AUCKLAND GRAMMAR SCHOOL
- The Governor, Sir George Grey, made a series of land grants with the object of setting up and maintaining a 'college and grammar school'. But the trust board timidly waited more than 14 years for income from the land to support a school.
- By act of the Auckland Provincial Government a grammar school was founded and given the old Immigration Barracks in Howe Street and three acres of land. - The following year the school was officially opened by the Duke of Edinburgh. 68 boys enrol, whose parents were willing and able to pay their tuition; and a Cadet Corps was mustered and trained as part of Auckland's defences.
- The growing school moved across to the Albert Barracks in Princes Street.
- Mr Farquhar Macrae succeeds Dr R B Kidd's brief stint as Headmaster, and the following year the school was named Auckland College and Grammar School.
- After being 'barred out' of Albert Barracks, and scattered in three makeshift locations nearby, a new permanent building for Grammar was opened by Sir George Grey. For more than 40 years, Auckland College and Grammar School remained in Symonds Street, on a few acres now occupied by the University's School of Architecture.
- C F Bourne was appointed Headmaster. In spite of oncoming Depression years and lack of funds, academic standards were raised and the number of free places for boys increased.
- With the Depression and withdrawal of Parliament's annual grant to the Girls' High School, girls were accepted in to Auckland Grammar. The sexes were kept strictly separate: "co-education with out co-existence".
- Mr J W Tibbs replaced Mr Bourne as Headmaster. Tibbs 'reign' was to become a great period in Auckland Grammar's history - 30 years which included the completion of the monumental Californian-mission-style new building in Mountain Road.
- Although still co-educational, the School's name was changed back to Auckland Grammar School. By this time it was the largest and most important school in New Zealand.
- A splendid new Auckland GIRLS' Grammar School, long-awaited, was opened on the old Howe Street site; and Auckland Grammar reverted to being an all- boys' school. The school was Spartan and discipline was strict.
- Grammar acquired its present commanding site in Mountain Road - 15 acres of surplus prison land from the Crown - a vast, rocky, brush-covered wasteland overlooking Mt Eden Prison and including a rifle range.
- Following a keenly-contested architectural competition, and later completion of plans, the foundation stone was laid on 1 December 1913.
- Even through the shortages and vicissitudes of The Great War, construction proceeded in fits and starts and the grandiose new building was officially opened 26 April 1915, by the Governor-General, the Earl of Liverpool. Total cost was £31,450 without much furniture.
- Arnold and Abbott, the winning architects, had just come back from a tour of Southern California, much impressed by the Spanish-Californian mission style architecture. This had been popularised and modified in the early 1900's but was based on the lovely mission churches built along the Californian coast in the 1770's.
- In plan view, the new school was a rectangular 'H' with two-storeys of classrooms opening into a massive arched assembly hall. From the inside of the rectangle (at the four corners) rose four square towers each capped with a Moorish dome. arches and pillared colonnades, together with heavy overhanging eaves and Marseilles tile roof, also mirrored the Californian origin of the design while the roughcast stone exterior imitated the thick adobe walls of the missions, such as at Santa Barbara and San Fernando.
- Highly visible from many parts of the city, Auckland Grammar's new Californian mission-style tour-de-force is one of the few examples of this style to be found in Australasia.
- The War Memorial, out front, was begun and the central column - topped by a bronze figure of a youth - was unveiled.
- J W Tibbs retired and J Drummond becomes Headmaster.
- The upper sportsground, a chaos of boulders and fennel, has finally levelled, earthed and grassed - and bordered by a fine wall of boulders from the site.
- The first gymnasium was completed. There was continuing success in both academic and sporting records, expansion to the School Sports scheme, and the first playing of the annual rugby match against King's College on Grammar's own grounds.
- In addition, the first Intersecondary Athletics Meeting was held, and soccer introduced. Hockey had come in six years earlier.
- The year of 60th Jubilee celebrations; and J D Mahon was appointed Headmaster.
- The Library, a Jubilee gift from the Old Boys primarily, was opened.
- Mr Mahon leaves and C M Littlejohn was appointed Headmaster. He was a Grammar Old Boy and previously Headmaster of Takapuna Grammar School for eight years. This was in the midst of the Depression, and the school struggled to maintain standards and equipment. There were shortages of most books and lab materials and sports equipment, and building maintenance and travel were curtailed.
- World War II erupted in Europe, and thousands of New Zealand youths including senior schoolboys went off for training and eventually to battle, for Queen and Empire, in Libya, Egypt, Italy and later, the South Pacific.
- A Cadet Corps was formed, with virtually every boy in it.
- Slit trenches were dug around the building.
- Extensions to the War Memorial outside were completed and unveiled by the Governor-General Sir Willoughby Norrie. Names of Grammar Old Boys who lost their lives, were cast in great lead plates attached to an enclosure of walls.
- W H Cooper became the new Headmaster.
- The Science Block was opened by the Prime Minister, the Hon G S Holland. - The Sports Pavilion next to Mountain Road was built - a gift of the Old Boys' Association and others.
- The rest of the Upper Ground was cleared of boulders and levelled and grassed for soccer.
- A boarding hostel - something former Headmaster Tibbs never really wanted - was opened and named in his honour. Tibbs House was located just opposite the Upper Ground at 87 Mountain Road, and accommodated 90 boys.
- The construction of the Southern Motorway past the school removes the lower sports ground, but at the same time exposed, dramatically, the deep lava flow on which Grammar stands. As you drive out from the city centre, this cliff with the School and War Memorial and column in front is still one of the most impressive landmarks along the motorway.
- New sports grounds were developed, below the ridge in the old prison quarry.
- The Specialist Block was opened, with physics labs, language lab, music rooms, geography rooms and an audiovisual theatre.
- Centennial celebrations began 29 May.
- The Centennial Theatre Centre - with seating for 360, and a sparkling swimming pool outside - were opened the following day by the Governor- General, Sir Arthur Porritt. Both were strongly supported and funded by the Old Boys' Association.
- Mr Cooper retired and Mr D J Graham appointed new Headmaster.
- The large new gymnasium was opened by the Prime Minister, the Hon R D Muldoon. The Old Boys' Association, Parent-Teachers' Association, boys, and Government jointly funded the gym.
- A new hexagonal Sports Pavilion, also a combined gift, came into use for the Lower Grounds, which now include six new tennis courts as well as expanded sports fields.
- The new Music Suite, extending down the slope from the Centennial Theatre, was opened and in use.
- New Art and Technical Block completed at a cost of $750,000.
- Relocatable classrooms all relocated to new location on the raised section of the upper field.
- Science Block Extension opened by Mayor of Auckland, Dame Cath Tizard.
- Outdoor Education Lodge, Venturelodge, was purchased in Ohakune by the School for use of Form 4 camps and senior leadership camps as well as for senior subjects study especially Geography and Biology.
- Artificial sand-based hockey turf opened on the Normanby Road playing field.
- Careers Department relocated to what was the 'Senior Common Room' adjacent to the swimming pool.
- New specialised English Block opened adjacent to the Library and Art & Technology Block.
- Auckland Grammar School won the Maadi Cup for the first time: the Holy Grail of Secondary School Rowing in New Zealand.
- D J Graham retired after 21 years as Headmaster of Auckland Grammar School. - Mr John Morris took over the reins after being Principal of Takapuna Grammar School for almost four years.
- The historic Main Block re-strengthened as part of a Ministry of Education project at a cost of $6.5 million. The Main Block remained out of commission for over a year with assemblies being held on the upper field on fine days.
- The School purchased 17 houses along Clive Road and Barnett Crescent from the Ministry of Justice. Most now rented to teachers at the School.
- Auckland Grammar School entered the digital age with the appointment of a Director of Information Services and the creation of an Auckland Grammar School computer network and suite of computers.
- Extension and refurbishment of School Library began.
- School swimming pool heated.
- Approval gained for building of Hostel masters' accommodation on Tibbs House site.
- Business Manager appointed to oversee the non-teaching aspects of the School. This reflected the impact of self-managing schools policy on the secondary sector.
- English Block refurbished.
- Headmaster's residence created at 8 Clive Road, adjacent to Tibbs House.
- New practice rooms built in the Music Suite.
- Small extension to Specialist Block built; this included classrooms, resource areas and office space.
- Auckland Grammar School Community saddened by sudden death of Mr I D Mackinlay, Associate Headmaster and legend of Auckland Grammar School.
- Health Centre opened.
- Enlargement and upgrade of Tuck Shop.
- New changing rooms built alongside the heated swimming pool.
- New weight training room created under the Specialist Block extension.
- Library extension finally completed.
- No 3 rugby field converted from "Septosemia Park" to a sand carpet field.
- Development Office & Foundation Trust set up to help raise additional money for the School. Three main foci for the Development Office were:
- Academic Endowment Fund to help recruit, retain and reward our best teachers.
- New Sports Complex
- Annual Giving Programme
- Auckland Grammar School went global and introduced International Examinations to New Zealand in response to the School's serious concerns with the new New Zealand qualification - NCEA. The University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) trialled for the first time in New Zealand.
- New 'state of the art' Technology Block built.
- Learning Support Department moved into the refurbished area once housing the Technology Department.
- Two new classrooms built on the 'D' floor of the Main Block which were originally the tractor sheds.
- Lower soccer fields refurbished into sand carpet fields.
- Ground floor of new Technology Block converted into two Computer Labs plus office and resource space. Building won national architectural award.
- Foundations laid for new three level extension to the Specialist Block.
- New Specialist Block extension completed. This houses the History, Geography and Languages Departments.
- Plans drawn for a new Sports Centre.
- Caretakers Cottage renovated and re-designated as 'Augusta House', the new base for the Development Office and Old Boys' Association.
- Auckland Grammar School roll hits 2500 as a result of government enrolment legislation that guarantees enrolment of all boys living in the 'Grammar Zone' of Auckland Grammar School.
- All weather sports practice turf created on the upper field.
- Original Specialist Block re-strengthened as part of Ministry of Education programme.
- Full suite of International Exams offered for the first time: IGCSE, AS, A Level. Exceptional results gained by Auckland Grammar School students.
- Issues with the Ministry of Education over "zone cheats" continued.
- New Sports Centre opened; a magnificent project incorporating a double gym space, three classrooms, a staffroom and resource area and four changing rooms. Mr Mallard, as Minister of Education, opens the complex.
- Original gym (built 1930s) converted into a Study Centre for senior students.
- Contract let for construction of new Pavilion and Squash Courts on the upper field.
- Upper field converted to a sand carpet arena.
- Old Boys' Pavilion and Squash Courts opened by Old Boy Sir Wilson Whineray. This replaced the original pavilion which had to be demolished.
- Over 50 Schools now involved in CIE exams.