Article reproduced with permission from THE LINKING RING, Vol. 45 No. 2 (February 1965), the official magazine of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, USA.
S. K. Vasantha Kumar IBM Ring 177
Formed In Bangalore, India by Benjamin J. Kleinman
Formation of Rings in the International Brotherhood of Magicians originate in many ways. Recent method is credited to Benjamin J. Kleinman, member of New York City IBM Ring 26; and Associate Editor of M-U-M Society of American Magicians magazine. On his world tour with his wife he was appointed an Ambassador of IBM Good Will by International President Thornton Poole who is stressing internationalism in magic.
One of the many places on the Kleinman itinerary was Bangalore, India, September 14, 1964, where he was met at the airport by his friend of three years with whom he corresponded, S. K. Vasantha Kumar, member of the IBM; and a welcoming delegation of Mysore Membership Magicians. Following the tradition of flower garlanding around the neck, Mr. and Mrs. Kleinman were escorted to West End Hotel, their headquarters. During the originally scheduled three-day stop, Benjamin Kleinman was to present his magic lecture and demonstration, then plane to New Delhi. He was informed Professor Kumar and the MMM had arranged a four-day magic convention in his honour beginning September 24.
Inquiry disclosed only three members of the MMM belonged to the IBM, so Ben asked Professor Kumar if he would work with him they could organize an IBM Ring in Bangalore, India. He changed his plans and remained to see the culmination of his work. Now there is the S. K. Vasantha Kumar IBM Ring 177 functioning. Officers of the new Ring are, President, S. K. Vasantha Kumar; Vice President, Fred J. Hemi; Secretary-Treasurer, C. R. Corera, installed by Ben Kleinman, September 26. Other IBM Rings in India are located in Calcutta and Bombay.
Potential IBM members were in Mysore Membership of Magicians organization in the Bangalore area and an invitation was extended for conferences in Ben Kleinman’s hotel room for several days with Professor Kumar actively assisting. Within several days there were the initial 10 who made application for membership, joined by others shortly thereafter. The sixth annual convention of MMM was planned and held September 24-26 in connection with the good will visit of the IBM good will ambassador. The Honorable Mention Certificate awarded to Vasantha Kumar for his contribution to The Linking Ring Hocus Pocus Parade July, 1963, was presented to him by Ben Kleinman at intermission of the convention show September 27.
R. M. Patil, Minister For Home Government of Mysore, asked many questions about the International Brotherhood of Magicians, its aims and ideals, and explained to him by Kleinman at show intermission. Minister Patil was called to the stage .cave an eloquent eulogy to magic based on some of the thoughts he heard from Ben. It was the Minister’s hope that the time would come when magic would be considered an art in the same category as opera, ballet and the theater and receive proper backing support as they do.
Following the installation of new Ring 177 officers, Ben Kleinman presented an hour and a half lecture demonstration of effects. Ring Secretary Corera presented card effects; President Kumar produced a birdcage and others performed following dinner in Woodlands Hotel. Others who were present included James W. Baker of Madras, Prof. A. S. Pillai, Pilot Officer Deshpandrey and N. T. Kasturi Rangan. IBMers not present here were V. R. VRaghaven, KCNambiar, Capt. MG. K. Murti and Charles Baldrey. Special thanks also for aiding in the membership acquisition to Fred Hemi and C. R. Corera.
All-India Radio Station interviewed Ben Kleinman and plenty of good will publicity for the International Brotherhood of Magicians resulted. Ben presented an hour and a half for 400 colleagues of Prof. Pillai of Components Division of Radar Establishment of the Indian Government just prior to moving on to the next stop on the itinerary of Mr. and Mrs. Kleinman.
Sydney S. Bergson, Ring Coordinator
252 N.E. 2nd Street, Miami, Florida
Article reproduced from: Pgs. 106-108, The Linking Ring Vol. 45 No. 2 (February 1965); Alvin Richard Plough, ed.; International Brotherhood of Magicians, USA.
Sourced from: Linking Ring Archives at AskAlexander.org, A Conjuring Arts Project.