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Conchology Section
Auckland Museum Institute

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Newsletter - August 2003

Last Word: Sad news just received from Australia - Kevin Camprell died in June.
Partings: We bid farewell to two members who resigned this year: Mrs A Hubrich and Mr W L Cunningham, and hope they may rejoin the Section at a later date. We thank Mr Cunningham for his generous parting gift of $20.
Donations: Our member Mr M Tapply has kindly donated a valuable book to the Section's library (full details will be published by the Librarian), and his surplus shells - some will be sold at the Auction and others gifted to children on the day.
In Gratitude: Grant Adams, our regular Charter Boat Skipper gives thanks to those members who gave encouragement to his son Fletcher (aged 10) who has excelled in a recent national Primary School Maths and Science survey.

President's report
At our July meeting Dr. Bruce Hayward gave an illustrated account of the intertidal life of the West Auckland coastline and included slides of many hard to reach beaches. Bruce's lecture was so interesting that even before its conclusion, many of us were already planning to head out West.
The displays of shells at the meeting from the West coast beaches and harbours were suburb. Thanks to all members who contributed.
The July Committee Meeting was well attended and all details for the forthcoming Shell Auction were finalised. Two important items concerning the Poirieria Journal were also discussed:
1. All members probably noted that the two excellent volumes of Poirieria published in 2002, one in March and the other in August are both numbered Volume 28. Should you wish to use either of these issues for reference purposes please quote Volume 28 plus the month of publication, either March or August.
2. It's time to hold the Poirieria Trophy awards! The Trophy is currently held by Margaret Morley and is the Section's prize for the best article published in Poireiria. It will be awarded later this year for the superlative article to appear in the Journal between 1994 and the last issue of 2003.

Next Meeting
Tuesday 9th September 7:30 pm at the Auckland Museum.
Entrance by the rear Admin door between 7:15-7:30pm. We regret there can be no late admittance due to security regulations.
This meeting is Buzz Group Night: Deep water shells and other topics.
Feature Shells: Please bring any 'mystery' shells for identification.

Annual Shell Auction
Sunday 28th September 2003 - Albany Hall, Auckland
Sales tables available free to members. Contact Patricia Langford ph. (09) 473-0147 for details. Registration of bidders starts at 10am. Tea coffee and some light refreshments will be provided but please bring your lunch.

With the exception of 3 members, all subscriptions are now paid and the membership list for 2003 will be circulated with the September Newsletter.
N.B. Check our web site. A request for email addresses to be included on the list was made at the Committee Meeting. Our Website Officer, Peter Poortman, reports that all email addresses are currently available on the Section's web site at:

Field Trip Report
Six members attended Michael Bressolles' August field trip at Sulphur Beach, Auckland. The trip afforded an intriguing look at an inner harbour beach, We were amazed to find many dead volutes, some of a very considerable size, deposited on the adjacent sand spit. A list of the findings will be published in Porieria.

September Field Trip
Sat. 27th - Karaka Bay and Rock Shelf and the Glendowie sand spit - low tide at 13:54 is 0.3.
This month we visit an outer Harbour beach, adjacent to the sand spit of the mouth of the Tamaki River. Meet at the top of the path to Karaka Bay at 12 noon. For details ph. Rosa 620-4523.

Shells from the Planet Mars?
Please don't hold your breath. As darkness fell on the evening of Sunday 24th, by chance the sky was cloudless over Auckland City. Your Secretary rushed outside armed with her trusty 8" Celestron telescope and stood feasting her eyes on the feisty red orb of the Planet Mars as it spun along the ecliptic, that glorious celestial pathway that arches across the heaveniy tapestry of star light, until she was quite chilled to the bone.
Yes, this week the sight of our little red planetary neighbour hanging low in the Eastern evening sky is something to wax lyrical about. Even now as I compile this newsletter on the 27-Aug-03, according to statistics published in the NZ Herald, Mars is about 55,758,006 km away and making its closest approach to planet Earth for about 59,619 years (when it startled the Neanderthals!). Today, Mars is providing a spectacle that eclipses Osama, Saddam, the fore-shore and seabed debacle and Aucktand's traffic chaos. Sadly, the latest scientific evidence seems to indicate that the Red Planet's fabled oceans are just myths. However, watch this space as Mars does have polar ice caps and once had water...

Club Lapel Badges
These will be available again in the near future. Price about $6-$8.

75th Anniversary Celebrations
The Section is almost 75 years old and we would like to publish a special birthday collection of photographs etc. If you have any photos or slides of members, especially those taken on earlier field trips etc would you please send them to the Secretary with a self addressed envelope. We would like to copy them for the publication and return them to you.

Marine Science Lectures
Faculty of Science Auckland University is holding 3 free Spring public lectures.
Time: 7pm. Venue: B28 Library Basement.5 Alfred St. Auckland
   1. 29/Sept - Dr. G Stone: "Exploring Antarctica's islands of ice"
   2. 1/Oct - Prof. J Montgomery: "Sharks : Aliens from the blue planet"
   3. 8/Oct - Dr. L Carter: "Journey to the bottom of the ocean : The remarkable world of undersea New Zealand"
Also see Auckland Universtiy Public Series of 16 inaugural Lectures: 8/Sept - 29/Oct. Ph: 09 373-7599, ext 87831 or 87832 for times and venues.

Library News
We have a new book on the flora and fauna of Lord Howe island.
To borrow any of the Section's books please contact our Librarian Gladys Goulstone - address 38A Church Rd. Mangere Bridge, Auckland - ph. (09) 634-2823. Gladys will also be in attendance at the Library in the Matapuna Gallery on the Mon. afternoon 2-3 pm before each meeting date. Please contact her regarding books on the list mailed Sept 2001 - Gladys has extra copies of this. She will deliver book orders to the meeting, or if you send her an A4 P.0. handy bag with $2.95 in stamps, for each book, she wiil mail books to you. Please return books to Matapuna as soon as possible or to Gladys at the next meeting, or mail them to her address above.

Poirieria magazine
Tony and Jenny Enderby, P.O Box 139 Leigh, require articles for the next Poirieria issue. All queries: ph. (09) 422-6127 or email


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