Abstract Of Annual Report.
The number of members on the roll at the present time is 163, of whom eleven are life-members and 152 annual subscribers. Ten new members have been elected during the year; but, on the other hand, fourteen names have been removed—three from death, eight from resignation, and three from non-payment of subscription for more than two consecutive years.
It is the painful duty of the Council to draw attention to the names removed from the roll by death.
Mr. T. Kirk, whose decease occurred immediately after the last annual meeting, was one of the original members and founders of the society, and was its first secretary and curator. His attainments as a botanist are widely known, and every volume of the Transactions, since its first appearance in 1869, contains numerous contributions from his pen, many of them being of considerable scientific importance. It is greatly to be regretted that he did not live to complete the general work on the flora of New Zealand upon which he was engaged; and, in any case, his removal from the small band of scientific workers in New Zealand is much to be lamented.
Mr. F. D. Fenton was also one of the founders of the society. Although he invariably refused to serve on the Council, there are few members who have taken more interest in the working of the Institute, or have given more practical assistance towards securing its progress. During the formation of the collection illustrating the manners and customs of the Maori race, now exhibited in the Ethnological Hall, his co-operation was invaluable. He not only presented a large number of articles, and assisted in procuring others, but his wide knowledge of everything appertaining to the Maori was always freely placed at the service of the curator.
The following brief synopsis of the balance-sheets appended to the report will make the financial position of the society fully intelligible.
The total revenue of the working account, excluding the balance of £139 14s. 11d. brought from the previous year, has been £899 2s. 10d. Last year the amount wan £1,176 7s. 6d., so that there has been a decrease of £.277 4s. 8d. This is due to two causes: first, the almost total cessation of mining on the Waikanae Block, and the consequent extinguishment of all income from it; and, second, to the fall in the rate of interest, which has compelled the Council to renew several of their investments on much less satisfactory terms. Examining the separate items in the balance-sheet, it will be noted that the receipts from the invested funds of the Costley bequest stand at £365 16s. 3d., as against £413 Os. 4d. for 1897–98; the Museum endowment has yielded £355, the amount for the previous year being £619 15s. 11d.; while the sum received from members' subscriptions is almost the same as that credited last year. The total expenditure has been £954 13s., leaving a balance of £84 4s. 9d. in the Bank of New Zealand. The Council are glad to state that the invested funds of the Institute are in a satisfactory state. The total amount is now £13,590, showing an increase of £310 during the year. With the exception of a few hundred pounds, the whole of this sum is invested in mortgages on freehold security; and there is every reason to believe that the securities are exceptionally good and stable.