The Chilton Saint James School crest
The crest is made up of three elements:
A red cross on a white field (the St George’s Cross) signifies the Church of England. The scallop shell worn as a badge by 12th century pilgrims in token of having visited the shrine of Saint James at Santiago de Compostela. Saint James the Elder is the Patron Saint of Pilgrims, and the scallop shell is worn to this day by pilgrims on the Camino in Spain. The Martyr’s Sword – Saint James was put to death by the sword.
Chilton Saint James School adopted the colours of Chilton House – red and blue – and added white, perhaps as a mark of patriotism in the immediate post-war time of 1918.
In the early years, Teams were established and referred to as Green, Blue and Red. A fourth Orange Team was added later.
The very English Miss Hough became Principal in 1955 and changed Teams to Houses, with the names Lancaster (red), Gloucester (blue) and York (green) and Winchester (orange). Miss Gwen Ryan the following Principal renamed the Houses to commemorate people who had worked hard to establish the school and these names have remained to this day.
Stowe – Red Team (formerly known as Leicester House)
Badge – crossed swords
Sylvia Stowe was affectionately known as one of the School’s Godmothers. Prior to 1918 she helped raise the money to buy the property in Waterloo Road that we now know as FitzGerald House. A bequest after Miss Stowe’s death was used to form the Stowe Library of reference books.
Archdeacon Arthur Hansell was Vicar of Saint James’ Church when he was approached with tentative plans for a new school in 1917. With his encouragement and help the new school was opened at the beginning of 1918. Archdeacon Hansell became School Chaplain, a position he held until his retirement at the end of 1932. His two daughters, Alice and Gwen, attended the School at its beginning and Alice’s daughters, Margaret and Marjory Davies were pupils at Chilton in the 1940s. Archdeacon Hansell and his wife continued to attend functions at Chilton even when they moved to Karori. Their influence was deep and abiding.
Miss Ella Benbow came to Chilton in 1926 having met Miss FitzGerald in London the year before. A talented pianist, she is remembered for her gift of bringing out the best in her pupils and during her time, the standard of music in the School reached a very high level. As well as teaching piano, harmony and rudiments of music, she trained the choir and the School pipe orchestra. Miss Benbow wrote the music for the School Hymn, the Dedication Hymn and chant for the Benedicite as well as music for numerous school productions. After nearly 30 years as Music Mistress at Chilton, Miss Benbow retired in 1955 to live in Bournemouth, England where she died.
Miss Annie Lewis gave more than twenty years’ service as Matron of the boarding house. Miss FitzGerald spoke of her work as being the finest she had seen in a Matron at Chilton or any other school. Always a sympathetic listener, Miss Lewis was loyal and generous. She retired in 1946 to live at York Bay in Lower Hutt. She died in 1959.
For more detailed information on the history of the school, please contact our archivist, Sue Blundell