Hero photograph
Photo by SMC

A Special Piece of Home at School


For Georgia Satterthwaite (Y12) having St Mark’s Chapel on the grounds of St Margaret’s holds special meaning.

To save the chapel from demolition her family bought and moved it to their farm in Waiau and it’s where her and her brother used to sneak into to play on the piano while it stood on their family farm for 20 years. 

Unfortunately, after the 2016 Kaikoura/Waiau earthquake it was one of the few buildings left standing on their farm. Dealing with the devastation and the prospect of a massive rebuilding project the Satterthwaite’s realised a further connection between themselves and the St Margaret’s community. 

For the past 90 years there has been a member of their family at St Margaret’s at some stage through each decade. Both Georgia’s grandmothers – Lesley Johnston and Diana Satterthwaite are Old Girls through to current students, Georgia and her cousin Harriet Gough who is in the junior school. Through these connections the family were very aware of the rebuilding that has taken place when the school lost 85 percent of its buildings and when approached about St Mark’s the “fit” felt right. 

As Georgia explains, “When the earthquake damaged the St Margaret’s buildings it took a bit of history so it’s good that we can give back something historical that more people can enjoy than just us on the farm”. Georgia’s mother, Gina (Gough), also has a special love of history which she attributes to her time at St Margaret’s, “History is so important and the fact that we can give something with so much history back to a school that lost so much feels very special for me”.

The generosity of the Satterthwaite family and the massive support from the community through the St Margaret’s Foundation has seen Stage One nearly complete. “Having a piece of home at school is really nice” says Georgia. And when the restoration is complete the chapel will be a very special place at St Margaret’s where everyone can feel at home.