Our President in 1896 was::

Emeritus Professor Masson

He proposed the Toast to Sir Walter at our 3rd Annual Dinner on Wednesday 4th November 1896 in the Royal Hotel, Edinburgh. 

Read the text of his address here

Sir David Orme Masson KBE FRS FRSE LLD (13 January 1858 – 10 August 1937)[2] was a scientist born in England who emigrated to Australia to become Professor of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne. He is known for his work on the explosive compound nitroglycerin.

Masson was born in Hampstead (near London), the only son and second child of Emily Rosaline née Orme (she was the younger sister of Eliza Orme, the first Englishwoman to receive a law degree) and her husband, David Mather Masson, Professor of English Literature at University College London.[2] His father later became Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh in 1865.

Masson was educated at Oliphant's School in Edinburgh (1865–68), the Edinburgh Academy and then the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated MA in 1877. He studied chemistry under Alexander Crum Brown (BSc 1880). He then studied under Friedrich Wöhler at Göttingen in 1879 before obtaining a position with William Ramsay at Bristol, with whom he did research work on phosphorus.[3] Masson returned to the University of Edinburgh in 1881 with a Research Scholarship for three years, obtaining his D.Sc. degree in 1884.[4] Masson was involved in the founding of the Student Representative Council. His research during this period included investigations in the preparation and properties of nitroglycerin (glyceryl trinitrate).

In 1885 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Alexander Crum Brown, Arthur Mitchell, John Murray, and Peter Guthrie Tait.

On 5 August 1886, Masson married Mary Struthers, daughter of John Struthers, in Aberdeen.

Text Source: Wikipedia