shield The Giffen School for Girls, Viña del Mar, Chile
"Excelsior" magazine, September 1922


A little history


Cover Title page Preface Editorial notes


Polly's adventure by air Running away from home A trip to Buenos Aires Chile April fool? Only a farmer's lass Useful tit-bits Pat's prediction


An apple orchard in the spring


Sailboats Girl in a jam Meeting the rabbit Ship's doctor Mouse mail Pampered pet Blackface dance Fairy and jester


1st set 2nd set


Persons named

Related Links

British community [in Spanish] Punta Arenas


Duncan Campbell


Brief History

«The Giffen school in Viña del Mar
is known both far and wide,
we'll tell the world about it,
with ever-lasting pride.
The place where we will make our friendships
that will last us all through life»

The Giffen School for Girls, Viña del Mar, was a private school catering to the daughters of well-to-do Chileans and British expatriates. It was founded in 1922 by the British couple Robert and Grace Giffen, both professional educators. Boarders were accepted, an attractive feature to parents living in remote areas, such as Patagonia, without access to local schools. Since 1914 Mrs. Giffen had operated a school in Punta Arenas.

Enrollment grew over the years, reaching 150 by the mid 1940s. Standards were high, equipping the school-leavers for admission to university in Chile or Britain. In the early years there was a kindergarten, which admitted young boys.

At first, the school was located in Calle del Cerro, Miramar (Cerro Castillo). From approximately 1927 to 1934, it operated in the imposing Palacio Carrasco, on Avenida Libertad, and thereafter at Calle von Schroeders 423. Some time later, the school closed its doors; the building was demolished, to be replaced about 1956 by apartment buildings.

a. Rae Gregory, for providing a copy of her mother's 1922 school magazine: this was probably the very first edition.
b. Sergio Paravic, for sharing his knowledge of the city and its history.
c. Staff of the Archives Section, Municipalidad de Viña del Mar, for locating background materials.
d. Luis Arnaboldi, for the lines from the school hymn: by request of his mother, María Teresa Camponovo.

1. El Esfuerzo Británico en Valparaíso, 1925, p.104
2. Guía de Subscriptores en los Distritos de Valparaíso y Aconcagua, Chile Telephone Co. Ltd., Enero 1928
3. El Libro de Valparaíso (1536-1946), p.163