HOBART HIGH SCHOOL TO HOBART COLLEGE 19132013: A REVOLUTION IN STATE EDUCATION Peter Pierce and Peter Smith ( Old Hobartian Association and Forty Degrees South, $ 50)
HOBART High School to Hobart College is an ambitious and important book that will appeal to a wide range of history lovers as well as thousands of Old Hobartians.
In this hefty volume, Peter Pierce and Peter Smith have crafted not just the story of a school, but have chronicled the history of 20thcentury education in Tasmania.
In the dense, chronologically ordered chapters, as well as the recollections by famous alumni, the reader learns of the emergence of the three schools which collectively made Hobart College.
They also discover the roots of many educational practices.
Many may be as surprised as I was to learn a tradition of requiring fi ve subjects to enter university was introduced as early as 1911 and that politican Joseph Lyons’ support of the school’s philosophy was key to its success and public recognition in the 1920s.
A 44- page roll call listing of all students from 1913- 1989 forms another section of the book and the entire text is rich in thumbprint biographies of students, teachers and even politicians.
Thumbprint biographies of luminaries such as Errol Flynn, Tara Morice, Doctor of Economics Bruce Felmingham and football coach Rodney Eade make compelling reading and emphasise what a diverse range of alumni can call Hobart College their alma mater.
Especially interesting is the section dealing with the challenges of the late 1970s and ’ 80s as the authors discuss knotty political issues of the time in addition to charting developments in educational theory.
Prepared for release at Hobart High’s Centenary celebrations earlier this year, Hobart High School to Hobart College 19132013: A Revolution in State Education is extremely well- researched and written, has an ear for the humorous and an eye for visual detail.