11 March 2013

No. 31 -- 24 March 1932

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

My dear Noel,

Today, St. Louis is about a five-hour drive down
Interstate 55 southwest from Chicago.
I'm not sure how long the trip would have taken
in 1932.

Since historic Route 66 was opened in 1926,
I think it's fair to say that they would have
followed that route. For a description of the route,
see RoadtripUSA.com.
Your letter of February 24th reached us this week. We were very delighted to get the news it contained. You are certainly a fortunate young men to be able to spend a weekend at St. Louis. It is good that you were able to make arrangements at such short notice, and that there were others who could undertake the jobs for which you were responsible. I know you would enjoy the opportunity of a visit to such a home and with such friends.

I did not visit St. Louis when I was in the States though I had planned to do so, but time would not permit me to make the trip. We were interested in all that happened at St. Louis and thank you for giving us such a full account.

The Central YMCA at 1528 Locust Street in St. Louis.
The building is now called Centenary Tower
and only the bottom two floor are now occupied by the YMCA.
See this history on the YMCA website.

Photo by Tom Bastin (Reading Tom) via Flickr
Used under Creative Commons license
I remember very vividly the campaign held some years ago to secure money for the Central building at St. Louis, and for other branch buildings. It was one of the first of the huge campaigns which the Associations organized in the post-war period. St. Louis was followed by the Detroit Campaign and then by the New York campaign. All of these raised new standards of achievement in money raising for local work by the Associations. Thank you for sending me copies of the material you collected at the Central Y. Some of it is very suggestive and I am sure it will be of value to us.

The mail bag of miniature photographs also arrived safely. Ditto the “Association Collegian” on Feb. 16th. While your visit was of short duration, you packed into it quite a lot of sightseeing.

This is the same record I wrote about in
the post Jacko the Broadcasting Kookaburra
in August 2112.
We not that you were to speak on “Australia” on the following Sunday. We hope you got on alright. We are sorry to hear that the phonographic record was cracked when it arrived. I knew the thing was packed securely, as I had it specially done with the object of making sure it would reach you in useable condition. Perhaps it may be possible to get one from the San Francisco office of the Australian National Travel Assocn. At any rate a little pressure at that end may persuade them to get one for you and if you are unsuccessful, please let me know and I will see if I can secure another record.

I quite imagined you would have some difficulty in maintaining your work at the Kenwood Church. In one of my former letters I mentioned I thought this would happen in view of the prevailing conditions. If you are without that source of revenue, you will be facing difficulties, I am certain, unless it is possible to find something else to take its place.

The greetings you forwarded in your letter I will pass of the various persons named.

Mr. Handley, Melbourne High School, has just left for a trip to England, and America, but I do not think he is likely to go inland as far as Chicago. He has made a number of enquiries concerning yourself.

The folk at home are reasonably well. Keith had a very bad illness and lost 1 ½ stone in weight in ten days. He had Pharangitis, and the medical man said it was one of the worst cases he had seen. However, he is back again at work and is slowly picking up.

In my last letter I mentioned that Ruth was having a bad run at the Hospital with illness. We had her examined and I am afraid it may mean that she will have to abandon her hospital training for some time. The prolonged period of night work seems to have upset her a good deal, and she must keep a prolonged holiday. Whether she will return to the Homeopathic Hospital to complete her training is doubtful, as we do not think it will be wise to go back to the place which has proved so difficult. However, that remains for the future to decide, but in the meantime she is home and I am trying to make arrangements to get her away for a spell.

Under separate cover you will find letters from Ruth, Joyce and Edith.

Having these two patients at home has place a pretty heavy strain on mother, but she is bearing up exceedingly well. Fortunately Ruth did not come home until Keith was practically well again, so that mother did not have the two of them simultaneously.

Rex. is still away in Sydney, but we expect he may be back any day now. He has been away for three or four weeks.

The great event in Australia during recent days, was the opening of the Sydney Bridge. I have sent you a number of newspapers including a copy of the “Australasian” in which you will find illustrations of that Bridge and the account of the opening, which may interest you.

I have heard recently from Harry White, and also from John Cook. What has happened to Clive Glover? I have not had a word from him for a long time. Tell him a letter is overdue.

Dick Nitschke of Adelaide called in the other day as he as passing through to Sydney to the opening of the Bridge. He was also over here at the time that Holmesdale Nitschke was playing with the South Australian cricket team against Victoria. Holmesdale was been doing very well at representative cricket this year. Just the other day, against New South Wales, he made 119. Dick reports that the folk in South Australia are feeling the strain financially, specially in finding money for the building Edith is erecting in King William Street, Adelaide. I think he has put between 20,000 and 30,000 into it already and it is not yet finished.

We have had a number of special Finance Committee meetings recently, with the object of trying to find out in which directions we can increase our departmental revenues. I am afraid we have not got far, although various plans have been suggested which might be possible on trial. The Board will never meet our financial needs until they tackle an annual financial campaign. It is the only way to meet the position.

Ivor Burge is expecting between 30 and 40 fellows at Easter Camp. The main party will leave tonight. He is putting a lot of time into camp work and is doing a fine job. The Boys’ Department will not have an ordinary camp, but they have about 15 or 16 fellows who are spending the whole of the Easter period in doing odd jobs to the camp property at Shoreham.

Alf. Hines is still away on holiday and we do not expect him back until after Easter.

I have not been able to get any definite information concerning the Australian exhibit on the Chicago Exhibition, but hope to have it available for you shortly.

Last Sunday week I had a full church when I took, the Cricketers service at our own church. We had a splendid body of young fellows present and on the whole a most enjoyable gathering. Last Sunday I had a Sunday School Anniversary at Coburg. We had the Church packed 10 minutes before time of commencement. Scores of folk were turned away and here again we had a really good service.

I have a very busy time ahead of me in connection with Rotary Club work. We have the district conference at Geelong, April 14 to 18, and then at the end of April and the beginning of May the Rotary Boys’ and Girls’ Week. All of this is consuming a good deal of my leisure, but it is an interesting job, and I am glad to have a share in it. You did not tell me whether you called at the Rotary Club in Chicago. I think it would be a good thing for you to make that contact.

I must close now. You have our united love my boy. We sincerely hope your second term’s results will satisfy you. Please let us have all details as soon as you can. Time is slipping by very rapidly and it is difficult to imagine that you have been away over 9 months. We look forward to your letters with eagerness.

With much love from us all,
Yours affectionately,
Dad