Queen Margaret's School

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Queen Margaret's School
660 Brownsey Avenue
Duncan, British Columbia, V9L 1C2
Coordinates 48°47′04″N 123°43′13″W / 48.7844°N 123.7203°W / 48.7844; -123.7203
School type Private day and boarding
Motto Servite Fortiter
(Serve Ye Bravely)
Founded 1921
Headmaster Wilma Jamieson
Staff 110
Grades Preschool-Grade 7 coed, Grades 8–12 girls only
Enrollment 345
Language English
Colour(s) Green, gold and red
Team name The Royals
Last updated: June 11, 2013

Queen Margaret’s School is a university-preparatory school that provides education to 345 students in its co-ed early childhood education program (Preschool and Junior Kindergarten), co-ed junior school (K-Grade 7) and girls-only senior school (8–12, boarding and day).


The school is located on a 27-acre campus in Duncan, British Columbia which is located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island


Queen Margaret's School was founded by Miss Norah Creina Denny and Miss Dorothy Rachel Geoghegan. These two women had been teaching individually before being brought together, and their common interest in Girl Guides helped greatly towards establishing their lifelong friendship.

When they took that first step to open their own school, they had little idea what the future held for either of them. Their dream was to "send students out into the world with the stamp of the school (QMS) upon them, and its ideas in their hearts", (Beyond All Dreams, p22). "Miss Denny and Miss Geoghegan provided a vivid demonstration of how women could be strong, independent and self-assured. We were confronted with a constant demonstration that we were all capable of certain achievement, all capable of service and all capable of realizing ourselves as complete individuals" (Beyond All Dreams, p266). Miss Denny and Miss Geoghegan owned and administered Queen Margaret's School until September 1, 1953, when they turned it over to a Trust Company as a non-profit organization.

The Founders' Philosophy[edit]

Although not stated in so many words in the historical text of the School's history, Beyond All Dreams, anyone who had the honour to know Miss Denny and Miss Geoghegan soon realized that both were very 'down to earth'. They wanted to provide a solid education for anyone willing to come to their school. They wanted to teach those young people service, integrity, pride, both in themselves and the school, faith in God and faith in themselves.

The development of Queen Margaret's School illustrates the fact that the character, tone and spirit of a school do not depend on fine buildings, but on the people themselves. They wanted to show all students who came under their care how to reach their potential, both academic and social.

QMS opened its doors for the first time on April 4, 1921, with a total of 14 boys and girls. Named after Queen Margaret's School in Scarborough, England, where Miss Denny had attended as a boarder, it included many things from Uplands School and St. Leonards-on-Sea in Sussex, at which Miss Geoghegan was a student. Queen Margaret's, Scarborough, later moved to Escrick Park in Yorkshire, and recognized QMS Duncan as its sister school, allowing QMS Duncan to form an overseas branch Old Girls' Association.

Specialized Programs[edit]

The school home to a small, intensive English Language Learner Program (ELL) program and Canada’s only fully integrated on-campus school equestrian program. The school's comprehensive scholastic and extra-curricular programs provide opportunities for achievement and personal growth through academics, sports, visual and performing arts, riding and community service.

The Coat of Arms[edit]

The official heraldic description of the coat of Arms reads: "Vert on a cross gules colised or between; in the four quarters consecutively, a two-flamed pendent lamp, a mullet, a chain of three links, and a sword all argent, a crown of the third." "..we went to our own school crests. The Cross and the Crown came from my school, QMS, Scarborough. The Lamp and Chain and the Star from Miss Geoghegan's school. The Sword was chosen because we had already decided on the School Hymn, 'Soldiers of Christ Arise and put Your Armour On' ", Miss Denny explains in Beyond All Dreams.

School Houses & Colours[edit]

St. Hugh's was chosen because his was a life of service and because of Miss Denny's connection with Lincolnshire. The colour green was chosen to represent St. Hugh's for service.

St. Gabriel's was chosen, as that had been Miss Geoghegan's House at Uplands, St. Leonard's-on-Sea. The colour gold represents purity, perfection and beauty for those in St. Gabe's.

St. Michael's was chosen because he was the Captain of the Host, fighting for right. Therefore, the colour red represents the courage of St. Mike's.

Notable alumni[edit]


CAIS - Canadian Accredited Independent Schools
NAIS - National Association of Independent Schools


  1. ^ "Notable QMS Alumnae". History. Queen Margaret's School. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
  2. ^ "Notable QMS Alumnae". History. Queen Margaret's School. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
  3. ^ "Notable QMS Alumnae". History. Queen Margaret's School. Retrieved 2012-05-09.

External links[edit]