The College House story, intertwined with the history of the earliest days of European settlement of Canterbury and connected through its founders to Oxford and Cambridge Universities, is a story we can be proud of.

Bishop VictoriaEstablished as the upper school of Christ's College 159 years ago, a mere 10 years after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed and before the University of Canterbury was set up, College House is the oldest University College in New Zealand. Many of the traditions introduced at College House by our Oxbridge founders are maintained today. Formal dining and the wearing of academic gowns are two such traditions and are an integral part of College House life, connecting us directly with the Oxbridge University model.

On College Day this year students, staff and visitors reflected on our history and background, our values and traditions, taking the opportunity to celebrate in the time-honoured manner with a Chapel Service, a splendid lunch with a Toast to the College, prepared and proposed by Alumnus, Dr John Hawley, (1956-7) and with the cutting of cake.

The College was privileged to welcome to College Day celebrations on Sunday 21 September the new College House Warden and Bishop of the Christchurch diocese, Bishop Victoria Matthews.

At the Founders Day Service in the Chapel Bishop Matthews addressed the students, noting the liberating effect of utilising one's talents to achieve positive outcomes. One can be free, even whilst being incarcerated, provided one directs talents wisely and appropriately and utilises opportunities for positive outcomes. A role model promoted by the Bishop as a truly liberated man who shook off the metaphorical shackles of incarceration during his time of imprisonment, was Nelson Mandela, who directed his energies to leadership of others.

The College community appreciated the Bishop's address and we look forward to working with her ahead.

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