Reverend Henry Hudson Anderson was born in India, the eldest son of an English missionary. Sent at a young age to the care of a relative in Jersey he excelled scholastically at Amersham Hall, matriculating with honours at the age of 16. After gaining a scholarship to attend Regent’s Park College, London, he completed a first-class BA degree at the University of London in .
He then embarked on a teaching career in England, before being appointed Principal of the Hindu College at Vizagapatam, India. In he became Rector of St James’ High School in Calcutta. After arriving in Australia Anderson taught for a time at Melbourne Church of England Grammar School before being appointed Inspector of Schools by the Tasmanian Education Department. The taking of Holy Orders enabled him to accept the position of Headmaster of the Hutchins School; he was 33 years old.
The Reverend Anderson succeeded J V Buckland as Headmaster in . His daughter Agnes became the first girl to be enrolled at Hutchins. Anderson’s term straddled the great depression of the 1890s with all the resultant difficulties imposed on a Headmaster whose salary was dependent on the number of pupils he was able to attract. With a reputation as a sound and widely read scholar, Anderson taught both literature and mathematics and was a peerless preacher. He impressed the boys with his willingness to take part in school sports, joining them in the boxing ring, at the tennis court and on the cricket field, where he not only played but also captained the School team.
An official Association of Old Hutchins School Scholars was formed in and the School Magazine made its first brief appearance in , as did the more permanent Literary and Debating Society. The School’s jubilee was celebrated in with a Grand Carnival and the purchase of the School’s first rowing boat in — effectively founding the School Rowing Club — was made possible by a fundraising bazaar, with a fancy dress ball held at the Town Hall.
What I wish to produce in the school is a tone of self-government, boys doing that which is right, not because they are afraid of punishment, not because they think it will pay, but because it is right… we shall still keep this before us as our chief aim, and that, as in the past still more in the future, the fact that a boy is a Hutchins School boy will furnish a presumption that he is a gentleman, and a Christian gentleman.
Anderson’s term was overshadowed by financial problems, encapsulated in a series of increasingly terse letters to and from the Bishop, as the Headmaster attempted to gain remuneration for repairs carried out on the crumbling school buildings. Despite a spirited defence of his position detailing favourable academic results compared with other leading schools and the increase in enrolments for , the lack of confidence in his leadership was demonstrated publicly by the appointment of G A Gurney as his Co-Principal. At his final prize-giving ceremony on , Anderson expressed pride in two traditions he would leave behind him — scholarship and tone. The first would be maintained only by hard work on the part of both masters and boys, and the second was a tradition he handed on ‘undimmed in lustre’; to be a Hutchins School boy was ‘a hall mark’ and he trusted it would remain so.
Anderson returned to parish work, becoming Rector of Zeehan and later of Stanley, and from to , of St Matthew’s Church, New Norfolk. A geologist and naturalist, he was a talented fly-fisherman and gardener. He lived in retirement at New Norfolk — keeping up an active interest in his old School — before dying in . His obituary was co-written by T C Brammall and future Headmaster of Hutchins, J R O Harris. They recognised that despite the decrease in enrolments during his term, the School had maintained its former high standard of scholarship and sport, ‘a result largely due to Mr Anderson’s wise guidance and excellent teaching’ (Hutchins School Magazine, December ).
i Stephens, G H. (), The Hutchins School: Macquarie Street Year (–). Hobart.