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RESERVE CONSERVATION SOCIETY.

The first annual meeting of the Duncoin and Suburban Reserves Conservation Society held in the Council Chambers, Town Hall buildings, last evening was attended by about twenty gentlemen. Mr G. G. Russell, the president, occupied the chair, ANNUAL REPORT. The report of the society, which has been already published, was taken as read. _ The Chairman, in moving its adoption, said the question had been asked pretty often during the year whether this society had survived, as no signs were visible of its existence, and tho public could see nothing that it had done. However, the fact was that it had been struggling vigorously to make itself seen in improvements in the City. The first object the society had in view was the improvement of the 1 dangle. As they were aware, circumstances arose which for a time suspended operations on this piece of land, and this suspension took place at the time the planting should have been carried out, for, of course, operations were pretty well regulated by the seasons. The work of improvement was now going on. The contract for fencing should be completed within a month, the railing would be put up, and the fountain (the generous gift of Mr Wolfe Harris) would soon be in its place, the ground levelled and sown with grassland the paths made. He hoped that within about six weeks the Triangle would be in a presentable state, and would give satisfaction to the citizens.—(Hear.) This City had unsurpassed beauties. Every citizen was proud of Dunedin, and would be sorry to see any of its natural beauties lost for want of a little care and attention. To preserve the beauties of the City some organised plan must be adopted, and for the purpose of doing this the Reserves Conservation Society had been formed. At present the number of members was under 400. He would like to see the number_ of members increased to 1,000 or 1,500, which at 5s per head would give an Income of from L 250 to L 350, and that would go along way towards making improvements which they had in contemplation. One of the first works they would undertake if they had the means would be the planting of a row of trees on each side of Cumberland street, from the Anderson Bay road to the Water of Leith. Then they would undertake the improvement of the ground round the museum. It was necessary that all our public buildings should have good surroundings. The museum had a nice piece ol ground round it that hitherto had been ® waste, and that by a judicious expenditure of a little money could bo made a source of pleasure to the citizens. They would next turn their attention to the bush at the Water of Leith, opposite the Botanic Gardena-a lovely spot, which, by spending a little money upon it, could be made very attractive. Then there was the Southern Market Reserve, which was Irom soil and situation in every way suitable for a garden. A good landscape gardener would soon make this reserve one of the prettiest spots in the City, It had been thought by a good many that the necessity for this Association arose from neglect on the part of the City authorities; but it was not so. He was sure that those who could look back for twenty-five years would recognise the immense amount of useful work that had been done by the Corporation. There was no city or town m the Southern Hemisphere whore ao much had been done for the convenience and comfort of the citizens as in Dunedin; in fact, there were few cities in the Old Country where as much had been done. What had been done here in twenty-five years had taken centuries at Home to accomplish, —(Rev. Dr Stuart: «Hear, hear,”) He wished also to say that this society and the City Corporation were in perfect harmony ; the Corporation had willingly met the Committee of the society and discussed matters, and had liberally given the use of a room for the Committee meetings and also for the general meetings of the society. They had to thank the Corporation for the way it had met the society, and he was sure all desired that the pleasant feeling that existed between the society and the Corporation should be continued and strengthened. Referring to the balance-sheet, he would remark that they were greatly indebted to Mr Lee Smith for his co-operation m raising funds for the improvement of the Triangle, They had also to thank Mr Wolfe Harris for his exceedingly handsome donation, and he was sure that they would always find in that gentlemen a good friend to the society. Tkeir general expenses for the year had amounted only to L 7 16s lOd, so that they could take credit to themselves for economical expenditure. He hoped the other expenditure would be as judiciously manRev. Dr Stuart said : Mr President, the adoption of the report of the Dunedin and Suburban Reserves Conservation Society, moved by our president, I have pleasure in seconding, I can also commend it with the greatest heartiness without taking to myself any praise ; for though I am a member, I have done little more than admire my more active, liberal, and enterprising colleagues. Friends, it has been to me quite a feast to witness the enthusiasm with which the president and secretary advocate the conservation of the natural beauties of our City and suburbs, the renewing of the tear and wear of time, and such improvements as tree planting Happily the natural beauties are numerous and of the kind which even vandalism cannot destroy. Beautifully clothed as Is a great part of our Town Belt, there are here and there bald patches that would be greatly improved by small clumps of elms, oaks, birches, and beeches. I do not advocate this in the way of reducing the area of the ■ native bush, but for tho adornment of the exposed places and the formation of breakwinds. I never go up the Leith Valley without saying to myself how splendidly would copses of hazel, hawthorn, holly, rowan, and wattle flourish among the clefts and rocks of its terraced bants; and what beauty would colonies of primroses, blue bells and wild flowers give to many a secluded spot. I count it a sign of better times that the Reserves Conservation Society has put on its roll during the first year nfgfa 250 persons who love our romantic City, and who, with increased backing and gifts, will m a few years make our Town Beit, sandhills, _ and reserves the envy of many older cities. Aberdeen, though noted for schools, colleges, and churches of marked and tasteful architecture, has derived immense attrac tiona from Duthie Park—the gift of a lady—which has been laid out without interfering with the natural inequalities of the ground. As I wandered among its heights and howea J felt I was in one of Nature's choicest scenes. parks which are being added to our modem cities I regard as of great educational and hygienic value. Pardon me for referring to the Birks of Aborfeldy. ;Under favorable circumstances, after the lapse of half a century, I was gratified to see that change did not in any degree mar the distinctive character of that scene of beanty. True, the saplings oi my youth had become nobie elms, beeches, and larches, but in the «pper reaches I saw the patches of brackens, heather, bluebells, and rowans which chirped me m youth: while the birks from their precarious footing in the clefts of the rocks nodded over the pools enjoying the breeze and the anrav and the sunshine and the music of a hundred waterfalls, and still giving pleasure to poets and lovers and kilted lads from the neighboring hills and hamlets, and becoming totbem not only an art gallery, but a very aSden. In the interest of our City and suburbs, and in the interest ol the health And edueation of their inhabitants young and ■old, I commend to your hearty support our Reserves Conservation Society, and venture to express the hope that during this golden

year its membership may be doubled, and its table of work projected, undertaken, and completed much larger.—(Applause.) The adoption of the report was carried nem. dis, ELECTION Of OFFICERS, Mr T. R. Fisheh moved that Mr G. G. Russell be rc-elected president. Mr Russell had shown a very great amount of interest in the society, and they could not do better than retain him as president. The motion was carried unanimously. Mr W. Dymock was unanimously elected vice-president. On the motion of the Rev. Dr Stuart, the retiring members of committee —Messrs A. Bathgate, T. Brown, A. S. Paterson, A. H. Shelton, and Dr Hocken— were reelected; and Mr A. Wilson, the retiring vice-president, was also elected a member of committee. THE TOWN BELT. The Presiuent read the following letter, which had been received from Mr H. F. Hardy : Dear Sir,—l regret that I cannot attend your meeting this evening, so I write just to express my sympathy with the movement, and my thanks as a citizen to your society. Au idea has occurred to me that if a certaiu part of the Town Belt or Jubi ce Park was allotted to each of the public schools, the scholars might have a holiday for “tree planting ” once a year. E.icb child would then have au interest in his own trees, and by this means we should soon have a small army interested in the protection of the native trees and shrubs, I am willing to subscribe one guinea per year t > tho High street School children for the purchase of trees. No discussion took place upon the suggestion, the matter being left for the consideration of the Committee.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18891001.2.30

Bibliographic details

RESERVE CONSERVATION SOCIETY., Evening Star, Issue 8026, 1 October 1889

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1,643

RESERVE CONSERVATION SOCIETY. Evening Star, Issue 8026, 1 October 1889

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