History of the School
A brief history of the School
St Paul’s Collegiate School takes its name from the greatest apostle of the Mediterranean, a man who laid the foundations of the Church in Greece, Italy and what is now Turkey. St Paul built these early Christian communities on a foundation that he knew would last and endure. So too the Founders believed this school would be built on the same foundations and grow from generation to generation.
The rise of St Paul’s Collegiate School from its small beginnings to its present position as a premier school in the Waikato began with the opening of the School on 12 February 1959, at the current site on Hukanui Road, under the Headmastership of Mr W. Ford. There were seven classrooms and an initial enrolment of 60 boys. The boarders lived in School House, which was located where the present Tower Block and Mathematics classrooms are situated.
A number of significant events occurred in the life of the school from 1963 to 1969, under the stewardship of Headmaster, Mr H.R. Hornsby. Amongst these were the construction and dedication of the Chapel, the construction of the Dining Hall, and the opening of the School Library and Gymnasium. The heavy brass cross and candlesticks on the altar of the Chapel were donated to the School by the boys of St Paul’s School in London and subsidised by Old Paulines' resident in New Zealand. The tradition of presenting each leaver with a copy of the Bible at the Leaver’s Service was also started during Mr Hornsby’s time.
Mr A.D. Hart, Headmaster from 1970 to 1979, oversaw the establishment of the Tihoi Venture School, and construction of Clark House and the Music Block.
A major building programme undertaken in 1998, under the direction of Headmaster Mr S.W. Cole, resulted in the opening of the Student Centre, a completely rebuilt Science Centre, refurbishment of many of the school’s classrooms, and the re-building of the Technology Centre.
In 2007, under the stewardship of Headmaster Mr G.J. Fenton, a water based astroturf hockey field was completed, along with a state-of-the-art Sports Centre including a gymnasium, indoor cricket nets, basketball courts, squash courts and classrooms.
The School Arms and Motto
The School Arms were adopted in their present form in 1960.
The Arms comprise a shield in the School colours of black and white, with two swords crossed over a black background with a white border. The sword is the symbol of St Paul: it speaks of his eloquence and of his death. The original Trustees chose to make use of black because of its association with St Paul’s School in London. White adds a formal look. Gold was chosen as the School's third colour because, at the time, it had not been widely used by any other independent school in New Zealand.
Under the shield is the Latin motto “State in Fide”. The literal translation of this is “Stand Firm in the Faith”, which recognises the central role the Church plays in the life of the School. It is taken from the 13th verse of the 16th Chapter of the First Epistle of Corinthians. The complete verse is: “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit ye like men, be strong”.
It is fitting that the motto should have been taken from the writings of St Paul and that it should have a close connection in meaning with the crossed swords of St Paul, which form the School Arms.
Founders and Founders' Day Service
Every year there is a service of thanksgiving for the Founders of the School, Messrs George Ivan Clark, Eric Freeman Clayton-Green, Marcus Rattray Fitchett, Harry Gardner Hall, Neville Irving McKean, Paul Clement Scott Sergel, Henry Augustus Swarbrick and Robert Henry Wynyard. The service is usually held on the seventh Sunday of the second term.
The annual Founders’ Day gives members of the School the opportunity to give thanks to God for the initiatives and foresight of the Founders, to assess and celebrate our progress as a School committed to providing a Christian education, and simply to state before God our gladness to be the current community of St Paul’s Collegiate School.
The School Bell
The school bell, situated between the Music Block and the Administration Block, was originally the ship’s bell of HMS Quantock, a Royal Navy destroyer launched on 22 April 1940. HMS Quantock enjoyed a colourful and battle scarred history, and its service and battle honours were many and varied.
HMS Quantock was reduced to reserve status in December 1945. The ship was placed on the disposal list but then moved to the sales list, from which she was purchased by the Government of Ecuador. After her refit she was renamed Presidento Alfaro and served in the Ecuadorian Navy until 1978.
Before HMS Quantock was commissioned to the Ecuadorian Navy, a family member of shipping company Shaw-Savill purchased the bell from the ship. The bell was presented to St Paul’s Collegiate School in 1959. It was used to ring the change over for lessons during the school day. Originally situated in the quad, after several months the bell began to crack and was retired to its present position where it sits out its days, a reminder of both World War II and the early years of St Paul’s Collegiate School.