Mr. Menzies was in at the school seeing Papa and telling him about the boys. He has a high opinion of Zadok it seems. He says that the Lewis section of the Battery are looked on as the intellectuals which is what one would expect. I saw Mr. Menzies at the sale and he told me that he discovered in conversation with Papa that he knows far more about the boys than their padre did… Stornoway, 13th December. 1917

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 13th December 1917

This week, Mrs Gibson has updates for Jean on who is and who isn’t coming home for the holidays, she reports on a small sale she attended during the week, and mentions the Lewis section of the Battery. Mrs Gibson is also keen to hear the opinion of one of Jean’s friends regarding the political state of Russia at that time. 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

Dear She-ann,

Thursday night again. Before I forget let me tell you this was a dry day. Papa met the Sheriff this evening and congratulated him on the fine crossing he would get and always the winds are shrieking round the house. By the way you will be glad to hear that the “Shiela” is back. Not many girls seem to be coming home this time. Any who have been writing Papa are not coming and yesterday he had enquiries from  the post-office people about Clara Graham and Nan Murray, so they must have applied for a holiday job in Aberdeen. Will you start your journey on the Friday and spend Friday night with Isa? Is that the plan? I have been wondering whether Isa’s sister in London supports the Bolsheviks or Kerenski [sic] or the Czar. Be sure you ask her.

I was at Miss Smith’s little sale yesterday afternoon. It was well patronised and should have done really well. I gave them three sections of honey (2/6 each) and spent 11/3 on “maistly nowt” but all for the good cause. Annie Macfarquhar was telling me Annice is coming home next Saturday.

The dining room is still standing empty. Mr. Forbes was in yesterday telling me that both the painters are sick in bed. I am taking it like a philosopher (Kismet!)

Mr. Menzies was in at the school seeing Papa and telling him about the boys. He has a high opinion of Zadok it seems. He says that the Lewis section of the Battery are looked on as the intellectuals which is what one would expect. I saw Mr. Menzies at the sale and he told me that he discovered in conversation with Papa that he knows far more about the boys than their padre did. Mrs. Menzies was telling me that Bessie’s hostel is a most beautifully artistic place and that it is quite an education for a girl to live in such surroundings. Some one interrupted before I had time to hear about Bessie herself. Her father was south last week end and doubtless we will be hearing from him.

Papa is busy writing letters just now to certain rural teachers for information with a view to his Congress paper. Not Lewis teachers of course as he knows about their conditions only too well. When Dr. Robertson was here last the country boards met and decided on what they would do with the new grant in aid of teachers salaries but all information as to what they have done is denied. That’s autocracy for you!

I met Bessie Clarke today. She seems quite all right and is going back to school after the Christmas holidays. I think she has grown.

There was a great Gaelic debate in the school last night on the different clans. Mr. Macintyre presided and clan feeling ran high. It was regarded as a great success – Miss Bella Macallum played Highland airs and there were nearly 100 present.

I hope your cold is better. Be sure to make preparation in clothes and food for a cold journey. It will be that sure, but I hope the Minch may be moderate. Don’t forget your Mothersill. Hope the exams. go off well.

Love from your Pa and Ma to their Sheann.

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L19

Transcribed by Hazel Tocock, Museum Visitor Assistant

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