Thursday, 29 Aug
Dearest Susan, Tonia and Cameron,
I certainly can’t complain about getting mail from all of you. Three from Susan, 2 from Tonia and one from Dad. Thank you. I assume, by now, that mine are getting through. In any case I am glad that your stay in Kelowna was pleasant, and especially that Tonia and Cameron were so good. I am really proud of you.
All has been quiet for 2 weeks now and despite strong indications that fighting would break out right in our area two nights ago, we are still hopeful that it will remain quiet. The Greeks are not about to start anything right now, although there are some fears that the guerrilla organization EOKA-B will attempt to stir up trouble. But the Turks are firmly in place and continue to sneak forward, trying to gain a few houses here and a street there – the want a straight and convenient Green Line through Nicosia. In one area, the Turks and 2 Commando had a really comical (though serious) episode of building road blocks and planting flags. They were very mad when we drove an armoured vehicle down the road and destroyed four of their roadblocks. I am quite convinced that we are the only contingent which is at all effective, if only mildly.
The biggest area where we are helping is in trying to get the island back in shape...economic and humanitarian efforts, which is my office. We are presently trying to restore the electricity to the area and I am bouncing back and forth between sides and Ken is driving all over the country. The problem is that the same main line, in many cases, runs across Greek-Turk lines as often as four times. And because of their fear of one another, they can only work on their own part of the line. So, once the line has been inspected (often by Ken in areas of close proximity) we must get the appropriate side to ensure that power is cut off and that the line is grounded at the transformer station...and issue the appropriate certificate. Then I must take it to the other side and escort them to do the work. When the line is repaired, back with the work order and the other side restores the power. Then back to the other side to see if the power is flowing properly. And all this for heaven-only-knows how many lines. But it is getting done and we should restore the major line to Kyrenia today.
Because of the drastic effects of loss of electricity and, hence, water from electric pumps for irrigation, etc, both Mr. Denktash (Tk Cyp leader) and Mr. Clerides (Gk Cyp leader) are vitally interested in the work and copies of my daily report go to each of them. In any case, I can hardly say that they didn’t give me an interesting job.
We reduced our alert status yesterday, and last night the town was filled with UN troops for the first time in a long while. Bruce Archibald, J.P. Hill, Al Morrow and I (the 4 of us tend to stick together) headed down to a couple of bars. Despite hundreds of Canadians and Finns trying to cram into the 5 or 6 bars still open, it was very dull and Bruce and I were home by 8:30. Even the movie at the hotel was dull so I went to bed early and am now writing this at 6 am...I just woke up.
The weather here is very much like that in San Antonia, without the morning cloud. Between 90‑100° and muggy, but with occasional winds. But it cools off at night and from dawn (about 4.30) until about 8 am it is lovely.
Well, I must close, to reach the mail in time. I love you all and think of you constantly. Good luck in school Tonia. (and you too, Sue ??!)