Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 49, 1916
This text is also available in PDF
(396 KB) Opens in new window
– 552 –

Auckland Institute.

First Meeting 5th June, 1916.

Hon. E. Mitchelson, President, in the chair.

New Members.—J. Alexander, E. W. Alison, Jun., W. H. Bartlett, L. Benjamin, H. Buckleton, H. B. Burnett, J. Butler, W. Casey, R. G. Clark, C. Z. Clayton, D. L. Clayton, M. Copeland, A. W. Donald, H. J. Edmiston, W. Elliott, J. C. Entrican, W. Frater, J. W. Hardley, A. Kidd, J. A. Lamb, W. H. Long, G. J. Mackay, H. O. Nolan, H. H. Ostler, T. G. Price, Miss Pulling, H. P. Richmond, F. C. Rollett, J. Rowe, H. M. Skeet, D. F. Stewart, W. F. Massey, W. H. Herries.

Lecture.—“Canada, the Land of Mystery, Romance, and Gold,” by W. A. Beddoe, Canadian Trade Commissioner.

Second Meeting:3rd July, 1916.
Mr. J. H. Upton in the chair.

New Members.—F. J. Bankart, G. R. Bloomfield, H. P. Bloomfield, G. R. Caldwell, J. Carlaw, E. J. Carr, E. A. Craig, R. W. Duder, W. Fallon, R. Fenwick, A. M. Ferguson, H. Goldie, Louis Harris, R. E. Isaacs, J. D. Jones, H. P. Kissling, B. A. Laurie, R. Logan, J. D. Macfarlane, L. Marriner, J. Marshall, B. Myers, M. O'Connor, H. E. Pacey, E. V. Ralph, W. C. Somers, J. C. Spedding, G. Thompson, R. Tudehope, F. A. Winstone.

Lecture.—“The Economic Aspects of the War,” by Professor H. W. Segar.

Third Meeting 31st July, 1916.
Professor H. W. Segar, Vice-President, in the chair.

New Members.—L. Adams, J. M. Carpenter, Victor B. Casey, S. G. Chambers, W. J. Crompton, J. Field, Mrs. F. Mason. J. R. Reed, J. Robert-son.

Lecture.—“Shakespeare the Man and his Work,” by Professor Maxwell Walker.

Fourth Meeting.28th August, 1916.

Professor H. W. Segar, Vice-President, in the chair.

New Members.—A Brett, W. Blomfield, W. Carter, H. Hayr, F. Knee-bone, P. M. Mackav, F. Mander, A. Mulgan, Dr. McIlraith, G. A. Rawson, F. Wiseman.

Lecture.—“Mountains, their Origin and Growth,” by J. A. Bartrum, Lecturer on Geology. Auckland University College.

– 553 –

Fifth Meeting:25th September, 1916.
Professor H. W. Segar, Vice-President, in the chair.

Lecture.—“Light and the Plant,” by Professor J. C. Johnson.

Sixth Meeting. 2nd October, 1916.
Professor H. W. Segar, Vice-President, in the chair.

Papers.—1. “The European Sugar Bounties,” by E. V. Miller. 2. “Price Movements in New Zealand, their Industrial and Social Effects,” by Dr. McIlraith.

Seventh Meeting:16th October, 1916.
Professor H. W. Segar, Vice-President, in the chair.

Lecture.—“The Water-supply of Cities,” by W. E. Bush, City Engineer.

Eighth Meeting:6th November, 1916.
Hon. E. Mitchelson, President, in the chair.

Lecture.—“Victory, and After,” by Archdeacon G. McMurray.

Ninth Meeting: 13th December, 1916.
Hon. E. Mitchelson, President, in the chair.

Papers.—1. “The Vegetation of Lord Howe Island,” by W. R. B. Oliver.

2. “On a New South Polynesian Palm, with Notes on the Genus Rhopalo-stylis,” by Dr. Odoardo Beccari (communicated by T. F. Cheeseman).

3. “Descriptions of New Genera and Species af Coleoptera,” by Major T. Broun, F.E.S.

4. “Descriptions of New Native Flowering-plants,” by D. Petrie.

5. “Additional Facts concerning the Distribution of Igneous Rocks in New Zealand,” by J. A. Bartrum, M.Sc.

6. “Concretions in the Recent Sediments of Auckland Harbour,” by J. A. Bartrum, M.Sc.

Annual Meeting: 26th February, 1917.
Hon. E. Mitchelson, President, in the chair.

Annual Report. — The annual report and audited financial statement was read to the meeting, and ordered to be printed and distributed to the members.

Abstract.

Members.—The number of new members elected has been unusually large, amounting to no less than eighty-four. Against this, twenty-nine names have been withdrawn—nine by death, thirteen by resignation or removal from the district, and seven owing to non-payment of subscription for more than two consecutive years. The net gain

– 554 –

has thus been fifty-five, the total number on the roll at the present time being 391. It may be remarked that this is the highest figure yet attained during the history of the society.

The number of members removed by death is above the average, and includes several active workers. In Bishop W. L. Williams the Institute loses not only the leading authority on the philology of the Maorilace, but also a botanist of no mean rank. Mr. A. T. Urquhart was for many years the chief worker on the spiders of the Dominion, and twenty-one papers are credited to his name in the Transactions. Mr. E. G. B. Moss interested himself chiefly in the Mollusca. Other members of old standing are Mr. J. J. Craig, Mr. R. Cranwell, Mr. P. Gleeson, Mr. J. W. James, and Mr. R. S. Lamb.

In common with almost all societies and associations within the British Empire, the Institute includes among its members no small number who are serving their King and country in the cruel and terrible war which the greed and rapacity of Germany has plunged the greater part of the civilized world. It has been suggested that the Institute might well be proud to retain such on its roll, as dormant members without payment of fees, so long as they are absent from the Dominion.

Finance.—An inspection of the balance-sheets accompanying this report will prove that the finances of the society are in a thoroughly satisfactory position. The total revenue of the working account, deducting the balance in hand at the beginning of the year, has been £1,741 12s. 6d., showing an increase of no less than £257 15s. 1d. on the amount credited last year. This is partly due to several additions made to the invested funds during the last eighteen months, consequent on the sale of certain important endowments, and paitly to the increase in the membership of the society. Examining the various items, it will be seen that the members subscriptions have yielded £373 16s., against £308 14s. realized last year. The receipts from the Museum Endowment, in rents and interest, have been £754. 12s. 2d., last year's sum being £550 16s. The invested funds of the Costley Bequest have provided £429. 8s. 11d., the amount for the previous year being £441. 11s. The total expenditure has been unusually large, amounting to £1,960. 11s. 11d. Exceptional items have been £245 16s. 2d., being part of the cost of refitting and rearranging both the new cthnogiaphical hall and the mineral-room, particulars of which will be given farther on. £200 in part liquidation of the loan of £600 borrowed last year from the Investment Fund to provide for the cost of the above work., and a totally unexpected item of £114. 5s. for necessary repairs to the caretaker's house. The above payments have naturally caused the balance in hand (£10.1 15s. 3d.) to be smaller than usual, but the amount will suffice to carry on the operations of the society until it is replenished by the regular income.

With respect to the invested funds of the society, the additions alluded to in the previous paragraph have raised the total amount to the sum of £22,793 7s. 5d. With the exception of about £200, the whole of this is invested in specially selected moitgages or in municipal debentures.

Meetings —Nine meetings have been held during the year, at which fifteen papers and lectures were read, and in opportunity afforded for discussion.

Those papers which were prepared for publication in the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute have been forwarded to the Editor, and will probably appeai in Volume 49, now being sent to press. Volume 48, containing the papers read before the various branches of the Institute during the year 1915, was not received for distribution among the members until the end of November. Delays or irregularities in the appearance of the annual volume are decidedly objectionable, and authors will ultimately hesitate before submitting important memoirs to a society which may retarn them for nearly two years before publication.

The Council regrets that the Government has seen fit to withdraw the special grant of £250. which for several years has been voted in aid of the publication of the Transactions. This action has compelled the Board of Governors of the Institute to levy a call of 2s. 6d. per volume on the copies supplied to the incorporated societies, thus seriously hampering the activities of the societies themselves.

In connection with this subject, it may be remarked that the statutory grant to the New Zealand Institute still remains at the sum of £500, the amount fixed at the foundation of the Institute forty-nine years ago. At that time the total membership of the Institute in all its blanches amounted to only 178. At present the membership is about 1,100, nearly 400 of which are enrolled with the Auckland Institute. Surely it is time that the Government increased its annual subsidy to an amount more proportionate to that raised by the incorporated societies.

Co-ordination of Science and Industry —Throughout the British Empire the present war has led to much discussion on the need of a more active co-operation between science and industry, and of a fuller recognition by the State of the value of scientific

– 555 –

method and training in the furtherance of national progress. During the year a committee of the Council has discussed the matter so far as it applies to New Zealand, and its report, together with others prepared in various parts of the Dominion, have been placed before a recently constituted Efficiency Board, now sitting at Wellington. In most parts of the Empire the war has revealed many educational and scientific deficiencies; and it is abundantly evident that drastic changes are necesasry in educational and national policy. What is done in New Zealand may not affect those major decisions to be arrived at elsewhere, but it is hoped that they may assist in some small degice in the solution of a grave and important question.

Museum—In last year's report particulars were given of the arrangement made with the City Council under which the Russell collection of plaster casts from the antique was deposited in the Art Gallery, and the Grey collection of Maori antiquities lodged in the Museum. This change made the former statue-hall available for other purposes., and it was decided to utilize it in the first place for the reception of the Grey collection, and, secondly, for the fine series of foreign ethnographical articles in the possession of the Museum, a large portion of which had never been exhibited. Since then the work of constructing the show-cases and placing them in position has been completed. Much time and labour was then devoted to what may be called the installation of the specimens; and it can be claimed that they have been displayed in an orderly sequence, and mounted in an attractive and appropriate manner. Further, in the hope of affording as much information as possible to visitors, each exhibit has been provided with a printed descriptive label. The hall was opened to the public on the 17th April.

The arrangement of all foreign ethnographical specimens in this hall has liberated the smaller hall in which a portion of them had been previously exhibited. This has been converted into a mineral-room, and several months have been occupied in examining and sorting the whole of the geological specimens, fossils, &c., in the Museum. From these a series has been selected for exhibition, and suitably arranged and labelled. This work being completed, the room was opened to the public on the 4th December. This change will make it possible to reserve the gallery of the main hall entirely for representatives of the New Zealand fauna — birds, fishes, reptiles, shells, and other invertebrata—and, in addition, will gain a little space for exhibits to be prepared by the taxidermist.

Many important additions have been made to the ethnographical collections during the year. From Mr. C. Douglas Tod the Museum has acquired by purchase a series of eighty-eight Maori articles, the chief of which are an ancient stone-carved pare of the rare Taranaki type; a carved stone fire-carrier (?) with lid complete; an ancient and finely caived koauau, or bone flute; a stone flute, or ngunguru; two old wooden fish-hooks., a series of wooden tops., and many greenstone and ordinary stone adzes, &c. Mr. H. E. Partridge has presented a beautifully prepared plaster cast of the head of Wiremu Te Manawa, taken from a mould obtained during life by Mr. Lindauer and Sir Walter Buller. Te Manawa, who was the leading chief of the Ngatiraukawa Tribe, was for many years considered to be the most perfectly tattooed Maori living, and an accurate representation of his tattoo has consequently great value. Mr. L. S. Bidwell has donated a number of remarkable carved bone spools or beads, found at Mercury Bay, and probably part of a necklace. Such articles are of great rarity, and do not appear to have been used by the Maoris in European times. Mr. R. E. Isaacs has given an unusually large kumete, or wooden bowl, dug up in a swamp near Helensville. Such bowls are now very seldom seen. Other noteworthy additions are a remarkable stone caiving intended to represent a shark, presented by Mr. J. A. Court; an elaborately carved stone anchor, contributed by Mr. Davis, and another of a different type presented by Mr. C. Ford; a series of Maori grindstones from Captain Bollons; an interesting series of stone articles excavated on Mangare Hill, near Onehunga, donated by Mr. F. E. Powell; and various specimens presented by Mr. G. Graham, for many years a regular contributor to the Museum. Lastly, during the preparation of this report, a large and valuable collection, comprising fifty Maori specimens and about seventy Polynesian and Melanesian, has been received as a bequest from the late Miss Ruth G Northcroft. Among the Maori articles are several obtained by Captain Northcroft during the Maori War or shortly after it. Among these may be specially mentioned an unusually fine decorated taraha, three carved boxes of considerable merit, two meres, a fine ancient patiti, and an elaborately carved bone manaia.

During the year an American scientist, Mr. Elmore, has made a painstaking examination of some limestone caves and rock shelters in the South Island, on the walls of which elaborate Maori pictographs have long been known to exist. These pictographs appear to be of greater interest than has hitherto been supposed; and at the suggestion of Dr. Benham the Auckland Museum has agreed to join with the Otago

– 556 –

Museum and Dominion Museum in removing a number of slabs from the caves for permanent exhibition in the three Museums. The share for Auckland, consisting of ten slabs, is now being packed for transit, and will soon be received.

Lieutenant J. C. Drewet, once a resident of Auckland, but in recent years employed in survey work in the Federated Malay States, has presented to the Museum, through the kind offices of the High Commissioner for New Zealand, a well-selected collection of twenty-seven articles, including spears, swords, krises, and domestic utensils. All have been obtained in the Malay State of Pahang, and form an acceptable addition to the Museum.

The Council are indebted to Dr. C. E. Wood, Bishop of Melanesia, for two remarkably fine full-sized canoes from the Solomon Islands—one a fishing-canoe inlaid with pearl-shell, the other the land usually employed in voyages from island to island. The Council have had pleasure in showing their appreciation of the services rendered by Dr. Wood to the Museum by electing him an honorary member of the Institute.

Negotiations were opened with the Gizeh Museum, at Cairo, and a collection of over seventy articles has been obtained, covering a wide range of subjects. These have been carefully packed in Cairo, and by this time are probably on their way.

The following are the chief additions to the natural-history department during the year: An albino penguin (Eudyptula minor), obtained on the Great Barrier Island, and presented by Mr. Victor Blackwell; a specimen of the rare tooth-billed pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris) from the Samoan Islands, contributed by Mr. Mason Mitchell, United States Consul at Apia; a sea-snake (Hydrus platurus), stranded on the Seventy-mile Beach, north of Ahipara, and donated by Mr. Leslie Henderson; a fine specimen of the bonito (Thynnus pelamys), taken during a voyage between Gisborne and Napier, and forwarded by Mr. P. C. Annan; some interesting fishes, presented by Mr. H. C. Wright, including specimens of the New Zealand anchovy (Engraulis ecrasicholus), the sowfish (Maccullochia labiosa), and a rare gurnard (Pterygotrigla picta).

Library.—The expenditure over the library has been rather smaller than usual, amounting to £111 0s. 4d. An order for over seventy volumes was received soon after the last annual meeting, and another was despatched early in June, but did not arrive until the middle of November. The Council have to acknowledge several donations. Among these, Mr. E. A. W. Budge's elaborate folio volume, The Book of the Dead, may be mentioned as a contribution from the Free Public Library, and also copies of Science Abstracts for 1914 and 1915, presented by Professor Brown.

Election of Officers for 1917.President—Mr. J. H. Gunson, Mayor of Auckland, Vice-Presidents—Hon. E. Mitchelson, Mr. C. J. Parr, C.M.G.; Council—Professor C. W. Egerton, Mr. J. Kenderdine, Mr. T. W. Leys, Mr. E. V. Miller, Mr. T. Peacock, Mr. D. Petrie, Professor H. W. Segar, Professor A. P. W. Thomas, Mr. J. H. Upton, Mr. H. E. Vaile, Professor F. P. Worley; Trustees—Messrs. T. Peacock, J. H. Upton, J. Reid; Auditor—Mr. A. Gray.