Le collège dAuckland


Although Wellington is the capital of New Zealand, yet Auckland, built on the Shores of Waitemata Harbour, is the largest, most important, and by far the most beautiful city of the Dominion. The Harbour is delightfully picturesque, while the Hauraki Gulf, of which it forms a part, with its scores of verdant islands, is exquisitely beautiful. On the west of the narrow isthmus on which Auckland is built is the extensive sheet of water known as Manukau Harbour. From the summit of Mt. Eden, or of One-Tree Hill, a scene of enchanting loveliness spreads itself out in all directions before the visitor's enraptured gaze. The beauty of this last, loneliest, loveliest, city of the Empire has conquered the admiration of thousands of travellers.

It was in 1885 that our first establishment was founded in Pitt Street. The pioneers were Brs. Edwin (Director), Damian, Vial, and Jerome. It remained an ordinary primary school until 1893, when a High School was opened; and, shortly after, boarders were admitted. While the Primary and High Schools formed one establishment, want of room, and the many other inconveniences inseparable from such a combination, prevented that natural development which should have otherwise characterised the institution.

But in 1902 the outlook became brighter. Arrangements were made with the late Bishop Lenihan to secure the right of occupation of a splendid property of 14 acres. The main condition was that the Brothers should build a College to provide for the higher education of the youth of the diocese. As the property was a Church endowment, the Bishop had not the power to make an absolute gift of it. In 1909, however, he secured from Parliament an Empowering Act, and had made up his mind to hand over the property absolutely to the Brothers. Before he could carry out his intention, God called him to Himself.

Consequent on the Bishop's offer, plans of the' building were prepared, and, finally, permission was obtained from the Superiors to raise a portion of the building, which, when completed, would cost L 15,000. This portion, forming about one- third of the whole, was finished by the end of May 1903; and in the month of July the Sacred Heart College was opened.

The seven years that have gone by since then have been marked by steady progress. In 1904 the number of boarders increased from 18 to 45. This year there are about 60 boarders and 35 day-boys. As the present building cannot by any means accommodate comfortably such a number of boarders, extensions are urgently needed.

In every sphere in which the pupils of such a College are called upon to show energy, character, and initiative, the students of Sacred Heart College have acquitted themselves well. In 1906, three years after the opening of the College, they secured the Banner in the Secondary Schools Rugby Competition. Year after year, in the Civil Service and University examinations they have gained high honours. Many of the old students are now prosecuting their studies successfully at the University. But, perhaps, what the College boys pride themselves most on is their Magazine. This is a journal of about 50 pages, most of the numbers of which they have printed themselves. There are probably many older and larger institutions that cannot show the enterprise which such a venture reveals.

But beyond these successes the most important end of the College has been attained. The spirit of piety reigns supreme, not ostentatiously but sincerely. The piety of the students is spontaneous. No moral pressure is used to get them to go frequently to Communion, and none is required. The College is no longer in its infancy but it is still in its youth. And it has all the vigour and all the enthusiasm of youth. It looks forward to becoming a very powerful factor in the progress of the Church not only in the diocese of Auckland but throughout New Zealand; and, though modest enough now, it sees before it a future pregnant with possibilities of doing great things for the honour and glory of God.


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