Setting the Stage

In 1931, Noel Hughes was 21 years old and embarking on a journey.

His plan was to leave his home in Melbourne, Australia, and journey by ship across the Pacific Ocean to North America. Once there, he would attend the international YMCA conferences in Toronto and Cleveland, then go on to Chicago, where he would attend George Williams College.

His intention was to eventually return to Australia and pursue a career in the YMCA.

His father, George, had a lot of advice to offer. Not only was he general secretary of the Melbourne YMCA, but he had also made the same trans-Pacific voyage 15 years prior when he went with the New Zealand YMCA to serve the troops in Europe during World War I.