22 August 2011

No. 3 -- 18 June 1931

Mr. N. A. Hughes
Passenger, R.M.S. "Niagara",
C/o Union Steamship Company
S U V A.

My dear Noel,

Well you have been to Suva. I hope your impressions of the Island are as vivid as mine were on my first visit, as you make the acquaintance of Mr. Barker.

We are naturally anxious for you to let us know just exactly what occurred and hope you will not fail to write regularly, so that we can be kept advised of each stage of your journey.

Remember that apart from your mother and myself, the two little ones at home will be full of eager interest to know how you are faring.

R.M.S. Niagara (source: Wikipedia)
I want you to be specially careful that you maintain the high standard of personal conduct with the folk you are mixing with. The tendency is, on holiday "to let down the bars" a little, and "when in Rome do as Rome does". I know shipboard life well enough to know how easy it is to "slip" on some of the seemingly small things in personal conduct. Don't forget you have two standards to maintain. First, that of a Christian man and secondly, that of an Association Officer. Throw yourself heart and soul into the life of the ship as far as you are able, but do not compromise your position in either of the relationships I have referred to.

Don't forget also that you should put in at least two to four hours a day in definite preparation for Conference and for your future work at the College. You will be expected by the Faculty to pass certain examinations, so that you may get your entrance status fixed early in your College life. Prepare for that work on the basis set out in the College catalogue. Make each day count in preparation for that period and don't fritter away all the hours of the day and night on the unimportant things generally associated with shipboard life.

R.M.S. Niagara (source: Ancestry.com)
I hope both Alec. and yourself will feel that you have a fine opportunity to think through some of the problems associated with the Conferences, so that you may be able to make your own contributions to the discussions.

Also, I would suggest that you get Alec.'s help in preparing a few short talks on Australia and on the Australian Y.M.C.As, so that you may be in a position to speak when called upon at some of the gatherings you attend.

The time spent on shipboard will give you a splendid chance to prepare material which you will afterwards use at the Conference or at College.

I think you should set out to uphold the standards attained by other Australian students in America. This cannot be done without concentration of purpose and hard work. You would be wise to cultivate the Habit of study, and even if the attractive sides of life on shipboard are very appealing, I hope you will maintain a daily habit of study in preparation for the future.

I want you also to take a daily study in the text material you have on "The Life of Christ", so that you will be able to follow in something like consecutive order the great events in His life. Such a study will help you to understand the great ideals of the Kingdom of God, and will fit you to more effectively serve your fellows because you can appreciate the scheme God has for their lives.

We will be anxiously awaiting news from you. You will, of course, write from every port of call. I found it a very great help to write a short portion of my letter every day, while the events were fresh in my mind, and in this way I was able to advise your mother and my friends just what was happening of interest each day. You might perhaps find it wise to adopt a similar method.

All of use unite in affectionate regards,

See related post: The RMS Niagara