The Annual Meeting of the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand was held in the Board Room, Auckland Institute and Museum, on Saturday, May 15, 1954, commencing at 10 a.m.
Representation and Roll Call. The following were present:—President: Dr. W. R. B. Oliver. Vice-Presidents: Mr. F. R. Callaghan and Dr. D. Miller Government Representatives: Mr. F. R. Callaghan, Dr. R. A. Falla, Dr. C. A. Fleming. Auckland Institute: Professor L. H. Briggs and Mr. A. T. Pycroft. Wellington Branch: Mr. K. R. Allen and Professor L. R. Richardson. Canterbury Branch: Professor R. S. Allan and Mr. C. E. Fenwick. Otago Branch: Miss Beryl Brewin and Dr. D. A. Brown. Hawke's Bay Branch. Mr. N. L. Elder. Nelson Institute: Dr. D. Miller. Southland Branch: Dr. G. H. Uttley. Hon. Treasurer: Mr. S. Cory Wright. Co-opted Member: Dr. J. T. Salmon. Fellows' Representative: Professor C. A. Cotton.
Observers. Representing the Waikato Scientific Association: Dr. E. B. Davies. Representing the Rotorua Philosophical Society : Mr. J. Healy.
Apologies for Absence. His Excellency the Governor General wrote expressing his regret that as he would not be in residence in Auckland during May he would be unable to attend.
The Hon. Minister for Scientific and Industrial Research sent a telegram conveying his regret that although he would be in Auckland his programme prevented his being present. Dr. G. Archey is at present overseas.
Dr. F. G. Soper also apologised for absence from the meeting on account of pressure of Otago University business.
Chairman's Remarks. The President, Dr. Oliver, who was in the chair, extended a welcome to new members as follows:—
Dr C. A. Fleming, who had been appointed one of the four Government representatives; Mr. K. Radway Allen, a representative of the Wellington Branch; Miss Beryl Brewin and Dr. D. A. Brown, representatives of the Otago Branch; Dr. G. H. Uttley, newly appointed representative of the Southland Branch, and Mr. N. L. Elder, representing the Hawke's Bay Branch.
Dr. Oliver announced that Professor C. A. Cotton and Dr. F. G. Soper had been re-elected as the Fellows' representatives for the ensuing two years. He welcomed, too, Dr. E. B. Davies, President of the Waikato Scientific Association, and Mr. J. Healy, of the Rotorua Philosophical Society who were present by invitation of the Standing Committee as observers.
In referring to retiring members of the Council, Dr. Oliver paid a warm tribute to Dr. H. H. Allan, who had represented the Southland Branch and who had rendered valuable service to the Society in many offices, including the Presidency,
over a very long period. He also paid a tribute to Dr. M. A. F. Barnett, Mr. J. D. H. Buchanan, Dr. W. E. Adams, and Mr. O. H. Keys, who had served as representatives of the Branches.
Obituary. The President mentioned that the Society had sustained the loss of an Honorary Member, Dr. Lelland O. Howard, and of Sir Leonard Hill, who was the second recipient of the T. K. Sidey Summer-time Medal and Prize.
He referred also to the great loss New Zealand science had sustained in the death of Professor F. C. Chalklin, who held the chair of Physics át Canterbury University College and was a Fellow of the Society. He lost his life in the recent air disaster at Singapore.
The Council stood in silence as a mark of respect.
Dr. Oliver said the year under review had been an eventful one. The publication of the seven volumes of the Proceedings of the Seventh Pacific Congress had been completed. He expressed the thanks and appreciation of the Society to Professor R. S. Allan, General Editor, and to Dr. J. Marwick, Business Editor, for their work in this connection.
Dr. Oliver also extended to Dr. O. H. Frankel, now residing in Canberra, the congratulations of the Society on his election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of London.
The address by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh had taken place at a meeting of scientists organized by the Royal Society of New Zealand at the request of the Royal Tour Committee. This had proved to be one of the most representative scientific assemblages held in the Dominion, and it had been an outstanding success together with the luncheon for sixty guests which followed.
The address was broadcast and later was published as the Society's Bulletin No. 4. Three copies were specially bound, one was presented to His Royal Highness, one was autographed by him for the Society's archives, and the third copy was presented to Mr. Algie, Hon. Minister for Scientific and Industrial Research.
At the request of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh some additional copies of the address were sent to him in London.
Another matter in which the Society had taken an active interest is the proposed Historical and Archaeological Sites Bill to be brought before the House in the coming session. Legislation in regard to Public Reserves at one time considered in conjunction with the Historical and Archaeological Sites Bill had been brought down as a separate measure under the Reserves and Domains Act, 1953.
The Eighth Pacific Science Congress had been held in Manila and had been attended by eighth scientists from New Zealand, the official delegation being the President (Dr. Oliver), Dr. Falla, Dr. Archey, Dr. Skinner, and Mr. J. Healy.
At that Congress it had been decided to reduce the expenditure of the Pacific Science Secretariat. The resignation of Mr. Loring Hudson, Executive Secretary, had been accepted, and his assistant, Miss Brenda Bishop, had been appointed in his place as the only paid officer in the Secretariat. Later, the Council would be asked to vote an amount towards the administration expenses of the office.
Another matter to which attention had been given was an attempt to bring about some co-ordination of scientific societies. A preliminary meeting of representatives of scientific societies had been held in July. Finally, the report on National Collections presented to the last annual meeting had been followed up
by a report prepared by Mr. Callaghan designed towards the promotion of a sound policy on National Collections. The matter would come up for full consideration later in the agenda.
Notices of Motion were called for and read to come up later in the meeting.
Hector Memorial Award. The President read the report of the Hector Award Committee as follows:—
“The Committee consisting of Dr. G. H. Cunningham, Dr. H. H. Allan and myself, set up to make a recommendation for the award of the Hector medal and prize for 1954 unanimously recommends that the medal and prize be awarded to Mrs. Watson Smith (Lucy May Cranwell) for her researches in botany.
W. R. B. Oliver