Centenarian - Margaret MacLachlan

By Julian Faigan | Posted: Thursday June 11, 2020

Many OBHS old boys from the period 1963 to 1985 will remember with affection the wife of Rector Don MacLachlan.

Margaret MacLachlan, now in a retirement home near Wellington, turns 100 this month and it’s a great occasion to recall her huge support for the school her late husband led for over two decades. 

Margaret was born on the 14th of June 1920 in Scotland but while she was still a pre-school child her family migrated to New Zealand and settled in Christchurch. She attended St Margaret’s College where she excelled in sports and eventually became a dental nurse. She had a very fine singing voice which was heard in her church choir as well as in major events during the war years. In May 1950 she married Donald MacLachlan and the couple produced two daughters and a son. They lived in Christchurch until 1963 when her husband took up the rectorship of Otago Boys’ High School. 

Her son, Don Jnr, recalls that his mother was totally dedicated in her support role at OBHS. “She spent many hours watching other people’s children participate in their various sporting disciplines and supporting their success. She was known for her vigorous barracking for the home team, and sometimes her enthusiasm had to be restrained! Especially when I was playing rugby.” Margaret earned the affection of many boys for the lavish afternoon teas she would host at the Rectory in recognition of the various OBHS teams. Her son recalls: “She was a wonderful host and had a very easy rapport with young people. Because she was brought up in a sporting family she had a great knowledge of sport, a lot more so than my father who was more of an academic.” 

Those who know Margaret find her outstanding qualities include her tenacity and loyalty. Her connection to OBHS, the school she loved and supported over so many years, continues to this day with her grandson enrolled in Year 9. The present staff and boys of OBHS, along with innumerable Old Boys, wish her good health and many happy returns on this significant birthday.