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Master of Magic
to Ken Bates
delivered by Stanley R Goudge Historian of the Brotherhood
of Auckland Magicians Inc at the Palmerston North Magic Circle's
"A Magical Weekend"
Evening, I am Stan Goudge, Historian for the Brotherhood of
Auckland Magicians Incorporated, and when ever I make a speech
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 fifteen magicians in forty
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 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,
Alan Watson and Greg Britt.
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. 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
Wonderful, Grand Master of Magic: Ken Bates
me tell you a little about Ken Bates "Mr Wonderful".
Ken started dabbling in magic in Leicester, England. His friend
Brian Lord was a member of the Leicester Magic Circle and
had a pet shop next to Ken Bates' green grocery shop So, Ken
used to go with Brian to magic conventions and do the odd
trick or two When he met Shirley he was always playing tricks
and pranks on people, and when he and Shirley had their engagement
party he decided to make his debut with a fire eating trick.
Unfortunately - too much alcohol saw him blow the cotton balls
that were doused in fluid, out from his mouth, to hit the
floor and burn a lot of holes in the carpet. That did not
make a great impression and his fire eating days were short
lived. Ken's Dad, Fred Bates also used to do the odd trick
at parties, having been interested in magic as well.
and Shirley, with their two children, came to live in New
Zealand and settled in Wanganui. In 1974 Ken saw an advertisement
in the local paper that said a group of amateur conjurers
were wanted to form a magic club. So, along he went - and
the Wanganui Magic Circle was formed. He was a foundation
member, and so began his journey for the next 35 years of
magic. Ken's first show was for a group of people at the Friendship
club in Whanganui and at that time he was paid with what?
A jar of jam, a Pavlova and some ham. I guess that is why
he has hammed it up ever since.
when the Wanganui Club went into recess he was to join the
Palmerston North Magic Circle. His interest in magic grew
and he has attended conventions in New Zealand and overseas:
Sydney, Melbourne, Honolulu, and Las Vegas.
Bates is a well known name in Wanganui entertainment circles
having performed at many different venues. He was a resident
Magician at the Palm Lounge in Wanganui for 15 years, performed
at the Four Seasons Theatre, Black and White Minstrel shows,
Wheel Tapper's and Shunters shows, music halls, birthday parties,
corporate events and well most places really that would have
and Shirley have travelled to Vanuatu for the past 12 years
and performed at the Waterfront Bar and Grill - their friends
Don and Donna MacQuoid always welcome them there. He also
was involved in educational magic for school children in Vanuatu.
son Paul Bates learned the art of magic from Ken as a teenager,
(Paul is the third generation of the Bates family to take
up magic) and years later became a professional magician in
Wellington as Zappo. For the past 15 years Ken and Paul have
often performed together.
has attended many Magic Conventions and won not only the Comedy
Cup several times, but also Children's Entertainer, Stage
Card Effect and placings in Close Up competitions. The Bates
magic philosophy is that magic should be fun, and you should
have fun doing it. His sense of fun and the ridiculous is
contagious and makes him a favourite of his audiences.
his wife, has been a gracious partner in his magic ventures.
Her performance in the duo Comedy Act "Mr Wonderful"
is a delight as she subtly upstages the magician and ruins
his act. She too has received at an award at NZ Magic Conventions
as the Best Magical Assistant. Shirley has often been the
butt of Ken's jokes and comedy acts and has put up with the
magic and a house full of stuff for many many years.
is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians,
The Tony Wilson Ring 160, and has always be an encourager
of magic and a fine mentor, not only for his son Paul, but
also for others including Raoul Solomon who as a child and
teenage magician made a impact at several magic conventions.
Ken has worked on several magic convention committees, notable
at Wanganui for the 23rd New Zealand Magician's Convention
in 1995 and at Palmerston North the 28th in 2006. He is an
active member of the Palmerston North Magic Circle, and is
the current President. For years he has travelled the seventy
five kilometers from Wanganui to Palmerston North and back
for Club meetings and functions. How's that for dedication
to the art and craft of magic?
we salute you. We hold you in high esteem as a magician, a
friend and a lover of magic. We hail you as a Grand Master
Zealando will present the award to Ken Bates on behalf of
the Brotherhood of Auckland Magicians.
Robin Lucas Secretary of the Palmerston North Magic Circle
will present flowers to Mrs Wonderful Shirley Bates.