Reports of Member Bodies.
Auckland Institute and Museum.
Annual Report for 1944–45.
President: Mr. A. H. Johnstone, K.C., B.A., LL.B.
Director: Dr. Gilbert Archey, O.B.E., M.A., F.R.S.N.Z.
In October, 1944, the Institute and Museum completed 75 years of united activity. The anniversary was commemorated by a large gathering held in the War Memorial Museum, attended by representatives of civic organisations and by many members and their friends. Messages were read from His Excellency the Governor-General, from Lord Bledisloe, and from sister institutions, and addresses were given by His Worship the Mayor and by Dr. H. H. Allan, President of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Special exhibits had been arranged by the Museum staff, and included a display commemorating the work of the first two Curators of the Museum, T. W. Kirk, F.L.S. (1867–74) and T. F. Cheeseman, F.L.S., F.R.S.N.Z. (1874–1923). Short talks were given on the school service by Mr. A. Murloch, and on scientific investigation in Auckland by Dr. Archey. Among the senior members present were Dr. E. Roberton and Professor H. W. Segar, both past-Presidents and members for over 50 years.
Gift of Property: On the 1st of March, 1945, Mr. E. Earle Vaile, who has been a member of the Institute since 1898, signified his desire to give to the Institute and Museum, as a perpetual endowment, two properties consisting of blocks of shops and dwellings at the junction of New North Road and Sandrmgham Road, and at the junction of New North Road and Bright Street, both properties having freehold titles and being clear of all encumbrances. Mr. Vaile estimated the net income from the properties would be between £500 and £600 per annum. At a special meeting held on the 5th March the Council gladly accepted this munificent gift, and Mr. Vaile, who was in attendance, was suitably thanked. The object of the endowment is to provide funds for the following purposes—viz., the purchase of exhibits and books to be placed in the Auckland War Memorial Museum and for archaeological excavation, preference being given where possible and practical, and with regard to the limitations imposed by the passage of time, to the purchase, first, of Maori artifacts and books on old New Zealand, and, secondly, Polynesian, Micronesian and Melanesian artifacts and books on the Pacific area, including Australia.
Membership: The year commenced with a membership roll of 574, including 174 life members, of whom we have lost 22 by death, and 13 by resignation and deletions. A special endeavour by members of the Council resulted in 112 new members being elected, and the roll now stands at 651, of whom 191 are life members.
The Council will endeavour to increase the membership again this year, and invites all present members to assist. The Council's objective is 1000 members; this should be possible in a city the size of Auckland.
Obituary: The death of the following members is recorded with sincere regret: Lady Leys, Mrs. J. M. Stevenson, Hon. Sir Walter Stringer, Captain T. C. Kerry, Dr. E. B. Milsom, Messrs. L. W. Alexander, E. A. Brown, E. Cashmore, W. Colbeck, S. Davidson, F. Davies, P. A. Edmiston, F. S. Fisher, J. W. Frater, G. A. Gribbin, E. Horton, R. McVeagh, D. L. Nathan, J. A. Peacock, A. W. Perkins, D. Rogers, W. R. J. Smythe, J. J. Sullivan, and J. M. Wilson.
Honours: At the last Annual Meeting Mr,. E. Earle Vaile and Captain G. A. Humphreys-Davies were elected to honorary life membership in recognition of their many years' support of the Institute and their generous gifts over a number of years to the Museum.
We extend our congratulations to Mr. Norman H. Potts on being awarded the Loder Cup for his enthusiastic encouragement of the cultivation of native trees and plants.
Council Meetings: The Council has met seven times during the year. It joined with other organisations in asking for representation of science and
education on the Centennial Park Board; on the Council's nomination, Mr. Pycroft was appointed to the Onewa Domain Board. The Council has also supported the movement to preserve the old windmill in Symonds Street.
Members have responded to the Council's invitation to hand in current New Zealand pamphlet literature to the library, and volumes of the Transactions towards replacements in war-damaged libraries in Britain and Europe. Further numbers would be welcome.
The Director attended the national education conference at Christchurch as representative of the Royal Society of New Zealand; the museums of the Dominion were represented by Dr. R. A. Falla, Director of the Canterbury Museum.
Gifts to the Museum and Library: The past year has been marked by a series of generous gifts to the Museum and Library by members of the Institute, whom the Council thanks very heartily for their liberal support.
Mr. R. C. Horton has given £200 towards completion of the mineral collections; “Two Friends” have donated £150 for library book-cases; and £50 has been added to the Mitchelson Prize Fund. The gift of over 200 volumes on New Zealand history and exploration by Mrs B. Quigley and Miss E. Kenderdine completes the many additions to the Library made by their father, Mr. John Kenderdine. The purchase by Mr. J. C. Entrican of a large collection of stone adzes and other implements has provided a valuable addition to our eastern Polynesian collections.
Although not properly belonging to the year under review, two gifts recently received are here included and gratefully acknowledged. Sub-Lieut. T. H. Leys has given £500 for extending the ethnological collections as a bequest from his mother. Lady Leys, and the Trustees of the Auckland Savings Bank have donated £500 for improvements to the exhibition halls.
Staff: Mrs. M. Knight resigned from the position of Book-keeper and Typist in December; members will join with the Council in expressing their appreciation of the valuable service always so willingly and pleasantly given by Mrs. Knight, and in offering their best wishes to her for the future.
We are glad to welcome back Mr. V. F. Fisher, Ethnologist, who has returned from overseas service and resumed his duties at the Museum. Mr. E. G. Turbott, Zoologist, is still on war service. The position of Botanist, relinquished by Mrs. S. Watson Smith, has been filled by the appointment of Miss B. E. G. Molesworth and Mr. C. W. Firth is again acting as Associate Geologist.
Institute Meetings: Notwithstanding the continued inconveniences of transport, the Monday evening lectures at the University College Hall were well attended: the thanks of the members for these lectures are due to: Lieut. Colonel E. R, Sawer, O.B.E., M.A., B.Sc., “The Natural History of Palestine.” Mr. B. W. Collins, M.Sc., F.G.S.: “An Oil Geologist in New Guinea.” Mr. F. Russell Baker, “Argentine: Past and Present.” Dr. W. Wallace Main: “Radiology in Public Health.” Professor C. G. Cooper, M.A.: “The Agamemnon: A Greek Tragedy.”
One ordinary meeting was held to hear papers presented by Lieut.-Colonel W. W. Clemesha, C.I.E., and Major G. A. Buddle, D.S.O.
Sunday Lectures: New Zealand and overseas subjects were covered by the Sunday afternoon lectures in the Museum library, which again proved much too small for the numbers wishing to attend.
Mr. V. F. Fisher, B.A., “New Caledonia.” Mr. M. Rosenfeld, “Czecho-Slovakia.” Mr. S. W. Taylor, “China's People and Progress.” Dr. G. Archey, M.A., “The Moa.” Miss A. M. Davies, “The Art of the American Indian.” Miss Olga Adams, M.Sc., “Maori Carved Houses and War Canoes.”
Anthropology and Maori Race Section: The Section adopted a restricted syllabus again last year. Four meetings were held, when the following lectures were given:—Mr. A. D. Mead, “A Correlation of Prehistory.” Lieutenant H. Toka, “The Maori Pa in Attack and Defence.” Rev. A. H. Voyce, “The Solomon Islands in War-time.” Lieut.-Colonel W. Clemesha, “Arab Boats and Boat Building.”
The last paper was a contribution from the Section to an ordinary meeting of the Institute.
Owing to war-time transport difficulties no field days were held.
A new feature of the year's activities was a course of Maori language lessons for members, conducted by Major K. Harawira. During the last six months about seven members have attended the course.
The Section will, from this year, be able to contribute a well-known anthropological periodical, “The American Anthropologist,” to the Institute Library. Miss E. M. Stevenson has made the generous gift of a regular subscription to this journal. It is hoped that the current number will soon be available.
Librarian: The past year has been marked by notable gifts, to the Library by members. Mrs. B. Quigley and Miss E. Kenderdine have presented 204 volumes on New Zealand exploration and early history; they include Dieffenbach, Travels in New Zealand, 1843; Taylor, Te Ika a Maui, 1855; Grey, Ko Nga Moteatea, 1853; Maning, Old New Zealand, 1863; Ellis, Polynesian Researches, 1829.
In the same field we have again received liberal accessions from Mr. E. Earle Vaile, among whose 86 items are Careri's Voyage Round the World, 1744: Dixon's Voyage, 1774; La Perouse's Voyage, 1798; Beechy's Voyage, 1831; Sir George Grey's Expedition to North-West Australia, 1841; and a set of recent publications of the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Mrs. R. F. Blair has presented 35 books on New Zealand history, including Ellis's “Polynesian Researches,” 2nd edition; Hamilton's “Maori Art,” and Shand's “Moriori People.’ Mr. A. T. Pyeroft has given a number of books and 20 volumes of “The Emu,” and Mr. J. E. Attwood has given both natural history books and bound pamphlets. Among several scientific publications presented by the Director of Sacred Heart College is a volume of J. Evelyn's “Silva.” Royal Society of London, 1664.