Waikato Scientific Association
Annual Report for the Year ended October 31, 1956.
I have pleasure in presenting on behalf of your Executive this, the eleventh Annual Report of the Association.
Executive. At the Annual Meeting on November 17, 1955, the following officers were elected:—President, Mr. K. J. McNaught; Vice-President, Mr. R. R. White; Secretary, Mr. A. G. Yarrall; Treasurer, Miss W. Tinsley; Committee, Messrs. M. C. Gudex and C. G. Hunt, Dr. E. B. Davies, Miss P. J. A. Post; Hon. Auditor, Mr. A. E. Greenslade.
Your Executive has met on eight occasions during the year.
Membership. This has remained static.
Lectures. As in the past, the main activity has been arranging for a series of lectures of general interest to the public. Seven lectures were given as follows: March 15, Mr. K. J. McNaught (Presidential Address), “Plant Ntuntion”. April 19, Mr. D. Kear (Geological Survey), “Recent Advances in Waikato Geology.” May 17, Mr. G. B. Bolt (T.E.A.L.), “As It Was in the Beginning”. June 21, Dr. R. A. Falla (Dominion Museum), “Antarctic Wild Life”. July 19, Mr. C. Price (Technical College), “Language and Languages”. August 16, Mr. F. H. van der Elst (Rukuhia), “The Development of Peat Soils”. September 20, Mr. H. A. Swarbrick, “The Food of the Maori”.
The usual attendance at monthly meetings was about 30, but although the meetings were advertised, public support was disappointing. About 120 people heard Dr. Falla's address, to which the Forest and Bird Society, the Waikato Tramping Club, and the secondary schools were specially invited. In place of the usual monthly meeting, a Demonstration Evening was organized for October 18 at the Galloway Laboratories of the Soil Research Station. We are indebted to the following exhibitors: P. and T. Department (private automatic telephone exchange), State Hydro Department (telephone line and power line fault finder), Waikato Hospital (blood typing and transfusion service); Hamilton Astronomical Society (telescopes and optical equipment); Hamilton Amateur Radio Society (radio transmitters for local amateur station and for Search and Rescue Organizations; Geiger counter, etc.); Hamilton Tomo Group (cave exploration equipment, moa bones, etc, and screening of coloured slides); Mr. C. G. Hunt (Maori artifacts in the making), Mr. R. Hambling (native wood collection); Rukuhia Soil Research Station (spectrographic equipment) and Ruakura Animal Research Station (bomb calorimetry, automatic weighing machine, diagnostic service, stock poisons). We are pleased to report a record attendance of about 200.
Field Trip. An excursion planned for Bridal Veil Falls was cancelled because of wet weather.
Finance. Analysis of the Balance Sheet shows that when outstanding liabilities are met we end the year with a cash balance of £9 16s 9d, a decrease of approximately £7 on last year's figure. This decrease is largely due to a drop in subscriptions. Expenditure arising from membership of the Royal Society of New Zealand was £14 4s 3d this year from a subscription income of £30 10s. This amount is composed mainly of 1s 6d of our subscriptions and our share of travelling expenses of a delegate to two meetings a year of the Royal Society. Unless our membership increases or the subscription is raised the income next year will not be sufficient to pay the minimum expenses. Furthermore, a reduction in expenditure is considered impracticable. Consequently your executive is compelled to recommend to the Special General Meeting that the subscription be raised to 15s per annum.
At Dr. Falla's meeting an appeal for donations to help defray costs and for the Ross Sea Appeal enabled a contribution of £7 to the Ross Sea Appeal.
Royal Society. Dr. Davies, our delegate, attended the half-yearly meeting in November, 1955, and the annual meeting in May, also one meeting of the Standing Committee.
The outstanding talk of the year was the address by Dr. Falla. Affiliation with the Royal Society facilitated this visit.
An extensive questionnaire on the finances of the Royal Society and its Branches was fully considered at a special Executive meeting on October 9. On questions of contributions to the Royal Society your executive, in attempting to interpret the wishes of members, was not prepared to recommend any contributions in excess of the present commitment for one sixth of our subscription income.
Ruapuke Beach Wreck. Several unsuccessful attempts were made during last summer to locate the old mystery wreck buried in the sands at the mouth of the Toreparu Stream. Mr. C. G. Hunt has continued his investigations and has followed up many further clues which might have some bearing on the problem. Further interesting information has been brought to light.
K. J. McNauught, President.