Annual Meeting: 11th December, 1907.
Dr. Cockayne in the chair, and thirty others present.
The Chairman referred to the death of Sir James Hector, and moved a resolution of sympathy with his family. This was seconded by Dr. Chilton, and carried, those present standing.
Mr. Hogg referred to the return of the subantarctic expedition, and, on behalf of the Institute, welcomed the Canterbury members of it.
The following annual report and balance - sheet were adopted:—
The number of Council meetings held during the year was eighteen, and the average attendance seven. Early in the year Mr. Hogg, who had been appointed Secretary at the last annual meeting, resigned, and Dr. C. Coleridge Farr took his place.
Apart from the regular work which the Council has to perform every year, the principal business this year has been the organization of the expedition to the Auckland and Campbell Islands, which has now been successfully carried through. In the early part of the year, owing to the contemplated marine survey of the coast of New Zealand, it appeared likely that it would be impossible to make arrangements with the Government for the conveyance of the expedition, but on the abandonment of the survey the Minister of Marine very readily fell in with your Council's proposals, and finally agreed to take a party of twenty-five, landing them in two sections, one at the Auckland Islands and the other at Campbell Island. The selection of gentlemen to form these parties fell to your Council, and they fully realised the responsibility thus cast upon them. The considerations which guided them in their choice were the efficiency of both parties in every branch of science likely to be advanced by a visit to these interesting islands, and the avoidance of overlapping. The Council issued invitations to gentlemen of recognised standing throughout New Zealand. It was inevitable that some of those whose names first occurred to the Council should be unable, from one reason or another, to go, and the Council much regretted that as the expedition left the Bluff it contained no representatives from the Auckland District, although five distinguished scientific men from the northern capital had been invited. This was mainly owing to circumstances over which neither the Council nor those gentlemen themselves had control.
Being acquainted with the work done by the members of the expedition in their several scientific capacities, the Council has no hesitation in saying that the results are of such a character as to lead to a considerable extension of our knowledge not only of these little-known islands in particular, but also of the subantarctic area in general. During the forth-coming year it is probable that papers dealing with the expedition will be brought before you, and it will be a matter for the Council to be elected this evening to decide as to most satisfactory means of publication of the results as a whole.
For the purposes of the expedition the Council voted £25 of the Institute's funds, and it has learnt since its return that the Parliament has, at the suggestion of the Government, voted £150 towards the expenses.
The Council notes with pleasure that an expedition has been organized by members of the Institute and others to visit the Kermadecs and to spend a year there for the purpose of making scientific collections. To aid this work the Council has made a grant of £10 from the Institute's
funds, and has used its influence to endeavour to secure free passages for the members of the party, but unfortunately in this respect it was unsuccessful.
The Council in last year's report drew attention to the advisability of the appointment of a Government Botanist, and it is pleased now to state that, while such a post has not yet been created, arrangements have been made between the Government and Dr. Cockayne which are very satisfactory from a scientific point of view, and which enable that gentleman to continue and extend the work which he has so long and so successfully carried on at his own expense.
The signing of a contract for the construction of a tunnel at Arthur's Pass brought before the Council the problems of interest which might be elucidated in the progress of a work of so great a magnitude. A subcommittee has been appointed and the initial steps have been taken, and arrangements in connection with experiments proposed will form part of the business of the next Council.
The number of ordinary meetings of the Institute held during the year has been nine, and the average attendance at these has been forty. Addresses have been given as follows: Mr. R. Speight, “Some Aspects of the Terrace-development in the Valleys of the Canterbury Rivers”; Dr. L. Cockayne, “The Vegetation of Stewart Island”; Mr. T. W. Adams, “The Genus Pinus”; Mr. Jas. Drummond, “Little Barrier Island”; Professor Bickerton, “The Evolution of the Universe; and one evening was devoted to a discussion on “Theories of Evolution.” Besides these, seventeen papers have been read before the Institute, which may be classified as follows: Mathematics and physics, 4; geology, 2; chemistry, 1; botany, 2; zoology, 7; literature, 1.
The number of members of the Institute is now 147.
The Hon. Treasurer's balance-sheet shows that during the year £122 1s. 6d. was received for members' subscriptions, that £54 2s. 10d. has been expended in the purchase of books and periodicals for the library, £25 has been contributed to the subantarctic expedition, and £10 to the Kermadecs expedition, leaving a credit balance, including the £50 placed on fixed deposit two years ago, of £83 4s. Of this amount, the sum of £10 has been allocated for expenses connected with the investigations made desirable by the cutting of the Arthur's Pass Tunnel.
Election of Officers for 1908.—President—Mr. E. G. Hogg; Vice-Presidents—Dr. Hilgendorf, Mr. R. M. Laing; Hon. Secretary—Mr. R. Speight; Hon. Treasurer—Dr. Chilton; Council—Dr. Cockayne, Mr. J. Drummond, Dr. C. C. Farr, Mr. J. B. Maine, Mr. Edgar R. Waite, Mr. A. M. Wright; Hon. Auditor—Mr. G. Way, F.I.A.N.Z.
Mr. Hogg, on taking the chair, referred to the advent of the antarctic ship “Nimrod,” and to the approaching arrival of the Carnegie Institute's magnetic-survey yacht “Galilee.”