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HEARTS OF OAK BENEFIT SOCIETY -+■ ANNUAL MFFTIXG. THE RESERVE FUND QUESTION. The annual meeting of the Hearts of Oak Bene- fit Society (Chester and District Association) was held on Wednesday evening at the City Arms Hotel, Frodsham-street, Bjo. W. Lambert pre- siding over a small attendance The Secretary (Mr. C. Wright) presented the annual report, which she.wed that 14 meetings had taken place during the pact year, and several during the spring were held with a view to re- vising the rules and discussing tho question of disinterestedness of members ;n friendly society work. Some interesting meetings had been held, and the management of the society, the reserve fund, the floating of the new Assurance Company, and the late Delegation Bourd had been in for a considerable amount ot iiti v crso criticism. The dinner in September was all that could be desired except in numbers. Among Uiose absent was the chairman (Mr. J. Littl?), through an illness which unfortunately terminated in his death. He was a highly-respected member, llJ it a special meeting a letter of condolenoe was sent to his widow. In conclusion, the hope was expressed that the members themselves would wake up to the need of individual and collective mtL-iust in the great, wide and noble society, so that it might continue to be the greatest and best cenuaiised society in the world. I The report and statement or accounts were adopted, on the motion of Bro. W. C. Taylor, eeconded by Bro. G. C. Berry. The election of office: s was then proceeded with. Mr. R. Cecil Davies was elected piesident of the society, and Mr. W. Vv illiams vice-president. Bro. W. Lambert was elected chairman, and Bro. W. C. Taylor was placed m the vice-ohair. The fol- lowing were elected a committee: -Bros. J. Gra- ham, Griffith-Roberts, W. J. L. More, J. Rowley, J. MoNaught, J. Plumb and J. Willis. Afterwards a general ineet.ig of members and friends was held, under the presidency of Mr. R. Cecil Davies, supported by tho vice-president (Mr. W. Williams). Bro. Thomas Eginton. Liverpool, superintend- ent of the Hearts of Oak Life "nd General As- surance Company, Ltd., attended, and gave an address on the work of the company. He said that there was no direct financial connection be- tween the Society and the Assurance Company, because it was not permitted by the law of the land. There was certainly a relationship in every other respect. The agents in his district had been very successful, and he was looking forward to a large acquisition of members. There were 26 agents on the list, and they were endeavouring to introduce one member per week. The Assurance Company had been working for nine months, and during that time they had issued 4,000 policies, including 2,000 in the industrial section. Re- ferring to the question of a large reserve fund, he said it was necessary to have a fund in proportion to the age of the society. A new society with new members and new blood would have a very small death-rate. The Hearts of Oak Society was 60 years of age, and in twelve months time they would have 100,000 members of 50 years of age. Supposing that 50,000 were in health and did not need sick pay, and that woula be a very large pro- portion, as the average life ran to about 32 years. fche society would have a heavy expense to meet, riien there were the wives of members, and their i:>aths cost J625 each. It would take some six nillion pounds to meet the liability. Some people said the society had larger funds than were leeded, that the money was locked up when the nembers might have larger benefits. In face of he great expenses, the difficulty was not in raving too large a reserve fund, but in meeting :heir liabilities as years rolled by, when there vould be increased sick allowances and more deaths. As they stood at present, the levies would not be sufficient to meet the expenses. In order to keep the society in a sound financial position a special death reserve fund would have to be es- tablished. Mr. William Williams proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Eginton. He said there must be a great future before the Hearts of Oak Society, because wherever the name was mentioned ;t was always received with respect. Mr. T. Mills, in seconding, regretted that an effort was not made on the part of the great friendly societies to get an enlargement of the Act of Parliament to enable them to do the life assur- ance business within the society itself. It was deeply to be regretted that in the interests of the shareholders in proprietary companies that the scope of friendly society work was very much cur- tailed in that direction by the limitation of the amount for which members could be insured at death to a very small sum. Probably in the near future the Legislature might see its way to giving societies the opportunity of insuring their "mem" ir rnem- bers for any sum. If the work wore done by the great friendly societies, the industrial classes would be able to insure for a very much larger sum than in a proprietary company. The pro- gress of the Hearts of Oak Company shewed that there was plenty of scope for their movements. He said with confidence that the position the society occupied was largely due to the fact that they had run on sound business lines. (Applause.) He asked, them not to run away with the idea that their reserve fund was too large. Directly their reserve exceeded their requirements their actuary would tell them so. The resolution was carried. I