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We honour the following individuals, who have all made important contributions to different areas of earth science in New Zealand

Leslie Owen Kermode (1932-2002)
Frederick Ernest Bowen (1921-2004)
Frank Foster Evison, OBE, FRSNZ (1922-2005)
George Walker (1926-2005)
Geert Jan "Gerry" Lensen (1921-2004)
Sydney "Sid" Hastie (1908-1996)
J.Y. "Jack" Bradshaw (1951-1991)
Ernest "Ernie" Johnstone Searle (1909 -1996)
Dorothy Hill AC, CBE (1907-1997)
Werner Giggenbach (1937-1997) 

Leslie Owen Kermode (1932-2002)

Less sudden death on Sunday 27 January 2002 terminates the work of a highly respected geologist, who had devoted much of his working life to the study of the geology of the Auckland urban area. Les Kermode, affectionately known as Sir Les to his many Geology Club friends, died of heart failure on a field trip to Rangitoto Island with a staff member of the Auckland City Council Heritage Department. He was plotting by GPS potentially significant volcanic features worthy of preservation. It was not his first heart problem however, as he had had valve trouble almost exactly ten years ago in 1992.

Les was born in Riverton in the South Island in 1932, the fourth child in a family of six comprising four girls and two boys. In his early years he moved frequently around the country with his parents, who were members of the Salvation Army. Places of residence included Marton, Pukekohe, Waihi, New Plymouth and Avondale, where he became one of the foundation students of Avondale College. From Avondale he went on to Teachers Training College in 1950 and attended the University of Auckland, graduating BA in music. He subsequently taught at primary schools in the Waikato at Te Rauamoa on the Otorohanga - Kawhia Rd, and at Ngaruawahia, before returning to Auckland where he resided with his mother in Otahuhu. From Otahuhu, Les traveled daily to Rua Potaka Primary school between Panmure and Glen Innes, and to Otara Intermediate until the end of 1962.
Les developed an interest in rocks and geology while at Otara Intermediate and used to pop down the road to the New Zealand Geological Survey District Office at Otara for a chat and an explanation of his latest finds. One day a job vacancy developed and Les joined the Survey" in February 1963 and remained there until the office was closed in 1988 (Geological Society of New Zealand Newsletter No 84, 1989) and relocated to Parnell in Auckland city under the new name of DSIR Geology and Geophysics. His retirement in 1992 (Geological Society of New Zealand Newsletter No 96. 1992) coincided with the disestablishment of the DSIR and of the short lived DSIR Geology and Geophysics Division, and subsequent closure of the Auckland District Office (Geological Society of New Zealand Newsletter No 98, 1992).
Les's early work was varied as the Geological Survey at the time was in a period of expansion and he came with a variety of skills. He was keenly interested in tramping, speleology, and geology, particularly the Auckland volcanics, and in the preparation of geological maps, and these aspects of his work continued up to the time of his death For many years he was the Editor of the New Zealand Speleological Bulletin, and Chairman of the Auckland Speleo Group. He also played a major role in the scientific study and mapping of caves and as a contributor to the New Zealand Caves Atlas. His favourite caves were those found in the basalt lava flows around Auckland and he became internationally recognised as the New Zealand expert on lava caves.

In the days before user pays, Survey geologists assisted in many economic mineral investigations for local authorities, Govt. Depts, mining companies, quarrymen, farmers, and the general public. Thus Les spent some time on Waikato coal investigations and in drillhole logging, in copper mineralisation on Coppermine Island in the Hauraki Gulf, and later on the geology along the route of the gas pipeline north from New Plymouth, and in the realignment of railway lines and tunnels on the main trunk line in the King Country. He also assisted in the compilation and editing of the handbooks for the 1965 International Symposium on Volcanology, published as DSIR Information Series volumes 49-51, in the production of the Auckland Institute and Museum "Science in Auckland" published for the 11th New Zealand Science Congress, and in the popular "Lava and Strata: a Guide to the volcanoes and rock formations of Auckland" published by the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences in 2000.

Following a brief attachment to the British Geological Survey, Les returned with many ideas on the need to simplify geological maps to a form that engineers and planners could use, at a time when the Auckland Regional Authority Drainage Board were driving tunnels and trenching for the upgrading of the Auckland sewer network. Les's geological data were overprinted onto aerial mosaic maps and published as a series of nine 1:25 000 geological maps between 1967 and 1986 in the New Zealand Geological Survey Industrial Map Series. In a later series he played a major role in preparing rock type maps for the Dept. of Lands and Survey Inventory Series 1:100 000 maps, compiling at least five of them and assisting in the completion of others.
As geological data and maps of the Auckland region accumulated in the Auckland District Office they were plotted onto field sheets and ultimately compiled by Les and published in 1992 as geological map 2 in a new series 1:50 000 map and text by the Surveys successor, the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences. Entitled Geology of the Auckland Urban Area this sixty-three page booklet and map is the principle reference to local geology, geological resources, geological hazards, and environmental issues in the district and is the work for which Les will remain widely respected.

After his retirement, nearly ten years ago, Les became a Research Associate in geology at Auckland War Memorial Museum and also loosely attached to the University of Auckland Geology Department. He provided valuable detailed advice to the Museum during preparation of its record-breaking Volcanoes and Giants Exhibition, particularly in his supervision of construction of a large replica lava cave. The exercise was repeated a few years later as he advised on the design and construction of a replica limestone cave and its speleothems - a feature that remains a highlight of the natural history galleries.

Les was a co-founder of the Auckland Museum Geology Club (now Auckland Geology Club section of GSNZ), presenting their inaugural lecture to 24 enthusiasts on Nov 3rd 1992, on Do it yourself geological field trips around Auckland". Membership has steadily risen to well over 100, with Les an active committee member throughout this time. Every year he usually gave at least one evening lecture and led several field trips - the last a full day trip in pouring rain around the scoria cone, lava flows and caves of One Tree Hill (from Mt Eden to Onehunga foreshore, and Ellerslie racecourse) in October last year. He also led longer weekend trips to Waitomo and Tongariro National Park. Those of us fortunate to accompany Sir Les on his myriad of Auckland field trips came to treasure his vast storehouse of information, accumulated through a life-time of study. Many enthusiastic Geoclub members were first introduced to geology by Les as participants on one of his many University Extension courses on Aucklands geology.

Les faithfully supported the Geological Society of New Zealand from early days - serving at varying times as Secretary and Chair of the Auckland Branch and as long-timer member of the Geological Reserves Subcommittee. He gave his last oral paper at the Hamilton Conference late last year. Of all the multitude of lectures Les presented, many of us will always remember his superb, one and three-quarter hour epic exposition on limestone caves, their formation, exploration and speleothems, superbly illustrated by several carousels of fantastic slides.

Les provided informal supervision and advice to dozens of graduate students, who found that all attempts to obtain detailed information on Auckland geology led them to Less door. Les was not a prolific writer of scientific papers. Instead he was a field geologist and mapper, and in later years particularly, one of New Zealands leading practitioners of geological education for the general public. Les became widely sort after by many groups to give lectures and lead field trips - particularly his Auckland City Council-promoted urban safaris to various Auckland volcanic cones, and his dozens of trips for scouts, Forest and Bird, and other groups to explore Stewarts lava cave, Three Kings. For over a decade he offered a wide variety of courses and field trips through the University of Auckland Continuing Education Programme for hundreds of participants.

Less studies, naturally led him to become the New Zealand expert on Ferdinand von Hochstetter, the father of Auckland geology. He gave a plenary lecture on Hochstetter in New Zealand at the Geological Society Conference in Napier in 1990, a 1 hour Radio NZ programme on Hochstetter in NZ, and his translation of Carles biography of Hochstetter was published as a GSNZ Miscellaneous Publication.

Throughout his career, Les championed the cause of geological conservation, particularly of caves and Aucklands geological heritage. The gazettal of Wiri Lava Cave Scientific Reserve, signed on Less back by the Minister of Conservation inside the cave in 1998 is a tribute to his dogged determination to achieve its protection in the face of almost impossible quarrying odds over a 25 year period. After his retirement, Les became increasingly involved in the promotion of Earth Science Conservation in Auckland, particularly through provisions of the RMA. Late last year he proudly proclaimed that he was the only Geological Heritage Consultant in New Zealand. From 1995 onwards he worked with Auckland City Council preparing geological heritage databases for three city district plans and had just started compiling data for their Hauraki Gulf database. He also worked as a consultant for Manukau City Council and Auckland Regional Council on a number of conservation, management and Environmental Court issues, and played a prominent part in the Tamaki River Protection Society, an area close to his home at Half Moon Bay. At the time of his death, he was an active member of the Auckland Conservation Board, having been nominated by GSNZ.

Les was a very private person and observed principles which he never broke. He neither drank nor smoked but did not condemn these habits in others, and in the forty years of his association with geology he was never heard to blaspheme nor tell a baudy joke. He was not without humour though, at least in retrospect, as told on the occasion when leaving work one winters evening in the dark and sombre passageway of the Otara office. As underlings at the time traveled to work and back on motor scooters or motorbikes, appropriately dressed in white overalls and helmet, Les, the last to leave, shuffled down the passageway in the half light in vivid white up to his neck. His head was enclosed in a black helmet with the visor down and he was carrying a skull under his arm to demonstrate something at one of his talks. Our lady cleaner at the time was approaching from the other end of the passage and on seeing this apparently headless apparition shuffling along the passageway in her direction, let out a shriek, and although Les did not relay the consequences of the encounter, no-one recalls ever seeing that particular cleaner again. Following his retirement, participants on many of his field trips benefited from his delightful dry sense of humour, although some of the more gullible members did not always immediately appreciate his geological teasing.
Les relished a friendly geological debate on the outcrop and would sometimes offer unusual explanations in the hope of provoking stimulating discussions. Occasionally Les overestimated the abilities of the field party he was leading - like the time he had a large party, running across the shore platforms to catch the ferry after a circum-navigation of Motuihe Island. The most infamous occasion was when he led a group of forty, mostly over-60 year olds, up the overgrown face of an old quarry on the slopes of Mt Eden. Les never admitted that it was many years since he was last there and that he got a little lost, resulting in the near vertical scramble that took over an hour.

In 1972 Les married Therese (nee Carmine), who he met on a tramping club trip over Mt Tongariro. They have a married daughter, Myrneen. He was also a staunch member of St Davids Presbyterian Church in Khyber Pass Rd, an association he enjoyed and maintained from his University days.
Although it is with great sadness that we farewell Les, it is of some solace to know that he departed in a manner that many of us would envy. The field geologist, more than most, enjoys the best of both worlds in having an internal library of books, maps, reports, and publications within four walls, and that great outdoors???library of mountains and plains, of rivers and valleys, of volcanoes and earthquakes. This is the field geologists most cherished library, and one in which the history of events that has shaped the land upon which they stand can be read and interpreted in detail. In such surroundings their eyes, ears, and mind are attuned to the ever changing forces of nature, and it was there, at a volcanic outcrop on Rangitoto Island (the icon of Auckland geology), that Les departed this mortal world.

Barry Waterhouse and Bruce Hayward


Frederick Ernest Bowen (1921-2004)

Fred Bowen died on 26th September 2004.  He was one of a small number of English geology graduates who joined the New Zealand Geological Survey after service in the British army, navy or air force (in Freds case the air force) during the Second World War.  Fred arrived in New Zealand in 1949, going to Invercargill with the difficult task of bringing to a conclusion the extensive amount of work already done on the Ohai Coalfield.  With this nearly complete, he was moved to Greymouth in the mid 1950s for the final stages of the preparation of the Ohai Coalfield bulletin.  General geological work, not only on the West Coast coalfields, soon gave place to compilation of the Buller 4-Mile map, published in the same year, 1964, as the Ohai bulletin.

In the early 1960s he transferred to Auckland, where he undertook a range of geological work until the inception of the Mines Departments Coal Resources Survey in 1975.  In this programme, the Geological Survey was responsible for geological work and drilling in Huntly and surrounding coalfields.  He welcomed and mentored a number of new young geologists who were appointed to carry out the work, and ably managed that and relations with Mines???staff.  His experience and knowledge of coalfield geology, gained many years earlier, proved to be invaluable, and contributed to the establishment of an effective team.  Fred recognised the importance of new technologies in coal exploration, and was an early advocate for the application of geophysical logging of coal drillholes in New Zealand.  He supported the development of a computer database for exploration data such as was later used widely in subsequent stages of the Coal Resources Survey. When he retired at the end of 1980, others were ready to carry on the coalfield work. 

Fred, like others starting work among the few geologists in New Zealand in the 1950s, necessarily turned his hand to a wide assortment of tasks, but it is his measured approach to coal work that will be remembered most by his colleagues.

Pat Suggate  and Steve Edbrooke

Frank Foster Evison, OBE, FRSNZ (1922-2005)

Frank Evison was born in Christchurch. He graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a BSc in physics in 1944 and an MA with Honours in mathematics in 1946. During this time he also served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, becoming commissioned and the commanding officer of a radar station. After the war he gained a Diploma from the Imperial College of Science & Technology and a PhD in geophysics from the University of London.

On his return to New Zealand, he worked in exploration geophysics with the newly-formed Geophysics Division of DSIR. He contributed to the International Geophysical Year of 1957 by demonstrating, using surface wave dispersion, that Antarctica was a continent with a crustal thickness of 30-40 km (Nature 1959, v.183:306-8). He gained a Nuffield Fellowship in 1957 and a Fulbright Award in 1963.

In 1960 he became superintendent of the Seismological Observatory, a section of Geophysics Division, and in 1964 he became the Division's director. He was an able administrator. During his directorship, the New Zealand seismograph network had a major upgrade, and many new stations were installed. At the same time he suggested an alternative explanation for observed palaeomagnetic pole rotations, namely that they resulted from the slow flow of continental rocks under gravity (Nature 1962, v.194: 644-46). As a reason for poles' rotation it may have been wrong, but the idea that continental rocks could behave as fluids anticipated such thinking by decades.

An example of Frank's direct approach to science is given by Evison's Wall. In the 1960s, there were many scientific questions about the newly important Alpine fault, including whether, like parts of the San Andreas fault, it was creeping. Frank considered that periodic surveys to test this would have been very expensive. Instead, he arranged to have a wall built across the fault at a location near Maruia. The wall still stands there, unbroken. The Alpine fault did not creep!

In 1967 he was appointed inaugural Professor of Geophysics at Victoria University of Wellington. Four years later he established the Institute of Geophysics. His vision was for an interdepartmental Institute with associate members outside the university, to provide a linkage for all those in Wellington who were active or interested in geophysics. It remains today as an area of research strength at Victoria, notwithstanding many institutional changes over the years.

In the early 1970s Frank began research into earthquake forecasting which continued until his death. His interest in earthquake occurrence was firmly rooted in his view that because earthquakes were a social threat that caused loss of life and suffering, it was the job of science to do something to mitigate this threat. He was persuaded that the Earth signalled its preparation for large earthquakes. If one could read those signals, warnings could be given and lives and property saved. The fact that prediction was difficult, that others tried and failed, and that yet others were sceptical that it was possible at all, did not deter him. An idea must be persisted with until it was proved to be wrong. This persistence led him into many heated arguments. His suggestion that earthquake faults may be 'but a gross form of earthquake damage' (Bull. Seism Soc. Am 1963, v.53: 873-91) enraged his geologist colleagues. Later he admitted privately: "I was wrong, of course, but I had a lot of fun."

His first interest in earthquake precursors was in the then newly proposed idea of dilatancy: that at a critical state of stress cracks would open in rocks, thereby altering their mechanical properties. Fluctuations in a precursory swarm could, Frank believed, be used quantitatively to forecast the subsequent main event (Nature 1977, v.266: 710-712). At about this time he started his collaboration on this work with a statistician, David Rhoades. The partnership continued until the day of his death.

Prediction of consequences from a theory is intrinsic in science. He firmly believed that an assessment of reliability had to be part of any forecasting method. He was so firm on this point that he successfully persuaded a New Zealand Prime Minister that a public announcement of a forecast was inappropriate because the method was inadequately tested. In discarding what he rightly called the anecdotal approach to earthquake prediction and insisting upon what is now known as prospective testing, Frank was decades ahead of the rest of the world.

In the late 1970s, scientific enthusiasm for earthquake prediction burgeoned. Frank helped to formulate an International Code of Practice for Earthquake Prediction. In 1979 he headed a UNESCO conference on earthquake prediction in Paris, and was secretary and later chairman of the Commission on Earthquake Prediction of the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior.

In time, scientific enthusiasm waned; the view that earthquake prediction is impossible began to prevail. The arguments for this did not persuade Frank. As time went by and new data came to hand, the model for precursory seismicity evolved, reaching its culmination with the Precursory Scale Increase (Pure and Applied Geophysics 2004, 161:47-72) in which Frank and David provided 47 examples of an increase in seismicity prior to large earthquakes in California, Greece-Turkey, Japan and New Zealand.

He made a full contribution to the academic life of the university through teaching, research and administration, and was an active member of the Professorial Board. He retired from the chair of Geophysics in 1988, but remained an active researcher as Professor Emeritus. He also continued to make a collegial contribution through social intercourse with staff and students, debating not only science but also the events of the day, politics, music, and any of his other interests that happened to be under discussion.

The news of Frank's terminal illness and rapid demise produced a universal reaction of shock and sorrow. He will be missed very deeply by his family and all his colleagues.

Condensed from an obituary for the Geophysics Society Newsletter by Euan Smith - VUW Institute of Geophysics, and David Rhoades - GNS

George Walker (1926-2005)

The death of George Walker on January 17 after a long illness marks the passing of one of the most noteworthy figures in 20th Century volcanology.  Although George spent only 3 years resident in New Zealand, his influence on volcanic studies here and worldwide was very great.  Born in 1926, he was brought up in London and Northern Ireland.  He studied geology for his Bachelors and Masters degrees at Queens University, Belfast, and then moved to the University of Leeds to complete a PhD in 1956 under the supervision of W.Q. Kennedy.  In 1951 he was appointed to an assistant lectureship at Imperial College, London, where he worked until 1978 before coming to New Zealand as a Captain James Cook Research Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, based in the Geology Department at the University of Auckland.  In early 1981 he took up the newly established Gordon Macdonald Chair in Volcanology at the University of Hawaii (where he was in turn succeeded by Bruce Houghton).  On his retirement in 1996 he returned to the UK to live in Gloucester, but continued working in the field and as an Honorary Professor at the University of Bristol on various aspects of volcanology.  Such a bare-bones listing though does not give a good description of the breadth and influence of his work in modern volcanology.

Internationally, his career had two distinct phases. His first major contribution came from his work on basaltic lava sequences in Northern Ireland and Iceland, with the recognition that different combinations of the many zeolite species (about 60 of which he was able to recognize in the field) were consistently present in specific zones, and thus could be used to infer the position of the original ground surface.  In Iceland he mapped huge areas of basalt lava sequences and used the patterns of zeolite zonation to make fundamental inferences about crustal structure there, showing that it was consistent only with large-scale rifting.  His observations were critical in providing geological evidence for the process of sea-floor spreading during the development of plate tectonics.

However, in 1963-64 the eruption of Surtsey occurred off the south coast of Iceland, and a visit to see a live volcano captured Georges interest to the extent that he changed research direction into the products of young volcanism.  From the mid 1960s through to the 1980s the second part of his career focused on young volcanic eruptions and their products. In general, his greatest skill was his ability to meld observational skills with novel conceptual models to yield fundamentally new insights into how volcanoes worked, covering a wide range of volcano types and eruption styles, from lava flows on Hawaii and Mount Etna through to huge pumice eruptions in the Azores, Italy, Japan, Indonesia and here in New Zealand.  His overall research contribution arose from his dedication to measuring, rather than simply describing, eruptions and their deposits, and using his exceptionally keen intuition to generate major advances in understanding. His work was characterized by its originality and broad scope, and underpins most modern understanding of how volcanoes work. He, more than any other individual worldwide, turned volcanology from its previous descriptive style into a modern quantitative science.

George's time in New Zealand was from February 1978 to December 1980.  The motivation to up-root from the UK (for someone who was quintessentially British) was threefold. First, he had become frustrated by the burdens of administration and teaching at Imperial College (e.g., see his response to the award of the Lyell Medal: J. Geol. Soc. Lond. 140, 329-330, 1983), and the Cook Fellowship offered a unique opportunity to break free and pursue research full-time.  Second, he had visited New Zealand at the time of the 1965 International Symposium on Volcanology, seen (and been fascinated by) the deposits now called the Taupo ignimbrite and had resolved to try and study them.  Third, he had devised a new technique (see below) for estimating the total volume of plinian pumice fall deposits: he had wanted to test this method in Iceland on the Holocene Hekla pumice falls, but was refused permission to work there.  New Zealand offered an excellent substitute (and no permission required) in the young plinian fall deposits of Taupo volcano.

The research contributions George made in New Zealand were on explosive eruption processes in the silicic volcanoes of the Taupo Volcanic Zone.  In particular, his studies of the young deposits at Taupo volcano led to new insights into eruption processes applicable worldwide, and were important in publicising New Zealand volcanology on the global stage.  He devised a method of estimating volumes of pumice fall deposits, using the observation that crystals originally present in the magma and released during the eruption would accumulate closer to vent than the finer ash-sized vitric particles, by virtue of their greater density and limited range of grain sizes.  By measuring the mass of crystals deposited on land, George could then calculate the amount of 'missing' vitric ash that had been blown out to sea.  This technique yielded volumes about 2-3 times greater than those estimated from extrapolation of the onshore isopach data.  He took the newly described 'phreatoplinian' deposits of the Taupo eruption and quantified their grainsize variations and proposed novel eruption styles to explain their characteristics.  He also worked extensively on the Taupo ignimbrite (making it the archetype of what became called 'low-aspect ratio ignimbrites') which defied the then-prevailing ideas on ignimbrites by being thin, widespread and having much of its volume represented by thin veneer deposits that mantled the landscape.  Other studies during this period included the young explosive eruptions of Rabaul caldera, the Rotoehu Ash, the Mangaone Subgroup deposits (subsequently completed by Z. Jurado Chichay) and the scoria fall deposits of the 1886 Tarawera eruption.

Although George's time in Auckland was mainly focused on research, he left a lasting impression (also very obvious at Imperial College and the University of Hawaii) as a brilliant teacher, supportive of anyone who wished to learn, at all levels from schoolchildren to postgraduate students.  A major legacy worldwide is in the great number of people who he helped, encouraged and inspired to work in volcanology. He interacted extensively at Auckland with students in the Geology Department and newborn Geothermal Institute with the gift of treating all questions, even the most stupid, with respect and patience. He taught and wrote in a very concise and deceptively simple style, getting across complex ideas and new concepts with simple diagrams and clear exposition. In the field he was utterly in his element while there was still light in the sky (and, on more than one occasion, subsequently by car headlights), and he had an unequalled ability in showing students how to understand complex volcanic processes using simple systematic observations allied with logical deductive thinking. In turn though, from my experience and those of others, he was quite prepared to challenge existing ideas simply for the sake of reinforcing understanding of how those ideas had arisen, and was also quite at ease with his own ideas being challenged, provided that the challengers had (more) data to demonstrate their case.

Fieldwork with George was a challenging experience, not only because of the intellectual demands and his formidable fitness, but also because of logistical incidents. Lunch normally was a box of biscuits on the dashboard of the car, eaten on the go. He would sometimes run his car until it ran out of petrol - this happened once with me on the Mamaku Plateau; there was no problem as he carried a spare fuel can in the boot, but had omitted to include any means of directing the fuel from the can into the petrol tank. A funnel was eventually fabricated from the core of a toilet roll. At airports, he was a master of the last-minute arrival, sometimes to the despair of his companions. All of us who worked with him were always kept on our toes. He retained a great interest in and affection for New Zealand volcanoes and volcanology for the rest of his life. On his subsequent visits here, he was always interested in new ideas and developments His style and character were unique.

George's achievements were recognized in New Zealand by award of the McKay Hammer of this Society in 1982 and election as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1987. Worldwide, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union. He also received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Iceland, the Thorarinsson Medal from IAVCEI, and the Lyell and Wollaston medals from the Geological Society of London. In 1977, for his contributions to Icelandic geology, George was awarded the Icelandic Order of the Falcon conferred by the President of Iceland, an exceptional honour for a foreign citizen.

George's success also owed much to the considerable support given to him for over 40 years by his wife Hazel, who not only raised their children, but typed and retyped manuscripts (in the days before word processors), and also did large amounts of laboratory work for him (particularly the componentry work for his crystal-concentration studies in New Zealand). He is survived by Hazel, their children Alison and Leonard, and a grandson.

 Colin Wilson. GSNZ Newsletter 136

Geert Jan "Gerry" Lensen (1921-2004)

Gerald Lensen, a New Zealand pioneer in integrated collaborative studies of earth deformation, worked for 30 years in the New Zealand Geological Survey, contributing an enduring legacy of ongoing research into active earth deformation, particularly of active faulting, and mitigation of the associated risk.

Geert Jan Lensen was born in Wyhe in Holland on 5th October 1921. He was still at school when the Second World War broke out in 1939, and when the Germans invaded Holland in 1940. He spent six months at Leiden University trying to study geology, but to avoid being sent to Germany he went underground, moving from place to place and earning money where he could. With time on his hands and an interest in natural phenomena, in 1942 he wrote and published a short booklet on clouds and their formation; for several years into the future it was to be useful when he was looking for an occupation. When eastern Holland was liberated in 1944, he went to England and joined the RAF. He trained as a weather forecaster, flying not being an option because of colour-blindness. In 1944 in London, he met and married Gwen Ostler who was a friend and colleague of Daphne Suggate in the Maps Office of the Ministry of Town & Country Planning in London. Daphne went with Pat to New Zealand in 1947 when Pat was appointed geologist in the New Zealand Geological Survey office in Greymouth.

After the war Geert went to Indonesia, where he was weather forecasting in the Dutch air force. Returning to Holland about 1949 when the Dutch began to leave Indonesia, Geert and Gwen found it difficult to settle, and in 1950 Gwen wrote to Daphne Suggate in Greymouth asking whether they and their two-year old daughter could be offered a roof over their heads if they emigrated - a condition for migrants not coming to a job.

In Greymouth in 1951, Gerald (Gerry), as he became known to geologists, took such work as he could find, in a factory making underclothes. He met Harold Wellman, the foremost field geologist in the Geological Survey. On many weekends, Harold and family would go on geologically-oriented picnics, and Gerald joined in. He quickly picked up Harold's enthusiasm for field work, including his interest in active faults.

Gerald and his family left Greymouth for Wellington in 1952, and so did Harold and his family. Gerald got a job as a weather observer with the Meteorological Office, not being accepted as a forecaster because of a lack of academic qualification. In the Geological Survey, Harold soon needed a technical assistant, and took on Gerald. He quickly showed his initiative, not only when helping Harold in the field and the office but soon by developing his own ideas - not always agreeing with Harold's - bringing together field observation and interpretation. His first geological publication - appropriately on the Wellington Fault - appeared in 1958. More publications on geologically recent earth deformation in New Zealand rapidly followed.

In 1957, Harold left the Geological Survey and Gerald was left almost single-handedly trying to maintain studies of earth deformation. It was not an easy task, and in this period, disagreements among earth scientists as to the causes of earthquakes did not help. He stuck to his guns over faulting being the cause of major earthquakes, and developed his ideas on the significance of the geometric relations of vertical and horizontal components of recent faulting for the determination of strain - initially (1958) he called it "principal horizontal stress (PHS)".He also made important contributions to the Survey's principal mapping programme - the 4-Mile Map - which was strongly supported by Dick Willett, who had become Director of the Survey in 1956. Initially Gerald was responsible for compiling the Wanganui sheet (published 1959). In the summer of 1957-58 he was a member of the Geological Survey team studying the Cape Hallett and Admiralty Mountains areas in Antarctica. The Kaikoura 4-Mile sheet followed (he had assisted Harold Wellman there some years before), and Gerald carried out a lot of new mapping, incidentally drawing a "horse allowance" for the last time in DSIR; that sheet was published in 1963. In the early 1960s his work was judged to be of sufficient merit to warrant transfer to the professional staff - one of the few in DSIR to do so without a formal academic qualification.

The Wanganui and Kaikoura sheets showed "Late Quaternary fault traces" rather than active faults, as discussions led by Gerald had emphasised the need to present objective data not inferences. Later, however, the significance of active faulting in relation to earthquakes was to assume greater importance. In 1965, Gerald was one of a group making the first attempt at zoning New Zealand for earthquake risk, basing this primarily on the distribution of fault traces and regional structure. In 1966, a Geological Survey report on Late Quaternary faulting accepted that surface fault traces were indicative of active faults, for which a classification was provided based on the inferred frequency of movement; it also emphasised the need for the active faults to be considered in relation to constructions that might cross them. Gerald advocated these ideas in relation to town planning for the next 35 years. This report was later updated in 1979, notably to include active folding.

The late 1950s and the 1960s was a period in which many of Gerald's key ideas were further developed: the geometrical relations of intersecting faults, the importance of precise interpretation of progressive faulting shown at flights of terraces, and the relations between faults and earthquakes. A definitive study was his elucidation of the progressive faulting at the Branch River terraces (1968). With some publications in overseas journals, his work was now becoming recognised more widely.

He submitted proposals to the Director of the Geological Survey for an expansion of earth deformation studies, first in the Wellington area (1968) and later New Zealand-wide (1969); these proposals incorporated Gerald's ideas, involved both geological and geodetic methods, and strongly made the link with earthquakes. In 1968, the Inangahua earthquake, with its associated faulting that reached the surface, and Gerald's initiative in leading geological investigations into it, had raised the profile of his type of work. A fledgling Earth Deformation Section, including both surveyors and geologists, was started, essentially a tribute to Gerald's determination.

In 1971 Gerald used a Churchill scholarship to gain an appreciation of earth deformation studies in England, USSR and Japan, and in California where he addressed senators following the San Fernando earthquake. He thus made valuable overseas contacts. In Tokyo, where he was attached to the Earthquake Research Institute, a snowy field trip with Prof. Yoshikawa and Prof. Yoko Ota demonstrated the importance of active faulting and folding. This led to long-lasting co-operation in these studies between the two countries, notably with Yoko Ota who recalls Gerald giving a lecture in Tokyo in which he described New Zealand as a "paradise for the study of earth deformation". This, and Gerald's field observations, encouraged her to come to New Zealand in 1973, studying the Wellington area; Gerald welcomed her to work with his Earth Deformation Section. He gave others the opportunity to work with her on her visits to New Zealand and for them to visit Japan. Although Gerald did not visit Europe and Japan again, his work led to his engagement in a UNESCO study of the Pattan earthquake of Pakistan in 1974 with Prof. Ambraseys (UK) and Dr Moinfar (Iran) ???this work is referenced in the significant earthquake database, ( accessed 19 February 2005) and a UNESCO-funded study of faulting in Indonesia in 1978.

The 1969 proposal for a greatly expanded programme of geological and geodetic investigations was to be the principal contribution from the Geological Survey into a 10-year programme of earth deformation studies put forward by a committee of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1973. Triangulation and trilateration networks to be observed by the Department of Lands and Survey were the other major proposal, and these were established. Gerald was, however, frustrated that budget restrictions prevented much of the work that had been planned for Geological Survey. However, the realisation did arise among surveyors that the shape of New Zealand was constantly changing.  By the end of the programme in 1983, the unforeseen promise of GPS was looming, bringing a completely new capability to attain many of the objectives for which Gerald had so strongly and successfully striven.

Gerald continued to publish through the 1970s. Topics varied from 1:50 000 mapping showing detail of fault traces, surface faulting related to particular earthquakes in New Zealand, and the surface effects of the development and release of strain before, during and after earthquake-engendering faulting. He demonstrated practical aspects of reducing active fault hazard risk in town planning by ensuring changes to the subdivision plan for Totara Park in 1959, and to the layout of the Te Marua water treatment plant and reservoirs in 1979; both these sites are located at Upper Hutt and traversed by the Wellington Fault. He was also in a position to argue for the relationships between earth deformation and earthquakes to the N.Z. Society of Earthquake Engineering, demonstrating his philosophy of a multi-disciplinary approach to research into earthquake risk reduction.

Gerald's last publication was in 1981, the year he retired. Although he had continued his research with interpretations of the accumulating earth-deformation information, with their potential significance for estimation of earthquake probability through New Zealand, he had become increasingly involved in managing the Earth Deformation Section that he had established within the Geological Survey. The staff of this section advanced Gerald's research work, but increasingly undertook the resulting applied work that was somewhat peripheral to his principal research interests, particularly related to earthquake risk reduction for town and country planning and for civil engineering development where active faults might be present. One of the latter investigations, for the proposed Clyde Dam in 1980 and 1981, was a major undertaking that diverted many of the staff from other work. In October 1981, on reaching the age of 60, Gerald took early retirement.

In retirement, Gerald at first simply maintained contact with colleagues and their activities, but when living in Waikanae in the 1990s he became concerned at a proposal for housing across an active fault in the area. He persisted in challenging the local council, resulting in modification of the proposal. More importantly, his efforts led to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment publishing in 2001 a commentary - Building on the Edge: The Use and Development of Land On or Close to Fault Lines ( This recommended that priority be given to (1) development of best practice guidelines for territorial authorities in avoiding or mitigating seismic hazard through the district plan process; and (2) issues concerning the ongoing monitoring, enforcement, compliance, education and guidance under the Building Act 1991. In 2003 Planning for Development of Land on or Close to Active Faults was published by the Ministry for the Environment ( This guideline was the result of collaboration of MfE with the Geological Society of N.Z., IGNS, N.Z.Society of Earthquake Engineering, BRANZ, and EQC. Gerald expressed satisfaction with this collaboration and outcome.

Gerald died on 4th October 2004. He was an individualist, and as such he was always determined to pursue his own ideas and objectives. He drew around him a group with varied talents in several different fields, developing a loyal team that appreciated and tolerated his individualism and his ability to make the most of the resources available to him, augmented through the ingenuity and innovation in which he excelled. He was the sort of scientist suited to his time, and he has left a mark that will be well remembered by successors in his field of study.

Selected bibliography

1958. G.J. Lensen. The Wellington Fault from Cook Strait to Manawatu Gorge. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 1: 178-196.

1958. G.J. Lensen. Rationalized fault interpretation. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 1: 307-317.

1963. G.J. Lensen. Sheet 16 Kaikoura. Geological Map of New Zealand 1:250 000. Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Wellington.

1965. R.H. Clarke, R.R. Dibble, H.E. Fyfe, G.J. Lensen, R.P.Suggate. Tectonic and earthquake risk zoning. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand (General) 1: 113-126.

1966. Officers of the Geological Survey. Late Quaternary faulting. Report NZGS 7

1968. G.J. Lensen. Analysis of progressive fault displacement during downcutting at the Branch River terraces. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America 70: 545-555.

1968. G.J. Lensen. Suggestions for monitoring deformation on the Wellington Fault and in the Wellington region (with discussion on earthquake prediction). Report NZGS 28.

1969. G.J. Lensen, R.P. Suggate. Proposals for earth deformation studies. Report NZGS 41.

1969. G.J. Lensen, R.P. Suggate. Geology. In: A preliminary report on the Inangahua Earthquake, New Zealand, May 24, 1968. New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering bulletin 2: 19-23.

1971. G.J. Lensen, P.M. Otway. Earthshift and post-earthshift deformation associated with the May 1968 Inangahua earthquake, New Zealand. In: Collins, B. W.; Fraser, R. ed. Recent crustal movements. Royal Society of New Zealand bulletin 9: 107-119.

1975. N.N. Ambraseys, G. Lensen, A. Moinfar, The Pattan Earthquake of 28 December 1974, UNESCO Technical Report Rp/1975-1976/2.222.3 (prepared by the Government of Pakistan for UNESCO), Paris, France.

1976. G.J. Lensen. Hillersden: sheets N28D, O28C and P28C. Late Quaternary tectonic map of New Zealand 1:50 000.

1979. G.J. Lensen. Earthquake forecasting, public policy and earth deformation. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering 12: 328-333.

1981. G.J. Lensen. Tectonic strain and drift. Tectonophysics 71: 173-188.

Pat Suggate and Peter Wood. GSNZ Newsletter 136.

Sydney "Sid" Hastie (1908-1996)

Sydney J. Hastie, who was well into his eighties when he died in 1996, was a major benefactor of the Society. He donated a substantial sum of money in 1994, which was the basis for the S.J. Hastie Scholarship Fund. In announcing the establishment of the Fund in Newsletter 106 (March 1995), Julie Palmer included a short autobiography written by Sid. In a nutshell, Sid began with nothing and worked like a beaver until he was 50, and then he sold one of his two farms, put a share milker on the other, and literally went into orbit. He travelled everywhere, with his second wife, Molly. Eventually, Molly got fed up with so much travel, and began to stay at home while Sid went off by himself.

I met Sid and Molly when they attended an Adult Education Field Camp that I ran at Kawhia in the early 70's. My family was with me, and we've been good friends of the Hasties ever since. In his spare time between travels, Sid progressively converted his Te Puke dairy farm into kiwi fruit orchards, selling each one as a going concern when it was ready. He also planted avocado orchards, and many is the bucket full of Hastie avocados that we have enjoyed. He remained passionately interested in geology, and attended many Society conferences and field trips. He would phone me from time to time to ask geological questions, and the last conversation I had with him was early in 1996, not long before his death.

Sid used to say in jest that he was thinking of leaving his money to Te Puke, to build a coloured-light fountain similar to the one in Mission Bay, Auckland. It is good that he was moved to leave some of it for the furtherance of the field science that gave him so much pleasure. We offer our condolences to his third wife, Margaret, whose property near Lake Erie became Sid's home for six months of each year. I shall miss him, too.

Peter Ballance

J. Y. "Jack" Bradshaw (1951-1991)

A symposium was held at the Geological Society Conference in November 1996 to commemorate the work of Jack Bradshaw on the crystalline rocks of southwest New Zealand. At the start, the following two brief addresses were given by Doug Coombs and Peter Koons.

Jack first wrote to me in November, 1973, from Western Washington State College. He was completing his BS, and had studied metamorphic petrology under Professor Ned Brown, an old Otago hand. Jack enquired about graduate work at Otago, and I see that I replied to the effect that if he got his application in immediately, it was possible that he could be considered for a Senior Demonstratorship worth about $1,400 per annum, plus tuition fees. I warned him that this was hardly enough to live on, although some New Zealand-born graduate students claimed that they could. Jack opted to do a masters at Calgary under Ed Ghent, metamorphic petrologist of note and former lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington. At Calgary, Jack met Dave Craw from Otago, also doing his MSc with Ed, and Dave tells me he warned Jack most strongly about Fiordland weather. By 1978, Jack had finished his Masters thesis, he was an experienced mountain climber and wilderness traveller, and we had University Grants Committee funding for our Fiordland research project including money for a Research Assistantship. This funding, perhaps I should say, was later taken over by DSIR. Dave had not put him off, Jack applied for the Research Assistantship, was offered it, and duly arrived in late December of that year.

Within a few weeks he was already hard at work in George Sound and Caswell Sound areas, with float plane and helicopter support and the Department inflatable boat. In that first year Jack did 99 days in the field and made over 200 thin sections. Before the next few years were over, Jack had spent about 55 weeks in the field, of which he rather proudly claimed to have lost the equivalent of half, six months that is, on account of the weather. He made reconnaissances in all the sounds from Doubtful to Milford, and he mapped a broad swath across northern Fiordland. In the process, he greatly extended understanding of the nature and regional extent of the granulitic rocks, work on which had been pioneered by F. J. Turner, and boldly developed a few years before Jack by Graham Oliver. Jack gave these rocks their current name of Western Fiordland Orthogneiss. With Dave Kimbrough, he was able to show that they were Cretaceous in age, and not Precambrian which used to be the conventional assumption for all granulites. Jack showed that the Western Fiordland Orthogneiss had been emplaced magmatically at mid-crustal level and had subsequently undergone a higher pressure event. The mineralogical evidence indicated a pressure increase of > 6 kbar, corresponding to an added loading of ~ 20 km of crustal rocks, and this Jack interpreted to be the result of a collisional event. Jack also clarified relationships to adjacent belts.

As anyone aware of Fiordland topography, isolation, geology and weather will know, Jack's was a major achievement, whether or not all his interpretations survive. His thesis was worth at least a couple of PhDs,much as his MSc at Calgary, I was told, had gone far beyond MSc requirements. Various papers by Jack resulting from this work were published in the late 1980s, and dealt with field relations, mineralogy, petrology and geochemistry of these rocks, and Jack was selected for the 1991 McKay Hammer Award. I am sure that Alexander McKay himself would have approved.

In the meantime Jack had returned to America where in due course he took up a singularly appropriate position with the US Geological Survey in Alaska. There he established himself with his New Zealand wife, Judith Terpstra, but sadly, tragically, developed a brain tumour from which he succumbed after a desperate search for help in the States. News of the McKay Hammer Award did not reach him in time, but Judith made the journey at short notice to the 1991 GSNZ Conference at Massey to receive the award on his behalf. It was a moving occasion.

Jack was a meticulous worker, at home both under the most rugged field conditions and in the laboratory with microscope and microprobe. He was a perfectionist, and a worrier too. He achieved much in a life that was far too short.

Douglas S. Coombs

 At about the same time that Jack was writing to Doug Coombs regarding graduate work at Otago, I was also starting inquiries, influenced by the same Ned Brown. Through this mutual link, I came to know Jack before he arrived in New Zealand and when I returned from Switzerland to the staff at Otago, we renewed our friendship. We shared a number of interests which were not simply limited to driving and cursing light blue SKODAs, consequently, Jack and Judith spent a great deal of time with us while Jack was finishing up his PhD. Jack had experience as a builder and a number of Sundays before his PhD oral he and Judith, together with Dave Craw, helped us build our house at Pigeon Flat.

Jack was an intense person with an impressive sense of humour and was the kind of person to whom rather odd things happened. For instance, while some of us, when having a rough spell with our graduate supervisor might draw a rough cartoon or pen some nasty doggerel, Jack during a similar tough stretch at Calgary eschewed the ordinary, cranked up Calgary's microprobe and burned a nasty phrase about his supervisor into the araldite of one of his probe specimens. Jack duly forgot about his graffiti and about six months later asked the supervisor to take a look at some textures on a slide that he had under the microprobe. Well, the supervisor started scanning around the edge and came across some curious and unmistakable tracks. Jack's description of him reading the graffiti by cranking the left and right specimen drives, remains my favourite microprobe image.

We also shared an interest in northern Fiordland geology. Jack's field area overlapped with a region where I had done some mapping for Graham Bishop and the DSIR. My work had been in "Boutique Fiordland" in the Darrans near Milford and Homer while Jack and others of the Fiordland Cadre worked in deep Fiordland. Fiordland Geology was serious to Jack and he and I had a number of discussions and arguments on interpretation. He argued from a position of far greater strength and breadth than mine and he was right. This proprietary feeling about Fiordland is not unusual among the Fiordland cadre, but when added to Jack's personal intensity, produced a no-nonsense approach to petrology of Fiordland's high-grade rocks.

I was asked to serve as examiner for Jack's PhD and in due course fronted up to the oral examination together with Doug Coombs as Jack's supervisor and Nick Brothers, who as external New Zealand examiner, ran the exam. This was my first oral examination as a staff member at Otago and I went into Doug's office more than a bit apprehensive. New Zealand petrology had long been dominated by the work of Professors Coombs and Brothers and the session looked to be a bit daunting. In an oral examination with so much at stake when one's whole scientific corpus is laid open, exposed, the potential for mild hysteria in the candidate is very real. Nick, who was very experienced at this business, understood this and opened with scientific small talk to put Jack at ease. In the fairly large office, he leaned back and said, "You have referred to this as an ensemble. Hmm, that's a French word isn't it?" Jack nodded. Now, Jack was sitting across the room from Nick and this nod looked a bit ominous to me. Where the average candidate would have agreed wholeheartedly, that, yes, ensemble was French, all right, Jack just nodded. Nick persisted "You have used a number of French words in this thesis, haven't you?". I will never know where Nick was leading with this line, because at this point Jack drew his chair across the room, up to the desk, looked Nick in the eye and said, "Are we going to get down to something serious here, or are you just going to waste my time?". That was the end of etymology for that exam.

Jack was not scientifically malleable. But neither was he intransigent. I am sorry that he isn't here at this symposium for he would have lent spirit, vigour and certainly integrity to the proceedings. As he did with Professor Brothers, so he would do here if he heard my drossy comments; pull up his chair and say "Are we going to get down to something serious here?"

Peter Koons

Ernest "Ernie" Johnstone Searle (1909 -1996)

Ernie Searle had two parallel careers for much of his working life. He was first and foremost an educationalist and remembered by all he had taught as a brilliant teacher. Geology was his other love, but until he was 50 it was only his evening and weekend activity, sandwiched into a busy life first as science master at Auckland Grammar and later as lecturer in science education at Auckland Teachers Training College.

Ernie Searle was born at Karangahake, where his family had a bootmaking business, on August 28th, 1909, but when he was 7 the family moved to Auckland where his father started a shoe retailing business. The young Ernie was educated at Bayfield School and Auckland Grammar and then, in 1927, went on to Teachers Training College and Auckland University College to train as a teacher. While he was at training college he met and became engaged to Grace Hendriksen, a fellow teacher trainee. They were not pleased when in 1931 they were sent to their first teaching jobs, hers in the King Country, his in Northland in sole-charge of two isolated country schools several kilometres apart (Okahu No 1 and Ohaku No 2), but this was the depths of the depression and young teachers took jobs where they could get them. For the hard work involved in teaching simultaneously in two schools Ernie was paid a generous (for depression times) sum of 120 pounds per annum although from this amount he had to purchase a horse to transport himself between his two schools and to and from his lodgings with a local farmer 4Km from the nearest of his schools. However, the area in which his schools were located, the Tokatoka district, with its many striking eroded relics of Miocene volcanic activity, must have fueled his interest in volcanoes. Right from the beginning of his teaching career Ernie showed his capacity for hard work and the value he placed on education, particularly self-education, and during this period was also studying for his masters degree. At the end of 1932 Ernie completed the requirements for his MSc degree with a thesis entitled "The Geology of the Waitakere Ranges".

Ernie and Grace were married when Ernie was able to get a job back in Auckland and Grace was to remain the anchor pin of his life, encouraging and supporting him as he continued his education and career progression from primary school teacher to university professor and maintaining a full and active family life for Ernie and their two daughters Barbara and Janet.

Ernie originally studied chemistry and this was the subject he specialised in as a secondary school teacher. However, Ernie chose to advance his education specialising in geology because the University held these classes in the evening which meant he could attend (and later give) lectures and laboratories without them interfering with his daytime teaching jobs. In 1932, his growing reputation as a teacher obtained him a position as science master at Auckland Grammar and he was to remain there for the next 19 years. But during this period Ernie's enthusiasm for geology was also growing. In 1934 he offered to help overworked Professor Bartrum with the Stage I Geology laboratories. He received no payment but Bartrum was obviously impressed with his ability and pleased to be getting relief from the burden of having to teach and administer everything related to geology in the University.

In 1936 Ernie was officially appointed Student Demonstrator in sole charge of the Stage I Geology laboratories and continued in that role until 1951 when he was appointed as lecturer at Teachers Training College and also promoted to part time lecturer at Auckland University.

It was in the 1940s and early 50s that Ernie had the greatest influence on the Auckland University Geology Department. Bartrum and Searle were the Geology Department during the 1940s. But Bartum was a very busy and rather remote man so it fell to Ernie, with his more gregarious and caring nature, to provide the support, encouragement and academic advice that students advancing in geology needed. When Bartrum went on leave in 1940, Ernie (a part-time Student Demonstrator!) ran the Department and taught Geology at all levels. After Professor Bartrum died in office in mid 1949, Ernie again ran the Department and provided the academic link which tided over the teaching programmes until 1951 when Arnold Lillie came to take up the Chair and establish himself as the new professor.

A prodigious worker and enthusiastic geologist, for 25 years in addition to holding down full-time jobs in the secondary sector, Ernie taught engineering geology to civil engineering students at Ardmore on Saturday mornings, introductory geology classes to science students several nights a week, and adult education classes at other times. For 20 years during this period he also held a commission in the NZ Territorial Army and, as his contribution to the war effort, taught evening pre-entry classes for the Royal New Zealand Airforce.

During the 1950s, from his position at the Teachers Training College, Ernie was also very influential in school science curriculum development both through his practical involvement with training teachers and through his book, published by Oxford University Press in 1958, "The Teaching of Science in Post-primary Schools" and articles on educational matters.

Because he was anchored firmly in Auckland by his teaching jobs, Ernie was forced to concentrate his geological attention on the Auckland district. His great love was the Auckland volcanoes. He reconstructed the Plio-Pleistocene geological history and topography of the Auckland area by studying drill logs "collected" from Ministry of Works and private drilling contractors and supplementing them with his own field work, so that he could understand the relationship between the location of the volcanic eruption, their eruptive style and the paths of lava flows. He also established the sequence of volcanic eruptions. Because of his chemical training it was obvious that he would also study the petrology of the eruptives and their inclusions. Although his more than 40 scientific publications were focused on local geology his research had wider significance and also an immense practical use.

By the end of the 1950s Ernie Searle was becoming well known as a geologist and greatly in demand for his encyclopedic knowledge of the subsurface geology and volcanology of the Auckland region. He kept a register of drill logs and quarries, which he made freely available, and provided geological advice to contractors and local body engineers wanting to know where to site structures and motorways and how to plan tunnels for the drainage and sewage systems needed by the rapidly expanding Auckland metropolitan area. He also wrote volcanic and other geological hazards assessments of the Auckland district in geological and engineering journals and with Les Kermode coauthored an industrial geology map of the central Auckland City area.

In 1959 Ernie was appointed to a full-time position as Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland and was finally able to devote all his time to geology. In 1961 he was awarded a DSc from the University of Auckland for his work on the Auckland volcanoes. However, always the educator and keen to share his love of the Auckland volcanoes, he also wrote books which the general public could use and enjoy. His "City of Volcanoes" was published in 1964 (revised and reprinted in 1981) and with Auckland Museum archaeologist, Janet Davidson, produced "A Picture Guide to the Volcanic Cones of Auckland showing Geological and Archaeological Features" in 1973. He was a frequent leader of field trips around his volcanoes for Auckland Institute members, adult education classes, schools, clubs, festival and conference-goers to show off his beloved volcanoes and raise local awareness in their uniqueness. Quietly and unobtrusively he also campaigned to stop quarrying of local cones and for the preservation of other volcanic features.

Ernie was a superb lecturer. His Stage I lectures and local field trips were legendary. Peppered with wit and anecdote to keep his audience interested, he managed to impart both his knowledge and enthusiasm for his subject to students no matter what their background. Advanced classes and field trips were memorable for his unfailing good humour, patience and wide geological knowledge. As a thesis supervisor he was supportive and interested. He was a devoted pipe smoker all his life, although at times it appeared that the pipe consumed more matches than tobacco, and his pipe was never far from him. In the field he took his pipe out of his mouth when he laid down his head to sleep and as soon as he woke the pipe was reinserted and restoked.

Ernie was also a good and very patient administrator, one who suffered fools gladly, and was consequently in considerable demand for his diplomatic and persuasive skills. He was an elected subprofessorial member of Senate, a member of the University Council (1963-64) and was also Dean of Science (1965-68). In 1971 he was awarded a Personal Chair in Geology. In addition, still involved with community service and educational outreach during his university years, he was a member of the Council of the Auckland Institute and Museum for 15 years and closely associated with the Museum's school service.

In 1972 Ernie retired from the University at the age of 63, with the status of Professor Emeritus to begin a new career in education administration. He was a member of the Auckland Education Board for 14 years, and because of his wide teaching experience frequently acting as their trouble shooter, helping schools and teachers in difficulties. He was influential in preserving several North Auckland country schools closed by the Board during this period as outdoor recreational and educational facilities. He also served several terms as Chairman of Orewa College Board of Governors. His service to education was recognised by the award of the Queen's Service Medal in 1986 and an Honorary Fellowship of the New Zealand Educational Institute in 1987.

On his retirement from the University, Ernie had sold his house in Auckland and moved north to a property he had bought on Whangaparaoa Peninsula as a beachside holiday home when his children were young. He was widowed in 1983, but before she died Grace, who had not kept good health for some time, taught him the basics of the culinary arts, which he further developed (although with a distinct penchant for spicy foods!), swopping recipes with friends and neighbours. He commuted regularly down to Auckland for Education Board and Museum Council meetings and was a relatively frequent visitor to the Geology Department common room. Finally, in 1986, battling the traffic in and around Auckland became just too stressful, and he decided to quit to enjoy the peace and magnificent views of his Stanmore Bay home. Ernie continued to live on his own, looking after himself and his garden until early in 1996 when a cancerous growth on his neck would not respond to further treatment. He moved down to Auckland into the care of his elder daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and John Hawthorn, and nature took its course. He died at their home on December 21st, 1996.

Philippa Black
Geology Department, University of Auckland

Dorothy Hill AC, CBE (1907-1997)

Dorothy Hill died in Brisbane, near enough to Anzac day. She was an outstanding scientist, and contributed to our knowledge of New Zealand Permian in the days when the succession at Wairaki Downs had just been discovered. She grew up in Brisbane, graduating at the University of Queensland in 1928, and proceeded to the Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge, where she studied mid-Paleozoic corals from Britain and continental Europe. Granted a fellowship at Newnham College, she nonetheless decided in 1937 to return to Queensland, determined to expand research at the university. With the onset of war she became an officer in the Operations Staff of the Australian Naval Service, working on codes and ciphers so crucial for the conduct of the Pacific war. Demobbed, she returned to the University of Queensland, and was soon made a temporary lecturer in historical geology, then joined the permanent staff, rising through the ranks to become a full Professor, and, shortly before retirement, President of the Professorial Board at the university. The university established a chair in her honour, the Dorothy Hill chair of Paleontology and Stratigraphy.

No wonder! Her research achievements remain outstanding. Mostly devoted to corals, she was regarded as world authority, to the extent she co-authored the first edition of the International Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, and then rewrote the two volumes of the second version on her own. She also wrote the volume on the Cambrian Archaeocyathids. She wrote an exquisite paper on Permian Productid brachiopods from Queensland that has held prime value, and was widely involved in regional Queensland geology, cooperating with the Queensland Geological Survey to produce a map of the state, and co-edit the Geology of Queensland, published by the Geological Society of Australia in 1960. For many years, she was compiling detailed maps of the local Brisbane geology, including the Brisbane valley. As well she strongly supported scientific exploration of the Great Barrier Reef. With university colleagues and former students, she established the Queensland Palaeontographical Society, which issued illustrated guides for Queensland fossils, and organized the successor, and successful, Association of Australasian Palaeontologists, which publishes the journal Alcheringa. Honours came: she was elected the first (and only) woman president of the Australian Academy of Science, became a Fellow of the Royal Society (London) in 1965, was made a CBE in 1971, and an AC in 1993, and awarded the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science Medal in 1983.

Yet for all these achievements, much of her time, and certainly much of her interest, was centred on students. This came out especially at honours and more advanced levels: these were seen regularly and frequently, with both encouragement, and the challenge to probe more deeply. Many of her students are now scattered through the mining industry, the state geological surveys, Bureau of Mineral Resources and successor Australian Geological Survey Organisation, and universities. It must have given great satisfaction to see how well some of them did: Graeme Maxwell in the course of his studies at Queensland actually discovered an entirely unknown basin - the Yarrol Basin, and issued pioneering studies on mid-Paleozoic brachiopods, Ken Campbell went on to make profound contributions in many fossil phyla, Bruce Runnegar focussed first on Permian bivalves and then diversified into shell ultrastudies, Rod McKellar issued a significant study on Devonian productoid brachiopods. There are many others who have contributed substantially. And pleasingly for her, John Jell assumed the mantle of coral expert, whilst a departmental colleague Richard Orme, followed by higher degree associates Peter Davies and Peter Flood, continued with studies on the Great Barrier Reef.

Valuable assets were accumulated by the department, partly from her own drive, always with her strong encouragement, to the benefit of staff, students, and the university and scientific fraternity: by the mid-seventies, the department boasted a huge library, a substantial and internationally refereed publication series, a large museum and very carefully protected and large type collection, a research station at Cracow, where Dorothy had worked with students, a high-gain seismic station, the usual accoutrements of a modern petrology-chemical school including isotope lab., x-ray mass spectrometer, micromass spec. 602N, wet chemical lab., etc., paleomag. facilities, as well as university resources that included a research station on the Great Barrier Reef. The finest and largest geological library by far of any university in the country was Dorothy's particular love. Many a time, in the 1950's, I recall Charles Fleming ruefully telling me that Dorothy had pipped him in acquiring some rare volume for the geological library. These two had entered a friendly competition, to see who could do the most for their respective spheres of work. Naturally enough, when corals were found by M.V. Rout and R.W. Willett at Coral Bluff, western Southland, it was arranged for Dorothy to examine and describe them (NZ Geological Survey Paleontological Bulletin 19, 1952). She also encouraged and aided Heather Leed in describing Permian corals from North Auckland. Indeed, she considered Heather's effort much more appropriate for this country, than simply sending fossils overseas for foreign experts to work up. When I first met her at Brisbane in 1955, she was very pleased to learn that I was taking New Zealand material to be described at Cambridge. But the reaction was more critical when I told her about ammonoids I had found in the mid-Triassic of Wairaki Downs (with the gastropod Mellarium). Told these were being sent to Prof. Bernard Kummel, she wanted to know why we in New Zealand could not attempt to do them ourselves. "You don't want to remain a colony for ever, do you" or words to that effect.

When retirement came in the early 1970's, that meant an end to lectures and administration, and all the more time for work on Treatises, papers, history articles. Her room was retained, and day by day, she would be there, immersed in great stacks of books - complaining that her memory was now such that she had to check some references. A strong interest in students remained - and she would listen with a keen and helpful interest to honours and advanced students that I brought in to tell her about their findings. She had a vast general knowledge of matters palaeontological, and in sense replaced for me Charles Fleming, who was always keen to discuss and argue over palaeontological procedures and philosophies, not to mention correcting a Latin ending! Small in stature, and remarkably fit into her eighties, you could well believe she had a hockey blue and took part in athletics, and later earned a class A pilot's licence. The eyes remained bright, and the humour delectably dry, and the laugh gorgeously huge and infectious.

As health faded, colleagues began to repay a little of what had been given - though they would modestly deny any sacrifice. In particular, staff and former staff Sydney Hall, John Jell, and Geoffrey Playford would help with transport and with shopping, and later were faithful in visiting her when she was kept at home. One of the greatest shocks I can ever recall was delivered when a colleague temporarily in charge of the department bundled her out of her room and took it over for himself. The then Head of the Department Richard Orme, overseas at the time, was deeply mortified, but found he could do nothing, because it had become university policy to move on all former staff. The Chief Librarian Derek Fielding offered her a room in his central library, but she found a modest niche in the departmental library for a time. She died on 23 April, after a final stroke when she could no longer ingest food.

It is a strange thing, that whereas Australia has been fortunate in having had a number of senior women geologists, at least one or two per state born near the turn of the century, it was very much later, as far as I know, when women such as Jean Luke or Heather Leed took a career in geology in New Zealand - and then, for only a few years, after the second world war. Yet the population of Queensland is the same, roughly, as New Zealand, and South Australia and Western Australia populations are smaller. Women also were remarkably prominent in the geological sciences in Canada, Britain, let alone United States and Russia, as may be seen from perusing Bill Sarjeant's mammoth 10 volume bibliography. South Africa had the remarkable Edna Plumstead. We seem to fall closer to the geological fraternity of India, of all places - long established geological survey, museums, university departments, and few if any women, until well into the second part of this century. It goes without saying that we have therefore been the poorer. But why has it been so? It cannot be that Australia provided much more incentive or encouragement for women geologists - the Australian heroines such as Hill, Joplin, Browne, Ludbrooke etc had such hard times before and after graduation. Dorothy was forty before she found permanent employment. Were they more profoundly moved to explore the planet earth and wonder about rocks and fossils, and so more staunchly pursued their devotion to science, no matter what the difficulties? How strange. Yet that was not only our gain: it was theirs as well, I am sure that Dorothy would say, not for the honours, positions, salaries, but for the thrill and challenge and fulfillment to be found in the earth sciences.

Bruce Waterhouse

Werner Giggenbach (1937-1997)

Werner Giggenbach, died of a stroke while on a field trip to the Tarvurvur volcano at Rabaul in Papua New Guinea in November 1997.

Werner was a classical scientist who, since the 1970s, had played a major role in making New Zealand an international leader in geothermal and volcanological geochemistry. He was a world leader in developing extremely practical methods for sampling and analysing volcanic gases and geothermal fluids. The Giggenbach Bottle - which he perfected - has been adopted internationally as the standard bottle for collecting volcanic gases. He assisted more than a dozen countries, including New Zealand, in developing their geothermal energy potential. It is likely that his name will remain synonymous with geothermal fluids and gases.

Known as an extremely meticulous and practical scientist, he had a firm policy ofanalysing only gas and fluid samples that he had collected himself. On occasions, this saw him inside erupting volcanoes. Once Werner decided that a particular sample might be scientifically important, nothing would prevent him from collecting it.

He created a first when he entered the crater of Mt Erebus in Antarctica in December 1978 to collect gas samples. To his annoyance, expedition team members pulled him out early when molten lava bombs erupted around him. He was hit several times and his clothes scorched, but he was uninjured.

Born in Augsburg, Germany, in 1937, he gained a PhD in inorganic chemistry at the Munich Technical University. After completing two years of post-doctoral study in the United States, he moved to New Zealand in 1968.

Within a few years of arriving, he had sampled and analysed most of the hot springs and volcanic gas vents in the country. Although volcanoes were a new field for him, he quickly became New Zealand's foremost expert in the application of chemistry to volcanology and geothermal systems.

Almost all of his work has become an important benchmark in earth science, but his early studies of White Island stand out as being particularly influential. In 1986 Werner organised an international conference of volcanologists and geothermal scientists at Ohope Beach, near Whakatane. A day-long field trip to White Island looked in jeopardy when bad weather set in. However, Werner successfully negotiated the use of New Zealand navy helicopters to ferry scientists to and from the island.

One of Werner's many gifts was his ability to quickly learn new skills in areas outside his main disciplines. He taught himself gas chromatography and it became one of his main laboratory analytical techniques.

A senior researcher with the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited in Lower Hutt, he produced an average of six internationally refereed papers every year, mostly as sole or principal author. Many of his papers were hailed by the international scientific community for the way they presented new insights which became useful in assessing the origin and magnitude of geothermal sources, especially in relation to volcanic activity. He was about to start writing a book detailing 30 years of accumulated scientific knowledge in geothermal systems and volcanic gases.

One of the many highlights of his career was being appointed a special consultant on volcanoes to the United Nations. This took him to dozens of countries to study volcanoes and geothermal systems. In 1985 he was sent to Colombia. There he predicted the path of lava and mudflows from the Ruiz volcano, which erupted soon after sending a huge lahar down the route he had plotted. In August 1986, he visited Lake Nyos in Cameroon after volcanic activity released a cloud of carbon dioxide that suffocated 1700 people in nearby villages.

Findings from his research have also been valuable in assessing volcanic hazards in New Zealand. More recently his work was in helping the understanding of New Zealand's mineral and hydrocarbon potential, and processes in the Earth's crust off the New Zealand's east coast.

Among his many awards were the McKay Hammer Award of the Geological Society of New Zealand in 1991, and, also in 1991, he was nominated Distinguished Lecturer by the Society of Economic Geologists. In 1997 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, the award being made posthumously.

A steady stream of scientists from all over the world came to New Zealand to work with Dr Giggenbach to gain from his experience. Of the many who applied to join him, only a few could be accepted because Werner did not have time or resources to devote to this aspect of his work. He was probably better known outside New Zealand, and he was invited to address many more international scientific gatherings than he could physically attend.

He applied his uniquely creative and methodical mind to everything he did. In the early 1970s he made intricate cardboard models to help in the design a four-level house for a steep section he had bought in Eastbourne.

On his most recent field trip to Papua New Guinea, Werner was accompanied by his wife Agnes Reyes, also a researcher at the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences. He is survived by Agnes and his first wife Johanna, two daughters - Ellen and Jutta - and three grandchildren.

Peter Englert, Reiner Goguel, and John Callan
Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences