Through the years...

History - 2001

Written on February 1, 2017

Obituary - Mr Jim McKenzie OBE FCA Born: Masterton 28 June 1910 - Died: Hamilton 2 July 2001. Federation President 1971 - 1979 and Federation Vice Patron from 1984. As the NZFOS President from 1971 - 1979, Jim was exceptionally well known and calls came in from all around the world following his death. Jim's involvement in Hamilton Operatic Society spanned over 50 years. He was awarded an OBE for his services to theatre and the community in 1979. He and his wife Alma, travelled extensively and on his trips abroad he would meet rights holders in New York, London, Hawaii, Australia and secured many exciting shows which Hamilton Operatic were able to premiere in New Zealand (including Annie, 13 Daughters and Aloha).

Conference 2001 was held in Christchurch, the Garden City, with our hosts being Showbiz Christchurch. 127 Delegates and Observers representing 35 Societies (20 North Island and 15 South Island) gathered at the Chateau on the Park.

Members agreed to the addition of "Life Member" as a new category of member.

President John MacGibbon did not seek re-election having served four years as President and prior to that 10 years as Vice President and six years as the Zone Three Councillor. In-coming president Kevin Murphy paid tribute to John for his immense contribution to the Federation over many years and a presentation was made in recognition.

The website, organised by the new Administrator Kate Ghent, is most informative and it is considered to be very worthwhile.

Support for the Federation counties to be strong throughout the country. Society membership remained steady at 76 with movements seeing Wellington Gilbert and Sullivan rejoining whilst Fielding Little Players and Stratford on Stage resigned. Potential exists for growth in the education sector particularly with the introduction of the new Arts Curriculum in schools in 2002 so a push for membership should yield positive results.

10 Merit Awards were given out.

For the last three years our annual accounts have shown a deficit, which is bad enough in itself but the disturbing trend is that the deficit is increasing with the current years deficit recorded at ($7,364-00). The current financial performance is unacceptable to the Executive with the financial viability of Federation at stake.

Ultimately the lack of support from the membership as a whole has seen Spotlight go into recess, the December 2001 issue being the last. The support, or lack of, for Spotlight has been an issue at Annual General Meetings and Executive meetings for as long as most can remember. With circulation continuing to decline and print and distribution costs increasing. the loss attributable to Spotlight, which was projected at $5.000-00 for the year at the time the Executive made the decision was unacceptable and the only prudent decision available was made.

The Executive are only too conscious of the passionate support that Spotlight received from some societies and individuals and to that end have resolved to review options for a way forward with an Internet based communication channel just one of the options being considered.

What is clear is that we must look for a cost-effective solution that will gain broad acceptance from the membership.

At the 2001 Conference a new category of Membership was created that of Life Member. Essentially the Life Member category this was created with the express intention of replacing the existing Vice Patron category as it was felt that it was a more recognisable term to reflect the outstanding contribution that individuals had made. The process was completed at the 2002 Conference when Life Membership was unanimously bestowed on Tim Blennerhassett, Ella Duddridge, Nola Speir, Jim Fenton, Shona Spencer, Tony Flannaganand Sandra Sewell

Executive - 2001

Patron Frank Terry MBE
Vice Patrons Tim Blennerhasset, Frank Terry MBE, Ella Duddridge, Jim Fenton QSO, Sandra Sewell, Shona Spencer, Nola Speir QSM, Tony Flannagan
President Kevin Murphy (New Plymouth)
Immediate Past President John MacGibbon (Dannevirke)
Vice President John Antony (North Shore)
Executive - Zone One Mary-Pat Denley (Auckland)
Executive - Zone Two Ray Spence (Te Awamutu)
Executive - Zone Three Donna Philpott, QSM (Wellington)
Executive - Zone Four Ross Benbow (Nelson)
Executive - Zone Five Janice Stratford (Alexandra)
Administrator Kate Ghent
Membership: Society: 76; Corporate: 20; Education: 66; Associate: 8
Site Admin