Cholmondeley Children’s Home Opened – 7th March 1925

On 7 March 1925, in the memory of Margaret Cholmondeley, the Cholmondeley Children’s Home was opened in Governor’s Bay.

Hugh Cholmondeley and his beloved Mary – as Margaret was called – had been unable to have children of their own but both were extremely fond of children. When Mary died, Hugh made the decision to take over some Governor’s Bay land that had been owned by nuns and build a children’s home. This building was demolished due to the 2011 earthquakes.  They have since rebuild on site.

Hugh’s brother Charles had been a passenger on the ‘Charlotte Jane’ –the first of our First Four Ships – and took up land Port Levy in 1851.

By 1864, Charles had been joined in Port Levy by his mother and the rest of his siblings which included brothers, George and Hugh. The family were very popular with everyone, especially the Maori that called Port Levy home. Every Christmas, Charles would dress up as Santa and arrive in the Maori settlement with a sleigh full of presents.

For a more in depth look at the Cholmondeley family, please check out the following link:

* Image courtesy of Cholmondeley’s Children Home –

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