Allan McLean's giving continues through The McLean Institute

21:34, Dec 10 2012
Holly Lea
LEAFY SURROUNDS: The new Holly Lea is reminiscent of a private hotel.


The McLean Institute is a 104-year-old charitable trust governed by a board of 13 voluntary members as determined by the will of Allan McLean.

More than 100 years after Allan McLean's death, The McLean Institute is still fulfilling the charitable wishes outlined in his will.

The McLean Institute was incorporated in 1908 after the death of McLean in 1907. In his will, McLean left a substantial amount of his estate to be used by the Institute. His wealth was left to care for educated or refined women who were enduring financial hardship.

Chief executive Geoff Tylee-Porter
ORIGINAL FURNITURE: Chief executive Geoff Tylee-Porter enjoys the luxurious surroundings of Holly Lea's living room.

The McLean mansion (the original Holly Lea) on Manchester St was where women were accommodated until 1956, when the Government purchased the property to become a hostel for trainee school dental therapists.

In 1956, Quamby, the Fendalton Road property the Institute had purchased in 1909, was further developed with the addition of four wings. It then took the Holly Lea name and at its peak, became a home for up to 51 women.

It continued to provide accommodation and care until 2005/2006 when the building was demolished for the rebuild of The McLean Institute's new investment under the operation of Holly Lea Village Ltd. Holly Lea Village Ltd is solely owned by The McLean Institute.


In time, when the new Holly Lea site has been fully developed, The McLean Institute will be working to fulfil the latter part of McLean's will. It intends to assist women with accommodation who, in the now quaint terms of the will, 'are not under the age of eighteen years... [but] are poor and of good character and have been resident in the colony for a period of three years.' The support will also be extended to their children, too.

"The intent of the charity's new direction will be to help participants turn their lives around," says chief executive Geoff Tylee-Porter.

"The McLean Institute aims to always treat people with respect and consider the needs of individuals. It offers people a home that is as close to a normal home life as possible."

There are currently four women receiving support from The McLean Institute. This number will not increase until the second part of the charity is established.

Holly Lea Today

One of The McLean Institute's most recent successes is the development of Holly Lea into a retirement village designed for men and women who want to enjoy the relaxation and freedom of retirement while maintaining a vitality for life.

The first stage of Holly Lea was completed in 2006, the second in 2008 and there are ongoing additions, with plans to build villa-type accommodation on the hectare of land at Holly Lea in Fendalton Rd.

Residents of Holly Lea buy the right to occupy a unit at Holly Lea. They have the choice of a studio, one or two bedroomunit. Each apartment is outfitted with a full kitchen, bathroom and various lounge and bedroom sizes. Double glazed windows, ceiling and under-floor heating are installed in every apartment.

The priceless aspect of apartments at Holly Lea is the convenient suburban location and natural surroundings. Holly Lea is built among gardens and has two streams - one of which has banks constructed by rocks brought from a quarry in Timaru.

Chief executive, Geoff Tylee-Porter says that many people who move to Holly Lea say they wish they had decided to come sooner.

"A lot of retired people find it difficult to leave a home which they have occupiedfor many years," he says.

He encourages people to move into a retirement village during their more active years, when they can enjoy the freedom of assisted living.

"Residents at Holly Lea, have the freedom to go overseas and not worry about their home while they are away," says Tylee-Porter.

"Holly Lea also offers its residents security and companionship that they may not have at home."

Tylee-Porter says that the retirement village has been designed to look more like a private hotel than a retirement home. The interior is decorated with Allan McLean's European furniture, artworks and original fireplaces taken from the McLean mansion and the Russell family mansion, which was on the Fendalton Rd site when the Institute purchased it for GBP£5,142.

Facilities at Holly Lea include a computer room, flower arranging room, games room, library, gym, workshop, sun room, hair salon, movie theatre, cafe, dining room and underground car park. There is something for everyone to enjoy.

"The best thing about Holly Lea is that it feels like a home," says Tylee-Porter.

"Residents' families are more than welcome to visit and stay for short periods."

Holly Lea appreciates that people prefer medical and life care to be private. Medical facilities are discreetly integrated within the retirement village. There are care staff available 24 hours a day, every day, and registered nurses are either on duty or on call all the time.

For those considering a change in lifestyle and looking for a place that has the security of a retirement village but the freedom and privacy of being in your own home, Holly Lea is the ideal choice.

Vision Statement

The McLean Institute and Holly Lea will always uphold the values outlined in Allan McLean's will. It will treat people with respect and will always consider an individual's needs.

Past Success

Providing care to the women of Christchurch through The McLean Institute and now offering a high quality retirement home accommodation and services to both men and women. Four staff have also each given 20 years service to Holly Lea.

Future Hope

To fulfil the second part of Allan McLean's will by providing support for younger women and their families.

Greatest Moment

Every time a person says they wish they had moved to Holly Lea sooner.

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