Headmaster’s chair carved 1914, Friends’ school, Hobart

Headmaster's chair, Friends' School, hobart

Headmaster’s chair, Friends’ School, Hobart

Close up detail, Headmaster's chair, St Michael's Collegiate, Hobart

Close up detail, Headmaster’s chair, St Michael’s Collegiate, Hobart


“Ellen Nora Payne – Woodcarver of Tasmania” by Russell Atkinson

Soon after Alan entered the University, Mrs Payne decided to present a headmaster’s chair to the Friends High School, where Alan had won his first scholarship.  She designed and carved a handsome one, and presented it to the school as a memento of Alan’s schooldays there.  It was made of old cedar, and it bore a small metal plate recording Alan’s achievements while at Friends.  There was, of course, a formal presentation attended by the acting headmaster and members of the staff, and Alan, to whom nothing was impossible, wound up a remarkably able speech for an undergraduate by asking that the school should be given a half-holiday.   One can picture Alan, who had his father’s clear-cut features and his mother’s blue eyes, making such a request with tongue in cheek, but there is no record of whether his request was granted.