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‘goodly heritage, proud traditions, cherished memories’
In 1986 the Old Boys on the Scots College Board of Governors discussed the importance of saving historical records and memorabilia of the College. The discussion culminated in the appointment of an Archivist, Paddianne Neely.
A tiny room was found to house what few records were around. The Archivist sent out newsletters to members of the Scots College community. Display cases were designed and built and placed in the main entrance foyer. Soon material poured in from Old Boys and their families. The display cases were filled with treasured mementos of College days. At last a permanent resting place had been found for long treasured items.
Each item donated was recorded in an accessions register. The first listed:
‘86/1 Scots College rugby jersey donated by Brig. JW Mawson’
Since that first entry over 5,500 articles have been donated and processed. They range from school reports, work books, correspondence, book prizes, photographs, Gibb House silverware and crockery, old Pipe Band uniforms, sporting equipment, school magazines, school caps, colours caps, straw boaters, blazers, trophies, medals and badges to present-day uniforms.
Detailed recording of 94 years of records with emphasis on special care and conservation practices have been of major concern to the Archivist.
Early on, a world wide search for Scots college 1st XI Cricket and 1st XV Rugby teams, Prefect and Pipe Band photographs resulted in the original 60 images on the corridor walls being increased in number to a collection of 372. These are now added to annually. With the refurbishment of the Aitken Building (2009) this collection spans over two floors of corridors. The photographs have been scanned and can be obtained through the Archives Collection at Photo and Camera, Kilbirnie.
The Scots College Coat of Arms which has replaced the old Scots College crest, takes pride of place in the reception area. Also on the wall there is the collection of three portraits of the distinguished Fergusson family (two Governors General and one British High Commissioner) whose association with Scots College stretches back to the 1920s.
The completion of the Tony Shelly Centre allowed for a montage of photographs of the opening of this very important building gifted to Scots College through the generosity of Mr and Mrs Tony Shelly. Mrs Lesley Shelly, Tony’s widow and their lifetime friend Sir Stirling Moss OBE opened the building in 2000. A very large action photograph of Tony Shelly, racing car driver, adorns one wall.
Other benefactors are remembered in the library of the Information Centre. Mrs EK Alderson and Mr James Stellin Snr donated the two original libraries to the College. A wall is dedicated to the memory of their sons, former pupils Oliver Alderson and James Stellin.
The Mawson Foyer at the entrance to the Chapel Assembly Hall is named after SCOB Brig, JW Mawson. It holds his portrait and hangs opposite the portraits of the 17 former Headmasters, 11 of whom John worked with over his lifetime. It took five years to locate these portraits. They are framed alike in wood, a copy of headmaster JR Sutcliffe’s frame.
This is some of the Archives work that has been completed. Many Old Boys, their families, archivists from schools throughout New Zealand, university researchers, historians, staff and present day pupils visit the Archives. Requests are fielded from New Zealand and around the world.
The facility has grown considerably from the tiny room of years ago. The Archivist has an office and telephone in the Shelly Centre along with six refurbished rooms (once the Housemasters’ flats) in the roof of Gibb House which are used for the storage of the collection.With the Centennial celebrations on the horizon, more items of memorabilia of days at Scots College are sought after. Please send them in.
The Archivist can be contacted through the College:
Phone: 388 0850 ext 825 (Tuesdays and Wednesdays only)