Torch - Fall 2013

The House System Another tradition that continues to strengthen the school’s community ties is the House system. It was first established in 1929 by Second Principal Marian Wood as the basis for the organization of the Boarding School. In 1931, by popular demand, day school students adopted the House System too, as it encouraged cooperation and school spirit. Today, every student, Old Girl, administrator, faculty and staff member is connected to one the 10 Houses, which have been named after women who have made outstanding contributions to the life of the school. Havergal Houses

• Frances Ridley (Havergal)—founded in 1929: this outstanding early Victorian era woman was a positive female role model, composer, poet, author and humanitarian. Havergal College is named after her. • Ellen Knox—founded in 1929: Havergal’s First Principal for the first 30 years (1894 to 1924); Miss Knox laid the foundation for the school’s traditions and character. • MarianWood—founded in 1929: a member of the Havergal faculty for 39 years; Havergal’s Second Principal (1924 to 1937). • Kate Leonard—founded in 1936: a donor. The Leonard Foundation bequeathed a significant gift of $40,000 and mining stocks worth more than $100,000 to the school. This gift allowed the school to remain viable even at the end of the Great Depression. • Margaret Taylor—founded in 1939: named in memory of the wife of Reverend Dr. William Taylor, Chairman of the Board of Governors (1926 to 1951). • Edith Nainby—founded in 1942: an admired teacher at Havergal for 41 years (1896 to 1937). • Agnes Hansen —founded in 1979: a beloved Senior House Mother in the Boarding School and school nurse for 40 years (1930 to 1970). • Catherine Steele—founded in 1979: an Old Girl (Class of 1928), faculty member (1934 to 1939) and Havergal’s beloved Fourth Principal (1952 to 1972). • Mary Dennys—founded in 1996: an Old Girl (Class of 1940), teacher and Havergal’s Sixth Principal (1975 to 1985). • Marcelle De Freitas—founded in 1996: a beloved teacher for 40 years (1944 to 1984). Until 1954, the Junior School was organized under a different House System, using names of Native tribes. Today, all students are in the same House system. Grade 6 students lead the Houses in the Junior School and elected Grade 12 House Captains lead the Houses in the Upper School. Students earn points for their Houses by showing improvement, demonstrating House spirit, performing special services or taking on additional responsibilities during their life at school. The House with the greatest number of points at the end of the academic year wins the House Banner, which was first awarded in 1943 to Margaret Taylor House. The House Banner is the most coveted group award of the school year and the banners are on display in the Brenda Robson Hall. Thank you to Brenda Robson, Debra Latcham (Archival Technician) and The Reverend Susan Bell for their contributions to this article. This is the first in a series of articles about Havergal traditions. Learn more in future issues of The Torch .

Agnes Hansen House at House Shout May 2013

Top photo: Upper School students hold Havergal’s House Banner Middle photos from left to right: Mary Dennys, Agnes Hansen, Catherine Steele Bottom photo: Havergal’s First Principal, Ellen Knox


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