A warm farewell to a place we called home

July 14, 2022 at 9:18 AM

In Term 2, we bid farewell to a place that had been home to Saint Kentigern Girls’ School for more than 10 years. Our girls had spent significant time acquiring knowledge, making friends and memories at our school on Remuera Road over the years. Therefore, it was especially nostalgic on the morning of 27 May when our girls and staff walked through the hall for one final assembly.

The busy atmosphere and cheery chatters filled the air as guests arrived. The Kapa Haka team led by proud alumni began the ceremony with a heartfelt waiata, welcoming invited guests, students and staff.

In her address, Principal Juliet Small reflected on the huge leap the school had taken from 90 to 280 girls over the years. Ms Small said, “We have grown in both size and reputation and have much to be proud of. We treasure our heritage and traditions from the Corran days, celebrate all we have achieved together at Saint Kentigern Girls’ School and take with us precious memories.”

Ms Small went on to explain that everyone had been busy packing and will take the best parts of the school with them. Head Girl Brooke Rowntree and Chapel Prefect Sophia Fulford helped illustrate the important things that are intrinsic to the school and will remain unchanged in the new environment, ‘packing in the box’ the school’s values, faith, heritage and traditions, fond memories, staff and of course our girls. And yes, we didn’t forget to fit Year 2 Adeline Scott ‘in the box’ and bring her with us to Shore Road!

Some of the other items that had moved with the girls to the new Girls’ School on Shore Road included beautiful pieces of art, pianos, and outdoor seating. In the Garden of Honour on Shore Road, a flax bush which was gifted by Dr Sandra Hastie and the Kate Shepherd camelia, which are linked to the school’s heritage had been planted there.

“It is the end of an era and the beginning of another. We will always feel a connection to this place and there is a little part of our heart that we leave behind. I ask that each of you take in and be proud of what we have collectively achieved here at the Girls’ School on Remuera Road,” Ms Small added.

The Saint Kentigern Girls’ School premises on Remuera Road will be the new home to Kadimah School and the Auckland Hebrew Community. Saint Kentigern Girls’ School had gifted the school mural and a digital copy of this has been placed in the new school on Shore Road.

This momentous assembly, which was attended by the Trust Board Chair Mark Conelly, Trust Board member Kim McGregor, Executive Trustee Dr Kevin Morris, Head Girls’ mother Jo Rowntree and past Head Girls Jaime Chandler (2019), Mikayla Chung (2020) and Charlotte Lee (2021) was a fitting tribute and celebration of the many achievements the school had achieved over the years.

The orchestra and choir were the first to perform, followed by an apt Choral Poem ‘Journey’ and a befitting final song, ‘So long, farewell’. In between these performances, Head Girls past and present took turns to share their fondest memories at the school, and a video highlighting key events over 10 years was played, before Chaplain Reverend Reuben Hardie came forward to close the ceremony.

It was a beautiful ceremony to remember the abundance of memories and achievements made over the years, one that will be remembered for years to come.

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