Mr Henry Hill, of Napier, was one of the oldest members of the New Zealand Institute. He was elected a member of the Hawke's Bay Philosophical Society in 1883, and on the reorganisation of the New Zealand Institute in 1903 he was appointed the representative of that Society on the Board of Governors. This position he continued to hold until his resignation in 1931.
The energy and enthusiasm of Mr Henry Hill were widely recognised. Though he was engaged for many years in arduous educational work he constantly devoted his spare time to scientific research. Vulcanology particularly interested him, and he became an early and eager student of the Taupo volcanic region and made frequent ascents of the lofty summits of the cones of the Ruapehu group. The river systems past and present of the Hawke's Bay-Wairarapa area was another favourite subject of his study. He has also made important observations on water supply and on oil-bearing structures.
Mr Hill had a most stimulating influence, and did much to arouse and maintain interest in the study of natural science. After retiring from educational work he displayed much energy in civic and political matters. He was Mayor of Napier from 1917 to 1919, and was an aspirant for political honours. Of late years he lived much on his property at Lake Taupo, in the midst of the volcanic surroundings which had such a great fascination for him.
Energetic to the last, he over-exerted himself at the age of 83, and this was the cause of his death. Locally he was often regarded as the scientific authority of Hawke's Bay, and his death seemed a personal bereavement to many who had actually known him little but by name.