During the two years following the meeting on the 22nd December, 1916, no meetings whatever of the scientific and literary branch have been held, a circumstance due to a number of causes, the chief being the pressure of business created by the European war. The signing of the Armistice last November, however, and the prospect of a speedy peace, give rise to the hope that during the ensuing session the activity of the branch may be revived and a suitable programme be carried out.
As is only natural during such a period as we have just passed through, the membership has dwindled, but it is hoped that in this respect also the conclusion of peace will have a beneficial effect.
The Atkinson Observatory has been opened to the public at intervals, and has been in the charge of Mr. J. R. Strachan on those occasions
During the period also several interesting relics of Admiral Lord Nelson have been presented to the Museum by Mr. W. F. Gordon, of New Plymouth, and these, together with the letters already in the Museum, have enabled a case to be set aside as a “Nelson case” An extremely fine model of the St. George has also been presented to the Museum by the trustees of the Suter Art Gallery. In addition, we are indebted to Dr. F. A. Bett for two specimens, one of the saddleback and one of the jackbird, and these have been placed on exhibition in the Museum.