Annual General Meeting.
The President, Mr. J. B. Lewis, in the chair.
In presenting this report the Trustees of the Institute have every confidence that it will meet with the approval of its members, and although the past year has not been what may be termed a phenomenal one, still they are satisfied the Institute maintains a steady position, and that its influence and utility have a fixed and permanent foundation, requiring only better support from many of the citizens, which it richly deserves.
A matter of considerable importance in connection with the Institute has lately arisen, and is still pending—viz, that of obtaining from Mr. Carnegie a grant for the erection of a suitable building for a public library and museum.
A good deal of correspondence bearing on the subject has passed between His Worship the Mayor, the Institute, and the Borough Council, owing to the necessity of certain conditions imposed by Mr. Carnegie being complied with preparatory to that gentleman signifying his consent to the grant, and a conference has lately been held between the members of the Borough Council and the Trustees of the Institute in order to accomplish the object in view, with the result that there is every probability of pending difficulties being overcome.
However, assuming the application will be ultimately successful, such a building as that proposed will not only be a great acquisition to the town, but a decided boon to the public.
The members' roll now contains sixty-seven names; but it is to be regretted that the membership of so worthy an institution has not increased to a greater extent, seeing the many advantages to be obtained from it by the payment of a small subscription.
During the past year several committee meetings have been held and were well attended, unremitting attention having been given to all matters of interest in reference to the Institute, and during that period the library has been supplemented by the addition of many new works, notion and otherwise.
The reading-room has been well supplied with the leading daily, local, and other newspapers, and the Trustees desire to record their thanks for the many donations of newspapers to the Institute from newspaper-proprietors.
The Museum, under the continued able management of the indefatigable curator, has had every care and attention bestowed upon it, and, as a place of report, is even more popular than ever.
The ordinary subsidies from the Government, Borough Council, and Harbour Board have been of material assistance in augmenting the limited income of the Institute.
The. Hon. Treasurer has, in his periodical statements, shown that the funds of the Institute are in a satisfactory condition, and the balance-sheet to be presented by him at this meeting will be found to contain the usual items necessary foe properly working the Institute, the expenditure having been kept within reasonable limits.
Election of Officers for 1904.—President—Mr. J. R. McNaughton; Vice-President—Dr. Macandrew; Treasurer—Mr. Mabin; Committee—Messrs. Clarke, Dunne, Heinz, Mahan, Michel, Morton, Park, Beare, Lewis, Solomon, Corner and Dr. Teichelmann.