On 22nd July 2009, Margaret Hall, the youngest of the then five semi-autonomous units in Madras Christian College called ‘halls’, opened its doors for the first batch of young women residents. And there began the journey of the second hall on campus for women students.
This fifth hall was the fulfilment of a much felt need to increase facilities on campus for the women students. The former Principal, Dr V. J. Philip and the Bursar, Mr Soundarrajan along with a few academicians approached the UGC for a grant to see this magnificent structure take shape. When the project was sanctioned the college contributed an equal amount towards it, and took the necessary steps to its fruition. The then newly-inducted Principal, Dr R.W. Alexander Jesudasan hastened the completion of the hall, which was inaugurated on 22nd July 2009. The entire governing body led by the Chairman Dr Besant C. Raj, a few former Principals, and a large number of faculty members and students graced the occasion with their presence.
Challenges were huge while shaping the barren building into a beautiful abode, to meet the needs of the residents and to build the hall into what it stands for today- Humility, Nobility, Perfection, Excellence, and Womanhood.
Margaret Hall, today, is no longer the new kid on the block. She has grown into a strong family with traditions and achievements of her own; uniquely different from the four other halls on campus.
ETYMOLOGY OF THE HALL NAME
Margaret Locher Anderson was the wife of our founder, Rev. John Anderson, who laboured for the institution from 1845-1887. She was instrumental in starting the first on-campus women’s hostel at her own home. Hence it was a natural choice for the Hall to be named after her. The residents are proudly called the ‘Margaritas’.
The pride of every Hall rings out clear in its Hall Anthem. Not only does the Hall song embody the essence of the Hall, it is also the hall’s signature; unique and respected. Thus it goes without saying that great efforts are taken in the creation of this signature. Margaret Hall couldn’t have asked for more originality than having her song written by Prof. J C Dheenakumar, the husband of her first warden. Different from all the other hall songs in a unique manner, this anthem embodies everything that is truly a ‘Margarita’.
“Margaret hall of MCC,
The finest place you ever shall see,
Hurrah! Hurrah! For Margaret hall,
The home away from home for all.
Margaritas are we, the prettiest girls of MCC,
The men hush, the neighbours blush,
Looking at Margaritas.
Margaret means pearl, you see it in every girl,
Fragrance is our theme, we keep it as our dream.
We have a lot of fun, every difference we will shun.
Among the halls Margaret stands, Margaret stands so tall.
Heber fish-pond dwellers, friendly be,
The ‘sirs’ of Selaiyur, we’re yours cordially,
Jolly fellows of Thomas’s with you we make no fuss,
Healthy competition to Martinians from us.
Telugus and Tamils, Mallus and Tulus,
North Indians and East, Tibetans (and) Bhutanese,
Make a mini Asia in the Margaret hall,
Oh! We are so free from every kind of gall.
The Hall Emblem depicts a cross in the shape of an anchor which stands for strong faith and foundation. A lady holding a pearl stands on the cross representing every margarita, as Margaret means ‘pearl’. At the top left, there soars an eagle which highlights the Hall Motto “Auf Fluegeln Wie Adler”, which in German means “On Wings Like Eagles”. The flowers at the lower left hand side symbolize the Hall theme, fragrance.
The first two cabinets of Margaret Hall were nominated by the Warden, who is the President of the Hall. Beginning from the third cabinet, the residents elected the secretaries, unanimously or by election.
Vice president: Ms. Raisa Elsa Joseph
General Secretary: Ms. Kung San
Literary and Debating Secretary: Ms. Ninni Susan Thomas
Cultural Secretary: Ms. Anju Susan Philip
Vegetarian mess Secretary: Ms.Bharathi
Non-vegetarian mess Secretary: Ms. Galmet Lepcha
Sports Secretary: Ms. Manjitha Dhital
Welfare Secretary: Ms. Abhirami S (First resident)
Prayer Secretary: Ms. N Leela Sharon
Vice president: Ms. Juby Elsa Jacob
General Secretary: Ms. Tinrenni Mualehin
Literary and Debating Secretary: Ms. Nikhila S Ajeer
Cultural Secretary: Ms. Pranisha Raj
Vegetarian mess Secretary: Ms. Gayathri
Non-vegetarian mess Secretary: Ms. Shyamala Mohan
Sports Secretary: Ms. Angeline V Paul
Welfare Secretary: Ms. Shwaii Lalruvanwangi
Prayer Secretary: Ms. Joann Cherian
Vice president: Ms. Rekha Mohandas
General Secretary: Ms. Charutha Lal
Literary and debating Secretary: Ms. Nikhila S Ajeer
Cultural Secretary: Ms. Anju Susan Philip
Vegetarian mess Secretary: Ms. Dharini S
Non-vegetarian mess Secretary: Ms. Divya Tangavel
Sports Secretary: Ms. Shyamala Mohan
Welfare Secretary: Ms. Aditi Natarajan
Prayer Secretary: Ms. Bersiya Grace
Vice president: Ms. S Madhumati
General Secretary: Ms. Preethy Sarah Varghese
Literary and Debating Secretary: Ms. Onupurba Das
Cultural Secretary: Ms. S Kannimozhi
Vegetarian mess Secretary: Ms. Bala Tandoni
Non-vegetarian mess Secretary: Ms. J Divya Magdalin
Sports Secretary: Ms. P Priyadarshini
Welfare Secretary: Ms. S Shivaranjini
Prayer Secretary: Ms. Pearline Paul
Vice president: Ms. Anju Susan Philip
General Secretary: Ms. Joanne Rachel Joe
Literary and Debating Secretary: Ms. Irene Joy
Cultural Secretary: Ms. Sheril Anne Mathew
Vegetarian mess Secretary: Ms. K Archana
Non-vegetarian mess Secretary: Ms. S Cintha
Sports Secretary: Ms. Akshaya Subramaniam
Welfare Secretary: Ms. R Rajeshwari
Prayer Secretary: Ms. Lilu Susan George
The Hall welcomed the arrival of our new Warden, the President, Dr C. Joyce Priyakumari and a new post titled the ‘Public Relations Secretary’.
Vice-president: Ms. Christina Susan Abraham
General Secretary: Ms. Magdelene A. Brown
Literary and Debating Secretary: Ms. Debashree Mishra
Cultural Secretary: Ms. Athini Gomez
Vegetarian Mess Secretary: Ms. J Jacksmitha
Non-vegetarian Mess Secretary: Ms. Nandhini Narasimhan
Sports Secretary: Ms. R Rajeswari
Welfare Secretary: Ms. Manini Jayal
Public Relations Secretary: Ms. Nissy Sara George
Prayer Secretary: Ms. Pearline Paul
Vice President: Ms. S Shivaranjini
General Secretary: Ms. Janice Sandra David
Literary and Debating Secretary: Ms. Megha Rao
Cultural Secretary: Ms. Aparna John
Sports Secretary: Ms. Reenu Jose
Welfare Secretary: Ms. Anjali Anna Abraham
Vegetarian Mess Secretary: Navya
Non-vegetarian Mess Sceretary: Ms. Jennifer Ruth Matlin
Public Relations Secretary: Ms. Tehillah B Jacob
Prayer Secretary: Ms. Sneha Grace
Vice President: Ms. Manini Jayal
General Secretary: Ms. Roshni
Literary and Debating Secretary: Ms. Ranjini Ragotham
Cultural Secretary: Ms. Varsha
Sports Secretary: Ms. Grace Nissi Johnson
Welfare Secretary: Ms. Dhanya Thomas
Vegetarian Mess Secretary: Ms. Chrisma Pearl
Non Vegetarian Mess Secretary: Ms. Ida Gitanjali
Public Relations Secretary: Ms. Anne Maria
Prayer Secretary: Ms. Aksa Kurien
Margaret Hall has four blocks, each named after fragrant flowers- Freesia, Magnolia, Peonia, and Azalia. There are a total of 56 rooms which can accommodate around 150 residents.
One of the greatest assets of the Hall is the Multi-purpose Conference Hall, which was originally constructed as an exclusive prayer room for the residents and for their gathering. The room now serves the entire college community as a classroom for overseas students, a viva-voce exam centre, an alternative chapel and a venue for various celebrations.
The Hall Magazine, Saisei (Japanese for ‘A New Beginning’), was introduced during the third year of the Hall by the then Literary and Debating Secretary, Ms Nikhila Sudharma Ajeer.
The Hall Library was inaugurated by Pastor Charles during the third year of the Hall. It is a customary tradition for all first years of the hall to donate a book to the library.
The Garden at the centre of the Hall is host to a variety of flowering plants, trees and bamboo. It is also visited by several rare species of birds through the seasons.
Throughout the year, various Inter-block cultural, literary, sports and culinary competitions are held for the residents. Our Inter-block Cultural competition features an impressive cornucopia of dancing, singing and acting skills in an artistic battle of the blocks. The inter-year fashion show, ‘Manogna’, never fails to surprise everyone who’s watching. This is one time and place where everyone has fun unlimited; age no bar.
The inter-block Literary and Debating competitions include various activities like debating, dumb charades, 90 seconds, ‘what’s the good word?’ and creative writing; even some Terribly Tiny Tales.
The inter-block sports competition, ‘Josh’ is held on two days, which includes a march past competition and indoor games.
The Mess competitions include several fun filled dishes like ‘Cooking without Fire’ and Idli Eating competition.
For the first time ever, in 2015, a joint effort of the Literary and Debating secretary and the Cultural secretary, gave rise of a fun filled night of Art Exhibits, karaoke and dancing.
The Christmas Programme held at the end of every year is an occasion for spreading the true message of love and compassion of the Jesus Christ. The first Christmas of Margaret Hall was called ‘The First Noel’ and was followed by
‘Glad Tidings’, ‘The King is Born’, ‘The Sign’ and ‘The Star in the Manger’. This year’s Christmas was a special one. With the initiative of the 2014-2015 cabinet, the Margaritas spent a day with forty-four children from the Krupa Foundation who arrived at the Hall after the morning service. It was a blessing for all who attended the fellowship. Accordingly, the ladies decided to assign the theme- ‘All about Agape’, to their carol night that followed a few days later.
The Hall event, DIONYSIA is an inter-collegiate and inter-hall Theatre Competition. This festival was an initiative of the third year cabinet, namely, Ms Charutha Lal, Ms Nikhila S Ajeer and Ms Anju Susan Philip.
Named aptly after the Greek celebration of the harvest in honour of Dionysius- the God of wine and fertility; DIONYSIA is an all-girls’ venture at reviving the art of theatre on campus after a long and heavy silence of several years. We provide the platform for colleges, halls and theatre groups in around Chennai to showcase their talent and compete to make their mark on the theatre arena.
Dionysia has seen eminent theatre personalities such as Dr P Rajani, Dr John Mathew, Mr Freddy Koikaran, Mr Vinod Anand, Mr Dushyant Gunashekar, Mr V Balakrishna, Mr Amudhan Ramalingam, Mr. Mathivanan, and Mrs. Samyuktha P.C. Apart from the halls, colleges like IIT Madras, Stella Maris, Ethiraj, WCC, and SRM have participated for the event. Groups like Matrics, Creashakthi, ASAP, Stagefright, Masquerade, and Chennai Comedy have graced the occasion with their special performances.
The most important part of Dionysia is its collaboration with Paperman started by Mr Mathew Jose. The aim is to raise funds through recycling paper. These proceeds go to an NGO, Nanhi Kali, which empowers girls across the country.
We’re GIRLS! There’s no such thing as TOO MUCH DRAMA.
Margaret Hall’s Alumni Association was inaugurated on 22nd February, 2014 during the fifth Hall Day, ‘Altivolum’.