Philosophical Institute of Canterbury.
At the annual meeting (3rd December, 1919) the annual report and audited balance-sheet were adopted.
Council.—Twelve meetings of the Council have been held during the year. Owing to removal or temporary absence from Canterbury the following members of Council found it necessary to resign, viz.: Messrs. W. H. Skinner (Vice-President), W. G. Aldridge (Librarian), L. Birks, and M. H. Godby. Mr. A. M. Wright was elected a Vice-President in place of Mr. Skinner, but shortly after also found it necessary to resign, and Dr. F. W. Hilgendorf was elected in his place. The following members of the Institute were elected members of the Council to fill the vacancies caused: Miss M. E. Herriott (Librarian), and Messrs. H. F. Skey, G. Holford, and Dr. F. J. Borrie.
Meetings of the Institute.—Eight ordinary meeting and one additional ordinary meeting were held at Christchurch. At the opening meeting Dr. C. C. Farr delivered his presidential address, on “Some Physical Discoveries of the Last Thirty Years.” Lectures of general interest were delivered by the Hon. G. M. Thomson, on “The Nat ralization of Animals in New Zealand”; by Mr. R. G. Robinson, on “Phases of Practical Forestry”; by Mr. H. T. Ferrar, on “Aeroplane Surveying in Palestine”; and by Mr. A. V. Mountford, on “Leather.” Fifteen technical papers were read, comprising botanical (five), chemical (four), geological (two), historical and general (two). Exhibits of scientific interest were displayed by Messrs. R. G. Robinson—Indian timbers; S. Page—variations in the genus Clematis; R. Nairn—Laburnum Adami; and W. Martin—nine species of eucalypt attacked by scale (Ericoccus coriaceum), and a beetle (Paropsis sp.) causing much damage to the leaves.
In accordance with a recommendation from the last annual meeting, two meetings of the Institute were held at Timaru and one at Ashburton, where the following addresses were delivered: Dr. Charles Chilton, “Aims and Aspirations of the New Zealand Institute”; Dr. C. C. Farr, “The Building-stones of the Universe”; Dr. F. W. Hilgendorf, “The Present Status of Darwinism”; Mr. A. M. Wright, “Science and Industry, with Special Reference to the Freezing Industry.” These meetings were both successful and well attended, and it is hoped the Institute will see its way to hold similar meetings in the future.
Membership.—The membership has been greatly increased during the year, mainly as a result of the Science Congress held in February. From 177 in 1918 the number has risen to 230 in 1919. Fifty-eight new members were elected, while five memberships lapsed.
Obituary.—It is with regret that the Council has to record the deaths of Sir John Denniston, Mr. T. W. Adams, and Mr. Gilbert Anderson, all of whom were members of long standing, who had taken a keen interest in the activities of the Institute. The Council further takes this opportunity of recording its sense of the loss to the Institute and to the cause of science resulting from the death of the late Major Broun, New Zealand's foremost coleopterist.
Fellowships of the New Zealand Institute.—The Council has pleasure in announcing that, in accordance with the regulations, the first election of Fellows of the New Zealand Institute has been held, and that three of our members are now original Fellows—viz., Dr. Charles Chilton, Dr. C. C. Farr, and Mr. R. Speight. The congratulations of the Institute are extended to these gentlemen on the distinction conferred upon them.
Government Research Grants.—The Government this year voted £2,000 to the New Zealand Institute for the purpose of providing research grants. On the application of the Council the following grants were made to members: £225 to Mr. R. Speight for a geological survey of the Malvern Hills; £100 to Dr. C. C. Farr for research on the porosity of porcelain used for making insulators; £100 to Mr. G. Brittin for researches on fruit-tree diseases; and £70 to £100 to Mr. W. Morrison for research on afforestation on the Spencer Ranges. For various reasons, the researches on prevention of frosting in orchards and causes of decay in fruit in cold storage have had to be discontinued, and the grants have been returned.
Co-ordination of Science and Industry.—The Council has continued to press on the responsible authorities the necessity for some means of making known to manufacturers the latest scientific discoveries relating to their various industries. The Council has urged the immediate appointment of an Industrial Reader, and later of a Department of Scientific Research, and in this connection has had the benefit of a consultation with Mr. C. M. Ollivier (Chairman of the Christchurch Branch of the Canterbury Progress League). Copies of a report on the same topic by a committee of the Industrial Association of Canterbury have been tabled. A donation of £10 has again been made towards the equipment of the Technological Section of the Public Library, which the Institute was instrumental in having established.
General Meetings of the New Zealand Institute—Science Congress, 1919.—At the invitation of the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury the Board of Governors of the New Zealand Institute decided, at the annual meeting in January, 1918, to hold a series of public meeting of the members of the Institute at Christchurch early in the year 1919. During the year 1918 preliminary arrangements for the programme were made by the Standing Committee of the New Zealand Institute, while the local arrangements were attended to by the Philosophical Institute. In November, 1918, owing to the illness of some members of the sub-committee of the New Zealand Institute that was dealing with the matter, and other causes, the Standing Committee asked the Philosophical Institute to take over the whole control of the preparation for the meetings. This was done, and, although unexpected difficulties arose as the result of the influenza epidemic, the series of meetings was successfully held from 4th to 8th February, 1919, and was largely attended both by visitors from other parts of New Zealand and by the members of the local public. His Excellency the Governor-General and the Minister of Internal Affairs were present at the opening meeting, at which the President, Dr. L. Cockayne, delivered his presidential address. The scientific papers contributed were so numerous that four Sections had to be arranged to meet simultaneously—viz., (1) Biology and Agriculture; (2) Geology; (3) Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering; (4) General—and on the last day of the Congress the first Section was separated into two subsections, Biology and Agriculture, in order to deal with the papers contributed. In addition to the meetings of the Sections, three evening meetings, besides the opening ceremony, were devoted to public lectures and were largely attended, while general excursions were made to Lake Coleridge, the Agricultural College, Riccarton Bush, Dyer's Pass, &c., and sectional excursions to places of scientific and industrial interest. The Institute is greatly indebted to the Board of Governors of Canterbury College for the use of the College buildings for the meetings, and to numerous residents of Christchurch for the hospitality extended to visiting members, particularly to E. F. Stead, Esq., at whose residence a most enjoyable garden party was held. The Council feels that the success of the meetings, and their influence, both in stimulating the scientific work of the Institute and of bringing its results prominently before the public, fully compensate for the labour involved, and it trusts that similar general meetings of the Institute will be held in other parts of New Zealand at suitable intervals.
The Library.—The accommodation in the library is now greatly overtaxed, and great difficulty is experienced in finding room for new volumes. It has therefore been necessary to make some provision for increasing the accommodation, and representations
have been made to the Board of Governors of Canterbury College to have the library housed at the Public Library in any contemplated extension of that building. This request has been most generously met by the Board of Governors. The conditions arising from the war still hinder the proper development of the library, and only a few books in addition to the journals have been purchased. The work of keeping the binding of the journals up to date is still hindered by the non-arrival of certain parts. A number of completed volumes have been bound, however, and are now on the shelves, while others are still at the binders'. The exchange copies of publications of other societies are now arriving more regularly, and the Hon. Librarian has acknowledged during the year the receipt of various books and pamphlets from the Queensland Museum, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Department of Mines, New Zealand, as well as from Mr. L. P. Symes and Mr. H. T. Ferrar.
Riccarton Bush.—The Institute's representative on the Board of Trustees of the Riccarton Bush reports that the bush has been carefully attended to during the year, and is in good condition. Improvements have been made to the paths, additional seats have been provided, and an automatic gas heater for boiling water has been provided, under an appropriate shelter, for the convenience of visitors. Other improvements will be made as soon as funds permit, but in the meantime these are only barely sufficient for the ranger's salary and the necessary upkeep of the bush. The bush continues to be largely used by the general public and by botanical students. Dr. C. Chilton has again been, elected the Institute's representative on the Board of Trustees.
Preservation of Sinclair's Grave and of Butler's House.—The Council has for some time been negotiating with the owner of “Mesopotamia,” on the upper reaches of the Rangitata River, with a view to the permanent preservation, of the grave of Dr. Sinclair, one of New Zealand's pioneer botanists, and of the cottage formerly occupied by Samuel Butler, the celebrated New Zealand author. These negotiations promise to be successful.
Memorial Tablet.—with the approval of the Hon. W. Fraser, Minister of Public Works, the Council has had a marble slab erected at the Lake Coleridge powerhouse to perpetuate the memory of Hans Christian Oersted, the Danish scientist, who first discovered the magnetic effect of an electric current, and thereby made possible all modern electrical machinery. This year marks the centenary of his great discovery.
Tunnel Research Fund.— As these investigations are now complete, and the Research Fund is still almost intact, the Government has given permission to the Institute to retain the balance for research work. The unspent balance of £142 16s. 3d. has accordingly been set aside as the basis for a Research Fund. The report of the Tunnel Investigation Committee is published in volume 51 of the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute.
Samoan Magnetic Observatory.—Representations have been made by the Council to the Hon. the Minister of Marine to arrange for the observations of the Samoan Magnetic Observatory to be continued, and the Minister has replied stating that the matter will receive his attention.
Finance.—The balance-sheet shows the total receipts, including the balances from the previous year, were £523 16s. 3d. This includes the sum of £83 2s. 9d., special contributions towards the expenses of the Science Congress. Of the expenditure, £73 14s. 11d. has been expended on the library, including the sum of £10 contributed to the Technical Library and £77 9s. 6d. in connection with the Science Congress. The Institute levy of £23 2s. 6d. has been paid, and research grants amounting to £60 returned to the New Zealand Institute, leaving a balance of £70 2s. 1d. to the credit of the Ordinary Accounts In connection with the Tunnel Investigation Account £4 11s. was expended on the preparation of the final report, and the balance of £142 16s. 3d. has, with the consent of the Minister of Internal Affairs, been transferred to a Research Fund Account. The Life Members' Subscription Account now stands at £158 19s. 7d., deposited with the Permanent Investment and Loan Association of Canterbury.
Election of Officers for 1920.—President—Mr. L. P. Symes. Vice-Presidents—Dr. C. Coleridge Farr, Mr. A. M. Wright. Hon. Secretary— Mr. W. Martin, 51 Matai Street, Riccarton. Hon. Treasurer—Dr. Charles Chilton. Hon. Librarian—Miss E. M. Herriott Council—Captain G. E. Archey, Mr. J. Drummond, Mr. G. Holford, Dr. F. W. Hilgendorf, Mr. M. H. Godby, Mr. L. J. Wild. Representatives on the Board of Governors of the New Zealand Institute—Dr. F. W. Hilgendorf, Mr. A. M. Wright. Representative on the Board of Trustees of the Riccarton Bush—Dr. Charles Chilton. Hon. Auditor—Mr. J. O. Jameson.