Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service (MYDNS) Mrs. Claire Davidson-Williams, presented a cheque valued at $131,431.27 to the Registrar of Friendly Societies and Building Societies Chairman of the Friendly Societies Advisory Council, Mr. Farai Masaisai, at a brief ceremony on December 11, 2020 at the Ministry’s Head Office in St Clair, Port of Spain.
The sum represents the assets of four Friendly Societies namely King Solomon’s Lodge, Mystic Lodge, Pride of Mechanics and St Peter’s I am Divine Order Friendly Society, which were deregistered between September and December 2020.
Mr. Masaisai who, as Registrar, is mandated to distribute the assets of de-registered bodies, described the occasion as “an opportunity for rejuvenation” and noted “when a society is deregistered its assets become the property of the state”. He further stated that “this process of liquidating lodges also encourages rejuvenation, as a north-based Friendly Society which was about to be deregistered, was amalgamated by the second-generation members and a new Friendly Society emerged”.
According to the Friendly Societies Act (FSA), the process for de-registering begins once a society requests cancellation or is in breach of the FSA. The Registrar is then responsible for marshalling, liquidating and distributing the assets of the de-registered societies to its financial members.
The Friendly Society Division, now under the purview of the newly-established Ministry of Youth Development and National Service, is responsible for the supervision and regulation of the operations of the Societies registered under the Friendly Societies Act. Presenlty, there are forty-seven (47) registered Societies and Lodges with an asset base of over $100 Million dollars and an average membership of 10,000.