12 July 2012

No. 22 -- 22 Dec 1931

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

My dear Noel,

Your good letter of 6th November arrived yesterday. We were delighted with the news it contained. We quite understand that you will be finding it difficult to keep your correspondence going, especially in view of the schedule of studies you are carrying and the amount of outside work you are doing.


Thank you for the clippings from the student paper which helped us to appreciate the push ball contest, and some of the other features of college life. We were greatly amused at your account of the push ball contest and of your golfing experiences. It is good to know that there are times when you have the opportunity to “let up” a little and can manage to see the humour in the situations you are facing.

It is fine to learn that you have been successful in securing a sufficient number of jobs to maintain you reasonably well. Between the work in the main lounge and cafeteria, you are practically covering your needs for food and shelter. It was good of Clive to help you secure the other job at the Community Church. This should be quite a good piece of practical work which should stand you in good stead along the line of experience as well as proving so remunerative. I have been wondering how that will work out in the winter months. I hope it holds for you and that you will have other opportunities of similar kind turn up should that not continue for long.

Your medical examination on the whole, I think, is pretty good. You must simply attempt to make up any of the deficiencies referred to in the Doctor’s report, especially in the matter of posture. The others are not so important, although I know that vaccination is required in America, although it may not be necessary in Australia.

All your Christmas cards arrived safely and I am pleased to note that you sent to a number of the Directors as well as to your immediate circle of friends.

Thank you also for the greetings from Tom Laing and Vic. Jones and also from Clive and May. Tom Laing was good enough to drop me a letter by this mail, telling me about the fellows at Springfield and how they are progressing.

Your enquiry regarding David Unaipon raises the question in my mind as to whether you do not already possess a copy of Unaipon’s book . I have a very distinct recollection of handing you my copy. Have you looked through your material? In any case I am sending you another copy so that you may be able to make use of the material as opportunity presents itself. I am afraid you are asking too much to expect David Unaipon to write out anything for you. You may not know but he has been away from Melbourne for the past three months and is now I think in South Australia, so that I am afraid it will not be possible for us to get any material of the kind from him.

The phonographic record I will endeavour to get and send on to you, although there may be some problem in packing it securely for transportation to America. I am wondering whether it could not be procured in the States. I will make enquiry regarding that from the Vocalion people.

I am very delighted to hear that you have been giving addresses on Australia, so as to give you more material that you may be able to use I am sending to you a copy of “Australia Today.” This is a splendid magazine published by the Commercial Travellers’ Association and is full of interesting information concerning Australia.

I was very delighted to get the copy of the Association College Bulletin with the picture of the student body and faculty and also a small group of foreign students in which both Clive and yourself appear.

Alec. Moodie returned to Australia a fortnight ago. He has an offer open for me to return to Honolulu to a position with Ralph Cole. Unfortunately, however, there does not seem to be any possibility of us “wrangling” his re-entry to Honolulu on account of the stringency of the immigration laws. We have tried in several directions to get the American Counsel here to stretch a point in his favor, but there seems to be little chance of this being done from this end. If Moodie could get action taken at Washington in might be worked that way but it doesn't seem very hopeful. When Moodie got to Sydney he was advised by the Brisbane Association that his position on their staff was closed. Evidently before he left for America there was some understanding with the Brisbane Board that he should take a position abroad if one opened up. During the time that he was away conditions at Brisbane became exceedingly difficult and the Board felt that they could not re-emply him on his return – So that Moodie came straight on here to Melbourne and did not return to Brisbane. His wife is staying with her people at Geelong. Alec. is now looking out for another job, and there seems to be precious little opportunity for anything in Association work so that he will have to return to business again. It seems an awful pity that he cannot be fitted into Association work especially in view of his recent experiences and the wealth of information he has obtained concerning the Association in Canada and America.

By the way, we had a letter from John Akau, Junior, one of the Honolulu delegates, in which he wished to pass on to you his greetings. He spoke very highly of the enjoyable time he had with the Australian fellows en route to Toronto.

Keith sat for two subjects in his Intermediate Accountancy, namely, Commercial Law and Auditing. He was very unfortunate in just missing a pass in both subjects. He got 58 in Commercial Law, two marks below a pass, and 60 marks in auditing, five below a pass. However, he is not very disturbed about it as he now feels hat he can do much better in the May examinations. It would have been a great thing for him to have secured these two subjects at this examination and would have made it easier for the May examination. Now he will need to take five subjects in May. This will be a bit of a hurdle for him, but he feels pretty confident that he can do it.

You will be glad to hear that yesterday he secured a job with Louis Dreyfus & Co., Grain Merchants, 465 Collins Street. This will probably see him over the next few months while the wheat season is on. He also has prospect of another job and is nibbling it so as to discover whether it will be a better one than the Dreyfus job. It is a great relief to know that he will be employed during the next few months at any rate.

Ruth was home today on her usual day off. She is still in the surgical ward, but expects that she may have to take duty in the Children’s Ward before long. She is still happy in her job although she finds the long hours a heavy strain, particularly since the motor accident I referred to in my last letter. Evidently this shook her up more than she thought.

Edith was not successful in securing a Scholarship at the University High School, but she did obtain a free place at Gardiner for the next two years. Joy unfortunately failed in arithmetic, consequently did not secure an additional two years free place. She will probably go to Fintona or Presbyterian Ladies' College in the New Year. They were both greatly delighted with the postcards you sent along and of course at the news contained in your letter.

You will be  glad to hear that Mr. Handley of the Melbourne Boys' High School, has accepted a position on the Boys' Work Committee. He is very keen and has been exceedingly useful. Mother went along to the High School Break-up and he then spoke to her about the time you were at the High School. Evidently he has a warm pot in his heart for you.

Nearly all of the wind-up social functions have been held at the Association building. The Vikings' Dinner was held last Thursday with about 100 fellows present. It was a great turn-out. Jack Brideson was awarded the McRae Cup and Len. Lacey came second.

Last night we had a combined Senior Activities Dinner at which the "13" Club and Mrs. J.R. Nichol's helpers were guests. This was also a good affair with about 90 to 100 present. The diplomas won by the Educational students were distributed and Frank Trainor gave a splendid address.

I think in my last letter I told you that we would probably have to close down on "Melbourne's Manhood". We now think it is possible to continue it in a re-organised form. Our printer has undertaken to publish it without cost to the Association. We shall have to reduce the number of pages and print the magazine on different paper so as to reduce costs. You can be sure I am delighted that we are able to continue it.

Laurie Bowen wrote me the other day and in his letter narrated the difficulties the Association Movement was experiencing on account of the depression in America -- how impossible it was to find jobs for men in Association work, as most of the larger Associations were reducing staff rather than increasing the number of their employees. I can quite understand the situation as we have had to reduce our own staff pretty drastically during the past year.

I have nothing further to add regarding the amplifier excepting that Jack Walsh had an enquiry a little while back for an amplifier. He is endeavouring to get the enquirer interested in your machine. Rex. is similarly endeavouring to place it with some of the country picture shows.

Under separate cover I have sent to you a copy of each of the "Argus" and the "Herald" giving the election results. You can see as you peruse the papers how wonderfully the commonsense of the Australian voters has manifested itself in the swing away from some of labor's wild-cat financial schemes. This result should help to re-establish confidence in business circles, and perhaps help in the reduction of unemployment.

We are expecting fine attendances at all of the camps. At Manyung we expect about 60 for the young men's camp and between 20 and 30 at the community camp which follows it. At Shoreham we are expecting the following attendances at the four periods: 70, 60, 70 and 35, but in the last two it is likely that the enrollments will be considerably higher than the figures given, as the entry dates do not  close until some time in January. The Scouts are also holding a camp so that we shall have 7 camping periods before the firsts week of February.

I am endeavouring to get away for the Community Camp at Manyung, and hope to take mother and the two kiddies along for a fortnight's spell. Mother is keeping very well, I am happy to say.

Well, my boy, we must express our delight that you are managing to maintain yourself and I hope, studying hard. I quite understand that you will not find it easy to carry your schedule, but I know you will do your best to stand up tot he strain and that you will capitalise every moment of your time and make it contribute to your success. Don't become too seriously involved in the social life of the college at the detriment of your school work. That is the common error made by students in their first year. There will be ample time for social life when you have demonstrated your ability to carry your schedule with honor to yourself and to Australia. We are all greatly encouraged by your last letter and we wish you every blessing and success in the New Year. Naturally we shall want to know how you got on with your first term's work and we hope you will keep us posted with the results of any tests.

Don't forget to keep close to the Source of all strength; you will need His continued guidance and blessing in all that you undertake.

With our united love,

Yours affectionately,
Dad

(handwritten postscript) The Staff send greetings also McDonald (of N.Z.), Trainor, Jenner, Nichol, Hooke, and heaps of others.