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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 7


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Rules of the Wellington Athenæum And Mechanics' Institute

James Hughes, Printer Wellington Engraver, Lithographer, etc., Lambton Quay.

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Section I.—Seal and legal Instruments of Association.

1. The seal of the Body Corporate shall be one and a half inches in diameter, having he words "Wellington Athenæum and Mechanics' Institute" the centre, and around the same the word and figures "Incorporated 1875," in letters one-eighth of an inch in length Such seal shall only be varied or broken in pursuance of a resolution passed at a special general meeting of the Body Corporate, which resolution shall set forth the design and inscription that shall from thenceforth appear on the seal.

2. The seal shall be keptin the custody of the Treasurer of the Association, and shall only be affixed in his presence and in the presence of two members of the committee, who shall, with him, attest the affixing thereof by their signatures; and all deeds, documents, and other instruments to which such seal shall be affixed, and which shall purport to be attested as aforesaid, shall be deemed to all intents and purposes to bind the body corporate.

3. Contracts on behalf of the Association may be made as follows, that is to say :—
(1.)Any contract which, if made between private persons, would by law be required to be in writing, and if made according to law to be under seal, may be made on behalf of the Association in writing, under the Common Seal of the Associa- page 2 tion, and such contract may be in the same manner varied or discharged :
(2.)Any contract which, if made between private persons, would be by law required to be in writing, and signed by the parties to be charged therewith, may be made on behalf of the Association in writing signed by any person acting under the express or implied authority of the Association, and such contract may in the same manner be varied or discharged :
(3.)Any contract which, if made between private persons, would by law be valid although made by parol only, and not reduced into writing, may be made by parol on behalf of the Association by any person acting under the express or implied authority of the Association, and such contract may in the same way be varied or discharged :

And all contracts made according to the provisions herein contained, shall be effectual in law, and shall be binding upon the Association and their successors, and all other parties thereto, their heirs, executors, or administrators, as the case may be.

Section II.—Members and their Admission.

4. The Association shall consist of an unlimited number of members, each paying a subscription of one pound and one shilling yearly, ten shillings and sixpence half-yearly, or five shillings and sixpence quarterly, and of life and honorary members.

5. Any person desirous of becoming a member of the Association shall pay the specified subscription to the Librarian, or other person appointed to receive the same; the Committee shall, however, have the power, within one month from the date of payment of such subscription, to refuse membership to such person; and on such refusal the said subscription shall be refunded.

6. Subscriptions shall be payable in advance on the 1st of January, April, July, and October in each year.

7. Every member shall receive a ticket entitling him to the privileges and advantages of the Association during the page 3 period for which he has subscribed; also a copy of these rules. Provided that no person shall be allowed to vote or hold any office who is not of the full age of twenty-one years.

8. Any person contributing a sum of ten guineas in one payment to the Association, shall be a Life Member, and thereafter enjoy all its privileges, and be exempt from further subscriptions.

9. The Committee shall have the power of electing as Honorary Members persons in any part of the world who shall have distinguished themselves by their researches or attainments in science, literature, or the arts, or who shall have conferred any signal benefit on the Association; provided that no such member shall have a voice in the management thereof unless otherwise qualified.

10. Members of the Parliament of New Zealand, naval and military officers on actual service, and the captains of vessels trading to the port, on being introduced by a member, shall be allowed free access to the reading-room during their stay in Wellington; it shall also be in the power of a member to extend to any person, not being a resident in Wellington or its suburbs, the privilege of free access to the reading-room for a period of not more than one month in any year, by entering his name and address in an. introduction book to be kept by the Secretary for that purpose; provided always that the Committee shall have the power of disallowing any such free access.

Section III.—Management; and Election of Officers.

11. The Association shall be governed by the following honorary officers, to be called the "General Committee" :—A President, three vice-Presidents, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and seven other members, five members of such Committee to form a quorum for the transaction of business; and such Committee shall, until the election to be held at the annual general meeting to be held in the month of May, 1876, consist of the following members, that is to say :—President—Honorable William Fitzherbert, CM.G.; Vice-Presidents—Honorable William Gisborne, Jonas Voodward, Esq., and William Lyon, Esq.; Treasurer—T. K. Macdonald; Secretary—W. Hill; Committee—Henry Barbr, J. H. Brann, H. F. Logan, W. Mould, E. Stafford, J. M. Taylor, and H. Wilcox; and such members shall be deemed to have been the General Committee page 4 as from the 21st September, 1875, and to have bad as from that date the rights, powers, and privileges conferred by these Rules upon the General Committee.

12. The General Committee shall be elected at the annual general meeting to be held in the month of May in each year, any or all of the members of such Committee to be eligible for re-election; all such elections shall be held in terms of Rules 13, 14, and 15, as hereunder.

13. Every member of the General Committee shall be nominated for the office he is to fill by two members of the Association. Papers for such nominations shall be affixed in the Library of the Association, and the nominations must be made on or before the last Saturday in the month of April in each year.

14. In the event of an Election being necessary, it shall be by Ballot, in which case the members present shall elect two of their number as Scrutineers, whose duty shall be to take charge of the ballot-box, and see that each member deposits one paper only therein, and at the close of the Ballot to ascertain the result. The Secretary shall sit at the table with the Scrutineers. No person whose subscription is in arrear shall be considered a member or allowed to vote; and of this fact the Secretary's Roll of Members shall be conclusive evidence. If by reason of an equality of votes the election shall be undecided, the Scrutineers shall write the names of those for whom the votes are equal on separate pieces of paper, of which the Chairman shall draw a sufficient number to complete the list of office-bearers, and the members whose names shall be so drawn shall be declared duly elected.

15. There shall also be elected at the annual general meeting two members for the purpose of auditing the accounts of the Association, who shall hold office for the period of one year only, but shall be eligible for re-election.

16. If at any time from any cause no appointment of office-bearers shall take place under Rule 12, the then existing office-bearers shall continue in office until the next Annual General Meeting. If from death, resignation, or other cause, the office of Secretary or Treasurer shall become vacant; or, if from the like causes any member of the Committee shall cease to hold office, the Committee may at once fill up such vacancies.

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17. Any member of the Committee, other than the President and Vice-Presidents, absenting himself for three successive meetings without reasonable excuse, shall cease to be a member of the Committee, and the vacancy so caused may be filled up by the Committee electing another member in his place.

Section IV.—General, Special, and Committee Meetings.

18. There shall be an annual general meeting of the Association held in the month of May in each year, notice of which shall be advertised in one daily newspaper published in Wellington at least seven days prior to the day of meeting.

19. It shall be competent for the Committee, or, upon their refusal, for any twenty members of the Association, at any time to call a special general meeting by advertisement in two daily newspapers published in Wellington, stating the object for which the same is to be held, at least seven days prior to the day of meeting; but no business other than that stated in the advertisement shall be transacted at such meeting.

20. At every special general meeting of the members, the business shall commence at eight o'clock in the evening, and the meeting may from time to time be adjourned until the next or any subsequent evening at the same hour; but no new business shall be entered upon at any such adjourned meeting.

21. The President or a Vice-President shall take the chair at each annual, special, or committee meeting; but in the event of neither being present, the meeting shall appoint a chairman for the occasion from among those present.

22. The Secretary shall enter the minutes of every meeting in a book provided for the purpose, which minutes shall be read at the succeeding meeting, when, if found correct, they shall be confirmed and certified by the chairman affixing his signature thereto.

23. All questions brought under discussion at any annual, special, or committee meeting, shall be decided by the majority of the members present by show of hands, the chairman having, in case of an equality, a second or casting vote; but in the event of the chairman, or any three members, being doubtful on which side the majority may be, he or they may demand a page 6 division, and the chairman's declaration of the result thereof shall be final.

Section V.—Powers and Duties of the General Committee.

24. The Committee shall have the custody, care, and superintendence of the property of the Association, the appointment and dismissal of all salaried officers, and the general management of the affairs of the Association.

25. The Committee shall have the power of expelling any member for misconduct, but no resolution for this purpose shall be passed except at a committee meeting specially called by notice stating the object of the meeting.

26. The Committee may appoint sub-committees of their number for particular purposes.

27. The Committee shall be empowered to sell or exchange duplicate copies of any works which they may consider un-necessary to be retained in the library or reading-room, the proceeds, if any, to be paid over to the funds of the Association.

28. The Committee shall have the power of passing bye-laws for the management of the reading-room and library, and altering and varying the same when necessary, provided that notice of such bye-laws shall be posted in the reading-room and library, one week prior to their taking effect.

29. The Committee shall have power to make bye-laws call special meetings of members (without requisition), and in general do whatsoever is not required by these rules to be done at a general or special meeting, that they may think calculated to promote the interests of the Association. All bye-laws made by the Committee shall be submitted to the first annual or special meeting after the making thereof for approval, excepting such as are provided for in the 27th rule.

30. The Committee shall lay before the annual general meeting in May a full and particular report of the proceedings of the Association during the past year, and of its existing state and prospects; and such report, together with a balance-sheet, duly audited, showing the receipts and expenditure for the year, with such other information as the Committee may deem desirable, shall be printed, and a copy thereof furnished on page 7 application to each of the members, free of charge. Provided always that such balance-sheet shall be printed at least ten days previous to such annual general meeting.

Section VI.—Duties of Officers.

31. The Secretary shall keep a regular Minute Book and a Roll of Members, and conduct the general correspondence of the Association.

32. The Treasurer shall lodge all moneys collected on account of and belonging to the Association in such bank as may be appointed by the Committee to the credit of the Association; and no moneys shall be withdrawn or account paid without a vote of the Committee. All cheques shall be signed by the Treasurer and one member of the Committee.

33. The Treasurer shall make up his accounts to the 30th April in each year, and shall lay the same before the Committee at their meeting next ensuing that date; such accounts, together with all vouchers relating thereto, shall forthwith be referred to the Auditors for their examination and report.

Section VII.—Library and, Reading Room.

34. The Library shall consist of two branches—viz., a library of reference, and a library of circulation.

35. The Committee may determine to what particular branch of the library any work belongs; the books of reference shall be open for inspection at the rooms of the Association; the other works may be obtained by the members for perusal at their own homes.

36. The Library and Reading-room shall be open daily, (Sundays and such holidays as the Committee may appoint excepted), from nine o'clock a.m. until ten o'clock p.m.

37. Silence must be maintained in the reading-room, and no person shall be allowed to smoke or take any refreshments therein.

38. No periodical used in the reading-room, of which there is but one copy, shall be circulated until the expiration of one page 8 month after its receipt, nor until the next or some subsequent number of the series has arrived.

39. Every member shall, if required, produce his ticket on taking out a book.

40. No member shall have more than one work and one periodical out at a time.

41. One week shall be allowed for reading an octavo or smaller volume, and two weeks for a folio or quarto volume, including the days of delivery and return. Magazines and Serial Works four days only.

42. If any work be not returned on the day appointed, the member shall pay a fine of one penny for every day it may be detained; and if not returned within fourteen days, application shall be made to him, when he will be required either to return it or pay the value thereof.

43. Any member lending a book to a person not being a member of the Association or of his own family dwelling under his roof, will subject himself to a fine of one shilling.

44. If a book be written in, or otherwise damaged, the member in whose hands it may have been at the time, shall pay the value thereof or replace it.

45. None of the books marked in the catalogue as "Books of Reference" shall be put in circulation, except by permission of two members of the Committee.

46. A member on returning a book shall not take the same out again until it shall have remained one clear day in the Library; nor then, if it is wanted by any other member.

47. For the purpose of enabling the Committee to ascertain the state of the Library, and the condition of the books therein, the circulation of books shall cease for one week in the month of April in each year, at which time all books must be returned into the Library, and any member withholding any books shall be liable to a fine of one shilling per volume for each and every day after the first day of the said week.

48. Any member may register an application for a book which may be out of the Library, and it will be reserved (when page 9 returned) for a period not exceeding two days. If there be at any one time several applicants for the same work, it will be available to each in succession, in the order in which the names have been handed to the Librarian.

49. Should any member remove from the premises of the Association any book, newspaper, periodical, or property of any kind, contrary to the provisions of these rules, he shall be liable to pay a fine not exceeding double the value thereof, or to expulsion, as the Committee may determine.

50. All fines must be paid to the Librarian within one month after being demanded, or the names of the members liable to pay the same may be exhibited in the reading-room; and if, after the lapse of two months, such fines shall remain unpaid, the persons in default shall cease to be members, should the Committee so determine.

Section VIII.—Interpretation, Amendment of Rules, New Rules and Bye-laws.

51. In the event of any doubt or difficulty arising as to the meaning of any or either of these rules, or of the bye-laws, the Committee shall have power to decide the same.

52. No alteration or addition to the Rules of the Association shall be made, excepting by the concurrence of a majority of the members present at a special general meeting called for the purpose. Notice of such alteration to be posted in the Library at least fourteen days previous to the meeting, and to be inserted in the notice of such meeting. Provided nevertheless, that at the annual general meeting in the month of May, 1876, or at any adjournment thereof, the majority of the members present at such meeting or adjourned meeting may make any alteration or addition to the rules of the Association. Notice of any proposed alteration or addition shall be posted in the Library at least fourteen days previous to the day of meeting; but it shall not be necessary to advertise or give any notice of such meeting or adjourned meeting, or otherwise comply with the Rules regulating the convening of special general meetings, or the business to be transacted thereat.

53. All members shall be bound by these Rules or by any Bye-laws that may be hereafter made, in the same manner as if they had signed the same.