P. C. Anderson

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P.C. Anderson
Personal information
Full name Peter Corsar Anderson
Born (1871-02-17)17 February 1871
Menmuir, Forfarshire, Scotland
Died 26 August 1955(1955-08-26) (aged 84)
Nationality  Scotland
Partner Agnes Henrietta Macartney
Children Mark Peter Anderson
Career
Status Amateur
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
U.S. Open DNP
The Open Championship T19: 1893
U.S. Amateur DNP
British Amateur Won: 1893

Peter Corsar Anderson (17 February 1871 – 26 August 1955) was an influential educator[1] and golfer[2] in Western Australia.

Early life[edit]

Anderson was born on 16 February 1871, at the manse of Menmuir, Forfarshire, Scotland. He went to Madras College, St Andrews, where he won a bursary to the United College in the University of St Andrews. At United he won prizes in Hebrew and church history, was president of the student council and a champion rifle-shot. He was also a golfer, winning The Amateur Championship in 1893. After graduating B.A. in 1892 he studied theology at St Mary's College and was licensed in divinity in 1895 by the Church of Scotland, but did not pursue this calling because of health problems. He took a recuperative journey to Western Australia to visit his brother Mark in Albany, then moved to Victoria. He was a tutor for a farming family for six months at Mansfield, 90 km north-east of Melbourne, and then moved to Geelong Church of England Grammar School from 1896 to 1900. He was a master at the senior school from 1896 to 1899 and in charge of the Preparatory School from 1899 to 1900.[1][2]

St Salvator's[edit]

Anderson left Geelong Grammar in 1900 to set up his own school, St Salvator's, also in Geelong.[2]

Scotch College, Perth[edit]

Anderson was appointed headmaster of Scotch in 1904, a position he held for 41 years until 1945. The early years were challenging: the seven-year-old school was in temporary premises, some school councillors believed the school should be disbanded, while others thought it should relocate. His first ten years at Scotch saw new science laboratories, a cadet corps, sports grounds and a boatshed. Within 10 years Scotch was established as one of the four leading independent boys' schools in Western Australia. For the next 30 years Anderson was doyen among Protestant headmasters and set a model whose influence extended well beyond his own college. During his time at Scotch enrolments rose from 59 to 410 per year and more than 3000 students passed through the school. He was appointed C.B.E. in 1947.[1]

Character[edit]

Impressively built and inclined to be set in his opinions, he earned the nickname 'Boss', but was respected for his scrupulous fair-mindedness and capacity for hard work. Legends generated around him, such as the yarn that he once caned the entire school in an attempt to put down smoking. Despite Anderson's successful academic and career record, one short-term junior teacher who was learning his trade at Scotch College later caricatured him as unimaginative, a charge which does not tally with his apparent fair-mindedness and which has been rejected by eminent educators. The majority held Anderson in great respect even during his last difficult wartime years.[1]

Anderson brought to Scotch College a model of 'godliness and manliness', for he was a ‘typical product of a Scottish Presbyterian background’, tall at 6’4’’, a strong disciplinarian whose main interest was in sport, and, although not an educational innovator, he was a 'reliable' leader. The notion of 'godliness and manliness' is at the heart of late nineteenth-century 'muscular Christianity', a term coined in response to the work of Charles Kingsley, associated with magazines like the Boys' Own Paper and a host of popular books like Tom Brown's Schooldays and Coral Island, and in recent years portrayed in films like Chariots of Fire.[2]

Golf[edit]

Before moving to Australia, Anderson often played at the Old Course at St Andrews: for half a season he held the course record of 80, which was 4 under bogie. When he visited his brother Mark (also a keen golfer) in Albany, the latter suggested Anderson settle in Melbourne, where Mark he had been champion of Royal Melbourne Golf Club in 1893. Anderson joined Geelong Golf Club and was champion for six successive years until 1903. He was reported to be among those who selected the new site for the Royal Melbourne course when that club's old links were being hemmed in by building projects. He is also credited with laying out the Barwon Heads course at Geelong. In WA Anderson and others thought vacant land near the ocean might be the making of a golf course. Anderson and N C Fowlie designed the nine-hole course, named it Sea View and it was opened as the Cottesloe Golf Club by the Governor on 11 September 1908. Anderson also laid out the first nine holes of the Royal Fremantle course. Anderson won the last of his four club trophy events in 1928 at the age of 57.[2]

Tournament wins[edit]

this list is incomplete

Major championships[edit]

Amateur wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship Winning Score Runner-up
1893 The Amateur Championship 1 up Scotland Johnny Laidlay

Results timeline[edit]

Note: Anderson played in only The Open Championship and The Amateur Championship.

Tournament 1891 1892 1893 1894
The Open Championship CUT DNP T19 DNP
The Amateur Championship DNP DNP 1 R32

DNP = Did not play
CUT = Missed the cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
DNQ = Did not qualify for match play portion
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10

Source for British Open: www.opengolf.com

Source for 1894 British Amateur: The Glasgow Herald, April 26, 1894, pg. 11.

Family[edit]

Anderson married Agnes Henrietta Macartney on 5 July 1899, at Hawthorn, Victoria. Agnes was the sister of a student he tutored at Mansfield and granddaughter of Hussey Burgh Macartney, the Anglican Dean of Melbourne who in 1855 was one of the founders of Geelong Grammar School.[2] They had six sons and seven daughters. Anderson died on 26 August 1955, at his home at Swanbourne.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Biographical Entry". Australian Dictionary of Biography Online. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "The Long Game" (PDF). No 24 October 2006.