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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Special Notice to Lodge Secretaries

page 18

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 en 1 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 (he 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.

The following are the portions of the Act above referred to:—
"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 Auditor's 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."
By the "Friendly Societies Amendment Act," which was passed on the 10th October, it is enacted that the Annual Return shall in addition to the matters above mentioned, contain— page 19

"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:—
"The following subsections shall be read and construed as part of the Section 13 of the said Act, and as if they were subsections thereto occurring immediately before subsection two of that section—
(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 medical 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 therefrom, 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.