclusively, and a copy of the Auditors' Report, if any, shall also be sent to the Registrar with such general statement: (f) Once at least in the five years next after the commencement of this Act, and so again within six months after the expiration of every five years succeeding the date of the first valuation under this Act, cause its assets and liabilities to be valued by a valuer to be appointed by the Society, and approved by the Governor, &c."
"A list of the Members of the Society, together with the age of each, and the periods of sickness, deaths, and other contingencies in respect of which benefits are given by the Society, experienced by the Society during the year as aforesaid, specifying the members in respect of whom such sickness, deaths, or contingencies have been experienced, and such other information as the Registrar may from time to time prescribe."
"The Registrar may dispense with the Quinquennial Return from any Society furnishing the required information annually."
Section 7 of the Amendment Act is as follows:—
|(1)||In all registered Societies and Branches all monies received or paid on account of each particular fund shall be kept separate and distinct, and shall be entered in a separate account distinct from the monies received and paid on account of any other fund, and a separate fund or funds shall be established for the payment of all expenses of management, and of all expenses (if any) on account of medical and surgical attendance, including medicine and surgical requisites.|
|(2)||No transfer shall be made of the moneys of any one benefit fund to meet the liabilities of any other fund, nor shall such monies, or interest accruing there from, be in any manner applied for the use, whether temporary or permanent, of any fund, save the fund to which they properly belong.|
"If any valuer in any report made in accordance with section five of this act, shall report that such transfer can be safely made, it shall be lawful to make such transfer accordingly."
Any Society failing to comply with the foregoing will commit an offence under the Act, and these offences are punishable by heavy penalties.
Addresses of District Secretaries.
- Prov. G.M. H. S. Fish, Junr. Princes-street, Dunedin.
- Deputy Prov. G.M. W, H. Cox Outram.
- Prov. C.S. P. Black London-street, Dunedin.
- Relieving Officer, Prov. G.M. Fish Princes-street, Dunedin.
"Atmospheric" Printing Works, Octagon, Dunedin.