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Awards & Convention Competition Results

Grand Master of Magic

Awarded to Gregory Alexander Britt, MNZM
Gred Britt - El Gregoe
31 December 2008

Citation delivered by Stanley R Goudge Historian of the Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians Inc. at the 29th New Zealand Magicians Convention 2008 at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre, Auckland 31 December 2008.

Good Evening, I am Stan Goudge, Historian for the Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians Incorporated, and when ever I stand up at a special occasion like this, it is to announce a special award to a very special magician. It is special because this award has only been bestowed upon fourteen magicians in thirty nine years. The first Grand Master of Magic Award being made to Edgar the Great Benyon in 1969.

Tonight a new member joins the exalted company of the previous recipients of the Grand Master of Magic. They are: Edgar the Great Benyon, Jack Read, Jon and Janet Zealando, Jim Reilly, Harold Chandler, Francis Newmarch, Peter and Phillipa Evans, Tony Wilson, Graham Grant, Barry Brook, Bernard Reid, Burns Scandrett, Wayne Rogers and Alan Watson. Some of these Grand Masters are here tonight - Please stand, Grand Masters of Magic that we may acknowledge your special place in our magic history.

Let me briefly remind you of the criteria for the Grand Master of Magic Award.

"Its purpose is to honour those magicians who are acknowledged by their fellow magicians to be masters of the art and craft of magic. The recipients first and foremost must be magical performers of a high standard. In addition they might be originators of magical effects, or administrators giving time and expertise to running societies and conventions. They could be consistent competition winners, or have an international standing, or be known only in the New Zealand setting. But above all they are people who have served magic well, have graced our art, and made a special contribution over many years."

To this proud tradition we now add a new name. Please stand Grand Master of Magic: Greg Britt.

Greg Britt became interested in magic when he was about 13 or 14. His father at that time was employed by Air New Zealand and regularly took his family overseas on holiday, especially to the United States. One year this budding magician saved $US500.00 and spent $450.00 of it at the Hollywood Magic Shop, Los Angeles. He carried the magic proudly back to New Zealand, practiced it, and began doing little shows for family and friends. He joined the Canterbury Society of Magicians and was mentored by well know Canterbury Magicians at that time. He began doing shows at school and in the church and wider community.

He had a holiday job in a department store in Christchurch selling children's wear, and enjoyed the job so much that he didn't want to go back to school. He left as soon as he turned fifteen and was employed in a menswear store in Christchurch because he discovered he loved selling, and the clothing business. Greg became a Manager of the Menswear Department at a young age. The Head of the Department Store asked young Britt who was then 16 or 17 to put on a magic show in the store in the school holidays, and advertised Greg as "Grego the Magician". Thus was born the entertainer we know today as ELGREGOE.

His next job was as South Island Representative of Parisian Ties. Why did they give him the job? Because they said "He had the gift of the gab." I think he still has!

As magic became more and more the focus of his interest and his life, he and wife Sue opened a games shop in Christchurch and then added magic to it. His business expanded and grew and moved to Shades Arcade with an emphasis on mail order magic. He was an early user of the Internet to publicize his magical wares.

In those days he regularly filled his van with magic goodies and drove around New Zealand meeting with magic clubs and magic enthusiasts, demonstrating, lecturing, introducing new tricks and ideas, and selling, selling, selling with that well known gift of the gab. It was a great service he provided, one the New Zealand magic community valued greatly, and missed badly when difficult economic times forced a sale of the business, and put the family finances under great strain.

Over the last seven or eight years Greg has concentrated on School Shows and has become a master of the values based programme that mixes magic with the promoting of community values. "You've Got the Power" is the theme of the current show performed by this award winning magician, ventriloquist and presenter with his wife Sue. It uses illusions, exotic birds, and amazing props to teach important anti bullying messages to students. It has been seen at hundreds of schools and by over half a million New Zealand pupils. This work in Schools has been highly valued by the Canterbury Primary School Principal's Association and by Trustpower Greg's sponsor, who recommended him to the Governor General for the 2009 New Year's Honours. So - Gregory Alexander Britt is now a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. (MNZM) Congratulations.

Elgregoe has mastered many different types of magical presentation including: birthday parties, shopping centres and malls, strolling magic, restaurant table hopping, Gospel Magic, working close up in the Christchurch Casino. He themes his acts, and his "Mad Scientist Show" was seen at Reno 05 in the USA in support of NZ IBM International President Tony Wilson. He has performed and lectured in the USA and at "Kiddabra" a specialized convention for children entertainers. For many years Elgregoe featured magic on New Zealand Television with Jason Gunn, and performed on Australian Channel Seven with Clifford Warne on "Reach for a Rainbow." In total Elgregoe's has achieved over four hundred and fifty television appearances.

A regular attendee with his family at New Zealand Magician's Conventions over many years, he is a frequent competition winner in many categories, and has enjoyed the help on stage of his family, wife Sue, daughter Natasha, and son Nick, (who now as "Nickleby " is a fine professional performer in his own right.)

Greg a consummate professional has always been an encouraging mentor and teacher of young magicians. Seven years ago, in this venue, members of IBM Ring 160 voted Greg to be an International Territorial Vice President of the IBM filling a vacancy left by Burns Scandrett who was in failing health. During the last seven years Greg Britt has fulfilled the duties of this role admirably and has been a great ambassador for the organisation in encouraging new IBM Members and organizing lectures from overseas magicians in the South Island of New Zealand. He is known for his genial personality, his hospitality and friendship.

So Greg on this very special occasion we salute you; we admire your performing and marketing skills; and we thank you for the contribution you have made to our art and craft over many years. We acknowledge you as a Grand Master of Magic.

Jon Zealando President of the Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians Inc will make the official presentation of the Grand Master Medallion.

Wayne Rogers will present flowers to Sue Britt for she is an essential part of the magic team that is Elgregoe.

Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Gregory Alexander Britt is now a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to eductaion - Congratulations.

Magic New Zealand Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award - Presented to Richard Walls in recognition of a lifetime dedicated to excellence in the magical arts

Lifetime Achievement Award - Presented to Richard Webster in recognition of a lifetime dedicated to excellence in writing magical literature

Meritorious services to magic - Presented to Gene & Rosemarie McCarthy Directors of International Entertainment in recogntion for their support in magic in the entertainment industry over many year in New Zealand and Australia

29th New Zealand International Magicians Convention Results

Quick Trick
1. Greg Britt
2. Brent McLeod
3. Kelvin Chun

Strolling Magic
1. Greg Britt
2. Tara Okan
3. Ari Phillips

Childrens Entertainer
1. Wayne Rogers
2. Jonathan Steel
3. Mick Peck

Stage Senior
1. Jarred Fell
2. Ken Bates
3. Tara Okan

Stage Junior
1. Natasha Babich
2. Laurelin Okan
3. Christian Albrecht

Close-up Senior
1. Patrick Henshall
2. Jarred Fell
3. Danny Phillips

IBM Member with highest aggregate marks
Greg Britt

Magic Club with the most points
IBM Ring 160 The Tony Wilson Ring

Funniest Routine
Ken & Shirley Bates

Best Mental Effect
Wayne Rogers

Best Comedy Performance
Tara Okan

Best Manipulation
Mark Robinson

Best MC
Michael Woolf

Best Illusion
Wayne Rogers

Best Assistant
Jessica Lawry

Best Effect of the Convention
Patrick Hanshall & Chas Manning

Alan Watson - Marketing & Publicity

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