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• FRIENDLY SOCIETY FACING CHALLENGE

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This country’s oldest friendly society, the Marriaqua United Friendly Society, popularly known as Bunpan, is facing serious challenges.{{more}}

Three members of the Board of Directors recently resigned and, according to information received, a fourth is threatening to follow in the midst of the Society’s proposed cost-cutting measures.

Reports say long standing Trustee and Parliamentary representative of the Marriaqua constituency Girlyn Miguel has resigned, along with General Secretary Ricky Burnette, who served for fourteen years and committee member Silky Benn.

Last Sunday, a general meeting at the Society’s lodge ended prematurely as members became disgruntled over proposals geared toward either reducing costs or increasing revenue.

The Society was earlier looking at the possibility of reducing the death benefit by $1,000.00, from $5,000.00 down to $4,000.00. After this proposal did not meet with approval, an increase of 25 cents on the death levy was then opted for.

According to information received from the society, operating deficit moved from $48,054 in 1999 to $410,033 in 2003 and death dues increased from $64,542 in 1999 to $86,476 in 2003.

In recent years the society has seen a decline in membership. Only last December when they honoured five of their long standing members, a march, which started at the Mespo Police Station, saw just over two dozen of the over 30 000 listed members joining staff and Board members in the procession which ended at the Society’s lodge.

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