Manawatu Philosophical Society.
First Meeting: 19th March, 1914.
Paper.—“The Evolution of the English House,” by Mr. C. R. Ford.
Tracing its gradual development from early Saxon times to the present, with numerous lantern illustrations.
Second Meeting: 16th April, 1914.
Paper.—“Some Interesting Facts in Connection with the Geology of New Zealand,” by Mr. J. W. Poynton, S.M.
The paper spoke of the antiquity of the rock-formation of New Zealand, the frequency of faults therein; the peculiarities of the flora and fauna—specially mentioning among the latter the peripatus and the tuatara—and the evidence which they afforded of a land connection in prehistoric times with South America by way of the Antarctic Continent, and also with the tropical regions to the north.
Third Meeting: 21st May, 1914.
Paper.—“The Effect of Wet and Dry Epochs upon Ancient Civilizations,” by Mr. W. Welch, F.R.G.S.
The paper maintained the theory that the humidity of different regions of the earth varied by more or less regular pulsations, and supported the theory by the results of recent investigations into the physical geography of Transcaspia, Palestine, and the south-west of North America, and also by apparent variation in the growth of trees as shown by the variation in their rings. The theory, if true, would account for the disappearance of certain ancient civilizations.
Fourth Meeting: 18th June, 1914.
Paper.—“Othello, Macbeth, and Hamlet: a Comparison and a Contrast,” by Mr. G. D. Braik, M.A.
The paper, dealing chiefly with the working-out of the different temperaments and motives of the three protagonists, was illustrated by selected passages read by Mr. J. H. Primmer.
Fifth Meeting: 29th June, 1914.
Lecture.—“Sun-spots and Solar Physics,” by Mr. J. Taylor.
The paper maintained that the sun was simply “a vacuous central vortex where all physical characteristics have entirely vanished”; that so-called sun-spots were the shadows of aggregations of numerous small bodies moving in the line of vision between us and the sun.
Sixth Meeting: 8th July, 1914.
Paper.—“The Evolution of Maori Art,” by Mr. H. D. Skinner, B.A.
The paper, illustrated by numerous lantern-slides, showed the gradual development in the forms of Native weapons, instruments, and architecture.
Seventh Meeting: 17th September, 1914.
Paper.—“Further Notes on the Geology of New Zealand,” by Mr. J. W. Poynton, S.M.
Showing how the recent discoveries of fossil forms, both animal and vegetable, in Antarctica supported the theory of a land connection between that continent and New Zealand on the one hand, and South America on the other, during the Tertiary period.
Eighth Meeting: 15th October, 1914.
Paper.—“Plant-life in the Solomon Islands,” by the Ven. Archdeacon Comins, D.D.
After a brief sketch of the history of the islands from their discovery by Mendeña in 1567, the paper, which was illustrated by many exhibits and photographs, described the leading characteristics of the island flora, which bears a close affinity with that of Papua, with which the islands have probably at one time been connected.
Annual Meeting: 26th November, 1914.
Abstract of Annual Report.
The report referred to the efforts which had been made by the Council during the past year to secure the enlargement of the Tongariro National Park, with a view to the preservation of the native bush, at present greatly endangered by the introduction of sawmills, &c., and also to the provision of better accommodation for tourists. Inquiries had also been made into the tenure of the land on the summit of Mount Wharite, with a view of getting it proclaimed as a scenic reserve; and the Council pressed upon their successors the urgent necessity of continuing the advocacy of both these measures.
The Museum was being slightly rearranged, on the advice of Mr. T. W. Kirk, F.L.S., in order to bring together the exhibits which illustrate the natural products and industries of the country, and thereby to increase their direct educational value. The time was fast approaching when increased and more secure accommodation must be provided if the Museum was to do its work properly.
Election of Officers for 1915.—President—Mr. J. W. Poynton, S.M.; Vice-Presidents—Messrs. J. L. Barnicoat and M. A. Eliott; Officer in charge of the Observatory—Mr. C. T. Salmon; Secretary and Treasurer—Mr. K. Wilson, M.A.; Council—Miss Ironside, M.A., and Messrs. R. Gardner, J. B. Gerrard, W. Park, H. D. Skinner, B.A., and J. E. Vernon, M.A.; Auditor—Mr. W. E. Bendall.
On the motion of the Secretary, seconded by Mr. Park, it was resolved, That the Council be authorized to contribute annually, if required, to the funds of the New Zealand Institute a sum not exceeding 2s. 6d. per member.