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Thursday October 1, 2015

School celebrates 90 years By Nikki Papatsoumas

QUEEN’S GUIDE AWARDS: Best friends Priya Clark and Emily Wood were awarded for their services to Girl Guiding last week.

Girl Guides honoured with top awards By Nikki Papatsoumas

Tonnes of hard work and dedication paid off for two young girls who received the top award in Girl Guiding at a special ceremony last week. Priya Clark and Emily Wood received Queen’s Guide Awards for their work with the organisation last Wednesday. The 17-year-olds started as Pippins when they were five-years-old. They are now both Girl Guide rangers and leaders for the Island Bay District. Priya and Emily have been working towards their Queen’s Guide Awards since starting as Pippins. To get the award the girls had to complete leadership programmes, carry out countless hours of service to the community and gain certificates across a variety of activities including contemporary issues, health and faith.

This year Wellington East Girls’ College will celebrate 90 years of educating young women in the capital. The school’s 90th reunion has been organised by the Old Girls Association, who have recently re-named themselves ‘Once Were Easters’. Wellington East Girls’ College first opened its doors to students in 1925. At this time the school was called Mount Victoria Girls’ School, but because of confusion with Victoria University College, the name was soon changed. Margie Wheeler, who helped organise the event and is a former student herself, says there are many reasons to celebrate at the reunion, which will take place over Labour Weekend. Not only have the girls been achieving some great results academically, the school itself is undergoing a huge transformation. The main building of the college was closed down several years ago due to earthquake risk. Although the vestibule of the old building will survive reconstruction, this may be the

last chance for former students to see the old building before work is completed, she says. “They will still be able to see the bones of the old school.” Margie says girls from every decade have registered to be part of the reunion which will begin on Friday, October 22 with a mix and mingle event at the school. The following day more events will be held on school grounds, before a dinner that evening at The Pines near Houghton Bay. Margie says the school’s “spirit” is what makes it so special. “There is something about community, even girls through the years… they may take different subjects and streams but when you get them together there is always some sort of connection, it’s a shared community.” So far more than 200 old girls have signed up to be part of the reunion and Margie is encouraging more former students to get involved.  Wellington East Girls’ College 90th Reunion, October 23 and 24. For more information head to the reunion Facebook page: Wellington East Girls' College - 90th Reunion Weekend

FORMER GLORY: Former students of Wellington East will remember the school’s quad which has been closed down as part of on-going renovations.

The best friends say they are absolutely thrilled to see all their hard work pay off. “It was really exciting and it was a relief as well because all the hard work we put into it paid off,” says Wellington East Girls’ College student Priya. “It has helped me be a better person and prepared me for what is after.” Emily, who goes to Marsden College, says Girl Guiding has taught her lots of life skills. “People tend to lose motivation and interest but I don’t think they realise how much it benefits them in the end,” Emily says. “We both feel much more confident for it.” The girls say it is great to be able to share the journey together. “We were just so happy we got it at the same time and got to share this moment, it made it a lot more special.”


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