Manawatu Philosophical Society.
First Meeting: 16th March, 1911.
Captain Hewitt, R.N., in the chair.
Lecture.—“Ramblings and a little Philosophy.” By H. B. Drew.
The lecturer gave interesting reminiscences of a two-years cycling tour on the Continent of Europe and in the Holy Land, and illustrated them by lantern-slides from sketches and photographs by Mr. G. E. Woolley. He took his hearers—mostly by by-ways—through parts of Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, and Germany, as well as Jerusalem and its neighbourhood, giving his impressions of the cultivation of the land and the condition of the peasantry in the different countries. He was much struck, he said, by the great cordiality with which he and his companions were received throughout their travels, especially in Austria and Germany, and by the high opinion apparently everywhere entertained of England and English honour
Second Meeting: 20th April, 1911.
Mr. J. E. Vernon, M.A., in the chair.
“The Anatomical Structures of the New Zealand Piperaceae.” By Miss A. F. Ironsides, M.A.
This paper gives in full detail the results of an examination of the anatomical structure of the adult plant and seedling of the New Zealand representatives of the Piperaceae, and discusses the bearing of the facts on the relationships of the order and on the phylogeny of the Angiosperms generally.
“Some New Zealand Moths.” By the Rev. A. Doull, M.A.
Illustrated by a collection of about forty species showing curious individual variations, including Bityea defigurata, found only at Palmerston North, in the North Island.
“Moose and Wapiti in New Zealand.” By R. Henry.
The writer stated that these animals, which had been brought from Canada, where they had abundance of grain and sunshine, enabling them in the summer to put on sufficient fat to carry them through the winter, while the weaklings were carried off by the wolves, had been turned out in a valley in the Sounds, where there was neither grass nor sunshine, and almost perpetual rain, with sides so steep that it was hardly possible for them to get out of it.
“Pike as Health Officers.” By R. Henry.
Showing by an illustration in the Sporting and Dramatic News, and by statistics from English papers, that pike by structure and habit are adapted for the capture of sickly fish only, and are therefore most useful as health officers, and that the same function is discharged in New Zealand by eels, and probably also by shags.
Third Meeting: 6th June, 1911.
Mr. W. S. Durward in the chair.
Mr. Justice Chapman gave a very interesting lecture on the “Alpine Flora of New Zealand.” He began by defining “alpine flora” as that which prevailed above the forest-line, but pointed out that the altitude of this line, here as elsewhere, gradually decreased from the Equator towards the Poles, sinking from 4,000 ft. in the North Island and Nelson to the sea-level in the Campbell Islands. There was great similarity in the alpine flora all over the world; the chief distinction of the New Zealand variety was that it was almost entirely white, especially in the higher regions. This flora was of great beauty, and was to be found in great profusion in the higher parts of the Tararua and Ruahine Ranges and on Ruapehu, as well as in the larger alpine areas of the South Island. The existence of this alpine flora in conjunction with the almost tropical forest rendered it probable that New Zealand had at one time been connected with a large continent extending as far as New Guinea, and at another time with the Antarctic. He warmly recommended the study of the New Zealand alpine flora to all who desired healthful recreation, as the regions where the alpine flora prevailed were now easily accessible from all parts of the Dominion.
At the conclusion of the lecture a cordial vote of thanks was moved by Mr. Wilson, and seconded by Mr. Vernon.