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Newsletter - February 2008

President's Report
Hello again fellow shellers.
Thank you to all the people at the last meeting who came along with a story of their recent shell encounters. My estimate was that well more than half the attendance got up and shared something interesting with us!
Survey response has been good, I will wait until after Luen's return to summarise and report the results.
May I comment that I haven't received ANY bad ideas for meeting topics/speakers etc and therefore please give us that phone number, or that website selling that DVD, or whatever it is that we need to finally stitch up a deal with a meeting topic. The ideas are good, the execution by your President is the weak link at the moment!
The March meeting will focus on Paryphanta with Kevin Barker explaining his research project on these large carnivores as they occur in the Waitakere Ranges. So please bring along stories, and specimens, anything at all to do with Paryphanta. You are welcome of course to bring any other NZ Rhytididae like Powelliphanta, Rhytida, Wainuia etc to display, but our first focus will be on the Kauri Snails of Northland. Has anyone any carvings, paintings, bronzes, featuring Paryphanta?
You probably all know that it is illegal to collect or sell these critters, even their empty shells. On TradeMe these snails, and Powelliphanta too, are quite often offered, but are always withdrawn by the TradeMe management before the auction has run its course. However, there is one cunning punter who regularly offers on TradeMe a piece of Kauri Gum with A FREE KAURI SNAIL!!! So far he seems to get away with it!
Anyway, let's hope for some more interesting stories about Kauri Snails at the meeting.

Shell Auction
The shell auction will be held on Saturday, 14th June 2008 at Albany Hall - mark it in your diaries now!
Any members who would like to auction up to 20 lots please contact Jan on 09 444 8460 or email Book your lots by 15th March as we want to keep the auction to around 250 lots.
This year you have the option of trialling a Dutch auction on your lots. (The Auctioneer starts at the top price and works down, first bidder wins.)
Final lists will be required by 15th April so that lot lists can be included in our 30th April mail out. Advise with your list whether you have a reserve, or if you would like to try a Dutch auction (starting point required).

Congratulations to Angela Carter who had baby daughter Luna Rosa Carter at home on Thursday February 14th at 7.12pm, weighing 3.35kg (7.4lb). Mother and daughter doing very well.
We look forward to welcoming Luna at our next meeting (all going according to plan)!

Brisbane Shell Show
Bon Voyage and safe travel to those members attending the Brisbane Shell Show. We look forward to hearing from you on your return.

In Short
- Please forward your subscriptions to Luen Jones if still outstanding: 1A Rewarewa Road, Te Atatu Peninsula, Waitakere 0610, and completed questionnaires to either Luen Jones (with subs) or Martin Walker: or 137 Ireland Road, Auckland.
- Margaret Morley is preparing an article on the late Norm Gardner for our next edition of Poirieria. If you have any personal memories, anecdotes or historical notes on Norm please let Margaret know on phone 576 8323.
- Doug and Judith Snook report that they had a wonderful attendance at their Shell Show with over 500 people attending over the four and a half day period. They managed to raise $1,800 for Papatoetoe Baptist Church's development fund and Doug has received two invitations to speak with local Clubs - well done! Doug and Judith would like to thank those members that showed their support and were able to attend.
- New Zealand Post currently have marine themed stamps for sale.
- Any ideas, articles, stories, pictures, games that you would like included in our newsletter please send to Jan.

For those who missed the meeting ...
- 14 members showed up on a relaxing balmy February evening. Martin Walker started off the year wonderfully well as Club President. A great time of informal sharing of holiday finds.
- Doug Snook hadn't managed to make it to the beach over summer, but showed a tray of over 40 specimens from the Papamoa/Waihi/Maketu beach area from October 2007.
- Margaret Morley passed around an ammonite found at Gittos Point through a Geology field trip. The only find on this particular day after much selective rock smashing!
- Luen Jones showed a range of ancient Alicthoe shells found at Te Atatu Peninsula, and his recent internet purchases of harpidaes, cones and a large slit shell.
- Gordon Nicholson told a wonderful story of the discovery at Wharekawa of the nudibranch Fiona pinnata on a piece of floating pumice which had goose barnacles attached. Gordon had carefully followed Margaret's advice and brought specimens back to her at the Museum - a new find for Margaret one that she had not seen before (it doesn’t happen too often!). Jocelyn Nicholson relayed how they had found the black sea slug of the bullidae family in the Wharekawa estuary.
- Barbara Bycroft had a couple of great finds. A "wash up" of fresh water mussels from Whangarei Falls following the July storms of last year, and a small fresh water crab Halicarcinus lacustris found at Oratia Stream (this is one of the few remaining places where this crab is found). Barbara was even more delighted to realise that the stone placed in her jar with the crab had the self-luminous limpet Latia neritoides and was going to keep an eye on it that night!
- Peter Poortman had an unusual find of a Pacific pearl oyster Pinctada maculata which he believes had travelled to Spirits Bay attached to a piece of wood or the bottom of a boat.

February Meeting - Holiday Finds
This will be held on Tuesday, 11th March at Epsom Community Centre, 202 Gillies Avenue, Epsom. You are welcome to arrive from 7:00pm onwards with the meeting commencing at 7:30pm
We will be having Mr Kevin Barker to speak at the March meeting next Tuesday on his Royal Society Fellowship study he has just commenced on the distribution and history of Paryphanta busbyi in the Waitakere Ranges.
Kevin has only just begun his study but has already gathered quite an amount of anecdotal material on the subject some of which he will share with us. He is hoping we can contribute our own stories on Tuesday and thus we will all come away enriched.

Unusual and Unexpected Finds - Peter Poortman
Anyone who spends considerable time combing beaches and bush will inevitably have some surprising finds, and I have certainly had my share.
My first surprise, a Schizoglossa major while rock climbing with some school friends in 1975, fuelled my interest in shell collecting.
The following year while collecting near Nelson I came across a full size but "naked" Cookia sulcata. Incredibly, the shell was completely absent, but it was alive and otherwise whole including an operculum.
While landsnail collecting south of Port Waikato I found a skull in a rock crevice overlooking the main road. It was very old, probably Maori, and as far as I know it is still there. I also found a very nice Maori adze in a rock pool at Rangiputa.
A large number of healthy Paryphanta busbyi were crawling on the sand at Huia Beach when I went seashell collecting there in 1997.
Four Prietocella barbara (small landsnails) were found on the family room floor after drying my tent there. Evidently they had hitched a ride on my tent after camping at Puriri Bay.
I came upon a live yellow bellied sea-snake (Pelamis platurus) while collecting at Taupiri Bay in May 2003. It did not survive the trip back to Auckland and is now in the wet collection at Auckland Museum.
There have also been several "letters in bottles". The most legible one, found at Spirits Bay in 2004, was written by two German tourists (Nina and Inga). It was undated but included their addresses, so I must write to them one day.
For many years my "non-molluscan" collection contained what I thought was a whale's tooth, but to my embarassment I subsequently learned that it was in fact just part of cows hoof.
But my best ever find was undoubtedly our illustrious Heather Smith - on Rarawa Beach in July 2000!


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