Through the years...

History - 1987

Written on February 1, 2017

This was the first year the major source of funding was handled by the newly formed Hillary Commission which saw fit to maintain the current level of grant of $13,000. However the actual structure of the Commission with its heavy bias towards sporting interests was considered cause for concern for all arts related groups. The President stressed that as one of the largest of these, the Federation must take on the responsibility of ensuring that the performing arts maintain a high profile and must not become neglected under the broad banner of recreation.

The Annual General Meeting in Auckland was one of the largest in the Federation's history, with 48 societies represented, some with quite large delegations. It was obvious that the policy of moving the Annual General Meeting around the country was a popular one with many societies offering to host it. The ultimate decision made each year regarding its venue was based on ease of access by air and any special feature of the host society.

Denis Brown of Wanganui relinquished the position of Administrator of the Capital Assistance Fund, which at this stage stood at $67,000, after many years of service. A tribute was paid to him at the Annual General Meeting and Jim Fenton took on the role.

Signs of change in Government funding policies and the resulting need for the performing arts to be more closely allied, led the Federation's Executive to the decision to shift the library to Wellington where it was housed in a room next to the Theatre Federation.

Jack Stewart of Wellington was then appointed librarian. When Jack Hancock took over the Federation's library in 1973 the books arrived at his home in Tokoroa in a couple of boxes. At the time of the shift to Wellington fourteen years later, the move took three truckloads. Maintaining the library and servicing borrowers was a seven day a week job and as the number of volumes grew, Jack's wife Margaret was appointed Assistant Librarian and they shifted to a larger home to accommodate the collection.

Societies donated their collections of books. Perusal sets were professionally bound over a ten year period at a cost of approximately $9,500. At this time the library collection, valued at more than $80,000 was considered the largest collection of musical shows in Australasia.

Individual sales of 'Spotlight' increased but the bulk order decreased by a greater amount, though the nett financial loss in revenue was reduced by increased income from advertising. The distribution of individual copies were now handled by Impress Ltd of Auckland and were attractively packaged in plastic, while Times Commercial of Hamilton continued to distribute the bulk orders. This year the business management of the magazine was transferred from Jim McKenzie to the Secretary/Treasurer.

This year the Federation made two submissions to Government Commissions. A comprehensive submission was made to the Royal Commission on Society Policy pointing out the advantages of involvement in the movement, the need for improved financing both at national and local levels, the need for the provision of skilled personnel to work on a regional basis and emphasising the importance the Federation places on the involvement in theatre by our youth. The submission to the Hillary Commission Recreational Task Force outlined the history of our Federation, the services it offers, membership and strength of the amateur musical theatre movement and the need for funding and advisory services.

Executive - 1987

Patron Frank Terry MBE
Vice Patrons Tim Blennerhasset, Stanley Campbell, Donald Thompson MBE, Mostyn Duddridge, Jim McKenize OBE, Frank Terry MBE, Brian Jackson, Ella Duddridge
President Nola Speir (Tauranga)
Immediate Past President Jim Fenton (Invercargill)
Vice President John MacGibbon (Dannevirke)
Executive - Zone One Sandra Sewell (Auckland)
Executive - Zone Two Ray Spence (Te Awamutu)
Executive - Zone Three Donna Philpott (Wellington)
Executive - Zone Four Tony Flannagan (Greymouth)
Executive - Zone Five Gordon Bain (Invercargill)
Secretary/Treasurer Shona Brown
Member Societies 89
Site Admin