26 October 2011

No. 14 -- 12 Sept 1931

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

My dear Noel,

I expect there will be a letter arriving on Monday from you, but in view of the fact that the mail closes in the early afternoon and I shall be engaged the whole of Monday morning  with the staff conference, I have decided to write to you this morning. It would have been nice if we could have answered any of the matters that may come to us in your letter, but I am afraid that will have to wait now until the next mail.

All the folk at home are well. Most of the colds that they had have gone. Ruth had a very heavy cold and it surprised me how she managed to keep going in her job, but she has managed to throw it off and seems to be in pretty good form just now. She is just as interested in her nursing as ever and I have no doubt in my own mind that she will be able to stand up to the exacting nature of her work.

Mother is also keeping very well, and the kiddies likewise. Keith expects to get a job again with the Wheat Commission and is hoping that he will be able to get into the forwarding and shipping end of the work as that lasts longer then the receiving section.

You will be surprised to hear that Keith received the Cup for the highest batting average in the cricket team for which he played last season. I think he was as much surprised as anybody else. It is a very neat little cup and now adorns the over-mantle in the drawing room.

By the way, I am enclosing the letter from Mr. Fred. Hartnell, Secretary of the Melbourne Rotary Club in Chicago. I am hoping that you will be able to deliver this letter in person and perhaps the folk there may be able to show you some little courtesy.

We also had a letter from May Glover in which she mentioned that they had made arrangements for a certain room for you at the college and that they hoped to be seeing you shortly. They seem to have had a particularly happy time at the Minneapolis Boys' Camp at Lake Independence, Loretto.

John Cook also wrote by this mail. He has had a particularly bad run of illness for some months past. He was hoping that you might keep in touch with him by an occasional letter.

We had a notice from the Lands Department advising us that noxious weeds were growing on the two sections at Burwood, and we were informed that unless the weeds were dealt with in the next three weeks, we would be fined. Keith went up yesterday to investigate the reason for the notice and discovered that there is a great deal of gorse on his section, but your section was fairly clear of it. A pal and he will be going up to the land next week with axes and slashers so as to destroy the gorse. A little later on it will be burned after it has had a chance to dry out. Talking of the lands reminds me that we have received a bill from Messrs. Maddock, Jamieson & Lonie for £3:19:0 being costs of the agreement and Caviat on you account and £2:5:0 on Keith's account. I suppose we did the right think in lodging the Caviat in case of any trouble that T.M. Burke's company may get into. I will pay the account a little later on.

Rex has been away for the past fortnight attending to some talkie installations in the country. We thought he would have returned before this. We have not heard any word from him and expect he will come back to the city this weekend.

You will be interested to hear that Harold Thompson who does the cinema work for the Vikings has been urging the Vikings Club to purchase your amplifier, so that talkie performances can be put on at the Association Building. Ern. Gollan is giving the matter some through and we will bring the machine in for them to try it out at a show they are having next weeks. I do not know whether they will be able to purchase it or not. In any case they will not be in a position  to pay spot cash for it. However, we will do our best with them if they feel to buy the machine. I am getting concerned at our inability to dispose of it as the winter is practically gone, and we may not get the same chance of selling it during the summer months. there is not likely to be the same measure of demand.

This afternoon we are to have a visit from the Ballarat YMCA and expect about 20 to 25 men in the party. We shall have tea together in the Lounge Dining Room, after which there will be matches in billiards, volleyball, basketball, etc. This is one of the attempts to bring about closer relationship between the country Associations and our own. In a week or two, a group of our boys will be visiting Ballarat Association for competition purposes.

By the way, the Queen Carnival is moving along quite nicely and is gathering momentum and interest. I have looked at the figures on the score board and notice that Kath. Lilford is leading with 3079 votes, Lil. Langham second with 2319, and Miss Davis of the juniors, third with 1990 votes. I must say that  we are very pleased with the way our members are responding to this Queen Carnival competition. the Interest has been splendid and a great number of functions has been arranged by each of the committees. We are closing the competition on October 8th, when we will have taken Wirth's Olympia for the crowning ceremony. We are planning a very big gathering with an excellent programme. If this is properly worked we should get a full hall, as the interest should be good. The first part of the programme is likely to be a demonstration of our work by a grand parade of practically all our clubs and classes. We expect to have the help of one or two choirs, brass band, etc. The crowning ceremony is staged on quite an elaborate plan, and I think we shall have an evening of considerable interest and enjoyment. Arrangements have already been made for costumes for each of the queens and we think the ceremony should have some beautiful effects.

The staff men who were ill, have all returned to their jobs. Alf. Hines' leg is still causing him to limp, but I think it will be quite well again within the next week or so. Bob Way still has some pain from his rheumatics, but he is on the job and getting steadily better. Matron has had a number of her teeth out  and she is not feeling too good as the result of the extractions.

The South Hawthorn Presbyterian Church decided to do without a sale of work this year, and on Tuesday last some of the members of the session, with the Minister, were in attendance at the Church building all day, to receive the gifts of the congregation. A sum of over £70 was subscribed by direct giving. This was an excellent result for such a small church.

Mr. Baird has enquired on several occasions concerning yourself, and we have passed on any information we have had regarding your movements.

We are still finding the financial position pretty difficult in the Association. I think we shall have to face further economies as we cannot hope to continue the losses we are making each month.

This letter should reach you just as you are getting into the collar of your studies. There will be many strange experiences come to you int he next few weeks and you may find it somewhat difficult to set your mind to the steady routine demanded by college life. So many new impressions will be crowding in upon you, all of which have a very disturbing effect. The newness of college life too, will mean that you will require to make a great deal of readjustment in your ordinary habits. I can only express the hope that you will take things as philosophically as possible, and determine to give your best thought to the work immediately in hand.

I am hoping too, that you may have had success in meeting all the requirements of college entrance examination. To start your work without arrears of studies, will mean a great deal to you, but even if you have to make up certain subjects, it is astonishing how quickly the can be disposed of if they are tackled resolutely and with a determination to win out.

I repeat what I have tried to say in other letters, that whatever success you may achieve in your studies, the important thing is that you should recognise that the work of the Association is primarily that of religious leadership. Cultivate a close relationship with Christ through your private study of His word and prayer and service.

We all unite in love to you,
Yours affectionately,
Dad