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Our Stories

St Andrew’s is proud of the rich history that makes the College the dynamic and exciting place it is today.

Gym 2 Opening Celebrations

Former Gold Medal Olympian Cuts the Ribbon at Gym 2 Opening Celebrations

A long history sporting traditions at St Andrew’s was celebrated at the opening of the College’s outstanding new gymnasium on Thursday 24 March 2016. Former Rector and gold medal winning Black Stick Olympian, Barry Maister, gave a moving address to the large crowd of parents, Old Collegians, staff and students.

Barry shared stories from his time serving on the International Olympics Committee and encouraged students to make the most of the opportunities on offer at St Andrew’s. He said being back at the College, “tears at your heart strings”.

Gym 2 has been built to support an expanding roll, which has reached 1450 students. It also supports the College’s most promising young athletes from the Elite Sports Studies and High Performance programmes. St Andrew’s extensive co-curricular programme offers more than 30 different sports and students will enjoy the new facility from early morning until night.

Architects Wilkie and Bruce designed the spacious new gymnasium, which accommodates a generous competition standard, sprung beech main floor. Other features include team bench alcoves, staff offices and meeting room, student and staff changing rooms, and four classrooms. The upstairs rooms are accessed from a gallery running the full length of the main court space, which doubles as spectator viewing.

Centenary Sports Wall

The magnificent Centenary Sports Wall has been erected in the spectator gallery of Gym 2. This impressive visual display honours the 88 students and staff from St Andrew’s who have achieved national and international recognition at the highest level in sport over the last 100 years.

Of the talented sportspeople to appear on the Centenary Sports Wall, 66 are Old Collegians, four are current students and 19 are ex or current staff. St Andrew’s is very proud of its 15 Olympians, including three gold medal winners: Athol Earl for rowing, Peter Mander for yachting, and Barry Maister for hockey. Five people on the Centenary Sports Wall have received honours from the Queen for Services to Sport.

The Centenary Sports Wall is the brainchild of Preparatory School Art teacher, Pip Dinsenbacher, and is the result of hours of research into the College’s sporting greats. Our thanks go to Pip, our graphic designer Craig Morgan, Museum Curator Alexandra Callaghan and Adgraphix for the printing and installation of the display.

Former Rector Barry Maister and Head Boy Caleb Morgan cutting a ribbonStudents playing volleyball at Gym 2


100 Years of Community Group Support

The Events Committee, Ladies' Circle, Old Collegians Association and PTA are key community groups who have generously supported the College throughout our first 100 years—and continue to do so. We would like to acknowledge their diverse and important roles.

Events Committee

Originally known as the Ladies' Committee, the Events Committee was convened by Mrs S L Wright in 1939. Over the Jubilee weekend in 1966 they dispensed an impressive 11,000 meals. Throughout the years this dedicated group has repaired kilts, made woodwork aprons, provided a stage curtain for the assembly hall and assisted with the interior decoration of Recreation Hall.

In 2000 their name changed to the Events Committee and today the Events Committee are an integral part in ensuring the smooth running of events such as the leavers’ and boarders’ dinners and Ceilidh.

Ladies' Circle

Founded in 1959 by Dorothy Stewart, the Ladies' Circle originally started as a gardening circle. Long-term member Val Wells has provided stunning flower displays since 1975 for both chapel services and the annual prizegiving. An elder stand in the Memorial Chapel, donated by the Ladies' Circle, still stands today and will remain a feature of the Chapel landscape.

The purpose of the Ladies' Circle is to provide contact for the women of our College community once their children have left school. Their popular monthly programme includes special guest speakers, outings and lunch. Any woman connected to the College is encouraged to become a member.

Old Collegians Association (OCA)

Founded in 1920 with the first reunion held that year – a match with the First XV and dinner in the dining hall – Old Collegians still enjoy their reunion dinners in Strowan House dining room echoing this early tradition.

Fundraising to help the College has been an important theme throughout the history of the OCA with Old Boys in 1923 deciding they would contribute to the build of a swimming bath. OCA has helped to re-equip the Gymnasium, donated towards new Pipe Band uniforms and provided for scholarships and bursaries for students to attend the College.

In the early 1990s the Old Boys Association changed its name to the Old Collegians Association to reflect the now co-educational nature of the College. President Nick Letham says, “All our current students automatically become members of the Old Collegians Association once they leave StAC. There are no ongoing subscription fees and it is lifetime membership. It’s been heartening in recent years to see the level of engagement and participation by our younger members at OCA events.”

Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

The PTA have a long history of joining forces with other community groups to support the College. In 1943 the PTA supported the Old Boys Association in the build of a Memorial Chapel. They were also involved with the build of the boarders’ recreational hall (1950), the Pipe Band room (1957) and Jubilee Hall (1966).

The PTA have donated playground equipment, resources for the TV studio and generously supported the Chapel fund. Today the PTA continues to fundraise for the College’s needs and this year alone have donated $5,000 towards robotics for the Preparatory School and $17,500 towards new gym equipment.

The Ladies Circle are an important community group for St Andrew's CollegeThe Events Committee transform the Gymnasium at StAC every year for Leavers' DinnerStAC students enjoying a dinner at the College


The Museum Re-opens

The Museum Re-opens with Commemoration of the St Andrew’s College 2010/2011 Earthquake Experience

For the past 30 years our Museum has been home to an extensive collection of St Andrew’s memorabilia. After the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes forced it into hiatus, we are delighted the Museum is now back with bright plans for the future. We acknowledge the Museum’s collections play an important role in documenting the College’s history.

Pip Dinsenbacher, Preparatory School Art teacher, helped create the new vision for the Museum by curating artwork showcasing many of the beautiful and historic pieces of art the College owns throughout Strowan House. Today the Museum now reaches across the campus and is accessible to students and our community.

Independent museum specialist, Dr Kerry McCarthy, was engaged to lead a three-year plan delivering key projects. With over 20 years’ experience in curatorial and management roles in public museums, Kerry says the purpose of the St Andrew’s College Museum is to develop, document and care for a focused collection of taonga that reflects and promotes the culture of St Andrew’s College.

“We intend to deliver exhibitions and other programmes that celebrate the stories of
St Andrew’s College and its communities to inspire present and future generations,” she says.

Alexandra Callaghan, the Museum’s Curator, is responsible for delivering the programmes and is first point of contact for donations and research questions. Alexandra says
“St Andrew’s is one of Canterbury’s most important educational institutions and, as we mark our first 100 years, it’s a perfect time to really take ownership of our history and make sure it is safe for the future.”

The Museum team is also committed to establishing a sustainable operating model, as well as making a positive contribution to the school’s strategic goals.

“The Museum will embrace innovation and leadership,” says Kerry. “We want to be able to deliver credible and challenging learning experiences that will be accessible and inclusive for a diverse range of users. The Museum needs to have contemporary and engaging activities, as well as enduring and contemplative experiences.”

Most importantly, the Museum will promote pride in the St Andrew’s College culture and create a place where that culture can be understood and valued.

As well as the earthquake exhibition other projects underway include scanning over 6,000 photographs from our extensive collection of St Andrew’s images, and creating a digital catalogue of the entire Museum collection that will be available online for our community to view.

We are committed to a vision of a museum that is recognised as a leading school museum. One that is sustainable and professionally managed to international standards, and, above all, one that is valued by our community.

St Andrew’s College 2010/2011 Earthquake Exhibition

The Museum’s first exhibition commemorates the St Andrew’s College 2010/2011 earthquake experience and highlights the challenges faced and the strength of our community over the past five years. The exhibition is open upstairs in Strowan House weekdays from 8.30am–5.00pm. To book a time, please contact

View our Earthquake exhibition webpage.
Visit our Museum YouTube channel.

We are in the process of digitalising our photographs and so far have completed more than 2500. Click here to view our photo archives and search for an area of interest.

The Museum re opens with commemoration of the St Andrew's College 2010 and 2011 earthquake experienceCommemorative wall of the St Andrew's College 2010 and 2011 earthquake experienceBeginning of the StAC Radio Club in 1941