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Volume 70, 1940-41
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Reports of Member Bodies.
Auckland Institute.
President: Mr. C. Reginald Ford.
Director and Secretary: Mr. G. Archey.
Report for the Year 1939-40.

The seventy-second Annual Report of the Auckland Institute and Museum is presented while the Empire is engaged in a great war. The activities and services of the Institute and Museum, educational, scientific and cultural, form part of the abiding values of civilised life, and so it becomes a source of more than ordinary pleasure to be able to report that all these activities and services have been continued throughout the year, and in some cases even expanded.

It gives great pleasure to be able again to place on record how excellent has been the work of the Director and Staff of the Museum, besides those many persons outside the Staff who give with such cheerfulness and goodwill so much voluntary assistance in various departments of the Museum.

Membership: At the commencement of the year there was a roll of 550 members. During the year we have lost by death, resignation and deletions, 21 members, but have gained, largely as the result of a special effort by the Members of the Council, 70 new members, leaving the present roll at 599, of whom 172 are life members.

Congratulations: Congratulations are extended to Professor Bartrum on the award of the Hector Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand for his distinguished research in geology. This award is warmly welcomed by Professor Bartrum's many friends in the scientific community.

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Obituary: We regret to have to record the loss by death of many valued members—Professor C. W. Egerton, who was President in 1909 and a member of the Council until 1920; Surgeon-Captain R. Buddle, Messrs. D. R. Caldwell, J. B. Macfarlane, W. O'Ryan, E. R. N. Russell, J. Rukutai, H. Tinne and H. Whitcombe. The death of Mr. James Rukutai is a loss which we share with our Maori friends of the Akarana Maori Association, for which he did so much.

Council: During the year eight meetings have been held. There has been no change in elected members; Mr. Donaldson rejoined as a representative of Contributing Local Bodies; Mr. J. W. Kealy has enlisted and is shortly to proceed on active service.

Institute Meetings: Only five Monday evening addresses were given last year, the sixth, a symposium on Race and Nationality, having to be cancelled through those who were to have contributed being engaged on military duties. Members' thanks for a very interesting series of lectures are due this year to:—Miss L. M. Cranwell, M.A., F.L.S.—“A Botanical Excursion to Hawaii.”

Professor Julius Stone.—“Law and Society.”

Dr. G. H. Cunningham.—“Aspects of Plant Protection.”

Dr. R. A. Millikan.—“A Scientist's Philosophy.”

Dr. C. R. Burns.—“Nutrition From the Physican's Viewpoint.”

The average attendance at lectures was 129.

Three ordinary meetings were also held, papers being read by Dr. K. E. Bullen, Miss L. M. Cranwell, Miss Olwyn Rutherford, and Messrs. A. W. B. Powell and A. G. Stevenson.

Anthropology and Maori Race Section: Chairman, Mr. M. G. Lee; Hon. Secretary, Mr. R. A. Scobie.

The membership of the section remains at 55; the attendance at meetings was the highest for several years past. Papers or addresses were given by Mr. R. Scobie, Dr. W. S. Dale, Mr. H. Gatty, Mr. G. Graham, Mr. A. Stevenson, Mr. M. Lee, Mr. P. Smyth and Mr. E. M. Blaiklock. At the Social Evening a party of Maori guests co-operated in demonstrating Maori forms of welcome and other social customs.

Astronomical Section: During the past year the observing section has continued to hold the ground won, its principal objective being to interest potential astronomers, and to train them in astronomical observation. A number of bulletins were issued containing matter of interest. The personnel continues keen, observations being conducted at the observatory in Symonds Street, as making their own reflecting telescopes; another has distinguished himself as a maker of eyepieces. One member is performing valuable work in the observation of variable stars, while another, under the secretary's direction, is computing the real paths of bright meteors from data on hand.

Papers were read by Mr. F. Batteson, Professor P. W. Burbidge, Mr. R. A. McIntosh, Mr. W. H. M. Blackwell, Mr. F. H. Sagar and Dr. K. Kreielsheimer.

The Museum: The public response to the opportunities and activities presented by the Museum is indicated by the following attendances:—Visitors during the year. 140.557; school pupils, 21,885; flower show, 7,500; lectures, 2,081.

Hawke's Bay Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Session 1939.
President: Mr. E. S. West.
Secretary: Mr. W. G. Ball.

The following up-to-date books have been added to the Library:—The Making of Egypt, by Flinders Petrie; Studies on the Structure and Development of Vertebrates, Goodrich; Problems of Annual Ecology, Bodenheimer; A Text Book of Geology, Lake and Rastall; Buried Empires, Carleton; Starcraft, Barton and Joseph; Ascaris, Dr. R. Goldschmidt; Earthquakes and Other Earth Movements, A. W. Lee (contains account of 1931 Hawke's Bay Earthquake); The Silk Road, Sven Hedin; Siberian Man and Mammoth, Pfizenmayer.

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We have to thank Mr. C. F. H. Pollock also for a donation of over 40 volumes, including Kirk's Vovage in sixteen volumes, and other works useful for reference.

Our Representatives on the Museum Management Committee have been regular in their attendance, and have taken a great interest in the work of the Museum.

Two papers by members of our branch have been published in the Transactions, also a paper communicated through Mr. Hudson.

Two new members joined during the year and six resigned or left, leaving the present membership 52, comprising 44 ordinary, two Honorary, four Life Members, and two juvenile members.

The Statement of Accounts shows a credit of £31.

We have to thank Mr. G. V. Hudson, F.E.S., for continuing to act as our Representative on the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand. also for presenting an entomological collection to the Museum.

Manawatu Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
President: Mr. W. A. Jacques.
Secretary: Mr. S. J. Bennett.
Session 1939.

The sixth annual meeting of the Manawatu Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand was held in the Theosophical Hall on November 23rd.

President's Report: The season has been a successful one, and the lectures well delivered and well attended. There has been a gratifying response to the modifications that were introduced this year. It would appear that fewer meetings, with longer, not-too-technical papers, and ample time for discussion are in demand.

Financially the year has been good, though no effort has been made to accumulate a large reserve fund.

We are indebted to Drs. McMeekan, Reifer, Smith and Melville, and Messrs. Turner and Thomas, who so ably presented subjects that were instructive, interesting and provocative. Between them they covered a wide field. We are indebted also to the Theosophical Society, who so kindly placed their rooms at our disposal.

The Wellington Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Session 1939.
President: Mr. C. M. Smith.
Secretary: Mr. J. T. Salmon.

Council Meetings: The Council held all meetings during the 1939 session, and the average attendance was eleven.

Membership: The total membership of the Society now amounts to 203, of which 12 are Life Members. During the year 23 new members were elected, while 20 resignations were received. The Council regrets to record the death of one of the Society's most valued members in the passing of Dr. E. Kidson.

Finance: Although the finances of the Society are satisfactory, the number of outstanding subscriptions is still a source of embarrassment. Members are requested to pay their subscriptions promptly when they fall due, and so assist the Council in the efficient running of the Society.

Meetings: All General Meetings of the Society have been held in the Library Room at the Dominion Museum, and the following is a list of the addresses delivered during the session under review:—

April 26th: Presidential Address, “Applied Science,” by Mr. C. M. Smith.

May 24th: “Museums Around the World,” by Dr. W. R. B. Oliver.

June 28th: “Earthquakes and Earthquake Prediction,” by Dr. L. Bastings.

July 26th: “The Effect of Technological Change Upon Government,” by Professor L. Lipson.

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August 23rd: “Some Observations on our Overseas Trip,” by Mr. Cockayne.

September 27th: “Maor [ unclear: ] i Art,” by Mr. W. J. Phillipps.

The attendances at the Society's meetings show a slight improvement over last year, but members are urged to take a more active interest in the Society. As has been the custom in the past, supper has been served at the conclusion of all General Meetings.

Sections: With the exception of the Astronomical Section, which has continued to meet in the Observatory at Kelburn, all meetings of the Sections have been held in the new Library Room at the Dominion Museum, and general satisfaction has been expressed with the appointments.

Change of Name: By special meeting held on April 26th the Society resolved to change its name from “Wellington Philosophical Society” to “The Wellington Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.” This change has met with general approval and satisfaction. In order to widen its field the Economic Biology Section subsequently on the 12th July resolved to change its name to “Biology Section.”

Library: The re-arrangement of the Library at the Dominion Museum has drawn numerous complimentary remarks from members, an increasing number of whom are making use of the Library facilities. Twelve periodicals are now received regularly at the Library, and during the year a number of new publications, mainly of the popular science type, have been pruchased and placed on the shelves. The monthly publications from the Scientific Book Club have been regularly received, and have proved a popular addition. A catalogue of the Library is in course of preparation and will soon be available. A start has been made with the binding of back numbers of books and periodicals, the cost of which has been provided for by the sale of £150 of New Zealand Government inscribed stock.

Epidiascope: The epidiascope unfortunately arrived somewhat late to be of much use during the 1939 session. It is, however, an excellent instrument, and should be a valuable and useful addition to the Society's meeting room.

Observatory: The Observatory has been repaired and painted during the year, and is now in a satisfactory condition.

Science Congress: In response to a request from the Royal Society of New Zealand, a sub-committee of the Council made considerable progress during the year with preliminary arrangements for the holding of a Science Congress during May. 1940. in Wellington, but on the outbreak of war it was considered in-advisable to proceed, and the arrangements were cancelled.

Nelson Philosophical Society.
President: Dr. H. O. Askew.
Secretary: Mr. O. B. Pemberton.
Session 1939.

The Committee submits the following report of the work of the Nelson Philosophical Society for the year ending 30th September, 1939.

The Statement of Receipts and Expenditure shows a Credit Balance of £7 15s.

The Membership of the Society consists of 29 Ordinary Members and 23 Associate Members, Making a total of 52.

Meetings of the Society have been held as follows:—


15th October: Lecture by Sir Thomas Easterfield, “Kidney Calculi and a New Type of Stone in New Zealand Cattle.”


16th May: Lecture by Mr. J. Muggeridge, “A Quest of Diamond Back Moth Parasites Through Europe.”

20th June: Lecture by Dr. H. O. Askew, “The Alchemist, Philosopher or Fraud.”

18th July: Lecture by Mr. L. J. Dumbleton, “The Southern Alps.”

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15th August: Lecturettes by Mr. J. E. R. Paterson, “Causes of War”; Mr. A. J. Gray, “Anglo Saxon Heroic Poetry”; Mr. C. W. Johnston, “School Science.”

15th September: Lecturettes on “Potentialities of the Nelson Province”: Mr. N. G. Adamson, “Orchards and Small Fruit”; Mr. J. M. Allan, “Tobacco and Hops”; Mr. D. Merry, “Cropping, Sheep Farming and Irrigation.”

There were six meetings of the Committee held during the year.

The following suggestions were adopted by the Committee:—

(1) That Members of the Society might meet and entertain at luncheon visiting scientists or persons of kindred interests from other parts of New Zealand or from overseas.

An entertainment committee was appointed.

(2) That excursions to places of scientific interest round Nelson be arranged during the summer months.

(3) That the Society foster and encourage work which might usefully be done, such as the making of local lists of flora and fauna.

(4) That lecturers be appointed when requested to lecture to pupils of the two Colleges.

Canterbury Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
President: Dr. F. W. G. White.
Secretary: Mr. E. W. Hullett.
Session 1939.

Council: Ten meetings of the Council have been held. Professor E. Percival, Chairman of the Field Club, joined the Council as an ex officio member.

Membership: Since October 31st, 1938, four members have been elected, while two associate members have been transferred to full membership. The Branch has lost one Life Member by death, one ordinary member by transfer to another branch of the Society and four through resignations. The roll now stands at 139 members and seven associates, compared with 139 members and ten associates last year.

Obituary: Edward Kidson, a Life Member of this Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, died on 12th June, 1939.

Meetings: In March Dr. F. W. G. White delivered his Presidential Address entitled “Thunderstorms.” Other address during the year were: “Moa. Hunters,” by R. S. Duff; “The Social Responsibility of schools,” by Mr. J. E. Strachan; “Some Aspects of Irrigation in Canterbury,” by Mr. T. G. Beck; “Progress in Veterinary Science,” by Mr. J. W. McLean; and “Psychological Factors in Accident Causation,” by Dr. A. Crowther.

On 13th March, 1939, a special meeting was held, when members had the pleasure of hearing an address by Dr. L. V. Berkner entitled “Upper Atmospheric Investigations in America and Australia.” A second special meeting was held on 29th March, 1939, when Dr. E. W. Bennett gave an address, the subject being, “The Hydatid Disease and Its Eradication.”

During the current year nine papers have been read and two exhibits shown. Seven of the papers were zoological in nature, one geological and one physical.

Popular Lecture Series: During the winter term a series of six popular lectures were given on the general topic, “Matter and Life.” The speakers were Mr. J. Packer, Mr. R. Hurst, Mr. M. C. Bleakley, Professor E. Percival, Professor I. L. G. Sutherland and Dr. K. R. Popper.

Attendance at Ordinary Meetings: On the recommendation of a sub-committee set up to suggest ways of encouraging attendance at Ordinary Meetings, short abstracts of scientific papers are now sent out with the notices, and an endeavour has been made to provide better lecture room facilities. In addition, a sub-committee was appointed to secure scientific papers and to advise authors on the method of presentation. These measures have met with success.

Riccarton Bush: The Board of Trustees of Riccarton Bush reports that the administration of the bush during the past financial year has been carried


out with due regard to careful expenditure and to the needs of the bush as a scenic reserve. A satisfactory feature has been the increasing number of visitors, to the bush, both student parties and the general public. The Board's ranger, Mr. Leonard Armstrong, has given another year of highly satisfactory service in the careful maintenance of the bush, and has effected many improvements. The European oaks are gradually being removed, converted to saw logs and firewood, and replaced by suitable native trees and shrubs. The Board tenders its thanks to those individuals, public bodies and organisations which have contributed to its funds. Particular thanks are due to the Department of Lands and Survey, which made a special grant of £25.

Report of the Field Club Section: Activities have been chiefly confined to monthly meetings in the Botanical Laboratory of Canterbury University College, at which live and dead material has been shown and described by members. Besides the exhibition of material of an organic character, methods of preparation and collection have been brought to the notice of members. with the object of assisting in the study of aspects of Natural History.

It was decided to postpone the arrangement of excursions until weather and season made outdoor work favourable, but members have independently carried out field work during the winter.

Membership has reached a total of 50, of whom 13 are full members of the parent body, and five are associates.

Attendance at meetings has not been large, but has been consistent. there being something more than one quarter of the total.

Otago Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Session 1939.
President: Dr. Basil Howard.
Secretary: Dr. H. D. Skinner.

Membership: The number of full members for 1939 is 184, compared with 188 for the previous session. The number of associates is 42, as compared with 58 in 1938.

Attendance at Lectures: The average attendance at Junior lectures was 80, compared with 100 in 1938. The average attendance at the first seven senior meetings was 55.

Representatives on Museum Management Committee: Messrs. George Simpson and J. Scott Thomson were re-elected.

Conversazione: The annual conversazione held in conjunction with the Association of Friends of the Museum was held on the evening of August 31st, about 160 being present. There were several special exhibits, the most extensive being designed to illustrate the activities and history of the Otago Museum.

Portraits of Past Presidents: The series of portraits of past presidents of the society still remains very incomplete. Of the 57 presidents between 1869 and 1925 seven held office more than once, so that only 41 persons were involved. Fourteen portraits have not yet been secured, including the following:—J. T. Thomson, J. S. Webb, R. Gillies, W. M. Blair, W. Arthur, A. Montgomery, Dr. de Zouche, Dr. Belcher, C. W. Adams and F. W. Payne. Help in securing these would be welcomed by the secretary.

Auditorium Fund: The fund now stands at £1,345 5s. It is proposed to approach further possible contributors before the opening of the 1940 session.

Native Bird Protection: The committee set up to co-operate with Mr. L. E. Richdale devoted two days to work with pick and shovel at the sanctuary dedicated by Mr. D. McG. Reid. Mr. Richdale has continued ringing penguins and albatrosses, and has secured new information on the habits and life histories of these and other birds. His account of the life history of the albatrosses based on observations made at Taiaroa Head have been published in volume 38 of “The Emu.” The Otago Harbour Board has continued to co-operate in bird protection in the most enlightened and liberal way, thus earning the thanks of all who are interested in the preservation of native bird life.

A small penguin rookery near Cape Saunders was being watched by Mr. Richdale with the intention of making it a sanctuary. In most respects it is

– XXIV –

unusually well suited for this purpose, but it was raided in September and the whole of the eggs were stolen.

Native Bush Protection: The Society is in full sympathy with the various movements at present active in this field.

Honours: The Otago Branch of the Royal Society extends to Sir William Benham, F.R.S., its hear [ unclear: ] ty congratulations on the well deserved honour recently conferred on him by His Majesty the King. He was for many years a member of the council of this society, and was secretary for six sessions and president for three.

The society also extends its congratulations to Dr. J. E. Holloway for the honour conferred on him by the Royal Society of London in making him a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Ordinary Meetings (Public Addresses):

April 18: Conversazione organized by the Microscopic Branch (The old Medical School Bldg., King Street, at 8 p.m.)

May 2: Presidential Address “The Age of the Earth.” Remarks on the chemical and geological evidence by Dr. Soper and Dr. Benson.

June 13: Mrs H. D. Skinner. “Native Birds in a Littlebourne Garden.” Mr. L. E. Richdale, M.A., “A Bird Island In Foveaux Strait.” Both illustrated by slides. (Joint meeting with Dunedin Field Naturalists' Club).

July 11: Dr. F. G. Soper, “Wool Textile Research.” Exhibits. (Joint meeting with Agricultural Section).

August 8: Dr. R. Jack, “Some Recent Applications of Physical Science.” Demonstrations and Experiments. (Physics Lecture Room, University Bldgs., Union Street.)

September 12: Mr. W. G. McClymont, M.A., “Centennial Retrospect—Geographical Horizons.” Maps and slides. (Joint meeting with Historical Section.)

October 10: Original papers by members.

November 14: Annual Report and Balance Sheet. Exhibits from the Museum Collections.

Original Papers:

W. N. Benson and J. T. Holloway: Notes on the Geography and Rocks of the Ranges between the Pyke and Upper Matukituki Rivers, N.W. Otago.

O. D. Paterson: Geology of the Lower Shag Valley.

George Simpson and J. Scott Thomson: Notes on Some New Zealand Plants, and Descriptions of New Species.

George Simpson and J. Scott Thomson: Growth Rates of Certain Indigenous Species.

  • Wm. B. Benham: (1) Fossil Cetacea of New Zealand.

    • (a) Further Notes on Mauicetus (new name for Lophocephalus).

    • (b) Remains of Balaenids.

    • (c) Notes on Fossil Cetacea in various collections.

  • (2) A New Earthworm from Napier of the genus Megascolecides.

Junior Branch: The work of the Junior Branch is still being carried on successfully. Six lectures were given during the winter term on a varied syllabus. The talks were received with enthusiasm and appreciation, but the average attendance has fallen to approximately eighty. The decrease was due in some measure to unavoidable clash with school, social and sporting functions; but there are probably other causes connected with the modern attitude towards serious education. It is, however, too early to make any definite comment on the tendency to smaller attendances. Next year should show clearly what to do in future years. It is scarcely necessary to point out that the lectures in themselves are excellent and thoroughly appreciated by the audiences.

– XXV –
Southland Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Session 1938-39.
President: Dr. G. H. Uttley.
Secretary: Mr. J. H. Sorensen.

Membership: The number of full members of the Branch is 43, one of whom is a Life Member. During the time which has elapsed since the Branch was formed, two members have left the district. There are six country members. By exercising their right to bring friends to the ordinary meetings of the Branch, members are helping to bring to the notice of others this Branch and its work. It should be the aim of all to have as large a membership as possible in order that more and more scientific work may be carried on and the Branch become the power in the community it is entitled to be.

Lectures: To date eleven lectures have been held. They are as follows:—


8th September: “An Archaeologist in Tahiti,” Dr. H. D. Skinner.

27th October: “Aurorae,” Mr. M. Geddes.

24th November: “X-Rays,” Dr. C. C. Anderson.


4th May: “Science in Southland,” Dr. G. H. Uttley.

25th May: “An Outline of the Geology of Southland and Stewart Island,” Professor W. N. Benson.

22nd June: “The Atom,” Mr. A. S. Hogg.

5th August: “Sclater's Penguin and the Royal Albatross, Mr. L. E. Richdale.

24th August: (a) “Modern Museum Work, Mr. J. H. Sorensen; (b) “Fe [ unclear: ] rns,” Mr. J. C. Calvert; (c) “Stewart Island Scenery,” Mr. A. D. Nisbet.

28th September: “Irrigation,” Miss McHaffie.

26th October: “Scenic Byways and Botany of the Hollyford and Fiordland,” Mr. O. Fletcher.

23rd November: “Archaeology in Murihiku,” Mr. J. H. Sorensen.

Attendance: Satisfactory attendances were recorded at all meetings held by the Branch, both General (when the Lectures were given), and at the Council Meetings.

Representatives: The President (Dr. Uttley) and Dr. C. C. Anderson were appointed as representatives of the Branch to the Southland Museum Trust Board. The delegate to the parent body has yet to be appointed.

Honours: Mr. M. Geddes was appointed to the Directorship of the Carter Observatory in Wellington. Mr. G. A. R. Petrie gained his National Diploma in Horticulture. The Branch extends congratulations to both these members.

Papers: One paper entitled “On an Occurrence of Dasypodia salenophora in Southland,” by Mr. J. H. Sorensen was read during the year and accepted for publication in the Transactions.

Conclusion: A fine start has been made and much keenness shown by the members of the Branch, which is now admitted as a member body of the Royal Society of New Zealand. It is confidently expected that the incoming year will bring more and more successes. The syllabus attached provides for five lectures, and one meeting night has been reserved for original papers by members. Two evenings have been left open, but several person have yet to be approached, and a well-balanced programme for the year should result.