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Friendly Societies Act


[Ed. 1978]



Ordinances Nos. 4 of 1878, 45 of 1930, 2 of 1945.


[16th March, 1878.]

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Friendly Societies Act.

Society to be registered

2. Any number of persons not less than ten may form themselves into a society under the provisions of this Act for any of the following objects -

(a) for insuring any sum of money to be paid on the death of a member or for the funeral expenses of the husband, wife or child of a member;

(b) for the relief, maintenance, assistance or endowment of a member or the husband, wife or child or kindred of a member in infancy, old age, distress, sickness or widowhood;

(c) for insuring a sum to be paid on the death of a member to his nominee in writing deposited with the secretary or, failing such nomination, to his executor or administrator;

(d) for any other purpose of mutual benefit which the Minister may authorise:

Provided that no member shall subscribe or contract for an annuity exceeding one hundred and four dollars per annum or a sum payable on death or other emergency exceeding four hundred dollars.

Formation and objects of the society

3. Every society to be formed under the provisions of this Act shall be registered with the Administrator-General and upon an application to register any society the secretary or other officer performing the duties of secretary shall furnish the Administrator-General with the following particulars: -

(a) the names and objects of the society;

(b) the place of business or office;

(c) the names of the members and officers;

(d) copy of the resolution of members of the society appointing officers signed by the secretary and at least three other members or officers;

(e) the consent in writing of persons willing to become members;

(f) a copy of the rules approved by the Attorney-General,

and on such particulars being furnished the Administrator-General shall, if such application show the society on whose behalf the same is made to be entitled to registration, register the same and furnish the applicant with a certificate in the form contained in the First Schedule.


4.-(1) It shall be lawful for three-fourths in number of the members of a registered society to frame rules for the appointment and removal of officers, the acquiring and holding of property and admission or rejection of members, and the government of the affairs generally of such society.

(2) Such rules shall be reduced to writing and signed by three-fourths in number of the members of such society and the officers of the society and shall, before having effect, be approved under the hand of the Attorney-General as in the Second Schedule, and a copy of the rules so approved shall be deposited with the Administrator-General. All new or altering or amending rules shall be approved and deposited in like manner.

(3) The rules of every society shall contain provisions in respect of several matters mentioned in the Third Schedule.

Property to be vested in trustees who may sue or be sued

5. The property of any society registered under the provisions of this Act, shall be vested in trustees and all actions by or against any society shall be brought in the name of or against the trustees of such society:

Provided that such trustees or any member of any society shall not be personally liable on any contract, suit or other proceeding in which they may act for the society.

Appointment of new trustees in case of death, etc.

6. Upon the death, absence from Fiji, bankruptcy, resignation, dismissal from office of any trustee, or the appointment of new trustees for any other cause, the property vested in the former trustees shall without any formal conveyance or transfer become vested in the newly appointed trustee upon his being registered as hereinbefore provided. And the Registrar of Titles shall, on being required so to do and being furnished with satisfactory evidence of the appointment of such trustees, give effect thereto in any entry in the register of titles affecting any land of such society.

Infants may be members

7. Infants may be members of any society registered under this Act.

Trustees may make payments without production of probate, etc.

8. On the death of any member the trustees may pay over to those entitle under the rules of the society any sum due to them thereupon according to the rules of the society without production of any probate or letters of administration.

Disputes between members

9. All disputes arising between members of any society or between any officer and member shall be decided as provided by the rules of such society. If no decision be arrived at within thirty days of complaint made, or if the parties decided against or refuse to obey the decision arrived at, the matter may be referred by the trustees or a trustee to a magistrate who shall make such order as he shall think fit, and the same shall be enforceable as an ordinary order of court.

Rules shall be binding

10. The rules of any society shall bind the society and the members thereof and all persons claiming through them respectively to the same extent as if each member had subscribed his name thereto:

Provided that no person shall be made liable for debts contracted after he has ceased to be a member.

Person if expelled may complain to a magistrate

11.1f any member be expelled from any society he may complain to a magistrate who shall issue his summons to the trustees of such society to appear before him at such time and place as in such summons mentioned, and at such time and place the magistrate shall proceed to hear the complaint so made and make order as he may deem fit.

Moneys, fines, etc, how recoverable

12. All moneys, fines or penalties payable by any member of the society are to be deemed a debt by such person to the society and to be recoverable as an ordinary debt.

Wrongful possession of property of society an offence

13. If any person obtains possession wrongfully of any property of a society, or wrongfully withholds or misapplies the same, he shall be liable to a fine not exceeding forty dollars and costs in addition to the restoration of or compensation for such property, and in default of the payment of such sum and the restoration of such property or giving compensation therefor shall suffer imprisonment not exceeding six months:

Provided that nothing contained in this Act shall prevent such person, if not convicted or discharged under this Act, from being proceeded against under any other law.
(Amended by 2 of 1945, s. 10)

How society may be dissolved

14. Any society registered under the provisions of this Act may be dissolved by a resolution to that effect of five-sixths in value of the members:

Provided that -

(a) the consent of every person receiving or entitled to receive any relief, annuity or other benefit shall first be obtained in writing to such dissolution;

(b) the resolution to dissolve any society shall be adopted at a meeting of members of which due notice shall be left at the usual residence or place of business of each member not less than thirty days prior to the date of such meeting.

Secretary to make yearly return

15. Every society registered under the provisions of this Act shall, under the hand of its secretary, make a return of the names of all the members of such society and an account of the yearly revenue and expenditure and of the assets and liabilities of such society in the form contained in the Fourth Schedule to the Administrator-General before the thirty-first day of January in each year.

Administrator-General's certificate to be evidence

16. A certificate in writing under the hand and seal of the Administrator-General shall be received in evidence in all courts as to the names of officers and other facts required to be registered by this Act.


17. There shall be paid in respect of the matters set out in the Fifth Schedule the sums there set out. All such sums shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.
(Amended by 45 of 1930, s. 2.)


(Section 3)

I hereby certify that the members of a society to be called ............... have complied with the requirements of the Friendly Societies Act and that the said society has been registered accordingly.

Dated this .... day of .........



(Section 4)

I hereby certify that these rules (or, alteration of the rules as the case may be) are in conformity with law and with the provisions of the Friendly Societies Act.

Dated this .... day of ......



(Section 4)

Matters to be provided for by the rules of societies registered under this Act-

1. The name and place of the society.

2. The objects of the society, the terms of admission of members, the terms under which any member may become entitled to any benefit assured thereby, and the fines and forfeitures to be imposed on any member.

3. The mode of holding meetings, the right of voting and the manner of making, altering or rescinding rules.

4. The appointment of a treasurer and other officers, and of trustees.

5. The investment of the funds, the keeping of accounts and the audit of the same at least once a year.

6. Annual returns to the Administrator-General of the receipts, funds and expenditure and the number of members of the society.

7. The inspection of the books of the society by any person having an interest in the funds of the society.

8. The voluntary dissolution of the society by consent of not less than five-sixths in value of the members and of any person entitled to any benefit from the funds of the society.

9. The right of one-fifth of the members to apply to the Administrator-General for an investigation as to the affairs of the society or for winding up the same.

10. The mode of settling disputes between the officers, members or officers and members of the society.


(Section 15)


Amount of Income during the preceding year from

Amount of Expenditures during the preceding year on account of

Contributions not including Arrears

Dates of Balancing

Towards Sick and Funeral Fund

Towards General Expenses

Interest of Sick and other sources

Payments on Death of Members

Aliment in Sickness

Funeral Expenses

Expenses of Management

Other Expenses

Amount of Stock in hand at period of balancing

Assets or property, specifying the same

Liabilities or Debts, specifying the same

Number of members in the society on the ......... day of ......., 19 ....


(Section 17)

$ c

Certificate of registration ............................................................................ 4.20
Certificate of Attorney-General approving rules ......................................... 6.30

Controlled by Ministry of the Attorney-General


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