Auckland Institute and Museum
Annual Report for the Year Ended 31st March, 1949
Donations. Gifts during the year included a bequest of £1,000 by Mr. E. P. Mitchelson; a cinema-sound projector, the gift of Sir Frank Mappin; a grant of £450 authorised by the Minister of Education, the Hon. T. H. McCombs, for constructing a lecture and projection room for visting school classes; and a donation of £50 from the Auckland Electric Power Board.
Membership. During the year 64 new members have been enrolled, but we have lost from various causes 29 members. Our membership is now 830, of whom 232 are life members.
Honours. The Council cordially congratulates Dr. G. H. Cunningham, F.R.S.N.Z., on the award to him of the Hector Medal for his distinguished botanical investigations.
Science Congress. The Seventh Pacific Science Congress, held in February, was a momentous event in the history of science in New Zealand. The Institute shared with the Auckland University College the privilege of acting as host institution in Auckland; and the Auckland Committee, under the chairmanship of Dr. Archey, who was also Secretary-General of the Congress, included the Mayor, the Town Clerk, and the Presidents and members of both institutions.
An “At Home” given by the Mayor, a Garden Party given by Sir Frank and Lady Mappin, and a joint Institute and University College Reception in the War Memorial Museum, constituted the formal entertainment; members of both institutions contributed liberally to a fund for excursions, transportation and other hospitality.
An attractive handbook, “Auckland,” was sponsored by the City Council, the Harbour Board, the Transport Board, and the Electric Power Board, and many local organizations and citizens gave ready assistance.
The Congress was attended by over 200 delegates from overseas and by over 500 from New Zealand. Many of the visiting scientists visited the Museum several times during their stay in the city and spoke highly of the building, the exhibits, and the efficiency of the staff.
Meetings. A lecture by Sir Ben Lockspeiser, Director-General of Scientific Research in the Ministry of Supply, was arranged in conjunction with the Auckland Branch of the Institution of Engineers. The other lectures were given by Mr. E. G. Turbott, M.Sc., “Birds of the Outlying Islands”; Mr. A. W. B. Powell, F.R.S.N.Z., “Land Snails and Earth History”; Dr. G. Blake Palmer, “Psychiatry and Social Problems” (annual British Medical Association lecture); Mr. J. D. Sargent, M.Sc., “Bacteria in Relation to Milk Quality.” Three ordinary meetings were held, papers being read by Miss Myra Carter, Miss V. Dellow, Miss A. Lush, Mr. W. Andrew, Mr. V. J. Cook, Mr. M. H. Battey, and Mr. S. M. Hovell.
Sunday Lectures. This year's Sunday afternoon lecture series comprised eight addresses given by Auckland scientists, including members of the Museum staff. Good attendances again testified to the appreciation the public have of these lectures. Contributors to the series were: Mr. Johannes C. Andersen, “Maori Place Names”; Mr. R. B. Sibson, “Bird Migration and New Zealand”; Mr. M. H. Battey, “Pacific Geology”; Professor V. J. Chapman, “Salt Marshes”; Mr. A. C. Hipwell, “Primitive Art”; Mr. R. S. Walsh, “The Inmates of the Hive”; Mr. J. Healy, “Recently Active Volcanoes in New Zealand”; Mr. R. C. Cooper, “Some New Zealand Alpine Plants.”
Astronomical Section. The Auckland Astronomical Society has had a considerable increase in members, the number now being 78. Eight meetings were held, with an average attendance of 38, the subjects including Sundials, Galaxies, Auroras and Earthquakes, the last being given by Dr. E. A. Hodgson, Assistant Dominion Astronomer of Canada, a visitor for the Pacific Science Congress.
Anthropology and Maori Race Section. The Anthropology Section has also increased its membership during the year from 53 to 84; it had an average attendance of 51 at eight lectures. The section has been fortunate in having had lectures from Professor Raymond Firth, Dr. Herbert Money and Mr. H. E. Maude during their recent visits to New Zealand.
Field Trips. Field trips included a short visit to Great Island, Three Kings group, through the generosity of Mr. A. J. Black, of Dunedin, who provided transport in his motor vessel, the Alert, and two visits to the extreme northern coast through the courtesy of Messrs. A Hancox, of Kaikohe, and R. A. Prouse, of Levin, both of whom provided motor transport.
Exhibitions. The thirteenth annual Cheeseman Memorial Show of Native Flowers was opened by Mrs. V. J. Chapman on Saturday, 25th September, and continued until the following Wednesday. Visitors to the show numbered 5,000, including primary and secondary school classes, and stage 1 botany classes from Auckland University College. The adult section of the show was smaller than in past years, but included exhibits arranged or sent by the Auckland Botanical Society, the Forest and Bird Protection Society, the Titirangi Beautifying Society, the Wellington Botanical Society, the Levin Native Flora Club, Massey College, Canterbury College and Otago University. Fifty friends and societies contributed material for the show and 500 children took part.
Education Service. The following is a summary of the number of children having attended one-hour lessons for the year ended 31st March, 1949:
|31/3/48—End of Term||182||28||210|
|Term II, 1948||12,610||2,001||650||64||15,325|
|Term III, 1948||6,068||703||1,435||156||8,362|
Material has been sent to 55 town schools and 137 country schools, and there are 141 schools requesting material which cannot be supplied owing to the lack of prepared displays. The Education Department made a grant of £150 for materials and transport of displays.
Schedules of the Cheeseman Memorial Prize Competition were printed in the Star and Herald during the first term and sent to all schools in the Auckland Province when schools re-opened. There were 48 entries and the standard of
work is steadily rising. Schedules for the Cheeseman Memorial Spring Show of Native Flowers were sent to all schools in the Auckland Province, and great enthusiasm was shown, children and teachers coming from as far as Thames and Whangarei. There were 32 school entries in table exhibits and 457 individual entries.
Under the guidance of Miss M. L. Hurrey, Assistant Education Officer, a natural history club was formed when schools re-opened. The response of the children was so keen that 72 children joined, thus necessitating the splitting of the club into three groups—junior, intermediate and senior—each of which met once a month on Saturday mornings.
This year 50 Training College students have been posted to the Museum for teaching practice.
Library. During the year a record number of books and pamphlets have been added to the Library. Of the total number of 1,615, over 1,200 were purchased from the Edward Earle Vaile Trust Fund, 110 from the Mackechnie Fund, and nearly 300 were received by donation. The most important purchase was that of the private library of Mr. Johannes C. Andersen consisting of works chiefly relating to New Zealand.
Displays were arranged throughout the year. In August the Botanical Society held an afternoon at the Museum, and a special display of botanical works was arranged. Books loaned by the National Library Service were displayed at the Cheeseman Memorial Flower Show in September. In May the National Library Service sent on loan for some months over 200 American periodicals, and many of these were displayed. In connection with the Pacific Science Congress, a display case was set up illustrating the history of Pacific exploration.