Saturday am. [11 Apr. 1953]

Dearest Cayke:

I am writing this at the York Club following dinner. Mother went to the Heliconian Club and I came here. I shall pick her up in the Chev about 1:30.

I have just returned from the Assumption College, Windsor, and the Graduation Dinner, followed by speeches, was like a play in a Gayety theatre. I sat next to Bishop Nelligan who, everytime I told a tall story, would pass me a cigar right in the presence of the audience. The audience smiled at the cigar as much as at the story. Well by the time I finished, I had eight cigars each one covered with aluminum – expensive cigars.

As most of my stories were Newfoundland-Irish they suited the moods of the students and staff. Then the Chairman, Father LeBel (who, by the way, I had in my graduation class twenty years ago) called on Bishop Nelligan to make a 'few remarks.' All his remarks were stories of his Irish experiences in Dublin. Here is one of them. He was being driven by a Dublin cabby through the city just after the Rebellion of 1916 when so much damage was done to the buildings of the city. Nelligan noted six statues and asked the cabby what they represented. The cabby replied – 'Oh, the 12 apostles.' But, said the Bishop – 'there are only six.' The answer immediately was Day-shift.

I then handed him back one of his cigars – which convulsed the graduation class. I had been asked to tell the story of the Patent Medicine – Universal Lung Healer – you remember. I had said that the medicine at least couldn't do any harm, and no complaints of any significance had come to Cal after I had left for Toronto. Nelligan then said – 'Dead men make no complaints.' I then passed him over another cigar and by the time he had finished his speech the whole eight had been transferred to him. I am sure that in a year's time or so when my speech and his are forgotten, the students will talk about the bandying of cigars between us. The whole evening was more funny even than Queen's.

I spent three days there – Wednesday to Friday – and the Basilians were wonderful. I told them about Father McCorkell and the lake trout your mother cooked for him on that Friday night when Currelly, Edgar, Binyon, Eayrs and one or two others repasted at our place on Tullis Drive – the evening when Edgar pushed his finger through the buzzer filled with tar and grease. Do you remember that?

I got in about 11:30 last night, and Hazel had just left for the North.

There was one sad bit of news when I arrived. Mr Watkins had died of a thrombosis on Wednesday. Mrs Myles took us out to the funeral parlour this morning. He had been ailing for some time, as one might imagine from his haggard look and thinness. He was 69 years but had worked day and night as you know, and worrying about his business I think.

Best love,
Father


Universal Lung Healer
See the note to 'Universal Lung Healer' in the letter to Claire Pratt, 29 March 1953.