Sixth Meeting: 12th November, 1894.
Mr. T. Humphries, President, in the chair.
Papers.—1. “Memorabilia of certain Animal Prodigies, Native and Foreign, Ancient and Modern,.” by W. Colenso, F.R.S., F.L.S. (Lond.), &c.
2. “The Modern History of a Block of Greenstone,.” by W. Colenso, F.R.S., F.L.S. (Lond.), &c. (Transactions, p. 598.)
3. “Description of a few Newly-discovered and Rare Indigenous Plants,.” by W. Colenso, F.R.S., F.L.S. (Lond.), &c. (Transactions, p. 383.)
4. “The Nuhaka Hot Springs,.” by H. Hill, B.A., F.G.S. (Transactions, p. 478.)
5. “The Hawke's Bay Pleistocene Beds and the Glacial Period: Part II.,” by H. Hill, B.A., F.G.S. (Transactions, p. 466.)
At the close of the meeting, the President, in the name of the Institute, presented to Mr. Colenso a fine portrait in oils of himself, by Herr Lindauer.
In making the presentation, Mr. Humphries referred to the valuable services rendered to the Institute by Mr. Colenso by his scientific researches. The members of the society had for some time thought that some remembrance of the work Mr. Colenso had done for the Institute should be obtained, and he was exceedingly pleased they had secured so fine a representation of the pillar and founder of the institution.
Mr. Hill, on being called on by the President to say a few words, said it gave him great pleasure to be present on such an occasion, because it seemed to him that they were for once trying to carry out the object which the society had had in view for a number of years past. While in their midst they had a man of scientific attainments such as were recognized in Europe and America, yet he (the speaker) often wondered whether Mr. Colenso was as well known here in this town, where he had resided for half a century, as the ordinary handi-capper or jockey who rode in a race. They had a man amongst them of whom the citizens of Napier, and other inhabitants of New Zealand, should be proud. Whilst listening to Mr. Colenso reading his remarkable papers those present must have been struck by the variety of knowledge which he brought forward from time to time to interest and instruct. Year after year the same untiring energy was manifested by him, and that, too, at an age when most men would have given up pursuits of a scientific nature. Mr. Colenso still came to them trying to point out the pathways of science which he himself had trodden with pleasure—a pleasure that he transmitted to his audience. Was it not sufficient to urge the younger members on, to think that here was a gentleman of over fourscore years, who yet followed the hobby of his life, and was yet desirous of leaving a record behind him of things he had seen, of conclusions he had arrived at from his scientific pursuits? He (Mr. Hill) had looked upon Mr. Colenso as a teacher; and he had never been in his presence without feeling that his life was an example, a sermon, and everything that was good and noble. He was pleased to think that the Philosophical Society was at last trying to recognize its duty towards the founder of the Institute. Mr. Colenso had nursed the society since its inception, and looked after it until it had come to be known throughout New Zealand as one of the strongest in the colony. The present members of the society did not need anything to remind them of Mr. Colenso's qualities, of goodness, but they must remember that nature in time to come would demand her own, and he, like all others, must pass away. Those who came after would need a reminder, and, when they saw this picture hanging in the Museum which would become theirs some day, they would know that it was the picture of a good and gracious man. He trusted that there were many years before Mr. Colenso yet in which he would come amongst them, and inspire them as he had inspired them in days gone by, and that he would be encouraged by this small effort which the society had made to keep him in remembrance.
The Rev. Mr. Colenso, in returning thanks for the present, said he hardly knew what to say, so many things in his remembrance were crowding into his mind. The coming month of December would make it sixty years since he first came to Hawke's Bay, having landed in company with the late Bishop Williams, first Bishop of Waiapu, and the bishop elect, who was then a mere boy. Since his arrival in Napier on that occasion he had resided here up till the present time. Mr. Colenso then went on to refer briefly to his connection with the Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute, remarking that, though he last year to all intents and purposes bade farewell to the Institute, it had pleased God to restore him to health and vigour. He also referred to the services rendered by Mr. Hamilton as Curator before his removal to Dunedin, who, by his interest and whole heartedness in the work, was, in a very large measure, responsible for the splendid collection of specimens the society now held. He (Mr. Colenso) hoped the time would come, and at no distant period, when the Institute would own a museum, where their valuable specimens could be properly taken care of. In conclusion, he asked the society to accept the picture as a present from him.