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Conchology Section
Auckland Museum Institute

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Newsletter - June 2004

Last Word
Mrs. Verna Johnson, a member of 27 years has died. She previously farmed in Northland but in recent years resided in Tauranga. Some of her shell collection was sold at a Club Auction a few years ago.

Presidents Report
At our last meeting the following minor shell families were on display: Nassarinae (Bruce Hazelwood), Fissurellidae and Columbariinae (Doug Snook), Trigoniidae - including some surprising fossil records (Neville Hudson).

Lynn Gunn reported that she recently collected shells at Kohimarama Beach (Auckland City) where sand dredged off Pakiri Beach in Northland has been deposited on this popular harbour beach.

We also enjoyed viewing Episode 6 of our Blue Planet Video Series which features the formation of coral reefs to ultimate devastation by the storms of the sea, and the re building process that follows.

Next Meeting: Tuesday 13th July 7:30pm.
This will be held in the Ranfurly Room. Epsom Community Centre. 202 Gillies Ave. Please park at the rear of the Centre - entrance is via Kimberly Rd.

Speakers Tony and Jenny Enderby: FANTASTIC COLOURED SLIDE SHOW
Tony and Jenny are the valued Editors of our Journal Porieria. They live in Northland and their work takes them to many exotic locations. This will be a fantastic mid-winter lecture so be sure to come along.

Shell Family: Our focus family this evening is Xenophoridae - the original shell collector - the carrier shell. Please bring along any examples you have in your collection.

Next Committee Meeting
All committee members are requested to attend our Committee Meeting to be held at 6pm sharp before the following ordinary meeting on Tuesday August 10th. This will be a very important meeting with items about the Shell Show so please underline this date in your dairy now!

5th New Zealand Shell Show
Auckland 15-17th October 2004. Please contact Peter Poortman as soon as possible to register for this event.

Florida Holiday
Earlier this week the writer returned tired but happy after a three week holiday spent with (New York) relatives now living in Venice, Florida, USA. I loved Florida. It's very flat - only 345ft at the highest point - so man made structures: office towers, high rise apartment buildings, quaint water towers, steel pylons bearing navigation lights and communications equipment, and the giant cooling towers of the sprawling nuclear power station sited north of the City of Tampa, are the only features visible above the marshland.

I went to sleep most nights listening to the rasping call of alligators as they proclaimed their ownership of ponds on the golf course near the house. Walking on the golf course was prohibited at all times but one was more likely to be run down by a golf buggy that to be chased by an irate 'gator!

The weather was very hot and windless in June. It was summer and therefore the rainy season. On most afternoons there was a short, violent thunderstorm. Due to the settled weather few shells were to be seen on Venice beach. However, this white sand beach is famous for its fossilised sharks teeth and I saw people gathering these from below the low water line by way of an ingenious metal sieve attached to a long pole. Venice is situated on the western coast of Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico here the coastal waters are shallow and pleasantly warm. The air temperature in Florida was in the low 90's F. on most days, so both swimming and sun bathing were glorious. On several occasions I saw huge devil rays and dolphins cruising within twenty feet off Venice beach.

I visited Cape Kennedy on the 'Space Coast' which is on the Atlantic coast, and stayed at Coaco Beach. From here I had a clear view of a NASA Delta rocket mounted on a launch pad, ready to be launched the following evening. The Atlantic Ocean was cold and there were very few shells on the eastern beaches. Other highlights of my holiday included a tour of the Everglades and a day trip to Key West on the fast ferry from Fort Myers.

I saw many excellent displays of Florida shells and hope that on my next visit I'll have more luck with collecting - but then luck is what shelling is all about!

Stop Press
Margaret Morley's book 'A Photographic Guide to New Zealand's Seashells' will be available in book shops in early July. However delay buying your copies until our meeting on September 14th which will be a book celebration and slide show by Iain to be held at the Auckland Museum.
Book copies (signed for added value!!) will be discounted from retail $24.95 to $19.95 on that night. Note the venue for that night. More details to follow regarding time and door of entry.

Editors Tony and Jenny Enderby, P.O Box 139 Leigh, require articles for future Poirieria issues. All queries: Ph. (09) 422 6127 or email:

Conchology section website is and our Website Officer is Peter Poortman (

Library news
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. Please contact Gladys regarding books on the list mailed Sept 2001 - she has extra copies of this.
Gladys will deliver book orders to the meeting. If you send her an A4 P.0. handy bag with $2.95 in stamps per book, she will mail the books. Please return books to Matapuna as soon as possible or to Gladys at the next meeting, or return them by mail.

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Subscriptions are due for 2004. Annual subscription is $20.
Please send to: The Treasurer, Conchology Section, Dr. N. Hudson, 4/20 Hayden St. Freemans Bay, Auckland 1, N.Z.

I/we enclose $20.00 for my/our annual subscription:

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