November 8th 2019 is an auspicious date for the Isle of Wight Natural History & Archaeological Society as it marks 100 years since the very first meeting held in Newport in 1919.
The Society we know today was established by Frank Morey, but there was in fact an earlier version founded by Rev. Daniel Tyerman which had it continued – would have been one of the oldest such Societies in the World! Meetings of this earlier version were held at the Isle of Wight Institution (now the County Club above Monsoon in the High Street).
Daniel Tyerman came to be the minister of the former chapel where Caffé Isola is now located, where a commemorative plaque can be seen inside.
The inaugural meeting of the IWNHAS as we know it took place at 6pm on November 8th 1919 in the Lecture Hall of the Newport Literary Society, 30 Quay Street, Newport (this building is now disused). Mr James Groves was elected ‘Chair’ and around 50 people attended, of exactly 100 which had agreed to join The Society as Foundation Members.
The first year was a busy one with 11 General Meetings with exhibits, 10 Field Trips, 5 Exhibitions, 1 Fungus Foray and 2 General Meetings!
The Society continues to run a diverse, busy programme of meetings and events annually with membership of around 400 – long may it continue!