Volume 66 1957 > Volume 66, No. 2 > Proceedings of the Palmerston North Polynesian Group, p 208-209
PROCEEDINGS OF THE PALMERSTON NORTH POLYNESIAN GROUP
THE ANNUAL MEETING was held at the residence of Mr. Ewen D'Ath, on 8th April, 1957, and presided over by Mr. Matenga Baker, who expressed his pleasure at the full attendance of members.
The past year had been another successful one, said the President, and unlike many other Societies which had started in that district only to flourish and die, theirs kept on flourishing.
Consideration may have to be given to hiring a room for meetings as applications for membership are still coming in but accommodation is limited. The comfort and informality attending the present meetings might well be lost in having a hired room, and upon these factors much of their present success may be due, thus careful consideration should be given to any alteration.
The Balance Sheet showed that the finances were sound and since expenses were light it might be thought that the present annual subscription of £1 per member could be reduced.
It had been intended to purchase a tape-recorder, and a fund for this purpose was being built up. Now, however, through the generosity of three of the members, an instrument had been purchased and was now available for the use of the Group.
The Library has been further augmented during the year by the purchase of additional books of Pacific interest, and was now very comprehensive.
The Hon. Secretary, having now retired after forty years service with the Department of Agriculture, spent the summer months travelling in the South Island, where he visited many places of historic interest and made a tape-recording of his impressions. This was played back to members on his return and created great interest.
Referring to the past year's activities, Mr. Baker mentioned the successful outcome of altering meeting nights from Wednesday to Monday, so making possible the regular attendance of Mr. Wiremu Te Aweawe (W. Larkins). This gentleman possesses most invaluable knowledge of the Rangitane Tribe and with his help great progress is being made with the projected history of the Manawatu District.
The Group is fortunate, too, in having on their roll of Corresponding Members such authorities as Messrs. Batley, Adkin, Butler, Trotter and Mrs. M. C. Taylor, all of whom by means of papers or talks have made the evenings most enlightening.
The Group's untiring and energetic Secretary deserves great credit for arranging such an imposing array of guest-speakers and for the general success of the Group.
Amongst the excursions made during the summer months the most memorable was the one made to Turuturu Mokai, near Hawera. There a party of members from Palmerston North was joined by friends from Wanganui and welcomed by the Mayor of Hawera, F. Finer, Esq., and Messrs. Greenwood and Houston.- 209
Mr. Houston took charge of the party and, in his inimitable way, described the early history of the pa. The attack by the hostile Maoris, during the Taranaki War, was vividly pictured and the later whakanoa ceremony told. Photographs were taken and subsequently shown to members unable to be present.
The programme of meetings and speakers as arranged at the beginning of last season had to be considerably altered to allow members to attend a series of lectures given by Mr. W. Parker, on Maori-Pakeha Relations. These, unfortunately, fell upon our regular meeting nights, but it was considered better to forego the Group's own programme rather than miss hearing a subject which was of so much interest. In consequence, several papers prepared by members were held over. Among those delivered during the year, the following call for special mention: Mr. George Allwright—“A Short Account of the Rangitane People”; Mr. Max Smart—“History of the Lower Wanganui”; Mr. Fred Butler—“The Signing of the Treaty”; Mr. Pete Masters—Review of Andrew Sharp's book; Mr. Douglas Overbye—“Moko.”
The President concluded by thanking members for their support during his term of office, and the election of office-bearers then took place.
The Officers for 1957-57 are: President, Douglas Overbye; Vice-President: Matenga Baker; Hon. Treasurer: H. K. Ellis; Hon. Secretary: J. Brydon Speedy; three Members of Council: Messrs. Geo. Allwright, Pete Masters; Fred P. Butler.
For some time past I have been interested in collecting any references to eye diseases amongst the ancient Maoris and particularly amongst Maoris as from the advent of the white man in any numbers, say, from 1840 onwards. You will appreciate, of course, that we are well aware of the diseases to which the modern Maori is heir, but I can find little reference in the ordinary standard writings concerning eye diseases in the ancient Maori. No doubt there are numerous references and there may be some unpublished manuscripts which contain interesting and useful material on this matter.
I would be very pleased indeed to hear of anybody who has any such information and would appreciate their contacting me at the following address.
(Sgd.) W. J. Hope-Robertson, Kelvin Chambers, 16 The Terrace, Wellington, N.Z.