Letter From Quentin Nelson 1976

17th December 1976

32, Fishbourne Road,
Chichester, P0192JA
West Sussex, England.

My dear Constance,
I enclose My Father’s original diary for 1927, when he was in London and Germany. I cannot say that I have read it recently. I think I told you about it when I wrote you an air-mail letter a few days ago. To repeat myself, it has to go finally to the Mapier [Napier] Art Gallery and Museum or to the Napier Harbour Board, I do not mind which.

I shall also be sending you by surface mail, an envelope containing notes in my Father’s handwriting, and also a copy of the Lord’s Prayer written by my Father in the space occupied by an old sixpenny bit, which is no longer currency! I shall also be enclosing in the envelope which I shall send by surface mail, the photograph of the Beach house at Auckland to which I referred in my former air-mail.

Ever your affectionate cousin,
Quentin Nelson

P.S. In 1897 there was a great flood on the Tukituki River (or was it 1891?) At the time Father was about 25, and he walked along the River Bank as far as he could, and saw and smelt the corpses of the cattle-beasts hanging in the trees. This walk made such an impression on his mind that he made an oath that he would devote his life to preventing flood in Hawke’s Bay. That he kept this oath, his papers which he sent to Canterbury College in the South Island, before his death, show.

In October 1925, when I was 22, I was taken to Bowden House, Harrow-on-the-Hill, because I had a serous nervous breakdown and Bowden House was the best Nursing Home we had heard of for such cases. While I was undergoing treatment there, I fell out with the Resident Medical Officer, who had formerly been a great help to me. This seemed the end of the road for me. It was then that I swore that I wuld [would] discover the cause of Schizophrenia and Manic-Depressive Insanity before I died.

This paper contains some notes which I found in my Father’s diary for 1927. Mirfield is a monastery in Yorkshire to which my Father used to go. Like me, my Father liked solitude and silence, which he found there. The present Archbishop of Westminster was the Principal of Mirfield

Rheintal I think is in Swtserland [Switzerland],

I remember from reading from Father’s diary, that he refers to Scarsdale Villas. Father rented a flat there, when in England and wanting to be alone. He went to Rosental because he wanted to see the dam near there. All his life he was interested in rivers.

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17 December 1976

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