‘Mā Te Aroha Ka Tuku’ or By Love Serve is St Cuthbert’s guiding motto. Many Old Girls say that the motto has shaped their whole life, leading them to serve their families and communities in diverse ways.
Examples of By Love Serve over the decades are manifold. Through two world wars, students knitted and sewed, raised money, and held concerts. A 1916 Chronicle article says, “Ample scope was given us of helping others. Knitting for the troops was a permanent undertaking. We make 35 billies a month, and a bazaar was held in July raising £70,000, sent to the Red Cross in France. At home, girls undertook Home Nursing training for the greater good of all!” In 1931, the Hawke’s Bay earthquake saw help being sent to a sister school, Iona College.
By Love Serve remains a steadfast guide for St Cuthbert’s and the greater school community. In 2020, St Cuth’s Together, a calling campaign of over 100 volunteers, reached our older Old Girls during the Covid-19 pandemic. The annual Marking Service award is also inspired by By Love Serve and by a desire to celebrate alumnae who have taken the spirit of our motto into their life and work. The recipients are the embodiment of By Love Serve, showing outstanding service to the community and demonstrating belief in the power of individual action, allied with courage and commitment.
In 1936, Miss Constance Herbert, long-serving staff member (1927–1958) and director of music, wrote the school hymn “Serve By Love” for the St Cuthbert’s Day Service at the 21st Jubilee celebrations. It was used until 1954. The concluding verse shows the continuation of By Love Serve into the Old Girls’ life journey.
The Memorial Sundial also provides a tangible example of By Love Serve. Elizabeth (Betty) Mary Chambers was a pupil from 1924–1935 and school prefect in 1935. She became a teacher and was on staff at the College from 1939–1944 until her sudden death. In 1945, her parents gifted the school a sundial in her memory. At the dedication of the memorial, Rev. Bower Black likened the qualities of Betty’s life with the sundial: quiet and doing its work unceasingly, without ostentation and without calling attention to itself, as it stands in God’s sunshine.
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