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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Annual Meeting of the Otago District Committee 1878

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Annual Meeting of the Otago District Committee

Report Proceedings.

coat of arms

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

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Report of Proceedings of Annual Meeting.

Present :

  • Prov. G. M. Leslie, in the chair.
  • D.P.G.M. Fish
  • Prov. C.S. Sligo.

Delegates :

  • Hand and Heart Lodge,—P.G. Black; Per. Sec. Burton; P.G Peter H. Sherwin; P.G. Hitchcock.
  • Dunedin Lodge—P.G. Ibbotson; Per. Sec. Fulton; P.G. Stronach.
  • Dolton Lodge—P.G. Johnston; P.G. Battrick.
  • Albion Lodge—GM. Davie; P.G. Lambeth; P.G. Godso.
  • Tuaqeka Pioneer Lodge—P.G. Hun-op; P.G. Downes.
  • Waitahuna, Lodge—P.G. J. Black; P.G. Ferries.
  • Waipori Lodge—P.G. Jas. Robertson.
  • Blue Spur Lodge—P.G. McLaren; P.G. Williams.
  • Naseby Lodge—P.P.G.M. Geddes.
  • Roxburgh Lodge—P.G. Morgan.
  • Tapanui Lodge—P.G. Keir.
  • Lake Wakatip Lodge— P.P.G.M. Swan; P.G. Wm. Harrop.
  • Band of Friendship Lodge—P.P.G.M. Robin.
  • Outram Lodge—P.G. Cox; Per. Sec. McNicoll.

The following Lodges were unrepresented—Prince oj Wales, Oamaru, Prince Alfred, Alexandra, Palmerston, Cromwell, Mount Wendon, Arroiv, Heart of Friendship.

Before proceeding to business it was unanimously agreed that the representatives of the Press should be admitted.

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Provincial Grand Master's Address.

Worthy Deputy and Brethren

For the first time in the history of this District, which has now been about twenty years in existence, we meet in annual session away from our head-quarters in Dunedin.

The circumstance that nearly all our Lodges are widely separated from each other, over a territory some 10,000 square miles in extent, added to the fact that till very lately the usual mode of conveyance into the interior of the Province was both slow and expensive, has afforded a ready and sufficient excuse in the past why the principal meetings of our Society should be held in the District Chambers. That this excuse will not be considered sufficient any longer, now that a considerable extent of country is made easily accessible by means of the railways, was made evident by the arguments used and the large number of delegates who carried the motion in favor of our meeting here, at the last District Meeting.

I am aware there is some difference of opinion amongst the Brethren of the Order with regard to these meetings being movable—mainly because of the expense they will cost—but despite this, I trust and believe that a large amount of good will flow from the fact that members of the District will be afforded an opportunity year by year of meeting in the principal centres of population, and thereby profit by personal intercourse with each other, cement the bond of unity which exists and disseminate the noble principles of our institution. For my own part I trust that this step we have, taken will be followed up by others till District Meetings shall have been held in every locality where there is a Lodge from the Waitaki to the Mataura, and from the Nuggets to the Lakes.

The very great services which the Loyal Tuapeka Lodge has rendered to the Order as the mother lodge of a now numerous family, fully explains and justifies the selection of Lawrence as the first country town to be visited for the purpose of holding a District Meeting. 1 therefore congratulate the Delegates on our meeting in this pleasant town, and in the centre of a district ever memorable in connection with the most eventful epoch in the history of this Province, viz., the discovery of gold.

Having made these preliminary remarks, let me advert briefly to the proceedings at the late Annual Movable Committee of the Order in England. For I think it is our duty to regard with interest all that transpires at the Annual Parliament of our Order, and seek to derive such lessons from the proceedings thereat as may assist us in carrying on this District to the same degree of perfection and financial stability as has been reached by many of the Districts in Great Britain.

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This year the A.M.C. was held in the City of Exeter, the capital of fair Devon, and was attended by no less than 432 deputies, being 30 more than on any previous occasion. Our worthy deputy P.P.G.M. Palmer reached Home in time for the meeting, and though far from being well, attended and took an active part in some of the debates, It is worthy of mention that the Auckland, Hobart Town and South Africa District were also represented by deputies. All this testifies to the reality of the Unity which exists between the central Society in Britain and its branches in the Colonies. This connection our Revising Barrister was very slow to realise and sanction, but I am extremely pleased to find that on Thursday last a clause was inserted in the "Friendly Societies' Amendment Act," before it was passed, recognising and legalising, not only our connection with the parent Society, but also allowing of reference in our Lodge and District Rules to the General Rules of the Order.

From the Directors' Report we find that on the 1st January, 1878, the number of members was 526,802, showing a gain of 8432 on the year. The number of members admitted during the year was 32,241, while the withdrawals, deaths, &c., amounted to 23,809. The income and expenditure of the Unity for the year 1877 was not compiled in time for presentation to the meeting, and up to the present time we have not received the quarterly report containing the necessary information.

In regard to the second quinquennial valuation of the Unity in Great Britain and Ireland, began by the late C. S. Bro. H. Ratcliffe, and only lately completed, the Directors were able to lay before the meeting an abstract of the result, from this we find that the present value of the benefits or liabilities amounts to £11,936,279 17s. 2d., whilst the present value of the contributions gives £7,956,984 18s. 9d., and this amount, added to the capital in hand, viz., £3,607,126 2s. 2d., makes up a total of £11,564,111 0s 11d. of assets, leaving a deficiency of £372,168 16s. 3d. In 1871 the deficiency amounted to £1,341,446 16s. 5d., therefore the present valuation shows a reduction in the deficiency of £971,278 0s. 2d. In explanation of this favorable circumstance, the Directors point out that it is due to the following causes. First—An increase in the contributions. In 1871 the average annual contribution to the Sick and Funeral Fund amounted to 19s. 6d. per member, in 1876 it had risen to 20s. 5d. Second—A reduction in the benefits. In 1871 the average present value of Sick and Funeral Benefits for each member amounted to £28 11s. 10d., In 1876 it had been reduced to £25 15s. 94 Third—Careful attention to the investment of the Funds, in consequence of which many Lodges were enabled to be valued at a higher rate of interest than 3 per cent., the rate at which all were valued at in 1871.

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The progress towards solvency which this valuation shows to have taken place during the preceding five years is matter for great congratulation, and gives us confidence that the great Manchester Unity will be able, at no distant date, to assert that every lodge belonging to it at Home and abroad, has been placed on a firm financial foundation, and is in the proud position of being able to meet all its engagements.

At the instance of Bro. Godfree, of Brighton, (a gentleman who has on several occasions clone the Otago District good service), a motion was passed by the meeting affirming the desirability—"That an endeavor should be made by the G. M. and Board of Directors to obtain the registration of the General Rules in the Colonies."

What the result of this will be it would be difficult to say, but the example set by the Revising Barrister and Registrar of this Colony will, I trust, be followed by the gentlemen holding similar offices in the other Colonies. At the same time, I am sure you will agree with me in thanking our friend for his interest in Colonial Districts, and join in the hope that the efforts of the Directors may soon be successful.

One of the most important events of the meeting was the election of a Corresponding Secretary in room of the late Henry Ratcliffe. For this important office there were four candidates, which number was reduced to two after the first voting. These candidates, Messrs. Collins and Watson, then went again to the poll for final vote, with this result, that Mr. Collins got 164 votes and Mr. Watson 161, giving a majority of three for Mr. Collins, in a meeting of 325. It was evident throughout the course of the previous proceedings that party spirit ran pretty high in regard to who should be Mr. Ratcliffe's successor, and the final voting shows how evenly the parties were balanced. For all this, it is to be hoped that the best man has been chosen, and that he will prove himself well qualified for the high office he is now called to; though from remarks made, it seems he does not profess to have any share of that acturial knowledge held by his opponent, and the possession of which, in such large measure, brought so much renown to Henry Ratcliffe and credit to the Manchester Unity.

A great deal of discussion seems to have taken place on a large number of questions of little or no interest to us, such as the Poor Law Act, the Northampton case, and many of the proposed alterations in the Rules.

On the other hand, there were several questions brought under consideration of the meeting worthy of our attention had time allowed, but I can only mention a few of them and no more, such as the establishment of Superannuation Funds; a question which it will be our duty to take up before long. The subject of Valuations; a question which cannot long be delayed by us. The page 7 proposal for inter-communication with the I.O.O.F. in America; a result which now seems capable of attainment. The discussion on District Sick Funds and on the question of Clearances, did not receive that amount of attention which they deserved. In regard to Clearances, I have long been of opinion that the A.M.G.'s have not done their duty, for in the case of members who emigrate to the Colonies, a very great injustice is done under the present Home system.

Let me now direct your attention to the consideration of our own more immediate affairs. All the Lodge returns have been received, but some of them so lately that several errors which we fear exists in them, have not been fully rectified.

These Returns have been tabulated by our worthy Secretary with his usual care and clearness, which enables me to place before you the following facts regarding our position on the 30th June last. On that date the membership of the District was given as 1596, of which number 1426 are returned as "good on the books." During the previous half-year 76 new members joined by initiation and 8 joined by clearance. On the other hand we have lost six members and one member's wife by death, and about the average number have withdrawn or seceded.

The total income of our 23 Lodges for the six months amounted to £3618 9s. 3d., made up as follows:—
For Admissions £136 16 0
For Contributions to Sick and Funeral Fund, including funeral repay ments from District 1193 7 2
For Interest, rents, &c., Sick and Funeral Fund 479 10 8
For Contributions to Incidental Fund, goods, &c. 1409 3 9
For Foreign Lodges 131 13 8
For Interest and rents, Incidental Fund 267 18 2
£3618 9 5
The total expenditure during the same time amounted to £2581 4s. 4d., classified under the following heads:—
For Sick Benefits £429 7 7
For Funeral Benefits 130 0 0
For District Levies, Funeral Fund 116 2 0
For Medical attendance and medicine 1023 12 0
For Rents, salaries, printing, &c. 777 14 8
For Foreign Lodges 104 8 1
£2581 4 4
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From this brief statement it will be seen that the addition to the capital of the Lodges in the District amounts to £1037 5s. 1d. for the six months. On the last day of the term the balance at credit of Sick and Funeral Fund in cash, land, and buildings was £19,021 16s. Id. Lodges hold goods said to be of the value of £475 15s., and the Incidental Fund credit balance and other assets amounted to £3686 4s. 5d., so that the gross total value of our Lodges appeal's to be £23,183 15s. 6d.

It would take up too much time for me to fully analyze these returns, but there are several features disclosed by the compilation which I deem to be of great importance to this district, and I crave your indulgence while I dwell on them for a little. The small increase in our numbers is not, in my opinion, at all in keeping with the claims of the Society or the growth of population, and as all our trades have been fairly prosperous during the term, I fear it can only be accounted for by want of energy on the part of the members. It should ever be borne in mind by all of us that the operations of our Society are twofold—on the one hand it is a business, on the other it is a beneficence "a function of finance and a mission of humanity." We recognise the fact that our condition is one of interdependence, and we combine together in order that in times of sickness, or when calamity Comes, we may have a claim to assistance, based on the monies we have contributed to the Society, without loss of self-respect or compromise of individual independence. At the same time the aims of our Society embrace the moral as well as the material welfare of its members, and, as you are all aware, we are constantly instructed to practice the practical virtues, and to strive to make those who enter amongst us "better husbands, better fathers, and better members of society." Such being the case, I do most earnestly hope that in the future our members will bestir themselves, and seek to make known the objects and advantages of our Society; if they do, I have no fear but that the result will be a large increase to our members.

The important question of the indebtedness of the Incidental Fund to the sick and Funeral Fund has again engaged the attention of the District Officers. During the term under review, I regret to say the debt has increased to the extent of £24 17s. 7d., so that it now stands at £1012 12s. I had hoped that after the many warnings which have been given anent this matter it would have been my pleasing duty to announce on the present occasion that a marked improvement had taken place. It is certainly matter for congratulation that ten of our Lodges have balances in hand to the credit of the Incidental Fund, while six others have, in the six months, reduced their debt by £73 10s. 3d. The remaining seven Lodges are the defaulters, they having increased their indebtedness to the extent of £98 16s. 10d. It must be page 9 evident to everyone who has carefully considered this question, that power should be given to the Distaict Officers to at once put a stop to a practice fraught with so great danger to the Lodges, and through them to the District. It would be matter for great praise if the members of our Lodges would strive to know their duty, and to do it of their own free will and accord without any pressure being brought to bear on them, either by the District Officers or the Registrar; but if they do not do it, then they must be taught it.

The current expenses for doctor and medicines, rents, salaries, and other management expenses, ought to be paid for on the completion of the term of service, and if the regular contributions of the members to the Incidental Fund prove inadequate, the wisest course is to make a levy at once for the amount short in the past, and for the future to watch well that there be no needless expenditure, and if the contributions are still short, then raise the subscriptions.

But the payment of the existing debt should be borne by the persons in whose behalf the services were provided, as it is manifestly unfair to ask new members who may be paying an adequate amount for the services provided for themselves, to assist in paying off a debt contracted by old members of the Lodge. All the services connected with the Incidental Fund or Management Fund of a Lodge are of the nature of time bargains, and should be paid for at the time promptly.

The amount of interest on capital received during the past term proves very conclusively that much more attention is now being paid to this most important matter than was the case a short time ago, yet for all this a few Lodges are still seemingly as careless as ever. The value of goods held by the various Lodges present some peculiar features worthy of your attention, for example—one Lodge with only 11 members returns the value of its goods at £40 17s. 6d., while another with 161 members, has goods to the value of £20 only—or again, 7 Lodges, with a membership of 359, hold goods which they value at £333 14s., while the remaining 16 Lodges with 1237 members value their goods at £142 1s. only. I have no reason to doubt the correctness of the values given by the Lodges, yet it must be apparent to you all, that the seven Lodges referred to have been very extravagant, or culpably careless.

It will not surprise you to be told that in nearly every case this wastefulness has been at the expense of the Sick and Funeral Fund capital. I would urge upon the members of these Lodges to reduce their stock of goods as speedily as possible, and invest the money to better account.

There only remains one other feature, drawn from the rarurns, for me to dwell upon, but it is a most important one. It is to page 10 draw your attention to the fact that in four of our Lodges the expenditure during the six months lias exceeded the income, while several others have done little more than hold their ground. In the case of one of the Lodges, the sickness experienced has been heavy, but with the others the sickness was not greater than was to be expected. I hope this reverse may only be accidental, but my reason contradicts my hope, and therefore I say to you plainly it is high time that we should make a searching investigation into our affairs, and facing the question manfully, apply such remedies as are found to be necessary. We have seen what the parent Society has found it necessary to do, and if we are to attain the same high eminence it must be by following the same courses. With Friendly Societies there is no royal road to solvency. The want of knowledge is one of the greatest obstacles in regard to this subject which has to be overcome, and the difficulty of educating members to the necessary point all but insurmountable. But if we are sincerely desirous of making our institution as perfect as we can, it must be attempted, and we must labor to make our members clearly apprehend the real responsibilities that such a Society as this undertakes.

During the last six months (as will be seen by the report of the Bye-laws Revision Committee), the financial condition of our Society has frequently occupied the attention of the Committee, and though their labors were not finished in time to enable us to lay the results before you at this meeting, still I may be permitted to say that it has been agreed to recommend for adoption by this District a scale of fees and contributions which we believe will, if adopted, place our Society on a sound basis. Having said this, I hope that you will all think earnestly over the matter so that when the special meeting takes place tor the consideration of the Revision Committee's recommendations, we may be able to discuss the subject fully, fairly, and temperately.

Worthy Delegates—At the close of this meeting the District Officers resign the charge which you committed to their keeping twelve months ago. I have to thank the Brethren of the Order for the support they have given me and the kindness I have received from all. The past year has, in many respects, been a busy one, but your District Officers have one and all wrought most heartily together and to the best of our ability for the interests of the Districts.

To my worthy deputy, Bro. Fish, I tender my most sincere thanks for his able assistance and support in carrying out the duties of my office.

To our Corresponding Secretary Bro. Sligo, I offer my warmest thanks for the kind and courteous manner in which he has always mot me, for his readiness at all time to attend to the requirements page 11 of the Society, and for the able manner in which he has conducted the business of the District.

I now ask your kind assistance in conducting the business of this meeting, and I trust the result of our deliberations may tend to the advancement of this Society, and the benefit of our fellow men. I have now pleasure in declaring this meeting duly opened.

Resolved—That the Grand Master's Address be received, and that it be printed with the Reports of the Meeting.

The Balance Sheet and Auditors' Report, being in the hands of Delegates, were taken as read.

Auditors' Report.

Your Auditors have made a careful examination of the accounts of the District for the half-year, including March to August last, and have found them correctly kept, and agreeing with the statements contained in the Balance Sheets. As the accounts are very fully stated in the Sheets submitted to us by the Secretary, and these have of late been published in full, it does not require that we should enter into any explanation respecting them, excepting to state that we are assured by the C.S. that the stock is certainly not over-valued, and that anything believed to be unsaleable (of which however there is very little) has been noted in stock list, but no value attached thereto.

The labour which devolves upon the Secretary continues to be discharged in a creditable and satisfactory manner.


T. Burton,

W. Stronach,

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M.U.I.O.O.F.—otago District.—Cash Statement, 31st August, 1878.

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Resolved—That the Balance Shot and Auditors' Report be adopted.

Note.—The numbers on the margin refer to the Propositions, &c., as they were numbered on the Business Paper.

3. Appointment of an Auditor, Permanent Sec. Burton retiring. Eligible for re-election.

Permanent Secretary Bro. Burton was re elected for the ensuing twelve months.

4. Appointment of place and time for next District and Purple Lectures.

Moved—That the next District and Purple Lectures be held at Outram.

Moved as an amendment—That the Lectures be held at Pal merston. The amendment was lost.

Moved as a further amendment—That the lectures be held at Dunedin. Amendment lost.

All amendment—That the Lectures be held at Waikouaiti, was also lost, and the original motion was then put and carried. The lectures to be held at Outram, at such time as may be agreed on by the District Officers and the Officers of the Outram Lodge.

5. Appointment of a District Arbitration Committee, under the provisions of General Rule 75.

Resolved—That the Arbitration-Committee appointed in Oct. 1877, be re-appointed for the ensuing twelve months.

6. From Dunedin Lodge—That, in the opinion of this Meeting, it is desirable that the representatives of the Public Press be admitted to our District Meetings for the purpose of reporting the proceedings, if they should think lit. Carried.

7. From Dunedin Lodge—That Prov. Grand Master Leslie's name be placed on the District Merit Board, and that he receive a certificate to enable him to take the degree of a P.P.G.M. Carried.

8. From Dunedin Lodge—That the sum of ten guineas, or such other sum as the District Meeting may deem lit, be voted from the funds of the District as a donation to the Lawrence Hospital.

After an amendment, which the Prov. G.M ruled to be out of order, and a further amendment which was afterwards withdrawn, the motion was put and carried—That the sum of ten guineas be voted as a donation to the Lawrence Hospital.

9. From Dunedin Lodge—That each deputy attending the District Meeting at Lawrence be paid the sum of one guinea from the District Incidental Fund.

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The Prov. G.M. ruled that the motion, being illegal, could not be put.

10. From Dal ton Lodge—Application to open a new Lodge at Stirling, County of Bruce, to be called at "Loyal Matau Lodge," to be held at the Stirling Hotel.

It was resolved—That the application be granted, subject to arrangements to be made between the applicants and the District Officers, it being pointed out that the floods would probaby interfere with the immediate opening.

11. From Hand and Heart Lodge—That the retiring Grand Master be a member of the District Executive.

Moved—That the name of Bro. Leslie be added after the words Grand Master.

It was pointed out that to carry such a resolution would be scarcely in conformity with the strict letter of the General Rules, and after some discussion, the motion was withdrawn.

12. From Hand and Heart Lodge—That the District Officers be empowered to pay all expenses attending revision of the Rules.

Moved—That the sum of £5 be voted to defray expenses incurred in revision of District Rules. Carried.

13. Report of Bye-laws Revision Committee, and consideration of proposed new Rules.

The C.S. read the following report:—

Report of Committee appointed to Revise the Rules of the Otago District of the Manchester Unity of Odd-Fellows, with a view to the Registration of the Society under the "Friendly Societies Act, 1877." Presented to the Annual Meeting of District Committees held at Lawrence, on Saturday, the 12th October, 1878.

Gentlemen—When your Committee was appointed at the District Meeting in April last, it was understood that it would not be in a satisfactory position to proceed with its labours until the Regulations and Forms of Procedure, then in preparation, were received from the Registrar of Friendly Societies.

The first meeting was held on the 3rd July last, soon after receipt of the said Regulations, &c. The first question that occupied the attention of the Committee was one which it was perceived would greatly affect the work immediately in hand, and also the future convenience, and, in some degree, the future welfare of the District, and of Friendly Societies generally. Your Committee were, and are, desirous of having our connection with the Order in Great Britain recognised by the Government of the Colony; feeling that we have just cause for gratification in being page 15 a Branch of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows—a Society which is acknowledged throughout the world to have led the way in the path of Friendly Society progress and reform. Your Committee were, therefore, naturally desirous that, as in the past, so in the future, we should be able in the most direct and convenient manner to avail ourselves of the results of the large and varied experience of our Order, as embodied in the General Rules; we therefore desired to have those rules, and any future amendments thereof recognised as part and parcel of the rules for our internal government, as far as they may be consistent with the laws of New Zealand, and not opposed to any rules of which we might obtain the registry. In order to ascertain whether the Government would recognise the General Rules and our voluntary subordination to the parent Society, your Committee decided that a test rule should be sent to the Registrar to ascertain whether such a rule would be registered. The Corresponding Secretary, therefore, wrote to the Registrar, and sent the proposed rule for his opinion. Your Committee have reason to believe that the Registrar and the Revising Banister—to whom the proposed rule was submitted in accordance with the requirements of the Act—gave the matter careful and earnest consideration, and with a desire to meet our views; the result, however, was that we were informed that the proposed rule could not be registered, "on the principle that no rules could be registered that expressly convey subordination to other rules which are not registered, and therefore of which there could not be any official cognizance," &c. It is not necessary to quote the whole of the Registrar's opinion, as the correspondence can be laid before the meeting if wished for. Your Committee felt much vexed at this decision. While we do not presume to offer any opinion as to the correctness of the decision from a legal stand point, we felt that if we were debarred from making any reference to the General Rules we would, in revising the District Rules, necessarily have to undertake a large amount of labour, and go to considerable expense in printing and otherwise, which would be avoided if the General Rules were recognised. We also felt that, whatever improvements might be introduced into the General Rules as the results of experience, we would not be able to avail ourselves of these improvements without a troublesome and expensive process, when it is recollected that the General Rules are altered, in a greater or lesser degree, every year, it will be seen that the trouble and expense of embodying these alterations in our own rules would be something considerable. When it is further recollected that there are many Districts of the Manchester Unity in New Zealand, that some of these Districts would amend their rules from time to time, to bring them into conformity with the General Rules, while others would not, it will be seen that a Society which hitherto has acted page 16 on recognised forms for the internal government and conduct of its business throughout the Colony, would be likely to lose the feeling of Unity which has existed while all acted directly under the General Rules, and which feeling combined with forms of procedure common to all, has served many useful purposes in the past. For these reasons, and others which might be given, your Committee regretted the decision of the officials. It was decided, however, to proceed with the revision of the rules, and embody in them so much of the General Rules as might be deemed necessary. Within the last two days an Act amending the Friendly Societies Act of 1877 has passed both branches of the Legislature, and at the last moment a clause was introduced which will effect all we desired in reference to a recognition of the General Rules of our own and other Societies. There can hardly be a doubt that this is a step in the right direction, and one which will have very beneficial results. Under these circumstances it is probable that the whole work of your Committee will have to be again reviewed, but we may fairly conclude that this is not a matter to regret.

Since being appointed, your Committee have held ten meetings, and the whole of the General and District Rules have been gone through. The general outline of the Rules and the alterations to be proposed have been agreed upon, but it has not been possible to have the Rules written out in time for submission to this meeting. Even had the Rules been more forward than they are, your Committee doubt whether it would have been possible for this meeting to give the time necessary for their consideration, and believe that the more desirable course is to remit the matter to a special meeting. It may be stated that in reference to future contributions, it has been agreed to recommend the adoption of one of the scales submitted to the Special Meeting held at Dunedin on the 2nd August, 1876. The special scale to be recommended being the one with present initiation fees. Your Committee have agreed upon numbers of alterations, but it will hardly be thought desirable to enter into details on this occasion.

Your Committee beg to express their regret that the Rules are not in a more forward state, but would remind you that the preparation of rules is necessarily, and at all times, a matter involving considerable sacrifice of time, and a large amount of labour and consideration, while circumstances have, in the present instance, demanded and required greater sacrifices than usual.

In conclusion, we beg to recommend that your Committee be allowed to continue their labours to completion, and that the District Officers be empowered to call a special meeting for consideration of the Rules, at such time as your Committee may see fit.

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Resolved—That the Report of Revision Committee be received and adopted, and that it he printed with the Proceedings of the Meeting.

14. To fix the rate of District Levies for half-year.

It was resolved—That the Levies for the half-year be fixed at 1s. 6d. for Sick and Funeral Fund, and is for Incidental, in accordance with recommendation of District Officers.

15. Election of District Officers.

For Prov. G.M. the candidates were—D.P.G.M. Fish, and P.D.P.G.M. Coverlid. Bro. Fish was declared duly elected.

The candidates for Deputy P.G.M. were—P.D.P.G.M. Coverlid, P.G. Sherwin, P.G. Forsyth, P.G. Cox, and P.G. Ibbotson. P.G. Bro. Cox was declared duly elected.

For Prov. C.S. the candidates were—Permt. Sec. Fulton, and P.G. Black. P.G. Bro. Black was declared duly elected.

Resolved—That the salary of the Prov. C.S. be at the rate of £75 per annum.

For District Treasurer—P.P.G.M. Robin being the only candidate, was re-elected.

It was moved—That a sum of £10 be voted as a subscription to the funds being raised for the relief of sufferers by the floods, but it was objected that as the motion was not upon the business paper, it would be of the nature of a surprise motion, of which the Lodges had had no previous notice. Motion was, therefore, withdrawn.

Resolved—That the power to nominate a Life Governor for the Lawrence Hospital be in the Tuapeka Pioneer Lodge, and that the Lodge be requested to nominate accordingly.

The newly elected District Officers were installed with the usual ceremony, and returned thanks for their election.

Resolved—That the Auditors an I Tylers fees be paid.

Resolved—That the usual number of Reports be printed for circulation in the Lodges.

Moved and seconded—That a hearty vote of thanks be accorded to the retiring District Officers. Carried.

P.P.G.M. Leslie and P.P.C.S. Sligo duly returned thanks.

The minutes of the meeting were read and confirmed.

A meeting of Past Grands was afterwards held for the purpose of giving the Purple and Past Officers degrees, when a number of Brothers availed themselves of the opportunity thus afforded them of taking the various degrees to which they were entitled.

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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.

Addresses of District Officers.

Prov. G.M. H. S. Fish, junr. Princes-street, Dunedin.
Deputy Prov. G.M. W. H. Cox Outtam.
Prov. C.S. P. Black London-street, Dunedin.
Relieving Officer, Prov. G.M. Fish, Princes-street, Dunedin.
page 20
Waipori Lodge meets monthly, all others fortnightly, from the dates given above. Funeral payments January to June:—Dunedin, £20; Tuapeka Pioneer, £40; Waitaliuna, £20; Waipori, £10; Cromwell. £20; Band of Friendship, £20; total, £130. Name of Lodge. Where Held. Nights of Meeting and Date of first Lodge Night, July. 1878. Total No. Members? June 30, 1878. Total Income. Total Expenditure. Total Value of Lodge, including Goods, &c., June 31, 1878.

M.U.I.O.O.F., Otago District-Abstract of Lodge Returns-January To June, 1878'