Capt GS Andrews, RCE
HQ Cdn Corps,
Cdn Army O'seas
29 March 42.
This has been a good week (past) for mail. Your letter of March 1, and airgraph of 8 March, and Gertrude's airgraph of 17 March all arrived, so I am comparatively up to date on home news once more. I suppose there will be a long gap now. A letter and some beautiful lookout photos from Doug Macdougall came too, and made my mouth water for our mountains at home. I think your plan of renting the house is a good idea, if you think you like it that way. Sounds like a good move financially, and during the summer months, when the other wives are without their husbands, your plan to "double up" on living accommodation has many advantages. It will be more company for both you and mary, I guess you found the house a bit lonely, there all by yourself. Gertrude seems to like her new digs, I have wondered if her living with you and Mary didn't work out so well. What you say about relatives living together is certainly true, even with the best of relatives. Have wondered too, if Gert's friends involved a bit too much entertaining, both from the standpoint of work involved, and expenses. These are things, dear, that you have to decide for yourself, and I back you up 100%. The only thing I dislike about the arrangement is the lease. I puts you and Mary out on the street so to speak, for a whole year. I have always taken such satisfaction in knowing that my wife and daughter were secure, and independent in their own house, and a change for a few months living with Dorothy or Mary Garman, while nice for a few months, is rather a big bite for a whole year. However, your arrangement with S/L Lieff sounds pretty flexible, possibly by the time you might want to move back into the house, the situation in the Pacific will have improved, so that we will know where we are. At any rate, under present uncertainty, you arei n a good position to move away from Victoria on short notice, which is a good thing too. You seem to have selected the right kind of tenants, which is fine. I hope things come off alright for them in June, and it will be nice for Mrs Lieff to have the use of our modern little home when her baby is tiny.
If you should find it wise to take Mary into the Interior to live for a while, I have been racking over in my mind all the nice places, where you would be happy, in a congenial community, with good facilities, and a nice climate, and surroundings. Think you would find the Okanagan the best for weather, winter or summer, and really more like Placer county than anywhere in British Columbia. If the US dollar exchange becomes more favourable, and the red tape should be reduced, you might like to go down to Auburn for a good long visit. Later this summer, after the hot weather is over, it would be rather nice if you and Mary took a trip down east, just for a visit, and to get acquainted with my family. They would love to see you both, and you wouldn't have to stay with any one of them longer then you felt you wanted to. You have had a pretty strenuous time during the past two years, and a real change and holiday would do you good. Mary should be a good traveller by now too.
Before I went on my last leave, I sent you Â£20, which you should have by now. This month's pay will be in the bank tomorrow, and I am going to send you another Â£30. That should help you smooth out some of the rough corners on finances. You know of course that as soon as a small surplus like that accumulates here, I send it to you. I only keep a small reserve in the bank here for emergencies. The old proverb "where a man's treasure is there also is his heart" I think applies in the reverse to me, because my heart is there with you and Mary, and for that reason, I love to send you every Â£ that I can do without here. My wants here are few, and simple, and my work interests me more than anything else here, so my "expenses" are very modest.
A letter from my brother Bill came too, he seems to be doing a real job, has just had some kind of promotion, and now has 4000 men working under his direction. He's a solid steady lad, and nobody's fool. He is working very hard, and says that by the time the day is over, he is all in. they are expecting a baby too, which is great news.
The last few days have been lovely spring days, bright and dry. Have been out for some good walks. Last night Bert Hammond and I went to a dance at the Survey Coy, went up with Col Meuser, and picked our ladies en route, Bert and I took Ecila Morris and Ruth Craugh, the young evacuee who lives with them. After the dance, Bert and I stayed at the Morris' leaving there after lunch, walking 4 miles to catch the train, and get a ride from our station at this end. It made a swell break, had an egg for breakfast, and a lovely lunch, Home cooking certainly is a treat, and the Morris invariably "kill the fatted calf" when we visit them. They send their love to you and Mary. Mrs Morris is in excellent health this spring, and spends a lot of time outside in the garden, and scrounging firewood. The dance was good fun, I met a lot of chaps whom I don't see often, including my old friend Lieut. Charlie Sontar, who has recently arrived from Canada. Col Carrie was there too, and one or two other of his officers. Lorne has recently been promoted to Captain, and is omse kind of instructor, and farther away than ever, so am not likely to see much of him. Dick Farro was in for lunch the other day, I always enjoy his visits, he is always full of pep, and cheery. He should have been made a Captain long ago, but so far nothing seems to have happened. I understand he is doing some extremely good work, of a highly technical nature. It was announced on the radio tonight that General McNaughton is back in this country. Glad to hear that, he stimulates great confidence.
There was an interesting article in one of the Sunday papers today by Raymond Gram Swing, on the huge oil and synthetic rubber combine lurid details of which have been brought to light by the US government. Have finished reading the "Socialist Sixth of the World" by Hewlitt Johnston, the Dean of Canterbury. Everybody ought to read that book. We certainly have been living in a fool's paradise, since the last war. Everybody says there will be big reforms after this war, there is plenty of room for lots of reform in our democracies. Roosevelt was on the right track, but the vested interests have been too powerful. Am now reading Shirer's "Berlin Diary". Like his style.
Well, am getting a bit sleepy, the dance last night, and we got up and walked to church this morning, a cute little English church, then the long walk after lunch to the train, so will get off to bed.
All my love,