Marcellin College, Auckland

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Marcellin College
Marcellin College.png
617 Mt Albert Road,
Royal Oak,
New Zealand
Coordinates36°54′39″S 174°45′59″E / 36.9108°S 174.7665°E / -36.9108; 174.7665Coordinates: 36°54′39″S 174°45′59″E / 36.9108°S 174.7665°E / -36.9108; 174.7665
TypeIntegrated secondary (year 7-13) Roman Catholic Co-Ed
MottoOptima Quaere (Seek The Best)
Established1958; 61 years ago
Ministry of Education Institution no.63
PrincipalJan Waelen
School roll494[1] (August 2018)
Socio-economic decile2F[2]

Marcellin College is a Catholic, integrated, co-educational college in Hillsborough, Auckland, New Zealand for students in Year 7 to Year 13. The college was founded by the Marist Brothers in 1958 as a school for boys only. The school is located on spacious and beautiful grounds which had been part of the Pah estate. It has an extensive woodland on its southern and western boundaries.[3] Most of the former Pah estate contiguous with Marcellin College is now owned by the Auckland Council and is maintained as a park known as "Monte Cecilia Park." The Auckland Franciscan Friary and Retreat Centre is just across Monte Cecilia Park from the college.[4] A Discalced Carmelite Monastery (under the patronage of the Holy Family and St Thomas, Apostle) is directly opposite the college on Mt Albert Rd.[5]


The college was established in 1958, for boys, by the Marist Brothers as a normal school[6] for the training of Brothers as teachers in intermediate classes.[7] Until 1958 the site of the college had been occupied by the Marist Brothers scholasticate. From the scholasticate, which was established in 1943, the young teachers had to travel to the Marist school in Vermont St, Ponsonby.[8] This was expensive and inconvenient. In 1957 the scholasticate was removed to new buildings erected on land (called Monte Cecelia) purchased from the Sisters of Mercy behind and adjacent to the college site. A new building called Marcellin Hall was built for the training of Marist Brothers. This opened in 1961. In 1979 Marcellin Hall became a Pastoral Centre for personal renewal, theological reflection and apostolic effectiveness with residential courses, seminars and retreats there conducted by a community of nuns, priests and brothers. This building was later demolished.[6]

Early days[edit]

The first building of the school was a block of four classrooms[6] and when the college commenced in 1958 it had only two year levels, years 7 and 8 - then called Forms 1 and 2. The staff of the scholasticate acted as the teachers until the College was staffed independently. The College was soon operating as a full secondary school.[9] The need to devote resources to the new school considerably stretched the Marist Brothers and they had to reduce staff or increase class sizes at some other schools.[10]

St Benedict's College and integration[edit]

In 1982 the proprietor of Marcellin College signed an integration agreement with the Minister of Education and the college entered the State education system as a State-integrated school. However, it entered the state system as a co-educational secondary school because in 1981 the school had incorporated a secondary school for girls, St Benedict's College, Newton, which closed in that year. St Benedict's College had its origins in 1884 when the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, at the behest of their founder, Mary MacKillop (St Mary of the Cross), arrived in Auckland from Adelaide and opened their first school in a converted shop in Karangahape Road. They founded St Benedict's College (secondary) and St Benedict's School (primary) near St Benedict's Church, Newton in 1886, and in 1898 a large new school was built on the opposite corner from the church. From the early 1970s, population drift coinciding with, and to some extent due to, the construction of the nearby Auckland motorway system, led to a dramatic fall off in pupils. The secondary college merged with Marcellin College in 1981, and the primary school closed.[11] Marcellin College became fully co-educational in 1993.[7]


Marcellin College has a diverse, multicultural roll. In 2014, the school's gender composition was Male 56% and Female 44% and its ethnic composition was Māori 7%, NZ European/Pakeha 8%, Pacifica 58%. Asian 24% and other 3%. There were four international students.[12] Academically, the school offers for senior years the National Certificate of Educational Achievement assessment system (NCEA).[7]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory of Schools - as at 13 September 2018". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  3. ^ Roskill: An illustrated history of New Zealand's largest borough, Mt Roskill Borough Council, 1984, p. 48.
  4. ^ St Francis Retreat Centre, Auckland (Retrieved 9 June 2016)
  5. ^ Carmel of St Thomas, Apostle, Auckland (Retrieved 10 June 2016)
  6. ^ a b c Marist Brothers' Centenary: 100 years in Auckland 1885-1985, Marist Brothers, Auckland, 1985, p. 13.
  7. ^ a b c Marcellin College Prospectus 2016 (Retrieved 10 June 2016)
  8. ^ Marist Brothers School Vermont St Auckland Golden Jubilee 1913-1963, Marist Brothers, Auckland, 1963, p. 25.
  9. ^ "Brothers Plan Normal School". Zealandia. XXIV (No 25). Auckland. 10 October 1957. p. 1.
  10. ^ Tony Waters, Confortare, A History of Sacred Heart College, Auckland 1903 - 2003: a Marist Brothers secondary school, Sacred Heart College, Auckland, 2003, p. 139.
  11. ^ Strevens 2008, p. 232.
  12. ^ Education Review Office, Marcellin College Education Review, 15 December 2014 (Retrieved 10 June 2016)
  13. ^ Jessup, Peter (25 September 2004). "League Kiwi flavour to NRL showdown". NZ Herald. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  14. ^ Bennett, Adam (2008-08-09). "Exhilarating ride may finally be over". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2010-12-21.
  15. ^ Joseph Romanos, Chris Lewis: All the Way to Wimbledon, Rugby Press, Auckland, 1984, p. 43, ISBN 090863014X.


  • Pat Gallager, The Marist Brothers in New Zealand Fiji & Samoa 1876-1976, New Zealand Marist Brothers' Trust Board, Tuakau, 1976.
  • St. Benedict’s College : corner East St. & St. Benedicts St., Newton, Auckland, New Zealand or Souvenir magazine St. Benedict’s College, 1980, The College, Auckland, 1980.
  • Nicholas Reid, James Michael Liston: A Life, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2006.
  • Diane Strevens, MacKillop Women: The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart Aotearoa New Zealand 1883-2006, David Ling, Auckland, 2008.