Archie — May 28, 1945

Okanagan Mission B. C.

May 28 1945

Dear Tony.

Have I got a surprise.  I am engaged!!  Beryl and I are going to be married next fall after the crop is off.  (I don’t know how I can possibly survive the summer, and as for picking apples for five weeks on end Sundays included.  What a horrible idea!  I need more free time than that, gosh, everything is working out perfectly.  When I first asked her Beryl turned it down (though not too definitely) partly because she felt she couldn’t leave Mr Haverfield who has been very decent to her.  The very next day Joyce writes her engagement to an air force chap who wants to be a farmer and that they expect to get their discharge very soon.  So they will take over the Haverfield farm and Joyce will look after her father while he teaches her husband how to farm.  So that frees Beryl.  Then Haverfield was going to sell out and return to his camp which has just been enlarged & improved.  Now he has offered it to us for as long as we like so our housing problem (very difficult these days) is solved.

Last Saturday Beryl rang up at lunch time and told me she had changed her mind.  Boy what a bombshell (I don’t quite know what word to use but it sure raised my blood pressure).  I staggered back to the table and spent the rest of the meal trying to nerve myself to break the news.  Terrific surprise for everyone (though I had mentioned to Dad that I figured he might have to build a house for his hired man with any luck, only that morning).  Then I took the afternoon off.  Picked up Beryl and we went and got the best ring in Pettigrews.

I brought her home to tea and am glad to say the family were frightfully pleased with my choice.  We had to go back to town for the ring as it had to be altered.  I had a scout meeting that night, but after that I joined Beryl at a party she was at and when it was over we went down and got Amy & Bill out of bed to break the news.  Bill nobly produced a bottle of Scotch.

Next day Sunday was hectic.  I had to go the round of all the relations with Beryl.  Westarted off by going to the Mallams at 9.30.  Then we went to Mrs Fuller, Brady [?] & Betty [?] & Joan Goldsmith, St George Baldwins, Toogood, Houblons, and back to lunch at Haverfields.  In the afternoon we went out to see Frances and Mary [?] and the Thorneloes [?].  Calling at the Dunlops (where we first met) and home for supper.  What a day.  and how happy we are & how lucky.

I think you have only met Beryl once.  Remember that Community Hall dance when you went single and took a whole harem to their homes.  The only one I remember was Lizzy.  Anyway you all made merry in the back while Beryl and I soberly chauffered [sic].  Another thing you did that night was to through [sic] Beryls [sic] bag away thinking it was an empty bottle.  I’m afraid you didn’t make a very good impression.  Beryl ahs forgiven you though!

I have asked Dick to do the best man job if he can as I think he will be in Canada & probably discharged by then and I doubt if you will be available by late October.

Another stroke of luck is that Beryl has some money.  I am glad I didn’t know when I proposed.  But am rather relieved by the news.

Gosh, life is wonderful.  I am still in a daze.  I can’t read or concentrate on anything.  It is probably a very silly letter, but I am not going to read it over you’ll have to make what you can of it.

You’ll find out one of these days when you get your eyes off the beautifull [sic] faces & figures and see the beautiful natures of some of the others!

We heard from Peter [Mallam] about you gazing at one beauty, but he made a rather cryptic remark about you coming home married.  I gather nothing in the wind at present, but it could have been the opposite.

By the way Pat Acland & Bob Clayton are engaged and will be married next month.

The Mallams are very worried about what Peter is going to do.  They don’t know if he wants the farm or not or if he is volunteering for Japan.  I think he should go home for his mother’s sake.  He should settle down soon anyway, or it will be too late and he’ll find out he won’t be able to stand a peaceful life (I don’t know why I put in the last line but if I cross it out it looks so messy.

Well I’m running out of paper and it’s bed time so here’s wishing you best of luck

Yours Archie.