Former Victory Memorial School

Victory Memorial School

Victory Memorial School being demolished in 2013.

Victory Memorial School was built in place of the existing St Matthew’s Church Day School in Springfield Road, St Albans, as a memorial to the fallen soldiers of the Christchurch Anglican diocese. On 7 May 1921 the Bishop of Christchurch laid the foundation stone of the new building. It was formally opened on 10 June 1922.

Victory Memorial School was one of just two memorial schools built in New Zealand after the First World War. The other was a Catholic school, St Mary’s Memorial School in Manchester Street, which was opened later in the same year

The Victory Memorial School building, designed by the architects J.S. and M.J. Guthrie, consisted of five classrooms, cloakrooms, conveniences and a memorial hall. The hall contained a tablet made from Tasmanian blackwood inscribed with the names of the diocese’s fallen. (The list of names may not have been comprehensive, since it was compiled not by canvassing but simply by accepting any names submitted).

Victory Memorial School was closed in 1966 because of a falling roll. St Margaret’s College continued to run a school on the site for some years. This was succeeded by a Rudolf Steiner School. In 1982 the building was sold to the Full Gospel Fellowship, later renamed the Beulah Christian Fellowship, which continued to use the building as a Sunday School, crèche and meeting venue. 

The building suffered earthquake damage in February 2011, and was demolished in September 2013. The roll of honour had been removed some years before and its whereabouts is unknown. 

Sources: ‘Victory Memorial School: Laying of the Foundation Stone’, Press, 6/5/1921, p. 6; ‘The Victory Memorial School’ [letter], Press, 19/4/1922, p. 8; ‘Victory Memorial School To Be Opened on Sunday’, Press, 5/6/1922, p. 2; ‘Victory School To Be Opened To-morrow’, Press, 9/6/1922, p. St Matthew’s Church Day School, Now Victory Memorial Primary Day School: Seventy-fifth Anniversary, Christchurch, 1959, [pp. 3-5]; ‘Victory Memorial School’, New Zealand Historic Places Trust, [2001]. 

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