July 15, 2010

The following letter is among my mother's correspondence. Una is her mother. I believe "Uncle David" to be Simon Soutar's brother. Simon was Una's father, and the subject of the "tribute" mentioned in the letter. The "Family Magazine" referred to at the end of the letter used to make the rounds of the far-flung families, each family adding its current news and deleting its old news before sending it on to the next family. Mother referred to it many times, calling it a "round robin", but I believe it ceased circulation in the years after this letter was written.

5 Wood Street
24th April 1923

Dear Una,

I received your letter also that for Aunt Sara & forwarded the same to her. I have seen her since & she hopes to be able to send you a reply. She has been failing during the last 12 months her deafness has increased & now her memory is often at fault. Uncle Alick is not too well either & he worries about her. Still they say that the change back to Scotland has in some ways benefitted them. Their new address is
8 Corse Terrace
West Kilbride

Agnes lost the sight in her right eye a few weeks ago. The Dr traced it to a piece of broken tooth left in the gum. It has been extracted & the sight is coming slowly back.

Sarel [?] (age 13) is in the Scouts. Martin (10) is in the "Cubs", but is having to give them up for a time as under Dr's orders he has to go to bed at 6 P.M. in order to rest himself thoroughly. His heart is weak but the Dr says he will grow out of it. Queenie (9) is in the "Brownies" & is taking part in a "Display" which takes place tomorrow night. Her proper name is Sara Margaret but we call her "Queenie".

Aunt sent me the "Jamaica Papers" I was much impressed by the tributes they paid to your fathers character his enterprise & public spirit.

I have just been reading Uncle David's Journal of his voyage to the West Indies. Uncle Simon & he left Southhampton, on Jan. 18th 1858, on board the good ship R.M.S. Parana 2048 Tons. Its destination was St. Thomas. From there they took a packet, the "Dee" which proceeded via Puerto Rico & Haiti. They landed at Port Royal on Sunday 7th Feby & put up at the Date Tree Hotel which had been recommended as the "first in the island." The journal closes in time for dispatch by first mail.

The "Family Magazine" (which had gone astray) has just come to hand this afternoon.

With kind regards from all to all,

I am
yours sincerely
Oscar S. Bailey