Wellington Philosophical Society.
Annual General Meeting: 4th October, 1911.
Mr. G. V. Hudson, President, in the chair.
New Members.—Mr. Thomas Ward, A.M.Inst.C.E., Professor G. W. von Zedlitz, Mr. Barclay Hector, Mr. E. K. Lomas, M.A., M.Sc., Rev. J. Crewes, Major-General A. I. Godley, Colonel E. S. Heard, Mr. J. W. Macdonald, Mr. W. Turnbull, Mr. J. A. Bartrum, M.Sc.
The Council's report for the session, and a statement of the receipts and payments, were read, and, on the motion of Mr. A. Hamilton, seconded by Mr. G. Hogben, both were adopted. The report was as follows:—
The session opened on the 10th May with an inaugural address by the President, Mr. G. V. Hudson, on the value of natural-history subjects.
During the session no less than forty-eight papers have been read, and a number of interesting exhibits have been brought before the Society.
In addition to the six ordinary meetings, a special meeting was held at Victoria College, when Professor Laby lectured on the principles of gyroscopic motion, and exhibited his working model of the Brennan mono-rail, which, with other apparatus used in the lecture, had been constructed in the College laboratory.
Another special meeting will be held in October, when a lecture will be delivered on the finger-print system by officers of the Police Department.
The Astronomical Section has shown marked activity, and has now purchased an equatorial mounting for the 5 in. Cooke telescope. It will be erected and an observatory will be built at Kelburne as soon as the necessary formalities are completed.
The Society notes with pleasure the successful formation of the Eugenics Education Society of Wellington, and also of the Wanganui Philosophical Society.
The Society made strong representations to the Government to reserve the whole of Kapiti Island for native fauna and flora.
The question of tidal observations at the outlying islands has advanced another stage, and it is probable that arrangements will soon be made by the Government for observations to be taken at Suva, Fiji.
Since the last annual meeting twenty-four new members have been elected, nine have resigned, two have died, and one has been struck off the roll for non-payment of subscription. The total number on the roll is now 145, including six life members and one honorary member.
A statement of the receipts and expenditure for the year ended 30th September, duly audited, is presented with this report. Inclusive of the balance brought forward from last year (£55 7s. 5d.), the receipts amounted to £172 9s. 5d., and the total payments were £108 15s. 3d., leaving a credit balance of £63 14s. 2d. The life subscriptions have been placed to the credit of a special fund, which has been invested at interest with the Public Trustee. This fund now amounts to £20, and the Research Fund, also invested with the Public Trustee, amounts to £39 10s. 2d., making a total sum in hand of £123 4s. 4d.
From the Librarian's report it will be seen that the Society, by purchase or donation, receives over twenty scientific periodicals, but that only about ten of them are taken out by members.
The President announced that the following officers were suggested by the Council for the year 1912:—
Election of Officers for 1912.—President—Mr. G. V. Hudson; Vice-Presidents—Mr. Thomas King and Dr. C. Monro Hector; Council—Mr. F. G. A. Stuckey, Professor D. K. Picken, Rev. D. Kennedy, D.D., Professor T. H. Easterfield, Mr. A. Hamilton, Mr. Martin Chapman, K.C., Professor H. B. Kirk; Secretary and Treasurer — Mr. C. E.
Adams; Librarian—Miss J. A. Wilson; Auditor—Mr. E. R. Dymock. As no other nominations were made, Mr. A. Hamilton proposed that the officers as suggested by the Council be elected; seconded by Mr. P. G. Morgan, and carried.
Astronomical Section.—The annual report of the Astronomical Section was read by the Secretary, Mr. A. C. Gifford, and reference was made to the generous gift by Mrs. W. F. Parsons of a 6 in. reflecting telescope made by the late Mr. W. F. Parsons in 1873.
The Council has pleasure in reporting that substantial progress has been made during the year.
A fine equatorial mounting and pillar have been procured from Messrs. Cooke and Sons for the 5 in. refracting telescope.
Mrs. Parsons, of the Lower Hutt, has presented to the Society the 6 in. reflecting telescope which was made by the late Mr. W. F. Parsons in 1873.
Throughout the year strenuous efforts have been made by the Council to secure permission to build on the site at Kelburne. A succession of technical difficulties barred the way, but on the 9th October formal permission was received for the Society to occupy and build upon a quarter of an acre of the Observatory Reserve.
The Council endeavoured to organize a party to co-operate with the Australian expedition sent to observe the total eclipse of the sun in April last. Unfortunately, the difficulties in the way proved insuperable.
At the meetings of the section a number of important papers have been read and delivered.
On the 15th November, 1910, Professor T. H. Laby gave a lecture on “The Pressure of Light,” illustrating his remarks with numerous experiments.
On the 21st February, 1911, Mr. W. S. La Trobe read a paper on “The Mechanism of Astronomical Instruments.” The paper was illustrated by a fine collection of lantern-slides.
On the 11th April Professor D. K. Picken lectured on “Spherical Geometry and Trigonometry.”
On the 13th June Mr. E. D. Bell read a paper on the “Magellan Clouds.”
On the 18th July Mr. C. W. Adams lectured on the “Almucantar System of Observation and Kindred Methods”
On the 2nd September the Section and their friends, on the invitation of Mr. C. E. Adams, Astronomical Observer, met at the Hector Observatory, and the method of obtaining true time for the Dominion was fully explained.
On the 10th October the annual meeting of the Section was held. The Council was elected as follows: President—Mr. C. P. Powles; Vice-Presidents—Dr. C. M. Hector, the Rev. Dr. Kennedy, Professor D. K. Picken, and Mr. Martin Chapman; Council—Messrs. G. Hogben, C. E. Adams, W. S. La Trobe, H. Sladden, C. G. G. Berry, E. Parry, and Captain G. S. Hooper; Secretary—Mr. A. C. Gifford.
After the business of the annual meeting Dr. C. M. Hector read a paper on “The Milky Way.”
Papers.—1. “Earthquake Origins in the South-west Pacific,” with lantern illustrations of the San Francisco Earthquake,” by G. Hogben, M.A., F.G.S.
“The Prevention of Cancer and other Diseases,” by C. W. Adams.
“Harmonic Analysis of Tidal Observations,” by C. E. Adams.
Annual report of Astronomical Section.
“Typical Sections showing the Junction of the Amuri Limestone and Weka Pass Stone at Weka Pass,” illustrated by photographs, by C. A. Cotton.
The photographs exhibited would serve to render intelligible the controversy concerning the nature of the junction between the Weka Pass stone and Amuri limestone. The sections photographed were those relied on by Hutton in proof of his theory of unconformity; the junction was exposed on each side of a narrow gorge cut by a small stream through the outcrop of the Weka Pass stone a few chains north of the railway viaduct in Weka Pass. The controversy which for many years engaged the attention of New Zealand geologists was to be found in a number
of papers in the Quar. Jour. Geol. Soc., the Trans. N.Z. Inst., and the Reports of the N.Z. Geological Survey. Hutton, on the one side, in accordance with his theory of unconformity, described the Weka Pass stone, an argillaceous limestone, glauconitic near the base, as resting, without change of dip, on a broken and fissured surface of Amuri limestone, and containing rounded pebbles of Amuri limestone within 6 in. of the junction, but not higher. On the other side, Hector and McKay, contending for conformity, pointed out the constant, shattered character of the Amuri limestone throughout its thickness, and explained the rounded pieces of limestone as concretions. There seemed no sufficient reason to regard the junction as unconformable, but, in view of the importance of the sequence at Waipara and Weka Pass in New Zealand geology, a satisfactory explanation of its peculiar character would be welcome.