NCG Old Girls Association





Nelson College for Girls' Old Girls' Association is an active association which currently has around 2000 members. The association aims to foster and encourage ties between old girls of the college, provide a link between old girls and the college and support the college community through social events, fund raising and archival work.

Members of the Executive Committee meet four times a year to plan social events and fund raising to support current projects. Branches are active in many regions. We value the fellowship that comes from our common history as students of one of the oldest and finest single sex girls’ schools in New Zealand.



In 2014 the Old Girls Association focussed on ‘infrastructure’. In other words we spent time making plans to revive our data base of members so we can enter the digital age and contact old girls from far and wide.

We have realised that without a good database, our efforts to support the college and grow the active membership of the association will remain largely small scale.

We’d like to thank Julie Carpinter for her help and advice, given entirely voluntarily from Wellington where as Operations Manager for Volleyball New Zealand  she organises the entire sport. Some of you will remember Julie from the 125th celebrations – she was the very efficient organiser behind the scenes. Nothing would have happened without her hard work!  Michele Hite is about to begin work inputting names and details and we thank the college for their support of her endeavours.

If you are an old girl who’d like to be on our alumnae data base, please use the “contact us” tab on the Welcome page of this site and send us a message.

This year has seen us continue to refurbish the school’s ceremonial furniture. The Assembly Hall table is looking beautiful with a newly finished top and protective cover and the chairs are nearly all complete. This was a longer job than Bryce Vincent of Vincent Renovation anticipated, however, the renovated chairs should now last for another 50 years. Their users, staff especially, have commented positively on the change from insecure to secure seating.

As well as these activities, old girls have enjoyed very pleasant social occasions together, including the annual AGM morning tea, the Spring Luncheon and Christmas morning tea. Senior graduation was a wonderful evening with Old Girls hosting the college leavers at a moving and emotional ceremony.


Communication continues to be our focus. We plan to complete the data base update with the aim of being able to contact as many old girls as possible. Our community lacks unity at present. We would like to remedy that.

We are in discussion with the Principal about contributing to the replacement of the 50 year old Assembly Hall curtains. This may be a joint effort between Old Girls and the College.






Cathy Ewing - Principal

Virginia Hogarth - Immediate Past President

Yvonne Bowater

Jenny Thomson

Annette Lee


President - Karen Price

Secretary  - Tracy Lawson

Treasurer -  Kathy Cuthbert

Nelson College for Girls School Rose



On Saturday 7th March Jenny Thomson and Virginia Hogarth visited the Marlborough Branch to attend their AGM  meeting and afternoon tea hosted by Shirley Hoar. 21 Marlborough NCGOGA members attended The committee has reached an informed decision to close their branch, due to the age of members and the commitment required. With support from the Executive Committee the committee will go into recess until September when the committee will meet for a luncheon. The NCGOGA Executive Committee will work with College to contact all Marlborough Old Girls and encourage them to become actively involved with their Branch. Virginia informed members that she had received an encouraging request from a Marlborough Old Girl who is contacting her 1996 leaver year group for a reunion at College in 2016.



L-R Ruth Cederman (Hendrick) 1937 1938, Alice Kinzett (Camdel) 1937-1940, Joyce Clinton (Haycock) 19387-1938, Pam  Shattock (Montgomery) 1935-1938


Judy Mumm from the Nelson Executive Committee joined the ‘unofficial’ Wellington Old Girls at their annual luncheon at the Fisherman’s Table on Kapiti Coast, 20 Feb 2015. This is her report.

“Each year a group of dedicated Old Girls meet for this very social gathering. This year 39 Old Girls attended. They came from near and far: Wellington, Kapiti, Napier, Whanganui, Manawatu, Blenheim and Nelson.

Like many Old Girls branches, this group is aging but they still enjoy hearing news of the college and it is always great to listen tho their stories of their college years. I can’t imagine today’s students abiding by some of the strict rules these women were educated under!

The Old Girls Exec thank Frances Wyber and Margaret Oxnam (a patron) for starting this social group after the official Wellington Branch disbanded some twenty years ago. Each year Margaret sends out invitations to old girls she knows of and welcomes other old girls to join in. The luncheon is held on the third Saturday in February.

If you are interested in joining this annual get-together contact Margaret Oxnam, 21 Garden Road, Avalon, Hutt Valley. We thank this group for their ongoing support.”


In February this year Cathy Ewing and I were fortunate to meet Sarah Thomson and Ron Hoyland, Operations Manager and Manager respectively of the Kate Edgar Charitable Trust who were visiting Nelson College for Girls to gather information about and photographs of Kate Edgar for a biography. The Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust yearly makes 100 financial awards to women to further their tertiary education ranging from $300 Expense Awards to $16,000 Post Doctoral Research Awards to attend Auckland tertiary educational facilities.  

The Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust trades as Academic Dress Hire, a company which provides full Hire for regalia for university graduates in Auckland and Northland. The proceeds from this business supply a number of valuable scholarships for women studying at Auckland University.  

Kate Edger was the foundation Lady Principal of Nelson College for Girls when the college gates opened Friday 2 February 1883, coming to Nelson from a position at Christchurch Girls High School. She was 26 years old and had gained her education at Auckland College and Grammar School, which was affiliated to the University of New Zealand. Her enrolment was unprecedented at an all-male College – she slipped in by enrolling under her initials. She obtained a Batchelor of Arts in Latin and Mathematics and was the first women to attend university in New Zealand. As well as these remarkable achievements, she became the first woman in the British Empire to gain a Bachelor of Arts degree and the she was also the second woman in the British Empire to enter university. Kate Edgar’s graduation was attended by a crowd of a thousand people in Auckland. She was presented by the Bishop of Auckland, W.G. Cowie, with a white camellia for ‘unpretending excellence’. The white camellia remains a symbol Kate Edger’s commitment to the education for women in New Zealand.  

As our Foundation Principal, Kate Edgar was a gifted teacher, gaining respect from her pupils and the Nelson community. She frequently bought equipment for College herself, often for the science laboratories, when the Boards of Governors declined her proposals. She was joined by her younger sister Lillian who was her Assistant Principal at Nelson College for Girls. Kate was firm believer in Merit Awards as opposed to prizes because she believed prizes appealed ‘to the lower and selfish side of human nature.’  

She married in January 1890 and resigned from her position two months later. Her seven years of hard work had been of immense value to Nelson College for Girls in its formative years. She was actively involved in Women’s Suffrage and Women’s Christian Temperance Union during her life. She was mother to three sons. and died on the 6th May 1935.  

For further information on the Kate Edgar Trust: 


Virginia Hogarth 



NCGOGA oversee and maintain the archives collection at the College.

Included in the collection are photos of historical interest, class photos, uniforms, a complete set of the Collegian magazine as well as ephemera and memorabilia from throughout the school's history and jubilee celebrations.

As part of an ongoing project aimed at preserving the College's photographic record, NCGOGA are currently digitising and cataloguing the College's extensive collection of photographs.

A display of items of interest can be viewed at the Archives Display Room (upstairs from the main entrance and in 2014 in use as office space due to the college’s high roll, however, most items can be viewed on the display shelves facing the upper foyer). For research or other archival enquiries please contact NCGOGA Committee.


Nelson College for Girls Archive Room
Nelson College for Girls Archive Room

Old Girls Visitors Book at main College reception for Old Girls visiting college to sign and record their contact details.

College antique uniforms are now archived appropriately in the archive room storage facility.

Thank you to Libby McCready and Jenny Thomson for their help with this project.


Contact any of the branch members or the College for more information on the Nelson College for Girls Old Girls Association in your area.  To get in touch, just click here - we would love to hear from you.



Betty Simpson



Margaret Oxnam


Jenny Tait



Jenny Rassell

Hawkes Bay

Maisey Sudon



Elaine Firth


Wendy Noble



Barbara Bell

P O Box 842, Nelson 7040 ph: 03 548 3104 email:
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