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,

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