Otago Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Annual Report for Session 1940.
President: Dr. Basil Howard.
Hon. Secretary: Dr. H. D. Skinner, Otago Museum, Dunedin.
Membership: The number of full members for 1940 is 178, as compared with 184 for 1939. There were six new members. Losses were due to resignations (8), deaths (3), and struck off the roll (1).
Deaths: The deaths are recorded with regret of Mr. J. M. Fraser, Mr. A. W. Milnes, Mr. A. S. Paterson.
Attendance at Lectures: The average attendance at Junior lectures was 80, the same figure as last year. The average attendance at the first seven senior lectures was 52, compared with 55 last year.
Representatives on Museum Management Committee: Messrs. G. Simpson and J. Scott Thomson were again elected.
Conversazione: The annual conversazione, held in conjunction with the Association of Friends of the Museum, was held on Thursday, November 7, and was highly successful, 183 being present. The two special features were an exhibition of native sprays, flowers, and plants, for which much material had been secured from helpers in the Auckland province, and an exhibition of pictures. These were representative of landscape and topographical artists working in the first half-century of New Zealand European history. Mr. L. E. Richdale generously showed a part of his albatross film, and, owing to the inadequacy of the lecture room, this had to be repeated.
Portraits of Past Presidents: The set of portraits is nearing completion, but the following are still needed: J. S. Webb, W. Arthur, Dr. de Zouche, Dr. Belcher, and F. W. Payne. Help in securing any of these would be greatly
appreciated. Portraits are also being secured of some other members who have done good service to the Society, for example, Mr. E. J. Parr, secretary from 1913 to 1919 inclusive.
Auditorium Fund: The need for a large hall as part of the Museum is apparent all the year round in connection with the School Service. It was brought home to this Society in a more concrete way by the impossibility of accommodating at one sitting all those who attended the conversazione The Auditorium Fund now stands at £1400.
Native Bird Protection: The Committee entrusted with native bird protection has not met during the year, due to the enlightened policy of the Otago Harbour Board in fully protecting the nesting albatrosses at Taiaroa Head. Mr. L. E. Richdale has continued his work of observation and protection.
Honours: Dr. J. E. Holloway, F.R.S., was elected President of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Dr. R. Gardner was elected President of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry. Mr. W. A. Thomson was awarded the Loder Cup.
Publications: The Society extends its congratulations to Dr. Basil Howard on the publication of Rakiura, to Mr. W. G. McClymont on the publication of The Exploration of New Zealand, and to Dr. John Elder on The History of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand.
April 9: Presidential Address, “Whither?—The Decline of Culture.”
May 14: Mr. L. W. McCaskill, M.Sc. (Christchurch), “Soil Conservation in New Zealand.” (Joint meeting with Agricultural Section and with Dunedin Naturalists' Field Club.))
June 11: Dr. H. H. Allan (Wellington): “Conservation of the Plant Covering in New Zealand.” (Joint meeting with Field Club.)
July 9: Dr. R. A. Falla (Christchurch): “The Conservation of New Zealand Birds.”
August 13: Mr. L. E. Richdale, M.A.: “Some Local Native Birds.” Films and slides.
September 10: The Hon. W. Downie Stewart, “Some Early New Zealand Prime Ministers.” (Joint meeting with Historical Section.)
October 8: Dr. W. N. Benson, “Landslips in the Dunedin Area.” Original papers.
November 12: Annual report and balance sheet. Exhibits from the Museum collections.
F. J. Turner: “Applicability and Limitations of Petrofabric Analysis without use of a Universal Stage.”
W. N. Benson and F. J. Turner: “Mugearites in the Dunedin District.”
W. N. Benson: “Landslips and Allied Features in the Dunedin District in Relation to Geological Structures, Topography, and Engineering.”