In 1923 when Canterbury College celebrated its 50th jubilee, a former student wrote that in his opinion some of the most important changes of the past 50 years had included the collection of funds for a new library, the creation of a tea room in the College, the establishment of hostels for students, and the substitution of electric light for gas. It is a useful reminder that while the formal business of the College may have been education, the actual experience of staff and students was as much about the domestic as it was about the academic.
It took the creation of the College buildings to make that domestic life possible. When the College existed ‘in the clouds’, teaching out of the Public Library, there were no opportunities for students to gather or to see themselves as a student body. After the construction of the Clock Tower in 1877, Canterbury College began to create its own rich traditions and culture, many of them centered around the experience of living and working in the town site environment.