Stu­dents pitch­ing in to give back

Stratford Press - - News - By ILONA HANNE

On Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 23 stu­dents at the newly named Taranaki Dioce­san School for Girls (for­merly St Mary’s Dioce­san School) cel­e­brated the in­au­gu­ral Marchant Day.

Prin­ci­pal Fiona Green says the day, de­signed to be a day of giv­ing, is named for Ella Marchant, the school’s first head­mistress.

“Miss Marchant is a won­der­ful role model for our girls, past and present. She al­ways gave self­lessly and her con­nec­tion to our school is one of which we are all very proud.”

Miss Marchant was one of the women to sign the women’s suf­frage pe­ti­tion, and Fiona says when their se­nior stu­dents went on a trip to Welling­ton ear­lier this year, they were thrilled to be able to see her sig­na­ture on the pe­ti­tion when it was on dis­play.

Re­cently a de­scen­dant of Miss Marchant left the school a sub­stan­tial sum of money in her will, Fiona says.

“So we talked to the girls about how they wanted to use that money, and more im­por­tantly, how we could show ap­pre­ci­a­tion for this be­quest.”

From this con­ver­sa­tion came the idea of a day of giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity, and stu­dents car­ried out a range of jobs, from paint­ing fences and plant­ing, to fill­ing hand­made bags with items to be do­nated to the lo­cal women’s refuge cen­tre.

Mirei Kondo, Shuri Naka, Cather­ine Hu and Is­abel Lee show­ing the peace cranes which will be taken to the peace memo­rial in Ky­oto, Ja­pan next year by a school group.

Han­nah Bis­ley (left) and Re­bekah Davis were among the Year 11 stu­dents who helped clear the gully area.

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