21 Cortleigh Blvd.
June 15, 1952

Good old Bill:

You have always been a regular – a true loyal friend and I love you for your constant friendship.

We have struck a little snag in the award business. Since hearing from you I have received a letter from Stewart saying that he couldn't make it on June 28, London. Accordingly, the medal will be given during the last week of the Banff School, probably August 14, Thursday. As he is going to make some contribution to the transportation expenses, I shall go (otherwise I couldn't afford it). I shall take Vi along for a holiday on my own.

Now about London on June 28th. I think that Vi and I will go for the banquet returning on the Saturday as we are pressed for time. As the Award will be announced there but not presented I suppose it would be wise to be present. I hope I do not have to make two replies – one at London, one at Banff, unless it is the same reply.

I wrote Stiling saying that my contribution at the banquet might be the reading of a few unpublished short verses, possibly a half-dozen taking up ten minutes. That would avoid a repetition of acknowledgement in both cases. I don't know what Stewart expects of me. He said nothing in his letter. In any case, I shall send you in plenty of time the mim, short as it may be, and you can take a sentence or paragraph as you wish.

I am fully appreciative of this honour.

With affection
Ned.


award business
See the note to 'Banff' in letter to Viola Pratt, 6 June 1952.

London
The original plan seems to have been for the National Fine Arts Medal for literature, like the Governor General's Awards, to be presented at the CAA conference in London, Ontario the third week of June. However, as President Stewart of the University of Alberta was unable to attend, the ceremony was postponed to mid-August, with the winners being announced at the CAA banquet on 28 June.

same reply
Deacon replied (19 June 1952):

It doesn't really matter what you say or do on June 27 at [the CAA] dinner. At that moment it is what you have done in past 30 years that matters. But you are wise to attend. This is the No. 1 honor; and we, your fellow writers dreamed it up and wish a chance to applaud. It became apparent that something special was needed for people at the top; and the award is only to be made when a worthy recipient is in sight.
    At Banff the atmosphere will be different [than the announcement in London in June]. They will want a set address; and I hope it will be a variant of Science and Poetry. You are the best judge of that. Whatever you decide to do, I'll be glad of a carbon copy of the Banff speech in advance. Too little of it will be on the wires. I'd like my report longer. Thus I shall get three separate whacks over a perido of seven weeks, which should increase sales [of Towards the Last Spike].

Stiling
Frank Stiling was the current chairman of the Board of the Governor General's Awards.

mim
Short for 'mimeograph.'