22 January 2013

No. 29 -- 2 March 1932

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

My dear Noel,

Your letter of January 26th with its supplementary material dated 30th January, came to hand by the last mail. It was read with a great deal of interest. We were all delighted to know that you are still managing to pull along quite satisfactorily.

I was interested in your acknowledgment of my letters!!! I have not checked back the list, but I imagine it must be fairly correct.

This long paragraph devoted to Noel's
involvement in the "playground movement"
had me intrigued, so I did more research.
I don't know Noel's specific involvement,
but the movement to create playgrounds
to keep kids off the street started
in the 1890s and seems to have
still been going in the 1930s in Chicago.
It was a movement championed by
progressives and social reformers,
and with Noel attending a social-
service centered college and his
involvement in the YMCA, it seems a
natural fit for him. My interpretation of
this paragraph is that Noel might have
had a job running some of the
playground programs, and George is worried
about the loss of income, so is urging
Noel to keep in contact with the parent
members so they don't drop the program.
For more about the playground
movement in Chicago, see this article.
Do you know anything about the Playground
Movement in Chicago during the 1930s?
Or the YMCA's involvement in it?
I'd love to hear about it.
I am sorry to hear that your playground movement is not being maintained at the old levels. I quite imagined that there would be a dropping off as unemployment increased and conditions became harder. It is unfortunate that you are not able to make more definite contacts with the parents, so that you may be able to keep your members. While you may have sufficient coming in to carry your incidental expenses, you must not forget the fact that you have a long period of vacation when your living expenses will be required. I know it is difficult to maintain your college schedule and do everything that is necessary to maintain your grades, and at the same time do interviewing work of this type, but it seems to me if it is at all possible for you to squeeze in occasional visits to the parents, it would pay you in the long run. I know that immediately the vacation period comes round, and the college closes, you will be faced with the problem of maintaining yourself, and I would urge that you give very careful thought to this matter well ahead of the time so that your plans may be in hand for your maintenance during that long period.

In my last letter I mentioned how necessary it would be to think in terms of the amount you will require to start your next year's College work, with text books and other incidental expenses. Quite a few pounds must be in hand to start the year with.

I hope you will satisfactorily carry out all the tests required when "hell week" comes round, so that your initiation into the Fraternity may be in order.

All this talk about money had me curious
so I did some searching. I thought
about inserting images of currency from
the 1930s, but instead opted for this video.
It's very catchy, plus explains the system
of pounds, shillings and pence used in
Australia at this time. Enjoy!

The dollar bill you sent, came safely to hand, although it was quite unnecessary for you to send it. We are only too happy to forward the material you asked for. I will retain the bill as it may be of some value in paying accounts a little later on when I shall require to send money to America. I will give the kids 1/- a piece so that they will feel that we have not taken something from them about which you wrote.

I am greatly encouraged by the fact that you are getting into your stride in your studies and that you are able to cover the work. Don't forget that it doesn't pay to do without sleep for too long. You can maintain that for awhile, but nature after a time asserts itself and when the testing time comes, such as examinations, etc., the mind refuses to work in the normal way.

We note your request for a snap of the family. We will endeavour to send something along, better than the one forwarded in the last mail.

Too bad the diary has been lost over the years,
but this did remind me that I have other
treasure related to Noel's crossing of
Canada. This post was my initial piece
about that crossing
, but there is also an
updated post with an audio recording I made in
1982of Noel recounting his Canadian crossing.

It was originally recorded to cassette tape,
but I've digitized it.
We were very glad also to get a further consignment of your diary. It helped us to understand just exactly what you have done on the trip across Canada. You certainly had a wonderfully good time. We shall look forward to receiving the balance of the diary.

Ruth is keeping quite well apart from a cold which has now practically gone. No ill effects came from the accident, worth talking about. Edith is getting along quite well at school and also in her music and elocution. She is expecting  to have a test in music shortly, so as to find out whether she will be fit to take her first examination in May. Joyce has started music again. We felt it wise to leave her to make her own decision in this matter. Whether she will continue it or not remains to be seen.

I am rather amused at your reference to "make them study". I wish to goodness I could have drummed the same thing into your head when you were here! I tried hard to get you to realise that you were taking things far to easily, and trusting to pot luck to get through on the American end. Now you realise how essential it is to have adequate preparation so as to get advanced standing.

All the family read the letter and I also passed on your regards to those mentioned in your letter. Joy is enclosing a letter with this.

Mother is keeping in excellent health and so is Keith. He had a good deal of trouble with his teeth, but that seems to have straightened out alright. Rex Baker left on Sunday for Sydney, where  he expects to remain for about three weeks installing some talkie apparatus.

Under separate cover I am sending you a letter which arrived here just about the time the last mail left, and which unfortunately, I forgot to forward at that time. It is from one of your friends, a Czechoslovakian who met you at the conferences. I will acknowledge the letter and will send him a little material on Australia. You should answer it at your first opportunity and thank him for the snapshots, etc. It will be a good thing for you to maintain your contact with him.

You will be glad to learn that we had a very successful weekend for our Business Men's classes at Camp Manyung. Forty-five of them attended and they had a thoroughly happy time. We plan to hold a weekend camp every month during the year. This month we shall have one on the weekend 12th, 13th and 14th March and then the Easter Camp, 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th March. Ivor is featuring this in his Physical Department programme throughout the year. Incidentally he is making money which will be turned into new equipment at the camp.

We had a Rotary weekend at Camp Somers last Saturday and Sunday. About 50 Rotarians attended the camp and we had a really happy time together. Next Saturday I am organising a picnic for 40 of the Montague Club boys who will be motored to Eltham by the Rotarians, given refreshments and a good time. This is part of our policy in connection with the Boys' Work Committee of which I am Chairman.

I am enclosing a copy of the Educational Department folder, which will help you to see the new classes we are organising this year. There are others we have in mind for later in the year.

Y.M.C.A. (1932, February 27).
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1956), p. 25.
Retrieved January 22, 2013, from
The Annual Meeting was held on Feb. 25th and went off quite well. A copy of the Annual Report has been sent to you. Three new Directors, Messrs. F.W. Bond (Magistrate), A.E. Pascoe and Fred. Walker, both Rotarians, have been added to the Board. They will strengthen us a good deal.

Matron is away on holiday in Sydney. Miss Ray is carrying on. The Boys' Department programme commences this week, and we are now getting into our stride for the winter's work.

I have not heard a great deal from America recently, apart from a letter or two from Harry Holmes and Ned Brownell. Mrs. John W. Cook wrote to Mother and gave news concerning Mr. Cook and herself.

For more about Noel's grades, there will
be a future post looking at Noel's
transcript from the YMCA College
in Chicago. I'll put a link here when I have one.
By the time this letter reaches you you will know the results of your second term's work. We shall all be delighted to hear how you got on.

Alf. Hines goes on holiday immediately after the Board meeting. Most of the others have had their holiday, so that we shall soon be settling down for the year's work. There will be considerable addition to our Boys' Department membership, especially from the Working Men's college. If we could take them they would be able to send us 300 boys, but on account of the difficulties of fitting that number in on the same day as we have the high school boys present, we cannot take more than half that number.

I must close now. We all unite in warmest love. Kind regards to Clive and his wife.

Yours affectionately,

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