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Auckland Museum Institute

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Newsletter - September 2005

New Members
We welcome back Mr. Alan Peterson, 85 Aberfeldy Ave. Howick. Ak. ph. 09 537 2440, and Aussie friend, Ms. Ena Coucom, 24 Maple St. Yeppoon Qld. 4703 Aus.

75th Celebrations
Our Birthday Party was a splendid success. I am delighted to report that Dr. Rodney Wilson, Director of the Auckland W.M. Museum, attended our Saturday night function held at the Museum. He was also one of the speakers for the evening's programme. Fifty-five members - more than half the total membership - attended the Sunday shared lunch at the Epsom Community Centre and all other events were well attended.

The Celebrations Committee thanks everyone who helped to make the weekend a success including those who donated items for the raffles and photo memorabilia, with special thanks to President Heather Smith our charming M.C., Glenys Stace for her persistence in filming a video of the weekend festivities, Fiona Thompson for chauffeuring our Patron, Prof. John Morton, Dr. Neville Hudson for paying all the bills and to the Writer for preparing a delicious old fashioned Saturday night supper and baking the big Birthday fruit cake, which I'm sure the late Miss Joan Coles, a World Champion Christmas cake baker, would have approved of.

This will be held on Tuesday 11th Oct. at the Epsom Community Centre arriving anytime after 7pm to begin at 7.30pm.
Come and find out about Mollusca of the Dinosaur Era. Yes I’ve persuaded Neville to come and share his knowledge on "Ammonites and their Kin." Bring any Ammonites, Fossil books and anything that comes under the heading Cephalopoda.
Mollusca, as we all know for conveniences is divided into 7 subgroups and Cephalopoda is one of these. Cephalopoda includes Nautilidae, Argonautes, cuttlefish, octopus and squid!! Each are equipped with large eyes, a powerful beak, and sucker studded tentacles, (according to Tucker Abbot and Peter Dance p.3. Compenium of Seashells.) Do Ammonites fall under the umbrella of Cephalopoda? Come and find out on Oct. 11!

Committee Meeting at 6.00pm followed by a Mini Shell Show. All those members who have never entered in a shell show are asked to:
1. Select about 20 favourite shells. Place these on a kitchen tray or any other suitable tray.
2. Cut 20 small pieces of cardboard to label shells.
3. By hand or any other means write data for each shell as below:

    Family name (eg. PATELLIDAE)
    Genus-Species (eg. Cellana flava)
    Author and date (eg. (Hutton, 1873.))
    Place found (eg. East Coast)
    Country and date (eg. New Zealand. Jan/1995.)

If you are not sure about names bring the shells and the cards anyway!! We’ll bring the books to help write in names.
There will be a prize for every entry.
This will be followed by Margaret Morley discussing Phylum, Mollusca, Latin names, how shells get their names, and any other questions we might like to ask her.

The efforts of every body involved in the 75th celebrations were truly rewarded with such a successful weekend.
THANK YOU to the team of Margaret Morley, Betty Headford, Glenys Stace, Gladys Goulstone and Nancy Smith for their hard work and to all those who made contributions in various ways.
Judging by the noise on Friday evening at the Epsom Community Centre everyone had a great time. Old friends were reunited, shells were sold and swapped, stories unfolded and photos confirmed many exciting expeditions.

Saturday morning a number of people visited and viewed shell collections at Heather Smiths’ and Peter Poortmans’. By lunchtime some keen members joined Margaret Morley and Dr. Richard Willan at Torpedo Bay and made the most of a really low tide.

Saturday evening at the museum began with wine and a delicious supper prepared by Rosa Tyson. Rodney Wilson CEO of the Auckland War Memorial Museum gave us an update on the progress of the Museum alterations. Dr. Lesley Newman curator of the Marine Dept. thanked members of our club who work tirelessly as volunteers in the Dept. Dr. Ken Grange opened up a new world for us in his presentation "Technology Advances in Sampling our Coastal Environment". The animated trip under the sea around Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour took us where we are most unlikely ever to go!! 75 years memorabilia was put into a thoroughly enjoyable Power Point Presentation by Betty Headford.

Sunday morning saw some of us up with the birds being guided around the museum collection with Margaret, Glenys and Dr. Richard Spencer. Lunch was shared by many members at The Epsom Community Centre. Dr Richard Willan presentated "Nudibranks as a Sentinel of Global Warming." What an informative, thought provoking, visual presentation this was. We were honoured to have Prof. John Morton and Noel Gardener cut the delicious 75th cake (baked by Rosa Tyson). Professor Grant-Mackie auctioned 12 lots of Joan Coles shells. This was followed by a very entertaining and noisy Multi Draw raffle. What a great weekend!

Monday morning saw three vehicles headed north to Hohora and a visit to the Grange’s. Cape Maria Van Diemen didn’t yield any great finds but Spirits Bay had a huge wash up - and scallops in large quantities were enjoyed for the next few days. The most exciting finds were a Semicassis sophia at Spirits Bay and a rare slug?? at Paua. Both discoveries were made by Margaret Morley who froze her slug and cuddled and protected her Semicassis sophia all the way back to Auckland!!

We were honoured to have so many people who travelled vast distances to celebrate our 75th Anniversary: Dr. Richard Willan from Darwin (who remind me that he is a NZ'er) Ena Coucom from Yeppoon, Queensland, Jack Austin from Philip Is. Victoria, Dr. Ken Grange from Nelson, Jenny Raven, Pat Lakeman and Kris Wood from Wellington, Bob and Betty Grange from Hohora, Derrick and Anne Crosby from Whakatane, Anne Randell from Mt. Maunganui, Gwenda Henderson and Shirley Osborne from Whangarei. What a tribute to have our Patron Prof. John Morton with us and to see some of the more long standing members: Noel Gardner, Olive Snook, Derek Lamb, Anne Randell, Alan Peterson and Rae Sneddon. And of course, all our Auckland members from every corner of our city: Leigh, Orewa, Oratia, Titirangi, Bucklands Beach, Pakaranga, Albany, Papatoetoe, Takanini, Howick, Kaukapakapa, and many more suburbs. Great to see Dr. Bruce Hayward, Jenny and Tony Enderby, Mike and Val Hart, Lynette Hellyar, Martin Walker and Tim Saunders.
53 people in all attended our celebrations. Apologies were received from Prof. Hamish Spencer, Walter Cernohorsky, Michael and Joan Miller, Lorna Douglas, Esther McKenzie, and Mike Eagle. All sent there congratulations and best wishes.

Library news
Our library is still 'on the hoof' but we hope it will settle in a convenient place soon. I have enclosed the long promised list of books, and latest additions. Please contact our librarian Gladys Goulstone, email: for book loans.

Our editors, Jenny and Tony Enderby, are calling for general articles for the next issue of our Journal. Please leave an appropriate space in your text for any photos. Contact: T & J Enderby, PO Box 139, Leigh. Ph. 09 422 6127, email

Web site Officer: Peter Poortman, email:
The Secretary: Mrs. R. A. Tyson, email:


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