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Date: July 18th 1945
Eira Williams
Margaret Chesney

RCN Barrack
St. John’s,
18th July:

Dear Eira :

Received your letter some time ago, in fact some time ago! Heaven only knows where the time goes but it certainly flies.

I’m on Duty Watch this afternoon so is good opportunity to get caught up on a little correspondence. We are on peacetime routine now so have a “Make and Mend” every Wednesday afternoon which is O.K.

Our work has slackened up so much – no ships coming in, nearly all our Pacific Volunteers out on leave and now the demobilization routine is going fairly steady. We were so busy for the last 6 or 7 months that sometimes was nearly around the bend – we only got the odd weekend and worked Sat and Sun. Now it seems so funny to have so much spare time, and in a way rather nice. Last week had four afternoons off. The boys use to always call me “George” Chesney. Now it is just “Swindler” Chesney. Last week the weather was lovely so decided to make the best of it, so between tennis, hiking, picnics didn’t spend much time in the office. I don’t know how much longer I will be over here, Eira. I have asked the Engineer Officer if he will declare me surplus so I can go back to Canada, but he told me to hold on for a couple more weeks, it won’t be very long anyhow before the base packs up. It’s hard tho’, to see all the boys being discharged and wondering how much longer you will be here. About 60 Wrens went out Sunday but very few of the Accountant Branch, we will be about the last out.

Before I go any farther I must tell you about the Marshmellows my dear Aunt “K” sent me. Honestly I nearly died with shock, I could hardly wait to write and tell Mom about it. Think Mom and Dad got as big a kick out of it as I did! Gosh, I haven’t even written to thank her for them – perhaps I should have and may have got another parcel!

What kind of a summer are you having? Are you playing much golf? You talking about new clothes nearly makes me weep! Oh, but there will be a day – it will be sort of be nice to start from scratch and buy all new clothes. I haven’t a thing except that dress I got on leave last Summer and one pair of black pumps, not even a coat of any description. I bought a pair of white shorts for tennis and quite a nice pair of grey slacks for hiking and a couple of sweaters but everything is so dreadfully expensive that hate to get very much as they are so much cheaper in Canada and as it is don’t know how I will ever get all my things packed when I do move.

I had a letter from Myrtle and a note from Beth the other day. They think I should be coming home on leave soon. Am afraid they are wrong. All leave has been frozen from the Base for over 2 months and believe it is the same in Halifax.

Did you know Mother and Dad are at the Coast. They left the latter part of June and spent a couple of days in Banff, then went to Kelowna, B.C. and then to Vancouver and across to Victoria. They seem to be enjoying themselves so much and as Dad had never been to the coast before was thrilled with everything. The change will do them both so much good. Bethy didn’t have to write exams so was out of school the beginning of June and spent a couple of weeks in Winnipeg. When she came home was supposed to go stay with my Aunt and Uncle in Qu’Apple but had a letter from her and she was still at home. She said she must weed the garden and keep the lawn mowed! Al is still at Paulson not doing very much but getting quite a lot of flying it. He had a couple of weeks leave in June – was home for a few days then went down to the states for a week and seemed to have a super time.

When the weather is nice over here it’s swell and everyone drops whatever the are doing and gets out of the city. Our office has had 3 of the most wonderful picnics in the last couple of weeks. The other night went on a Weiner Roast to a place about 15 miles in the country to a place known as Letagame field.” Everyone in the office usually invites some one else and so there are usually around 20 or 25 of us. The boys are such f[ool?] any how and we have so much fun. When we were waiting for the truck to come back and pick us up we went into a road-house for a little dance. What a dive – everyone stupidly drunk and still sitting around and drinking beer. I think I have seen everything after that!

Sunday we went to a place known as “Portugal Cove” which is about 15 miles out. The country is very lovely in some parts and a lot like Nova Scotia, and yet again some places you see nothing but rock. Portugal Cove is a small fishing village. We went just beyond this to “Beachy Cove” and went in swimming in the Ocean. We had a wonderful day. In the evening some chaps in the “Edmonton Fusiliers” came along so we got up a little ball team and had a game.

Have been playing quite a lot of tennis, the courts are quite a distance but if we can’t get a bike usually take a bus down to the yw and put our sports clothes on there.

Was surprised to hear you had left the P.F.A. Hope you like the new job. I guess there won’t be many of the old kids left in the P.F.A.

How is dear Faith? Does she still phone you to go over and play bridge. What a character.

You were asking about Cec. Well that’s all packed up I guess I’m just the fickle type and absence makes the heart grow fonder of others! I discovered I didn’t think as much of him as I thought I did. He still is determined but I know I’ll never marry him. Goodness, how complicated this love life in the Navy can be! I don’t go with anyone steady now but have a good time with all the kids and am much happier. I won’t go any further into my love affairs it would take too many pages so will wait till I see you to relate them to you.

Did I ever tell you about my sea time?– Was to Sea on a Minesweeper for a morning and what fun. Since V.E. day, and while our Escort Ship were still in, they would every now and then take Wrens aboard for a ½ day at Sea. One Saturday morning 20 of us went aboard a Sweeper. We had a grand time, fired depth charges, steered the ship, the morning we were out, came across a huge ice berg and fired several rounds at it, you can imagine its size as even I hit it! The boys take such pride in showing you around their ship. I was also aboard the German “U” Boat that we had in Harbour. It’s so strange now not to have the huge Convoys coming in. Even miss hearing all their whistles when they were leaving.

I will soon have been in the Navy 2 years. How the time goes. It’s really been a wonderful experience wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Have had lots of heartbreaks and disappointments but so much fun too and have met so many wonderful people from one coast to the other.

Bowring park is one of the nicest natural parks I have seen we often go out in the afternoon or early evening as the bus service is quite good. Saturday aft 4 of us went out after dinner and took our supper. They have a lovely out door swimming pool so went for a swim and lay around in the sun all afternoon it was perfect. You just feel like a different person when you can get out of uniform and out of St John’s, which at any time is good for one’s morale. We came back to the YW about 9 o’clock and put our uniforms on again, the boys came in and we sat around playing cribbage till about 11 o’clock then the lady at the “Y” made us toast and coffee. Did I ever hate to go back to Barracks, as it was, made Ernie take me for a walk so I wouldn’t have to go in before one o’clock.

Well, Eira, once I get started I never seem to know enough to stop but really must close now and if you ever struggle through this must be nearly dead. Hope I will see you before very long but one never knows in this organization what is going to happen from one day to the next. Give my regards to your Mother and Dad, hope they are both well. Write soon.

Lots of Love

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