On Friday evening I was at the meeting of the Y.M.C.A. committee. They were making arrangements for the social meetings of the naval men during the Xmas and New Year weeks. The leading part was being taken by Mr. Crow, an Episcopal clergyman of the Seamen’s Mission… Stornoway, 9th December. 1917

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 9th December 1917

Mr Gibson reports to Jean on the comings and goings of the week, as well as discussing the topics up for debate at The Literary which he regularly attends. This week they discussed ‘compulsory rationing’ and it would seem most people were not in favour of this. 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,

Your letter came to hand on Saturday morning. We congratulate you on the good place you took in the essay; how will the examn  get on? I see you are to have it on the 19th – the same date on which I am to deliver my lecture on “Things that matter”, so I have a fellow feeling with you. I am not writing it out this time as I have always done before; instead I am going to try a talk on the method of my Monday mornings. I don’t know how it will come off.

We saw from your letter that the Nat. Phil. examn as you had expected had not turned out very well; better fortune next time. You will get your next one past before the vacation and so have it off your mind. It is all right having an essay to do during the holidays; it is better to have it then than in the middle of your grind for exams.

We were glad to hear about Mr. T. You did not say how he was looking so we take it he is well. Poor Davie, we were sorry to hear of his disappearance and unknown fate. It was like Mr. Taylor to adopt the wee stray from the T.C.

I had a letter from Maggie Bella, and see from it that a number of the girls she names will not be coming home at Xmas. I think someone told me that Bella Campbell was to come.

Your “study circle” interested us. Have you a single subject for study, or a series of subjects? And how is it gone about? Give us some details. We liked to hear about your N.G. being sister to the first bursar. How very Scots!

We are passing the Sunday evening as quietly as usual, in the study reading. Mamma is at one of Gissing’s – “A Life’s Morning”, and I have been looking up some points in early Egyptian history – not the very earliest; only about 4000 B.C., reign of Khufu!

On Friday evening I was at the meeting of the Y.M.C.A. committee. They were making arrangements for the social meetings of the naval men during the Xmas and New Year weeks. The leading part was being taken by Mr. Crow, an Episcopal clergyman of the Seamen’s Mission, or some such organisation. On Saturday the weather broke down into sleety snow. We visited the Reading Room as usual in the evening and saw the illustrated paper. To-day we were at church in the forenoon. Mr. Clark, Laxdale, has gone south to an education meeting. Mr. and Mrs. Menzies were in their pew. We did not get a chance of speaking to them. He is still in khaki. Mr. Jenkins was preaching. We have not yet heard what arrangements are being made for carrying on the churches.

Yesterday I had a letter from Dr. Boyd, of the Glasgow E.I.S., asking me to read a 20 minutes paper on “Rural Education” at the Glasgow Congress of the E.I.S. It is to be held on the 3rd and 4th of January. Mamma and I have talked it over and we think I should go, so I am writing to agree. I am sorry it will take me away from home during four of the days you are here, but we’ll have the other days, and you can take care of Mamma while I am off.

Things in school are going on in as nearly their usual as we can manage. One of the children had been saying – it came to us at secondhand – that Mr. Tait was getting into his stride again. The Literary had its first debate last Wednesday evening. It was of a seasonable character – on compulsory rationing. I was not able to be up, but Mr. Maciver presided, and he reported that it had been quite a success. The voting had been 44 against and 36 for. Next Wednesday is to be a Gaelic night on “The Clans”, which should produce some good talking.

Now I think I have posted you in all the things.

Best love from both.

Papa.

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L18

Transcribed by Hazel Tocock, Museum Visitor Assistant

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