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History

  • Graham Bruce, who was teaching at St John's Collegiate School, decided to open his own school so purchased 'The Tower' on Remuera Road and King's College opened on February 12, 1896.
  • Of the 78 boys on that first day, 23 were boarders required to take subjects that included military drill, shorthand and carpentry.
  • Charles T Major and three other full-time staff joined Bruce while the Headmaster carried the burden of Proprietor, Bursar and Planner along with a full teaching programme.
  • Two short-term appointments as Headmaster followed Bruce's premature death in 1901 with the property passing to Mrs Marion Bruce, Graham Bruce's sister-in-law. Eventually C T Major, returning from the South African War, purchased the property and was to be Headmaster until 1926.
  • King's amalgamated with St John's Collegiate School in 1913 and within a few years, it was evident that the Remuera site was too small and a decision was made to purchase land at Middlemore.
  • A building programme commenced in 1918 and four years later (1922) the 'New King's College' welcomed the first group of 257 pupils. With memories of The Great War and the loss of 110 Old Boys and two Masters still much to the fore, the foundation stone for a Memorial Chapel was laid during that first year.
  • The House system was introduced and School and St John's Houses were forerunners for the eleven Houses that accommodate students today.
  • The Memorial Chapel opened on Anzac Day 1925.
  • Canon H K Archdall, former Headmaster of Armidale School, appointed to succeed C T Major (1926), bore the brunt of a roll downturn during the Great Depression. With the roll reaching a low of 161 in 1934, the St John's Trust Board assumed responsibility for running the College.
  • J N Peart, an Old Boy of Auckland Grammar School, was appointed Headmaster in 1937. Volunteering for war service soon after the outbreak of the Second World War, he was unfortunately killed at El Alamein (1942) and is buried there.
  • 102 Old Boys were killed during WWII including three successive Head Boys.
  • A shortage of building supplies delayed the construction of the Memorial Library being built in memory of the staff, Old Collegians and students who lost their lives in these wars. As a result the building was not opened until 1955. 
  • Following the war years it was time to commence a seemingly endless building programme – boarding Houses needed to be replaced; new classrooms added and right up to 2012 modern structures included an Assembly Hall, Music School, gymnasia, the College Centenary Centre housing a modern library, a university-style lecture theatre, a Technology Design Centre and most recently the Chapel Close – all giving evidence of growth over the College's 116 years.
  • Successive Headmasters were H B Lusk (1942-46); G N T Greenbank (1947-73); I P Campbell (1973-1987); J S Taylor (1988–2002); R Kelley (2003-09); B Fenner (2009-2014). The current Headmaster is Robin Fleming.
  • Moving with modern developments in education, the College established a Venture Camp at Ahuroa; computers made their first classroom appearance (1991); a Sports' Complex providing all-weather hockey and track facilities has as its backdrop the Old Collegians' Pavilion presented to the College at the time of its centenary in 1996.