[Delivered at the Annual Meeting at Wellington on May 22, 1940, by the Reverend J. E. Holloway, L.Th., D.Sc., F.R.S., F.R.S.N.Z.]
I must first thank you for doing me the honour at the last Annual Meeting of electing me as your President. I desire to thank Professor Evans for taking the chair at the meetings of the Standing Committee during the past year, and for doing all the work which should have been done by me.
It is my pleasant duty to welcome Dr. R. A. Falla as one of the representatives of the Canterbury Branch. He takes the place of Mr. E. F. Stead, who has represented that Branch since 1936. Also I welcome Mr. J. H. Sorensen, who represents the recently revived Southland Branch.
Before proceeding to our regular agenda it is fitting that in view of this time of great national peril I should move the following resolution:—
That this Annual Meeting of the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand expresses its loyalty to His Majesty the King, and assures him and his Ministers in New Zealand of the whole-hearted support of the members of this Society in the efforts that are being made to bring the present great conflict with our enemies to a successful issue, and that the Council directs that this resolution be forwarded to the Right Honourable the Prime Minister with the request that it be respectfully submitted to His Majesty.
Since the last Annual Meeting we have lost by death one of the Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Edward Kidson, O.B.E., M.A., D.Sc., who was also from 1933 to 1936 a member of this Council; and also we have lost one of our Honorary Members, A. C. Haddon, M.A., Sc.D., F.R.S.
Edward Kidson received his primary and secondary school education at Nelson. If a personal reference may be allowed, two members of this present Council, Dr. Allan and myself, were among his classmates at Nelson College. His old friends of those days remember his quiet, reliable, and always friendly nature, and also his outstanding all-round ability in the classroom.
From Nelson College he proceeded to Canterbury University College with an entrance scholarship, and there took the Honours courses in Physics and Mathematics, which were to be the preparation for his life work. He gained a senior scholarship, followed by the degrees of M.Sc., with first class honours in Physics, and M.A. in Mathematics.
A full notice of his activities has already appeared in our Transactions. It will suffice here to say that during the period 1905 to 1927 he was engaged in magnetic and meteorological work in
various parts of the world, at first in Christchurch, then on the staff of the Carnegie Institute (Washington), and subsequently in Australia, where he rose to a high position. During the years 1915 to 1919 he served his country in the Great War as a meteorological officer, and gained the distinction of the O.B.E.
He was appointed Director of the Meteorological Service in New Zealand in 1927, and held that position until his death in 1939. During these twelve years he greatly developed the Service and brought it into close touch with meteorological science in other countries. Thus his own country reaped the benefit of his wide and valuable experience.
He has made a contribution to Meteorological Science for which he will long be remembered, with respect, not only to New Zealand and Australia, but also to the closely allied field of Antarctic meteorology, in which field he had earned a wide reputation.
Alfred Cort Haddon was born in 1855. He was a scientist pre-eminent first as a zoologist, and, in addition, for the latter half of his life, as an ethnologist.
From 1880 to 1901 he was Professor of Zoology at the Royal College of Science, Dublin. In 1899 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
In 1900 he began his long association with Ethnology at the University of Cambridge, being Lecturer in that subject from 1900-9, Reader from 1909-26, and Emeritus Reader from 1926 to the time of his death in April of this year.
He was the author of many publications in both Zoology and Ethnology. He carried out extensive ethnological field work in various parts of the Western Pacific, as organiser and conductor of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Straits, New Guinea and Sarawak in 1898-9.
He was elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1925. His association with New Zealand lies, not only in his distinguished work in the ethnology of the Pacific, but also in the fact that he was attached to the section of the Y.M.C.A. which served the New Zealand Division in France during the Great War.
You will see from the Standing Committee's Report that the work of the last year has been mainly concerned with matters of routine. There are one or two items in the report to which I will very briefly refer.
The first of these is the fact that the Southland Branch has been brought into being again, and is now represented at this Annual Meeting. I take this opportunity of expressing the pleasure of the Council that this Branch is now duly admitted as a Member-Body.
It was considered expedient to cancel the New Zealand Science Congress which had been fixed to take place this month. A definite suggestion that a congress be held next year is on the agenda for
discussion. In view of the possibility of the War being a protracted one, it is perhaps as well that the Council is being asked to express an opinion on the matter.
It is worthy of note that the Society's Library has now been moved to new quarters in the Victoria University College Biology Block. We are glad to acknowledge our indebtedness to the College authorities and to the Professor of Biology for this accommodation. At the same time it is evident that the space available is too small for the needs of the Library, and there is no doubt that this will occupy our attention in the near future.
I come now to the second part of my address, for which I have selected the theme Science for the People. The importance of this subject arises from the fact that science has many benefits, intellectual and spiritual, as distinct from material benefits, which it is able to confer upon the people. At the same time I must say that it seems to me that there is an ever-widening gap between science and the people.
There are a number of points involved in these statements which I desire to expand. In the short space of an address it is possible only to touch briefly upon them. What I have to say represents, of course, merely my own personal views. It is my hope that a useful purpose will be served by opening up this subject.