Day after Day 27
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I think perhaps we have almost exhausted all that Chesterton wrote that is worth quoting.
Here is my latest quote for you to guess:
My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.
I won't pretend that the medical care in Lahat compares to that in England but there is a health clinic here and in Batu Gahaj, and in Ipoh there are many medical facilities.
Lying close to the equator, Malaysia has a tropical climate. Temperatures are usually between 68-86°F, humidity is usually 90 per cent with an annual monsoonal season blowing southwest [April to October] and northeast [October to February]. Rain, when it comes, generally interrupts the sunshine only briefly; most of it falls in short, strong bursts.
A favorite night time activity for Malayans, when the unrelenting heat of the day lets up a little, is to take a leisurely stroll in the local pasar malam [night market].
I hope you will have a happy birthday.
Since I last wrote to you, we have had the wonderful news that May and John have had their baby, a boy that they have called Thomas Duncan Day. I had thought they might name him John, after both his father and grandfather, but May had her way and he was called after her father. But John managed to pass on his second name to his son.
Father hasn't been feeling well lately. He gets very tired and has quite a swelling in his throat. His voice sounds very rough, and although he says he doesn't have a sore throat it sounds as though he has one. I keep telling him he must see the doctor, but he says he is too busy. I tease him that he should try some of the Pink Pills which are advertised in the newspaper each week for people who tire easily.
Father recognised your quote as the words of Martin Luther. I think we will make note of it and make sure that Father listens to as much good music as we can find. I am too upset to find a quote for you just now.
I am dreadfully worried about him, but he just continues with his very full schedule.
I'm sorry to hear your Father is not well. I hope he does go to the doctor soon as it might be something serious which could be treated if it is caught soon enough. You must insist that he
goes, even if he is unwilling. Make the appointment for him if you must.
Nothing much to report on from here. I think I have about exhausted the subject of Ipoh and Perak and you now know as much as I do about it.
Love from Harold
7 Lansdowne Crescent
Father finally saw a doctor who has suggested that he might benefit from treatment at a Spa. He implied that the problem might be a serious one, but that many miracles can be wrought by the
use of herbal and other remedies.
Father doesn't complain, but he is so tired that he has often had to cancel his Mayoral work of late. We haven't been out to a social event for several months. Luckily the Under Sheriff is very pleased to stand in on these occasions. Occasionally Mother and I do At Home sessions which he was supposed to do.
His voice is more grating and I think the lump is growing. I cannot tell you how concerned we are, but perhaps once he has gone to the Spa, things will improve.
I went this weekend to Warwick to visit John and May and see new baby Tom. He is a delight, and looks very bonny now that he is over three months old. He can smile and looks as if he is
very happy with life. May is a very contented mother and dotes on him. I think she will spoil him rotten. She confided that she had really hoped to have a daughter, and has great plans for any future
female babies, ensuring that they are trained in the ballet. She always wanted to take ballet lessons, but she was not the right shape to be a ballet dancer, nor had she her mother's backing.
For the time being she is very happy with her son.
Love from Muriel
What Spa did your father go to, and did it have any effect? I know how worried you must be, and only wish that I could be there to help you through these difficulties. I do miss you so much, and even miss your long chatty letters, as you now seem to be too worried to write about frivolous things like quotations.
'The most astonishing thing about miracles is that they happen.'
Love from Harold
Father spent three weeks at Ventnor in the Isle of Wight and is much improved. He wouldn't let us come with him but took his cousin George Williams, and we took his place at various Mayoral
Whatever they did for him has given him a new lease of life. He says they made him drink 20 glasses of spa water every day. He also took Essiac which is a sort of herbal tea that improves the ability of one's body to fight cancer, which is what the doctors are now saying that he is suffering from. He took mistletoe therapy which stimulates the immune system to fight the disease. He
also took a tablet made out of a substance found in the pits of apricots.
Father brought back the advertising leaflet from Ventnor and I now quote from it. "Ventnor as a health resort started when Sir James Clark extolled the beneficial healing qualities of the climate and waters and the population went from 100 to almost six thousand by 1900..''
Father said the Bay is the most picturesque spot along the coast, with thatched fishermen's shacks along the shore, and an old corn and grist mill set above them which is fed by a stream which flows down to the sea.
Father's symptoms are a swelling on the neck, a rough voice, and feeling lethargic. His doctor thinks the cancer may be caused by smoking, which of course he does a lot. After the treatment at Ventnor his voice was much clearer, and he has not tired so frequently.
It is too soon to talk of miracles, as in your quotation from Chesterton, but at least now we have hope. I'm afraid I cannot think of quotations at the moment. My mind is too full of the here and now, and what is being said about Father.
He is still taking things easy and only fulfils the most important of his duties, but we are so pleased that he is on the mend. He was asked if he wanted to carry on as Mayor for another year, and he declined, as he always intended to. He will take on the role of Deputy Mayor, as is the custom for retired mayors. This is a less arduous role, and he should have the energy to perform it well.
Having started this letter, I mislaid it. Now I can report that Father has handed over his chain of office. The new Mayor is John Stallard.
This is what The Chronicle had to say about it:
"The Mayor said he had great pleasure in proposing Mr. John Stallard as the Mayor of Worcester for the ensuing year. Mr. Stollard came from a family which had been very been very much mixed up for three generations at least, with the municipal affairs of Worcester and the speaker felt sure that all present would agree that in proposing him as his successor he was he was proposing a man who was well worthy of office, one who would carry out the duties in an efficient manner and at the end of whose term of office the Council would feel good and proud that it had had him for Mayor."
The words are almost exactly like the ones the previous mayor made last year when Father was welcomed into the office. I think they must have a prewritten sheet, that only varies in the numbers of years of experience one has had.''
There is more, but I won't quote it all. When Father put the chain around Mr Stallard's neck he said, and I paraphrase, "You sir, come of a family that for three generations at least has been very intimately concerned with the municipal affairs of the city.
Your grandfather was a member of the Old Corporation and your worthy father and uncle, Mr. Josiah Stollard and your cousin Mr. William Stallard have also filled the office of Mayor to the satisfaction of all and I feel sure you will do the same."
Do you get the impression that this council is rather an old boys and family network?
There was a vote of thanks for Father.
"Ald. Knott in proposing a vote of thanks to the retiring Mayor said they had noticed the excellent way which their late Mayor had performed the duties of his important office. At times the duties had encroached somewhat upon his health, but on the whole they were glad that his health had enabled him to discharge the duties as well as he had done. The functions had been carried out in as handsome a manner as upon previous occasions. Their thanks were also due to the Mayoress (applause) who had given her assistance to every good work. (applause)
They regretted very much that the Mayor had been ill but he was now much stronger. (applause) The assistance of the Mayoress had been most readily given. She had associated herself with
ever good work. (applause)
The Mayor admitted that his health had unfortunately not been so good during the past few months. Had it not been for that he had hoped to have done more work than it had been his privilege to do. When he was appointed Mayor, the Mayoress said to him, "Well, we are the property of the citizens of Worcester and whatever they want us to do we must do it." (applause) "And" added the Mayor, "We have done it, not only because it was a duty but because it was a pleasure." (applause)''
As Mayor, Father had also been Chief Magistrate, and so now they had to induct the new Mayor into that job. I won't copy out all the waffle as it is even hard for me to read it all, but I will put in the part about the vote of thanks for Father.
"Clr. Sharman Wood said he had great pleasure in proposing a cordial vote of thanks to the ex-Mayor for the services he had rendered during the past year.
They knew that he had on every occasion he had been in Worcester he had attended and assisted in the administration of justice and had carried out his duties in a most admirable way.
Mr. Evans seconded, saying it needed no words of his to second such a vote.
Mr. Tree (Margaret and Jessie's father, you know) said he wished to support it on behalf of the solicitors. He was glad to have an opportunity of acknowledging the very great courtesy they had received from Mr. King during his year of office. There had been unfortunately, during the past year a
great amount of crime, and a great increase in the cases.
Once the Mayor had sat as late as nine o'clock; another time till eight, and several times late in the afternoon. He hoped crime would diminish during the next year, (The Mayor, "So do I.") and that there would not be such a large number of cases. Mr. Tree proceeding said the Mayor had referred to his reluctance in passing sentence so he would venture to remind him that during his term of office he would have had the opportunity of trying a new experiment in criminal procedure.
On the first of January the New Proclamation of Offenders Act would come into force and under it a probation officer would be attached to the Court. Under the beneficent provision of that Text magistrates might deal with any suitable case that came before them by releasing the offender with or without recognisance and commit him to supervision for three years by the probation officer whose duty it would be to advise, assist and help the offender and endeavour to find him suitable employment. That had been carried out to some extent by the Police Court Missionary, who was
not an officer of this court. Might he suggest that that was a very good illustration of the very humane spirit which now dominated the administration of Justice in England, because under this Act, an
offender who years ago might have been sentenced to death for a trifling offence could be released and committed to the care of a probation officer. It was giving practical effect to the principle that was so well expressed by the King at the opening of the new Central Criminal Count: "It is well that crime should be punished. It is better that offenders should be reformed."
"Mr. King in reply thanked them very much for the way they had spoken of him. When he took office he had made up his mind to do his duty to the best of his ability, and if in striving to do that he had met with their approval, he was more than amply rewarded. Mr. Southall referred to the fact that between the police and the Magistrates there was no friction.
"He must say that during his term of office he had very much struck with the straightforward way the police force had given their evidence. He knew that the Chief Constable told the men to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and he thought that order had been carried out.
"The men had always struck him as being reliable and truthful witnesses. He wished to thank the Magistrates Clerk, the chief of Police and the solicitors, for the kindness and courtesy extended to him. There had also been an absence of friction between the Magistrates and the solicitors. There might have been difference of opinion but they had differed pleasantly and it was a very great
satisfaction to him to think that things had gone smoothly while he presided over the court."
All for now my love.
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Seems like they are back on
Seems like they are back on track. Worrying about her father. He has simptoms of thyroid desease. Or is it, as his doctor thinks, cancer? He is determined to carry on his work.
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I expect Muriel would rather
I expect Muriel would rather be with her father at this time than off in Malaya, so a good thing the wedding was postponed. This is such an easy, pleasant read. despite the bad news, it is like catching up with friends.
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Interesting bit of background
Interesting bit of background on the probationary service beginnings. Rhiannon
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