12 October 2011

No. 13 -- 1 Sept 1931

Mr. N.A. Hughes,
C/o Y.M.C.A. College
5315 Drexel Avenue,
CHICAGO. Ill. U.S.A.

My dear Noel,

Yesterday I received a copy of the Y.M.C.A. Blue Book giving particulars of the Association at Calgary. This is certainly a fine piece of printed matter, and I imagine was specially prepared to act as propaganda in a financial effort on behalf of the Calgary work. Thank you for sending it on to me.

I am expecting there will be a letter at home giving fuller particulars of your trip across Canada. We have had several mails leaving at pretty close intervals recently, consequently you have received I think in all about four letters from me this month.

We held the Circus on Saturday, and it was a splendid success. The afternoon performance was attended by between 300 and 400 people, mainly at our invitation. We hurriedly arranged to invite the poor children from the City Mission, North Melbourne Mission, Montague Boys, Deaf & Dumb, and a number of other groups of a like character. It gave the kiddies an afternoon's entertainment, and at the same time provided an audience for our performers. You know that the afternoon gathering is never largely attended, and is really more in the direction of a final rehearsal than an actual performance. Next year we intend to extend the invitation list pretty widely, so as to bring in a large number of the children's organisations to see the show. The evening performance went off splendidly. It was quite as well attended as other years, which of course was gratifying to see. We thought that because of the financial depression, there would be a considerable drop in the attendance, but our fears proved to be groundless. I am sending to you under separate cover a copy of the circus programme. I thought that probably Clive would be interested in looking it over. The standard of performance, was, I think quite up to the usual. Some of the items were, in my judgment, a little better than other years. At any rate most folk seemed to be entirely satisfied with the show. Of course,  it is too early to say how much we are likely to clear in the way of financial returns.

On Saturday night we also had a group of about 300 folk here in the building in connection with the Methodist Young People's Movement associated with the Methodist Babies' Home. Matron and her staff had the job of providing supper for the m and consequently could not attend the circus gathering.

Matters in connection with the Queen Carnival are gathering momentum and I think the response on the whole ought to be pretty good. Most of the committees organising the carnival are putting in a lot of time and thought into preparations for raising money and I think the results are proving quite good.

We are considering a big scheme for the crowning ceremony. Tomorrow night the Executive will meet to decide the details. We feel that we can make this crowning ceremony a big feature not only from the point of view of publicity, but also of some assistance in the scheme of money raising. The cards in connection with the Queen Carnival are not quite ready, but as soon as they are available I will send you a copy so that you may see just exactly how the plan is arranged and you will also see the photographs of the folk you know. (Enclosed).

Matron has been busy preparing curtains for the cafeteria and we expect this week to have them up, and we think the cafeteria will look much more homelike and the bareness removed from the walls. We are also putting covers on the tables which should give a very bright effect.

At our little Church we held a Father and Son Sunday, a week ago and had a fine evening service. Keith accompanied the rest of us to Church, and I think enjoyed the service. On the following Wednesday we had a Father and Son "Get-Together" gathering in the Church hall. Keith could not attend, but I went alone to see what the show was like, and was, of course, drawn in to make an address. It was quite a good thing to have the Church folk rallied together in this way, and I think it is likely to become an annual service. Next Sunday is Communion Service at the Church. You will be interested in hearing that I have been asked to become an Elder of the Church. This may involve an election, and it is possible I may not be returned because I am not well known among the Church folk. However, if they want me you can be sure I shall be only too happy to take any part I can in the development of the Church's life.

Tonight there is to be held a Minstrel Revue in connection with the Queen Carnival. This will be held in our Social Hall and is being organised by the Y's Men, Residents, etc. The proceeds will of course swell the total towards crowning Kath Lilford as Queen. Mother, I think, will be in to have a look at the show.

I have not much home news to pass on to you, as it is only a week or two since I last wrote. Ruth was out for the weekend. I think she spend practically the whole of the time in bed as she not only had a heavy cold, but was feeling the strain of the heavy work she had been experiencing.

The kiddies are well. Yesterday was Joyce's birthday. She is now sweet 14. I was told last week that I had to provide a cover for her tennis racquet which I think a very modest request and quite in keeping with the times! Of course, we will give her something for her bank account, but she doesn't consider that a present. She thinks that money that is saved is not a present.

Mrs. Harrison is still with us. To be quite frank we are beginning to be a little "fed up" with the rather prolonged stay with us, but of course we are only too glad to help them in their time of difficulty as Harrison has not had too good a time during recent months.

Later: We did not receive a letter this mail, as I had expected. Yet, on second thoughts I do not see just how you could have sent it in view of the fact that you would be crossing Canada about the time the mail left America. In the rush of the Toronto conference you would not have a great deal of time for letter writing.

Tom Laing was good enough to send a postcard from the conference in which he mentioned that the Aussie boys were having a good time, and getting a great deal out of the conference, especially along Fellowship lines. He said that you were busy making contacts to help you later. I am sure you would have a great time meeting the other Australians as the Conference.

We were sorry to learn that Ern. Saunders could not attend and more sorry still to learn that he was to finish up at his Montreal job at the end of August. This will mean another "move on" for him. I hope you kept a list of the folk you met at the Conferences who remembered me overseas, and in America. It would be a great pleasure to receive from you some idea of the folk whom you met.

This letter will reach you just before your College work commences. I understand it is due to arrive in America about the 26th. Allowing several days to cross to Chicago, you should get it just at the time your school work opens up.

From your contacts  with the Springfield boys, you will have gathered quite a lot of information concerning College life and work, and I hope you will put that knowledge to the best possible use.

You will find that it will pay you handsomely to keep in close touch with the men you meet at the Conferences. An occasional postcard or letter will be a valuable means of maintaining connection with them. It is customary for a young fellow to drop a lot of these personal contacts but I urge that you maintain them and keep in frequent touch with the folk by an occasional letter. If you cannot do that, post something to them concerning one or other of the branches of the Chicago Association, reports, printed matter, etc. This helps to keep a closer touch.

Rex told me the other day that the person with whom he was expecting to effect a sale of the amplifier has gone cold on the proposition, so that we are still as far off as ever, as far as disposing of it is concerned. It looks as if in the ultimate we shall have to dismantle it and sell the parts, if we are to get anything out of it at all. Rex is away in the country this week and I have been urging that he should do his best to introduce the amplifier to any folk in the country who may be interested in providing music for dance halls, picture shows, etc.

By the way you will be interested to hear that Williamson, the dentist who lived in the building with us for several years, is leaving for North Western University, Chicago, by this steamer. He will, therefore, be in Chicago about the beginning of October. I have given him a card to yourself so that he may make contact with you shortly after his arrival.

Don't forget to get in close touch with Mr. Norman Weston, Physical Director of the Evanston Y, Chicago. He is a good friend of mine and will help you I am sure. Also Harry White and Laurie Bowen, whose addresses you have. Look them up early.

I must close now. All the folk at home send their love. We hope you will capitalise every opportunity now presented to you. Hard work will bring its own reward.

Yours affectionately,
Dad