Opening of Marian College and the Consecration of the Chapel

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The official opening of Marian College in February was a joyful celebration of the past, present and future of the College. Guests were delighted with the innovative design and the foresight shown by the Diocese to re-purpose an existing warehouse structure.

During the formal ceremony, Marian College Principal Mary-Lou Davidson reflected on the 13 year journey to get to our new home. She acknowledged the key groups who had made the building of Marian College possible, with the gift of a hand-drawn copy of the Marian tohu/symbol called Kotahitanga. It was designed by Tiana Purdon from the class of 2023 and drawn by Lydia Iosefo, from the class of 2022.

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The celebration and reunion of past staff, students and whānau afterwards, was a real highlight for attendees. Former Deputy Principal, Sr Colette Forde, flew from Auckland to join in the celebration and whizzed around the school with her walker, leaving her student tour guides struggling to keep up. Quickwitted as ever, she shared some of her favourite and funniest memories with current students. They quickly came to understand why she was so well-known among Marian staff and students, past and present.

Members of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and the Ngā Whaea Atawhai Sisters of Mercy were also in attendance. They enjoyed seeing the Chapel of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and both congregations are among the first patrons of the chapel. Past teacher Peter Gately (1989-1990) and his wife travelled all the way from Maine, USA for the opening, having followed the school’s progress via the monthly updates on its website. He said that, despite having watched the progress over the past few years, nothing could have prepared him for just how big the school was. The way the students spoke and acted had not changed and it reinforced for Peter, how Marian “magic” was with its people and community and not because of its buildings.

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