Terry's association with invertebrate zoology began in 1983 with a chance meeting with two Canterbury Museum entomologists, John Ward and Brian Patrick, who were collecting insects in the mountains of the Craigieburn Range.
They invited Terry to join them at their hut for the evening. Their enthusiasm and dedication to their task was contagious.
A few days later Terry visited Canterbury Museum, met the director Roger Duff and saw the vast collection of invertebrate insect species, which several generations of biologists had already accumulated. They assured him that a great amount of work still needed to be done identifying undescribed insect species and determining their habitat ranges. Could a newly retired teacher of chemistry and physics, with but a little knowledge of zoology, make a useful contribution? A few days later under the watchful eye of John Ward, Terry began as an honorary ephemeropterist at the Museum 2 days a week.
In the 40 years Terry has seen many changes in almost every aspect of scientific research. In particular, communication and travel have been the sine qua non of spreading knowledge and ideas more and more quickly.
Terry is acutely aware that in recent years the project has continued to proceed thanks to his son Tim Hitchings. In spite of his busy medical practice, Tim has been able to undertake most of the field work and associated research.