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At the half-yearly meeting at Lawrence of the Otago district, M.U., P.G.M. Brundell presiding, there was a large attendance of representatives. After the roll had been called a short adjournment was made as a mark of respect to the memory of the late P.P.G.M. Fish, and the following resolution unanimously agreed to -" That this meeting of the Otago district, M.U.1.0.0 F., desire to express their sense of the loss sustained by our Order and the community by the lamented death of our late esteemed brother P.P.G.M. Bro. H. S. Fish, and to express their deep sympathy with Mrs Fish and the members of his family in their bereavement, and that a telegram be forwarded conveying the same to Mrs Fish.” We make the following extracts from the report of the P.G.M. ’ The great event of the year, the A.M.C. of our Order, was held at Douglas, in the Isle of Man, in June last.- The official reports of the meeting have been circulated as usual, but for the benefit of those who have not had the opportunity of perusing the same I shall endeavor to give you a few of the particulars contained therein:—lt is with feelings of pleasure and pride that I am able to report that the brethren who attended the meeting received a very hearty welcome, and that their stay on the island was made as pleasant and profitable as the citizens could possibly make it, each one of whom vied with his neighbor in doing honor to the assembled brethren. This being the year of records, the A.M.C. was no exception, it being attended by no less than 614 delegates (or three in excess of last year), amongst whom were two delegates from New Zealand, P.D.P.G.M. Bro. Griffiths, of the Lyttelton district, and P.G. Bro. Martin, of the Hawke’s Bay district. Prom tho statistics, as laid before the meeting, I finij that the adult membership on January 1,1897, was 769,969, being an increase of 18,802 members, and that the juvenile members bad increased by 4,616, their numbers now being 106,632. The, total membership of the Unity (inclusive of feiiiile, honorary, and widows paying for benefits) ! is no less than 900,663, being an increase for the year of 24,369. The financial statement for the year 1895 shows that the receipts from all sources amounted to £1,542,818, and there was paid for sick and funeral benefits £934,255, and for management purposes £309,958 making a total expenditure of £1,235,213, which left a profit on the year’s transactions of £307,635 a result I feel sure you will all be proud of. The total capital belonging to the society on the Ist January, 1896, amounted to £9,041,516. It is worthy of note that the operations of the Order have been further extended in foreign lands, a new lodge and district having been created at Sierra Leone, on the west coast of Africa. There were many important questions brought up at the meeting, but for me to attempt to deal with a majority of them would take up too much of your time on this occasion; but I would like to point out that the necessity of obeying the laws was fully illustrated by the meeting refusing assistance to more than one district applying for relief on account of their paying for beer, etc., for the members present out of the funds of the several

lodges for what is called “ wet rent.” I was very pleased, Indeed, to see the determined stand taken jjy the meeting over this matter, and I sincerely i P, e . that. the illegal practice will be entirely abolished before the nest A.M 0. meeting, and so remove an undesirable stain f com the anna's o the OrJec

Relating to matters in connection with our own district, it is with pleasure that I note that the net increase for the half-year has been forty-four members as against lifteen for the corresponding Son- >' ear i making a total membership of r ,4)0, and i take this opportunity of congratulating the members on the increased activity they nave displayed during the term, by which this satisfactory result has been, attained. It is a matter of regret, however, that wo have lost fortyS \ui n ’ ll . lom hers from our ranks by secessions. Although our increase in membership is greater and the number of secessions less than for any corresponding period of the last few years, I think taerc is still room for improvement in this respect, and I would recommend to the officers and members, whilst welcoming a large Indus of new members, to use their best endeavors to keep those members in our ranks who, through nothing but carelessness on their own part, allow themselves to run out of the society. In reviewing the financial returns I find that the sum of £1,690 14s has been added to the lodge funds for the half-year, but as the district funds have decreased by £7 12s, the net increase is shown to be £1,653 2s, which, if added to the value of lodge, funds.from the preceding half-year, makes a grand total of £74,237 Cs 9d t .I Q connection with a request from Wei lington to_ co-operate in setting up a vigilance committee to meet periodically at ■ some central place t° discuss friendly society matters, and (if need be) to initiate legislation relative thereto, it was resolved on P.P.G.M. Sligo’s motion—“ That while this meeting fully realise the difficulties which have been placed in the way of friendly societies obtaining registry of .their rules, we feel assured that the Revising Barrister’s are fully defined” in the Friendly Societies Act. In the meantime, the meeting defer setting up a special vigilance committee, but will be glad if your committee will communicate with the District' Executive, whom this‘meeting,'authorise to take cognisance of anything yon may desire support in.”

The following were proposed for office on District Executive, etc., the election taking place at the annual meeting in March:—For Prov. G.M., present Deputy G.M., Bro. Hamel; for Deputy G.M.— P.G.s Bro. Garrow, Cronin, Munro, Reid, Allan, Briggs, Willis, Smeaton, Sooones, Uatson, Galloway, Grater, and Winter, P.P.CS. Bro. Black, Per. Secs,- Bros. Weir and Gow; for Prov. C.S., present C.S., Bro. Hopcraft; for Prov. Treas.—Bros. Robin, Harrop, Lake, and Calvert; for auditor—Bros. Brown, Ibbotson, Fulton, and Reid.

The C.S. read a report of a sub-committee appointed at a recent special meeting to draft certain rules the principles of which had been agreed to; and the G.M. moved the adoption of the report. P.G. Bro. W. H. Munro moved as an amendment- 1 - “ That the table of surrender values in connection with clearances be printed in the report of the proceedings of this meeting, and be considered at the annual district meeting.- ’ The motion was carried by a majority of two votes. It was moved by P.G. Bro. W. H. Munro, and seconded by P.P.G.M. Bro. W. Geddea —“ That the revised district rules be amended by abolishing the half-yearly meeting, and that nominations for district officers bo made through lodges placing names of candidates on business paper for annual meeting.” It was stated that the present meeting had cost £l2O. The motion was negatived by a narrow majority. The G.M. submitted the report of the Executive showing the cost to the lodges the institution of a fund for the payment of - delegates to district meetings. Taking meetings held at Lawrence and Dunedin, for example, the cost of sending fifty-four delegates to the former place, allowing first class railway and coach fares and 10s per day for hotel expenses, etc., would cost £ll9 5s Bd, And for the latter £Blls lOd. This would entail a levy on the members of Is and 9d respectively for each meeting. P.P.G.M. Bro. Calvert moved—" That this meeting is not in favor of delegates being paid out of a : district fund.” Per. Sec. Bro. Gow moved as an amendment—“ That the payment of delegates’ expenses be referred back to. the - district: officers, to> bring up a scale on the basis of second class fares a’nd allowances at the rate of os per day,”—The amendment was carried.

Fraternal greetings were received from the Foresters (Otago district), and ordered to be suitably acknowledged. The levy for the half-year to the district funeral fund was fixed at 2s 6d, and to the incidental fund at la. The delegates decided in favor of the annual meeting being held at Tapanui in March.

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ODDFELLOWSHIP., Issue 10431, 28 September 1897

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ODDFELLOWSHIP. Issue 10431, 28 September 1897

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