OGA > Latest news

"My Year with Helen" Film Fundraiser event

On Monday 28th August the OGA held its first Film Fundraiser event at the Rialto Cinema. The evening was a huge success, with a full house. It was particularly fitting that the selected film was about EGGS Old Girl Helen Clark. My Year With Helen is a documentary which gives a motivating and thoroughly engaging insight into Helen’s life in the UN and her bid for the top job, as well as time spent at home with her father. Shown recently at the NZ International Film Festival, the film conveys how tough it is to break glass ceilings and goes on general release on Thursday 31st August. Highly recommended.

Those who attended had an opportunity to mix and mingle beforehand over nibbles and wine and, prior to the screening, a number of spot prizes were presented.

We’d like to thank our sponsors who joined us for the evening, Craigs Investment Partners and Aria Park Retirement Village. Thanks also to Selina Joe, who was a researcher at the New Zealand Film Commission, and staff at Rialto Cinemas for enabling this special advance screening and providing tickets for prizes, and the team at Fuse Creative for assisting with the promotional material.

Thank you to all OGA Committee members and helpers who played key parts in bringing this very successful event together, with special appreciation to Virginia Bishop. This event was a sell-out, and will become a standing fundraiser event for the OGA – get in quick next time!

OGA Co-President Sally Blyth with
Principal Lorraine Pound
OGA Co-President Lynley Sheweiry with
Brett and Virginia  Bishop

Deputy Principal Tric Milner, Fiona Cottam (OGA), Virginia Bishop and 
Hyrum-Daniel Dennis, Village Manager at Aria Park Retirement Village



Lynley and Sally at the Gala Dinner

The main focus for the OGA over the past year has been the Centenary, and a series of very successful events were held over the period 5th to 9th April 2017 which many Old Girls attended and enjoyed. A highlight was the Gala Dinner at the Langham where our excellent guest speaker was Founder Lisa Harrow. We also had the privilege of a special video message from Helen Clark who was unable to attend in person. It was an elegant and memorable occasion.

The OGA will celebrate 100 years in 2019 and we’ll be turning our attention to that in due course.


2017 Founders Assembly

On Tuesday 20th June, the OGA had the pleasure of honouring three past students as Founders of the School at a special Founders Assembly.

The 2017 recipients are:
Dr Erica Whineray – Medicine
Dr ‘Ana Maui Taufe'ulungaki – Academics and Politics
Mavis Fenelon – Community Service

It is always wonderful to acknowledge special Old Girls who have achieved highly in their chosen fields and this year’s recipients certainly fulfil the criteria, across three very different domains.

2016 Founders Awards

On Tuesday 14th June, the OGA honoured three past students as Founders of the school at a special Founders Assembly.

Judge Heather Simpson, CNZM    Anne Norman, CNZM     Dr Michele Cox 


Judge Heather Simpson, CNZM – Law - Heather has been a District Court Judge, with special designation in the Youth Court, and is also a member of the Baha’i faith. In accepting her award and addressing the girls, Heather cited the huge range of career opportunities available for women now that were much harder to access in earlier years and encouraged the girls to find something they love and go for it.

Anne Norman, CNZM – Business - Owner of one of the country’s leading retail businesses, together with her husband, Anne took up the various opportunities that presented themselves to her upon leaving school, successfully combining her business prowess and family commitments. Speaking to the girls, Anne said she wasn’t fond of her schooldays but it was a difficult time for her as she dealt with her mother’s illness and early death. Anne shared with the girls her passion for retail as a career choice that combines so many skills that apply to business and life.

Dr Michele Cox – Sport - Michele has a diverse skill set acquired through the years, with a focus on social development within the sports arena. She was New Zealand’s first professional soccer player, playing in Germany at a young age and going on to work for FIFA and other football organisations in various capacities. Michele currently lives and works in Switzerland and was unable to attend the assembly, but sent a video address which focussed on how she had overcome criticisms and challenges and continued to follow her passion despite that.

All three Founders were thrilled to receive their award, each one an inspiration of what can be achieved across a range of careers.

95th Annual General Meeting

The 95th Annual General Meeting of the Old Girls Association was held at the School on 13 June. The meeting acknowledged the hard work of the outgoing Co-President Kathryn Seagrave. A new Committee was elected with Sally Blyth and Lynley Banbury-Sheweiry as Co-Presidents. We also welcomed new members Katharine Collins and Bridget Sullivan-taylor onto the Committee.

The OGA was very pleased to recognise recently retired EGGS Principal Madeline Gunn and the former Manager of the EGGS Foundation Office Mark Rakich with Honorary Membership of the Old Girls Association. The recognition is for their service to the School and OGA and in helping to achieve the completion of Stage 2 of the newly opened EGGS Joyce Fisher Sports Centre.


The OGA Statement of Service Performance and financial Statements and AGM Minutes are available on the OGA tab of the School website at www.eggs.school.nz

Joyce Fisher Sports Centre Opening

On Thursday 14 April 2016 Capital Campaign Patron Lady Susan Satyanand and Associate Minister of Education, Hon Nikki Kaye, officially opened the Joyce Fisher Sports Centre, with the help of Mr Robert Lerner from the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust. The School and the community benefit enormously from this state of the art facility. The School thanks everyone who has been involved in bringing this project to fruition. The JFSC is the official building project for the School's Centenary next year.

Annual Morning Tea - 6 April 2016

EGGS Old Girls - you are amazing! Nearly 100 Old Girls turned up at Epsom House on 6 April for the EGGS OGA Annual Morning Tea and School tours including 11 ladies from Tauranga who hired a mini bus to come. You should have heard everyone singing the School song. There was a round of applause for our Old Girl Helen Clark when we asked everyone to support her bid for Secretary General. Past President and Past BoT member Patricia Maud was presented with flowers for her 90th birthday. Dr Margaret Guthrie who started at EGGS in 1937 was also present. On the School tours we were able to have one last look inside the “Old Kitchen” which is the only remaining wooden building in the School grounds which is to be relocated to Northland in the near future.

70 Years On and 60 Years On Reunions

After the Morning Tea and School tours those Old Girls who started school in 1946 (70 years ago) and 1956 (60 years ago) returned to Epsom House for their luncheon reunion. The ladies were joined by the Tauranga group who enjoyed a shared buffet luncheon before their bus left for Tauranga. Jude Dobson attended the 1946 luncheon on behalf of her late mother Naomi Kirk (Griffiths) who passed away in February.

2017 Centenary Celebrations 5 - 9 April 2017

2017 Centenary Celebrations 5 – 9 April 2017 We are on target to open Registration for the Centenary in April 2016, one year out from the event. We will be in touch with information as soon as Registration opens. The Registration process will be handled through iTicket and we’ll let you know all the details soon. You can also monitor progress by “liking” and following our “Facebook” page, “Linked In” group and the Centenary tab on the School website. All our social media account details are listed on page 1 of this newsletter.

The celebrations commence on Wednesday 5 April with an official Opening and book launch of a special Book about the School’s history and 100 years of women’s education.

Thursday will be a relaxed day for registration formalities and the opportunity for special-interest groups to meet on Thursday evening. Let us know if you would like to co-ordinate an event for a special interest group, no matter how big or small e.g. drama, choir, orchestra etc.

On Friday, the gardens will come alive with “Morning Memories”, a garden-party style morning tea. School tours of the working school will be available and, in the evening, a glamorous Cocktail mix and mingle function at the School, open to all.

Epsom House will have its reunion on Saturday morning followed by a Sports afternoon at the School where the highlight will be matches between Old Girls and current students. Have a swim in the old and new school pools.

The gala event will be the Centenary Dinner in the Great Room of the Langham Hotel in Auckland City with guest speaker. This event is limited to 850 guests and likely to sell out fast.

Past students always love reconnecting with their teachers and past and present staff are encouraged to participate. On Sunday morning there will be a special staff brunch for current and past staff to get together. During the afternoon the School will host a vibrant multicultural Laneway event with a huge variety of performances, displays and surprises.

The Centenary will culminate with the performance of a specially commissioned music piece as the grand finale.

If you have a business and would like to sponsor any aspect of the Centenary contact us. We need to know of notice boards where we can post our flyers, the newspapers and magazines that you read so we can advertise in them, anyone who is editor of a magazine or runs a community noticeboard that could run our adverts.

Joyce Fisher Sports Centre Opening Update

The garden landscaping and signage in front of the Joyce Fisher Sports Centre is now complete with the official opening planned for 14 April 2016.

Our Old Girls Centennial Challenge to raise $500,000 for the full Sports Complex (courts and covered canopy) by the Centenary will continue until 2017 and we still have EGG plaques to sell. There are approximately 24 x Gold ($2,500), 24 x Silver ($1,000), 26 x Bronze ($500) plaques still available. We are also selling Inspiration plaques for $250.

The first EGG plaques have already been installed in the stairwell with the next collection of plaques to be installed in time for the opening. We are very grateful to all the Old Girls, individuals, businesses, trusts and sponsors for their generous support in helping us to complete the Joyce Fisher Sports Centre and supporting the Old Girls Centennial Challenge.

If you would like more information contact Mark Rakich at foundation@eggs.school.nz

Or click on this link to buy your EGG plaque

Farewells Aplenty for Madeline Gunn

A farewell Cocktail Party held to celebrate Madeline Gunn’s leadership of Epsom Girls and her lifetime of achievement in education was held in the Joyce Fisher Sports Stadium on 1 December 2015. Lorraine Pound, Deidre Shea, Professor Graeme Aitken and Dr Gerald Young all spoke on behalf of staff, Old Girls, parents, fellow principals and The University of Auckland educational leaders to express their respect and heartfelt gratitude for Madeline’s wisdom, warmth and friendship.

Madeline was presented with a beautiful korowai which she wore with pride as she regaled the audience with memories of her time at EGGS and the other Auckland schools she had taught at throughout her career. It was wonderful to see Madeline surrounded by the love and respect of her family and colleagues at such an elegantly Epsom occasion. Of course this was only one of the many farewells that Madeline has attended.

Early in Term 4 last year the Head Girls led the Senior School in a ceremony where she was awarded EGGS # 1 Gal and then led through an archway of junior students to symbolise the great affection they feel for her. At the staff Farewell Breakfast Sarah Stenson spoke on behalf of the current staff. At the Junior Prize Giving Madeline was presented with a book containing a collage of photos and memories of her time as Principal at EGGS and a beautiful piece of art by a current student. At the Old Girls Association Committee Christmas Dinner she was thanked and presented with a glass vase by Co-President Kathryn Seagrave.

Graduation Dinner 2015 - Special send off for our 2015 Graduates

The Old Girls Association was delighted to again host a special dinner at Ellerslie Event Centre for our 2015 Year 13 Leavers and their parents to formally acknowledge the completion of five years secondary education and graduation from Epsom Girls Grammar School. This year the hard-working “Grad Dinner Committee” brought in some great new ideas for the event.

A highlight was the attendance by two of our more recent Old Girls, Shalomy Sathiyaraj (Head Girl 2014) and Emma Campbell, who addressed our newest group of Old Girls about the benefits of joining the OGA and staying in touch with the School. They talked about embracing the past, present and future and emphasised the advantages of networking; functions hosted by the OGA; access to our “Linked In” and “Facebook” pages; and keeping up to date with news of the School - especially with the Centenary celebrations just a year away. We welcome those who joined the OGA at the dinner and look forward to other Year 13 Leavers joining in the coming months. Email us at oga@eggs.school.nz so we can keep in touch.

We congratulate our three winners of Old Girls Association Graduation Scholarships. These girls epitomise the all-round Epsom Girls Grammar student. The 2015 winners are Morgan Brown-Sharpe, Brierly Roache and Mia Sofo and they each receive a $600 scholarship towards the cost of their books and course expenses for 2016.

Scriptor Series 2015

Our new initiative last year was our 2015 Scriptor Series run in conjunction with Paper Plus Remuera. We held four book launches in the Raye Freedman Arts Centre throughout the year and raised over $3,500 towards scholarships and prizes the OGA donates to the school. Our last Scriptor Series event was held on 2 September 2015 when Diane Foreman spoke to an enthralled and interactive audience in the RFAC auditorium about her new book “In the Arena” and gave tips on how she achieved success as a woman in business and as an entrepreneur. We were lucky to hear from Diane as she spoke to us less than a week before she headed off to London to do that OE that she never had time for as a younger woman.

Recapping on our earlier events these included Michele A’Court who spoke about her new book Stuff I Forgot to Tell My Daughter – a well attended, hilarious and highly enjoyable evening. Karena and Kasey, the winners of the 2014 Masterchef pairs entertained us with their story of the road to Masterchef success. They talked about their new cookbook For the Love of ... and also cooked a delicious dish for us to sample. Patricia Grace and her publisher Debra Millar held a conversation where Patricia also read us enticing extracts from her long awaited new novel Chappy, her first published in ten years.

We are planning to repeat a similar series of events in the school throughout 2016 that will give a wide range of Old Girls, parents, students and members of the Epsom community the opportunity to come into the school to socialise as well celebrate the achievements of women in our community. Thanks to Paper Plus, the Raye Freedman Arts Centre and Food Snob for the delicious refreshments this year.

Become a Silver Club Road Donor

A group of Old Girls have already started supporting us with a monthly automatic payment to help cover our costs. We are aiming to get 100 Old Girls to set up an automatic payment of $10 a month so we have $12,000 in donations coming in each year. $10 a month is less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week. If you can help us our Bank Account number is: EGGSOGA BNZ Newmarket Account 02 0192 0137887 000. You can set up an automatic payment online. Just put your surname and initial and donation in the reference. We are a registered charity. Send us an email with your address when you have done this and we will send you a donation receipt at the end of the year. We will be having special EGGS Centenary badges with ‘Silver Road Club Donor’ on them produced for the Centenary. All donors who set up an automatic payment and leave this running for at least one year will receive a badge.

Change of OGA Treasurer

Thank you to Helen Trainer who has done an amazing job as our Treasurer from 2010 to 2014 and is stepping down at the end of this year. Helen will be replaced by Ros Morris who joined our Committee at the June AGM and was profiled in our July newsletter.

Franklin Branch Annual Dinner

Pukekohe based Old Girls gathered for their Annual Dinner at Counties Inn Pukekohe on 10 November.

40 Years On Reunion

A morning tea reunion for those who started School 40 years ago in 1973 took place in the Administration Building Boardroom on 1 November 2014.

Bay of Plenty Branch Annual Luncheon

Ocean Shores was the venue for the Annual Bay of Plenty Branch luncheon which was attended this year by Past President Julie Goodyer who spoke to the group about the activities of the OGA this year.

10 Years On Since Leaving School

Normanby Hotel was the venue for a reunion on 18 October of the class of 2000 – 2004 who reconnected 10 years after leaving School. The organising committee made lovely name badges with 3rd form photos on them.

Epsom House Scholarship Winner Announced

Epsom House Scholarship Winner Announced - The Old Girls Association Epsom House Scholarship for 2015 has been awarded to Georgia Cooper from Drury who will enter Epsom House in Year 9 in 2015. Georgia’s mother Kirsty Cooper (Ferguson) attended EGGS from 1985 – 1989.

Farewell to Deputy Principal Fiona Cottam

We farewelled one of the School’s Old Girl staff in September. Fiona Cottam (Class of 1973) and DP at EGGS for the last seven years left to take up her new Associate Principal role at Botany Downs Secondary College. The good news for the OGA is that Fiona is still a member of the OGA committee so she is still very much a part of the EGGS community.

Epsom Golf Day

Akarana Golf Course was taken over by our alumnae, parents, current staff and business partner supporters on Friday 22 August for the Epsom Golf tournament. Dates for the 2015 Epsom Golf Day will be announced in the next newsletter. Plan to ‘save the date’ and join us for another great day of golf.

50 Years On Reunion

A small group of 1963 third formers took advantage of our suggestion to book tables at the Annual Dinner and Founders Awards at Sorrento in August to celebrate 50 years on this year since starting in the third form.

Founders Awards Dinner

A special evening was held on Wednesday 20th August 2014 at Sorrento to give recognition to three former students and staff of EGGS who have demonstrated exceptional individual achievement nationally and internationally in their chosen fields. Congratulations once again to Professor Catherine Bollard – Medical Research, Marnie McGuire - Women’s’ Professional Golf and Marte Szirmay – Art (Sculpture).

Franklin Branch Annual Morning Tea

Franklin Branch Annual Morning Tea was held at the Pukeko’s Nest Cafe in Pukekohe on 16 July 2104.

Long Service recognised

Committee Member Mary Hall was this year’s winner of the Ministry of Health’s Long Service Volunteer Award category for service to Plunket.

AGM on 9 June

The EGGS OGA has a new President Kathryn Seagrave. Kathryn has been on the Committee since 2008 and has previously been the secretary of the OGA Committee. Julie Goodyer retired as President after serving 4 years. We also welcome Virginia Bishop and Ros Morris as new Committee members. Hot soup and rolls were enjoyed by those attending. Honorary membership of the OGA was awarded to Carole Cowley who retired after 12 years as Director of Epsom House last year; Peter Thompson, Chairperson of the Capital Campaign Committee for the Sports Centre; and Dr Gerald Young, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees.

Franklin Branch AGM

Franklin Branch AGM was held at the Laura Brown Hall in Pukekohe on 15 April. Rita Peterson and Sonia Butcher were reconfirmed as Joint Presidents.

Annual Morning Tea

The Raye Freedman Arts Centre Foyer was the venue for our Annual Morning Tea again this year. We were entertained by an EGGS music group and the 1944 and 1954 third formers celebrated their 70 years on and 60 years on reunions with a School tour, visit to Archives and lunch in the Hostel dining room.

Epsom Race Day

A fun day out at the Races at Ellerslie was held on 29 March 2014 to raise funds for the Sports Centre Capital Campaign. A great selection of auction items, good company and food and lovely weather made this an exciting day of entertainment and racing.

Round the Bays Sponsorship for the Sports Centre

President Julie Goodyer entered Round the Bays 2014 in March and raised funds for stage 2 of the Sports Centre by getting Old Girls to support her Give-A-Little page. Over $700 was raised. Thanks for your support.

Recent Leavers Gourmet BBQ in the Sports Centre

February 28 saw those who had left School in the past 20 years gather in the Sports Centre for a Gourmet BBQ provided by Intrigue Catering owned by Old Girls Mandy Metzger. Guests were treated to an exhibition netball match between the School’s senior team and a team made up of past students.

2013 Graduation Dinner

Our 2013 Year 13s were farewelled at a glittering Graduation Dinner at Ellerslie Racecourse on 3 December. The OGA awarded Graduation Scholarships to 3 all round EGGS students. They were Libby Brown, Vidushi Challapali and Tiani Xu.

15 Years since Graduation

The 7th formers of 1998 gathered with their partners and families for a BYO picnic in the School grounds on 16 November to celebrate 15 years since they graduated Thanks to Miriam Robinson (nee Salisbury) for co-ordinating this.

50 Years On

1963 Third Formers celebrated 50 years on with 19 Old Girls getting together to attend the Annual Dinner. This was followed on 3 November with a lunch for over 30 1963 Old Girls at the former library in Onehunga which is now a cafe.

Founders Awards Dinner

Our Founders Awards Function on 16 October recognised the achievements Lisa Harrow in dramatic arts, Lauraine Jacobs as a culinary professional and Jill Mandeno in business and community service. The dinner was attended by 96 guests and was held again at Romfords for the first time in 12 years. A summary of each woman’s achievements will be included in the December newsletter.

Click here for more photos

Bay of Plenty/Tauranga Branch Luncheon

Thanks again to Anne Mortensen and Audrey Hagan for organising this luncheon at the Mt Maunganui Golf Course on 15 October. There was a great turnout for this function with a guest speaker invited and a raffle raising funds for School prizes.

1949 Reunion

Robyn Bridgeman held a fundraising lunch in her home on 20 September 2013 for 25 friends from her School days and raised $705 for the Year Group Challenge. Well done Robyn.

30 Years On

1983 Third Formers held a High Tea in the staffroom on Saturday 14 September. Over 35 former students attended the reunions and some managed to take School tours between the rain showers that persisted on the day

40 Years On

1973 Third Formers celebrated their reunion with a cocktail function at CAC Bar in Mt Eden on Saturday 7 September followed by a morning tea in the Senior Common Room on Sunday 8 September. Over 40 Old Girls attended the reunion including current EGGS Deputy Principal Fiona Cottam.

Lady Joyce Fisher Sports Centre naming function

In September an historic function was held for past Head Girls and Games Captains to name the new Sports Centre for Lady Joyce Fisher nee Paykel. In 1998 Lady Fisher was also the recipient of a Founders Award for her Community Service. We are delighted that the Sports Centre will be named for such a distinguished Old Girl

Franklin Branch Annual Morning Tea

The Franklin Branch Annual Morning Tea was held on 10 July at the Pukeko’s Nest cafe in Pukekohe. Thanks to the proprietors for providing a $20 coffee voucher for a spot prize.


Over 40 Old Girls enjoyed soup and rolls at our AGM on 10 June 2013. The AGM was held in the Mezzanine Area of the Sports Centre and the OGA Year Group Centennial Challenge to secure naming rights to the Old Girls Centennial Gallery (mezzanine level of the Sports Centre) and Old Girls Centennial Garden, a landscaped garden and seating area (at the front of the Sports Centre) was launched.

Click here for more photos

Washington and London Reunions

Principal Madeline Gunn hosted reunions in Washington and London in May 2013 while travelling on her Woolf Fisher Fellowship.

Helen Clark TV Documentary - 24 July

There will be a TV documentary screening about Old Girl Helen Clark with Part 1 screening on TV3 on 24 July at 9-30pm.

Helen Clark: Road to power

1943 and 1953 Third Formers 70 and 60 years on Reunion - 10 April 2013

Over 50 Old Girls stayed on after the Annual Morning Tea to celebrate their 70th or 60th anniversary since starting at EGGS. They enjoyed a School Tour and lunch in the Hostel dining room.

Annual Morning Tea - 10 April 2013

Another successful Morning Tea was held in the Raye Freedman Arts Centre in April. The morning tea was catered by the Distance Squad as a fundraiser. Principal Madeline Gunn told the gathering about the Sports Complex Capital Campaign and about her forthcoming trip to the US and Britain on her Woolf Fisher Fellowship. All enjoyed singing the School song to the accompaniment of Dora Green.

Year 9 and 10 High Tea - 7 April 2013

Cupcakes decorated by current students at the High Tea

Decorate your own cup cake was the theme of the "pink" High Tea held in the Senior Common Room to get to know our Year 9 and 10 students as they will be the Year 13s and new Old Girls in 2017 when the School holds its 100th Jubilee. The event raised over $300 for the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Sports Centre Open Day - 6 April 2013

2012 Founders Recipient Susy Pryde taking a cycling training session at the Open Day

It was great to see so many sporting greats among the Old Girls back donating their time and passing on their skills to the current students at the Sports Centre Open Day. This was a great start to the Sports Complex Capital Campaign. We have exciting opportunities for Old Girls to purchase EGGS shaped plaques to be displayed in the Sports Centre for the 100th Jubilee. Email foundation@eggs.school.nz for more information.

Dunedin Reunion - 7 December 2012

Dunedin Old Girls at their Reunion

A gathering of Dunedin based Old Girls was hosted by Julie Goodyer at No 7 Balmac Restaurant and Bar in Maori Hill. It was great to meet some of our South Island Old Girls.

Graduation Dinner - 4 December 2012

Graduation Scholarship winners with the Principal Madeline Gunn and President Julie Goodyer

Another successful Graduation Dinner was held at Ellerslie Racecourse for our Year 13 Leavers. Five Graduation Scholarships were awarded to celebrate the 95th Anniversary of the School.

Epsom Girls Grammar School Race Day at Ellerslie - 27 October 2012

Guests enjoying lunch at the Race Day

This inaugural event hosted by the School and sponsored by Barfoot and Thompson raised over $50,000 for the Sports Centre Capital Campaign. The event was attended by a number of Old Girls.

1992 7th Formers 20 Years since 7th form reunion

Over 60 girls attended morning tea in the new Sports Centre then a Cocktail Function in town to celebrate 20 years since they left EGGS in the 7th form. These girls were the 7th formers in the School’s 75th Jubilee year.

Committee Potluck Dinner to Farewell Development Office Staff and Retiring Committee Members

A Potluck dinner was held by the OGA Committee in the Boardroom of the Administration Building at EGGS on Monday 10 September to acknowledge the significant contributions made by Brenda Perry and Carolyn Guthrie in the Development Office since 2009. We also acknowledged the contributions of Mary Dunkley and Vanessa Williams to the OGA Committee after they stood down at the last AGM.

2012 Founders Award Recipients

The 2012 Founders Award Recipients are Jeanette Fitzsimmons for achievement in Politics, Susy Pryde for achievement in Cycling and Karen Walker for achievement in Fashion Design and Business. They were presented with their Awards at a cocktail function in the Raye Freedman Arts Centre on 29 August followed by a formal presentation of the Awards in the Lady Fisher Auditorium. We congratulate these women on their outstanding achievements in their respective fields.

First New York based Reunion

Pictured are Marya Martin, Jennifer Monopolis, Helen Clark and Carolyn McGregor.

Epsom Girls Grammar School Alumnae joined with the Auckland University Alumni and Friends Reception in New York on 4 September for the OGA’s first New York based reunion held in the School’s 95th Anniversary year.

Brenda Perry MNZN


Brenda Perry who has been working in the Foundation office for the past two years was invested at Government House on 4 September. Congratulations Brenda!


Franklin Branch Annual Morning Tea – 4 July 2012

Group photo

A group of 15 Franklin based former EGGS students enjoyed the first function co-ordinated by new Franklin Joint Presidents Sonia Butcher and Rita Peterson with a morning tea at the Pukeko’s Nest Cafe at Pukekohe.

First Official London Reunion for EGGS Old Girls – 22 June 2012

Pictured at the London reunion are: Back Row L-R Josie Pettigrew, Lara Peniket, Ursala Batkin, Emily Earl, Melanie High, Brenda Perry. Front Row L-R Kylie Walker, Tayyaba Khan, Shelly Patel

A day after the longest mid-summer’s day, a group of EGGS Old Girls got together in London on Friday 22 June 2012 for drinks and canapés at Cafe Suze in Mayfair. This was the first official EGGS London reunion ever held in London and with many EGGS Old Girls either living in or passing through London this was the start of what is hoped will build into an annual event for all Old Girls in London. Cafe Suze is a NZ owned restaurant in central London which often holds events for New Zealand associated groups. They offer a wide selection of NZ wines and “Down-Under” cuisine, some of which were enjoyed by the EGGS Old Girls.


The majority of those who attended are actually living in London or nearby and working in a variety of roles. Some of the London based EGGS Old Girls are still closely in touch with other EGGS Girls living in London with whom they have been friends ever since their EGGS days.

AGM News

The new Committee following the recent AGM is Julie Goodyer – President, Helen Trainer – Treasurer, Sally Blyth – Secretary, Rosemary Bellamy – Past President, Fiona Cottam – Staff Representative, Mary Hall, Kathryn Seagrave, Margi Leech, Jacqui Byrne and Donna Corse–Scott. A big thank you to City Cakes of Mt Eden for providing a cake so we could celebrate Epsom’s 95th Anniversary. We had great interest in the AGM which started with mid-winter hot soup and rolls. Over 40 members attended the meeting and enjoyed the opportunity to socialise afterwards.

Queen’s Birthday Honours 2012

The Medals that Anne and Brenda will receive

June 5 2012: The OGA congratulates 2 former students on being recognised in the 2012 Queens Birthday Honours list. These are Ann Norman CNZM for services to Business and Brenda Perry MNZM for services to Women’s Tennis. This is a great achievement especially in the Queen’s 60th Jubilee year and EGGS 95th Anniversary year. Well done Ann and Brenda.

Past Functions and Events

1962 Reunion

1962 Reunion - 50 years on
About 35 third formers from 1962 enjoyed a cocktail function in Remuera to celebrate 50 years since they started in the third form. There was much laughter and sharing of stories including memories of attending a concert by the Beetles in the Town Hall while they were at School. Those were the days!

Franklin Branch AGM 
Franklin Branch held their AGM on Thursday 5 April, the day after the Annual Morning Tea. Long serving joint Presidents Joy Fulton and Mary Somerville resigned and new joint Presidents Sonia Butcher and Rita Peterson were elected. Congratulations Sonia and Rita and we look forward to being kept in touch with the Franklin Branch events.   Many thanks to outgoing Presidents Joy and Mary for their long service to the Franklin Branch.

1942 and 1952 third formers Reunion
This reunion was a lunch held in the Hostel dining room following the Annual morning tea and was well attended by over 50 Old Girls. They also had a cake each to celebrate 70 years and 60 years since joining the third form respectively. 

Annual Morning Tea

The Annual Morning tea was held on Wednesday 4 April at 10am in the foyer of the Raye Freedman Arts Centre. Over 70 Old Girls attended and celebrated the 95th Anniversary of Epsom Girls Grammar by singing Happy Birthday and enjoying a cake made by a current student which was cut by the Head Girl, and Miss Ona Redpath and Dr Margaret Guthrie. Morning tea was provided as a fundraiser by the rowing Club. They were entertained by the Epsom String Quartet and then sang the School song accompanied by former student Dora Green on the keyboard. The morning tea ended with a School tour and visit to the Archives room.

Wellington Reunion
A reunion of Wellington based Old Girls was held at the Gather Cafe and Bar in Wellington on Friday 9 December 2011 with 15 former EGGS students attending. The evening was enjoyed by all those present and many stories were shared.

Graduation Dinner on 30 November at Ellerslie Racecourse
This major event supported by the OGA for our Year 13 leavers, their parents and invited guests was again held at Ellerslie Racecourse on Wednesday 30 November 2011. Three OGA Graduation Scholarships of $600 towards the costs of tertiary study were awarded to Catriona Britton, Ursula Griffin, and Rose Turnwald who epitomised the “all round EGGS girl”. A graduation ring was presented to the Head Girl Kingsley Avery.  We also acknowledged the service of Lesley McHardie who has been a Dean for over 20 years and was presenting her 4th group of girls for graduation. Committee Member Mary Dunkley was also thanked for her work in helping to organise all the Graduation dinners to date.

1970 third formers Hostel Reunion
A small privately organised reunion of 13 1970 third formers who started in the hostel together was held on 12 November 2011 in Parnell.

Franklin Branch OGA Annual Dinner on 7 November
The Franklin Branch OG’s Annual dinner was held on 7 November 2011 at Counties Inn. President Julie Goodyer attended the dinner with 12 Franklin members and an enjoyable evening was had by all. The Association is very grateful to Joint Presidents Mary Sommerville and Joy Fulton for their hard work in keeping the Franklin Branch of the Association running.

Bay of Plenty Branch Luncheon – Papamoa 3 October 
The Bay of Plenty luncheon was attended by over 35 Bay of Plenty based OGs. President Julie Goodyer attended the luncheon with her grandmother Beryl Neels nee Body. Joan Siddell also attended. Both Beryl and Joan turned 90 this year and live in the same retirement village. They both started at EGGS in 1934. The Association thanks Anne Powell for organising the luncheon and Joan Head and Val Munn for phoning around the ladies in their areas. Joan Head’s work for the BoP branch over many years was acknowledged at the luncheon. You can see photos from the luncheon in our photo gallery.

Wilma Smith Concert
One of our previous Founders Award recipient’s violinist Wilma Smith (class of 69) was in New Zealand from Melbourne recently performing as part of the Nautilus Trio. Wilma performed in the Raye Freedman Arts Centre on Friday 23 September. The concert was amazing. She returned with a quartet ensemble in early November playing at the Town Hall. A group of former students from Wilma’s years at school also attended the RFAC concert and met up with Wilma afterwards. Wilma also conducted a master class at the School during her visit.

OGA Annual Dinner and Founders Awards – Wednesday 21 September in School Hall

Our OGA Annual Dinner was held on Wednesday 21 September 2011 in the School Hall. Over 90 guests attended and we presented 6 Founder’s Awards to recognise the outstanding service and achievements of former students. This year’s recipients were:the late Emeritus Professor Dame Judith Binney, Te Tomairangi o Te Aroha – History – (posthumous award); Professor Jillian Cornish – Medical Research; Dame Ann Hercus – Politics; Brenda Perry – Women’s Tennis; Dame Alison Quentin-Baxter – Law and Foreign Affairs; and Dame Robin White – Art. The citations were read by Principal Madeline Gunn and the Awards presented by President Julie Goodyer. Head Girl Kingsley Avery reflected on the meaning and importance of the Awards at the close of the evening. You can see more photos from the dinner in our photo gallery.

Former student receives Honour in Special Honours List 
Lady Susan Jean SATYANAND who started at EGGS in 1961 has been made an Additional Companion to the Queens Service Order (QSO) at Wellington on 17 August 2011. The term of Sir Anand and Lady Susan Satyanand as Governor-General concluded on 23 August 2011.

1970/1971 Decade Reunion
On 5 and 6 August a combined reunion was held of 1970 and 1971 third formers who celebrated 41 or 40 years since they started in the third form at EGGS. Over 100 former students from these years enjoyed a cocktail function at Iguacu Restaurant & Bar in Parnell on the Friday night and then came back the next day for morning tea in the foyer and boardroom of the Administration Building followed by a School tour. There were many stories and much laughter as classmates who in many cases had not seen each other since leaving school suddenly recognised each other. It was noted that the facilities had changed a little especially when seeing the Raye Freedman Arts Centre and Stage 1 of the new Sports Centre. As the morning tea did not wind up until 3pm these women will certainly be looking forward to their 50th reunion in 10 years time. You can see more photographs from the reunion under our Photo Gallery Tab.

1951 Decade Reunion 

On 27 July 26 former EGGS students gathered in the staffroom to celebrate 60 years since they first started at EGGS. They enjoyed a morning tea, luncheon and tour of the school. They were amazed at the facilities in Stage 1 of the new Sports Centre and recalled their own excitement at the opening of their new gymnasium (now the “old gym”) which opened while they were at the School in 1953. Here they are pictured in the “old gym” which brought back many memories and stories from their days at EGGS. 

Sports Centre Opening 
President Julie Goodyer and committee member and newsletter editor Catherine Peters represented the OGA at this milestone occasion for the School. The opening of the Sports Centre on 6 July 2011 means the School is now half way towards being able to provide the girls with the sporting facilities they so need and deserve. That EGGS girls continue to achieve so much with the facilities they have put up with in the past is commendable but the OGA is sure they will go from strength to strength with the opportunities the new Stage 1 Sports Centre will open up for them.

Old Girls receive Queens Birthday Honours
MNZM Isabella Huihana Tedcastle (nee Redmond), Auckland, awarded for services to the community. (Attended EGGS 1952-1954). Isabella was a founding Trustee and volunteer at the Eastern Hospice.

MNZM Josie Karanga (nee Mareroa), awarded for services as a leader of whanau and for community development. (Attended EGGS 1971 – 1975).

Christchurch Old Girls get together
Seven of our Christchurch members met with President Julie Goodyer at Brigittes Restarant and Bar in Merivale, Christchurch on the afternoon of Friday 17 June to enjoy a coffee or wine and share stories about their time at school and about their experiences during the earthquakes. Julie Kleinpaste who was a Year 10 Dean last year attended and all had stories to tell of their experiences of the earthquakes. One woman was at the hairdresser when the February quake struck and another has to park her car at the foot of a hill and walk up to her property as she no longer has vehicle access to it. Those attending were keen to purchase Jute Bags and each took away a copy of last year’s School magazine for some news about the School.

Annual General Meeting
Nearly 40 OGA members enjoyed hot soup and rolls provided by the Committee at our AGM on 13 June at the School. Julie Goodyer was re-elected President, Helen Trainer was elected Treasurer and the elected committee members are Ro Bellamy, Mary Dunkley, Mary Hall, Fiona Cottam (staff representative) Kathryn Seagrave, Catherine Peters, Vanessa Williams, Sally Blyth and Margi Leech. A Secretary will be appointed at our first Committee meeting. A special welcome is extended to Sally and Margi who are new on the Committee this year. Brenda Perry of the Development Office also attends our Committee meetings as a non Committee member. The AGM awarded Honorary Membership to 4 people who have made outstanding contributions to the School but are not otherwise eligible to join the OGA. These are Elizabeth Atkin-Rose – for services on the Board of Trustees; Paul Rishworth for services on the Board of Trustees; Michael Rose for services on the EGGS Foundation; and Glenda Choy for services on the EGGS Foundation. The Patrons of the OGA remain Verna Dowdle, Gae Griffiths and Margaret Bendall. After the AGM everyone took the opportunity to socialise but due to Council sign off requirements we were not able to view the inside of the new Sports Centre. 

Jute Bags now on sale
The Committee was very pleased to see our new Jute Bags at the Committee meeting on 9 May. They have been launched for sale at the School by the Sustainability Committee for $10 each. This is a new fundraising initiative for the OGA. The Jute bags are ecologically friendly and have the School logo on one side and art work depicting 3 lion cubs by Year 11 student Camille Thom on the other side. Buy a Jute bag for $10 and support the Association. The bags are available in the School shop or can be ordered by emailing us at oga@eggs.school.nz

Hostel Scholarship Appeal
The 20th May saw the launch of the OGA appeal to past hostel students seeking to boost the Hostel Scholarship fund. The interest off the fund goes towards a new hostel girl’s first year’s fees at Epsom House. This Scholarship is currently awarded to a Year 9 student who is either a daughter of an Old Girl, or has strong connections with the School through an old girl relative, and whom we consider will make a real contribution to, and benefit from, being a part of the EGGS community. The Scholarship is paid from the interest on a fund that was initially started with a $3,000 donation from Sally Dalzell who was Principal of Epsom House. The fund has grown from those small beginnings to its current $32,284 with other donations and a significant contribution from the profits made at the 90th Jubilee reunion. The Scholarship itself was launched at the Hostel Reunion luncheon at the 90th Jubilee. The interest currently funds one instalment of fees (approximately $1,300). Our aim is to grow the fund to $100,000 by the time of the 100th Jubilee in 2017 so that the interest will by then pay for a full year’s hostel fees. Print the donation form under the Hostel Scholarship tab if you would like to donate.

Blessing of Sports Centre
The OGA was represented at the blessing of the Sports Centre at 6am on Wednesday 18 May morning and President Julie Goodyer was one of the first to see inside of this magnificent facility. It is a wonderful building and what we see now is only half the project. We encourage everyone to take the first opportunity they can to tour the Sports Centre.

Current students brought their ‘Old Girl’ relatives to School for morning tea and a tour of the School on 5 May. We had over 40 people attending and enjoyed morning tea, a trivia quiz, general reminiscing and a school tour taking in the new Sports Centre. Former student Dora Green played the keyboard for the School song which was sung at the more sedate speed that many Old Girls are accustomed to from their time at School, much to the amusement of current students. 

Franklin Branch AGM
On 18 April the Franklin Branch held its AGM at the Pukekohe library. This was attended by 8 of the 22 Franklin Branch members and Julie Goodyer. After the meeting they shared lunch, stories and exchanged goods on the trading table. Mary Sommerville (class of ’41) was re-elected Joint President/Treasurer and Joy Fulton (class of ’41) Joint President/Secretary. They will be holding a morning tea at the Pukeko’s Nest, Manukau Road, Pukekohe on 16 June at 10.30am and a dinner on 7 November at Counties Inn. If you would like more information about the Franklin Branch functions email the OGA and we will pass on Mary and Joy’s contact details.
Annual Morning Tea and 1939, 40, 41 Lunch Reunion
Our Annual Morning Tea was held in the dining room of the School hostel Epsom House on 6 April. Over 60 women attended the morning tea (including Jude Roberts who was over from Sydney) and about 25 stayed on for the lunch reunion. Morning tea was provided by the softball club as a fundraiser. We were entertained by Louisa Reid (voice) and Angel Song (piano) and then we sang the School song. Prefects took small groups on tours of the School and archives. The 1939/40/41 third formers reunion was a buffet lunch also in the Hostel dining room and prepared by the Hostel caterers. Iris Fairgray the Head Girl from 1945 (who started in 1941) came all the way from Christchurch for the event. Click here to view the photos.
Government House Function
The cocktail function held jointly with the School at Government House on 11 March was a very special occasion for the OGA. It was wonderful opportunity to re-connect with Lady Susan Satyanand who is an Old Girl. Both her daughters also attended Epsom so there is a strong family connection. We also had wide representation of current and past pupils and staff at the function with current pupils (future Old Girls) represented by this year’s School leaders and the Chamber Orchestra. Recent Old Girls were represented by last year’s School leaders and the Orchestra Conductor Tianyi Lu. Old Girls and former staff of Epsom, from across the decades, including some who were in aged in their 90s and would have been at school in the 1930s, were also present. Click here to view the photos.
Hope through Hair Christchurch Fundraiser
Congratulations to former student Amanda Evans who raised over $10,000 for the Christchurch Red Cross appeal by organising over 50 hairdressers to donate their time for free on Sunday 6 March. Stylist quality haircuts were available in the School gym for $30 along with live entertainment, refreshments and spot prizes. Well done Amanda.
Special General Meeting
We held a successful Special General Meeting (SGM) and social function on Wednesday 9 February 2011 to start the year off. At the SGM further changes to the Constitution were unanimously approved to enable completion of our registration with the Charities Commission. We please to record that we are now a registered Charity and donations to the OGA are tax deductible. Following the SGM, the 40 or so Old Girls who attended enjoyed refreshments and socialising and were able to walk along Silver Road to view the outside of the new Sports Centre. 

President Julie Goodyer and committee member and newsletter editor Catherine Peters represented the OGA at this milestone occasion for the School. The opening of the Sports Centre on 6 July 2011 means the School is now half way towards being able to provide the girls with the sporting facilities they so need and deserve. That EGGS girls continue to achieve so much with the facilities they have put up with in the past is commendable but the OGA is sure they will go from strength to strength with the opportunities the new Stage 1 Sports Centre will open up for them.


2014 Graduation Dinner

Another successful Graduation Dinner was held at Ellerslie Event Centre on 2 December 2014. Three Graduation Scholarships of $600 were awarded by the OGA to Ann An, Charlotte Brown and Katie Andrews.
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