19 March 2013

No. 32 -- 13 April 1932

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

My dear Noel,

We did not receive a letter from you this American mail, but a copy of the “Collegian” came to hand. We must assume that no news is good news.

Noel from the early 1930s
in Chicago. 
Affairs at home are much the same as I reported in my last letter. Mother is keeping well, and of course, sends her love.

Keith is getting back into his old stride, although the illness shook him up a good deal. He doesn’t expect his present job will last much beyond this month, and as far as we can see, there is nothing ahead immediately.

Ruth is still at home, although she is much better as the result of the rest she has had. We are sending her away next week for a spell, and hope shewill be soon right again.

The two little ones are as usual “in the pink”. Edith is getting more boisterous than ever, greatly to Joy’s annoyance. As you know, Joy is much quieter and less demonstrative than Edith and is consequently reprimanding Edith for her noisiness. However the two of them get on very well together, despite their little disagreements. Edith is making good progress with her music under Miss Marshall. Joy seems to be quite happy at Fintona and is entering into the sport of the school and is, of course, keen on that side of school life.

Rex. is still away in Sydney. We had a letter from him last week in which he stated he would probably be away for another fortnight, but even that is not certain – he may be away longer.

There is not a great deal of home news to pass on to you. Things are much the same as in my last letter. We held the Annual Meeting of the South Hawthorn Presbyterian Church last week, and had quite a good turn out of folk despite the very bad weather. The Church is having its problems as you can well imagine, especially along financial lines. Mr. Baird is, I think, preaching better than he was some time ago and there is good spirit in the Church’s life.

I have been pretty busy as Chairman of the Boys’ Work Committee of the Rotary Club, and just now am up to my eyes in preparation for Girls’ and Boys’ Week to be held April 30 to May 6. I have a very big programme in hand and hope this year will set new standards of achievement. I will send you a copy of the programme in our next letter.

At the Association we are still struggling with the financial problem. It is becoming a nightmare! We do not seem able to improve the revenue despite all the economies that we have effected in expenditure. However, we are trying hard to make changes in our work that will enable us to do more promotional work and in this way we hope to improve the position somewhat. It is clear we cannot continue at the present rate of loss. Our banker will stop us before long. The Board is meeting at weekly intervals to try and see daylight through the number of the issues tied up in our financial situation.

We had a good camp at Manyung during Easter time. While there were only 30 present, Ivor Burge reported that it was the best held in the last four years. There have been further improvements effected and showers have been installed at the camp. Also big improvements were made at Shoreham by a work party which spent Easter there.

We are still about two-thirds full in the Residential Department and the going is hard. Cafeteria has slumped badly during the last two months. We actually have a loss on the first quarter. This is something new for us. We are also trying to speed up revenue in the Billiard room and have re-formed the Billiard Room Committee with that end in view.

You will receive this letter about the middle of May and will then, I expect, be scratching hard in preparation for your final examinations. We know that you will endeavour to make a good showing and we ask you specially to remember the folk at home who are desperately anxious for your success. I know you will not give too much time to other matters and will put your best work into your studies. It is only in this way that you can expect results we all desire.

Please pass on my regards to Clive and May, and also to Foss, Dreaver and others. I must close now.

Yours affectionately,
Dad.

(Handwritten post-script)
All unite in sending their love.