29 August 2012

No. 26 -- 3 Feb 1932

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

My dear Noel,

We were expecting a letter to be delivered yesterday but there has been some delay in the mails from America, and we do not anticipate the letters will be distributed until the afternoon mail. This will be too late to catch the outgoing mail which closes at 2.30 p.m.

We are all well at home. Apart from the fact that Keith has had a very bad face, caused by neglect of his teeth. He had two extractions the other day and this has left a very sore jaw, the cavity not having properly healed. He has had pain for very nearly a week and nothing seems to stop it. The rest of us are in good form.

There is no
royal road
to success
in life, excepting the road of
hard work.
What you do in the next few years
will color
your entire future.
Ruth has written you under separate cover. She is a little bit upset because of the heavy work at the hospital. At present she is on night duty which means that she has to sleep during the day. Somehow she doesn't seem to be able to get into this habit, and consequently just now she is desperately tired and nervy. If she can once get over the inability to sleep she will be alright. I do not want her to become ill at this juncture, as it will undoubtedly put her back in her training. Working all night and attempting to sleep all day does not suit Ruth. She has so few hours in which to do anything else. She is not supposed to leave her room until five o'clock in the evening, and she starts work again at 8.30. Nursing is a pretty hard job.

Joyce has also written to you. Both Ruth's and Joy's letters are in the one envelope.

Mother is keeping particularly well. I think the holiday at Manyung did her the world of good. Edith is greatly thrilled about her new school work at Gardiner, specially with the fact that she is now learning French. Joyce starts at Fintona on the 10th February. Just now she is being rigged out and I can tell you it is some job to supply all that is required at a school like Fintona.

Keith has been playing Cricket for the Y.M. While he has not done anything startling, he has still played a useful innings and has done a little with the ball.

Alec. Moodie has been successful in getting a job with Messrs. Thomas Reynolds at East Prahan. This is the firm with which Mr. T.C. Reynolds and Rod. Macdonald of the National Office are connected. Alec. originally was in the bakery business. In fact I think he served his time at that trade. It was his experience in that connection that made the opening for him with Mr. Reynolds. As you know their product is macaroni and Alec. is to hold down a job in the factory which has distinct possibilities. Now that he is in Melbourne, we are hoping that we shall get some portion of his leisure time in connection with our own work.

Reg. Gray has been appointed to a curacy under the Bishop of Bendigo. After spending a year at the Bendigo Diocese in active Church work, he will likely come to Ridley College in Melbourne for additional training. This is quite in line with Reg.'s desires and I think he should do well in the Church of England ministry.

Ern. Saunders, who was on the staff of Montreal Y.M.C.A., has arrived at Perth where he will probably take over the physical and boys' work. I understand, privately, that Parsons, the Physical Director, is likely to leave the Perth Association and in view of that, I imagine that Saunders will take on the physical and probably the boys' work.

Mr. Crosby's father was buried on the 25th January. Mr. Crosby has not yet returned and I do not expect him back for some days yet. There is sure to be a good deal of business to wash up in connection with the estate.

The "Mr. Lang" mentioned by George
is Jack Lang, then premiere of New South Wales.
He was a controversial figure who proposed
an alternative recovery plan to get out
of the depression. He ended up being removed
from his premiership by the then Governor of
New South Wales.
We closed the year with a deficit of £2695. This is about £300 better than we anticipated. Mr. Hooke is of the opinion that it is not a bad position when all things are taken into consideration. However, it is serious enough and we do not want to face a similar situation this year. I must say there is a very definite "lift" in the financial tension and a more hopeful outlook seems to be abroad. We are not "out of the wood" in Australia as our position is so closely allied to the world situation, and our recovery is dependent upon an increase in the prices of our primary products. However the changed political situation has materially affected the outlook of the people and if we can keep Mr. Lang of New South Wales in hand I think the situation will slowly but steadily improve.

We had a letter from Mrs. Smith of Sutherland Road, Lyall Bay, in which she advised us that Gilbert was married last November. She sent an account of the wedding which was evidently a pretty big affair. She also reported that Stan. Kirk lost his young lady by death.

We were to have had a picnic at Manyung on Feb. 1st, but there was so few who signed up to go that we had to cancel the conveyances as we would have had rather a serious loss to face. However, a number of private cars went down and according to Ivor Burge, they had quite a good day. We were disappointed at having to postpone the picnic but it could not be helped.

I am on the job with the annual report and hope to have it completed in a week or so. As soon as we have copies available we will send one along to you.

Kath. is getting on quite well with the book-keeping machine and we are pleased that most of the back work has been overtaken and from now on we should be able to have accurate daily returns showing our financial position.

Yesterday I had a visit from Sid. Cox who used  to live next door to us when we lived in High Street, Dunedin. Sid. mentioned that his cousin Bernard Cox is a student at the University of Chicago. I understand that Bernard Cox was employed by the New Zealand Government as an engineer on the Otira tunnel and that some little time ago he went to Chicago to extend his experience in engineering. It might be worth your while to make contact with him. I am sure he would be interested to know that you came from Dunedin and that you knew his cousin, Sid.

Just now we have about 25 fellows staying with us, who comprise the Tasmanian Boxing and Wresting team who were over here for the National games. This has been a good lift to us in our dormitory and cafeteria.

We are also co-operating with the Herald Learn to Swim Campaign and quite a number of fellows are making use of our pool for this purpose.

Matron is keeping well, and so is Miss Ray. Bob Way is still on holiday at Shoreham, but he will probable be back at the end of next week.

We are organising a visit to Camp Manyung - weekend Feb. 20 and 21st, with the object of interesting our Business Men's Groups in the camp. This should be a good means of popularising the camp especially the community camp next year.

The following weekend I expect to go to Somers Camp with a party of Rotarians. Our Rotary Club has given a lot of support to the Somers Camp, and I think this is one of the means adopted by the camp authorities to show their appreciation of Rotary's help. By the way, have you made use of your letter of introduction to the Rotary Headquarters at Chicago?

The Minnie the Mermaid record
mentioned by George
could have been this recording from 1930
by the Bernie Cummins Orchestra.
It was a popular song of the time
and was frequently parodied with bawdy lyrics.
Have a listen at YouTube.
I looked over the list of gramaphone records and found that we have 36 records in the case. "Minnie the Mermaid" is missing from the collection, but all the others named by you were in our possession.

This letter should reach you towards the end of your second term, and I suppose you will have settled into your stride and become more accustomed to the routine of college life. I hope, my boy, that you will be able to surmount the programme you have set for yourself and that you will achieve success in your studies. You know all your friends on this side will be greatly delighted to learn that you have done will in your school work. It will not be long before you will have completed your first year's study. I suppose that would come somewhere about June.

We can only hope that you have given yourself application to the tasks in hand and that you have achieved success. There is no royal road to success in life, excepting the road of hard work. What you do in the next few years will color your entire future. Naturally we all want to be proud of you in the work you do in preparation for your life service.

We want to know more about your activities both inside and outside of the college. The details are always interesting.

All the folk at home unite in warmest love, and the folk at the office send their kindest regards,

Yours affectionately,

26 August 2012

No. 25 -- 20 Jan. 1932

George sent a copy of this newspaper, The Argus, to Noel with this letter so that
Noel could read about the heat wave and bush fires.
(1932, January 20). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 7.
Retrieved August 27, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page487326

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

My dear Noel,

Your letter of the 29th November came to hand while we were at the community camp at Manyung. We are greatly encouraged by the continued good news your letters contain concerning your ability to support yourself so admirably. I wrote you a short letter from the camp which I hope caught the mail which left here about ten days ago.

We had a wonderfully good time at the community camp. In all 34 people were present at this camp, although some of them stayed for a comparatively short period. The majority were there throughout the entire time. The weather was all that we could desire. In fact I do not recall any December-January period for many years when we have had such settled and admirable weather. We only had one cold day in the fortnight we were at Manyung, and the days were not oppressively hot, although on one or two occasions the temperatures reached 95 deg. or 97 deg.

We had a good programme, plenty of sea bathing, excellent food and a company of folk who were out to enjoy themselves. All this combined to make the holiday all that we could desire.

Keith, unfortunately for him, could not come to camp as he was hanging on to his job and could not afford to take any risks by asking for time off. His job is still holding and it looks as if he may have an additional couple of months work. Ruth also was greatly disappointed that she could not come to the camp. They were short handed at the hospital and she had no chance of any holiday. The kiddies had a thoroughly good time as you can well imagine and were frequently in the water three times a day.

You will be surprised at the way they are both growing. Edith is shooting up very rapidly and Joyce is developing into quite a young woman, at least in her own estimation.

There was also a fine lot of honorary work done at the camp, especially in the removal of the 1,000 gallon tank to a new site and its re-erection alongside of the lavatories. Already money has been subscribed towards increasing the lavatory accommodation and providing hot showers. This we expect to put in so as to be ready for the next camping period. The new bunk house has been excellently designed and is most comfortable. Another bunk house is in course of erection. No doubt Kath will be telling you something about the camp in her letters, so that there will be no necessity to cover the same ground.

The Boys' Department camps have gone splendidly and all reports indicate that one of the finest camping periods has been experienced. The programme has been good and the weather has made camping a real delight to the boys.

The Y.M.C.A. Scout Troop also held a camp over the Christmas holidays, so that from first to last we have had 7 different camping periods in the senior and junior departments. There were 60 at the senior camp for Christmas and the New Year, and Mr. Burge was highly delighted with the whole programme.

I was very interested in the picture of International House which you forwarded in your letter. It looks to be a splendid structure and should fill a useful function among the students of Chicago. It is evidently in the same lines of the International House in New York. If you have any other information concerning it I should like to receive it so that I may make a paragraph for Manhood. What is its cost? etc. etc.

HOTTEST FOR 24 YEARS (1932, January 20).
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1956), p. 7.
Retrieved August 27, 2012, from
I hope your anticipation to be free of debt by the end of 1931 was realised. It is great to have a clear run ahead without any incubus hanging round your neck. My advice to you is to save every penny you can as there is no doubt that America is going to have increasing difficulties and you will be well advised to have a little banking account in case anything unforeseen should happen and you should lose some of the jobs you at present hold. One is inclined to think that the present affluent conditions are sure to remain, but you know as well as I do that that is an illusion and one should provide for unforeseen circumstances.

I was very interested in hearing of your dinner party on Thanksgiving Day. If you should see Ray Williamson, please give him my regards.

By now you will have begun to realise what a Chicago winter is like. I note what you say about your need of a heavy overcoat, but I am wondering whether you would not be well advised to wear heavier underclothing rather than to purchase a heavier coat. I think the same amount of warmth could be secured in that way, rather than in the other.

Quite a number of people told us that you had sent Christmas cards to them, and I am very glad that you did so.

Thank you for the information concerning the phonograph records. I will check up our records with the list you have provided.

It was very nice of John Cook to send on a small amount to you and to suggest his desire to pay your college expenses. I hope you wrote him telling him that that was not at all necessary, although you appreciated the good will and thoughtfulness of his action.

BUSH FIRES WORSE. (1932, January 20).
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1956), p. 7.
Retrieved August 17, 2012, from
Under separate cover I am sending a copy of today's "Argus" which gives particulars of the heat wave, bush fires, etc., which I thought you would be interested in reading. It was a corker of a day yesterday, with temperature of 108.9, the highest it has been for 24 years.

I have not much in the direction of Association news, as the programme has not yet commenced, apart form some of the gym. classes. We do not anticipate there will be anything much organised during January. We are concentrating upon picnics, river excursions, etc. among the young men. As you know, the Boys' Department will not commence its programme until late February or early March.

We are to have a picnic on Feb. 1st (A.N.A. Day) to Manyung and hope to have a good turn out of Association members.

We closed the year with a deficit of approximately £2700. This was £300 better than we expected so that we feel a little encouraged although the deficit is bad enough in all conscience. It means that we have increased our Bank liabilities by £5000 during the last two years, a position which gives us a great deal of concern.

Mr. Crosby is in Tasmania at present. His father is sinking. We expect any day to hear of news of his death. As you know, Mr. Crosby's father is in his 93rd year, so that his death is to be expected.

Jim. Straton is over from Adelaide, but I have not seen him yet. Conditions in the Adelaide Association are very bad and I should not be surprised if Jim Straton resigns. You will have received the January issue of Manhood, in its reduced form. We were glad to have it in its present condition, although we hate the idea of so many reductions in its pages.

Rex. returned last Saturday, after being away for nearly a fortnight. I understand he leaves again today or tomorrow and is likely to be away for a week to ten days.

We are to have the Senior camp reunion tonight and hope there will be a good turn out of the men.

Mr. Hines is keeping well. Miss Bourchier is away this week, but will be returning  next week. Reg. Gray has not been successful in securing a job, but I understand that Jim Gray is not having too good a time in his little music store at Box Hill. We are likely to employ Harold Greenwood as pianist for the gymnasium classes, but that has not yet been definitely decided.

All the folk at home are well, I am happy to say. Mother is looking particularly well, and is much refreshed in body and mind as the result of the holiday. The kiddies will be writing to you again shortly.

We would like to know fuller particulars concerning your work at the Kenwood Church.

How did you get on with your first term's work? Give us details of the subjects you are taking and of the results of your term examinations.

We all unite in warmest love, and hope that you will have a thoroughly happy time in 1932.
Yours affectionately,

16 August 2012

Jacko the Broadcasting Kookaburra

Advertisement for
the Australian National Travel Association
with a kookaburra sitting on a record album.
(Courtesy of the National Library of Australia
and the State Library of Victoria.
J. Kercheval, photographer.)

In the last few letters, specifically Nos. 22 an 23, it's apparent that Noel is gearing up to do presentations about Australia to various groups in Chicago.

There are references to the famous Aboriginal preacher, inventor and writer David Unaipon, plus various literature about Australia.

The reference that really caught my interest this time was about  the "Kookaburra record" in letter No. 23 from 28 Dec 1931.

"In your last letter you asked me to secure a copy of the Kookaburra record. I was able to get this from the Australian National Travel Association, although I understand that copies cannot be procured in the ordinary gramaphone stores. We tried it out on our own machine at home and it is quite good."

My first thought was of the children's song "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree." But it turns out that song hadn't been written or recorded yet. That would be a little later in the 1930s.

So that left me puzzled. Fortunately, George mentioned the Australian National Travel Association, and an internet search turned up "Jacko, the Broadcasting Kookaburra." And the pieces fell into place.

It turns out that early Australian radio used to regularly broadcast the sound of a kookaburra, which is a variety of kingfisher bird native to Australia. The call resembles a mad laugh.

The bird that recorded that call also became quite famous and was known as Jacko, the broadcasting kookaburra. He and his exploits inspired a children's book a few years later.

The article I found about Jacko, the Broadcasting Kookaburra, written by Jerry Berg for OnTheShortWaves.com, is very interesting. Here is a relevant excerpt, but I suggest clicking through and reading the entire article:

``In 1933, a children's book entitled "Jacko, the Broadcasting Kookaburra­-His Life and Adventures," was published by Angus and Robertson Ltd. in Sydney, Australia. ... The author is Brooke Nicholls... .

There is an author's note at the start of the book that reads as follows: "This is the true story of Jacko, the Broadcasting Kookaburra, that so many of his fellow Australians have heard laughing over the air from the wireless stations of Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane; and from the gramophone record that was arranged and produced by Mrs. Harold W. Clapp for the Australian National Travel Association. The story begins with Jacko's capture in the bush. It tells of his many adventures, and ends with his home-coming after a four-thousand mile caravan journey along the eastern seaboard of Australia. The illustrations and chapter headings are from drawings made by Miss Dorothy Wall, whose exquisite pen has captured the humorous spirit of the story."

KOOKABURRA'S LAUGH. (1931, March 28).
The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 4.
Retrieved August 17, 2012, from
This article led me to search online newspaper archives at Trove.nla.gov.au, where I found a delightful article from 18 March 1931 about how the recording of Jacko's voice was obtained and how the recording would be used to promote Australia abroad. According to the article in The Argus of Melbourne:

"After the wax master-disc had been made it was played in the studio for the benefit of the bird, which was still perched on the chair from which it had laughed into the microphone. The first few notes brought a puzzled expression to tho bird's face; then it lifted its beak and laughed so heartily that it fell fluttering to the floor, where it continued to laugh until the record was taken off the machine."
(KOOKABURRA'S LAUGH. (1931, March 18). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 6. Retrieved August 17, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4378978

Since Noel was still in Melbourne and preparing to leave for Chicago at the time this article was published, I'm sure that the recording being discussed in the letters must be this one (and the one referenced in the article about the Jacko children's book). Perhaps it is also the very album that the kookaburra is sitting on in the old photograph from the Australian National Travel Association at the top of this page.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure yet if Noel was ever successful in securing a copy of the record.

In letter No. 22 George worried about his ability to get the record safely to Noel. "The phonographic record I will endeavour to get and send on to you, although there may be some problem in packing it securely for transportation to America. I am wondering whether it could not be procured in the States. I will make enquiry regarding that from the Vocalion people."

Then, in an upcoming letter in March, he acknowledges Noel's report that that album arrived cracked.

In letter No. 31, which will be posted at a future date, George writes: "We are sorry to hear that the phonographic record was cracked when it arrived. I knew the thing was packed securely, as I had it specially done with the object of making sure it would reach you in usable condition. Perhaps it may be possible to get one from the San Francisco office of the Australian National Travel Assocn."

I'll update this post if and when I find more references to it in George's letters.

As a point of interest for any non-Australians reading this, here is an example of a kookaburra's call and laugh from YouTube:

14 August 2012

No. 24 -- 5 Jan 1932

The family and Kath Lilford at Camp Manyung, January 1932.
(Back row, from left: George, Kath, Mother.
Front row, from left: Joyce, Edith)

(Note: The following letter is hand written on Melbourne YMCA letterhead.)

Camp Manyung
Jan. 5, 1932

My dear Noel,

This is just a brief note as we are now at Camp. The Senior Camp had about 50 fellows and now at the Community Camp which lasts for two weeks we expect to have nearly 30. Some are to come in later as the camp lasts for two weeks. At present there are 24 in Camp. We came into Camp yesterday arriving here about 12.30.

Mother, Joy and Edie are with me. Mr & Mrs Burge Sr., Ivor and his wife, the two Laurie girls, Kath & Dorrie, Mrs. Polock & two of her children (two more are coming down tomorrow), Harold Greenwood, Jim Wilson (of Dormitory Dept), J Kenwood, J Wilkinson, J Maides, Harry O'Neill, Eric Dennio, Tom Lynch (Cook) & Bill Burke (Tom's brother in law). Mrs Roberts (Mrs. Burge's sister) will be down on Saturday.

We are a merry party & the weather is magnificent. Last night we had a sing-song followed by a Picture Show. The meals are excellent & I think we shall have a really good holiday.

Unfortunately, Keith could not come down on account of his job. He cannot afford to lose it for the sake of a holiday. Rex is away again in one of the country districts. Ruth does not like the idea of missing the Camp but she hasn't a hope of getting away from the hospital.

We all went in for a bath before lunch -- it was great! The water was warm & smooth. The Girl Guides are on the far shore in Camp but of course they are not allowed even to bathe at the same time as our fellows.

We all unite in sending our love. We are anxiously waiting for letters telling us of your doings.

Yours affectionately,

10 August 2012

Camps Manyung and Buxton (Shoreham)

Melbourne (Point A) to Camp Manyung (Point B)
to Camp Buxton at Shoreham (Point C).
(Map data ©2012 Google, Whereis(R), Sensis Pty Ltd)
The next few letters have a lot of information about the progress of the YMCA camps at Shoreham, and especially Manyung.

It took me a little bit of research to appreciate the references to the camps in these letters. Both camps are on the Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne, and were quite new in 1931-32. Camp Buxton, which George refers to by its location, Shoreham, is long since closed, but Camp Manyung is still around and is an active YMCA camp.

"The Camp Manyung complex is one of two permanent camps which demonstrates the YMCA's involvement in the welfare of young people and their families over more than 70 years in Victoria," according to the heritage website On My Doorstep. "In its scale and grand vision for future development, Camp Manyung demonstrates the strong commitment of the YMCA to youth camping in Victoria. It is the only remaining early Victorian property managed today by the YMCA as the city headquarters has been demolished and Camp Buxton is now in private ownership."

As George is writing his letters and mentioning the camps, it is around the Christmas and New Years holidays.

Since I'm from the Chicago area, my first instinct is to think of these camps in context of the Northern Hemisphere. I have to remind myself that the Christmas and New Years holidays occur during a hot season in Australia, and there is a strong tradition of going to the beach around this time. These camps offer a cooler summer getaway for the residents around Melbourne.

Camp Manyung

Camp Manyung is still an operating YMCA camp, and is deemed to be of historical significance to the state of Victoria. The YMCA's website is the best place to go for information about its present operations and photos.

In looking up the history of the camp, a name that is frequently referenced in George's letters comes up as being instrumental to the development of the camp -- Ivor Burge.

According to one history about the camp found online titled "Camp Manyung History": "Burge (who had just returned from America) came up with the idea of a permanent camp like the ones he had seen in America. He asked an architect to plan the camp layout and design the bunkhouses. It was decided that the camp would be built by volunteers because the YMCA did not have the money to pay for it."

This volunteer effort is evidenced by frequent references in George's letters.

Also according to On My Doorstep, many innovative programs were developed at the camp, including leadership training and family camps.

In 1993, The National Council of YMCA's of Australia published a book by Ian F. McLaren, titled "Camp Manyung, Mornington: a brief history". It's an 18 page booklet. Unfortunately, I do not have access to any copies here in Chicago, but copies are available in the libraries of Monash University and the State Library of Victoria. If anyone wants to look at the booklet, I'm curious what it might say about the camp's history, especially as it relates to George's time period, the 1930s.

Camp Buxton

Y.M.C.A. Holidays for Country Boys
Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 - 1954)
25 November 1946, page 5
courtesty of the National Library of Australia
In Shoreham, on land that is now largely preserved as a forest preserve, was Camp Buxton. Some of the buildings remain, converted into a bed and breakfast. The camp closed after the mid 1970s, as best as I can determine.

"The YMCA Camp, Shoreham ... was in ideal setting, only an hour's drive from Melbourne and five minutes from the beach. On arrival the campfire looked like a tent city with numerous tents and huts scattered all around the central marquee... " This is one description of the camp I found in an article about a retreat at the camp in 1975.

Of course, the best reference I found for information about Camp Buxton is a website written by Robert Pedula, who stayed at the camp in the 1950s. He has put together a nice history and photo gallery, and is the source of much of my information.

No. 23 -- 28 Dec 1931

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

My dear Noel,

Christmas is over and we are back at the office in the interim between the Christmas and New Year holidays. We had a very quiet Christmas both as far as home is concerned and also at the Association. Keith, Mother and the two kiddies and myself had dinner at the Y on Christmas Day, with the members of the staff. Ruth unfortunately could not get away from the hospital so she could not be present. Evidently they are short handed at the hospital and a number of the nurses who expected to get away were prevented from doing so. She was greatly disappointed and did not like the idea of remaining at the hospital for Christmas dinner.

On Boxing Day, Mother and I went to "Manyung" and Shoreham Camps. It was a wonderfully good day and we enjoyed every moment of it. There were between 40 and 50 in camp at "Manyung" and the fellows were having a royal time as the weather has been wonderfully good. There are a number of improvements at the camp which make for ease in handling a crowd. For instance a large 6 ft. range with new brick chimney, etc. has been added to the kitchen and this is a great convenience to the cook and makes catering for a large number much easier than it was before.

Down at Shoreham, we were delighted with the progress made in the care of the equipment. Everything had been freshly painted and grass cut, and the whole place looked splendid. There were 16 boys in camp from the Ballarat Y with Mr. Ack Way also with them. With our own boys there at 75 in all. Both of the camps are looking splendid just now, and we were greatly delighted with them.

We were accompanied by Colonel Lamb of the Perth Board of Directors. He was immensely impressed with what he saw. Messrs. Reynolds and Nevile took two car loads of us for this fine run of about 120 miles. We had dinner at "Manyung" and tea at Shoreham.

In your last letter you asked me to secure a copy of the Kookaburra record. I was able to get this from the Australian National Travel Association, although I understand that copies cannot be procured in the ordinary gramaphone stores. We tried it out on our own machine at home and it is quite good. While at the National Travel Association's office I secured a little booklet entitled "Talking Points on Australia". This I am sending to you under separate cover. It is full of interesting material which you can use in your talks on Australia to various groups. On the back of the pamphlet you will notice that there is an agent at 114 Sansome Street, San Francisco and would suggest that you keep in touch with that office, and ask them to forward to you any new material they may receive. Your information on Australia would then be kept up to date.

I am also sending a picture of the "Koala" which is large enough for you to display as you speak to small groups. That kind of material always helps people to understand what you are talking about, as it visualises the animal.

By last mail I sent to you a copy of Unaipon's book on "Aboriginal Legends". I am also sending a little booklet called "The Song of the Stars" written by Dr. Boreham, the great Australian Baptist preacher and essayist. This is a Maori story, which I think you could also work up into a talk for young people's meetings.

Uncle Bill was over to see us yesterday. He has been having a very difficult time in his business. So much so that he is hardly earning sufficient to pay the rent of his shop. I called in to see him on Christmas Eve, and found that his stock had been greatly depleted in his endeavours to pay his way. He had evidently sacrificed much of his stock so as to keep going.

I think I told you in my last letter that next week we expected to take the two kiddies to the Community Camp at "Manyung". It promises to be between 20 and 30 people at the Camp so that we should have an enjoyable time. The kiddies are looking forward to it with great interest. The two Laurie girls will be in Camp and we expect Kath. and Dorrie also to be there.

I want to ask you to please go back over my letters and answer the numerous questions I have raised in them. While we enjoy reading your letters we want to say that they are remarkable for what they do not say rather than for what they do say. You never refer to the receipt of any letters from us so that we do now know whether they are reaching you safely or otherwise. I think it would be a good plan for you to acknowledge the receipt of the letters giving the dates they bear. I this way we shall know whether you are receiving them. Will you be good enough to look over our letters and give us the answers to the questions we have asked you. You have never once referred to the receipt of your wristlet watch, which we posted to the "Niagara". Did you get it? or did it go astray?

We will write you from Camp but it will probably be a week or two before we write again from the office. If we miss a mail or two you will understand the reason.

We hope you had an enjoyable Christmas, although I can imagine by this time conditions will be getting pretty cold and you will realise how bleak a place Chicago is in mid-winter.

We are unite in warmest love,
Yours affectionately,