07 December 2015

No. 46 -- 13 September 1932

Hearing from Noel twice in two weeks seems to have relaxed George a little more, as the tone of this letter feels much more conversational. It's fun to hear the note of sarcasm that comes through when he comments about the "fairly short" miles the women must have walked on their stay in Tremont. But, as ever, he wishes he could help his children more during these financially depressed times.

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

My dear Noel,

Your letter of August 12th arrived this week. We were very delighted to hear of the the splendid trip you had away with the members of Dean Ames' family.

Noel had spent the summer helping out
the dean of the Chicago Y College
at his home in Wisconsin, presumably
his farm near Brooklyn, Wisc.,
which is south of Madison.

"Dean Ames" was
Dr. John Q. Ames (1877-1959).
I found an obituary for him
from the Monroe Evening Times
dated 5 March 1959
. It said in part:

"A native of the Brooklyn area.
Dr. Ames lived on the family farm
until he was 21 years old when he
joined the federal civil service
in the Philippines. He served as
a stenographer for President
William Howard Taft who was
commissioner for the islands at that time.
Later he became ill and was transferred
to a hospital at Shanghai, China, where he
became interested in YMCA work,
and following his recovery he became
secretary of the YMCA in Shanghai,
Moscow, New Haven, Conn.,
and South Bend, Ind.
Dr. Ames traveled tens of thousands
of miles during his lifetime. He became
dean of George Williams in 1919
and served until 1932 when he retired
and returned to Brooklyn. ...
Despite his many years as an educator,
college administrator and attorney,
Dr. Ames said he considered
one of his greatest accomplishments
was in producing 132 bushels
of corn per acre on his farm
following retirement."
It must have been a wonderful trip and I can understand how thoroughly you would enjoy it. The opportunity of seeing so much of the State of Wisconsin was also a wonderful thing for you. The probability is you would never have had a similar opportunity under ordinary circumstances. We followed you trip on the map you were thoughtful enough to send and in that way entered into it as far as we possibly could. We can quite understand that words would fail to describe the beauty of the Lake district and of the wonderful number of Lakes it seems to contain. Frankly, when I looked over the map and saw the patches of blue which indicated Lakes, I was amazed that the number. Now it helps one to understand the way in which the American Associations are able to have such splendid camping sites with such a multitude of Lakes to select from.

Another thing which amazes us a great deal is the comparative smallness of the cost of such a trip. Here in Australia a trip of that kind would have run into many pounds. I am sure all the members of the family envy you the wonderful trip you had.

Mother and the girls were away for a week at Tremont and had a thoroughly happy time. They report that in the days that they were there they walked somewhere in the neighborhood of 56 miles. I imagine that some of those miles must have been fairly short ones for them to have covered such a distance in such a comparatively short period. In addition to that the weather was anything but good, and they must have had some wild days in the hills if the weather in the City is an indication of what might have happened in the hills. However, they have all greatly benefited by the change and Ruth in particular seems to have put on weight again and is looking much like her old self again.

"They report that in the days
that they were there they walked
somewhere in the neighborhood
of 56 miles. I imagine that
some of those miles must have been
fairly short ones for them to
have covered such a distance
in such a comparatively short period."
I am happy to say that I have managed to stave off any further cold and have had no further evidence of the trouble I had for a few days in the earlier part of the winter.

Keith and Ruth are still out of work. Keith has had a few days' work with the Texaco Company, but apart from that nothing at all.

I was glad to notice in your letter a reference to Mr. Norman Weston's offer. I sincerely hope that will eventuate for you, as it will help to largely solve your own difficulties of self support.

Thanks you for sending the pamphlet which describes the new arrangements for students at the College. It looks as if it will make the position considerably easier for the men who are working their way through school.

In my last letter I told you that we had started work for unemployed boys. The last fortnight has shown great possibilities in the service we have initiated. Last week we had over 200 different boys in to a programme of pictures, gymnasium work, and a swim in the pool. This week we varied it by having a short lecture period and we also took a census of the fellows who would like to engage in some branch of educational work. This indicates to us distinct possibilities in the way of groups of an educational character, and I think we shall not have much difficulty in finding useful instructors who will help the boys to profitably fill up their leisure time in preparation for a job ahead.

You will be interested to learn that Mr. Crosby has made a conditional offer of a gift of £500 towards our deficit, providing the Association gets behind a big united movement to raise the balance required to clear the Association of debt on this year's current account. In addition to that  Mr. McKean has come to light with a further promise of £100. Roy Nevile and I have been out collecting from a number of business firms and we were successful in securing £50 a year from a number of them for three years.

Rod Macdonald who used to be in the National Office, has been engaged to organise a big effort with the object of bringing all sections of the Association into a combined scheme. In this way we hope to raise the money to accept the challenge submitted in Mr. Crosby's offer.

We had a letter from Charlie Jutsum describing his impressions of his job at Broken Hill. He seems to think there is very definite possibilities for excellent work at Broken Hill, although at the present moment the programme is practically a minus quantity.

George Briggs lost his mother a week or two ago by death. This will probably make some little change in George's plans as far as his home relationships are concerned, but I do not think it will in any way interfere with his plan to go to America next year.

I had a letter from Sid Peck of the Men's Hotel at San Francisco, in which  he said that he would be only too happy to help you at any time you required advice concerning American conditions. I do not think that Sid can do anything in the way of offering you work, in fact that would be a very expensive business for you and for him, but I think that you might find him a useful man if there are any knotty problems that arise on which you would like advice from someone who is in the States.

"I wish, my boy, that we could
 send you money, but frankly
we are finding conditions to be
just as much as we can handle,
and in view of this while
we are anxious to help you
in every way we possibly can,
we do not see daylight ahead
to any great extent.
In view of this we hope that you
will take the will for the deed,
much as we would love to send you
all the help we possibly could."
By next mail I will be sending to you a copy of the new book on "Australian Animals" similar to the one on "Australian Birds" which I sent you some time ago. I am hoping that this may be of some use to you in the talks you may give on Australian conditions.

This letter should reach you just about the time you are settling into your new year's work at school. You know, Noel old fellow, that we are very interested in all your doings, and that it is our desire that you should make good in every way. We know that you will settle into your job despite the difficulties you are facing, and that you will give to it your very best interest, and with a determination to win success in the work that you have set out to do. We sincerely hope that while we are not in the position to give you much in the way of real assistance ourselves, that it will be possible for you to find a way though your financial difficulties. I wish, my boy, that we could send you money, but frankly we are finding conditions to be just as much as we can handle, and in view of this while we are anxious to help you in every way we possibly can, we do not see daylight ahead to any great extent. In view of this we hope that you will take the will for the deed, much as we would love to send you all the help we possibly could.

Mother is keeping very well, and so are the other members of the family. Joyce and Edith are splendid, Keith is looking exceedingly well despite the long worrying time he has had without work, and as for myself, am feeling in excellent condition.

We all unite in sending you our warmest love,
Yours as ever,
Dad

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