Abstract of Annual Report.
The Council have held seven meetings for the transaction of the business of the Institute. During the session the Council have been deprived of the services of two of their number—viz., Mr. Melland, who went to England in July, and Dr. Hocken, who left Dunedin in August for a trip to Europe. Your Council did not deem it necessary to make use of their powers to fill these vacancies.
The usual number of meetings of the members has been held, and the plan adopted last year of arranging a definite programme of lectures has been again followed; yet the Council still have reason to regret the relatively small number of members that have been attracted by these lectures, which have covered a wide range of subjects. In addition to these lectures, eleven original contributions have been laid before the Institute for publication in the Transactions. A few years ago it was suggested that natural-history notes—records of observations scarcely worthy of being termed “papers”—might be made by members and handed to the secretary from time to time, but hitherto no response has been made. To the naturalist every careful and accurate observation, however slight and apparently unimportant, has its value, and the Council would welcome the notes, whether made by the wayside, or the seaside, or in the bush. Our native fauna and flora are rapidly disappearing, so that every opportunity should be taken of putting on record any observation of habits, of occurrence, of species, &c.
The number of new members elected during the session is eleven, and the Council hope that this is a promise of further increase, and that some of these new members will, by their efforts, contribute towards rendering the meetings interesting and varied.
During the last few years, owing to insufficiency of funds, it has been impossible to carry out the binding of the periodicals, but during the present session an attempt has been made to overtake the arrears; and, with the exception of some less important works, the periodicals up to date have been bound—namely, fifty-one octavo and twelve quarto volumes. The honorary librarian begs to point out to members the necessity of entering in the book provided for the purpose any volume borrowed
from the library, for during the present session one or two books have been taken away without this notification and have not been returned. It is in this way that books are liable to be lost. In view of the continued additions to the number of volumes, your Council have increased the sum for which the library is insured to the amount of £1,000. The yearly volume of the Transactions arrived on the 24th October, and was distributed to members as soon as possible.
At the beginning of the session a committee of your Council was appointed to revise the rules and constitution of the Institute, in order to bring them into agreement with the various changes effected by resolutions passed by the members from time to time since 1876, when the rules were last printed. The revised edition was issued to members in April of this year. A resolution was adopted that the Institute should be incorporated under “The Unclassified Societies Act, 1895.” This matter will be carried out forthwith.