Capt GS Andrews, RCE
HQ Cdn Corps,
Cdn Army O'seas.
5 April 1942
This is Easter Sunday morning, and typical as far as weather goes, bits of bright sunshine interspersed with squalls of rain and wind. You will find it hard to believe, but your husband attended holy communion this morning at 0730 hrs, and since we are now on British double summer time starting today, it meant getting up at 6 o'clock. The reason for this apparent surge of religious furvor on my part, is that the Padre, Col Hepburn who is a member of our mess, is such a fine man, and a good scout, that I couldn't see him going to the trouble of arranging the service, and not give him moral support. He had to make it so early, because he has a full day of services, at various units, with many miles of travel between each, so the one at his starting point had to be early. Really to be honest, I am probably a bit of a hypocrite to attend even for the reason I did, believing as I do about orthodox religious rites, but there is certainly something beautiful and fine in the idea behind communion, and it is probably the one service that approaches closest to the basic idea of the universal God, in whose eyes, all human creatures are equally strong, or weak, and worthy of His divine benevolence. It touches firmly the fundamental brotherhood of man, cutting across all the petty and fallacious barriers of cast, race, nationality, or cult. Can we dare to hope, that if we crush and defeat Hitlerism, Fascism, and the fanatical nationalism of Japan, that internationalism, universal brotherhood, and tolerance will be able to dominate this old world? In studying the problem of India, now on the front pages of the papers, I am alarmed at the display of nationalism, the Moslems, and the Hindus, so jealous of their identity, and "minority rights". Truly the seeds of evil, nurtured in the hot houses of the Nazis have spread and flourished.
I was very much impressed by the Dean of Canterbury's account of Russia's attack on these problems in his book "The Socialist Sixth of the World". The socalled Christian churches have branded the Soviets as atheist. The truth seems to be that they have approached closer to the fundamental ideas of Christ, than anybody. We read and hear much about the suppression of truth in the Axis countries. We would do well to scrutinize our own society to make sure that 'highball sales talk' on the part of the tremendous vested interests has not polluted our own ideas of things. Well that is quite a load off my chest, and rather a clumsy defence of my attitude to orthodox religion.
I got a nice Easter present this morning from my wife. A huge parcel arrived, containing a lovely shirt, some shorts, and all kinds of wonderful eatables. It was very timely too, because the last bits of the Christmas treats have finally been used up. Also it is certainly ood to have some Dixie plug in my pipe again, after several weeks of ordinary brands. The parcel bore on its wrapper the explanation of its slow journey, in the words "Salvaged from the Sea". However, it doesn't seem to have been submerged in water, because the contents were in perfect condition, including the lump sugar. It is a wonderful parcel dear, you are very good to your 'old man'. The size of the shirt is just right, and I like the short sleeves. Next time you are buying a shirt, get one with attached collar, if you can, it simplifies thigns a lot. The shorts are 34, but I don't think they will be too large, I usually get 32 in the waist. If they are a little slack, will easily put a tuck in them. Have them all marked already, with "GS ANDREWS" in full, so that they will be sure to come back from the laundry.
Had a note from FD Mulholland's brother, and it may turn out very opportune, as I may be going up near his home for a week's attachment at the RAF, and might spend a Sunday with him. If so will try to write FD a letter from there.
Have been very interested in a few bits in the news papers about work on the Alaska Higheway. Am a bit shocked that they are not using the proposed route that the BC government spent so much money surveying, and which those very surveys confirmed as being the best route for it. It looks as though the Dominion government at Ottawa has been asleep again. If the BC gov't takes the Ottawa decision lying down,it ought to be chucked out. I note that the two engineers on the US commission have protested the to Pres. Roosevelt, and George Black, the Cdn M.P. for the Yukon is critical of the choice of route. Smacks strongly of some strong political pull on the part of "Eastern Interests". The more I think of it, the more I believe that Alaska, Yukon, BC, Washington, Oregon and California should get together and form sort of a Pacific economic union, to fight against the domination of eastern financial interests, both Canadian and American. It begins to look that BC made a mistake when she entered Confederation without a more practical guarantee of her rights. Evidently there is considerable dissatisfaction in BC about the way Ottawa is safeguarding the Pacific coast against possible hostile attack.
Until I hear of your new address, will have to send mail to the house. Hope you are comfortably settled in your new digs. Have been thinking about my remarks on your renting the house, in my last letter. You probably have thought them rather amusing, when it is recalled that exactly two years ago, your good husband up and left his wife and baby in a rented house, with very little tangible means of support, and as it turned out very very skimpy support for almost a year, and that you, by your own initiative and effort, have caused our little home to become a reality. So it may seem unreasonable when same husband cables, and writes, telling you what he thinks you ought to do. I have only two points of defense. The first is that when war broke out, I was in a position to understand better than many people, just how serious it was, and that there would be no time to lose, in getting lined up in apposition where each could do his maximum toward the defence of our country, our way of life, etc etcetc. I remember writing you the summer before we got married, at the time of the Munich tragedy that if we went to war with Germany than, I would have to go. Subsequent events have more than justified my serious and unhappy views. And it has been a great comfort to me to feel that you have backed me up 100% in my course of action. The second point is that every penny that I could do without here I have sent to you, to help out with the splendid scheme of getting a home for us that you have so ably put into effect.
Legally speaking, I, Gerald Andrews, am worth about Â£15, the balance at the moment in my bank in London. Everything else, that I have been able to save, during the last two years, is in your name, to do whatever you like with, without consulting anybody. That is certainly the way it ought to be, under present circumstances. In case of quick emergency, that arrangement enables you to act as you see fit, with the minimum of delay and red tape. Ever promotion and increase in pay I've had, since leaving, has given me satisfaction mainly because it meant that much more for the security and happiness of my wife and baby at home, which due to uncontrollable circumstances, has had to go a bit uncertain at times. We can't help this situation, and really we have been very very fortunate, in comparison with so many little families who have been caught and broken by the terrible war machine. It is only natural that I should take a proprietary interest in you and Mary, and our modest little bit of this earth's surface. You can just put it down to one of those unavoidable peculiarities of husbands. They say women are beyond comprehension, but I suppose, we men have some illogical or irrational characteristics too.
I don't know what is the matter with me today, two sermons in this letter so far, Guess the padre must have got in some good work this morning, in my direction. We had a nice Easter breakfast a lovely fried egg, and a slice of bacon. Eggs are quite a rarity. Was in London yesterday on a rushed business trip, with Dick Farrow, and the little street stalls were full of daffodils, for Easter. They made me think of home, and I pictured the fields of them at Gordon Head. The fields are beginning to look green, the winter grain is sprouting, and the pasture bits are showing the effect of new grass. Soon the leaves will be unfolding on the trees, and then the country looks very beautiful. We all feel that this is going to be the critical year, and these signs that time is moving on, regardless of human affairs, makes one wonder what the months will bring, besides green trees, flowers, crops, and all the other beautiful and innocent things of nature.
On the way back from London, we stopped in at "Shoelands" for a cup of tea with the Morris'. The old lady is in fine fettle this year, spry as a cricket. Mrs M was upstairs when we arrived, but soon came down, and said, "I thought I smelt a man around the place". We didn't stay long, though, because Dick had quite a long way to drive back to his HQ after dropping me here. He is a great fellow, I think the mountains and the wilds must impart something of their greatness and stability to the men who by choice or chance, are occasioned to traverse their anatomy. Invariably, the chaps who have tarried in the wilderness, stand out in front of the great body of common men whom one finds in an army.
Last week, sent you Â£30, through the usual army channels. You should get it soon after this letter, if you feel a little uncertain living on Vancouver Island, why don't you take Mary and find some nice place in the Interior. Kelowna is a nice spot. You might find that cottages are economical to rent in interior places, wheich might be nice for the summer, and might give you a chance to scout out a more substantial warmer place for the winter. I think you would fine the change interesting, and beneficial. I am sure you can afford to live decently up there on your income, and keep up the payments on the house etc, as well. FD Mulholland knows a lot about good places to stay in the interior, from the standpoint of cottages and conveniences etc, and economy. He'd be glad to give you advice.
Well dear, these last two years have gone very quickly. It cant be much longer to wait. I don't think I've changed much, I guess we're all a bit wiser than before, I notice a few grey hairs showing up, when I don't get to the barber often enough. Physically I'm as fit as ever, could do with a bit more exercise, but try to keep that under ontrol, more than the average I think. How goes it with my sweetheart? She looks as nice as ever in her pictures, which by the way, could come a bit more frequently. I feel that as far as you and I are concerned, our confidence and hope for the future will keep us young. At any rate, time will work the same on us both. God bless your dear, and little