Miss Kate Baldwin, 1865-1907

Miss Baldwin was a highly respected headmistress of the girls’ department of Gloucester Street (now Christchurch East) School, a position she held from 1898. She was the eldest daughter of the third headmaster of Sydenham School, John Baldwin (1840-1909), and had formerly been first assistant mistress at the Normal School.

A vigorous woman, an exceptionally able teacher

A woman full of bodily and mental vigour1, she was regarded an exceptionally able and intelligent teacher, who exerted a powerful and far-reaching influence over her pupils2. She was, said S.C. Owen, Headmaster at East Christchurch School, probably the finest woman teacher in Canterbury3.

Home Industries Committee.
Home Industries Committee. [1906]
Miss Baldwin played a large role in organising the Home Industries Court, in the 1906 New Zealand International Exhibition but on the opening day of the Exhibition, she caught a chill and shortly afterwards became seriously ill. She died on 16 July 1907, her health having been in decline for several months.


A mark of respect for her too early death

Such was the respect in which she was held that Christchurch schools flew their flags at half-mast, and Christchurch East pupils were sent home for half a day. The Press mourned the loss of a staunch comrade, a genial companion, a wise and womanly friend … a loving, just and considerate mistress whose too early death has caused … heartfelt grief4. Miss Baldwin is buried in Sydenham Cemetery, along with her father and other family members.


  1. Sydenham Cemetery guide, p.55
  2. Sydenham Cemetery guide, p.55
  3. Sydenham Cemetery guide, p.55
  4. Sydenham Cemetery guide, p.55


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