Sat. 26th April ’69.
Dear Mum & Dad,
Thanks for the parcel. The soutane is very good – don’t worry about trying to match the buttons. The shoes and sandshoes fit perfectly (truly! – I’m not just saying it because I can’t be bothered changing them!) Thanks also for the couple of lollies hidden in the soutane! & also for the much needed biros and rubber.
About sending my thick soutane – I won’t send it home because it is not badly in need of repair [except for the hole worn in the sleeve]. However, I can wear my artificial, put on sleeves so that the hole won’t wear any bigger. Also, about getting a new thick soutane – I don’t really need a new one yet as I have two soutanes already, and two is enough. (It doesn’t matter if they are worn, as long as they are clean!!)
What was Patrick O’Hagan like?
Dad, I asked Bro. Bede about the Goldfinches. He said he has two available if you still want them. If so he could send them by rail (or something) – he often rails them to Auckland. (He sold one for £6 recently – in Auckland). However, the two he will be giving you will cost about 25c each – (plus the travelling fee). He says he doesn’t like charging you but all the money he gets from selling them goes to the upkeep of his other birds, as he is not allowed to get money from the House Pool (i.e. Religious House! Highden!) for his hobbies. Anyway, I told him I’d ask you first, to see if you were still wanting them, & what would be the best way to send them. (The birds are only tamed wild ones, not cage-bred, but they are as tame as an ordinary canary).
Now for the big news of the week – Bishop Rodgers of the Kingdom of Tonga was here on Tuesday/Wednesday. He gave us an informal talk on Tonga – about how there are about 40,000 under 30 – a lot of whom now have a secondary education but there are no jobs in Tonga for them. The N.Z. Government & the other countries won’t allow Tongans in so there is nothing for them to do. Also, each Tongan by right owns 8 ½ acres of land – but in the last 30 yrs. The population has increased from 30 to 80 thousand & there is not enough land to give out for them to work on – so something is destined to explode sometime. Bishop Rodgers is a Marist Silverstream Old Boy.
Well, I think that that is all the news.