47 Glencairn Ave.
Toronto 12
Oct. 24, 1953

Dearest Chuck:

I wonder if this letter will have to be forwarded to your new address. You were on the point of leaving when you wrote last. We hope you will find your new quarters comfortable and that you will have help placing your furniture, etc. Is it on the ground floor in a general apartment building? How far is it from the Press? Don't buy your winter coat yet. If you can manage to get away for Christmas holidays come up for we want to give you for a present a good light fur coat, either a short like your mother's or a longer one. Make no mistake about it – I'll be there at Sellers-Gough to see if it fits and is warm ha-ha! Your mother's is a dandy. When she put it on the other day I felt like walking three paces behind her – she was so regal in the muskrat and I felt like a squirrel.

We had a stag party last night at the York Club. Clare Hincks was host and the guest of honour was Dr Rees, President of the International Association for Mental Health. It was a smart affair and after Rees had spoken I had to tell the story of my early connection with the Mental Hygiene movement and of my experience with a murderer in the Don Jail. I was dispatched there by Dr C.K. Clarke to get his I.Q. which was forty-five. I laid it on a bit I must confess though embroidery was not necessary.

I have now my twenty members of the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Division of the National Association for Mental Health – what a formidable name. Your Uncle Cal is on. Dick Meech, the President of the Canadian Bank of Commerce (Jimmie Stewart), Sid Smith (as Patron), Ellsworth Flavelle are among the list who have accepted.

When I stand up with my gavel at the first meeting in January I am going to hit the table with a resounding whack, though as Chairman I fear I shall be ridiculous.

Jack Kent Cooke had a party last evening at the Royal York for all members of his staff – about 300. I was swamped by the members but found a few congenial souls in the Advertising Business – and in the Editorial world. They certainly made me feel at home. After that came Clare's dinner and the experience, to say the least, was exciting.

John Gray (of Macmillans) has given me a big ms. to edit on Newfoundland. Your mother and I are going to reconstruct it and he offers a good fee.

Last week the B.B.C. sent me a cheque for The Last Spike which, as I told you, was put on at the Edinburgh Festival. They made a dramatized version of the poem which, unfortunately, was not heard in Canada. They may send me the records. They particularly emphasized the effect of oatmeal on the Scotch blood resulting in such Canadian personages from Scotland like Sir John A. Macdonald, Angus, Lord Mount Stephen, Strathcona. It was good fun to show how oatmeal developed gorse on the eyebrows and thistles on the beards. Strathcona's eyebrows looked like a full-foliaged precipice.

By the way, do you have anything equivalent to the Ontario Motor League in the U.S.A.? Don't hesitate to put on every help and security.

Phone whenever it is convenient, especially on Sundays about 10 a.m. or 9:15 p.m. Your voice sounds like Bach's Mass in A Minor – marvellous!, though as you know Handel's Dead March in Saul is my favourite.

With much love
Your Mental Health Father
E.J. Pratt


Sellers-Gough
A Toronto furrier.

International Association for Mental Health
Pratt may be referring to the International Committee for Mental Health (ICMH) or the World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH), of which John Rawlings Rees (1890–1969) was founding president.

Newfoundland
Leo English's Historic Newfoundland. See the note to 'ms. of English on Newfoundland' in the letter to Claire Pratt, 29 January 1954.

Sir John A. Macdonald, Angus, Lord Mount Stephen, Strathcona
John A. Macdonald, Richard Angus, George Stephen (Baron Mount Stephen), Lord Strathcona (Donald Smith) were all participants in the building of the CPR and characters in Toward the Last Spike.