So you saw the Salary Committee’s Report and Scheme. I am not sure which of the grades this school will be regarded as coming under. In most cases the proposed increases, even if granted, would not bring the teachers up to their pre-war condition owing to the fall in the buying power of money. Meantime we continue to practise thrift and wait for the good time coming…Stornoway, 2nd December. 1917

Extract from letter Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 2nd December 1917

In this week’s letter, thoughts turn towards the Christmas and New Year holiday when Jean will be returning home to her parents. Mr Gibson also mentions a visit from the Food Control official and a report on proposed increases for teaching salaries. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Jean dear,

Mamma agrees to a two weeks’ engagement of the lady help mentioned in your last letter (aprons provided), and I propose to meet her at the steamer on the evening of the 22nd. A hen lays – somewhat erratically I admit – but the productions can be stored, and a small piece of pig remains – so!

I was interested to see your not very attractive Nat. Phil. paper. I did not know that it was to be entirely on Dynamics. Are you not getting any Physics yet? If not, there will be considerable work to do next term. Glad to hear that your English class continues to be interesting. Don’t worry about lengthy notes of lectures. All you want is pegs enough on which to hang your recollection – a précis in fact.

We were glad to learn that you had enjoyed the English “at home” and that your knowledge of whist had again come in useful. Yes, we remembered that the “Alma” account had mentioned that Miss Muriel was a fine dancer.

The Students’ Handbook has not yet come to hand as requested. Don’t forget. There was also the small book on German contribution to thought, edited by Prof. Paterson that I was to have got a year ago. I’ll take it when you come as a New Year gift (Bissett, 2/6). Have there been no issues of “Alma Mater” this term? We had Thursday and Friday as Thanksgiving holiday – weather awful, rain and storm and to-day, snow. The children from a distance have gone home, but how they are to get back to-morrow I don’t know. We paid our usual visit to the reading room on Saturday evening to see the pictures. A queue of folk waiting in the baker’s shop until the loaves wd be twelve hours old was the novelty on which Mamma stumbled when she went in for her bread supply. There is an official of the Food Control here just now!

So you saw the Salary Committee’s Report and Scheme. I am not sure which of the grades this school will be regarded as coming under. In most cases the proposed increases, even if granted, would not bring the teachers up to their pre-war condition owing to the fall in the buying power of money. Meantime we continue to practise thrift and wait for the good time coming.

We are in the study as usual and as it is the lamp that is alight Mamma is having much trouble in keeping the silhouette of her nose off the Matheson Rd. blind. As for Barrie, he is at peace on her knee; shadows trouble him not at all.

Mr W.J. Clarke is better again. He was enquiring whether you were coming home or not; he was wondering whether Marion shd  come home or not. She seems from what he says to be liking the T.C. and to be well pleased with the hostel and with Miss Souter’s interest in them. We have not learned yet when Mr. and Mrs. Menzies are coming home; we hope she is enjoying her little holiday in the south.

Best love from both.

Papa

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L16

Transcribed by Hazel Tocock, Museum Visitor Assistant

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