Do You Remember?

Were you at St Margaret’s when:

  • The rising bell rang at 7am?
  • Girls were banned from wearing curlers in the front hall?
  • the College bath was thrown in the Leith?
  • Male visitors were only allowed in the College on one afternoon per month?
  • Slippers were compulsory in bedrooms and hallways, but banned from the dining room?
  • Zeppi patrolled the corridors and “The Barron” waited up for girls returning home after 10pm?
  • Residents took their turn waiting on tables in the dining room, and doing the dishes in the kitchen?
  • Male residents first arrived in 1981?
  • The Warden subjected residents to impromptu “toe-clicking” exhibitions?

Susannah Grant wrote the history of St Margaret’s in preparation for the centennial celebrations in 2011. Susannah arrived at St Margaret’s as a first year resident in 1995 and stayed on for the next two years as a Welfare Staff member.

Her family has an ongoing connection with the College, beginning in 1934 with Susannah’s grandmother Ailie Baird. Her brother Daniel was a resident and member of the Student Executive, and her sister Rosalind was a Resident, and then Welfare Staff member. Susannah met her husband Shaun at the College, and their two children love to visit the “College Café” where they revel in the excitement of a slushy maker and an ice-cream machine!

Published in 2010, the centennial history traces the story of St Margaret’s from its origins as Dunedin’s first hall of residence for women, opening in 1911 with just three students, to its role as a co-educational College catering for over 200 male and female residents. Though the physical and social structures comprising the College have changed and evolved over time, the founders’ core vision of a nurturing community for young university students has remained.

Susannah had a fabulous time in the College archives, but would also love to hear any any personal stories about the College your may have. What do you remember most vividly about life at St Margaret’s? Gather your memories, grab a pen (or a keyboard) and jot down your thoughts about the lifestyle, the food, the rules, the staff, the buildings and grounds, sporting and cultural events, social life in and out of College, religious observances, academic support - anything and everything

Susannah would also appreciate any old photos (photocopies are ok).

You can email Susannah at, or send your memories to:

Susannah Grant
94 Stout Street
Gisbourne 4010

You can purchase a copy of the book from the College. Details are on the merchandise page.