Manawatu Philosophical Society.
During 1916 seven general and two special meetings were held, in addition to the annual meeting. The following papers were read. “Recent Progress in Chemical and Physical Research,” by A. J. Colquhoun, M. Sc., “The Use and Influence of Novel Machines in Warfare,” by T. C. Salmon, Assoc in Eng.; “The Dundonald Terror,” by J. Robertson., “Science and Story,” by J. A. Stevens, “Weather Notes,” by J. E. Vernon, M. A., “The Timber Industry in New Zealand, its Present and Future,” by C. N. Clausen; “River Conservation, with special reference to the Manawatu,” by R. Edwards, “The Use of a Knowledge of Botany to a Farming Community,” by L. Cockayne, Ph.D., F.R.S., “Taranaki Ironsand, its Treatment and Value,” by F. Smallbone, “The Great Wairarapa — a Lost River,” by H. Hill, B.A., F.G.S., “Afforestation, or Tree-planting on the Farm,” by Rev. J. H. Simmonds, M.A., “The Drama in the Reign of Elizabeth,” by H. R. Hatherly, M.R.C.S., “Leguminous Plants. their Importance in Nature and their Value to Man,” by J. W. Poynton, S.M., “Experiences during Recent Travels in America,” by W. Welch, F.R.G.S.
At the annual meeting, 7th December, 1916, the annual report and balance-sheet were taken as read, and adopted.
During the year the Council has continued its efforts for the preservation of the New Zealand bush, and, taking advantage of Dr. Cockayne's visit, invited representatives of the Borough Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and the Farmers' Union to meet him, when he gave a most interesting address on the unique nature of the native bush and its economic value, and a deputation was appointed to urge the importance of the question upon the Government. The Council has good reason to believe that its action has been successful, and that the Government will take the necessary measures for the extension of the Tongariro Park, and the preservation of the bush adjoming the Manawatu Gorge.
During the year the Council has had to lament the loss of three members of the society by death—Dr. Martin, a former President, Mr. E. J. Armstrong, formerly on the Council, and Mr. John Stevens. Six members have resigned through leaving the district or from other causes; four are absent on foreign service, three have been written off for not paying their subscriptions; and seven new members have been elected.
About thirty exhibits have been added to the Museum, among them being various products from the working of the Taranaki ironsand, and relics from the seat of war. The attendance shows some increase during the year, the average daily number being twenty-four, and for Sundays thirty-six. As the majority of these are children of school age, it is a matter of regret that their visits are not made more systematically under the care of their teachers, thereby resulting in definite instruction as well as amusement.
The Government Astronomer (Dr. C. E. Adams) has requested co-operation in the work of systematic observation of variables and binaries, and the Director has promised to do whatever the facilities of the Observatory permit. This work, although tedious, and apparently without prospect of any immediate results, is nevertheless of great and increasing importance, and it is strongly urged that an astronomical section be formed from members as soon as the programme of work is submitted, and a real effort be made to assist the investigation.
Election of Officers for 1917.—President—C. T. Salmon, Assoc. in Eng. Vice-Presidents—J. W. Poynton, S.M.; A. J. Colquhoun, M.Sc. Officer in change of Observatory—C. T. Salmon, Assoc. in Eng. Council—Miss Ironside, M.A., J. L. Barnicoat, M. A. Elliott, W. Park, F.R.H.S., D. Sinclair, C.E.; J. E. Vernon, M. A., B.Sc., Secretary and Treasurer — K. Wilson, M.A. Auditoi—W. E. Bendall, F.P.A.N.Z.