J Allan Anderson graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1902. The following year he joined a law practice in the Victorian country centre of Stawell, where he met and married Ethel M. Allingham. Moving to East Kew, Melbourne, in 1917, where his son attended Trinity Grammar School. By March 1921 the family had exchanged their annual summer holidays at Mentone for permanent residence when they moved into Captain Dawson's former home, 'Riviera' off Mentone Parade. Disappointed with standards at this son's new local school and now living in a fast-growing town and district, in 1922, on a train journey to his office in the City, 46-year-old solicitor J.A. Anderson came up with the idea to form a new grammar school for boys in Mentone.