10 August 2012

No. 23 -- 28 Dec 1931

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

My dear Noel,

Christmas is over and we are back at the office in the interim between the Christmas and New Year holidays. We had a very quiet Christmas both as far as home is concerned and also at the Association. Keith, Mother and the two kiddies and myself had dinner at the Y on Christmas Day, with the members of the staff. Ruth unfortunately could not get away from the hospital so she could not be present. Evidently they are short handed at the hospital and a number of the nurses who expected to get away were prevented from doing so. She was greatly disappointed and did not like the idea of remaining at the hospital for Christmas dinner.

On Boxing Day, Mother and I went to "Manyung" and Shoreham Camps. It was a wonderfully good day and we enjoyed every moment of it. There were between 40 and 50 in camp at "Manyung" and the fellows were having a royal time as the weather has been wonderfully good. There are a number of improvements at the camp which make for ease in handling a crowd. For instance a large 6 ft. range with new brick chimney, etc. has been added to the kitchen and this is a great convenience to the cook and makes catering for a large number much easier than it was before.

Down at Shoreham, we were delighted with the progress made in the care of the equipment. Everything had been freshly painted and grass cut, and the whole place looked splendid. There were 16 boys in camp from the Ballarat Y with Mr. Ack Way also with them. With our own boys there at 75 in all. Both of the camps are looking splendid just now, and we were greatly delighted with them.

We were accompanied by Colonel Lamb of the Perth Board of Directors. He was immensely impressed with what he saw. Messrs. Reynolds and Nevile took two car loads of us for this fine run of about 120 miles. We had dinner at "Manyung" and tea at Shoreham.

In your last letter you asked me to secure a copy of the Kookaburra record. I was able to get this from the Australian National Travel Association, although I understand that copies cannot be procured in the ordinary gramaphone stores. We tried it out on our own machine at home and it is quite good. While at the National Travel Association's office I secured a little booklet entitled "Talking Points on Australia". This I am sending to you under separate cover. It is full of interesting material which you can use in your talks on Australia to various groups. On the back of the pamphlet you will notice that there is an agent at 114 Sansome Street, San Francisco and would suggest that you keep in touch with that office, and ask them to forward to you any new material they may receive. Your information on Australia would then be kept up to date.

I am also sending a picture of the "Koala" which is large enough for you to display as you speak to small groups. That kind of material always helps people to understand what you are talking about, as it visualises the animal.

By last mail I sent to you a copy of Unaipon's book on "Aboriginal Legends". I am also sending a little booklet called "The Song of the Stars" written by Dr. Boreham, the great Australian Baptist preacher and essayist. This is a Maori story, which I think you could also work up into a talk for young people's meetings.

Uncle Bill was over to see us yesterday. He has been having a very difficult time in his business. So much so that he is hardly earning sufficient to pay the rent of his shop. I called in to see him on Christmas Eve, and found that his stock had been greatly depleted in his endeavours to pay his way. He had evidently sacrificed much of his stock so as to keep going.

I think I told you in my last letter that next week we expected to take the two kiddies to the Community Camp at "Manyung". It promises to be between 20 and 30 people at the Camp so that we should have an enjoyable time. The kiddies are looking forward to it with great interest. The two Laurie girls will be in Camp and we expect Kath. and Dorrie also to be there.

I want to ask you to please go back over my letters and answer the numerous questions I have raised in them. While we enjoy reading your letters we want to say that they are remarkable for what they do not say rather than for what they do say. You never refer to the receipt of any letters from us so that we do now know whether they are reaching you safely or otherwise. I think it would be a good plan for you to acknowledge the receipt of the letters giving the dates they bear. I this way we shall know whether you are receiving them. Will you be good enough to look over our letters and give us the answers to the questions we have asked you. You have never once referred to the receipt of your wristlet watch, which we posted to the "Niagara". Did you get it? or did it go astray?

We will write you from Camp but it will probably be a week or two before we write again from the office. If we miss a mail or two you will understand the reason.

We hope you had an enjoyable Christmas, although I can imagine by this time conditions will be getting pretty cold and you will realise how bleak a place Chicago is in mid-winter.

We are unite in warmest love,
Yours affectionately,
Dad