Abstract of Annual Report
Since last annual meeting the Council has met seven times for the transaction of business. At the first meeting Mr. George M. Thomson, who had been elected Vice-president as well as Honorary Secretary, resigned the former position, and the Council unanimously elected Mr. F. R. Chapman a Vice-president. During the year Mr. T. D. Pearce forwarded his resignation as a member of the Council. This was accepted with regret, and Mr. J. C. Thomson was elected to the vacancy.
The additions to the membership during the year were twelve, the total number now on the roll being 112, of whom ten are life members.
Seven general meetings of the members have been held, and at these there has been, on the whole, a gratifying attendance. At two of these, interesting addresses illustrated by lime-light views were delivered—viz., by Miss M. E. A. Marchant on “Impressions of Florence,” and by Dr. F. Truby King on “Protection and Reclamation of Sea-coasts by means of planting.” The following papers were also contributed: “The Marine Mollusca of Totaranui Bay, Nelson,” by Professor Park: “Occurrence of Native Lead at Parapara, Nelson,” by Professor Park; “On a Manifestation of Aurora in Southern Latitudes,” by Mr. H. Skey; “The Kingston Moraine,” by Dr. P. Marshall; “The Wanganui Gravels,” by Dr. P. Marshall; “On Tænia echinococcus and Hydatid Disease,” by Dr. L. E. Barnett; “An Account of the Fiji Fire-walking Ceremony, or Vilavilairevo, with a Probable Explanation of the Mystery,” by Dr. R. Fulton; “Some New Species of New Zealand Earthworms,” by Professor Benham; “An Earthworm from Norfolk Island,” by Professor Benham; “The Evolution of Life,” by Professor Benham.
At the last annual meeting it was resolved that the Institute be registered under “The Unclassified Societies Act, 1895.” Steps were taken in accordance with this resolution; but, as the Registrar of Friendly Societies required the rules to be amended, a special meeting of the members, called by circular, was held on the 13th May, when a draft of proposed rules and regulations was adopted. On the 8th July the certificate of incorporation and a sealed copy of the rules were laid on the table, and it was resolved to deposit the same with the Institute's solicitors.
At the June meeting of the members the following resolution, moved by Mr. A. Bathgate, was agreed to: “The this Institute, having learned with regret that sheep are allowed to run upon the reserve at Mount Cook, and that the interesting native flora of that locality is consequently
threatened with extinction, strongly urges on the Government, the necessity for the immediate adoption of adequate measures to protect the reserve referred to from the depredations of stock and from injury by fire, and that the Government be asked to make and protect further reserves in that locality, including the country between the Tasman and Hooker Glaciers; and that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Hon. the Minister of Lands.” In reply to the Secretary's communication the Minister of Lands stated that instructions had been issued to the Commissioner of Crown Lands for Canterbury, the Crown Lands Ranger, and other officials to report as to the facts of the case.
Reference was made in the last annual report to the compilation of an “Index Faunæ Novæ-Zealandiæ,” which it was hoped the Governors of the New Zealand Institute would publish. This the Governors did not see their way to do, and accordingly the Canterbury Philosophical Institute had itself undertaken to publish the work at joint risk with Captain Hutton, the editor. Your Council resolved to co-operate with the Canterbury Philosophical Institute by subscribing for fifty copies at 10s. each.
The matter of the marine fish-hatchery has been moved a step forward, and is now out of the hands of your Council, except as regards the appointment of a representative on the advisory board and its liability of £250 towards the cost of construction of the station. On the 10th March Professor Benham, Messrs. A. C. Begg, F. R. Chapman, R-Chisholm, and G. M. Thomson waited on the Premier as a joint deputation from the Institute and the Otago Acclimatisation Society, and received an assurance from him that the Cabinet had agreed to push on with the matter. In consequence of a letter received from the Marine Department, a conference of your Council with the committee of the Acclimatisation Society was held on the 21st March. The letter stated that the Government was prepared to form an advisory board in connection with the marine fish-hatchery, and to go on with the construction at a cost not to exceed £1,100: the Board to consist of one member from the Otago Institute; one member from the Otago Acclimatisation Society; the Commissioner of Customs, Dunedin; the District Engineer, Public Works Department, Dunedin; and the Chief Surveyor, Otago District. After discussion it was agreed, “That, if it be understood that the advisory board shall have the management subject to the control of the Department, and that the representation of the societies be increased to two members each, the societies will agree to the Government proposals.” On the 12th June an advisory board consisting of Mr. David Barron, Chief Surveyor; Mr. C. W. S. Chamberlain, Collector of Customs; Mr. Robert Chisholm, representing the Otago Acclimatisation Society; Captain C. E. W. Fleming, Superintendent of Mercantile Marine; and Mr. G. M. Thomson, representing the Otago Institute, was gazetted. Although this is not in accordance with the foregoing resolution, your Council, being desirous of seeing the work proceeded with, did not think it advisable to press the matter. On the 24th June the first meeting of the Board was held, when Mr. George M. Thomson was elected Chairman, and Mr. C. W. Chamberlain Hon. Secretary.
Early in the session a letter was received from the Council of the Auckland Institute in regard to the delay in publication of the Transactions, and suggesting (1) the issue of the annual volume in parts, these parts either to appear at fixed periods or as soon as sufficient material is available; (2) that no papers forwarded to the Manager of the Institute later than 31st December in each year shall appear in the volume for that year. In reply, the Secretary was requested to write expressing the concurrence of this Council with the proposals of the Auckland Institute, and further to suggest that the Proceedings should be published separately from the Transactions immediately after the close of each session, or in two separate instalments during and after each session.
The last instalment due on the moa's egg in the Museum having been paid to the Council during this session, the egg is now the property of the Otago University.
Your Council has nominated Mr. James McKerrow as its representative on the Board of Governors of the New Zealand Institute, and has forwarded the names of the following gentlemen as honorary members for any vacancies which may occur in the list: Dr. George S. Brady, F.R.S., Durham College of Science, author of papers on New Zealand Entomostraca; Frank E. Beddard, F.R.S., Prosector of the Zoological Society of London, who has worked on New Zealand Annelids; George O. Sars, Professor of Zoology in Christiana, for work on New Zealand Crustacea.
The following books have been added to the library of the Institute during the session: Benham, W. B. “Platyhelmia”; Cambridge Natural History:—Beddard, “Mammalia,” and Gadow, “Amphibia and Reptilia”; Christian, “The Caroline Islands”; Cole and Johnstone, “Pleuronectes”; English Dictionary, Murray, 2 vols.; Flower and Lydekker, “Mammals”; Keane, “Man, Past and Present”; Kent, W. Saville, “The Naturalist in Australia”; Lloyd, Morgan, “Animal Behaviour”; Moore, “To the Mountains of the Moon”; Packard, “Lamarck, his Life and Letters”; Skeat, “Malay Magic.”
The following books are now under order: Ratzel, “History of Mankind”; Meakin, Bridget, “The Moors”; Scientific Memoirs, edited by Dr. J. S. Ames, 15 vols.; Thomson, Basil, “Savage Island”; the Gilbert Club, “William Gilbert, of Colchester, on the Magnet,” &c.
The balance-sheet shows that the total receipts for the year were £135 13s. 11d., and the expenditure £63 5s. 9d. The Assets Account shows that the sum of £450 is now on deposit, and that the bank balance amounts to £51 19s. 2d.