The South African Magical Society was formed in 1918 and is in fact the oldest such society in the country. The first patron of the society was the eminent magician John Maskelyn. SAMS as the society is colloquially called draws its members from all walks of life both in professional and semi-professional capacity. It’s members comprise of businessmen, clergy, sea captains, artisans, sales people, teachers, doctors, etc. all dedicated to the pursuance of and upliftment of the art of magic. SAMS is also affiliated to the London Magic Circle and has close links with a number of overseas magical clubs and societies.
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The members meet regularly once a month on a formal basis and also attend a social business meeting once a month as well. Members participate in the club's activities as performers, technicians and assistants. While many magicians perform for the society they also perform in their private capacity in cabaret, club, school, mall, or stage shows. The society boasts a membership of varied magical interests which cover such fields as stage magic, close-up magic, children’s magic, clowning, mentalism, and sleight of hand (Manipulation). The society has a comprehensive video, audio and book library which members are encouraged to utilize. The club also has its own illusions.
Throughout the years the South African Magical Society has raised thousands of rands for deserving charities by way of public and private performances. The club is available for large stage productions / promotions or more intimate cabaret / dinner functions and also close-up or parlour magic shows. It is in this way that members improve their skills at performance while keeping the ancient art of conjuring alive.
Each year competitions are held within the club in various categories of magic culminating in a National Magical Championship being held every three years, each year in a different province. Every four years the society hosts a National Magicians' Convention which brings magicians from all over Southern Africa together in a spirit of brotherhood and sharing. These National Conventions feature competitions, public shows and charity performances for hospitals and the underprivileged.
The South African Magical Society prides itself on a long history of dedicated members who abide by a constitution and code of ethics. Their heritage is to continue to promote and maintain the values of the magical arts and sciences.