Through the years...

History - 2003

Written on February 1, 2017

Rotorua Musical Theatre were the hosts for Conference 2003 which was held at The Grand Tiara Hotel from the 14-16 March.

The 186 Delegates, Observers and Corporates representing 37 Societies (27 North Island and 10South Island) and 11 Corporates provided a strong representation of the membership with the increased numbers in attendance a reflection of the work done by the Executive at recent conferences to encourage greater attendance along with the central location of Rotorua, which was easily accessible by car for many societies.

It was with universal support that the nomination for Nola Speir was accepted to succeed the late Frank Terry as Patron. Nola has been associated with Federation since its inception having attended the inaugural meeting in 1960 and going on to serve as a member of the Executive for over 20 years including 10 as President. She is a Life Member of our organisation and the doyen of Musical Theatre in New Zealand.

Mary-Pat Denley did not seek re-election as Zone One representative and tribute was paid to Mary-Pat for the work done in her two years as a member of the Executive. With Mary-Pat's departure we welcomed Delwyn Smith, with Delwyn bringing to the table a vast number of years of experience in Musical Theatre particularly through her involvement with North Shore Music Theatre.

A tribute and presentation was also paid to John MacGibbon who was retiring from the Executive following the expiry of his two-year term as Immediate Past President. John served on the Executive for over 20 years serving terms as Zone 3 representative, Vice President and President.

In 1994 the Federation removed Operatic from its name and became Musical Theatre Federation of New Zealand. The Executive successful moved a remit at the AGM for a further change with the organisation henceforth to be known as Musical Theatre New Zealand. The removal of Federation from the name was essentially to modernise the name giving it more appeal to potential members and sponsors.

Seven merit awards were received by worthy recipients. During the year the Executive reviewed the qualification criteria for nomination for a merit award with the criteria amended to 20 years service, across the board, with any MTNZ societies.

After recording deficit results for three consecutive years it is pleasing to report that for the second year in a row we are able to report a small surplus.

The full Executive met twice during the year, Rotorua in May and Wellington in October. Much of the work of the Executive is behind the scenes with Zone Reps very active in their respective Zones. We are fortunate that we have dedicated people prepared to give up their valuable time to serve on the National Executive whilst at the same time they all remain very active in their own societies. With modern communications (particularly the internet) Executive members are often called upon to provide advise or just to act as a sounding board, the time commitment to this can be significant but is given willingly.

June 21st saw quite a few "mainlanders" gathered at what has become an annual meeting of South Island Societies, this year in Timaru. Both President Kevin Murphy and Administrator Kate Ghent attended this meeting. It was agreed at that meeting that an annual Zone four and five combined meeting yearly after national conference, was a way forward. Musical Theatre and indeed the future of this organisation is in the President's opinion at a crossroad. We are living in times of people with increasingly busy lives, the population is more transient , we face strong opposition from professional and semi-professional groups doing productions traditionally the domain of Musical theatre groups, equally in a number of areas schools pose the same threat, we have difficulty in attracting members to join committees, costs of mounting shows are mounting adding increased risk the list goes on.

The President, Kevin Murphy, advised in the annual report, he would not be seeking re-election as President at the next AGM.

Executive - 2003

Patron Nola Speir QSM
Life Members Tim Blennerhasset, Ella Duddridge, Jim Fenton QSO, Sandra Sewell, Shona Spencer, Nola Speir QSM, Tony Flannagan
President Kevin Murphy (New Plymouth)
Vice President John Antony (North Shore)
Executive - Zone One Delwyn Smith (North Shore)
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) part year; Margaret Pethick (Invercargill)
Administrator Kate Ghent
Membership: Society: 75; Corporate: 20; Education: 49; Associate: 6
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