Skip to main content

Friendly Societies Act (amended in 2000)

This document has been provided by the
International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL).

ICNL is the leading source for information on th e legal environment for civil society and public
participation. Since 1992, ICNL has served as a resource to civil society leaders, government
officials, and the donor community in over 90 countries.

Visit ICNL’s Online Library at
http://www.icnl.org/knowledge/library/index.php
for further resources and research from countries all over the world.

Disclaimers Content. The information provided herein is for general informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended and should not be
construed to constitute legal advice. The information contai ned herein may not be applicable in all situations and may not, after the date of
its presentation, even reflect the most current authority. Noth ing contained herein should be relied or acted upon without the benefit of legal
advice based upon the particular facts and circumstances pres ented, and nothing herein should be construed otherwise.
Translations. Translations by ICNL of any materials into other languages are intended solely as a convenience. Translation accuracy is not
guaranteed nor implied. If any questions arise related to the accuracy of a translation, please refer to the original language official version of
the document. Any discrepancies or differences created in the tr anslation are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or
enforcement purposes.
Warranty and Limitation of Liability. Although ICNL uses reasonable efforts to include ac curate and up-to-date information herein, ICNL
makes no warranties or representations of any kind as to its a ccuracy, currency or completeness. You agree that access to and u se of this
document and the content thereof is at your own risk. ICNL discl aims all warranties of any kind, express or implied. Neither ICNL nor any
party involved in creating, producing or delivering this document shall be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of access to, use of
or inability to use this document, or any e rrors or omissions in the content thereof.

BELIZE
FRIENDLY SOCIETIES ACT
CHAPTER 317
REVISED EDITION 2000
SHOWING THE LAW AS AT 31ST DECEMBER, 2000
This is a revised edition of the law, prepared by the Law Revision Commissioner
under the authority of the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Laws of Belize,
Revised Edition 1980 – 1990.
This edition contains a consolidation of the following laws-Page
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS3
FRIENDLY SOCIETIES ACT5
Amendments in force as at 31st December, 2000.

BELIZE
FRIENDLY SOCIETIES ACT
CHAPTER 317
REVISED EDITION 2000
SHOWING THE LAW AS AT 31ST DECEMBER, 2000
This is a revised edition of the law, prepared by the Law Revision Commissioner
under the authority of the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Laws of Belize,
Revised Edition 1980 – 1990.
This edition contains a consolidation of the following laws-Page
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS3
FRIENDLY SOCIETIES ACT5
Amendments in force as at 31st December, 2000.

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize.
Friendly Societies
[CAP. 317
[] 3
CHAPTER 317
FRIENDLY SOCIETIES
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title.
2. Establishment of Society.
3. In case of death no payment without certificate.
4. Power to make rules, nature thereof.
5. Separate accounts.
6. Confirmation of rules.
7. Approval by Registrar-General.
8. Fees on confirmation.
9. Compulsory rules.
10. Investments.
11. Names of trustees and officers to be registered.
12. Duties of trustees with respect to accounts.
13. Disputes, how to be settled.
14. Rules as to arbitration.

Friendly Societies CAP. 317] THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize. 4
[] 15. Where no such rules, etc., reference to direct court.
16. Proceedings on expulsion of a member.
17. Enforcing orders of court.
18. Persons fraudulently obtaining moneys.
19. Person to account for moneys received.
20. Production and inspection of books.
21. Infants may be members.
22. Society, how dissolved.
23. Power of Minister to cancel establishment of society in certain
circumstances.
24. Rules, etc., receivable in evidence.
25. Lien on assets of officer dying, etc.
26. Provisions may be extended to voluntary benevolent societies.
27. Interpretation.
FIRST SCHEDULE
SECOND SCHEDULE

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize.
Friendly Societies
[CAP. 317
[] 5
CHAPTER 317
FRIENDLY SOCIETIES
[19th September, 1879] 1. This Act may be cited as the Friendly Societies Act.
2.-(1) It shall be lawful for any society already established to be enrolled under
the provisions of this Act, or for any number of persons to establish a society
under the provisions of this Act, hereinafter called a friendly society, for the
purpose of raising by voluntary subscriptions of the members thereof, with or
without the aid of donations, a fund for any of the following objects-
(a)insuring a sum of money to be paid on the death of a member
to his widow, children or executors, administrators, nominee
or assigns, or for defraying the expenses of his burial or his
wife’s burial, child or kindred subject as hereinafter enacted;
(b)the relief, maintenance or endowment of members, their wives,
children or kindred, in infirmity, old age, sickness, widowhood
or any other natural state of which the probability may be
calculated by way of average; or
(c)for any other purpose which shall be certified to be legal by the
Attorney General, as a purpose to which the powers and facilities
of this Act ought to be extended.
(2) No friendly society may assure the payment to, or on the death of, any
member, or on any contingency, or for any of the purposes for which the payment
of sums may be assured under this Act, of any sum exceeding one thousand
Ch. 152.
R.L., 1958.
CAP. 249,
R.E. 1980-1990.
Short title.
Establishment of
Society.

Friendly Societies CAP. 317] THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize. 6
[] dollars, or any annuity exceeding five hundred dollars per annum, or any sum
in sickness exceeding twenty dollars per week.
3.-(1) The trustees or other officers of a friendly society shall not pay any
sum of money which has been insured and become payable on the death of
any member, or his wife or child, unless the party applying for it produces and
delivers to such trustees or officer a certificate of that death issued under the
Registration of Births and Deaths Act, unless from the nature of the
circumstances, it is impossible to procure such certificate.
(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to deaths at sea, or to a death by any
accident where the body cannot be found, or to any death certified by a coroner
to be the subject of a pending inquest or inquiry.
4.-(1)Persons intending to establish or enroll a friendly society under this
Act may-
(a)make or adopt rules for the government and guidance of it;
(b)make such provisions in the rules as they think fit for annulling,
altering or amending the rules;
(c)impose reasonable fines and forfeitures on any member
offending against the rules; and
(d)form a general committee or board of management, and
delegate to it all or any of the powers given by this Act, to be
executed with respect to the management of the friendly so-
ciety or the making, amendment, annullment or alteration of
the rules thereof.
(2) There shall be set forth in such rules-
In case of death
no payment
without
certificate.
CAP. 157.
Power to make
rules, nature
thereof.

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize.
Friendly Societies
[CAP. 317
[] 7
(a)the name and designation of the friendly society, and the place
where the business thereof is carried on;
(b)the objects and intentions for which it is founded;
(c)the purposes to which the funds thereof are applicable;
(d)the conditions under which any member or party claiming under
or by a member may become entitled to any benefit assured
thereby;
(e)the manner of making, annulling or altering rules, of appointing
trustees, a treasurer and an officer who shall keep the books
and accounts and prepare the returns required by this Act, a
general board or committee of management, and the duties
and powers of each;
(f)the mode in which the funds shall be invested; and
(g)the manner in which disputes between the society and any
member thereof; or persons claiming on account of or through
any member, shall be settled.
5. The rules of a friendly society shall provide that all moneys received or
paid on account of each fund or benefit, assured to the members thereof, their
wives, children or kindred, for which a separate title of contributions payable
have been adopted, shall be entered in a separate account distinct from any
other benefit or fund.
6. A friendly society shall be deemed not to be legally established or be
entitled to any of the provisions of this Act unless the rules and every amendment
of the rules or tables made from time to time thereof have been duly confirmed
as hereinafter provided.
Separate
accounts.
Confirmation of
rules.

Friendly Societies CAP. 317] THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize. 8
[] 7.-(1) Two copies of all rules and tables adopted by a friendly society to-
gether with the name and address of every trustee, signed by three members,
and countersigned by the secretary, clerk or other officer, shall be submitted
to the Registrar General for his approval forthwith after they are adopted.
(2) The Registrar General may request the opinion of the Attorney General
thereon and if they are found by him to be framed in conformity with the law
and with each other, and to be reasonable and proper, the Registrar General
may confirm them.
(3) If the Registrar General confirms the rules, one copy signed by him in
confirmation shall be returned to the friendly society, and the other copy, also
signed by him, shall be deposited in the office of the Registrar General without
fee.
(4) All rules, alterations or amendments when confirmed shall be binding
on the members, and all persons claiming by, or under them, and shall be
received as evidence in all courts of law:
Provided that-
(a)before the Registrar General confirms the rules of a friendly
society, assuring to any member any annuity, the contributions
in respect of such annuity shall be certified on oath to the
Registrar General by the treasurer of the friendly society;
(b)nothing contained in this Act shall in any way be deemed
or construed to impose any liability on the Government of
Belize.
8.-(1) On every confirmation of rules, a fee of twenty-five dollars shall be
paid to the Attorney General (if such rules are referred to him as before
provided), and a fee of twelve dollars on every confirmation of rules of any
branch of such society, and a fee of six dollars on every confirmation of any Approval by
Registrar General.
Fees on
confirmation.

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize.
Friendly Societies
[CAP. 317
[] 9
amendments, or alterations of the rules of any such society, and a fee of ten
dollars to the Registrar General for any certificate of such confirmation.
(2) The fees paid under this section shall be paid into the Consolidated
Revenue Fund.
9. The rules of a friendly society shall provide that-
(a)its funds, until invested as hereinafter provided, shall only be
authorised to be paid away at the usual meetings of the
committees of such society by orders, signed by at least three
of the trustees, and countersigned by the secretary or steward;
and
(b)the treasurer shall give security in the form in the First Schedule,
with one or more bondsmen, in such sum as the friendly society
may determine, and it shall be lawful to sue upon such bond in
the names of the trustees for the time being.
10.-(1) The trustees for the time being of a friendly society shall (and they are
hereby required from time to time by and with the consent of such society to)
lay out and invest such part of moneys as shall be collected, given or paid to
and for the purpose of such society, and may not be wanted for the immediate
use thereof, or to meet its usual accruing liabilities, in the names of the trustees,
in and upon-
(a)any loans raised or guaranteed by the authority of the National
Assembly;
(b)on mortgage of freehold or leasehold property, such leasehold
being for a term of years absolute, of which not less than five
are unexpired;
Compulsory
rules.
First Schedule.
Investments.

Friendly Societies CAP. 317] THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize. 10
[] (c)in the purchase of any freehold or leasehold property in Belize,
such leasehold property having at least twenty years to run; or
(d)on loan to any member on the security of any policy of
insurance effected on his own life:
Provided that the amount of such loan shall not exceed the actual estimated
value of the policy at the time such loan is made.
(2) The trustees may from time to time, with the like consent, alter or
transfer such securities and funds, and make sales thereof, and all dividends,
interest and proceeds, which shall from time to time arise from the moneys so
invested, shall be brought to account by trustees, and shall be applied to and
for the use of the friendly society according to the rules.
(3) The trustees may, with the consent of the friendly society, purchase,
hire or lease any room or premises for the purpose of holding there its meetings
and for the transaction of business, and hold the same in trust for the friendly
society, and sell, exchange, let and demise the same in whole or in part.
11.-(1) Within thirty days after the confirmation of the rules of a friendly soci-
ety, a statement of the names of the trustees signed by at least two trustees and
the secretary or clerk duly verified by the solemn declaration of such secretary
or clerk, shall be registered in the Registrar General’s office.
(2) When any change is made in the trustees of a friendly society by the
death, resignation, removal or inability to act of any trustee, and the appointment
of any new trustee, the names of such new trustee shall be registered in the
Registrar General’s office, in the manner specified in subsection (1).
(3) After registration all hereditaments, moneys, goods, chattels and effects
and all titles, securities for money or other obligatory instruments, and evidence
or monuments, and all rights or claims, belonging to a friendly society shall be
vested in the trustees for the use and benefit of the friendly society, its mem-
Names of trustees
and officers to be
registered.

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize.
Friendly Societies
[CAP. 317
[] 11
bers, their executors and administrators.
(4) After the death or removal of any trustee, the said hereditaments, moneys,
goods and other property whatever shall vest in the succeeding trustees for the
same estate and interest as the former trustee had, and subject to the same
trusts without any assignment or conveyance and also shall, for the purposes of
all civil and criminal proceedings concerning the friendly society, be deemed to
be the property of the trustees of the friendly society for the time being in his or
their proper names without further description.
(5) Such trustees shall bring or defend, or cause to be brought or defended
any civil or criminal proceedings in any court concerning the property, right or
claims of the friendly society.
(6) The trustees may in all cases concerning the property, right or claims of
the friendly society, sue or be sued, plead and be impleaded, in any court of law
in their proper names as trustees without other description.
(7) No suit, action or prosecution shall be discontinued or abate by the
death of or removal from office of a trustee, but it shall and may be proceeded
in by the remaining or succeeding trustees in the proper name of the person
commencing it, and such remaining or succeeding trustees shall pay or receive
the like costs as if the action or suit had been commenced in his or their names
for the benefit of or to be reimbursed from the funds of the friendly society.
(8) A certified copy of the statement registered under subsection (1) shall
be evidence in any proceedings until the contrary is shown, that the persons
named therein as trustees are such trustees for all the purposes of this Act:
Provided that every treasurer, trustee or other officer shall only be personally
responsible and liable for all moneys actually received by him on account of or
for the use of the friendly society.

Friendly Societies CAP. 317] THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize. 12
[] 12.-(1) The trustees of a friendly society shall audit the accounts as often as
the rules require, and every officer in whose charge the accounts are kept shall
once in every year prepare, or cause to be prepared, a general statement of
the funds and effects during the preceding twelve months, in the form in the
Second Schedule, as accurately as possible.
(2) Each officer shall transmit such statement to the Registrar General
before 1st March in each year, and such statement shall be attested by the
auditors, and countersigned by such officer.
(3) Every member shall be entitled to inspect such statement without fee,
at all reasonable times.
(4) Any officer who fails to transmit such statement as is required by
subsection (2) on or before 1st March in any year commits an offence and is
liable on summary conviction to a fine of twenty-five dollars for every day
after 1st March during which he fails to transmit such statement.
(5) Every officer transmitting any fraudulent or wilfully false statement
commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of two hun-
dred and fifty dollars.
(6) A copy of all such annual returns shall in every year be laid before the
National Assembly.
13.-(1) If any dispute arises between the members or persons claiming under
or on account of any member of a friendly society, and the trustees, treasurer
or other officer or committee thereof, it shall be settled in such manner as the
rules direct and the decision so made shall be binding and conclusive.
(2) If the dispute is of such a nature that for the settlement of it recourse
would lie to the equitable jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, it may be referred
instead, at the option of either party, to the magistrate of the district in which Duties of trustees
with respect to
accounts.
Second Schedule.
Disputes, how to
be settled

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize.
Friendly Societies
[CAP. 317
[] 13
the friendly society holds its meetings, and the magistrate shall proceed ex parte,
if notice in writing to the other of the parties is left at his usual place of residence
or abode ten days previously and he fails to appear.
(3) The magistrate is authorised to require of all parties, who are or may
have been members, trustees or officers, to produce before him all books or
other documents relating to the concerns of the friendly society, and thereupon
if such magistrate so thinks fit, he may determine such dispute, and displace any
such trustee or officer, or make such order he thinks fit and such order shall be
binding and conclusive.
14.-(1)The rules of a friendly society shall provide that disputes which may
arise between any member and the trustees, committee or officers, shall be
settled by arbitration.
(2) The number of arbitrators and mode of selection shall be stated in the
rules.
(3) If an arbitrator neglects or refuses to act, the members at a general
meeting or general committee thereof, shall forthwith elect and appoint some
other person to be an arbitrator in his place.
(4) The rules shall direct how the arbitrators shall determine such disputes,
and the award made by them shall be final and binding on all parties without
appeal to any court of law.
(5) If either party refuses or neglects to comply with the decision of the
arbitrators, the magistrate nearest to the place within which the friendly society
is established, upon good and sufficient proof being adduced before him of
such award having been made, and of the refusal of the party to comply
therewith, upon complaint made by or on behalf of the party aggrieved, may
summon the party against whom such complaint is made, to appear at a time
and place to be named in such summons, and upon his or her appearance, or in
Rules as to
arbitration.

Friendly Societies CAP. 317] THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize. 14
[] default thereof, upon proof upon oath of the service of such summons, may
make such order thereupon as may to him seem just.
(6) If the sum of money awarded, together with the costs of and attending
such order are not duly paid, such order shall be enforced in the same manner
as any conviction in a court of summary jurisdiction.
(7) If there are not at the time of enforcing the order any moneys, goods
or chattels of the friendly society whereby any money directed to be paid with
costs, can be satisfied, the order may be enforced by seizure and sale of the
moneys, goods and chattels of the party or of the officer of the friendly society
who so neglects or refuses:
Provided that whatever sum is paid by any such officer, or levied on his
property or goods, in pursuance of the award of arbitrators, or orders of any
magistrate, shall be repaid with all damages accruing to him by and out of the
moneys belonging to the friendly society or out of the first moneys which are
thereafter received by the friendly society.
15. If the rules of any friendly society-
(a)do not provide for settlement of matters by arbitration; or
(b)if they so provide, but no arbitrator has been appointed or no
award has been made within forty days after a complaint has
been made to the officers of such society; or.
(c)if the rules have directed that any dispute between the members
and trustees, or other officer on the committee of manage-
ment, shall be settled by legal proceedings,
all such matters and disputes shall be referred to and decided by the magis-
trate mentioned in section 14.
Where no such
rules, etc.,
reference to
district court.

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize.
Friendly Societies
[CAP. 317
[] 15
16. Where any member has been expelled from a friendly society, and the
award of the arbitrators or the order of the magistrate directs that he shall be
reinstated, the arbitrator may award or the magistrate may order, in default of
reinstatement, for an appropriate sum of money to be paid to such member by
the trustees, which sum of money, if not paid, shall be recoverable in the same
way as any money awarded by the arbitrators is recoverable under this Act.
17. Where the order of a magistrate is for the payment of money, the order
may be enforced in the same manner as a judgment of the magistrate’s court is
enforced, but where the order of a magistrate is for the doing of some act, not
being for the payment of money, the magistrate in his order may direct the party
to do such act, and in default of his doing it he shall pay a sum of money, and if
he refuses or neglects to do the act, the money may then be recovered in the
same manner as a judgment for debt or damages in magistrate’s court, and it
shall not be lawful to remove the same by certiorari or other writ or process
into the Supreme Court.
18.-(1) If any officer, member or other persons being or representing himself to
be a member of a friendly society or the nominee, executor, administrator or
assignee of any member, or any other person whatever shall in or by any false
representation, obtain possession of any moneys, securities, books, papers or
other effects of the friendly society, or having them in his possession, shall withhold
or misapply them, a magistrate may, upon the complaint of any trustee, secretary
or clerk, hear and determine the matter of such complaint in a summary way.
(2) Upon due proof of such fraud, the magistrate may convict the said
party, and award double the amount of the money so obtained or withheld to
be paid to the treasurer to be applied by him to the purposes of the friendly
society and order the said securities, books, papers or other effects to be
delivered to the friendly society together with such costs as shall be awarded by
the court, and any such order shall and may be enforced in the like manner as
any fine or penalty awarded against any defendant: Proceedings on
expulsion of a
member.
Enforcing orders
of court.
Persons
fraudulently
obtaining
moneys.

Friendly Societies CAP. 317] THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize. 16
[] Provided that nothing herein contained shall prevent the friendly society
from proceeding by information or complaint if a previous conviction for the
same offence has been obtained under this Act.
19.-(1) Every person who-
(a)has or receives any moneys, effects or funds, of or belonging
to a friendly society; or
(b)has been or is entrusted with the management, disposal or
custody thereof, or of any securities, books, papers or
property relating to the same,
his executors, administrators and assigns shall, upon demand made or notice
in writing given or left at the last or usual place of residence of such persons, in
pursuance of any order of not less than two trustees or three members of the
committee or board of management, give in his account at the usual meeting of
the friendly society or to such trustees, committee or board of management, to
be examined and allowed or disallowed.
(2) Every such person shall on demand or notice, pay over all moneys
remaining in his hands, and assign and transfer or deliver all securities and
effects, books, papers and property in his custody, and assign and transfer or
deliver all such securities and effects, books, papers and property to the
treasurer or trustees or to such other person as such trustees, committee or
board of management shall appoint.
(3) If he neglects or refuses to deliver such account, or to pay over such
money or to assign, transfer or deliver such securities and effects, books,
papers and property in manner aforesaid, a magistrate may, upon the complaint
of any trustee or other officer of the friendly society, hear and determine the
complaint and make such order as seems just.
Persons to
account for
moneys received.

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize.
Friendly Societies
[CAP. 317
[] 17
20. In any proceedings before him, a magistrate may inspect and require
the production before him of all books, or other documents relating to the
matter in dispute.
21. An infant may become a member of a friendly society and is empowered
to execute all instruments and to give all necessary acquittances:
Provided that he shall not be competent during his infancy to hold any
office as director, trustee, treasurer or manager in the friendly society.
22.-(1) Subject to subsection (5), the members of a friendly society may not,
by any rules, resolution or order, dissolve or determine such society so long as
any of the intents and purposes declared by its rules remain to be carried into
effect, unless there has been obtained the votes so to do of five-sixths in value
of the current members to be ascertained in manner hereinafter mentioned, and
the consent in writing of all persons receiving or entitled to receive relief, either
on account of sickness, age or infirmity, and for the purpose of ascertaining the
votes of such five-sixths in value, every member shall be entitled to one vote,
and an additional vote for every five years that he may have been a member.
(2) No member shall have more than five votes, and in all cases of dissolu-
tion, the intended appropriation or division of the funds or other property shall
be fairly and distinctly stated in the proposed plan of dissolution, prior to such
consent being given.
(3) A friendly society may not by any rule direct the division or distribution
of stock or funds, to or amongst the members other than for carrying into effect
the general intents and purposes declared by the original rules, and all rules for
the dissolution or termination thereof, without such consent as mentioned in
subsection (1), or for the distribution or division of the stock or funds, contrary
to the rules, shall be void and of no effect. Production and
inspection of
books.
Infants may be
members.
Society, how
dissolved.

Friendly Societies CAP. 317] THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize. 18
[] (4) In the event of such division or misappropriation of the funds without
such consent, any trustee or other officer or person aiding or abetting therein
commits an offence and is liable to the penalties provided in cases of fraud by
section 18.
(5) Subsection (1) shall not apply where any two or more societies become
united or incorporated in one society upon such terms as shall be approved by
the majority of the trustees and board of management of both societies.
23.-(1) The Minister may, if satisfied that the establishment or enrolment of a
friendly society has been obtained by fraud or mistake, or that it exists for an
illegal purpose or has wilfully and after notice from the Attorney General violated
any of the provisions of, or any of the rules made under, this Act or has ceased
to exist, cancel its establishment or enrolment.
(2) The Minister in any case in which he might cancel the establishment or
enrolment of a friendly society may suspend such establishment or enrolment
for up to three months and may renew the suspension for a like period.
(3) Unless the Registrar General has given to a friendly society not less
than two months previous notice in writing specifying briefly the grounds of
any proposed cancellation or suspension, its rights shall not be cancelled except
at its request or suspended.
(4) Where the establishment or enrolment of a friendly society has been
cancelled or suspended, notice of such cancellation or suspension shall be
advertised in the Gazette and in a newspaper circulating in Belize.
(5) Where the establishment or enrolment of a friendly society has been
suspended or cancelled, it shall during or from the time of the suspension or
cancellation cease to enjoy the privileges of a friendly society established or
enrolled under this Act but without prejudice to any liability actually incurred
and any such liability may be enforced as if the suspension or cancellation had
not taken place.
Power of Minister
to cancel
establishment of
society in certain
circumstances.

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize.
Friendly Societies
[CAP. 317
[] 19
24. All rules, alterations of rules, transcript or copy of, or extract from, all
rules and alterations of rules and all awards, writings and documents relating to
a friendly society directed by any law to be certified or approved shall, in the
absence of any evidence to the contrary, be received in all courts and elsewhere
without proof of the signature thereto.
25.-(1) If any person appointed to any office in a friendly society and being
entrusted with the keeping of accounts or having in his possession by virtue of
his office any moneys, effects, deeds or securities belonging or relating to the
society—
(a)dies;
(b)becomes insolvent;
(c)is adjudged bankrupt;
(d)has any execution, attachment or other process issued against
his land, goods, chattels or effects; or
(e)makes any assignment, disposition or other conveyance for the
benefit of his creditors,
his executors, administrators, or assigns or other person having legal right or
the Marshal, Public Trustee, or other officer executing such process shall within
forty days after a written demand has been made by the trustees or by three or
more of the management committee, deliver and pay over all moneys and other
things belonging to the friendly society to such person as the trustees or committee
appoints.
(2) The person appointed under subsection (1) shall pay out of the estate,
assets or effects of such officer all sums of money remaining due which such
officer has received by virtue of his said office or employment before any other
of his debts are paid or satisfied, or before the other money directed to be Rules, etc.,
receivable in
evidence.
Lien on assets
of officer dying,
etc.

Friendly Societies CAP. 317] THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize. 20
[] levied by such process as aforesaid is paid over to the party issuing such
process, and all such assets, lands, goods, chattels, property, estates and ef-
fects shall be bound to the payment and discharge thereof accordingly.
26. If the rules of any benevolent and charitable institutions, societies and
associations formed by voluntary subscriptions and benefactions, for the pur-
pose of relieving the physical wants and necessities of persons in distressed
circumstances, and all alterations and amendments thereof are registered un-
der this Act, the provisions contained in this Act, so far as they relate to the
giving of security by any treasurer, other officer or person, and to the vesting
of the effects in the trustees for the time being and to their suing or being sued,
and as to the liability of the treasurer, or trustee, or other officer, and to the
protecting, securing or recovering the funds vested or being in such treasurer
or trustee, and for enforcing the rendering of accounts by him or them, shall be
extended to all and every such institution, society or association, which have
and enjoy and is entitled to the benefit of this Act with respect to the several
matters as mentioned in this section, as fully and effectually as any friendly
society registered or enrolled under this Act can or may have or enjoy the
same.
27. In this Act a “friendly society” includes every branch thereof.
Provisions may be
extended to
voluntary
benevolent
societies.
Interpretation.

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize.
Friendly Societies
[CAP. 317
[] 21
FIRST SCHEDULE
[Section 9 (b)] Form of Bond
WE, A.B., of treasurer (or steward, etc.) of the
friendly society, established at
in Belize and C.D., of and
E.F., of as sureties on behalf of the said A.B., are
jointly and severally bound to G.H., of and I.K.,
of , the trustees of the friendly society in the sum
of , to be paid to the said G.H. and I.K., as
such trustees, or their successors, trustees for the time being, or their attorney,
for which payment to be well and truly made, we jointly and severally bind
ourselves, and each of us binds himself, our and each of our heirs, executors
and administrators firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals, dated the
day of, , 20 .
WHEREAS the above bounden A.B., hath been duly appointed treasurer (or
steward) of the above friendly society and he,
together with the above bounden C.D. and E.F. as his sureties, have entered in
the above written bond subject to the condition hereinafter contained:
NOW, THEREFORE, the condition of the above written bond is such that if
the said A.B. shall and do justly and faithfully execute his office of treasurer (or
steward, etc.) of the friendly society, and shall and do render a just and true
account of all moneys received by him, and shall pay over all the moneys re-
maining in his hands and assign or transfer or deliver all securities and effects,
books, papers and property of or belonging to the friendly society in his hands
or custody to such person or persons as the friendly society shall appoint, ac-
cording to the rules of the said society, together with the proper or legal receipts
or vouchers for such payments and likewise shall and do in all respects well and
truly and faithfully perform and fulfil his office of treasurer (or steward, etc.) to
the friendly society, according to the rules thereof, then the above written bond

Friendly Societies CAP. 317] THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize. 22
[] shall be void and of no effect, otherwise shall be and remain in full force and
virtue.
SEALED AND DELIVERED in the presence of
A.B. (L.S.)
C.D. (L.S.)
E.F. (L.S.)
SECOND SCHEDULE
[Section 12 (1)] Heads of Information to be Furnished Yearly to the
Government by every Society
RETURN of friendly society, established at
for the year ending , 20 .
Date of balancing books in each year.
Members:
Number admitted since last balance.
Number died since last balance.
Number withdrawn or expelled.
Number of members at this date, including honorary members.
Sickness:
Number of members sick in the year.
Income:
Donations and honorary subscriptions.
Entrance money.
Contributions for sickness and death.

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000
Printed by the Government Printer,
No. 1 Power Lane,
Belmopan, by the authority of
the Government of Belize.
Friendly Societies
[CAP. 317
[] 23
Contributions for endowments, widow and orphans’ fund.
Interest received.
Total income.
Total capital.
(Here state where the same is placed.)
Expenditure:
Sick pay or allowances.
Death of members.
Death of wives.
Endowments.
Extra expenditure.
Total expenditure.
Observations:
DATED the day of , 20 .
(To be signed by two trustees, and secretary, treasurer or other officer.)

-->