The Council, in submitting their report for 1871, congratulate the Institute on the fact that a society, having for its prime object the pursuit of science, has received at the hands of the public so large a measure of support.
Seven new members have joined the Institute during the session.
The Society, in keeping up the subscription, has had a definite object in view, viz., the providing a library of scientific works, chiefly of reference, and the nucleus of such a library having now been formed, the time has arrived when the subscription may be safely lowered in uniformity with the other societies affiliated to the New Zealand Institute.
By resolution of the subscribers at a special meeting, held 7th June, it was decided that in future the annual subscription be reduced to one guinea, except for the first year, the first subscription being two guineas, as heretofore.
In conformity with this reduction, the life payment has also been reduced from £20 to £10.
The amount of work done by the Institute during the past year, and papers read, though of considerable value and interest, have not been so large and numerous as might have been expected; and the Council would point out how desirable it is that members should exert themselves to infuse life into the Institute by recording observations, or, at least, by giving regular attendance at the general meetings and taking part in the discussions.
Twelve papers have been read during the session.
The Committee appointed to report on Native and Introduced Grasses have sent in a voluminous report. (See Transactions, p. 292.)
Numerous gifts of books have been received during the year.
Since the Council submitted their last report £82 8s. 1d. has been expended in the purchase of scientific books.
A Library Committee has been appointed to arrange for the issue of books and periodicals, and they hope that very shortly the books may be accessible to the members.
The Council beg to point out that donations of works of reference will be gratefully received, as it would confer a great benefit on the community that books of occasional reference should be generally accessible instead of being shut up in private libraries.
A further sum of £20 has been sent home to Mr. Nottidge for a Microscope, making altogether £40, and the Council hope that the Institute will shortly be in possession of a first-class instrument.
Five pounds have been voted for the purchase of a Marine Aquarium of the best construction for the Institute. £54 19s. has been handed over to the Trustees of the local Museum in accordance with Rule III., section 1, of the rules of the New Zealand Institute.
Arrangements have been made for the additional comfort of the members on the evenings of meeting.
The receipts for the year ending 30th November, 1871, amount to £188 6s. 3d., and the expenditure to £159 8s. 2d., leaving a balance in hand of £28 18s. 1d.
The Honorary Secretary stated that the Council recommended the alteration of Rule VIII., so that it might be possible to substitute a conversazione for the annual dinner.
It was moved by Mr. Fraser, “That the words ‘or conversazione’ be added after the word ‘dinner’ in Rule VIII.,” seconded by Dr. Coward, and carried after some discussion.
A number of presents were laid on the table.