The School’s first prize giving ceremony took place on 21 December 1855. Among the prize winners was nine-year-old Frederick Pincott, who was awarded a copy of Peter Parley’s Annual as a prize for English History. Young Frederick would have found much to amuse him in the tales and adventures of Peter Parley, a pseudonym of the American author Samuel Goodrich. An old storyteller with a bad foot, Peter Parley was highly popular with children who enjoyed his entertaining and fact-filled tales from history, science and geography. This edition opened with the exhortation to ‘Make the air ring with the Holiday Cheer of Merry Christmas time! Sing and skip, and dance, and play, and let love reign in all your hearts, a perpetual sunshine, from year to year, and from youth to age.’

In later life, Frederick Pincott became a lawyer and a partner in the Geelong firm of Harwood and Pincott. He was a founding member of both the Barwon Racing Club and Barwon Rowing Club, and a director of the Geelong Coffee Palace Company. He retained strong ties to Geelong Grammar School, becoming the first president of the Old Geelong Grammarians, and helping to endow the Scholarship Fund. He and his wife Amelia had eight children — including William, the eponym of the WH Pincott Club, which supports Rowing at the School — who perhaps also enjoyed Frederick’s well-thumbed volume of Peter Parley’s tales.