26 April 2012

No. 19 -- 11 Nov 1931

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

My dear Noel,

We are expecting a letter from you today as the mail arrives at midday and will probably be distributed this afternoon. In view of this we cannot answer any enquiries that may by raised in your letter, which we hope will reach us this afternoon.

 All the folk at home are well, although mother has had a rather painful swelling on her chin which has every appearance of being a boil. She has treated it, but somehow it does not seem to respond to ordinary treatment and she has had a good deal of throbbing pain from it.

Keith and the kiddies are all well and I am likewise. Ruth, unfortunately, was off work for a day or two with a poisoned finger. Evidently she cut it in some way and inflammation took place with the result that she had to have it lanced. That is better again and she has resumed duty.

We are also pleased to say that Keith has another ship in just now. This will keep him busy for about a week. Fortunately there are two or three other ships expected in before the end of the year, so that in this way he will be earning a little money to assist him in his incidental expenses. He sat for portion of the Intermediate Accountancy examination last Friday, and has another examination tonight. This is more in the nature of a "try-out" as we do not think it is possible for him to pass with but six months of tuition. It is really a kind of "preliminary canter," preparing him for the May examinations of next year.

Keith is now playing for the Y.M.C.A. seconds Cricket team and seems to be doing fairly well on the whole. I think I told you that he is bowling fairly well and that a Saturday or two ago he made in the two innings 65 in one and 11 in the other.

Rex Baker has been away again. His job seems to be holding fairly well although I should not be surprised if he is to be put off as soon as the Christmas rush is over.

The Argus (Melbourne),
Saturday 14 November 1931, page 22
We have just had the Armistice Service in the Memorial Room and had quite a nice company of the folk present. Today is Armistice Day as you will probably remember.

Last Saturday (Nov 7) Ivor Burge was safely married and is at present away on his honeymoon. It was quite a nice wedding and the ceremony took place at All Saints St. Kilda. Lem.  Griffiths and Lindsay Stevens were groomsmen for Ivor,  and the two Miss Lauries officiated for Ivor's wife. The wedding breakfast was held afterwards in the Sunday School Hall, and was attended by about 70 folk. The Board, Staff and other groups in the Association made presentations, and Ivor was very delighted with the cordiality shown towards him and his good lady, by all the folk.

The Suburban Clubs' Gymnastic Competitions took place last Saturday night. Five teams competed in Calisthenics, Pyramids, relays, etc., and the whole show was exceedingly good. They asked me to adjudicate in the gymnastic section, which I did.

This week we are observing the world's Week of Prayer and each evening we are having short services of intercession in the Memorial Room. On Sunday, I spoke at the Y.M.C.A. Combined Gathering of Y.M., Y.W. and the Student Movement. On Monday night, I took charge of it, and tonight the Residents are responsible; Thursday the Vikings, and Friday the Boy's Department.

I think I told you in my last letter that we would probably have to face a considerable number of adjustments in staff because of the financial position. The Board, last night, decided to dispense with the services of Jim Gray in the pool and as pianist for the Gym. classes, and also to dispense with Reg. Gray in the Dormitory work. The responsibility for the Dormitory work will have to be carried by the other members of the staff. There has been a steady diminution in the number of permanent residents, and we are now down to 50 odd, and in view of this, the Board decided to do without a Dormitory Secretary meantime, until business improves. Other adjustments are also to be made which will effect a considerable saving to the Association.

I think the December issue is likely to be the last of "Melbourne's Manhood" unless we can secure a printer who will be prepared to publish Manhood for us without cost to the Association and be prepared to make it a payable proposition for himself through the advertisements. If we cannot secure such a printer, we must close down on publication. This will be a very serious loss to us in our work, and I hate the idea of it, but then we cannot go on losing on an average of £250 a month and expect to carry a number of these things which we know could be dispensed with, although it would be bad business for us in the long run. We are effecting further economies totalling £1300, so that you will see we are getting down to a position where  there will be considerable difficulty experienced in effectively manning our work. However, we cannot help it, much as we hate all these revisions and adjustments.

We are doing our best to keep intact our programme departments, so that we may render our best service to our membership under the special conditions.

I have not heard from Clive Glover for a long time. I have been wondering how he is getting along. I am glad to say I have had letters from several of the English Secretaries including Cyril Bavin, D.M. Gunn, Frank Carter, and J. Chamberlain, in which they mention having met you at the conferences. Please be good enough to give me the names of those whom you saw, who were on the cards of introduction I gave to you.

We have made no progress with the disposal of the Amplifier. This is an unfortunate business and I know you must be in need of the money. I do not know what to do about it. Rex. Baker has had one or two along to look at it, but no sale has resulted. I think we will have to dismantle it and sell the parts for the best prices we can secure.

There will be another mail before Christmas so that we shall hope to write you again in time to reach you before that event. This should reach you somewhere about the time of your birthday. You can be sure, boy, we all unite in the best of good wishes on that occasion.

We are anxiously awaiting news regarding your entry into college. I must close now. You know we are thinking of you every day, and praying that you may be helped through your difficulties, and encouraged in your work. Please be perfectly frank with us and tell us if there is any special way in which we can help you.

With warm love from us all,
Yours affectionately,
Dad.