The President drew attention to the death (18th October, 1898) of Mr. John Buchanan, F.L.S., a very old member of the Society.
Sir James Hector said Mr. Buchanan was well known to the members as one who had done great service to the New Zealand Institute by the beautiful way in which he had illustrated Volumes I. to XIX. of their Transactions. When he (Sir James) came out to New Zealand in 1861 Sir Joseph Hooker asked him to look out for a man called John Buchanan, who sent Home to the herbarium at Kew the best collections of plants that were received from Australasia. On arrival in New Zealand he (Sir James) accordingly advertised for Mr. Buchanan, who immediately responded, and to whom be was able to give an appointment as draughtsman and botanist in 1862. About six years ago Mr. Buchanan retired from the public service. Mr. Buchanan contributed many valuable papers—perhaps the most valuable papers that had ever been contributed—to the botany of New Zealand, and he also worked in the interests of science in many other ways. He was a great explorer, or, rather, wanderer, and he endured much hardship in collecting specimens of geological interest, minerals, birds even, and certainly, above all other things, plants. Mr. Buchanan's collection of plants made in New Zealand were forwarded from time to time to Sir Joseph Hooker at Kew, and the whole of the plants he collected up to 1863 were embodied in the “Flora of New Zealand,” published in 1865. Of course, since then he had made other large collections. These also were sent to Kew; but duplicates remained here, and were placed at the disposal of the late Mr. Kirk, who had made use of them in his work, now partly published. Mr. Buchanan had left a large collection of specimens, books, drawings, and manuscript notes, all of which he (Sir James) saw on the last occasion on which he was in Dunedin in the crypts and cellars underneath the museum in that city. Sir James added that he hoped a little better care would be taken of the collection until they reached a more enlightened age. There might be many
unknown facts embodied in these notes because Mr. Buchanan studied the botany of New Zealand at a time when there were no rabbits, and when there had been no great bush-fires.—when the country was more in a state of nature than it was now. His botanical researches in the south of New Zen land were made single-handed; and the great; interest of the botany of New Zealand lay in the original flora of the far south. Sir James repeated that he hoped great care would be taken to preserve every scrap of work left by Mr. Buchanan. They all mourned Mr. Buchanan's death, though at the same time it had to be said that it was a happy release for him.