The excitement is building at Marian College as we get closer to moving into our new home this year. A key feature of the new school is sustainability, and that has been central to the design by architects Sheppard and Rout, and in our own planning. Some areas of the new school are approaching completion as we begin preparations to move. We will be taking much of our current furniture and equipment with us, and staff have been very busy sorting out resources and getting ready for packing up. This work was timely as we were able to donate sports uniforms, stationery, and teaching resources to the recent appeal for Tongan schools.
Our students have been part of the planning and design of the new school from the beginning, and are looking forward to seeing many of their ideas come to fruition (although they are a little disappointed that there won’t be a flying fox on the grounds!) One example of this student involvement can be seen in the special character tohu, or symbol, which has been developed for use in our new home. This tohu has been named Kotahitanga, meaning unity and togetherness. It was designed by student Tiana Purdon (Ngāti Porou), during her Year 10 Te Reo Māori class. Ms Dianne Robinson of Ngāi Tūāhuriri led a workshop for the class on traditional Māori designs. Tiana is now a Year 13 leader, and she worked with Whaea Myra Fidow to refine her design to represent our Marian special character. Our students, staff, and whānau are at the base, with the koru on the right representing Mary Mother of God, and the smaller koru with her is Jesus. The larger koru on the left is St Joseph, her spouse. The smaller koru on each side represent St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and Venerable Catherine McAuley. The tohu embodies our faith journey to developing a relationship with God.
We are blessed to have the beautiful St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Chapel under construction at the heart of our new home. We treasure and respect our history, so the Stations of the Cross and the original simple Mary MacKillop Chapel sign from our North Parade site have been kept. These will be in the chapel along with the tabernacle and candlesticks which were recovered after the earthquake. We are delighted that pews from St Paul’s Church in Dallington are being refurbished for use in the chapel. St Paul’s was our parish at the original site in Shirley, and many Marian families have memories of that church and of Fr Miles O’Malley. Benefactors or Patrons of our Chapel will have their donation recognised by a naming disc on these seats. The new chapel seats 100, the right size for year level Mass and Whānau Mass. The chapel will be in daily use at school and past pupils, past staff, and parishioners will be welcome.
Another feature of the Marian new home project has been the opportunity for our students to learn about careers related to the project. As part of our Careers and Vocational pathways courses, students with an interest in architecture, engineering, and trades visited the Lydia Street site and spent time with the architects at their office. Several of the key women working on our project spoke to our Year 12 Mana Wahine group. They shared their career paths in architecture, engineering, project management, and quantity surveying with the students, who will now remember their work every day in the new school.
If you would like to know more about Marian College’s fundraising campaign, go online or contact David on 022 093 5190.