Former Boarders Honour Matron

September 11, 2017 at 12:02 PM

What do you say to our magnificent Matron who has given 25 years of her life to Bruce House? How do you give thanks for a quarter of a century that has been filled with love and devotion for the young men and women who have passed through her care? How can you let her know that her passion, patience and reassuring motherly presence were central to your life as a boarder at Bruce House? 

Hosted by the Old Collegians Association (OCA), Bruce House was filled on Friday night with former boarders who had returned to pay homage to Matron, Mrs Rosemary Capill, as she moves towards a well-deserved retirement later this year, after so many years of dutiful, caring service at Bruce House. Each, in their own way, found the time to thank Rosemary for all she had done. It was an emotional evening and hugs were aplenty! 

The newly elected President of the OCA, Mr Haydn Butler admitted that this was the first time he had entered Bruce House – being off limits to non-boarders during his day. He quipped that back then, he and his fellow students were always wary of the boarders ‘in case they nicked our lunches!’ Nowadays, with the vast improvement of the meals under Rosemary’s direction, with the equally loved Shobna’s cooking, there is no risk of that! 

Following drinks and dinner, with grace offered by former Bruce House Head Girl, Emma Appleton, Senior College Principal and inaugural Head of Girls’ Boarding, Mrs Suzanne Winthrop addressed the guests. She said that just as the first 143 girls who joined the College in 2003 were pioneers, so were the first fifteen female boarders. It took eight years after the girls joined the College for the Trust Board to make the decision to introduce girls’ boarding. The arrival of girls meant a change in culture, but one for the better and Saint Kentigern is much richer for this. 

Reverend David Smith has just completed his tenure as the Housemaster of Bruce House. Eyeing the earlier male boarders he assured them that ‘the Lodge is now escape-proof.’ The antics of the early escapologists have now been put to rest! 

Rev Smith thanked Rosemary for her soothing, calming words and deep institutional knowledge during his time at the House, ‘You have been a gracious, supportive colleague whose deepest aroha for those you work with and those you care for knows no bounds.’ 

Former boarder, James Hackett acted as MC for the evening, recalling the earlier days when life at the House was maybe a little ‘firmer’ than today and the standard discipline for the boys at the time included a great deal of running! Leonard Powell, a more recent boarder, stepped up and surprised Rosemary with a humorous poem to he’d written over dinner. The final words went to Alan Hartles, a boarder in the early 90’s who said Rosemary’s love is so tangible it is something you will never forget. He finished by saying, ‘This place can build you up, if you allow it to.’ 

Rosemary was given a standing ovation. With one term left to go, it will be the turn of the current boarders to say goodbye later in the year.


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