Painting given to the faculty a gift of history

13 October 2016

Dean Graeme Aitken and Rocklands Old Girls and associates.

On the agenda of every Old A’s meeting, a list of names is read. It’s not a roll call like most meetings, but a list of members that have passed away since the last meeting.

While this may sound sombre for some, this is the reality of being a member of the Old A’s. The Old A’s are a collective of retired teachers who trained to be teachers at 74 Epsom Avenue in the 1940s and 50s before its amalgamation with the University of Auckland. For these members, the Faculty of Education and Social Work is remembered as the Auckland Teachers’ College.  

Members of the Old A’s meet twice a year at the Faculty of Education and Social Work to discuss education matters, the future of the faculty and to rejoice in collective memories of their time spent at the Auckland Teachers’ College and of their devoted careers to education and teaching.

At this meeting in particular, the past and present collided with the gifting of a special painting to the University by the Rocklands Old Girls.

The Rocklands Old Girls, are a collective of women who attended the Auckland Teachers’ College and stayed in the Rocklands Hall on Gillies Ave – a Hall of Residence created for women studying at the Auckland Teachers’ College from out-of-town.

The painting was created by artist Angela Vanstone and was commissioned by the Rocklands Old Girls in order to commemorate their time at Rocklands Hall and to mark the 60th reunion of their association. The Old A’s meeting marked the 30th year since the Rocklands Old Girls had commissioned the painting and as a group they decided they would like to formally gift the painting to the University where it will be taken care of in the archives.

Annette Wilson - President of the Rocklands Old Girls and former President Mary Fraser nee Baigent were in attendance with other members to gift the painting to Faculty of Education and Social Work Dean Graeme Aitken.

“The history of this place is really important to me and this is an important part of our History,” Graeme said.