Bishop Julius Hall was founded as a result of the vision of Bishop Churchill Julius, the second Anglican Bishop of Christchurch who was convinced that there was a need for a Church teaching order. It is named after him. In order that this dream of his should be realised, he gave up half his stipend for the rest of his life and moved from Bishopscourt. The Church teaching order didn’t eventuate, but, on the 23 August 1917, what was known as “The Bishop’s Hostel” came into being for young women bent on Teaching and University work.
Though the family was small (15 in 1918) certain formalities were observed. Not for Students of those early days did washing up duties or serving at tables exist. Starched white tablecloths and a maid in starched cap and apron was the background to formal dining. Leave at night was until 9 o’clock except for one night a week when extra time was allowed for attending movies or a dance.
Growth and development
In 1924 the hostel moved to 10 Cranmer Square. Here, during the depression, standards of comfort and service were somewhat different. The years of the Depression and during the Second World War saw a great shortage of domestic staff, so students became involved in cleaning, washing up, preparing meals and helping with the cooking at times. In 1974 the Hall moved to the Ilam campus close to the University. The first "guests" were Commonwealth games competitors who stayed in January 1974 for those games.
A new type of resident
Eventually, in 1993, the almost inevitable happened, when it was found impossible to fill the Hall with women. That year the Hall opened with 12 men, which increased to 15 during the year.
Bishop Julius has therefore been a co-ed Hall since 1993 and there is now an even mix of female and male students. We maintain a close-knit, caring community of people where we offer much and look after those who choose to live here.