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Volume 44, 1911
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– 43 –

Manawatu Philosophical Society.

Fourth Meeting: 31st August, 1911.
Captain Hewitt, R.N., in the chair.

Exhibit.—A fine specimen of volcanic rock brought by the “Terra Nova” from Mount Erebus, and presented to the Society by Mr. J. J. Kinsey, was exhibited, and descriptive notes thereon communicated by Miss Souper were read by the Secretary.

The rock was described as an alkaline basalt or trachydolerite, intermediate in type between ordinary basalt and phonolite, almost precisely identical in character and chemical composition with the kenytes of Mount Kenya and the rhomb-porphyries of Mount Kilimandjaro recently described by Dr. Finkh.

Paper.—” Memory: What is it?”

The paper defined memory as the storing-up of past impressions, including therein not merely the impressions received by the individual, but those also inherited from countless generations of ancestors. This was illustrated by instances of the marvellous instinct shown by insects and larger animals, and also by the transmission of special talents in particular families, such as those of Bach, Darwin, and Gregory. Quoting Walt Whitman's saying that” Every hour of light and dark, and every inch of space, was a miracle,” the speaker laid stress upon the fact that nature's methods were not only miraculous but very slow, and that any attempt to unduly hasten them in the desire for progress was sure to end in failure.

On the motion of the Chairman, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to the lecturer.

Fifth Meeting: 28th September, 1911.
Captain Hewitt, R.N., in the chair.

The President announced that at the last meeting of the Council ten new members were elected; and that, as the alterations in the fire-brigade building kindly undertaken by the Borough Council were now nearly completed, he hoped that the Museum would be ready to be opened in the new premises by the end of October. Mr. Hamilton had very kindly promised, with the permission of the Minister of Internal Affairs, to superintend the arrangement of collections; and several firms and offices had promised valuable additions, illustrating the different forms of local industry.

Paper.—Mr. J. E. Vernon, M.A., read a paper on “Recent Local Weather,” describing the different instruments belonging to the Society which had been in his charge for the last four months, and giving statistics of local rainfall, temperature, barometric pressure, and wind.