by PETER GRACE
AUCKLAND — A two-level gymnasium block with classrooms,
dance studio, viewing galleries, storage areas, staff room and
changing rooms was opened at St Mary’s College in Auckland on
The Paul Keane Gymnasium was named after the chairman of the
board of directors, who gave an address near the end of the opening
Several speakers praised Mr Keane for his guidance and direction
over 12 years, and the consequent ongoing development of
In his speech, Mr Keane said the college had spent about $20
million in the previous 12 years on important developments. The
gymnasium, he said, was completed on time and within a budget
of $7 million.
“In 2002, the roll was 410,” he said. “In 2014, the roll is 972. And
in 2015, we expect it to be 1000.”
The master of ceremonies for the afternoon was TV3 presenter
John Campbell, who has a daughter at the college. When he and his
wife asked St Mary’s about taking their daughter, he said, it was the Mercy values in particular that drew them.
At St Mary’s, their daughter learned how to be hard working,
An outstanding feature of the gymnasium is a large glass cross
with a blue border set into the north wall. It looks out towards
Auckland Harbour. The cross has a stained glass design at the
intersection of the vertical and horizontal axes.
Student Christienne Dadula was called to the front, to be acknowledged as the designer of the stained glass inset.
A special touch was the presentation to Mr Keane of a print
or painting of the stained glass design. Mrs Keane received a large
bunch of flowers.
The afternoon included music, singing and dancing by students,
a powhiri, blessing, remembrance of those who laid the early foundations of the school, and a number of other speeches.
The occasion ended with a game of basketball between students in
the gymnasium, and drinks and afternoon tea on the upper level,
with music accompaniment by the St Mary’s College Concert Band.