On February 25 1864, the story of our history began when four Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions arrived in Napier and started a convent on Bluff Hill. In 1867 a house was constructed on Ferry Road, Christchurch, and that became the Novitiate for New Zealand.
On July 30, 1884, four nuns arrived in Hamilton to provide Christian education for the settlers’ children. Sister Mary St Germaine, Sister Mary of the Seven Dolours, Sister Mary Angele and Sister Francis of Assisi from the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions. Initially they lived in a four-bedroomed cottage at 68 Cook Street and taught their young charges in nearby Hibernian Hall. By the time the four Sisters arrived in Hamilton the order had houses in Napier, Christchurch, Nelson, Ashburton and New Plymouth. The Sisters had brought 2 acres of land in Clyde Street for 120 pounds and the First Convent Foundation stone was laid on 26th October, 1884 of what would become a wooden school and boarding hostel.
In 1884 The Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions started teaching 30 boys and girls in a hall in Cook Street. The roll increased steadily until all the Catholic children of school age were catered for. They also had a select school for girls. Sacred Heart Girls College provided an education for the Catholic women in the Waikato. None of these four Sisters ever returned home to their own country or saw parents and family again. Our first Postulant from the Waikato Mary Murphy later known as Sister Mary Anastasia in 1889. 1885 saw the new convent and classroom finished. In 1908 The Select School became Sacred Heart Girls’ College as there were big changes in the school system. The school as it is today, started to be built in 1963.
The old wooden building was over 50 years old so the building of the now Euphrasie House started. Sacred Heart moved over the road to the present day site. It was a long wooden building with the Marist Hall attached. In 1959 there was another advance in the educational life of Sacred Heart Girls’ College as it was placed on the University Entrance Accrediting list of schools. In 1960 the Bishops of New Zealand introduced school fees – £2 per child per term. As the College roll continued to grow additions to the College became necessary. Sacred Heart Girls’ College has now extended both it’s buildings and land. New netball and tennis courts have recently been completed and many new building projects are currently underway including a new Library and arts block on Cook street site. In 1980 the school became integrated. In 2012 the boarding hostel was closed.
Mission College Hamilton Trust Board
The Mission College Hamilton Trust Board was set up by the Sisters of the Missions in October 1996. The Trust was set up as they believed their mission work in New Zealand had changed and they were needed in other areas of the Pacific. The Sisters also believe that it was time for the lay people to take over the education of catholic girls in the community. The Sisters vested all the land and buildings employed to operate the College in the Trust. The vesting of the school assets in the Trust made the Mission College Hamilton Trust Board the proprietors of the College.
As proprietors, the Trust has the primary responsibility to ensure the special character of the College is maintained. The Trust is also responsible for the development and maintenance of the land and buildings which constitute the College.
Today, these objectives continue to be met. The Trust funds part of the DRS salary, the College masses, retreats and other liturgical activities within the College. To ensure interaction with other Mission Colleges, the Trust also funds sports exchanges and other cultural activities with our sister schools.
The Trust continues to develop buildings and facilities to meet the changing needs of the College. Sacred Heart Girls’ College is the only Catholic school independent of the Hamilton Diocese and the funds received are used solely by the College for the benefit of our own students.
As proprietors, the Trust sets annual fees for students:
Attendance Dues are set annually and are compulsory. This pays for insurance, debt servicing and major maintenance of the land and buildings of the College.
Special Character fee provides for retreats, liturgies, chaplaincy and activities which promote the Catholic Character of the College.
Building contribution is a donation to the building programme at Sacred Heart Girls’ College. The proprietors appreciate your continued support in payment of this building contribution, which goes towards new building projects and upgrading the College facilities.
(Details of fee charges can be viewed in the fees section).