06 June 2012

No. 21 -- 7 Dec 1931

Mr. N.A. Hughes,
C/o Y.M.C.A. College,
5315 Drexel Avenue,

My dear Noel,

Your letter dated October 28th reached me this week. You then reported that school had been in session for about two weeks and that everything was going well. We were interested in hearing of the subjects that you are taking during your first term. I think you will find it somewhat difficult to carry 2 1/2 majors plus the four units that are required for your entrance status. However, no doubt you will be able to plan your work in a way that will carry this schedule.

We were delighted to hear that you had such a thoroughly happy time during Orientation week. I know it is necessary for you to become associated with one or more of the fraternities, but I would urge that you do not spend too large an amount of your time in that way.

I suppose the Initiation was the usual type of affair in which the  Freshman perform all kinds of stunts for the benefit of the seniors.

I am sorry to hear that you have not been able to secure steady employment, but am encouraged by your expectation that something will turn up in the near future.

I have been thinking a good deal about the Amplifier and I do not feel that it would be wise to carry out your suggestion and pass it over to the Radio Club.  At any rate I will not do that until I have exhausted every possibility of a sale.

We were all glad to hear from you, although you must remember we were kept waiting for a letter for nearly six weeks. I think you should endeavour to write at least every other week.

Keith was glad to get your message concerning his birthday. I passed your letter around for the members of the staff to read and they all join in regards to you. Kath. was disappointed that she did not get a letter this mail. In fact I think her last letter was dated the end of September.

By this mail also we received the Panoramic Picture of the Chicago skyline. It is a splendid picture, and we are grateful to you for sending it. We shall have it framed and put with the other panoramas we have.

The folk at home are all well. Edith was greatly excited yesterday. She paid a visit with her school to the Electricity Commission's place at Yallourn and had a great day. She characterised it as "gorgeous". We were rather amused in finding her last Will and Testament, which was dated 17th November and addressed "To the people I love". In this she left her clothes to the poor, £10:0:0 to her brothers in America, £7:15:0 to be divided between Mum and Dad; her pearls to one of her friends and her bangle to another and her desk at school to still another! She is a queer kid. At the bottom of the will which was witnessed by two her her friends she had a sentence to the effect that the above will had to be considered in the light of any subsequent wills found. You can imagine that we have had quite a lot of amusement over this find. Joy looks unutterable disgust and simply says "mad".

Keith has another ship coming in this week which will give him a further extension of his job. This is helping to give him some pocket money at any rate, although we will be very delighted when he is able to secure a constant job.

Rex. Baker has been away a great deal, and is away again this time for about 10 days.

Ruth was knocked down by a motorcar in town the other day, and was severely bruised, but apart from that no ill effects have shown themselves. She refused to proceed against the motorist, although he was obviously in the wrong, but I think the police are insisting upon action being taken in the matter. Just what will happen I do not know.

Uncle Will has had to leave his place in Swanston Street and he could not continue there on account of the difficulties he was experiencing. He has shifted out to the corner of Lennox Street and Bridge Road, Richmond. Poor Bill is having a very hard time.

Mother and I went along to the Sunday School picnic on Saturday, October 28th. The day was beautifully fine and the affair went off splendidly. Everybody was quite happy and of course the two kids were in their element.

The same day happened to be Henley Day. The Vikings had their Viking War ship on the river and got a great amount of publicity in the illustrated papers. They were also successful in securing a special prize of £3:0:0 for the best decorated boat.

This practically paid for the boat which they purchased for £5:0:0 a week or two before. They now have this boat available for picnic gatherings, etc., and I suppose it will be kept at the Canoe Club House  at Studley Park.

We are commencing the usual round of Christmas socials and dinners at the Association building. This week we had the wind-up function at the highschool group and of the Workings Men's College group, and others will continue right up to Christmas. There is a big range of them this year.

Yesterday we had afternoon tea to say farewell to Reg. Gray, and made him a small presentation. Reg. finishes up today, although we expect we shall be able to make a good deal of use of him if he stays in Melbourne, in some forms of Honorary Service.

Arrangements for the camps are well in hand and we are expecting big enrollments of both seniors and juniors.

You will be surprised to learn that Alec. Moodie is not returning to Brisbane. I had a letter from him this week and also from Ralph Cole, in which they both ask me to see what I can do towards securing a permit from the American Consulate here for Moodie to return to Honolulu to undertake a job for the Honolulu Y. You can be sure I will do my best in this direction, but I am of the opinion that we will not be successful in securing  any special arrangement without a great deal of pressure. Of course, if we cannot secure the necessary permit, Moodie will probably have to seek a job in business or elsewhere.

You will be glad to hear that the 12th National Convention went of splendidly. There was the usual long debate concerning the National Committee Finance, but in the end the matter had to be referred back to the Associations for further consideration. Personally I do not think that the Associations can hope to provide more than about £250 a year towards the support of the National work. Frank Trainor will finish up his part time arrangement at the end of the year and will continue to give some degree of supervision to National Work in an honorary capacity. Frank Woodcraft will be retained on the National Staff, but of course will be required to raise his own budget and more.

We had a splendid discussion on the questionnaire "Our purpose, our youth, our times." This was the bright spot in the convention proceedings.

Mr. Thomas Thomas has resigned the Chairmanship of the National Committee after 15 years' service, and Mr. R.W. Nevile, of our Board, has been appointed National Chairman. Mr. Thomas will still remain on the National Committee and will give service as Honorary Secretary of the Executive. A little later on, when the full report of the Convention is available, I will send a copy to you.

The Prefects had a splendid conference at Mr. Crosby's house at Tremont, and have made a fine lot of suggestions for the better working of the Boys' Department. The Fathers' Club also had a weekend Conference at Shoreham. The Leaders of the Viking Club are to have a conference next weekend. The Gym. leaders held theirs a little while back at Manyung. I was down at Manyung a week or two ago and was interested to see the developments that have taken place in the camp. Both properties at Shoreham and Manyung are in excellent condition, mainly through the fine service given by the work parties of members.

This letter should reach you just about the beginning of the New Year. All the folk in the Association and of course the folk at home, join in hearty good wishes to you, and hope that you will have a season of good times.

We would like you to let us know a little more about your college life, especially whether you are living in college or elsewhere. Please pass on my regards to Mr. and Mrs. Glover and of course to Dean Foss at the College.

Now, my boy, we earnestly hope that you will be able to carry your schedule of work in a way that will do credit to yourself, and honour to Australia. You of course must feel the sense of responsibility to worthily represent the country from whence you came.

With our united love,
Yours affectionately,

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