The Madras College Archive
Former Pupil Biographies
Peter Corsar Anderson C.B.E. (1871 - 1955)
Mr P C Anderson, C.B.E., was headmaster of Scotch College for over 40 years between 1904 and 1945. The College is an independent school for boys on Swanbourne, Western Australia.
The P C Anderson Memorial Old Boy's Scholarship is awarded to sons of former alumni in year 11.
After graduating B.A. in 1892 he studied theology at St
Mary's College and in 1895 was licensed in divinity by the Church of
Scotland, but did not pursue this calling because of a breakdown in
health. He took a recuperative journey to visit a brother in Western
Australia, but moved on to Victoria, where in 1896-1900 he became an
assistant master at Geelong Church of England Grammar School. He was a
master at the senior school from 1896 to 1899 and in charge of the
Preparatory School from 1899 to 1900. Anderson left Geelong Grammar in
1900 to set up his own school, St Salvator's, also in Geelong.
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.
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 Western Australia 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.