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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 17

Report of Proceedings Half-Yearly Meeting of the Otago District Committee, M.U.I.O.O.F. [1876]

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Report of Proceedings.

Dunedin: Printers, Princes Street. Matthews, Baxter & Co.,

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Report of Proceedings.


Prov. G.M. Anderson, in the Chair.

  • D.P.G.M Leslie
  • Prov. C.S. Sligo.


  • Hand and Heart Lodge—P.G. Allan; P.G. Black; N.G Gow; Pert. Sec. Burton.
  • Dvmedin Lodge—P.P.G.M. Sherwin; G.M. Stomach; N.G. Bowie.
  • Prince of Wales Lodge—N.G. McDonald; E. Sec. Stephens.
  • Albion Lodge—P.P.C.S. Bond; G,M. Foster; N.G. Anderson.
  • Oamaru Lddge—P.P.G.M. Palmer; P.G. Woodland.
  • Tuapeka Pioneer Lodge—P.G. Coverlid; P.G. Gilchrist.
  • Waitahuna Lodge—P.G. Lucas; P.V.G. Challis.
  • Prince Alfred Lodge—P.G. Templeton.
  • Blue Spur Lodge—P.G. Bremer.
  • Naseby Lodge—P.P.G.M. Geddes.
  • Roxburgh Lodge—P.G. God so.
  • Tapanui Lodge—P.P.G.M. Swan.
  • Lake Wakatip Lodge—P.G. Harrop; P.G. Gibb.
  • Palmerston Lodge—P.P.G.M. Stewart.
  • Band of Friendship Lodge—P.P.G.M. Robin.
  • Arrow Lodge—P.G. Forsyth.

The following Lodges were not represented:—Dalton, Waipori, Alexandra, Cromwell, Mount Wendon, Heart of Friendship.

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Provincial Grand Master's Address.

Worthy Deputy Grand Master and Delegates:

In accordance with what may now be regarded as an established custom, I desire to occupy your attention for a short time while I offer a few remarks on the position of the Otago District as at the end of last year, and direct attention to the more important features of the business done by the various Lodges during 1875, especially in reference to their financial affairs and numerical progress. More detailed information than I shall supply will be found in the Return Sheets compiled by the Secretary, and now laid on the table.

Before entering upon the subject before me, it appears to me necessary to inform you that to a small extent the figures given in the Return Sheets, and those I may submit to you in the course of my remarks, can scarcely be taken as strictly accurate—owing to the fact that three of the Lodges have failed to furnish a portion of the returns; and this notwithstanding the C.S. having appealed to them to send the returns, even if they should be incomplete in some particulars. However, the Secretary has done the best he could to make up the deficiency complained of, and has certainly not overstated anything which he has had to fill up by way of average, &c. I venture to say that laxity on the part of Lodges, in furnishing proper returns, should be very severely condemned, and, as far as possible, punished. It appears to me to be sure evidence that the business of Lodges so failing in their duty, is not well conducted, when Lodges cannot supply the information required in the returns (and which should be easily and readily available) within two months' after the close of the sittings. The District Officers have recorded fines against the Dalton, Oamaru, and Band of Friendship Lodges for negligence in the respect alluded to.

Since my predecessor in the honorable position of Provincial Grand Master addressed you this time last year, there has been one new Lodge—the Outram Lodge, at Outram, West Taieri,—added to the District, making the present number of Lodges 23.

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The total number of subscribing members on the 31st December, 1875, was 1523. The new members joining by initiation during 1875 numbered 238; while the various Lodges accepted clearance members to the extent of 38. Of these last, the Hand and Heart Lodge received nearly one-half of the total so joining. The average age of the newly initiated members was, as nearly as possible, 26 years 51 weeks. The average age of those joining by clearance was 30 years 1 week 2½ days. The average age of the whole of the members comprising the District was 33 years 5 weeks; shewing a slight decrease on the average of December, 1874. It will be seen from the Balance Sheets that the deaths during the District financial half-year, from October 1st to March 31st, have been unusually numerous, comprising five members and two members' wives I regret to say that of the five members deceased, no less than three came to untimely and accidental ends. The total number of deaths in the District for the year 1875 were 12 (of whom two were not entitled to funeral benefits), and six members' wives. The amount paid for funerals during the year 1875 being £260. This is the highest death rate ever experienced by this District. The average age of members died is a little over 36 years. The total number of members experiencing sickness in the 20 Lodges which have forwarded returns, was 120; experiencing a total amount of sickness equal to 802 weeks 5 days, calculated at 6 days to a week.

The total income of the Lodges for the twelve months ending last December was £6,345 0s lid. The total expenditure being £4,449 11s 2d, shewing a saving on the year's transactions of £1,895 9s 9d. The income is made up as follows:—For admissions by Initiations and Clearance, £469 3s 6d; Contributions to Sick and Funeral Funds—including Funeral Payments from District—£2,100 15s 6d; Contributions, &c., Incidental Fund, £2,569 13s; for Interest and Rents, £984 14s 7d; Foreign Lodges and Widow and Orphans' Fund, £220 14s 4d. The expenditure was—Sick and Funeral Fund Account, £1,265 0s 1d; Incidental Fund Account, £3,035 11s 8d; Foreign Lodges and Widow and Orphans' Fund, £148 19s 5d. The amount paid to Sick page 6 Members was £821 15s 3d; being an average of 10s 9½d for the whole membership of the District, and 7½d per member more than for 1874. The Roxburgh Lodge, which in 1874 had the smallest amount of sickness, has, in 1875, had the largest, in proportion to the number of members, while the Band of Friendship Lodge, Kakanui, has the smallest average expenditure for expenditure for sickness. The expenditure for Medical Attendance and Medicines amounted to £1,770 1s 8d. The Lodges return their total assets at £17,981 7s 2d.

The District Officers have still to regret that in some of the Lodges a want of proper care in filling up the Returns continues to display itself. This is the more to be regretted as so much labour and (personal) expense has been bestowed in preparing tables, and organising matters generally, for the purpose of making a valuation of the Lodges. The Finance Committee appointed at last meeting report that "it is found that, in a good many instances, the returns for 1875 will not be so full and complete as they ought to be in order to enable a satisfactory valuation to be made." It may be pointed out that one of the factors in the calculation of Lodge Liabilities and Assets is a return of Members' Wives and their Ages, and it is found that at present this is not nearly fully attainable. Lodges not having supplied this information are requested to open a register of wives and their ages, so as to be in a position to supply full information hereafter. In other respects, also, it is found that the statements given in the annual returns, and the two half yearly returns, when combined, do not agree, as they ought to do. It is hoped that Lodges will see that great care is exercised in the preparation of the returns, in order that when the valuations are made, it may be possible to give justice to each Lodge.

The District Officers cannot fox-bear alluding to the immense amount of labour undergone by D.P.G.M. Leslie, and by P.G. Black, in the preparation of the 4 per cent. tables necessary to made before the valuations could be entered on. It is matter for great satisfaction that, by last page 7 English mail, we received a copy of tables, made for the Brighton District by a member of the Society of Actuaries, and that the 4 per cent, tables therein are found to agree almost exactly with those prepared by the worthy brothers of our own district whom I have named.

My remarks have already extended to a greater length than I had originally intended, and therefore, I will draw to a close, and invite your best attention to the consideration of the various matters of bustness which will come before yon.

The Pro v. C.S. read the Balance Sheets, and Auditor Pert. Sec. Burton read the Auditors' Report.

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Dr. Receipts. Dunedin, April 6th, 1876. Audited and found correct, T. BURTON, H. 8. FISH, Jun Auditors

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Auditors' Report.


We beg to report having carefully examined the books and accounts of the Otago District, for the half-year ending March 31st, 1876, and find them correct. We herewith append a statement of the Assets and liabilities, from which it will be seen there is a total credit to the District of £577, 18s 8d, made up as follows:—
Due by Lodges £31 7 11
In Colonial Bank 192 0 0
P. O. Savings Bank 11 10 11
Debentures 200 0 0
Goods 142 19 10
£577 18 8
Of this amount £182 1 4 belongs to Funeral Fund
176 19 1 Relief Fund
27 10 2 Incidental Fund
0 0 1 due to Tapanui Lodge
Balance of Assets over Liabilities 191 8 0
£577 18 8

We have the greatest pleasure in testifying to the ad mirable and accurate manner in which the books are kept by the Secretary.

We strongly advise the Committee to authorise the District Officers to purchase a safe for the custody of the books and documents.

T. Burton,

H. S. Fish, Junr.

Dunedin, N.Z.,
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Resolved—That the Balance Sheet and Auditors' Report be received and adopted.

Nominations for District Officers—

For Prov. G.M.

  • D.P.GM. Leslie
  • P.D.P.G.M. Hopcraft
  • P.G. Fish
  • P.G. Godso
  • P.G. Harrop
  • P.G. Sherwin
  • P.G. Woodland
  • P.G. Black
  • P.G. Gilchrist
  • P.G. Gibb
  • P.P.C.S. Bond
  • P.G. Lucas
  • P.G. Templeton.

For Deputy Prov. G.M.

  • The same Brothers as above, with the exception of the present D. Prov. G.M., and with the addition of P.G. Coverlid.

For Prov. C.S.

  • P.C.S. Sligo, Permanent Sec. Burton, P.G. Black, P.G. Woodland, P.P.G.M. Palmer, P.G. Sherwin.

For District Treasurer.

  • P.P.G.M. Robin, P.G. Harrop, P.P.G.M. Swan, P.P.G.M. Sherwin, P.G. Sherwin, P.G. Black, P.G.M. Anderson.

Note.—The figures in the margin refer to the propositions &c., as they were numbered on the Business Paper.

4. Resolved—That the next District and Purple Lectures be held at the Odd Fellows' Hall; Dunedin, on the last Wednesday in July (26th), at 7.30 p.m.

5. Resolved—That the Trustees of the Otago District be recommended to withdraw the sum of £200 now in the Standard Investment Society, and re-invest it in other legal security as opportunity occurs.

6. Resolved—That the books of the District be closed on the last day of February and last day of August in each year, and that the Balance Sheets and Auditors' Report be printed and sent to all the Lodges prior to the District meetings.

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7. From Albion Lodge—Notice of appeal against the fine of 10s. 6d. inflicted on the Lodge at the last annual meeting of the District.

The Prov. G.M. being a member of the Albion Lodge, the D.P.G.M. presided while this matter was being dealt with. The D P.G.M. ruled that, in this case, an appeal could only lie to the Grand Master and Board of Directors, and that the appeal not being in order, it cannot be entertained by this Committee. See General Rule 83.

8. To consider Interim Report of Finance Committee.

Interim Report of Committee appointed at District Meeting held 10th November, 1875, to consider and report on the general financial position of this District:—

"To the Officers and Delegates, Otago District Committee' April, 1876—

"Shortly after appointment the Committee met, and having agreed that their first and principal duty would be to try to have a valuation of the various Lodges made, decided that in the preparation of tables for such valuation, interest should be calculated at the rate of 4 per cent. The reasons for this rate being fixed upon are: That Lodges are entitled by resolution of District Committee, to appropriate all above 4 per cent, to Incidental Fund, and that, while some of the Lodges regularly get more than 4 per cent., numbers get less. It was also resolved that the data for sickness and mortality should be the experience of the Manchester Unity 'Combined Rural, Town, and City Districts,' as published in Mr Ratcliffe's Supplementary Report of 1872. D.P.G.M. Bro. Leslie, assisted by P.G. Bro. Black, has been engaged for a long time back in making the necessary calculations. This onerous task is now almost completed, and a valuation of a number of the Lodges can now be made. But it is found that in a good many instances the returns for 1875 will not be so full and complete as they ought to be to enable a satisfactory valuation to be made. From the trial valuations which have so far been worked out, it appears that while there are some few Lodges having a surplus, there page 12 will be a number showing a deficiency. Your Committee, however, hope and believe that with the co-operation of Lodges and members, it will be comparatively easy (our position being ascertained) to take such steps as will tend towards, and soon bring about, a sound financial condition. Your Committee desire to express their settled conviction, that in order to do justice to each individual member, as well as bring about the desideratum of a sound financial position, it will be necessary to initiate a system of graduated contributions, according to the age of members.

"Your Committee desire, in the most emphatic manner to direct attention to the fact that their investigations relate to the Sick and Funeral Fund only. It must be borne in mind that members really pay two separate and distinct contributions—one to Sick and Funeral Fund, for the purpose of assuring the receipt, by themselves or friends, of certain fixed sums in sickness and at death; another to defray working expenses, to pay for medical attendance and medicines, and to meet other Incidental Fund expenses. That the amount necessary for the first can be calculated for the whole district; while for the last, it varies in every locality in which a Lodge is established. Therefore, in addition to the uniform contribution required throughout the District to Sick and Funeral Fund, Lodges must make their members contribute to the Incidental Fund according to the amount rendered necessary by local circumstances. We beg to direct special attention to the above, because, while it is, to our minds, very evident that the contribution to the Sick and Funeral Fund is not too much; some few of the Lodges deal with the moneys of the separate funds as if they were common property. The Lodges doing this have largely decreased in number of late years, but your Committee would be glad to see any systematic borrowing from the Sick and Funeral Fund wholly cease.

"The Committee would strongly insist upon the desirability of Lodges investing surplus funds to the best advantage. The importance of this may not be generally seen, but when it can be proved that Lodges habitually investing profitably are found in a good, or fair position, while those receiving page 13 little or no interest on capital will be found uniformly in a worse position, the necessity for this recommendation will become more apparent. Another reason for fixing a 4 per cent, interest basis for the valuations may be here alluded to, viz,—that almost every lodge in the District can (failing better investments), procure that rate of interest at the Post Office Savings Bank."

Resolved—That the Report be received and adopted.

Resolved—That it be left to the Finance Committee to draw up what they may consider a proper scale of contributions, to be submitted to a special meeting of District Committee, and that Lodges be specially urged to appoint delegates to attend such meeting when called.

Resolved—That the scale of contributions, when agreed upon by the Committee, shall be printed and circulated prior to any District meeting considering it.

9. Resolved—That the Funeral Levy be at the rate of Is. 6d. per member.

That the Incidental Levy be at the rate of 6d. per member.

Questions were submitted from Loyal Roxburgh Lodge, in reference to medical attendance on members and payment of medical contributions, and the District Officers were instructed to reply.

Resolved—That a vote of thanks is due, and hereby given, to P.P.G.M. Bro. G. S. God free, Secretary of the Loyal Brunswick Lodge, Brighton District, England, for his kindness and promptitude in forwarding to our D.P.G.M. Bro. Leslie, valuable documents connected with the valuation of Lodges, which documents will be of great benefit to this District.

Attention was drawn to the fact that some of the Lodges have been borrowing Sick and Funeral Fund capital for Incidental purposes, and the District Officers were instructed to take steps to cause such borrowing to cease.

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Resolved—That a vote of thanks be recorded on the minutes to D.P.G.M. Leslie and P.G. Black, for the zealous labor bestowed by them on the preparation of tables for the proposed valuations.

Resolved—That the usual number of Reports of Proceedings of this meeting be printed and circulated to Lodges.

Resolved—That the Auditors and Tyler receive the usual fees.

Resolved—That a vote of thanks be recorded on the minutes to the P.G.M. for his conduct of the business of this meeting.

The minutes were read and confirmed, and the meeting closed.

Notices to Lodges.

The District and Purple Lectures will be held at the Odd Fellows' Hall, Dunedin, on Wednesday, the 26th July, July, at 7.30 p.m.

Lodges are particularly requested to forward the printed form of Delegate's Certificate when they appoint Delegates to the District Meetings. The meetings are invariably held on the second Wednesdays in April and October, and Delegates may be appointed at any lodge meeting previous thereto.

Funeral allowances must be claimed by the Lodge to which a deceased member or member's deceased wife may have belonged. Claims must be accompanied by surgeon's or coroner's certificate of death, when obtainable, and by a statement under the hand of the N.G. that the Brother was financial at the time the death took place. The District Officers cannot pay funeral allowances without the above documents.

Newspapers containing a report of the meeting of Annual Movable Committee of the Order will henceforth be received page 15 by the first mail after publication. Copies, 6d. each, may be obtained from the Prov. C.S. Orders should be sent before the end of July in each year.

In the half-yearly returns, the Line for "Date of last Lodge Night" should be filled in with date of regular lodge meeting, in last sitting, irrespective of that meeting having been altered for some special reason.

The following is part of a resolution carried at a meeting of District Committee, held April, 1874—"That on and after the first day of July, 1874, any Lodge in this District shall have power to appropriate for the relief of its Management Expense Fund all interest over and above 4 per cent, per annum accruing from the investment of the Sick and Funeral Fund Capital. Any such appropriation to be subject to the approval of the District Officers."

The Levies are chargeable as per column headed "Number of Subscribing Members" in return at end. Accounts are rendered on the 1st January and the 1st July, and should be paid within 30 days of receipt. If not so paid, lodges are liable to be fined, and, after another 30 days, to be suspended.

As the books will hereafter be closed at the end of February and August, a month earlier than has been the custom in the past, compliance with the Rule as above, is absolutely necessary.

Lodges not having kept a register of member's wives and their ages are requested to open one at once. Also to keep correct records of sickness. Sick Register Books can now be obtained from the District, price 8s. each.

Addresses of District Officers.

Pror. G.M. Anderson, Rattray street, Dunedin; D. Prov. G.M. Leslie, Russell street, Dunedin; Prov. C.S. Sligo, George street, Dunedin.

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M.U.I.O.O.F.—Otago District.—Financial Return, 1875.

Name of Lodge. Where Held. Night of Meeting and date of First Lodge Night, January, 1876. RECEIPTS, 1875. For Admissions S.and F. Fund. For Contributions and Funerals, &c. N. N. F. Fund. For Interest and Rents, S. and F. Fund. For Interest and Rents, Incid Fund For Contributions Fines, Levies, Goods, &c. Incidental Fund For Admission Clearances Hon. Members Incid Fund For Foreign Lodges and W. and O. Fund

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M.U.IO.O.F.—Numerical Return for Year 1875.—Otago District.

Name of Lodge. When Established. Numbers joined by Total Number left by Total No. of member goods books Total number of Members Average Age. Number of Married Members. Number of Wices Died. Age of Members Death Those marks not entitled to F. Benefit. No. of Members Sick. Total Sickness. Periods of Sickness. Average ness per Mer of L First six months. Second six months After 12 months Registerd.