Canterbury Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand
Annual Report for the Year Ended 31st October, 1948
Membership. The ordinary membership has decreased from 227 to 222; associate membership has decreased from 18 to 17.
Constitution. Early in 1948 the Council appointed a sub-committee, comprising Mr. G. Stokell, Mr. C. W. Collins and the Hon. Secretary, to draft a new Constitution. This, after being approved by the Council, was submitted to all members in September. The Constitution was passed unanimously without amendment at a special general meeting on October 6. It still remains for the Rules of the Society to be revised in accordance with the new Constitution.
Canterbury Museum. In April the Canterbury Museum passed from the control of the Canterbury University College Council to the Canterbury Museum Trust Board, representative of the whole province. Professor E. Percival took his seat on the new Board as the representative of this Society. Mr. R. S. Duff, who went to London University in 1947 on a British Council Scholarship, returned to Christchurch in September and took up his position as Director of the Canterbury Museum.
Seventh Pacific Science Congress. During the year, arrangements were finally made for the Seventh Pacific Science Congress to be held in New Zealand, from February 2 to 22, 1949. The Royal Society of New Zealand, supported by the Government, is responsible for the organization, and a full programme of sessions, tours and local excursions has been arranged. The second week of meetings will be held in Christchurch from February 15 to 22, and this Branch of the Society will be joint hosts with Canterbury University College.
Meetings. March 3, “Engineering and Abstract Science” (Presidential Address), Professor G. G. Calvert; April 7, “Soil Mechanics,” Mr. P. J. Alley; May 5, “Hay Fever and Associated States,” Dr. A. B. Pearson; June 2, “The New Mechanics,” Dr. F. C. Chalklin; July 7, “Fossil Penguins,” Professor B. J. Marples; August 4, “The Magnetic Survey of New Zealand, Its Aims and Methods,” Mr. H. F. Baird; September 1, “The Use of Models in Hydraulic Engineering,” Mr. P. M. Gilmour; September 15, “The Organic Factors in Personality,” Dr. Alan Crowther (additional general meeting arranged by the Social Science Section); October 6, “The Work of the Seventh Pacific Science Congress,” Dr. R. S. Allan; November 3, “A Worm's Eye Veiw of Radio Location,” Mr. C. E. Fenwick.
Papers. April 7, “Additions to the Rotatoria of New Zealanod, Part 3,” C. R. Russell; May 5, “An Eroded Coast Line,” Professor R. Speight; “A Freshwater Smelt from the Chatham Islands,” Mr. G. Stokell; July 14, “A New
Explanation of the Thermo Mechanical Effects in Liquid Helium ii, and also of the Second Sound Wave,” Dr. D. B. Macleod; October 6, “Studies on a Freshwater Mussel of the Genus Diplodon,” Mr. R. L. C. Pilgrim.
On November 17, 1947, a special meeting of the Society was held, in conjunction with the Forest and Bird Protection Society and the Association of Friends of the Canterbury Museum, to hear an address entitled “Gateways to the Antarctic,” by Dr. Robert Cushman Murphy, of the American Museum of Natural History, New York.
On March 12, 1948, a special meeting of the Society was held, in conjunction with the Canterbury Branch of the New Zealand Institute of Engineers, to hear an address by Sir Clifford Paterson, F.R.S., Past President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.
Riccarton Bush. The Society's representative on the reconstituted Board of Trustees of Riccarton Bush has presented to the Council the following annual report: “As the result of the passing of ‘The Riccarton Bush Amendment Act, 1947,’ the Board has been increased to include representatives of the Riccarton Borough Council and of Waimairi, Paparua, and Heathcote County Councils. The Board was given power by the Act to levy contributions on all the local bodies mentioned, together with the Christchurch City Council, and to purchase an area of some thirteen acres with the old Deans homestead which is to be included as part of the reserve.
“The newly constituted Board met on February 25, 1948, and entered into possession of the new area on March 30, 1948.
“Work on the new area has been confined to general maintenance and planting a small area with specimen trees donated by the Christchurch City Council. Plans are in hand for the preservation of the majority of the trees, many of which are of great historic and scientific value. The Christchurch Rotary Club has generously offered to restore to its original condition the 1843 homestead which has been removed to a new site.
“As regards Riccarton Bush proper, the increased revenue has enabled the employment of an assistant to the ranger. Together they have made a large-scale attack on the larger areas of weeds which had increased owing to the opening up of the bush after the snow damage of 1945. All weeds are now being removed by the roots and with the extra labour available future infestation should be kept down to a minimum. While blackberry, spindletree, elderberry and bittersweet are the worst weeds, a recent survey showed that in addition to these there are eighty-nine species of alien plants which have to be dealt with.
“Shelter on the southern boundary has been provided by the planting of a belt of Lombardy poplars donated by Lincoln College.”
Honorary Librarian's Report. The Society's Library continues to be steadily used by members, by the Canterbury University College community under the merger agreement, and by members of sister societies and others who borrow through the inter-loan scheme. At the same time, use by our members of the College Library is increasing, though less advantage than might have been expected is taken of special facilities, such as the postal service.
Field Club Section. The membership of the Club at present stands at 28. During the year seven excursions have been well attended by members and visitors. Two evening meetings were held in the Museum during July and August. Addresses were given by J. Veale, “Mosses and Ferns,” and G. Stokell, “Scientific Description of Fishes and How to Read the Age of Fishes from Scale-studies.”
Social Science Section. Four well-attended meetings of the section have been held during the year. Addresses were given by Mrs. Ann Rosenberg on “Psychiatric Social Work in Britain”; by Dr. Alan Crowther on “The Physical Factors in Personality”; by Mr. H. Critchfield on “Climate as a Factor in Man's Environment”; and at a joint meeting with the Biology Section, Professor E. Percival gave an illustrated address on “How Came the Erect Posture in Man?”
Biology Section. As it was the opinion of the Chairman of the Biology Section that this section fulfilled no useful purpose, the Council decided to dissolve it from November 30, 1948.