From Hankow. She will be somewhere around Columbo [Ceylon] now. He trusts that the voyage remains as pleasant as it seemed at first. Her description was generally appreciated. Most people have read it and it has now gone to Shanghai for people there to enjoy. He knew that she would not like that bath-room as she prefers one which is bright and shining, but when he compares it with second class P and O, he realises how much better off she is. He is sorry that she was irritated by his well-intended advice. 'You are a strange & very interesting bundle - full of cleverness, kindness, prejudices, loves & hates - never long at one stay. When the lads achieve all they will achieve you will go down to history as the "Mother of the Rattenburys". Personal matters are discussed. He encloses Morley's report - the first really good one he has had for a long time. It confirms that this was the best time for Emily's return. He has also received letters from [Joseph Kimber Hill], Dr [William Theodore Aquila] Barber and Nellie, about his election to the Legal Hundred. He also had a very kind note from Hooker. H B R does not know what will come next, but he would not care to take up any post which he had sought himself without God's approval. 'We are not missionaries or ministers to pot-hunt & there are better spheres, as I see..than Bishopsgate [Mission House]'. He has never found anything quite so hard to react to, as this set of circumstances. The relief felt here that he is staying is as far as he can see quite widespread and genuine. They cannot know his disappointment. As Emily knows, he is not due for home furlough before Christmas 1931. He reached Hong Kong on December 2nd 1926 and Hankow on January 7th 1927. At present he is unsure as to whether or not it would be better to have Christmas 1932 at home instead of 1931. Emily is good at thinking ahead. Does she think it would be better if he took a circuit in England for the sake of the children in 1932 or 1933? It must be thought about carefully and there are points to consider on both sides. For himself the earlier date would be better on account of age; but could he ever settle in England except in a specific job? Morley's college career is a factor. Is it wise to buy a house to live in from late 1930 to September 1932? The Pearsons are probably coming home on account of Eleanor's health. Dr P. returns as soon as possible. [Stanley Kenton] Lamming is going home to be married and H B R has sent for 'our folks' to return. The weather turned cold last night.
- William Theodore Aquila Barber (1858-1945) was born in Ceylon, the son of the Wesleyan missionary William Barber. He was educated at Kingswood School and rose to the position of Head Boy. Barber won a scholarship to Caius College Cambridge where he became a Wrangler, and the degree of Doctorate of Divinity was subsequently conferred upon him by Dublin University. Barber taught for a while at Dunheved School, Launceston and was recommended for the Wesleyan ministry by Mark Guy Pearse, who was then the Superintendent of the Circuit. After two years as Assistant Tutor at Richmond College, he was sent in 1884 to Wuchang in China to found a college for higher education. He returned to England in 1893 and served for two years in the Circuit ministry before being appointed missionary secretary. In 1896 he became headmaster of the Leys School in Cambridge and remained there until 1920 when he was appointed to the Principalship of Richmond College. He retired to Cambridge in 1929. Barber served as President of the Wesleyan Conference in 1920. Source: Minutes of Conference 1946.