Annual Meeting of The Council, Held 19th May, 1953 Minutes
The Annual Meeting of the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand was held on Tuesday, 19th May, 1953, in the Council Room, Victoria University College, Wellington, commencing at 10 a.m.
The Honourable Minister of Scientific and Industrial Research had accepted an invitation to be present at the initial stages of the meeting, but at the last moment was detained by an early meeting of the Executive Council.
His message conveyed his best wishes for a successful meeting and his sincere regret at his inability to be present. He also stated that he hoped to bring before Cabinet in a few days the financial needs of the Society.
On the motion of Dr. Falla, seconded by Dr. Salmon, it was resolved that the Hon. Minister be thanked for his good wishes.
Roll Call. The following responded to the roll call:—President—Dr. W. R. B. Oliver; Vice-Presidents—Mr. F. R. Callaghan, Dr. D. Miller; Government Representatives—Dr. R. A. Falla, Dr. Oliver, Dr. G. Archey, and Mr. Callaghan; Auckland Institute Representative—Professor L. H. Briggs; Wellington Branch Representatives—Dr. M. A. F. Barnett and Professor L. R. Richardson; Canterbury Branch Representatives—Mr. C. E. Fenwick, Mr. B. W. Collins (Observer); Otago Branch Representatives—Professor W. E. Adams and Mr. O. H. Keys; Hawke's Bay Branch Representative—Mr. J. D. H. Buchanan; Nelson Institute Representative—Dr. D. Miller; Southland Branch Representative—Dr. H. H. Allan; Co-opted Member—Dr. J. T. Salmon; Hon. Treasurer—Mr. S. Cory Wright; Fellows' Representative—Professor F. G. Soper.
Apologies. His Excellency the Governor-General, Sir Willoughby Norrie, conveyed through the Official Secretary his acceptance of the office of Patron of the Society, and regretted that owing to his being in residence in Auckland in May he would be unable to be present at the annual meeting of the Council.
Mr. A. T. Pycroft, a representative of the Auckland Institute, apologised for absence on account of the illness of his wife.
Dr. R. S. Allan also wrote apologising for absence on account of a sudden attack of influenza.
Professor C. A. Cotton, the newly elected representative of the Fellows, regretted that he would be in Auckland during the vacation.
Observer. The Canterbury Branch had asked permission for Mr. B. W. Collins to sit in for Dr. Allan. The President welcomed Mr. Collins to the Council as an observer.
Her Majesty's Coronation. On the motion of Mr. O. H. Keys, seconded by Dr. G. Archey, it was unanimously resolved to forward to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II a loyal message on the occasion of her Coronation.
President's Remarks. The President, Dr. W. R. B. Oliver, referred to the death of Dr. T. A. Jaggar, late of the Vulcanological Observatory at Hawaii and of Mr. Henry Woods for many years Curator of Woodwardian Museum, Cambridge. These were both Honorary Members of the Society.
Dr. Oliver referred, also, to the loss the Society had suffered by the death of Professor I. L. G. Sutherland, Professor of Philosophy at Canterbury University College and an authority on the Maori people. Major G. A. Buddle, a member of the Auckland Institute, whose interest lay in natural history, particularly in birds. Mr. F. G. Gibbs, a member of the Nelson Institute for over 50 years, and well-known throughout New Zealand in educational and scientific circles. His chief interests were astronomy, geology, and botany. Mr. W. C. Davies, also a member of the Nelson Institute, and for many years Curator of the Cawthron Institute Museum. His photography of scientific subjects was outstanding. Dr. E. R. Cooper, a member of the Wellington Branch and head of the Dominion Physical Laboratory, and Mr. William Jones, another member of the Wellington Branch, and latterly Director of the D.S.I.R. Oceanographic Observatory. He was a Government representative on the Carter Observatory Board.
The Council stood in respect to the memory of all these Members and Honorary Members.
In his opening remarks, the President briefly mentioned the fact that 1953 is a Jubilee year of the reconstituted Society.
He reviewed subjects which had been in the forefront of the minds of the Council—namely, the spreading of scientific interest by the formation of new societies such as the entomological and ecological societies, both very active; the possibility of the formation of new branches at Hamilton and Rotorua; of the association of the Royal Society with societies of allied interests in connection with which he announced that it is proposed to hold in June a meeting of representatives of all interested societies; of the status of Fellows and their impact on the scientific life of the Dominion; of National Collections, a report of which was before the meeting; National Parks and the newly established National Parks Authority; and of the Proceedings of the Seventh Pacific Science Congress, the volumes of which had been completed or were nearing completion.
New and Retired Members. Dr. Oliver stated that he had hoped to extend a welcome to Professor C. A. Cotton who, at the last Standing Committee meeting, had been elected a representative of the Fellows in place of Dr. Marwick, who had resigned from the Council. He paid a special tribute to the work done by Dr. Marwick over a long period on the Council. He had rendered great service in many ways, especially as Honorary Editor of the Transactions.
Notices of Motion were called for and handed in to be dealt with later in the meeting.
Hector Award. Dr. Oliver read the following report of the Hector Award Committee, of which he was convener:—
“At the last Annual Meeting, Mr. A. W. B. Powell and I were appointed members of the Hector Award Committee, with power to co-opt. one other. We duly co-opted Dr. J. Marwick, a recipient of the Hector Award for Geology, whose main interest is Palaeontology, that is a zoological subject.
“After considering carefully the work of all New Zealand zoologists who were eligible for the award, we unanimously recommended that the Hector
Award and Prize in zoology for 1953 be granted to Dr. L. E. Richdale, for his researches in bird behaviour.
W. R. B. Oliver, Convener.”