17 February 2014

No. 38 -- 21 June 1932

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

My dear Noel,

"We remarked at home over
the weekend, it is just a year
since you left home. How
the time slips by!"
Your letter of May 20th reached us yesterday. Just a month on the way. Yes, we remarked at home over the weekend, it is just a year since you left home. How the time slips by!

You will have received my last letter with the enclosed few pounds, which I hope reached you safely, and was sufficient for your immediate needs. We have tried to speed up the sale of the amplifier, but so far without any definite result. I thought I had a buyer when last I wrote, but he evidently cooled off. We afterwards got a message that he had made other arrangements. Harold Thompson is prosecuting further enquiries and seems hopeful that he will be able to effect a sale. Keith also heard of a man in Glenferrie who is thinking of purchasing an amplifier for use in a skating rink, and he is following that lead up in the hope that it may bring business.

Your letter suggests that there is not much likelihood of you leaving Chicago during the summer vacation. However, it assures us that you will be able to carry on, though it would be much more satisfactory if you could earn money during the period. Perhaps Dean Ames may treat you generously after all.

"I am sorry that the outlook
for work is so bad, and
sincerely hope that your
prophesies will not be fulfilled.
It is a safe policy to think in
terms of the most difficult
situation likely to arise
and I commend you
for doing that."
A couple of letters back I gave you the information we had secured concerning the Chicago Exhibition. Mr. Nichol has not been able to get any line on it to date, but if he can dig up information at this end you can be sure I will let you have it.

I am sorry that the outlook for work is so bad, and sincerely hope that your prophesies will not be fulfilled. It is a safe policy to think in terms of the most difficult situation likely to arise and I commend you for doing that. If conditions are so bad, it is probably that there will not be a large entering class in September, therefore, there may be more work available for the present students.



Bankrupt Chicago. (1932, June 20). 
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1957), p. 7. 
Retrieved February 13, 2014, from

I am not sure if this is the exact article that
George sent to Noel, but it fits
the description and is probably 
the same subject matter.
I enclose a cutting from yesterday’s paper which helps us to realise how desperate conditions in Chicago must be. In addition we have had letters from Laurie Bowen which paint a doleful picture of the frightful straits to which the unemployed in Chicago are reduced. Your letter indicates that the Chicago Y is also having a desperately difficult time. We are hoping that some remedial measures will be taken by the American Government during the present summer in provision of relief works, etc. Our own Government is making great efforts in this direction and it looks as if many of those who are at present unemployed will be absorbed in the next few months. Let’s hope the same thing applies to America.

I am sorry to hear that the College is having such a bad time. Of course that is to be expected when outside conditions are so bad. Perhaps in your next letter we shall hear all about your Spring quarter examinations.

I was wondering what had happened to the parcel of books referred to in one of your letters. I quite understand that you have not been able to send them on because of the expense involved.

The Australian Eleven refers to the Australian
cricket team. Holmesdale Nitschke is Noel's
second cousin. He played two international
tests in 1931. See Wikipedia: Jack Nitschke.
I do not know anything about the itinerary of the Australian Eleven now touring America. Holmesdale Nitschke is not a member of the team. It is cheering to hear that you are keeping in good health despite the problems you are facing.

Your message to Alf. Hines and Matron will be passed on to them, and you may expect a letter from them in due season.

Now just a little home news. Mother is continuing in excellent health and so are all the others. Ruth is now temporarily employed at a small hospital in one of the Eastern suburbs. The work there is not as heavy as at the Homeopathic Hospital. I do not know how long this job will last, but probably not beyond the month of July. In any case it has been useful experience and it will keep her in touch with her work.

I'm not sure exactly which cousin the girls
would have been so eager to visit. Both the
Herbert family (first cousins) and the Willis
family (second cousins) lived in Sydney.
My guess is that it was cousin Irven Herbert,
since she gets the most mention in
previous letters.
Edith and Joyce are making plans to visit Sydney at Christmas. We tell them that lots of things are likely to happen before then, which may prevent them visiting their cousin. But that doesn't stop them from making their own plans.

I have not heard a great deal from Rex during the past few weeks. He is still in Sydney.

There was a weekend Camp over Saturday and Sunday, at “Manyung”, but the weather was so desperately cold, that I decided not to go. We are right now having some of the coldest weather we have yet experienced this year. It is certainly not weather for camping.

We are planning a membership campaign for the period July 13 to 27, and just now various meetings are being held in preparation for the event.

Wardrop House was a YMCA Hostel located
in Northcote, north of Melbourne.
See Darebin Heritage, YMCA Hostel, Northcote
Wardrop House is very low with only 22 in residence. On the five months’ work we are down about £100 in the Wardrop accounts. This is adding to our burden at the Central building.

We initiated a diningroom service for residents and others in the middle of May. This has taken on quite well among the residents but is a losing proposition financially. We may have to make a number of adjustments in the next month.

Under separate cover I have sent to you a copy of the book “Australian Birds and Blossoms”, which I thought would be useful to you; also newspapers reporting the elections in New Sough Wales. Mr. Lang was soundly thrashed in the elections.

I have also sent to you a set of reports as presented at the Board meeting last week and from these you will gather quite a lot concerning the various departments of work.

We are having a quiet drive for funds among the number of our well-to-do friends and are hoping to secure a few hundred pounds to tide us over the lean period. Last week Mr. Crosby got a contribution of £100 from one good friend. We have others whom we are approaching this week. Raising money these days is a very difficult job.

You will be interested to hear that we have brought Frank Wilkinson back on the staff to take charge of the Billiard Room. Our friend J.B. Bowman had not made a success of the supervision of the room under a part time basis, under which he was employed. It was doomed to failure from the start — in the first place because the arrangement was not good, and in the second place because the man was not suitable. Wilkinson has been on the job for a fortnight and has doubled the takings and has brought into the room a much better spirit and greatly increased patronage.

Our Educational Classes are going fairly well. We are likely to initiate correspondence courses in Accountancy, Costing, Secretarial principles, etc. etc. Another new move is the formation of a Society made up of past students in Accountancy. We will endeavour to organise a series of monthly lectures so as to retain the interest of these men and keep them in closer touch with the Association,.

I must close off now. We are hoping that your next letter will bear much better news, and that some job may have materialised which will help you in preparation for your next year’s work.

"Conditions are bad for us all,
but they must be specially
acute for you. I wish it were
possible to more adequately
help you. I can assure you
that as it is possible you will
get all the help we can give."
Conditions are bad for us all, but they must be specially acute for you. I wish it were possible to more adequately help you. I can assure you that as it is possible you will get all the help we can give.

It is quite easy for us to say that you must keep a still upper lip despite the troubles you are facing. We know you will do that. We have thought much about you during the lat few weeks as we knew what you were facing. We are confident a way out will be found for you which will show the guiding hand of our Heavenly Father. Many times we have been in difficulties but the way out has always been shown, and it will show itself in this case I feel certain.

We all unite in warmest love,
Yours affectionately,
Dad