A special meeting was held on the 1st November, 1911, when Chief Detective McIlveney and Mr. E. Dinnie, of the Police Department, gave an interesting lecture, illustrated by lantern-slides, on the finger-print system for the detection of criminals.
The 1912 session opened on the 1st May, 1912, and ended on the 23rd October, the number of regular meetings being increased from six to seven.
Of the thirty papers rcad before the Society, fifteen were entomological, three physical, four geological, one mathematical, one chemical, two astronomical, while four were of a popular nature.
Since the last annual meeting ten new members have been elected, eleven have resigned, and three have died. The total number on the roll is now 138, including one honorary member and six life members.
A statement of the receipts and payments for the year ending 30th September, duly audited, was presented with this report. Inclusive of the balance brought forward from last year (£63 14s. 2d.), the receipts amounted to £343 12s. 2d., and the total payments were £219 12s. 1d., leaving a credit balance of £124 0s. 1d.
The Life Subscription Fund has been increased by £20, and now stands at £41 15s. 8d., including interest.
The Research Fund, including interest, now amounts to £41 9s. 2d.
Both these funds are invested with the Public Trustee, and, together with the credit balance at the bank, amount to £207 4s. 11d.
The Library Committee recommended that a number of the scientific periodicals should be bound, and missing numbers obtained to complete the sets, and these recommendations are now being given effect to.
The Council disposed of the Philosophical Magazine to Victoria College, and placed orders for the American Journal of Science from 1870, and for the Astrophysical Journal from its commencement in 1895.
Arrangements have been made with Victoria College for any member of the Society to have the privilege of using the books in the College library, while the Council offers similar facilities to Victoria College to make use of the Society's library.
The report of the Librarian shows that the Society receives by purchase or donation twenty-one periodicals, which are available for the use of members.
Tongariro National Park.—At the suggestion of Mr. E. Phillips Turner, the Council communicated with the other Philosophical Societies as to the advisability of urging on the Government the importance—(1) Of having a photo-topographic survey made of the park; (2) of extending the boundaries of the park as proposed in the report by Dr. Cockayne and Mr. Phillips Turner; and (3) of taking steps to acquire the small area of Native land which includes the Ketetahi Hot Springs. In every case the Council's recommendation was strongly supported by the other Societies, and a favourable opportunity will be taken to place the subject before the Government.
The Council is much indebted to Mr. E. J. Ludford for a valuable donation of books, some forty-four in number, chiefly relating to New Zealand.
The Astronomical Section has erected an observatory at Kelburne, and has mounted equatorially a 5 in. Cooke refractor, which is now available for use.
Astronomical Section.—The annual report of the Astronomical Section was read by the Secretary, Mr. A. C. Gifford. The President congratulated the section on its work. The report was as follows:—
The chief work of the year has been the building of a small observatory at Kelburne. It consists of an ante-room 12 ft square, and an instrument-room of the same size, the latter surmounted by a revolving dome. The plans of the observatory were prepared by Mr. J. Campbell, Government Architect, and the work carried out by Messrs. McLean and Gray. The 5 in. refractor is mounted equatorially on an iron pedestal cemented on to a very solid concrete pillar. The telescope was adjusted in time to allow members to make some good observations of Gale's comet.
It has been arranged to open the observatory, for the convenience of members, every Tuesday evening, if the weather is astronomically favourable. Any member approved by the Council may hire a private key, and have access to the observatory at any time.
Arrangements are being made to admit the public on certain evenings.
During the year the following lectures have been delivered: Thursday, 19th October, 1911—Mr. J. T. Ward, Director, Wanganui Observatory, gave a popular lecture, “Evenings with the Telescope,” illustrated by a particularly fine collection of lantern-slides Wednesday, 17th July, 1912—Mr. C. E. Adams, Government Astronomer, lectured on meridian work and meridian instruments. Thursday, 3rd October, 1912—The Very Rev. Dr. Kennedy gave a lecture in the observatory on the equatorial telescope and its use.
Officers for 1913.—The President announced that the following officers were suggested by the Council for the year 1913: President—Professor T. H. Easterfield; Vice-Presidents—Mr. Thomas King, F.R.A.S., and Professor H. B. Kirk; Council—Mr. A. Hamilton, Mr. Martin Chapman, K.C., Mr. F. G. A. Stuckey, M.A., Professor D. K. Picken; Mr. P. G. Morgan, M.A., Dr. C. Munro Hector, Mr. G. V. Hudson, F.E.S.; Secretary and Treasurer—Mr. C. E. Adams, M.Sc., F.R.A.S.; Librarian—Miss J. A. Wilson; Auditor—Mr. E. R. Dymock, A.I.A.N.Z.
On motion of Dr. A. Thomson, seconded by Mr. A. C. Gifford, these officers were declared elected.
New Members.—Captain Hayward and Mr. J. Mackay.