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Associated Wizards of the South

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Associated Wizards of the South, founded in 1911, is the fourth oldest magical society in Great Britain and the sixth oldest in the world.
Original logo used until at least 1971
Harry Houdini became a member during a 5 night string of shows at the Southampton Hippodrome in 1911[1]
Logo being used in 2017

A group of Southampton magicians gathered in Aplin's Photographic Studio, Windsor Terrace, to discuss the possibility of forming a Magic Society in the town. After much discussion, it was agreed to write to other in the district to invite them to a meeting to form such a society. Thus, in March 1911, "The Associated Wizards of the South" first started meeting.

The primary mover was Laurance W. Spitari (later to be known on the music halls of the world as Laurance Glen). Spitari was elected the first secretary and Geo. H. Hayes was the Founding President.

The Society was the fourth to be formed in Great Britain, preceded only by those in Birmingham, London and Manchester.

Over the years those who served as Honorary members or Vice Presidents of the Society have been: David Devant, Houdini, Carlton, Amasis, Max Sterling, Horace Goldin, Chris Van Bern, Murray, The Great Levante, and Will Goldston,

In 1933, the Society sponsored a conference of Magical Societies, where David Devant made his last appearance in public.

They organised their first "One Day" Convention in 1946 and ran Conventions as a yearly feature for some ten years until other Societies had duplicated the idea, and they felt the need for such a gathering was no longer called for. But, they arranged with the Societies of Portsmouth, Salisbury and Bognar Regis to run a 'Wizards Meet' in each town in rotation.

They also produced a public a yearly Magic show continuously for 23 years, which ran for a full week that.[2][3]

They published their Wizards Annual from 1913 to 1915.

References

  1. http://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2016/02/houdini-and-wizards-of-south.html
  2. A short history of the Associated Wizards of the South, Magigram, VOLUME NUMBER 4 Mar.-April 1971
  3. http://www.awsmagic.co.uk/