The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]
[University of Otago]
The University of Otago , which is affiliated to the University of New Zealand, was originally founded in 1869 by ordinance of the Otago Provincial Council, where by the province of Otago led the van towards the establishment of university education in New Zealand. Formed into a body “politic and corporate” with the power of granting degrees in arts, medicine, and law, the university of Otago was originally endowed with 100,000 acres of pastoral land. At its opening in July, 1871, there were three professors occupying the chairs of classics and English literature, mathematics and natural philosophy, and mental and moral science. A chair of chemistry and mental science was instituted during the first year of the history of the university. The provincial council of Otago conferred a second endowment of 100,000 acres of pastoral land on the university in the year 1872. Within the following two years a lectureship in law was established as the first step in the institution of a school of law, and a professor of anatomy and physiology, and lecturers in clinical medicine and surgery were appointed with a view to the establishment of a medical school. During 1874 and 1875, a chair of natural science and lectureships in geology and zoology, and also in French and German, were established. The Otago university had meantime applied for a Royal Charter empowering it to grant degrees; the university of New Zealand had also applied for a Royal Charter, and as it was both inadvisable and improbable that two universities in one Colony would receive Royal Charters, an agreement was made in 1874 between the two universities by which the functions of the New Zealand university were restricted to the examination of candidates for matriculation, scholarships, and degrees, while the Otago university bound itself to become affiliated to the former, to hold in abeyance its power of granting degrees and to waive the claim it had advanced to a Royal Charter. The Otago university became possessed of an additional 10,000 acres of land, which had been set apart for university purposes in the former province of Southland, and in 1887, a further endowment of 11,000 acres, which had been set apart for the support of the museum, was vested in the university council, the land being situated in the Strath Taieri district. Besides the endowments already mentioned, certain educational funds held in trust by the Presbyterian Church of Otago and Southland are devoted to the support of professorships in the faculties of arts. The funds from this source having considerably increased in value, it has been found possible to support additional chairs, the original professorships being sub-divided. Thus the chair of English language was dissevered from that of classics in 1881, and five years later the chair of natural philosophy was dissevered from that of mathematics, sufficient endowments being available for these purposes. The right of nomination to the chairs endowed by the synod rests with the board of church property; subject, however, to the approval of the former body. The university is entirely unconnected with any religious denomination with this exception, and it has no faculty of theology, its instruction being purely secular. The supreme governing body of the university is the council, the original members of which hold office for life; the duty of filling up vacancies devolving upon the Governor in Council since the abolition of the provinces. In 1881, the “University of Otago Council Election Act” was passed, two electoral bodies being formed, namely, the professors of the university of Otago and graduates of the New Zealand university having their names on the books of the university; the professors elect two members of the council, the graduates four, the remaining six being appointed by the Governor in Council. Elected members have seats under the new Act for a term of five years, the chancellor and vice-chancellor being elected by members of their own body for periods of three years; the appointment of professors and lecturers, together with the management of the finances of the Institution, devolve upon the council; the conduct of the whole educational arrangements of the university being under the control of the professorial board, which consists of the professors and of such of the lecturers as the council may appoint. There is also a school of mines in connection with the university of Otago, which was established in 1878, three additional lecturers being added to the staff in 1887. Up to the year 1878, the university occupied the buildings in Princes street known as the Colonial Bank. The building now occupied was erected in that year on the banks of the Leith; the site contains eight acres of land and is conveniently close to the hospital and museum. The university library, which was founded mainly by public subscriptions, contains over 5,000 volumes, which, for the most part, have been selected by the professors for the students. This library is open to the students and is a library of reference to the general public, who must however obtain cards of admission from the registrar. The chemical laboratory is chiefly used for the training of students, but on the ground of public convenience has been open as a public analytical laboratory, for which purpose it is largely used in connection with the analysis of foods, fabries, minerals, and other kindred substances. The professor of biology of the university of Otago, is curator of the museum, which is about five minutes' walk from the university. In the year 1903, there were 191 male students at the university, the whole of whom had matriculated with the exception of seventeen; there were fifty-seven female students, all of whom matriculated. A considerable number of scholarship is available, among which may be mentioned the Richardson scholarship, valued at £40 per annum, founded in 1871 by the late Sir John Richardson; the Scott scholarship, valued at £15 per annum, founded in 1874 as a memorial of Sir Walter Scott; the Taieri scholarship founded page 152 by the late Hon. James Fulton, M.L.C., in 1886; the Women's scholarship, valued at £20 per annum, founded in 1885 by the trustees of Mr. J. Sperry, Mrs. Gordon Burn. and Miss Dalrymple; the Macandrew scholarship, valued at £25, established by public subscriptions in memory of Mr. James Macandrew, one of the fouders of the university; the Gray Russell scholarship, valued at £40, founded in 1882 by Mr. George Gray Russell; and the Stuart prizes founded in 1894 from £100 bequeathed by the late Rev. D. M. Stuart, D. D., chancellor of the university. A medal is given in the Mining School classes yearly, as a memorial of the late Professor G. H. Ulrich, sometime director. There is also a fund for a Parker Memorial prize in biology. The constitution of the university is as follows: Council: Visitor, His Excellency the Governor of New Zealand; chancellor, His Honour Mr. Justice Williams, M.A., L.L.M., Camb.; vicechancellor, Mr.———; Members of the Council, Professor G. S. Sale, M.A., Camb., Rev. A. Cameron, B.A, N.Z., Messrs R. Burns, F.R.C.S., Edin., G. G. Russell. D. White, M.A., T. M. Hocken, M.R.C.S., Eng., F.L.S., J. Allen, B.A., D. Stewart, J.P., and T. K. Sidey, B.A. Professorial Board; the professors and lecturers on metallurgy, materla medica. surgery, and midwifery; Registrar and Librarian, Mr. J. M. E. Garrow. Teaching Staff: Faculty of Arts: Professors, George Samuel Sale, M.A., Camb. (calssies); F. B. De M. Gibbons, M.A., Camb. (mathematics); John Shand, M.A, L.L.D. (Aberdeen), (natural philosophy); William Salmond, D.D., Edin. and Glas. (mental and moral phillosophy); James G. Black, M.A., D.Sc., Edin. (chemistry); Thomas Gilray, M.A., F.R.S.E., (English language and literature); James Park, F.G.S., director of the School of Mines and professor of Mining and Surveying; P. Marshall, M.A., D.Sc., N.Z., lecturer on Geology; D. B. Waters, A.O.S.M., lecturer on Metallurgy; F. Campbell, M.A., lecturer on German; G. Thompson, M.A., lecturer on French; M. Watt, M.A., D.D., lecturer on Hebrew. Faculty of Medicine: Professors James G. Black, M.A., D.Sc., Edin. (chemistry); J. H. Scott, M.D., Edin., M.R.C.S., Eng., F.R.S.E. (anatomy and philosophy). Lecturers; L.E Barnett, M B, C.M., Edin., F.R.C.S., Eng. (surgery); Daniel Colquhoun, M.D., Lond., M.R.C.P., Lond., M.R.C.S., Eng. (practice of medicine); William Stewart W. Roberts, M.R.C.S., Eng. (pathology); Fer dinand C. Batchelor, M.D., Durham, M.R.C.S., Eng., L.R.C.P., L.M., Edin., L.S.A. (midwifery); E. E. Blomtield, M.D., Lond. (materia medica); Frank Ogston, M.D., C.M., Aberdeen (medical jurisprudence and public health); Henry Lindo Ferguson, F.R.C.S.I., L.R.Q.C.P.I. (ophtalmology); School of political economy: F. B. De M. Gibbons, M.A., Camb.; School of Mines: Professors James Park, F.G.S. (director and professor of mining and surveying; J.G. Black, M.A., D.Sc., Edin. (chemistry); F.B. De M. Gibbons. M.A., Camb. (mathematics); John Shand, M.A., Aberdeen (natural philosophy); Leeturers; P. Marshall, M.A., D.Sc, N.Z (general geology); D.B. Waters, A S.O.M. (metallurgy).
His Honour Mr. Justice Williams. M.A., L.L.M., Camb., Chancellor of the University of Otago and Judge of the Supreme page 153 Court, was born in London in 1837, and came to New Zealand in 1861. He is referred to in another article in connection with the Supreme Court.
Dr. Robert Burns , who has been a member of the Council of the University of Otago since 1869, was born in Edinburgh in 1834. He was educated at the High School and at Edinburgh University, and is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Dr. Burns held the position of house surgeon at the Leith hospital for two years, and embarked for New Zealand in 1858 by the ship “Three Bells,” establishing his present practice immediately after arrival. He was associated with Dr. Hulme, provincial surgeon, at the Dunedin hospital for about four years. Dr. Burns is one of the original members of the council of the Otago University.
Mr. J. M. E. Garrow, B.A. , Registrar of the University of Otago, was born in Scotland, in 1865, and came to Port Chalmers when a child. He was educated mianly at the Albany Street school, where he was trained for a pupil-teacher and recived his first certificate in 1885. Mr. Garrow gained his B.A. degree at the University of Otago in 1896 and became and was appointed to his present position in succession to Mr. A. Hamilton after that gentleman had been appointed Director of the Colonial Museum at Wellington.
Mr. Augustus Hamilton , formerly Registrar of the University of Otago, was born in Poole, Dorsetshire, in March, 1854. He was educated at the Dorset county school and Epsom Medical College, and came to Wellington in 1876 by the ship “Collingwood,” as surgeon's assistant. He took service under the Wellington Education Board, became a teacher at Thorndon school, and was subsequently engaged in other schools in the Wellington district, whence he went to the Okarito school in Westland, for the purpose of working at the botany and zoology of the district. A year later, Mr. Hamllton became teacher at Petane, Hawke's Bay, where he remained for some time. Whilst in that district, he founded a museum in Napier in connection with the Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute, of which he was for seven years secretary, and also filled a similar position with the Napier Athenaum. In 1889, Mr, Hamilton was engaged to arrange the natural history court in the Dunedin and South Seas Exhibition, and again visited Dunedin to close up that court at the termination of the exhibition. He succeeded the late Mr. W. H. Mansford as registrar of the University of Otago in 1890 Mr. Hamilton has been connected with the New Zealand Institute for some years, and has contributed about sixty papers on scientific subjects to the “Transactions” and other publications, particaularly in connection with the Maori race and the extinct birds of New Zealand. He is author of a very beautiful and elaborate work entitled “Maori Art,” which deals with the art and science of the Maori race, and has been published by the governors of the New Zealand Institute through Messrs Fergusson and Mitchell of Dunedin. The work has been very highly commended by ethnological socities and students in Europe and America. Mr. Hamilton's object in publishing this work, is to preserve by means of photography, accurate representations of the wood carving in which the Maori race are or were so skilled. He has taken from five to six hundred photographs for the purposes of his work, and he has a high reputation as an enthusiastic collector of everything relating to Maori history. He has been an exhibitor at various art exhibitions, his subjects being generally landscapes in oil. Mr. Hamilton is a member of the Church of England general and diocesan synods, is on the standing committee and a diocesan nominator. He has for a long time been a member of the council of the Otago Institute, of which he has acted as secretary, and was sometime president. Mr. Hamilton was married to a daughter of the late Mr. McKain, of Petane, and has one son and one daughter. In November, 1903, he was appointed Director of the Colonial Museum in Wellington, in succession to Sir James Hector.
Mr. A. Hamilton.
Professor George Samuel Sale , M.A., Camb., who fills the Chair of Classies, was born in 1831 at Rugby, and was educated at Rugby School and afterwards at Trinity College, Cambridge. He took his degree in 1854 with first-class honours in classics and second class honours in mathematics. In 1856, he was elected fellow of Trinity. and in 1857, was appointed lecturer in classies. In 1860, owing to ill-health. Mr. Sale left England by the ship “Minerva,” landing in Lyttelton in February, 1861. In May. 1861, he became the first editor of the “Press” newspaper, of which, however, the real control was in the hands of the late Mr. James Edward Fitzgerald. At the end of that year. Mr. Sale went to the Otago goldfields and for about nine months was engaged in mining. He subsequently returned to Canterbury, and in 1863, was appointed privincial treasurer and receiver of land revenue by the superintendent, Mr. Samuel Bealey, at the instance of Mr. (afterwards the Hon.) William Rolleston, who was then provincial secretary. In April, 1865, at the request of the provincial government, Mr. Sale went to Hokitika and took charge of the West Coast goldfields, as commissioner and agent for the Canterbury provincial government. After the separation of Westland from the province of Canterbury, he returned to England and entered Lincoln's Inn, with the view of being called to the English Bar. But in 1870, the Otago university having been established, Mr. Sale became a candidate for the chair of classies, to which he was appointed and which he has held ever since. In 1874, he was married to Miss Margaret M. Fortune, daughter of the late Mr. James Bonwell Fortune, of Coburg, Ontario, Canada, and has two sons and two daughters.
Professor Frederick Bryan de Malbisse Gibbons, M. A. , who fills the Chair of Mathematics, and is Lectursity on Political Economy at Otago University College, was born in Surrey, England, in 1854. He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, London, and at Caius College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1877 and M.A. in 1880. being second wrangler of the mathematical tripos. and afterwards fellow of Caius. Mr. Gibbons was called to the English Bar by the Society of Gray's Inn in 1881, and practised his profession in South Wales for three years. In 1884 he arrived at Lyttelton by the s.s. “Ionic,” was soon after admitted a barrister and solicitor of the supreme court. and was in practice in Christchurch till 1886. He was appointed professor of mathematies in the same year. and lecturer on political economy in 1895. Mr. Gibbons is a member of the committee of the Philosophical Society, and of the New Zealand Institute.
Professor John Shand , M.A., LL.D., who was appointed to the Chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of Otago in 1870, was born in the parish of Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland, in 1834, and was educated at the Elgin Academy and at the University of Aberdeen, Professor Shand graduated M.A. in 1854, and the honorary degree LL.D. was conferred upon him in 1889. For nine years he held the position of mathematical master at the Ayr Academy, and subsequently held a similar position for three years at the Edinburgh Academy. He was appointed in Dunedin to the chair of mathematics and natural philosophy at the date first mentioned, and when these subjeets were divided in 1886, he elected to retain the chair of natural philosophy. Professor Shand is a member of the New Zealand Institute, and a member of the Australian Association for the advaneement of science. He served on the royal commission which was appointed in 1877 to inquire into the operations of the University of New Zealand and its relations to the secondary schools of the Colony, and which completed its report in 1879. He has been connected with the education board of Otago. of which he was a member for ten years and three times elected chairman. and for the same period was one of the governors of the Boy's and Girls' High Schools of Otago. Since 1877, Professor Shand has been a member of the senate of the New Zealand University, and was elected a member of the council of Otago University representing the professors in 1895. Professor Shand came to New Zealand in 1871 by the ship “Wild Deer,” and landed at Port Chalmers. He is married and has two sons and seven daughters.
Professor. J. Shand.
Professor William Salmond , B.A., D.D., who fills the Chair of Mental and Moral Philosophy at the University of Otago, was born in Edinburgh in 1835. and was educated at Heriot's Hospital, the High School, and University. Dr. Salmond graduated B.A. in 1853, became a Doctor of Divinity of Glasgow University in 1882, and of Edinburgh University three years later. He studied theology in Scotland and Germany for four years, and was ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church of North Shields in the North of England. where he remained seventeen years. Dr. Salmond arrived at Port Chalmers in February. 1876, by the ship “Corona.” He was professor of theology in the Presbyterian Church for ten years. received the chair of mental and moral philosophy in 1886, and has been a member of the senate of the New Zealand university since 1882. He has published several sermons, lectures, and pamphlets, chiefly theological, and contributed largely to periodicals. The reverend gentleman was married at Dunfermline to a daughter of the Rev. James Young, by whom he has, still living, four sons and four daughters. His eldest son, Mr. J.W. Salmond, is M.A., LL.B., and fellow of London university, and fills the chair of law at Adelaide university. His second son is a well known architect in Dunedin.
Professor James Gow Black , M.A., D.Sc., Edin., who fills the Chair of Chemistry, hails from Drumtochty, Scotland, and is the original of “John Ross,” Drumtochty's Australlan professor in Ian MeLaren's “Days of Auld Lang Syne.” Dr. Black was born in 1835, and was educated at Dunkeld, Drumtochty, Perth, at the Moray House Training College, and at Edinburgh University. He took the degree of M.A. in 1864, and was the first on whom that degree was conferred after a three years' course of study. Two years later the degree of B.Sc. was conferred, and in 1869 he became D.Sc. During his university career he took several medals, as well as a junior Hope scholarship in chemistry and the Baxter scholarship in experimental science. Dr. Black started the educational institution in Edinburgh known as Scott and Black's collegiate classes in Picardy Place. In 1871, Dr. Black, together with four other gentlemen, established the Edinburgh Naturalists' field club, of which he became vice-president; this club has now a membership of three or four hundred. Dr. Black is a fellow of the Royal Botanical Society of Edinburgh, and of the Educational Institute of Scotland. Before coming to the Colonies he declined the professorship of natural philosophy at the Andersonian College, Glasgow, and was unanimously elected out of twenty-three candidates as professor of natural science at the University of Otago. He arrived in Port Chalmers to take up his duties about the end of 1871 per ship “Christian McCausland.” Dr. Black is the author of a work on “Chemistry for the Goldfields,” published in 1885. In 1884, when the New Zeland Government decided upon the establishment of schools of mines in the Colony, Dr. Black was selected to inaugurate the monvement. He visited the various mining centres, conducted practical classes and delivered lectures among the miners; and schools of mines were established at the Thames and Reefton. With Professor Etard of Paris, Dr. Black entered into the elaboration of the permangante process for the extraction of gold from its ores. Professor Black is a Master Mason, having been initiated in Lodge 20, at Zeehan, Tasmania. He is married to an Edinburgh lady, and has one son and two daughters.
Proeessor J. G. Black.
Professor T. Gilray.
Professor John Halliday Scott , Dean of the Medical Faculty and Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at the University of Otago, was born in 1851 in the city of Edinburgh, and was educated at the Edinburgh Institution, and at the University. Professor Scott took the degrees of M.B. and C.M. in 1874, the M.R.C.S., England, in 1876. and graduated as M.D. at Edinburgh in 1877. He was elected fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1879. For six months he was house surgeon at the Edinburgh hospital, under Professor Spence, and for a like period was house surgeon at the Royal infirmary, Stirling. He was then demonstrator of anatomy at Edinburgh University for a period of eighteen months, and was appointed to the position he now holds in 1877. Dr. Scott is interested in art, is himself a water colour artist, and has been secretary to the Otago art society since 1880. He is a member of the Otago Institute and has been both president and secretary. He has been a member of the senate of New Zealand university since 1890. Dr. Scott married in 1882 a daughter of Mr. John Bealey, one of the early Canterbury settlers, after whom Bealey township was named, and has three sons ans two daughters.
Professor J. H. Scott.
Professor James Park , Director of the Otago School of Mines, and Professor of Mining and Mining Geology at Otago University, was appointed to his present position in 1900, in succession to the late Professor Ulrich, For about five years before accepting this appointment he held the position of consulting mining engineer and geologist to a group of London capitalists. Professor Park is referred to at length at page 478 of the Auckland volume of this Cyclopedia.
Mr. Daniel Black Waters , A.O.S.M., Lecturer on Assaying and Metallurgy at the University of Otago, is the younger son of the Rev. John Waters, and was born at Warepa, in the Clutha district, Otago, in 1871. He was educated at public schools, the Otago Boys' High School, and the University of Otago, and graduated in mining in 1892. The same year he left for Australia, where he held several important appointments, including that of manager of the United Brothers' Gold Mining Company's Battery, Mount Wills District, Gippsland, and general manager of the Twin Jacks Gold Mining Company, in the Woods Point District, Victoria. In 1898 Mr. Waters returned to Dunedin, and was for some time manager of the Shotover Quartz Mining Company of Skippers district, Otago, until he was appointed to his present position in 1900. He obtained the New Zealand Government Mine Manager's certificate, in 1899, and is a member of the Otago Institute. Mr. Waters was married, in 1899, to Miss Howison daughter of the late Mr. C. M Howison, of Dunedin.
Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Mr. D. B. Waters.
Dr. Daniel Colquhoun , Lecturer on the practice of medicine to the University of Otago, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, where he was educated. He studied medicine at the Charing Cross Hospital, London, took his degree as M.R.C.S., England, in 1877, and as M.D. and M.R.C.P., in 1880. He became assistant physician at the Charing Cross Hospital, London, and one of the lecturers of the Charing Cross medical school, and conducted a private practice in London for two years before coming to the Colonies in 1884. He then accepted the position of lecturer on the practice of medicine to the University of Otago, and also established a private practice, which he has since conducted. Dr. Colquhoun is one of the physicians of the Dunedin Hospital.
Dr. William Stewart Roberts , M.R.C.S., England, who was appointed Lecturer on Pathology and Bacteriology to the University of Otago in 1885, is the eldest son of the late Mr. William Roberts, for many years a Judge of the Supreme Court in India. He was born in September, 1853, at Mirzapore, India, and was educated at private schools in his native place, and afterwards at Cheltenham College, Gloucestershire, England, and King's College, London. He graduated at the latter institution in 1876, and during the succeeding year was house-surgeon at King's College Hospital. Early in 1878 Dr. Roberts sailed for New Zealand. For a few months he conducted a private at Oamaru, and in August of the same year was appointed resident-surgeon to the Dunedin Hospital. Ten years later, however, he resigned that position to enter private practice, which he still conducts at [gap — reason: illegible] Moray Place. He is honorary physician, and pathologist to the Dunedin Hospital, and a member of the New Zealand branch of the British Medical Association, of the Otago Institute, and the Otago Art Society; and is also president of the New Zealand Athletic Association. Dr. Roberts was married, in 1888, to Miss Grace Ziele, daughter of the late Mr. Charles Ziele, and has two sons.
Professor George Henry Frederick Ulrich , F.G.S., who filled the chair of Mining and Mineralogy, and was Director of the School of Mines, Otago University, was born in Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Prussia, in 1830, and was educated in his native town at the High School and subsequently graduated at the Royal School of Mines, Clausthal, Hartz. Mr. Ulrich entered the government service in the mines department in his native land, and after serving four years resigned his position to accept an appointment in the Bolivia silver mines. Just as he was preparing for the journey to Bolivia news came of revolutionary movements in that country, in consequence of which his appointment was cancelled. He therefore turned his face to the Colonies, and went to Forest Creek, Victoria, in 1854. For nearly three years after his arrival in that Colony, Mr. Ulrich worked at the diggings of Forest Creek, Daisy Hill, Bendigo, and at other places, until he was appointed, in 1857, assistant secretary and draughtsman to the Royal Mining Commission in Victoria. Mr. Ulrich was afterwards appointed senior field geologist under Mr. Selwyn in the geological department of Victoria, During the eleven years in which he was engaged under that department he assisted in the prepartion of the plans of the different Victorian goldfields, notably Forest Creek, Fryer's Creek, and Tarrangower. In 1867, he obtained leave of absence for one year to visit the first exhibition of Paris, having a commission to procrue a good seiection of exhibits for the Melbourne technological museum. During his absence he travelled through Upper Hungary, and other parts of the Continent. On his return to Victoria, Mr. Ulrich wrote a little work on the methods of gold extraction at Schemnitz, Upper Hungary, giving drawings of machines and apparatus employed. He continued an officer of the gelogical survey department until its abolition in 1869. when he became curator of the mineral section under Mr. Newbery, superintendent of the industrial and technological museum, and lecturer in mining at the university of Melbourne, having at the same time a right to practise as a consulting mining expert. Professor Ulrich was appointed by the South Australian Government to report on their copper mines and goldfields, and in 1875 he paid his first visit to New Zealand and reported upon the Otago goldfields; his report was published with Proessor Hutton's report on the gelogy of Otago, under direction of the provincial government. He was appointed to the chair of mining and mineralogy in 1878. He was a corresponding member of the Royal Society of Melbourne and the Tasmanian Royal Society a fellow of the London Geological Society, a member of the American Institute of mining engineers, honorary member of the New Zealand Instiute of mining engineers, and was one of the original members of the Australian Institute of mining engineers, Professor Ulrich was married in 1871 to a daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Spence, of Belfast, Ireland, and had four sons and three daughters. He died, as the result of an accident, whilst collecting geological specimens, on the 26th of May, 1900.
The late Professor G. H. F. Ulrich.
The Otago University Museum , commonly though erroneously called the “Dunedin Museum,” owes its origin to Sir James Hector, M.D., F.R.S., who made a collection of natural history specimens for the Dunedin Exhibition of 1865. On the conclusion of the Exhibtion this small nucleus was packed up and stored, till, in 1868, a small museum was opened in rooms allotted for the purpose in premises now known as the Colonial Bank Buildings, at that time the home of the Otago University. It was not till 1877, however, that the present building in Great King Street was opened to the public.
The collection had, till then, been maintained by grants made annually by the Provincial Council of Otago, at whose expense the present Museum was built; but in the year 1877 a Bill was passed by the General Assembly whereby the maintenance and management of the Museum and the collections therein, were handed over to the Otago University, and a small endowment was at the same time provided.
At this date Captain F.W. Hutton, F.R.S., was Professor of Natural Science at the University, and the collections were placed in his charge as Curator of the Museum, and to him is really due the credit of establishing the Museum on its present basis. Since that time the Professor of Biology in the University has acted as Curator of the Museum. On the resignation of Captiain Hutton in 1879, the late Professor Jeffery Parker, F.R.S., was elected as his successor. Professor Parker died in 1897. and Dr. Benham was appointed in 1898 to the double post.
The Museum differs from the other Museums in the colony in being closely associated with the teaching of Zoology and Geology: for the collections are constantly being utilised by the Professer in illustrating his lectures on Zoology, delivered in the lecture rooms in the building; while the University students have access to the cases for the purpose of studying the specimens—zoological, palaeontological and mineralogical.page 157
The Museum, therefore, necessarily differs in arrangement and general character from the other Museums, since many of the exhibits are specially aranged to suit the needs of students rather than to please the general visitor.
The Museum building consists of a hall measuring 90 feet by 45 feet, with two galeries; and represents only part of the original design,—which included wings, north and south,—of the present builiding. At the southern end an ugly corrugated iron annexe was added in the year 1890; and it is here that the Ethnological collection is housed; while, opening out of this room, a smaller iron room, contains a small collection of pictures, belonging to, or deposited with, the Trustees of the Public Art Gallery.
The collection is mainly one of Natural History. In addition to an extensive collection of New Zealand animals, there is a very fairly representative series of exhibits illustrating general zoology, the collection of foreign birds being particularly fine. Secondly, there is a pretty complete general collection of minerals, especially arranged for the use of the students of the Otago School of Mines; as well as a small and at present imperfect series of New Zealand rocks and minerals. Thirdly, there is a small palaeontological series illustrating the gradual evolution of life; and finally, a small collection of Maori articles; and a rather heterogeneous collection of Ethnological objects from various parts of the world represents the anthropological department. Owing to the extreme limitations of space and funds, this part of the collection is insufficiently housed, and much material, at present in storerooms, cannot be placed on exhibition.
The collection of New Zealand animals is a particularly fine one, the series of native birds containing representatives of nearly every species known to inhabit the country. Amongst them, the most notable is a specimen of the exceedingly rare Notornis; the only specimen on exhibition outside Europe. This was acquired in 1898, owing to the generosity of the Government, which purchased the bird form its captor and deposited it in this Museum. Much of the excellence of the collection of birds is owing to the skill of the taxidermist, Mr. E. Jennings, an enthusiastic ornithologist. The extinct moas are represented by several fine skeletons, to gether with numerous other remains, such as parts of the dried skin and flesh of the bird feathers, windpipes, etc., and the only absolutely perfect egg of a moa in any Museum. The various seals that visit the shores of New Zealand, notably the huge elephant-seal of the Macquarie Islands. are represented by stuffed specimens and skeletons. Of local fishes there is a very fair collection, to which, additions are constantly being made, Students of the native invertebrate fauna, both terrestrial and marine, will find a good and constantly increasing series of Mollusca. Crustacea, Annelida. Echdnoderma, etc., both dry and in spirits. This collection, indeed, is unrivalled in the colony. A collection of native insects, though not exhibited, may be studied in the Curator's room.
Amongst the Maori objects, the beautiful examples of a carved prow and stern-part of a war canoe, some unusual forms of canoe paddles, a famous historical “taiaha” or chief's staff and a series of carved slabs of a Maori house, deserve notice.
Professor William Blaxland Benham . D. Sc., London Univrsity, M.A., Oxford was elected to the Chair of Biology at the University of Otago, in 1898, in succession to the late Professor Parker Dr. Benham was born at Isleworth, near London in 1860, and is the third son of Mr. E Benham, a well-known London solicitor. He was educated at Marlborough College, Wiltshire, and at London University, where after gaining the degree of B. Sc., he was appointed assistant to the professor of zoology. In 1887 he graduated D.Sc., was professor of biology at the Bedford College for Women, for a short time, and in 1891 was appointed Aldrichian Demonstrator in Comparative Anatomy to the Oxford University. In 1897, whilst at Oxford, the degree of M.A. was conferred upon him by a decree of convocation. and in the following year he left the Old Country to take up his present appointment, Dr. Benham is the author of about fifty papers based upon original research in Zoological matters. most of these having appeared in various scientific journals. He contributed the article upon Annelids to the Cambridge Natural History. (published by Macmillan) and that upon Parasitic Worms to the “Treatise on Zoology,” edited by Professor E. Ray Lankester. Dr. Benham was married in London, in 1889, and has one son and one daughter.
Professor W. B. Benham.