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QMC welcomes Boarders

Queen Margaret College opened its doors to boarders in January for the first time in nearly 70 years.

Queen Margaret House boarders explore Wellington.
Queen Margaret House boarders explore Wellington.

Queen Margaret House caters for both international and domestic boarders from Year 9–13. There are currently 14 students from New Zealand and abroad living in the boarding house, with more expected to join during the year.

Queen Margaret House was opened with a Dawn Blessing on Tuesday 23 January.

Invited guests and senior school leaders attended the blessing which was performed by Kura Moeahu.

Boarding House Manager Bronwyn Petrie says the blessing was “very special”.

“I felt humbled and grateful to be participating in something that would become a historical and important milestone for Queen Margaret College,” she says.

“I’m sure there was a sense of excitement and nerves for our new boarders, together we were all stepping into a new beginning.”

As well as attending school and extracurricular activities boarders have spent their weekends exploring their new home city.

“Blair Millar is our Activities Coordinator and she has organised a lot of fun weekend activities for our boarders,” Bronwyn says.

“Walks to the Botanic Garden, a visit to the Cable Car Museum and general orientation of downtown Wellington have been well received. We have been to H2O Xtream to ride the wave pool and hydroslide, and as a house we attended the Waitangi Day and Waka Odyssey on Wellington’s beautiful waterfront.”

Bronwyn is the boarding house’s first manager and came to QMC from England where she worked in one of the top boarding schools in the United Kingdom. She says it is very important for the boarders to feel at home and safe at Queen Margaret House.

The group created ‘The First Footing’ to celebrate the first boarders of the House.

“Painting the soles of each boarder’s foot as we created our ‘The First Footing’ poster has been one of my favourite moments,” Bronwyn says.

“There were lots of uncontrollable giggles as the paint roller was whirled across the soles of the girls’ feet and they tried to balance on the other foot as the painted foot was pressed onto the poster
paper. ‘The First Footing’ now hangs in our downstairs common room lounge.”

Queen Margaret House is three stories with 40 single bedrooms, three lounges, and a large kitchen and dining area.

Designed by McKenzie Higham Architects, construction began at its onsite location at the end of 2016. Maycroft Construction Ltd was responsible for the build, next to the school’s new playground, which was unveiled in May last year.

QMC previously housed boarders from when the school opened in 1919 until 1950, when boarding went out of fashion for a time.