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Trustee Messages

A message from the Patron

D.S.M. Trott, ONZM, JP

One hundred years ago representatives of the School families and communities stood on this ground and laid a stone from which the magnificent structure we know as ‘the chapel’ arose.

Over the succeeding one hundred years, the chapel has been for many a symbol of the past, its joys and its sorrows. It has been a place where generations of boys and now girls have celebrated in song and reflected in prayer.

To many, if not all, it stands as a memorial to the tragic human waste, borne out by the inscribed names of hundreds of former pupils and masters who perished on battlefields in another hemisphere that inspires us to reflect on the values of peace and harmony between all faiths and communities.

The value that old boys and girls place on this special place is reflected in the beautiful gifted windows and furnishings and on the campaign led by Stuart Veitch and other old boys in the 1970’s when funds were raised to protect against earthquakes to the chapel structures, so successfully completed by Old Boy architect Bruce Dickson. This is particularly relevant now with the tragedy of Christchurch where their spiritual symbols have been brought to their knees.

Music has always been one of the great strengths of chapel worship and voices uplifted in praise have been led by another gift from former pupils, the splendid pipe organ. Built by a British firm and installed in 1926 it has inspired great singing through generations, with works such as ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Immortal Invisible’. These are the cherished memories carried by all who have passed through the chapel’s portals.
And now this venerable building and it’s ninety-year-old pipe organ need refurbishment and renewal.

So in quite different times from those of 1911, we ask the question ‘Will we of this time have the trust and confidence to support, maintain and enhance this generously endowed place of worship for the next 100 years?’

To ensure this question is answered in the affirmative, the Wanganui Collegiate Old Boys and Old Girls Association, the spiritual owners of the chapel, has embarked on an ambitious fund raising campaign to carry out, over the next two years a schedule of refurbishment which will ensure the future of this wonderful building and its fine pipe organ.

This campaign is a reflection both of past gratitude for decisions and actions taken to build and preserve this special place and also a reflection of our confidence in the future of this historic school.


A message from the Vice-Patron

Colin Walsh MA (OXon), FRCO, FRSA
Organist Laureate, Lincoln Cathedral

I am encouraged and impressed by the plans to restore and enlarge the organ in Wanganui Collegiate School Chapel.

The provision of a fine instrument in the school chapel will facilitate and encourage young musicians to study at an advanced level, opening the possibility of scholarship in the conservatories of Europe. The planned future residential school is also a vital factor in this development.

I am hoping to see Wanganui as a central point for scholarship, research and performance on the organ and I wish all the team involved in this project the very best and look forward to my own involvement.



The Vice-Patron

Dame Gillian Weir, DBE, DMus
International Concert Organist