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Newsletter - June 2013

What a successful Shell Show!
A big thank you to Peter Poortman and to every single person who stepped in and helped! You all contributed to make it such a successful show.
We had visitors from the UK, USA, Finland, Philippines, Germany, Australia, New Caledonia, Dunedin, Christchurch, Motueka, Marlborough Sounds, Wellington, Whakatane, Hamilton, Whangarei, and Dargaville.
We thank all of you for coming to share and contribute in our show.
Better publishing attracted many people through the door and we hope some new members may eventuate from this.
Heather Smith, Club President

May Meeting
Many free shells, books, and magazines were on offer, including some complete sets of old Poirieria volumes. These volumes may still be available, so contact Doug Snook on 09 299 6476 if you would like to have them.

Michael Barlow spoke about his shell collecting trip to the island of Savai'i, Samoa, in September 2012.
He knows that area very well because he normally goes collecting there, as well as to Niue, every year.
Our data projector proved its worth once again as we viewed Michael's amazing underwater photos showing living corals and the colourful variety of life amongst it in the crystal clear sunlit water.
But of course the focus was on molluscs, which were plentiful in that area. Many species of Cypraea and Conus are living there, as well as clams (up to ~450mm), Muricids, Strombs, Turbans, etc. There was a photo of a large hermit crab living in a ~170mm Tonna perdix, and also an enormous fat dark coloured sea slug which was about one meter long.
Almost all of the shells Michael photographed were living, and many of the Cypraeas had their mantles extended. The shells were often well camouflaged against the garden of corals and algae, and there was also a crab so well disguised that it was virtually impossible to spot unless it moved.
Michael showed many photos of cowries and cones sitting on their egg masses. The eggs of each species, even within the taxonomic families, were quite distinctive. Michael observed that the breeding cycle of molluscs seemed to match the springtime pattern of other animals.
Michael is very conservation minded, and has a policy of never taking shells that are sitting on eggs. He is also very selective, and normally takes just a handful of specimens on each trip.
All his beautiful colourful photographs were taken while snorkelling at daytime in about 1-5 meters of water. It looked stunning, so we could only imagine how fantastic it must have been to be actually swimming amongst it all.

As it was Heathers birthday, our evening supper included a delicious chocolate birthday cake.

Te Papa Restructure
At the May meeting, Peter Poortman showed a Campbell Live item he recorded from TV3 the previous evening.
This was a shocking story about the ongoing restructure of our National Museum, Te Papa.
Evidently the Museum is moving its focus away from Natural History and on to more popular and/or profitable subjects such as World War 1 and Art (including digital art forms such as video games).
A large but unknown number of scientists have been made redundant, and the Museum Library has been dismantled. There are also plans to relocate the Natural History collections to remote locations such as Whangarei or Southland.
These changes have sparked outrage in the scientific community within NZ and around the world.
The Campbell Live item can be viewed online at http://www.3news.co.nz/Is-Te-Papa-our-national-disgrace/tabid/367/articleID/297611/Default.aspx.

Next Meeting Tuesday 11th June
Epsom Community Centre, 202 Gillies Avenue, Epsom at 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm)

We will be focusing on the Tonnidae & Harpidae families, so please bring in a selection of these for viewing.
There will be shells and books for sale and for free, and of course supper at the end of the evening.
All welcome.

Shell Auction Saturday 26th October
Our annual Shell Auction will be held on Labour Weekend at the Albany Hall.
Sellers please get your lot lists to Peter before the end of August. Lot numbers are limited to 20 per person, but please advise if you would like to put in more than that because room for more may become available.
As usual the club will take a 10% commission on the sale price.
Contact Peter Poortman (petermwp@gmail.com or 09 817 1397) for more information.

Market Place
Our club website (http://nz_seashells.tripod.com) now contains a new "Market Place" section.
We can list any shell related items (shells, books, magazines, collections, etc) either for sale or free giveaway by members or non-members.
We can also advertise your want-list or any shell related items you would like to obtain.
Currently we have three WW collections for sale, showing contact information and numerous photographs.
Contact Peter Poortman (petermwp@gmail.com or 09 817 1397) if you wish to add to this list.

NZ Shell Show 2013
It was a fantastic weekend - 210 quality exhibits, 36 categories, 24 exhibitors, 8 dealers, auction (68 lots), buy/swap/sell, raffle, prize-giving, & dinner.
The displays were of a very high standard, and jaws were dropping on even the most seasoned collectors.
One of the most popular tables was the free shells and books - hopefully this will have inspired a new generation of collectors and scientists.
Club President Heather Smith dominated the winners list with 11 first places as well as Best Worldwide Exhibit, Australian Shell of the Show, Public Choice, & Total Points.
Show Organiser Peter Poortman also scored highly with 8 first places as well as Best NZ Shell and Best NZ Exhibit.
Our club website (http://nz_seashells.tripod.com) contains links to the full winners list, as well as a selection of photos.
Also a Sunday Star Times feature article about the Shell Show and us collectors is available online at http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/life/8653130/Shelling-out-on-shells.

Poirieria Magazine
We welcome contributions to our club magazine "Poirieria".
Anything related to shells or collecting would be greatly appreciated - Eg. shelling trips/finds, personal observations/tips, scientific research, historic anecdotes, a notable washup, etc.
Please email articles to Peter Poortman at petermwp@gmail.com, or post to 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Auckland 0604.

Club Library
We have an extensive collection of books, magazines, and scientific publications available, as well as a biological microscope.

Other News
. Keppel Bay Shell Show, Yeppoon, Queensland, Australia on 6-7/July/2013. For more information, contact Jean Offord on +61 7 4928 3509.

. Townsville Shell Show, Townsville, Queensland, Australia on 20-21/July/2013. For more information, contact Glenda Rowse on +61 7 4773 2817.

. Items of interest for the monthly newsletter are always welcome - email to petermwp@gmail.com, or post to Peter Poortman, 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Auckland 0604.

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