Volume 47 1938 > Volume 47, No. 187 > Obituary, p 134-135
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- 134
OBITUARY

IT is with great regret that we have to record the death of Mr. Thomas William Downes, of Wanganui, a member of the Society since 1910, who died in private hospital at Wanganui at the age of 70 years. Mr. Downes' outdoor life up and down the Whanganui river kept him in close touch with outdoor things, and particularly with that outdoor man the Maori, and much that he learned from him was carefully collected and from time to time embodied in notes or papers published in various journals or in book form. The following list contains such as are known to me. Mr. Downes was elected a member of the Executive Council of the Polynesian Society in 1931, he attended most of its meetings, held in Wellington, and was a member at the time of his death.

PAPERS AND NOTES PUBLISHED IN THE JOURNAL OF THE POLYNESIAN SOCIETY.
Vol. Pages  
19, 1910, 218-221; On the whetu-kura.
21, 1912, 79; A Wonderful Feat of Swimming.
23, 1914, 28-33; History of the Ngati-kahungunu Tribe.
  111-125; History of the Ngati-kahungunu Tribe.
  219-225; History of the Ngati-kahungunu Tribe.
  176-180; Maori Tradition of Pelorus Jack.
24, 1915, 57-61; History of the Ngati-kahungunu Tribe (cont'd).
  77-85; History of the Ngati-kahungunu Tribe (cont'd).
  121-129; History of the Ngati-kahungunu Tribe (cont'd).
25, 1916, 1-8; History of the Ngati-kahungunu Tribe (cont'd).
  33-43; History of the Ngati-kahungunu Tribe (cont'd).
  77-88; History of the Ngati-kahungunu Tribe (cont'd).
34, 1925, 182-184; Triangular Teeth among the Maori.
  252-258; Incised Designs in a cave at Waverley.
35, 1926, 36-37; Notes on the Moa.
  223-227; The Ohura fight of 1864.
  228-234; Maori rat-trapping.
37, 1928, 1-29; Bird-snaring in Whanganui district.
  136-138; The game of koruru (knuckle-bones).
  165-168; A tuahu (shrine) on Whanganui river.
38, 1929, 148-168; Maori etiquette.
- 135
41, 1932, 50-58; Stone-cut Artifacts from Waverley.
  312-316; Stone-cut Artifacts from Waverley.
42, 1933, 24-26; On the Maruiwi people.
  156-166; On the Maruiwi people.
45, 1936, 1-4; The taniwha Tutae-poroporo.
  5-8; Notes on Topine-te-mamaku.
46, 1937, 206-224; Maori mentality regarding the lizard and taniwha in the Whanganui river area.
PAPERS PUBLISHED IN THE TRANSACTIONS OF THE NEW ZEALAND INSTITUTE (NOW ROYAL SOCIETY OF NEW ZEALAND).
Vol. Pages  
38, 1906, 120-127; Some historic Maori personages.
42, 1910, 74-114; Early history of Rangitikei.
45, 1913, 364-375; Life of the Ngati-kahungunu chief Nuku-pewapewa.
48, 1916, 426-434; New light on the period of the extinction of the moa.
50, 1918; 296-316; Notes on eels and eel-weirs.
    IN VOLUME FORM.
  • 1915, Old Wanganui, with many illustrations, including some valuable ones by Gilfillan.
  • 1921, History of and guide to the Wanganui river, ed. 2, 1923.

Many of the above are important papers; the guide-book is more than a guide-book; it is a treasury of stories of the peoples, Pakeha and Maori, who have occupied that famous river-basin. His outdoor life led Mr. Downes to make many observations in the domain of nature, as is evident in the nature-notes included in the Guide. There are only two men in New Zealand that I know who have actually seen the pipi-wharauroa (bronze or shining cuckoo) entering the nest of the riroriro (grey-warbler) for the purpose of depositing its egg, and my friend Mr. Downes was one of them.

Mr. Downes will be much missed by the Society, as well as by his friends, and I wish to record here our appreciation both of his never-failing readiness to assist and of his kindness and thoughtfulness as a friend.

—JOHANNES ANDERSEN.