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Keeping Up The Morale Against War-Time Blues.
IF there are two things which count for everything when a nation is at war they are cheerfulness and hard work on the part of the people. Hard work there must be if soldiers are to be cared for, if the children at home are to be adequately fed and looked after, and if the ordinary affairs and interests of the country are to be continued. And behind all this there must be morale. There can be no greater manifestation of this than in England at the present time when the people are keeping .up their spirits despite the uncertainty attendant upon such close vicinity to the theatre of war. We in Australia must do likewise.
WITH the pronouncement of war in September, there were many people who thought that nil interests, sport, and pleasure, must cease. Dances were cancelled, various sporting fixtures postponed, and other enterprises discarded. Those who had been through the previous war, however, soon pointed out the folly of such Inactivity, the need for welfare work to go on, and also the ordinary routine of life. There was one difference, and that was that dances and similar functions could be turned to good account by raising funds for patriotic purposes.
There is no place In the present scheme of things for those with long faces, forsaking all pleasure and adding to their misery rather than playing their part in keeping up the morale of the nation. It speaks a good deal for the courage and determination of the English that, during black-out nights, restaurants seem far brighter and gayer than they ever did in peace time. Dining out and dancing are being resorted to ns cures for the "black-out blues." Women still go to dress show and find that clothes can be cheerful as well as practical even during wartime. One of the newest colours Is said to be exactly the colour of "military, pickle." There is also a cashmere coat described as "designed for the duration," the cashmere being' reversible, with plain back. One of the recent dress shows made a highlight of the "merry Christmas" dinner dress, the tight-fitting hunting pink jacket made of face cloth, and the skirt plum-coloured in the same material.
If we keep up our spirits, we automatically work better and keep in good health, which ls most important at the present time. The morale of the English people must be a decided thorn In the side of Britain's enemies. We in Australia must emulate that spirit and combat the many charges of apathy that have been made against us, with plenty of hard work and cheerfulness. Long faces will not help, so let us make this Christmas as bright and cheery as we possibly can.