Monday, May 6, 2013

The Heart of a Great School


For ‘The Heart of a Great School’ by Wendy Pettigrew

That former generations of Collegians built and generously endowed the beautiful building we know as ‘the chapel’ speaks volumes about the quiet inspiration legions of Old Boys and now Girls derived from their faith and strength of purpose nurtured therein.

This year of 2012 marks one hundred years since the chapel opened for worship. It is not, as we know, the first Collegiate chapel but replaced the much earlier lovely wooden one that became All Saints Wanganui East and served that community for nigh on another fifty years.

The chapel is indeed the heart of a great school. It is no ordinary building but one that through generations has harboured the hopes of thousands of students who have prayed and worshipped within its walls. It stands as a memorial to the hundreds of boys who, through war, never saw the fulfillment of their young lives and whose names are recorded there for evermore. We all remember that fine hymn ‘Lift up your hearts, we lift them Lord to thee’ to the accompaniment of the now historic grand pipe organ encouraging every boy to lift up his voice in song. (130)

The chapel means so much to all who have passed through the school and who have been instrumental in endowing it so worthily. Twenty five years ago under the direction of old boy architect Bruce Dickson and with fund raising activities chaired by Stuart Veitch the extensions and refurbishments were undertaken and so sensitively was this accomplished that it is today difficult to tell original from new.

And now in 2012 under the careful guidance of Gordon Craig the centenary committee has raised the funds to refurbish the exterior of the chapel and the now priceless stained glass. Yet to do is the completion of the fund raising for the refurbishment and extension of the now 86 year old memorial pipe organ and then we of this generation have passed on to the next and future generations a great building that enshrines the soul of the school.

As the chapel enters its second century we offer our appreciation and thanks to Wendy Pettigrew for writing this book. Her writings, with the able assistance of Collegiate Museum curator Richard Bourne, have ensured an excellent record of a building that truly lies at the heart of a great school.

Yours sincerely
Donald Trott.