Hero photograph
160th Tree Planting Plaque
Photo by Leoni Combrink

Hagley's 160th Birthday

Mike Fowler —

On 9 November, we planted a sixteenth tree to commemorate the sixteenth decade (2008 to 2018) since the school opened in 1858. A plaque was unveiled too, recognising the sixteenth tree and the fifteen cherry blossom trees planted in 2008 at the 150th celebrations, each representing a decade of education at this school.

Those trees recognise both everyone who has been or is a part of what is our place, as well as our whakapapa as a school:

  • Hagley Community College, Te Puna Wai O Waipapa 1992 - 2018
  • Hagley High School 1966 - 1991
  • Christchurch West High School 1936 – 1965 and Christchurch Technical College 1906 - 1965
  • West Christchurch District High School 1904 - 1935
  • West Christchurch School 1883 – 1903
  • Christchurch West Borough School 1874 -1882
  • Christchurch High School 1858 -1873

For us, there is a really important link that takes us back 160 years. That link is as relevant now as it was in 1858, as we go into a period now that will see Hagley transform itself again during our redevelopment.

The school established in 1858 by Charles Fraser that sits at the top of Hagley’s family tree was to offer – and I quote from its original mandate – “a broad curriculum that allows students across Christchurch to access a relevant education designed around their individual needs”. As we look to our future, those words continue to have a major impact on the Hagley to come. That’s a great tradition. It’s a different tradition though – it’s a tradition of being relevant, of wanting the best and doing the best for each individual. It’s reflected in our whakatauki: ka puāwai te koru, ka puāwai te tangata – as the koru opens, so too does the person.

Some observant readers may have noticed that the tree planting ceremony took place indoors! The weather did not behave on the day (it was 5°C at 3pm and raining heavily), so in true Hagley style the tree had to be 'planted' in a container, and has since been properly planted outside.