100 Years of Mercy Women

In February 2018, Villa Maria College celebrated a very special milestone – the College’s 100th birthday. On 18 February 1918, Villa Maria College opened its doors, welcoming girls from all over Canterbury. From humble beginnings, the College has grown and developed, evolving to become one of the country’s most prominent Catholic Colleges.


More than a Century on, Villa still holds strong to its Mercy values and is a valued and loved “home” to our girls. While Villa’s lush grounds are no longer considered “out in the country”, there are reminders of its history everywhere, from the trees planted many decades ago, to the prolific apple orchard and much-loved Grotto. Today’s educational needs are quite different to those of 1918, but the heart of the College remains the same – raising Mercy women who learn to prize what is of value.


There was much planning, discussion, dreaming, reworking and imagining in the three years leading up to Villa’s Centennial. It was decided early on that the celebrations take place over the weekend of 16-18 February – exactly a hundred years from the arrival of the first pupils. The College knew there would be great interest in the Centennial reunion, and commenced planning a number of events that would cater for all, culminating in a special Centennial Mass – the perfect way to honour our past and pray for our future.


It is hoped that those who attended the various events enjoyed reconnecting with the College and their friends, and thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the celebrations. For those who were unable to join us, we know you were with us in spirit, and we hope to enjoy seeing these photos.