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Volume 42, 1909

Proceedings
of the
New Zealand Institute.
1908.

Adjourned Sixth Annual Meeting.

The adjourned meeting was held in the Dominion Museum, Wellington, on Thursday, 4th February, 1909, at 10.30 a.m.

Present: Mr. G. M. Thomson, President (in the chair); Mr. A. Hamilton, Mr. M. Chapman, Professor Easterfield, Mr. T. H. Gill, Mr. J. W. Joynt, Mr. W. Wilson, Mr. H. Hill, Mr. E. Tregear, Mr. John Young, Dr. L. Cockayne, Professor W. B. Benham, Mr. R. Speight, and the Secretary (Mr. Thomas King).

A letter, dated 29th December, 1908, was received from the Department of Internal Affairs, notifying the appointment (published in the New Zealand Gazette of the 23rd December) of Messrs. J. W. Joynt and E. Tregear as members of the Board of Governors of the New Zealand Institute under “The New Zealand Institute Act, 1908.”

The President welcomed Mr. Speight on taking his seat on the Board for the first time.

An apology from Mr. James Stewart for non-attendance was read.

The minutes of the last annual meeting were confirmed; the minutes of the Standing Committee meetings held on the 12th November, the 24th July, the 4th December, 1908, and the 25th January, 1909, were read; and the minutes of the annual meeting of the 28th January last were read and confirmed.

The Secretary explained the circumstances connected with the telegraphic advices of the postponement of the annual meeting. The explanation was considered satisfactory.

The annual report and annual statement of receipts and expenditure were then read. The report and statement were as follows:—

The fifth annual meeting of the Board of Governors under “The New Zealand Institute Act, 1903,” was held in the Dominion Museum, Wellington, on the 30th January, 1908, and was attended by fourteen members.

The President, Mr. G. M. Thomson, F.L.S., F.C.S., was in the chair.

It was reported that Messrs. John Young and Augustus Hamilton, the two retiring nominees of the Government, had been reappointed, and that the following representatives

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had been elected by the societies affiliated to the Institute: Messrs. D. Petrie and J. Stewart (Auckland Institute); Professor T. H. Easterfield and Mr. Martin Chapman, K. C. (Wellington Philosophical Society); Professor Charles Chilton and Dr. C. C. Farr (Philosophical Institute of Canterbury); Professor W. B. Benham and Mr. G. M. Thomson (Otago Institute); Mr. H. Hill (Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute); Dr. L. Cockayne (Nelson Institute); Mr. T. H. Gill (Westland Institute); and Mr. Kenneth Wilson (Manawatu Philosophical Society).

The following officers were elected for 1909: President, Mr. G. M. Thomson, F.L.S., F.C.S.; Hon. Treasurer, Mr. Martin Chapman, K. C.; Secretary, Mr. Thomas King; Hon. Editor of Transactions, Mr. G. M. Thomson; Hon. Librarian, Mr. Augustus Hamilton; Publications Committee, Professor C. Chilton, Professor W. B. Benham, Dr. C.C. Farr, and the Hon. Editor.

The honorary members elected were Dr. L. Diels, of Berlin; the Rev. T. R. R. Stebbing, F.R.S., of Tunbridge Wells; and Mr. E. Meyrick, B.A., F.R.S., of Marlborough College, Wilts. There are now twenty-nine honorary members on the roll, and the meeting will therefore be asked to elect one new member.

In accordance with resolutions passed at last annual meeting, Professor T. W. E. David, Professor W. A. Haswell, and Mr. J. H. Maiden, all of Sydney, were asked to act as a committee to suggest a suitable recipient of the Hutton Memorial Medal. The two last-mentioned gentlemen have consented to act, but no reply has yet been received from Professor David, who is absent in the far south as a member of the “Nimrod” Antarctic Expedition. The dies for the medal, and several specimens of the medal, have been received from England, and (by permission) have been lodged by the Secretary in the Dominion Museum for safe keeping.

The Committee set up at last annual meeting “to examine the books of the library with a view to determining their ownership” has never met, two of the members being resident in the South Island; consequently the position remains unaltered.

The same committee was set up to revise the exchange list; and Professors Benham and Chilton submitted suggestions to Mr. A. Hamilton, the Wellington member of the committee, as to the alterations required in the list. The matter is dealt with in the report of the Hon. Librarian, presented at this meeting.

At the last meeting a committee was set up to go into the matter of the delay in the issue of the 39th volume of the Transactions. This committee interviewed the Hon. J. A. Millar, Minister in charge of the Printing Department, and the Government Printer, and obtained a promise from those gentlemen that steps would be taken to expedite the issue of future volumes. The delay in the past year was in part attributed to the unprepared manner in which papers intended for publication were sent in; and the Government Printer undertook to supply a memorandum on the subject for the guidance of Secretaries of affiliated societies and of authors of papers. This memorandum was received by the Editor in February last, and copies were forwarded to the Secretaries of the several affiliated societies. It is, however, evident that the delay was largely due to the block of parliamentary business; and to obviate this in future it is advisable that the volume should be printed as early in the year as possible.

The committee appointed to make arrangements for the preparation of an index to the forty volumes of the Transactions has not been able to come to a final decision as to the course to be pursued. The committee has obtained specifications from two persons qualified to undertake the work, and is in communication with a third, but so far is unable to report definitely.

A geographical difficulty similar to the one spoken of in the paragraph referring to the Ownership of Books Committee has prevented the Hector Memorial Committee of the Institute from meeting. The members of the committee live in different parts of the Dominion, and have not found it practicable to assemble in Wellington. They are, however, co-operating with the main Hector Memorial Committee, which has the matter in hand. That committee has been reconstituted, and is in correspondence with the other bodies which are acting in the interests of the movement. The amount so far collected by the committees is, unfortunately, too small for the end in view. The main Hector Memorial Committee, at the instance of the Standing Committee of the Board of Governors, has therefore suggested to the Memorial Committee of the Institute, and to the allied committees in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, that a joint circular should be issued, signed by representatives of all the committees, appealing for further subscriptions to the fund. This suggestion has been adopted. A draft circular has been drawn up by the main Memorial Committee and submitted to the other committees, and its terms are now being discussed. Members of the Christchurch and Dunedin committees have stipulated for one or two fundamental changes in the wording of the circular. This has temporarily delayed matters; but it is hoped that agreement will shortly be arrived at upon the points at issue, and that as soon as the

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circular is ready for distribution all the committees will make a vigorous effort to raise a sum of money sufficient for the establishment of a worthy memorial.

The volumes of the Transactions remaining on hand are—Vol. I (second edition), 313; Vol. V, 30; Vol. VI, 21; Vol. VII, 143; Vol. IX, 214; Vol. X, 138; Vol. XI; 392; Vol. XII, 305; Vol. XIII, 142; Vol. XIV, 107; Vol. XV, 280; Vol. XVI, 270; Vol. XVII, 530; Vol. XVIII, 308; Vol. XIX, 555; Vol. XX, 450; Vol. XXI, 454; Vol. XXII, 560; Vol. XXIII, 570; Vol. XXIV, 670; Vol. XXV, 626; Vol. XXVI, 613; Vol. XXVII, 605; Vol. XXVIII, 688; Vol. XXIX, 591; Vol. XXX, 684; Vol. XXXI, 695; Vol. XXXII 517; Vol. XXXIII, 611; Vol. XXXIV, 563; Vol. XXXV, 525; Vol. XXXVI, 686; Vol. XXXVII, 604; Vol. XXXVIII, 750; Vol. XXXIX, 192; Vol. XL, 91.

The advance copies of the new volume (XL, 1907) were not received from the printers until the first week of September, 1908, and the main supplies were not available for distribution until towards the end of that month. The volume contains 608 and xvi pages, and 34 plates. The contents of the last two volumes are compared as follows:—

Vol XXXIX (1906) Pages. Vol XL (1907) Pages.
Miscellaneous 76 185
Zoology 210 124
Botany 189 126
Geology 47 95
Chemistry Nil 10
Proceedings 31 44
Appendix 23 24
576 608

Copies of Vol. XL were presented to Parliament on the 8th September, 1908.

In accordance with resolutions passed at the last annual meeting, the volumes of the Transactions now stored in the vault of Parliament Buildings have been insured for the sum of £500, and the Institute's books stored in the Dominion Museum, Wellington, have been insured for £2,000.

As decided at last annual meeting, the Standing Committee has given consideration to the question of reprinting papers which have appeared in the Transactions. After going carefully into the subject, the committee has come to the conclusion that it is not desirable for the Board in the meantime to undertake the reprinting of papers.

A question which has engaged the attention of the Standing Committee, and which seems deserving of consideration by the Board as a whole, is that of the constitution of the committees which are sometimes appointed by the Board for the conduct of special business. Several such committees were set up at last annual meeting. These were composed of members residing in widely separated districts of the colony, but in no instance was a convener or an executive officer appointed. The result has been unsatisfactory. Each member of a committee has been in doubt as to who was to take the initiative, and in consequence great difficulty has been experienced by the committees in getting to work.

The Standing Committee has found it impracticable to make the arrangements necessary for holding, in terms of the resolution passed at the last annual meeting, a special general meeting of the members of the Institute on the 29th January, 1909, and, in consequence, the meeting in question must lapse.

It seems advisable that the practice of granting diplomas of membership to gentlemen who are elected honorary members of the Institute should be revived. Such diplomas were regularly issued under the original Act, and were appreciated by the recipients; but the passing of the Act of 1903 rendered the wording of the old form of diploma obsolete, and no diplomas have been given during the past five years. With a few unimportant alterations the phraseology of the old form could be adapted to present-day requirements, and the supply of amended forms could be printed for a trifling sum.

On the 16the December, 1908, the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury gave notice that Professor Charles Chilton had resigned his seat on the Board, and that Mr. R. Speight, of Christchurch, had been elected in his place to represent the Christchurch society.

The Secretary, Mr. Thomas King, has explained to the Standing Committee that he finds that the secretarial work takes up very much more time than he anticipated, or than he can spare, and that he has therefore, with regret, decided not to seek re-election.

The amount standing at the credit of the Carter Bequest Fund with the Public Trustee on the 31st December, 1908, including interest accrued to the 31st December,

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1908, was £2,735 16s. 5d. The Public Trustee also holds on account of the bequest scrip in the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company (Limited) of the total face value of £32 5s. 5d. His certificate accompanies the present report. At the last annual meeting it was decided that the Hon. Treasurer should be asked to endeavour to arrange with the Public Trustee for the payment of interest on this money at 4 ½ per cent., instead of 4 per cent. per annum. On inquiry, however, the Treasurer ascertained that as a matter of fact 4 ½ per cent. was being allowed on the deposit, that being the rate paid by the Public Trust Office on sums not exceeding £3,000. There was therefore no occasion for the Treasurer to take action.

A duly audited statement of the Institute's receipts and expenditure for the past year, showing a credit balance of £392 10s. 11d., is presented with this report.

Geo. M. Thomson, President.