26 March 2015

No. 45 -- 30 August 1932

This letter feels a little more optimistic. George has heard from Noel, school is about to get underway again, and Noel has a job prospect. Even through that job prospect would require a 3 hour round-trip commute, it is in his field of study and means Noel would have income. George encourages Noel to join a church, and reiterates that his three sisters are also joining churches.

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

My dear Noel,

Your letter of July 29th reached us yesterday. Of course we were delighted to hear from you and to learn that you had safely received the Postal Order we had sent some time ago.

It is also cheering to hear that you had a few dollars over which you could use for other purposes.

We can quite understand the difficulties the College would be experiencing just now with the great fall in revenue that is sure to come as the result of the depressed conditions of business in the United States. There is, however, a feeling of sorrow that it has been necessary for the college to discharge a number of its permanent employees and also to dispense with the services of those who were on a part time basis.

I am glad to learn that you called in to see the folk at the College with regard to the possibility of a part time job this year. I sincerely hope that something may eventuate from that.

The commute from the YMCA College in 
Hyde Park, which is on the south side of
to the Evanston YMCA, which is
in the 
near-north suburbs, is still today about
:30 hours by public transportation. It's at
least 45 minutes by car.

Labor Day in the United States is traditionally
observed on the first Monday of September.
In 1932, that would have been September 5.
I had a letter from Norman Weston from Evanston, in which he mentioned that he was doing his best to secure a part time job for you with the Evanston Y. It would necessitate travelling to Evanston possibly every night, an hour and a half's journey, and of course the same on return, but he said that he felt if you could make use of that time for study purposes in the train the time would not be wasted. The job would be worth anywhere between 30 dollars and 45 dollars per month. He was hopeful that he may be able to turn this job your way, but of course with conditions as they are, they may have to  readjust their whole budget and in this way the job may not be available. In his letter he mentioned that he would be getting into touch with you after Labor Day. I do not know the date of that in America, but I presume he has already made contact with you and has given you the details of what is in his mind. A job of that kind would be distinctly of value to you in connection with your future Association work and it would be a fine touch to have contact with the Evanston Y work.

I was interested in hearing Ray Williamson had left America. I have not seen him here, so that I presume he is either on his way or else is touring in other parts of the States. We shall be interested to look for him when he arrives back in Melbourne.

We were also greatly relieved to hear that you had passed your subjects satisfactorily and that you had completed 6 1/2 majors. This credit will help you, of course, in your school work for this year and I sincerely hope you may be able to make the grade in every subject.

"I can quite appreciate your
desire to see as much of America
as you possibly can, although
frankly, boy, I do not like the idea
of you spending your Sundays
just on the move from place
to place ... . While that may be a
very interesting experience ... you
should become connected with
the Christian Church and carry
your share in the work of the Church."
I can quite appreciate your desire to see as much of America as you possibly can, although frankly, boy, I do not like the idea of you spending your Sundays just on the move from place to place as you describe in your letter. While that may be a very interesting experience I think you have other obligations which you should attend to, and one of them is undoubtedly that you should become connected with the Christian Church and carry your share in the work of the Church. I know you have sufficient "gumption" to realise that the best friends you have in America will be those that you form in your Church connection. These will last longer and be of the most service to you, and from that angle I hope you will give the matter very earnest consideration and not spend too much of your time out of responsible duties in some Christian Church.

All the folk at home are well. You will be interested to know that Mother, Ruth and Joyce, accompanied by a young friend are at present at Mr. Crosby's house at Tremont. They went up there last Sunday. This change will do them good. Unfortunately, the weather has  been very bad and it has been raining practically ever since, but we are hoping that the weather will change for the better and that they will have the opportunity of visiting the various places of interest round Tremont. We expect them back next Saturday.

Little Edith unfortunately could not go up. The reason is that this week she is having exams, and it was necessary for her to remain behind. I do not think she will complete her examinations until Thursday midday. I shall therefore not be able to send her up until some time that afternoon. However, she will have the couple of days at Tremont, and this will, no doubt, help her.

Ruth will be joining the Camberwell Presbyterian Church. Somehow or other she does not desire to settle down a the South Hawthorn Church. Edith and Joyce at next Communion will be linking up with the Church at South Hawthorn. They have been attending Communicant classes since the Mission, that I referred to in one of my former letters.

BUSINESS LECTURES. (1932, August 29). The Argus
(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 4.
Retrieved March 27, 2015, from
This week I got into touch with Mr. Jenkins in connection with the Amplifier. He assures me that Mr. Thomas will be coming in to see me with regard to it and I am hoping that it may be possible for us to make some arrangement with him for its disposal.

We had an excellent time at the Farewell Social to Charlie Jutsum. The programme went off splendidly, the speeches were brief and to the point, and there was a fine spirit animating the gathering. Charlie made quite a good impression in his response to the presentation. We managed to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 to 20 as a presentation for him, so that he goes away under good auspices.

This afternoon we shall be saying goodbye to him at the Adelaide Express. He will be leaving at 4.30 p.m. for Broken Hill. We shall miss Charlie greatly in our work.

UNEMPLOYED BOYS. (1932, August 25).The Argus
 (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 10.
Retrieved March 27, 2015, from
This morning we commenced the work with unemployed boys. About 50 turned up and we gave them a programme of pictures, followed by organised games in the gym and a swim. These lads have all enrolled for future work, Each day this week we shall be having a group of them and we hope by the end of the week to probably enrol up to 250 of them for an organised programme that will run for some months ahead.

Today I read a letter from Bill McRae, who is at Springfield Y College. He graduated Bachelor of Science in June and is now going on to Yale and following that he expects to spend some time at Columbia University in New York. Bill is majoring on psychological subjects, and seems to be doing particularly well especially in those lines which deal with problem children.

I haven't heard anything from Tom Laing for some time, nor have I any news concerning Vic Jones. Do you ever hear from them?

You will be sorry to learn that George Brigg's mother died yesterday morning. The funeral takes place tomorrow, the 31st at 11 o'clock. I do not know whether this will make any difference in George's plans for next year. I have before me his application to Springfield and have been looking over his personal history blank and all their other blanks which he has filled up. I know George expects to send these on very shortly.

Must close off now. You know my boy we all send our warmest love to you. We pray for you constantly. We feel assured that you will worthily uphold the best traditions of the Australian Movement and that you will show to the other fellows in the College that "the man from down under" is quite able to keep his end up in a way that will bring honor to himself and to the country from which he came.

With warm love,
Yours affectionately,

Extract from Norm Weston's letter -- 26/7/32

"I enquired for Noel at the beginning of June, while visiting the College, and understood he was going to Lake Geneva to work in the camp there for the summer. They, of course, have had to cut drastically their working force. We practically eliminated all part time help from our Association commencing May 1, until Oct. 1, as well as reducing our full time staff.

"I have written to Noel asking him to look me up after Labor Day, and I will give him first chance at whatever part time work I may be able to open up for him. I believe I can make a part time job for him in our locker room, to work evenings, which will pay him somewhere between 30 dollars and 45 dollars per month. I can't say just how much at the present time, as something may happen between now and the opening of our Fall work to change our plans. I have my tentative budget made out for the rest of the year (the original one for the full year had to be revised June 1), and will be able to help Noel unless something unforeseen happens.

"Of course, if he can locate something better at any time, he will always be at liberty to make the change. Evanston is about 1 1/2 hours journey by elevated train from the College, and that means 3 hours daily consumed in travelling. If he is the type who can study in a train he can make good use of the 3 hours; if not, then it will be wasted time."