February 1914 Iona Opening Day

100 Years Ago

Opening Day: 24 February 1914.

On this day about 100 guests consisting of Presbytery representatives from throughout the country gathered for lunch under a marquee. After lunch they were shown around the new building. They were joined by another 600 or so parents and friends later in the afternoon for the Opening Ceremony.  Rev James Paterson presided and welcomed the Prime Minister, the Honorable William Massey.  Speeches were made from the balcony, the crowd assembled beneath, at times having to shelter from the showers of rain. As at the Foundation Stone Ceremony, the Hundredth Psalm was sung. Rev J. Asher led in prayer. In a brief address Miss Fraser promised the parents that ‘she would not allow the schooling of the girls to interfere with their education’.

Mr Massey formally declared Iona College open in this way: ‘Iona is a credit to all concerned and I hope it will become one of the most important educational establishments in the Dominion. The name chosen for the college is most appropriate. I hope it will be as powerful an influence for good in the Britain of the south as the Iona of the Britain of the north has been. I formally declare Iona College open. I hope and believe it will experience many years of prosperity.’

The balcony made an ideal stage for speakers at Iona’s Opening day 1914

Iona balcony scene Opening Day 1914

 Guests shelter under umbrellas at Iona’s Opening day 1914

Wet Iona Opening day 1914