Dorothea Allison to Milborough Mackay, 25 September 1915
Sept 25th 1915
It is very sweet of you to send me the money for a present. Thank you ever so much. You are far better than I am at remembering things in time! But you must confess you have more leisure for remembering in! Summer out here is a nightmare to me. All August was 90o & over. And in this heat there was fruit picking, jam making & fruit bottling for the winter. Besides all the other work — but I always seem to be complaining at the poor old jam and it is very grateful & comforting to eat when the summer departs. Of course the thing is one ought to have a change and holiday from the continuity of work & this is just what one can’t have in these hard times when money & labour are both scarce. Directly the heat gos [sic] — as it did on September 1st all is well again. I have a really nice lawn and some flowers — of course the mowing of the lawn gives one an extra bit of labour — but I think the pleasure makes it worthwhile. I have also one or two [interests?] now which tho they entail a little secretarial work I think really they do the mind good.
I was elected Trustee for the Public School of the District. This means communicating with the Education Dep’t pretty often. Keeping the Banking Acct, Paying the Teacher etc. When the District elects one to the job — unfortunately it does not mean they pay you. — it is an honorary (?) job.
Also we are starting a Prohibition Movement for the duration of the war. The drink amongst the troops recruited since the war began, is pretty bad & the amount spent on drink thro’out the country is enormous — such a waste when wanted badly to help in the War!
You don’t approve of your Governess1 I can see. Poor dear she can’t help having no taste & choosing common lace yokes! I blame her maid & her costumier. I am so glad to hear that Chris is getting on well.
Your house looks very grand as Lucy wd [would] say. For how long does Charlie remain in the High Court? Is he in the Judicial side of the ICS2.? And when do you expect to be home on leave. What a shattered family we are! Poor old Madge is having the worst of it at present.
It is happy for Judith to be able to be married soon but I am afraid she will leave rather a gap in her family. I do wonder what Hubert Hull is like?
It is hard to believe the Butterworths can behave so foolishly — one knows they are not & couldn’t be disloyal but everyone especially in India ought to cling together & it is foolish to say the least of it — at the present state of Affairs to begin to stand up for the enemy! I hope for our sakes in Canada that the States won’t go to war — the huge amount of Germans in the States & in Canada wd [would] make it very uncomfortable for us with out thousands of miles of undefended borders.
I have left it to the end to wish you many happy returns for your birthday. Are you feeling fairly well — or still an invalid?
With love and many thanks
from your affec sister
1Governess: referring to the wife of the Governor of Madras Presidency, India
2ICS: Indian Civil Service
Typescripts, 1913-1922 — Dorothea Scott-Coward Allison Letters