27 December 2012

No. 28 -- 17 Feb 1932

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

My dear Noel,

Your letter dated January 9th which you sent by Air Mail to the Coast, reached us the other day. We were very delighted to get a letter so soon after the last.

I know you will find physiology a difficult subject at the first, but it is surprising how simple the subject can become if you have it constantly in mind and revise it by thinking of your own body, its various organs and their functions. I used to repeat to myself the substance of what I had studied in the text book and apply it to my own body, and in this way got an idea of the relationship of the various organs which I found comparatively easy to memorise.

I am glad that you have such an excellent instructor in English. That is a subject that demands most careful handling on the part of the instructor, for it to become really interesting. Very frequently it can become dry and unattractive -- everything depends on its treatment.

We are all glad to know that you have satisfactorily completed the first quarter's work.

I think in my last letter I asked you to give me some idea of the grading you had received in each of the subjects.

Friar's Balsam medicine bottle,
from the collection of the
Powerhouse Museum in
Sydney, Australia.
Accessed 24 November 2012.
You will need to watch that cold. I know what Chicago is like in the winter and you would be wise to take every precaution to get rid of it as quickly as you can. There is nothing better than to steam your chest and throat by inhaling Friar's Balsam or Eucalyptus, or a similar medicant, in boiling water.

I have not had a chance to see George Briggs, but will ask him to let me see the letter regarding financial needs.

I was interested in your account of the Fraternities. May I express the hope that you will not give Clive Glover cause to feel that you are becoming independent of his help. You know quite well that a great deal of your present work has been brought to you through Clive's kindly offices, and I sincerely trust you will give him cause to feel that you are  grateful to him for what he has done. However, the matter of the Fraternity you join is your own affair, but I hope it will not mean that the Fraternity will occupy too much of your time and keep you away from your college work. It is quite easy to become so thoroughly interested in the social side of college life, that you neglect the very necessary revision and preparation for class work.

I noticed in the handbook that a modified type of warning is given to new students that they should not become too closely related to the Fraternities or feel that they were "out of the swim" if they had not been invited to one or other of them. You must also watch the question of costs on the social side of college life.

What a lot of fool stunts are put over in the American Colleges. Surely to goodness there is much more in life than to gather up a matchbox full to toe-nails!

The summer vacation will need careful thought on your part. Frankly I was hoping that you would take in some time at Lake Geneva, not only because of the credits you can obtain, but also because of the opportunity it gives you to have a very close relationship with many of the leaders of the Movement, and my own judgment is that if it is possible for you to get a job at Lake Geneva, you should take it. Presumably you will get your board and residence and tuition while you are at the summer school. That is all to the good and can be looked upon as savings in that you may not be called upon to expend any sums of money for self-support. The balance of your time I think you should spend, if possible, in work that will enable you to save money in preparation for your next year's college work. You know how necessary it is to have a certain amount of money at the beginning of each term, and in view of this I would urge you to give up the idea of a trip to Los Angeles, and devote your-self to preparation for your next year's work. Not that we would desire you to slave from morning till night, but we think it is important that you should earn all the money you possibly can, especially in view of the depressed conditions in America, which seemingly are likely to get worse instead of better. You must think in terms of "preparing for the rainy day."

At any rate this summer I feel you should give to earning money, and then perhaps after you have become better established in your school work, it might be possible in the succeeding summer to spend time sight-seeing and travelling.

Thank you for the message from Andrew Garrod. I also had a letter from him this mail, in which he stated that he had received a Christmas card from you from Chicago, but that you had not given any address. I imagine he must have located the address or else he could not have written to you as you reported. The kiddies have written to Dorothy Garrod, on several occasions, and will be doing so again shortly.

I was interested in the cutting you forwarded concerning the protest on the part of the hotel proprietors in Chicago, about the Y.M.C.A. having departed from its character building work to enter the hotel business. You know quite well that the Association's explanation is quite valid. If it is true that we make money on our residential sections, it is only that we might be in a position to render more effective service in our programme or in non-remunerative departments. As far as we are concerned it would be impossible for us to carry on our work in the Boys' Department for instance, if we did not make a substantial profit on our residential section. Of course there is a difference between the Melbourne situation in comparison with that of Chicago, but speaking generally I think the argument I have advanced is unassailably sound.

I have not anything further to report concerning home conditions. Everything is going quite well. Ruth spent last week at home as she had a very heavy cold, and the hospital granted her extension of leave so that she might get rid of it. I think in my last letter I told you that she was "peeved" because she could not attend Millie Harris's 21st birthday. This has all been put right, as Millie held her birthday party on Monday evening which was Ruth's night off, so she and Keith went along and had a good time.

Keith's job is still holding, but we do not know for how long. Joyce and Edith, of course, send their love, and when your letters arrive you can be sure they are full of questions regarding Chicago and your doings.

We are expecting Mr. Crosby back from Tasmania this week. We will be glad to have him on the job again. We are to have the annual meeting on the 25th and I am pleased to report that we have been successful in securing one or two new Directors who should be a decided acquisition to our work.

Mother's cold is practically better again, although she is feeling a little depressed that it is hanging around for so long.

I have not heard a word from Clive for months past. Tell him I would welcome a line when he has a few minutes to spare.

This might be one of the "snaps" enclosed with this letter.
It was taken over the previous holidays at Camp Manyung.
Joyce and Edith and Mother are in the front row,
George (Dad) and Kath Lilford are in the back.
I heard yesterday that there is a possibility that Archie Moses, who went to India for us about three years ago, is likely to be sent to America for training by the Indian National Council. In a letter to Trainor, he asked whether any arrangement could be made for him to get part time work at the Chicago Y. I am sure it would be a nice thing for you to drop him a line. His address is A. Henderson Moses, C/o Y.M.C.A., Bombay, India. It would make him feel that there were one or two Australians who would be glad to welcome him should he go to Chicago Y College. Of course, you had better be careful what you say about this in the meantime, as presumably the whole matter is only in its early stages and may not come off.

I must close now as I must run off to attend a meeting of the Rotary Club Boys' Work Committee.

All unite, my boy, in sending you our warmest love and hope that you will be able to throw off your cold, and give undivided attention to your work.

Yours affectionately,

Enclosed -- Snaps 2
Material in Aboriginal Customs & Wit.

By the way -- Kath mentioned she has not had any letters since before Xmas!!!

This is the first indication that all is not well in Noel's relationship with
Kath Lilford. George will usually write about Kath from now on in
a hand-written post-script, since Kath is so closely affiliated with the
YMCA and George's typist, Dorrie Yates, is friends with Kath.

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