Report Of Proceedings,
Annual Meeting or the Otago District Committee,
Dunedin: Matthews, Baxter & Co., Printer, Printer Street. 1877
Report of Proceedings of Annual Meeting.
- Prov. G.M. Hopcraft, in the chair.
- D.P.G.M. Coverlid
- Prov. C.S. Sligo.
- Hand and Heart Lodge—P.G. Black; P.G. Sherwin; P.G.
- Wood; N.G. Hitchcock.
- Dunedin Lodge—P.P.G.M. Sherwin; P.D.P.G.M. Leslie; P.G. Stronach.
- Dalton Lodge—N.G. Johnston.
- Prince of Wales Lodge—P.G. Perry; P.S. Stephens.
- Albion Lodge—P.G. Fish; P.G. Faithful; P G. Guthrie.
- Oamaru Lodge—P.G. Woodland; (P.P.G.M. Palmer was unexpectedly detained from attending by illness).
- Tuapeka Pioneer Lodge—P.G. Smith; P.G. Forsvth.
- Waitahuna Lodge—P.G. Lucas; P.V.G. Challis.
- Blue Spur Lodge—P.G. Godso: P.G. Gow. Naseby Lodge—P.P.G.M. Geddes.
- Alexandra Lodge—P.G. Burn.
- Roxburgh Lodge—P.G. Westland.
- Tapanui Lodge—P.P.G.M. Swan.
- Lake Wakatip Lodge—P.G. Harrop; P.G. Gibb,
- Pabnerston Lodge—P.G. Louis.
- Mount Wendon Lodge—P.G. Allen; Bro. Lake.
- Band of Friendship Lodge—P.P.G.M. Robin.
- Arrow Lodge—P.P.G.M. Anderson.
- Heart of Friendship Lodge—P.G. McLean.
- Prince Alfred, Waipori, Cromwell, Outram.
Bro. Lake—representing Mount Wendon Lodge—was found not qualified, not being a past, or present, Elective Officer. P.G. Allen stated that he would be content the Lodge should be represented by himself on this occasion.
The roll having been called, the Prov. G.M. declared the meeting open for business.
Provincial Grand Master's Address.
In addressing the delegates at the opening of the Annual Meeting it has, I think, been usual to advert to the proceedings of the last past meeting of the Annual Moveable Committee in England. On this occasion I feel it to be my first duty to notice the A.M.C. meeting—in order to discharge a melancholy duty—by paying a tribute of respect to the memory of one who long shone "a bright particular star" in the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows. You are all aware of the death of the late Corresponding Secretary of the Order—Mr Henry Ratcliffe—which took place at Manchester, on Friday, the 25th of May last—the A.M.C. being then in session at Oldham, in Lancashire. The report of the meeting shows how much his absence was felt on that occasion, and, no doubt, it was felt the more because it had not been anticipated, either by himself, or others, and consequently, was not provided for. The deceased gentleman was taken ill only the day before the meeting was opened, but it was not thought his illness would be serious, or long continued. It was, however, ordained otherwise, and he passed away after an illness of a few days duration. It is not necessary that I should occupy your time with any description of his life and labors. Our local newspapers kindly published obituary notices of some length, and more detailed accounts will be found in the special A.M.C. edition of the Oldham Chronicle, and in the pages of the Oddfellows' Magazines, &c. As you are aware, we suggested' that our Lodges should pay a tribute of respect to the memory of our late respected brother; this suggestion was, we believe, universally accepted and acted upon. To-night we also meet, surrounded by the emblems of mourning, in memory of him page 5 who has passed away Oddfellowship is the proud and enduring monument of Henry Ratcliffe. He found it a seedling, a tiny plant, he left it—and largely through his own exertions—a goodly tree, whoso branches have spread over the whole civilised, world—from the old loved land through the medium of the Manchester Unity; from the great American people through the medium of the Independent Order of Oddfellows. May he rest in peace; and may his name be honored as it deserves, wherever Friendly Societies exist.
From the address of the Grand Master of the Unity, and the report of the Directors, we gather that, on the 1st Jan., 1877, the Unity numbered 518,370 members. The increase by admissions during the year 1876 was 33,646, of which number 23,135 were under 25 years of age. Brother J. J. Holmes, of South London District, was unanimously elected Grand Master of the Order. Brother J. A. Riley, of the Halifax District, was elected Deputy Grand Master. It was felt by the Deputies at the A. M.C. Meeting how difficult it would be to supply Mr Ratcliffe's place as Corresponding Secretary, and the matter was left in the hands of the Directors to do the best they could in the interests of the Unity the G.M. remarking, that it was possible they might have to appoint a Special Secretary to do the acturial work which had been conducted by Mr Ratcliff'e, and a Corresponding Secretary besides. As you are, no doubt, aware, a fresh valuation of the Unity in Great Britain is now being proceeded with, and it is believed it will be completed before the meeting of the A,M.C. next year. Enough has been done already to shew that substantial progress has been made financially, since the last valuations were completed; and when it is recollected that, even then, the Society, as a whole, was in a position to pay 90 per cent, of its obligations, we need not fear the future.
Gentlemen, I now beg to claim your attention for a short statement connected with our own more immediate concerns in the Otago District, taking for my text the statement compiled from the Lodge Returns by the Corresponding Secretary, Brother Sligo.page 6
The District Officers are pleased at being able to report that the returns from our 23 Lodges were all sent to the C.S. in good time; and that, upon the whole, there are decided indications of the returns having been filled up with more than usual care. There is still room for improvement, however. We observe, for example, that several Lodges return the "Number of Members good on the Books," and the "Total Number of Subscribing Members" at the same figure. It is a very rare thing to find a Lodge with all the members fully financial. We, therefore, conclude that some of the Secretaries have mistaken what is required in filling the return, and consequently, that the total number of members is probably greater than the number returned. On the 30th June last, the gross total of members is given as 1575. We believe that 1600 will be about the correct measure of our strength. During the half-year, January to June, 75 new members were initiated, and 17 joined by clearance. The receipts of the various Lodges are classified under the following heads:—For admissions by Initiation and Clearance, £134 8s. 6d.; Honorary Members Fees, £12 17s.; Contributions to Sick and Funeral Funds—including Funeral payments from District, £1,177 5s. 8d.; Contributions to Incidental Funds, Levies, Fines, Goods, &c., £1,420 10s. 11d.; Foreign Lodges, £67 10s. 6d.; Interest and Rents, £689 15s. 7d.; Total Income for 6 months, £3,502 8s. 2d. The Expenditure from Sick and Funeral Funds, including amount paid for Funerals, was £770 5s. 6d.; Incidental Funds, in which is included the amounts paid for Medical attendance and Medicines, £1,634 17s.; Foreign Lodges, £67 3s. 5d.; Total Expenditure, £2,472 5s. 11d. The gross saving on the six months transactions is, therefore, £1,030 2s. 3d.
The amount paid for Medical Attendance and Medicines was £993 0s. 10d.; to Sick Members, £575 14s. 3d.; being an average of 7s. 3 ¾d. per subscribing member.
The balance at credit of Sick and Funeral Funds, in cash, land, and buildings, at the end of June, was £17,733 6s. 6d. The Incidental Fund Credit Balance was £2,488 0s. 3d. To guard against mistaken ideas on this point, it is proper to page 7 add that, of the last named amount, upwards of £2,000 is held by one Lodge—the Hand and Heart. The gross total value of the Lodges, including the above stated balances, is estimated at £20,896 15s. 5d.
The compilation of returns discloses one feature which deserves a word of comment. During the 6 months under review, the total amount of increase to the debt of the Incidental Funds was £40 10s. 9d. only. The increase being in 5 Lodges; and of this sum £20 is accounted for by unfortunate circumstances in one of the Lodges. Circumstances which, we trust, are not likely to occur again. Against the £40 borrowed from the Sick Funds in these 5 Lodges, we find repayments made by other 6 Lodges, amounting to £68 13s. 4d., moneys formerly borrowed from the Sick Funds. 11 Ledges have balances at credit of Incidental Funds, while 1 Lodge had effected a saving which had not been dealt with at time of making up returns. This is an unprecedented state of affairs, and must be peculiarly gratifying to the District Officers, past and present, as it induces the belief that their long continued efforts in this direction are now bearing good fruit, and gives ground for hoping that before long the evil practice of borrowing the capital of one fund to meet the current expenses of another will soon be a thing of the past. We rejoice that it is so, because there is little doubt that, under the new Act, Lodges attempting a continuance of this practice will be called to account by the Registrar
The Friendly Societies Bill has passed both Houses of Parliament, and, we presume, will come into force on the 1st January next. We believe that it will be found a useful measure, and conducive to the welfare of the Societies, especially if the Societies do what in them lies to loyally aid the authorities in carrying out its provisions. We trust the forms and regulations respecting registry and procedure under the Act will be framed in a wise and liberal spirit, avoiding, as far as may be, unnecessary technicalities which may puzzle and confuse Lodge Secretaries, who cannot always be expected to deal efficiently with returns of an abstruse or intricate description. We are pleased to be able page 8 to report that, speaking generally, all the important alterations recommended by ourselves and others during last Session of Parliament have been accepted by the Legislature, so that, while it may be thought improvements might be introduced in some matters of detail, the essential principles of the new Act are almost all that we have desired.
Worthy Brothers—The District Officers resign, to-night, the trust which you honored them by committing to them twelvemonths ago. We have to thank the District Committees, and the Lodges which we have visited, and communicated with, during our term of office, for the kindness and courtesy which has ever been extended to us; we trust that those to whom the care of the District will be committed for the next official year will have it in their power to further the best interests of the District, and will be able to meet you 12 months hence with the consciousness of men who have done their duty, and done it well.
The Balance Sheet and Auditors' Report having been printed and placed in the hands of the delegates, were taken as mad.
Gentlemen, —We have to report having examined the books and accounts of the District, for the half-year ending August 31st, and find them correct.
As usual, we have to compliment the Secretary on the efficient manner in which the books are kept.
T. Burton, Auditor
H. S. Fish, June., Auditor
T. Burton, Auditor.
H. S. Fish, Junr., Auditor.
The Balance Sheet and Auditors' Report were received and adopted.
Note.—The figures on the margin refer to the Propositions, &c., as they were numbered on the Business Paper.
3. P.G. Bro. Wm. Stronach was elected Auditor in place of P.G. Bro. Fish, who declined to be a candidate on this occasion.
4. Appointment of place and time for next District and Purple Lectures.
Proposed—That the place be the Oddfellows' Hall, Dunedin.
Amendment proposed—That the Lectures be held in the town of Oamaru. The amendment was declared carried.
A further amendment was proposed —That the Lectures be held at the Lodge room of the Loyal Dunedin Lodge, Dunedin. The amendment was lost.
Resolved—That the Lectures be held in town of Oamaru.
Resolved—That the time be in the month of January, 1878, the precise date to be fixed by the District Officers, after consultation with the Loyal Oamaru Lodge.
5. The following Brothers were appointed a District Arbitration Committee:—P.P.G.M Robin, P.P.G.M. Grow-den, P.P.G.M. Sherwin, P.P.G.M. Geddes, P.P,G.M. Anderson, P.G.M. Hopcraft, P.D.P.G.M. Leslie, D.P.G.M. Coverlid, P.G. Woodland, P.G. Fish, P.O. Harrop, P.G. Stronach, P.G. Black, P.G. Guthrie. P.G. Faithful, P.G. Smith, and the District Officers to be elected this evening.
6. The permission given by the District Officers to Palmerston Lodge to change place and time of meetings, was confirmed by the Committee.
In respect to the questions from Palmerston Lodge it was agreed, that the District has no power to interfere authoratively, but the Committee approved of the views embodied in the letter of the District Officers to the Lodge, i.e., That a Lodge Surgeon should scarcely refuse to pass a candidate for membership, because said candidate chanced to have a sick child, although the Surgeon might refuse to attend such page 11 child as a Lodge patient during the continuance of the existing illness. That a Lodge might accept a Member with a medical certificate other than the Lodge Surgeon's, but do not think Lodge Officer could be compelled to attend such member or family as Lodge patients.
7. From Dunedin Lodge—That the resolution passed by the last Annual District Meeting, in reference to the extra charge on Clearance Members be rescinded. On being put to the vote, the Proposition was declared lost.
8. See Proposition No. 4.
9. Resolved—That P.G.M. Hopcraft's name be placed on the Merit Board, and that he receive a certificate to enable him to receive the degree of P.P.G.M.
10. Resolved—That the Funeral Fund Levy be at the rate of 1s. 6d. per member for the half-year, and that the Incidental Levy be at the rate of 6d per member.
Motion made—That this District Committee vote the sum of £5 to the Benevolent Institution. It was objected that the Lodges had received no notice of the proposed vote, and the motion was negatived.
Election of District Officers.
11. The candidates for Prov. G.M. were P.D.P.G.M. Leslie and D.P.G.M. Coverlid. Bro Leslie was declared duly elected.
The candidates for Deputy Prov. G.M. were P.G. Fish P.G. Black, and P.G. Bro. P.H. Sherwin. Bro. Fish was declared duly elected.
For Prov. C.S., the only candidate was Prov. C.S. Sligo, who was declared duly elected.
For District Treasurer, the only candidate was P.P.G.M Robin, who was re-elected.
Resolved—That the usual number of Reports of Proceedings, including Prov. G.M.'s Address, Statement of Moneys received on behalf of Widow Collett, and Arbitration Committee's Report, be printed and circulated.page 12
Resolved—That the Auditors and Tyler receive the usual fees.
Resolved—That D.P.G.M. Fish (elect) he Trustee for this Order of the Friendly Societies Gardens. Also—That Prov. G.M. Leslie (elect) and Prov. C.S. Sligo be Delegates of this Order on Friendly Societies' Gardens Committee.
The newly elected District Officers were installed in the usual manner, and returned thanks for the honor conferred on them.
Resolved—That a hearty vote of thanks be recorded to the past District Officers for their services.
The minutes were read and confirmed, and the meeting closed.
Notices to Lodges.
The District and Purple Lectures will be held at Oamaru, towards the end of January, 1878. The date will be fixed hereafter, and advertised by the District Officers.
Lodges are particularly requested to forward the printed form of Delegate's Certificates when they appoint Delegates to the District Meetings. The meetings are invariabiy 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 Moveable Committee of the Order will henceforth be received 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.
The following is part of a resolution carried at a meeting of District Committee, held April, 1874—"That on and page 13 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 members' 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.
|Prov. G. M. Leslie||Russell street, Dunedin.|
|D.P.G.M. Fish||Princes street, Dunedin.|
|Prov. C.S. Sligo||George street, Dunedin.|
|Relieving Officer||Prov. G. M. Leslie|
Synopsis of Report of two meetings of District Arbitration Committee held the 30th and 31st July, 1877, to consider an appeal of Brother John Graham against certain decisions of the Loyal Tapanui Lodge. First, against a decision of the Lodge imposing a fine of 5s. for non-attendance at a degree lecture he (Graham) being then Permanent Secretary of the Lodge.
Resolved—"That the Lodge erred in imposing the fine of 5s. on Bro Graham. The 31st bye-law of the Lodge, when read in conjunction with the 35th bye-law, not bearing them out in inflicting the fine.page 14
Second—against a decision of the Lodge imposing a fine of 10s., on the ground that he (Graham) was present at a public performance, held at Tapanui, after legal hours, while in receipt of the sick allowance; he (Graham) asserting that at the time he was alleged to be present at a public performance, he was sick in bed. Flowing from these charges, that he appealed to the Lodge against the fine of 10s.; that such appeal was never determined, but he was kept out of his sick allowance. Evidence was led to shew that Bro. Graham had been remiss in furnishing the Lodge with necessary particulars required from sick members, after he removed from Tapanui.
Resolved—"That the Lodge was wrong in inflicting the fine of 10s. on September 12, 1870 without having served Bro. Graham with a copy of the charge against him, and called on him for his defence. That the Lodge was further wrong in not dealing with Bro. Graham's appeal, and giving a final decision thereon. That this Committee sustains the appeal of Bro. Graham in the matter of the fine of 10s., on the ground that the Lodge was called on to decide Bro. Graham's appeal, and failed in its duty in not coming to a decision." Fine ordered to be rescinded.
The Committee desired to point out that all evidence tendered in appeal eases, must be received, and all witnesses heard, whether such witnesses belong to the Order or not.
In the matter of sick allowance, the Committee declared part thereof to be forfeited for breaches of the Rules, and fixed the dates from which the sick allowance was held to be due and payable.page 15
A return of moneys received from Lodges in response to an appeal made in behalf of the widow and family of late Bro. Collet 1, of the Albion Lodge, Dunedin.
|Otago District Relief Fund||7||0||0|
|Hand and Heart Lodge||4||0||0|
|Prince of Wales Lodge||6||16||10|
|Tuapeka Pioneer Lodge||2||0||0|
|Prince Alfred Lodge||4||1||6|
|Blue Spur Lodge||2||0||0|
|Lake Wakatip Lodge||3||0||0|
|Mt. Wendon Lodge||7||12||0|
|Band of Friendship Lodge||2||0||0|
|Collected by Brother Challis||2||15||0|
Waipori Lodge meets months—all the others fortnightly from the dates given above.
Funeral payments for the District financial half-year, March 1st to Aug. 28th, 1877:—Dunedin Lodge. £30; Hand and Heart, £20; Oamarum £20; Blue Spur, £10; Cromwell, £10; Dalton, £10; Roxbugh, £10; Total, £110.