Corran School began in 1947 as a Private Kindergarten for boys and girls in the home of the school’s founder, Mrs Victoria Constance Duthie, at 13 Wairua Rd, Remuera. The kindergarten then moved to rooms behind the Remuera Library, and as it grew further, moved to the home of Mrs Duthie at 15 Orakei Rd, Remuera.

Such were the high standards attained by Mrs Duthie, she was persuaded in 1952 to increase the scope of her school to establish a Primary School, which was officially registered on 28 July 1954. A Trust Board, comprising Mr P Hanna, Mr S.K. Burcher, Sir William Goodfellow, Mr J.R. Cropper and Mr G. Pollard, parents who wanted their daughters to further their education at Corran, was established in 1954. A school badge was designed incorporating the school motto “Gaudeamus” (which means “Rejoice”) around the Tudor Rose. The rose has since been changed to the Manuka flower, which is more appropriate for a New Zealand school. Community interest in Corran generated sufficient funds to purchase 514 Remuera Road from the Mormon Church in 1954.

This gracious home, known as “Carinya”, had been built in 1926 for the Louisson family who, in later years, built a smaller but similar home in Ranui Road, after selling the original home to the Mormon Church. Joan Louisson, the only daughter of the Louissons, was married at St Aidan’s in 1927 and her wedding reception was held at Carinya.

When the transfer of Corran School to 514 Remuera Road took place, the roll was 70.

The philosophy of Corran established by Mrs Duthie has remained long after her retirement in 1960.

She wanted the school to remain small, caring and Christian, with an emphasis on excellence both academic and cultural.

There has been much discussion over the name of the school and where it comes from.

There are two stories, one recorded in the 1969 school magazine, that it was named after a small girls’ school in London called “Corran House” which was bombed during the Second World War. The other story, proposed in the Chairman of the Board’s Report on the occasion of the 50th Jubilee in 1997, says that Mrs Duthie’s early inspiration came from Corran Hall in Scotland, where young people were taught art, music, drama, dancing and poetry by artists who gathered from all over the world.

When all the old pupils of Corran are gathered together, it is a good time to identify which is the correct story.

Time Line of Corran School



A Private kindergarten established at 13 Wairua Road, Remuera by Mrs Constance Duthie.


It was decided to increase the scope of the school by establishing a Primary School which was officially registered on 28th July 1952. A Trust Board was set up to administer the school.


The co-educational kindergarten closed and next year the secondary part of the school was registered with the Education Board.


Two prefabs were brought in temporarily. They remain today as part of the old intermediate block, now renamed the Macky block where the Mathematics faculty has its classrooms.


When Mrs Duthie retired, Mrs Mary K Macky was appointed Principal. Under her administration the school’s syllabus was widened, with more academic subjects introduced.


The PTA built and donated the Games Room along with Pottery Shed. Mrs Macky retired.


Miss Margaret Heath Lamb was appointed Head Mistress. The School uniform was changed to the Ancient Green Douglas Tartan kilt with Corran green blazers, green berets and fawn gloves. In summer, boaters with tartan ribbon were worn. Number 3 Ranui Road was purchased and used initially as a Caretaker’s residence and later as a library and classrooms.


The “For Girls” was officially deleted from the name. We became Corran School.


Corran’s first “Debutante Ball” was held to celebrate the School’s 25th Birthday.


The fourth and final Debutante Ball was held. Accrediting granted to the school. Amanda Loveday was the first accreditee.


This year marked the first Seventh Form which comprised Gabriella Larkin and Nicolette Montgomerie. New uniform for Seventh form.


748 square metres was bought from the rear of 508 Remuera Road and this was upgraded to form a playing lawn for the juniors. Japanese was introduced to replace Latin.


The School swimming pool was opened. Project to fill it took 7 Days and many buckets!


Number one Ranui Road was purchased and put into use as the Primer block (Years 1, 2 and 3)


Two more relocatables brought in. Miss Lamb retired (Head Mistress from 1966).


Mrs Margaret Bernice (Birnie) Allen was appointed Principal in July.


Video system and Computer Department established. The idea of a “Debutante Ball” was revived and a Graduation Ball for girls leaving school was held for the first time.


The construction of the new School Hall began. It was officially opened on 4 December by Dame Catherine Tizard. School expanded to include two classes at each level in Form 1 and Form 2.


The Music Department was rehoused in a new suite converted from the old Games room. Full use of new hall, physical education equipment, stage facilities. First Art Exhibition of New Zealand paintings in School Hall.


First year with no University Entrance Examination. No. 3 Ranui removed from site. Construction of new Classroom Block in Ranui Road began in December. Room 8 (Prefab) relocated.


Corran School’s 40th Jubilee was held on the weekend of 17-19 July. The new classrooms were officially opened during this weekend by Mrs Jennifer (Burcher) Spense and suitably named the Jubilee Block. Two Scholarships each for two years announced and awarded to Amy Bennett (Junior) and Helen Apperley (Senior).


Senior conference for Forms Six and Seven held in February. Overseas visits for students to Brisbane and Japan. Hall extension Completed, creating a new classroom area at the back of the stage.


Plans for future development of Corran approved and stage one began with a new entrance way on Remuera Road. Leadership programme instigated with First Seventh Form dinner held. Overseas visit for French pupils to Noumea.


Stage two of the building development takes place. The Annex to the Hall completed with rooms to be used as a video Learning centre, a speech and drama room and a 7th form Tutorial Room. Four new Lockwood rooms completed on the site of Hickmott House and used as Junior classrooms.


Hats re-introduced – re-inforced by front page photograph in NZ Herald. Relocation and extension of library within the main Corran School building. Resurfacing of the tennis court. Stage 3 of the Building Development begins.


A year of outstanding successes throughout the school in leadership, scholarship and the school environment. Victoria Pearson represented Auckland Secondary Schools Debating in National Champs, where the team was successful. School purchased 508 Remuera Road previously owned by the Cromptons.


Two Science Laboratories and the Art Suite completed and linkage through from Remuera Road landscaped. The original School building renamed Corran House and the new Property at 508 Remuera Road named Duthie House.


Mrs Allen retired in May. Mrs Gillian Eadie was appointed the Principal of Corran School. The Trust Board invested in computer technology with one computer to four students. The Library was extended and the stairwell extension completed in the School Hall. The Intermediate classrooms were reclad and refurbished for the 1995 school year. All Form 7 students gained A or B Bursary and Scholarships.


The School roll increased to 392 pupils. Economics, Business Studies introduced with a wider variety of Arts, Commerce and Technology options. A Sports Coordinator was appointed. Corran uniform introduced for the new school year. Tennis Court resurfaced with astroturf.


The new School Wardrobe was being worn by over 90% of the school roll with a navy and green striped blazer and co-ordinates. Installation of fibre-optic cabling allowed increased networking of the School’s computers and future access to the World Wide Web. Senior Management team restructured into Directorships. New kiln room built and swimming pool heated. Construction began on a new building to house Administration, Technology facilities (information centre, multi-Media suite, physics lab, computer lab and classrooms).


Corran’s 50th Jubilee. Official opening of the Information Technolgy, Humanities and Administration Block named the Margaret Lamb Building by Hon Christine Fletcher, MP. Many will remember Miss Lamb’s graciousness, her commanding personality and her ready sense of humour. She was committed to the improvement and advancement of the School. During her leadership there were many milestones – the gaining of accrediting, the establishment of the seventh form, the introduction of new subjects to recognise changing times. To meet the growing roll, two properties in Ranui Road were purchased during her stewardship. Other Buildings renamed in honour of past Principals – the Macky block , the refurbished block previously known as the Intermediate Block and in 1997 housing the Third and Fourth Forms, while the Science laboratories will be known as the Allen Laboratories.
In this way the Board believes the vision and professionalism of these three principals who contributed to the advancement of the school has been acknowledged as they brought a fledging school to life. Jubilee courtyard established with a time capsule and Old girls’ tree planted. Mrs Eadie leaves to become Head of Samuel Marsden Collegiate in Wellington.


Mrs Jacqueline Scorgie, a former pupil and dux of Corran School becomes Principal in Term 2. Refurbishment of Corran House to establish the Music Suite. Purchase of 506 Remuera Road. Laptops introduced into Year 7 classes.


The achievements of students were significant across all areas of school life, academic, sporting, cultural and in leadership.
Sports Captain, Marie Oliver won a number of national titles in gymnastics. Overall sports organisation was enhanced by the introduction of a Sports Co-ordinator. Several new sporting activities appeared in the programme, including scuba diving, water polo and dragon boat racing.
Academic achievements have been led by Year 13 ASB Scholars, Melanie Dougan and Jenny Te, while entrants in this year’s Auckland Science Fair carried off fifteen awards, a record number for Corran and excellent for any school’s standards.
Five Corran students were finalists in the Young Designers’ Awards with two girls winning major prizes in three classes. Anna Julienne won most of the top awards for her age group in the North Shore Performing Arts Festival in May, then won the Auckland Young Entertainer of the year Award.
During the holidays improvements were made to the pool and its surrounds as well as the construction of the new changing rooms.


Completion of Stage One of the school’s five stage building plan. Corran House which represents so much of the school’s history, was renovated to provide improved guest facilities, and spaces for meetings and performance. The new library on the ground floor proved a great success. The staff room upstairs in Corran House was re-decorated during the year. The Margaret Lamb building now contained up-to-date technology rooms for design technology, food technology, electronics and graphic design. The school network developed and in particular the internet and network access extended to the students’ laptops. Air conditioning was installed in the upstairs classrooms of the Margaret Lamb building. The Margaret Lamb building was further modified to enable the incorporation of a new science lab and outside staircase from the Jubilee Courtyard.
Netball tour of Melbourne in July in which the premier netball, under captain Tessa Richardson and coach Mrs Sue Rope, took part in a major schools’ tournament.


A second floor added to the Art Block giving an additional three classrooms on the ground floor with improved art and design facilities on the upper floor. The upper floor was integrated into the Margaret Lamb block.
Music tour to Melbourne at the end of Term 2 by choir and orchestra. Development of the Friends of Corran Music to support music at Corran School, to help organise performance evenings and raise funds.


Cambridge International examinations introduced. Purchase of 514A and 518 Remuera Road, two adjoining properties. Development fund launched.


Expansion of the Cambridge international Examinations to include most academic subjects in year 11 and Year 12. School Exchange programme expanded with schools in Melbourne, Australia and Montreal, Canada. Acquisition of Gilmorton, which was tastefully decorated to house the Principal’s office and Bursar centre. Maree Hawkins had outstanding success in the Mathematics Olympiad, resulting in her representing New Zealand in Singapore.
Introduction of the School House Music Competition on the School Birthday. Each house produces one house piece, one performance of ‘Do Rei Me’, one ensemble piece and one solo/duo.
Vivian Fu chosen to take part in an international Science forum with 4 other New Zealanders in Canberra.


Development and integration into the school grounds over December 2004 holidays of 518 Remuera Road, the property behind Gilmorton House. New parking space and improvements to the existing house, now to be called Upland House, enables it to be used for common room and study/tutorial space for senior students, as well as a base for a number of other school activities.


The removal and sale of Ranui House, the house on the corner of Ranui Road, and site grassed to provide play area. Science prep room upgraded. In Term 3, Mrs Scorgie farewelled. She had a strong personal interest in music and actively encouraged excellence in all aspects of music. Mrs Scorgie also forged a connection with Dame Malvina Major, a regular visitor to Corran, who sponsors a Corran Music Scholarship.
Mrs Sally Dalzell arrives from Epsom Girls’Grammar School to become Corran’s 7th Principal. On her first day in Term 4, Mrs Dalzell is escorted by a large group of students and staff from her Old school who farewell her and hand her over to Corran School.


Establishment of a new Corran support group – the Sports Council. Extension to the tuck shop in the Hall in July. The netball and hockey teams tour Melbourne competing against some of Victoria’s best schools. Extension to the year 1 classroom done over the holiday period.


Celebration of Corran’s 60th Jubilee in July.

Copyright © 2012 Corran Old Girls Association.