[from Proc IoMNH&ASoc vol2 #4 1926]
Mr. Wm. CUBBON, Vice-President, in the Chair.
The Chairman opened the proceedings with the following address. -
I regret to say that our President, the Rev. E. H. Stenning, of King William's College, will not be with us to-day. The school broke up this week and he left the Island yesterday. He asked me to express his regret, as did also the Speaker of the House of Keys and Mr. Kermode in not being present this afternoon.
Since we were last called together, three of our most distinguished members, all eminent scientists in their respective fields, have passed away.
I refer to Sir William Herdman, Sir Archibald Geikie, and Mr. J. A. Wheldon.
Any reference which I make to these eminent men is, of course, very inadequate; but a Society such as ours, honoured as we have, been by these great figures helng fellow members with us, ought, at least, to register its appreciation of their labours in the field of science of the Isle of Man.
Sir William Herdman's connection with the Isle of Man commenced as early as 1892, 34 years ago. He founded the Port Erin Biological Station, and was, for many years, its director He spent a portion of each year during the last 40 years at his Port Erin home, and he was deeply interested m the fishermen there, and did everything in his power for advanceo their calling.
He was also interested in the History and the Archæologyof the Isle of Man, and, as far back as 1892, along with his friendl, Mr. P. M. C. Kermode, began to make a thorough systematic examination of that remarkable monument of antiquity, the circle of stone cists on the Meayll Hill, Cregneish.
They issued a descriptive pamphlet of the result of their work in 1893.
This collaboration also led, in the year 1904, to the publication of one of our most useful and authoritive text books, with the title " Manx Antiquities."
The edition of 1904 was soon exhausted, and a second edition had to be provided in 1914.
In 1894 Prof, Herdman allowed himself to be nominated an honorary member of our Society, to which he was elected in consideration of his work nl connection with our local Natural History, and especially our Marine Fauna and Flora.
In 1897, 27 years ago, he came expressly from Liverpool to deliver one of a series of lectuures in Douglas, and warmly advocated the establishment of a Manx Museum. The lectures were organised by our Society.
In the year 1914 he was elected the President of this Society, and occupied the chair at many of the meetings. His presidential address on the subject of "Periodic Changes in Nature " will long be remembered by those who were priviledged to hear it. It is printed in our Proceedings, Vol. II, No. 2.
In the same year that he was President of this Society he was the General Secretary of the British Association. In that year the British Association met in Australia, and for months He had almost fortnightly meetings in London, arranging the innummerable details incidental to conveying about 400 men of science over a route of 25,000 miles during a period of between three and four months.
He was also the General Secretary of the British Association on the occasion of the Liverpool Meeting of the Association, in 1896; and it was owing to his initiative as Secretary that this Society (then under the presidency of Deemster Gill) invited the Association to come to the Island for four or five days. The scientific excursions arranged for the occasion were most successful, and were attended by some of the ablest scientists of that period. A special handbook was printed for the occasion, on the history, the geology, and the natural history of the Island, the last named subject being dealt with by Professor Herdman himself.
Sir William took part in the celebration of the Forbes' Centenary in London in the year 1915, and delivered an eloquent appreciation of the work of that great Manx pioneer of science, Edward Forbes. In honour of that centenary, Sir William, out of his generosity, founded an annual Edward Forbes Exhibition at Liverpool University.
On the establishment of the Manx Museum, so dear to his heart, Sir William was appointed a member of the Trustees, and was present at many of their meetings. Only a few days before his death he brought to the Museum several specimens of a marine animal, the ' Sali Rover,' the first to be recorded as having been taken in the Irish Sea, and found by him at Perwick and Port Erin.
Sir William had. been Professor of Natural History in Liverpool University, and founded the chairs of Geology and Oceanography in that Institntion. He had been also a President of the Linnean Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Sir Archibald Geikie was elected an honorary member of pur Society in consideration of his Geological work, especially in relation to the Geological Survey of the Isle of Man.
He had been President of the Royal Society; President of the British Association; and President of the Geological Society.
His death, which took place five weeks ago, at the ripe age of 89, has deprived British Geology of its leading representative; a position to which he was entitled by his wide popular reputation, his work as the greatest of the Directors-General of the Geological Survey of the United Kingdom, and his influence in the realm of science.
He frequently visited the Isle of Man, and made an intimate study of the Geological features of Scarlett and Pooilvaish, in connection with his great and standard work on the extinct volcanoes of the British Isles.
In 1882 he was appointed to the post of Director-General of the Surveys of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and it was owing to Sir Archibald that the Isle of Man was included in the Survey; the actual work being done under the superintendance of Professor Lamplugh, whose Monograph on the Geology of the Isle of Man is the standard work of reference on the subject.
Sir Archibald Geikie, when a young man, wrote, in collaboration with Dr. Wilson, a Memoir of Professor Edward Forbes, the great Manx Naturalist. The book was published in 1861, 63 years ago, and is an inspiring and delightful book to read.
In the year 1915, on the occasion of the celebration in London of the Centenary of Edward Forbes, Sir Archibald Geikie delivered a brilliant address of appreciation of Forbes, Lasting over an hour and a half, dealing with the many sides of the great Manxman's wonderful career. Regarding Forbes, he said that, ' although he died young, he put his imperishable mark upon the studies which he pursued, and has left an example of noble character, of unwearied enthusiasm, and of brilliant achievement which deserves to be held up as a pattern and stirnulus to all who would follow the same persuits.'
These same words might well be applied to Sir Archibald himself .
You will pardon my also referring to the death, which occurred a week ago, in Liverpool, of Mr. James Alfred Wheldon, Master of Science and Fellow of the Linneann Society. Mr. Wheldon had, for many years, been working in collaboration with our Botanical Secretary, Mr. J. W. Hartley, of Ballasalla, on Manx Mosses and Lichens. He was an acknowledged authority in the field of cryptogamic botany, and especially of mosses and lichens, and was widely known, not only in British, but in international botanical circles.
A preliminary contribution to the Manx Fungus Flora was published in 1909 by Messrs. Hartley and Wheldon in the Lancashire Naturalist, and in the last published number of the Transactions of this Society, issued a year ago, there is a lengthy contribution, covering five pages of small type, giving a list of Manx Fungi by the same gentlemen.
Mr. Hartley has, from time to time, reported on the excellent work done by Mr Wheldon in recording Manx specimens, and he states that a work on Manx Lichens by Mr. Wheldon and himself is advanced so far as to be nearly ready for the press. Mr. Mr Wheldon took part in the British Association Excursion to the Isle of Man in the autumn of last year.
We must sympathise with our Botanical Secretary in the loss of his fellow worker, and trust that the death of Mr, Wheldon will not seriously interrupt the arrangements already made for the publication of the projected work on the Manx Lichens,
My duty in referring to the decease of these three of our most useful and eminent members is a sad one, We record our appreciation of their contributions to science generally, and .lso to that of our own country; and we offer our sincere sympathy to those to whom they were near and dear.
The members present, standing, recorded their sympathy accordingly.
Mr. Joseph E. Leece, Conchan; Mr. Ralph. Howorth, Peel; Mss M. Teare, Ramsey, and Mr. Joseph Lewin, of Douglas, were elected members.
An interesting paper on the history and associations of ' Ballure Church ' was read by the Rev. M, W. Harrison, of Ramsey. (See p. 453)
Miss F.B. Kneen followed with a paper on ' Notable People, Places, and Things connected with the Parish of Ballaugh.' (See p. 459).
| Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received MNB
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