The ferocious loyalty and traditionalism of College’s Old Boys did not mean that they were always either generous or charitable. Yet College has survived and flourished in the process, becoming one of New Zealand’s best-known schools. It has also become a national school, drawing boys from all over the country. It has preserved its independence. It has moved with the times, being prepared to initiate and experiment, while at the same time preserving what Sir Miles Warren, admittedly an Old Boy, has described as “the finest collection of buildings in New Zealand”. The History of Jacobs House Jacobs House was originally designed by Cecil Wood as part of a larger reorganisation for the development of The Quad. Only this building came to fruition as planned. It was opened in 1931 with 50 boys drawn from four other Houses, as well as some new boys. The House is named after College’s first Headmaster, Henry Jacobs, who arrived in New Zealand as a Canterbury Association Chaplain on board the Sir George Seymour. The House is on the site of the first Headmaster’s house. Within the House Library is a stone fireplace, in memory of Guy Spencer Bryan-Brown, Chaplain of Christ’s College, who was killed in World War 1. The House was refurbished in 2003 and the concrete block addition at the rear of the House was constructed at this time. In 2013, Jacobs House began its transition from a boarding House to a dayboy House and has been a full dayboy House since 2017.
The Jacobs House symbol is a red or Tudor rose and can be seen on the College crest. It is also part of the arms of Christ Church Oxford, where John Robert Godley and many of the founders of Canterbury had attended university. The motto Non Sibi translates as “Not for one’s self”. Jacobs House has been a prominent House at Christ’s College over the past 85 years, not only through its location on The Quad, but also because of the Old Boys it has produced, with some of the more notable being All Black Jock Hobbs and New Zealand cricketer John Wright.
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