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Tonight a surprise presentation of the Grand Master of Magic Award was made to Richard Webster.

The Citation is below.

The Award was made jointly by the Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians
and the Shore City Magicians Club.

Stan Goudge gave the Citation. The Medallion was presented by Alan Watson
and Mick Peck presented Margaret Webster with a floral tribute.


There exists a list of New Zealand Magicians who have graced the art and craft of magic over a long period, and who have been honoured by their peers as a Grand Master of Magic. That roll of honour was begun in 1969 with the name of Edgar, the" Great Benyon". Since then 15 names have been added. Sixteen magicians in all over a period of forty four years. A small and select band.

That list includes the names of Jack Read, Jon and Janet Zealando, Jim Reilly, Harold Chandler, Francis Newmarch, Peter and Phillipa Evans, Tony Wilson, Barry Brook, Bernard Reid, Burns Scandrett, Wayne Rogers, Alan Watson, Greg Britt and Ken Bates.

Why am I telling you all this, it is because tonight we are to add a new name to that list. The seventeenth Grand Master is RICHARD WEBSTER.

The award is being made jointly by the Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians, and the Shore City Magicians Club.

Richard has many credentials as an author, a physic entertainer, a hypnotist, and prolific publisher of books. I understand that Richard has sold over ten million books worldwide. Other people have noted his contribution to these areas and he has received numerous awards for these accomplishments. But we are more concerned tonight with his contribution to the world of magic.

Richard became interested in magic at the age of eight. His mother read tea leaves and used her wedding ring tied to a piece of string to determine the sex of unborn babies. Richard was too young to join the New Zealand Society of Magicians, you had to be fourteen years of age, so he just read books, devoured anything he could read and developed his own tricks and magical style. In later years his company Brookfield Press was to publish 29 of his books on magic.

He had an early interest in hypnotism after seeing the Great Franquin's show that toured New Zealand in 50's and 60's, and later he was to publish in the United States his video course, The Richard Webster Hypnotism Show in 1995. It was the first instructional video on how to become a stage hypnotist.

When he left school he worked for William Collins the book publisher and in his early twenties was living in London. One day while in Vienna, walking past a Magic Shop he went in, purchased several magic tricks, and the magic bug came back again, in the guise of Riccardo the Magician.

Richard developed his Children's Act with Ronnie the Rabbit. He was a successful entertainer for children's parties in family homes, and also worked as a magician in New Zealand Malls. He competed with distinction in the Children's' Entertainer and the Mentalism sections at New Zealand Magician's Conventions. He was interested in ventriloquism and after all these years he still has the Ronnie the Rabbit who sometimes makes an appearance at grand children's parties. From 1972 - 1998 Richard was a busy children's entertainer, mentalist and hypnotist.

Richard joined the BAM and was a member from 1987-1995, and President in 1987-88 and Vice President in 1989 and 1991. As well as a stage performer and a hypnotherapist, he authored seven magical DVD including The Close-Up Mentalism of Richard Webster in 1988.

But it was the allied arts, that is additional ways of entertaining that were allied to magic, that interested Richard more, and so he increasingly become interest in Mentalism and the magic of the mind. Richard is one of a handful of Physic Entertainers that dominate the international world of Mentalism. He has performed in many venues around the world and his books on these subjects are warmly purchased, avidly read, and willingly endorsed by the top flight of performers. One example: His Great For Two Book Test is the book test used by Kreskin, Peter Reveen, Paul Daniels, Alan Watson, Paul Romhany and many other leading professionals. (Not to mention a modest performer like me.)

At the 29th New Zealand Magicians Convention held in Auckland in December 2008, Richard Webster was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of a lifetime dedicated to excellence in writing magical literature." The presentation by the Awards Committee of Magic New Zealand, like this one tonight, was a surprise, unexpected but deserved.

Webster the book man, who has written over a hundred publications, is interested in helping other promising New Zealand authors. He has set up the "The Richard Webster Popular Fiction Award" in 2000, to help encourage New Zealand writers to write popular books for an international market. Richard provides a $5,000 prize for the winning entry each year.

Some of his best writing for magicians has appeared in New Zealand's own magic magazine entitled Magicana, a bi-monthly periodical for which he has written a column over many years, (since the late 80's) sharing some favourite routines and ideas from the vast store of his experience. He has featured in other magical periodicals like The Linking Ring, Magigram, Alakazam! Magik, The New Invocation, Genii and Vanish Magazine,

Richard is Patron of the Shore City Magicians Club, and is a regular attender and performer at meetings. He is keen to develop the skills and abilities of the young magicians, and has donated many magic books to the society's library.

Before the Presentation is made I want to read to you all 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. When making the award consideration must also be given to the standard achieved by the previous recipients."

To this proud tradition we now add a new name.
Please acknowledge Richard Webster our new Grand Master of Magic.

The Presentation of the Grand Master Medallion is to be made by Alan Watson, the President of the Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians Incorporated.

Mick Peck President of the Shore City Magicians Club will present flowers to Margaret Webster. The presentation to Margaret is an acknowledgement of her contribution to Richard's achievements.

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