Understanding the Past and the Future

Chronology- Marsden School

Three girls from Miss Swainson's School
School Photo - 1898
1. 1918 designed by Mrs Crompton Smith
2. Hatbadge of Fitzbherbert terrace School
3. School crest which varied slightly from 1920-1997
4. School crest 1998 - designed by Lindsay Missen
  • 1878 ~ Funding of Fitzherbert Terrace School by Mrs Mary Anne Swainson 
  • 1893 ~ New Zealand women granted the vote 
  • 1897 ~ Death of Mrs Swainson 
  • 1897 ~ Miss Mary Swainson becomes Headmistress 
  • 1906 ~ Miss Swainson sells the school to Miss Baber 
  • 1907 ~ Miss Esther Mary Baber becomes Headmistress
  • 1907 ~ Navy-blue cotton dress is introduced as summer uniform (with a similar one in wool or serge for winter) Black shoes and stockings, a tie and a boater with a blue and green striped hatband.
  • 1912 ~ Old Girls’ Association formed
  • 1919  ~ Women are given the right to sit in Parliament
  • 1920 ~ Edward Joshua Riddiford Church of England Trust Board meets for the first time.
  • 1920 ~ The School is acquired by the Wellington Diocese and becomes Samuel Marsden Collegiate School. Green box-pleated serge tunic is introduced as school uniform, complete with cardigan, blazer, and brown shoes and stockings. A similar style of tunic of bottle green cotton was worn in summer.
  • 1923 ~ Foundation stone of the new school is laid by His Excellency, Admiral of the Fleet, Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa, GCBM.,CM,GCVO.
  • 1926 ~ School opens in Karori for both daygirls and boarders.  
  • 1927 ~ House system is established. The Parents’ Association is formed.
  • 1929 ~ Foundation stone of the Founders’ Hall is laid by Bishop Sprott. Innes House is purchased from Mrs G.S.Cooper.
  • 1930 ~ The Founders’ Hill is opened
  • 1931 ~ Miss Baber retires and is appointed to the Board
  • 1932 ~ Miss Gladys Mayhew becomes Headmistress
  • 1933 ~ The swimming pool (the frog pond) is built  
  • 1936 ~ Fitzherbert Terrace School closes. The last group of Lower School pupils comes to the Karori site from Thorndon.
  • 1946 ~ Miss Audrie Smith succeeds Miss Mayhew  
  • 1950 ~ The new Lower School is opened on the Karori site  
  • 1951 ~ Miss Ruth Neligan is appointed Heamistress  
  • 1954 ~The Art Dept moves into the Lodge (an old butcher’s shop at the bottom of the drive on Karori Road)
  • 1956 ~ Miss Neligan resigns to marry John Fry
  • 1957 ~ Miss Margaret Ogle is appointed Headmistress  
  • 1958 ~ The swimming pool (the puddle) is opened down by the Lower School  
  • 1966 ~ Marsden Development Plan initiated  
  • 1968 ~ Founders’ Hall condemned as an earthquake risk. Clere House is built to accommodate the increase in boarders, and the Baber Memorial Chapel opens.  
  •  1969 ~ Southern Teaching wing and Mayhew Science Laboratories open. Uniform changes to small green and white houndstooth skirt for seniors and tunic of similar cloth for Forms 1-4, worn with pale blue shirts, a green jersey and green street jacket
  • 1971 ~ Gymnasium opens. Headmistress’s house is built beside the Innes House tennis courts. Board of Governors re-structured as two boards – Trust Board and the Board of Management 
  • 1973 ~ Miss Ogles retires. Mrs Chandler becomes acting Principal. Pre School opens. Boys return to Marsden – Pre School  to Year 4
  • 1974 ~ Reverend Gerald Clark becomes Principal. New hall, library, music complex is completed and opened by Governor General Sir Denis Blundell.  
  • 1978 ~ Centenary year
  • 1980 ~ Art  Department moves to Innes House  
  • 1985 ~ Reverend Gerald Clark resigns as Principal  
  • 1985 ~ Miss Jennifer Button becomes Headmistress  
  • 1986 ~ Uniform changes to green skirts and jackets for all Upper School students (white shirt with a fine green and brown stripe and a tie for Form 7)
  • 1987 ~ Lower School development (two classrooms. Activities room and library) is completed  
  • 1988 ~ Decision to discontinue boarding is announced  
  • 1989 ~ Senior School concept is established. Extensions to the gymnasium (health laboratory and showers) and southern teaching wing (activities room) are completed
  • 1994 ~ Major building development designed by Athfield architects is opened by the Governor General Dame Cath Tizard. Marsden House is strengthened and remodelled for the Senior School and new library opened. Current forest green uniform is introduced at all levels of the school.
  • 1995 ~ Boarding House closes  
  • 1997 ~ Miss  Button retires. Mrs Maryann Ogden becomes acting principal  
  • 1998 ~ Mrs Gillian Eadie becomes Principal  
  • 1999 ~ New Lower School opens  
  • 2000 ~ New science laboratories opened  
  • 2001 ~ Swimming pool is demolished and new Astroturf laid (gifted by the Parents’ Association
  • 2002 ~ NCEA introduced  
  • 2003 ~ Marsden offers Cambridge International AS and A levels. Auditorium refurbishment completed. 125th Anniversary celebrations  
  • 2005 ~ Whitby Independent School purchased and becomes Marsden Whitby  
  • 2008 ~ Mrs Eadie retires. Ms Jenny Williams becomes Principal. Stage 1 of new sports complex completed  
  • 2009 ~ New classroom block opened at Marsden Whitby  
  • 2010 ~ New Gymnasium opened at Marsden Whitby. First Service trip to Samoa  
  • 2011 ~ Christchurch Earthquake. First Service trip to Fiji  
  • 2012 ~ Seismic strengthening begins in the intermediate block. Main School building(except Auditorium and Library closed. Old Girls' Association celebrates its Centenary  
  • 2014 ~ Room 11 demolished in January. Reception and Administration move to the  Swainson Room in Marsden House. Arrowsmith programme commences in the school
  • 2015 ~ Work begins on the new building. Kaikoura earthquake  
  • 2016 ~ Confucius Room Opens in Clere House. Te Manawa o Te Kura opens  
  • 2017 ~ Ms Jenny Williams resigns to take up a position at Firbank Grammar in Melbourne. Ms Margaret Adeane becomes Acting Principal
  • 2018 ~ Ms Narelle Umbers becomes Principal