Henn's House Celebrates 90 Years

31 Jan 2017

In 1922 the new house system was introduced with two boarding houses, School House and St George’s House, and Stirling day boy house. By 1927 boarding numbers had grown to such an extent in School House that it was decided to form a new house. When the boys returned to school from the holidays in 1927 they were informed that there were now three houses. School House had been divided into two. There were a total of 90 boys in the Senior and Preparatory School, with 17 in the new Henn’s House.

The Headmaster, Philip Hinckley, sent a telegram to Canon Percy Henn who was living in Hampshire at the time, stating it was the unanimous wish of the boys and staff at the School that the new house was to be named Henn’s House. Henn replied that he would be most honoured.

The May 1927 Swan stated “Needless to say, some possessors of so-called wit have been exhausting their ingenuity in finding new nick names, but such is only to be expected of those who have not the honour of being in Henn’s House”.

The question of house colour was decided by a vote, and duly received the approval of the Headmaster. Green was found to be the only distinctive colour left without introducing compound colours.

The first Henn’s House Captain was Fenwick Deane Hammond, who attended from 1921 until part way through 1927, leaving to attend Cambridge. He had previously been a boarder in St George’s House and was from Kellerberrin. Fenwick had been appointed as a School Prefect since 1925.
Mr Norman Hollingdale Roff was employed on staff from September 1926 until 1933 and had been brought out to the School by Headmaster Philip Hinckley, who wanted to strengthen the science department. In 1927 he was appointed as the first House Master of the new Henn’s House. He had graduated from Cambridge and was captain of the college football team as well as being a keen hurdler. Norman was also employed as overall Sportsmaster and coached the 1st XI cricket team as well as being Junior House Master in School House. He was CUO of the Cadets, winning the Hobbs Trophy in 1930 and also played a prominent part in the school drama. Norman was married to Kitty in 1931.

Norman left Guildford and went to Geelong Grammar School and then was appointed Headmaster of Launceston Church Grammar School in 1936.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Norman enlisted in the 2/40th Australian Infantry Battalion in 1940 and held the rank of Captain. He was serving in Timor and while leading his company up a ridge over open ground against enemy entrenched positions was severely wounded and died some hours later on 23 February 1942.

Construction on the new Henn’s House on the corner of Allpike Street and Terrace Road did not begin until 1928 and it was not until early 1929 that the House was able to move out of the main building.
The photo shows the Henn’s House A Football team of 1927.

Back Row: Stanley Shephard, Harry Johnston, James Nicholas, Philip Devitt, Eric Merryweather, Thomas Chippington, Hensley White, Herbert Kelly, Kenneth Wyatt
Middle Row: Charles Hurst, Archibald Sanderson, Ronald Smith, John Laver, Neil Morrison, Alexander Walton, Isaac Matson
Front Row: Walter Speed, Francis Kirkpatrick, Thomas Renwick