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Grand Master of Magic
to Gregory Alexander Britt, MNZM
Gred Britt - El Gregoe
31 December 2008
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.
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.
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.
me briefly remind you of the criteria for the Grand Master
of Magic Award.
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."
this proud tradition we now add a new name. Please stand Grand
Master of Magic: Greg Britt.
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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
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.)
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.
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.
Zealando President of the Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians
Inc will make the official presentation of the Grand Master
Rogers will present flowers to Sue Britt for she is an essential
part of the magic team that is Elgregoe.
of the New Zealand Order of Merit
Alexander Britt is now a Member of the New Zealand Order of
Merit (MNZM) for services to eductaion - Congratulations.
New Zealand Awards
Achievement Award - Presented to Richard Walls in recognition
of a lifetime dedicated to excellence in the magical arts
Achievement Award - Presented to Richard Webster in recognition
of a lifetime dedicated to excellence in writing magical literature
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
New Zealand International Magicians Convention Results
Member with highest aggregate marks
Club with the most points
Ring 160 The Tony Wilson Ring
& Shirley Bates
Effect of the Convention
Hanshall & Chas Manning
Watson - Marketing & Publicity