Newspaper Page Text
Two Y. W. C. A. Workers Bring Reports From the Front
By ELENE FOSTER
The Hotel Pet?
rograd? in Pa?
ris, where the
A m e r i c a n
Y. W. C? A, is
at home, with
Geary as host?
ess, to our wom?
en war work?
ers of all sorts
women m u n i
t i o n workers
Un you remember the great Y. W. C. A.
drive of last winter, which began with ii mass
meeting at the Hippodiome on Sunday and
ended the following Saturday, with something
like $2,000,000 in the treasury of the associa?
tion? That was nearly six months ago, and
the other afternoon I met the two women who
have just returned from organizing the work
in France to which a portion of this $2,000,000
is being devoted.
If there still remains in the community one
person who holds to the old idea that the Y.
W. C. A. is a purely religious organization,
whose members are interested in nothing but
prayer meetings and religious revivals, I
should like to arrange for her or him (and it
is much more likely to be a "him"!) to talk
with these two women, and I think he will be
silenced forever on this subject.
Trig, alert, bright-eyed and up to date, from
the crowns of their extremely becoming three
cornered bats to the toes of their neat black
shoes, these twb women are the very antithe?
sis of the old idea of the members of the
Y. W. C. A., just as the work which they have
been doing overseas is the antithesis of all
pre-conceived ideas of Y. W. C. A. activities.
And in the hour or more that I was with them
they never even hinted that they had everv
heard of such a thing as a prayer meeting.
These two women are Miss Blanche Geary
and Miss Henrietta Roelofs, and the work
which they have been doing in France is of
distinctly different types, for it is a far cry,
is it not, from providing recreation and enter?
tainment for the peasant women in the muni?
tion factories of Southern France to conduct?
ing a first-class hotel for women war workers
in the heart of Paris? And yet the object is
the same; it is the old, time-honored object
for which the Y. W. C. A. was founded more
than fifty years ago, namely, the care and
protection of young women. There is one dif?
ference, however, for whereas in former days
(that is to say, in ante-bellum days) the
Young Women's Christian Association was in?
terested solely in the welfare of our own
young women, it has widened its activities
and now it takes the daughters of our allies?
of France and Italy and England?under its
shelterings wings as well.
It was Miss Roelofs who organized all the
work of the Y. W. C. A. in France. Long
before we went into the war France called to
the Y. W. C. A. for help in bettering the con?
ditions among the munition workers, and
twelve women were sent at once, with Miss
Roelofs in charge. These women opened can?
teens and recreation centres for the women
munition workers and huts for the nurses at
the base hospitals.
Comfort and Companionship for
Women Munition Workers in France
The conditions in which the munition work?
ers were living were pretty serious. In the
first town which Miss Roelofs visited she
found the women sleeping in huge open dor?
mitories in low rows of buildings like bar?
racks. There were no amusements in the
town, not even a moving picture theatre, and
after a hard day's work in the factory there
was nothing for those wretched women to do
by way of amusement save to walk along the
long, dusty highway. This highway was
thronged night after night with an endless
procession of men and women of all nation?
alities. There were Chinese, Cingalese, Arabs,
Portuguese and Greeks, and they wandered
aimlessly along, chattering in a dozen different
Miss Roelofs recognized at once the crying
need for good, wholesome amusement for these
women, and she opened straightway the first
of what are known as "Foyers des Allies," at
Feysin, near Lyons. These "foyers" contain
a canteen, which supplies well cooked lunches
to the workers; a gymnasium, reading and
writing rooms and a large auditorium, where
entertainments and moving picture exhibitions
The girls are served at noon in three shifts,
and after they have finished their lunches
they swarm into the auditorium, where every
noon there is an entertainment of some kind
given by "home talent." Miss Roelofs will tell
you that some of the performances are really
remarkable, and all sorts of talent, amounting
sometimes to real genius, has been discovered
in the ranks of the workers. Not only do they
often write and act their own plays, but they
design and make the scenery and costumes as
They love the "gym" also, and they are
never too tired to don the home-made knickers,
which they have made in imitation of the
teachers' bloomers, and play a game of basket?
ball or hockey. But the one thing above all
else that they are most desirous of learning
is the English language. It is difficult to find
teachers enougji to instruct all those who
thirst for this knowledge.
Hope for the Future as Well as
Help for the Present
It isn't difficult to appreciate the difference
that all this has made in the lives of these
women; it has given them something to think
of outside the dull routine of factory work, it
has brought a vital interest into their lives,
and as a result they are entirely different be?
ings. Their eyes have lost the haunted, hope?
less expression, the exercise ?and good food
has given them a healthy color and the long,
dusty highway knows them no more.
There is another side to it all in which Miss
Roelofs feels a great deal of satisfaction. She
feels that it has entirely changed the attitude
of the girls in regard to the future. In for?
mer times every young French woman looked
forward to matrimony as the end and aim of
her existence, and the idea of remaining sin?
gle all one's life and being obliged to earn
one's own living into the bargain was some?
thing too awful to think about. Owing to the
losses of the war only a small percentage of
these young women can hope to be called to the
high estate of wedlock, and the way of the
wage-earning spinster seemed hopeless and
dreary indeed to these women, who could see
nothing in the long road ahead but hard work
by day and the dingy barracks by night. The
advent of the Y. W. C. A. workers has changed
all that and given to the future a far brighter
The girls themselves are exceedingly appre?
ciative for what is being done for them, and
their relatives at the front often express their
gratitude in letters to the women who are re?
sponsible for all this good work.
War Rates at the
Hotel Petrograd, Paris
The work which Miss Geary has been doing
is of quite a different nature, but it is quite as
important in its way and even more personal
in its appeal to some of us, for it concerns the
protection and comfort of the young women
we are sending over in various capacities
to work in our own army?your daughter
or sister or best friend, maybe. And isn't it
a comfort to the people at home to feel that
when that young woman arrives in Paris she
will be housed in a real American hotel, con?
ducted by a real American woman who is com?
petent to advise her on every subject under
the shining sun? I should say it is!
The Hotel Petrograd, otherwise known as
"The Hotel for Women War Workers," was
opened last December, and since that time it
has registered 1,200 women (this does not take
into account the scores who have made two
or three visits). It prides itself on its cuisine,
and it has a dining room under whose glass
domed roof 150 people are wont to dine in the
evenings. Rooms at the Hotel Petrograd, with
petit d?jeuner and the table d'h?te dinner,
range from 0 to 12 francs, that is, from about
$1.60 to $2.15 per day. Dinner alone costs
5 francs and no tips are allowed.
There are real American comforts at the
Hotel Petrograd, hot baths and steam heat, if
you please. The latter was kept up all through
last winter at what seems to us a terrific ex?
pense. I am almost afraid to tell you?325
francs was the price per ton for coal, between
$50 and $60. But Miss Geary assures you
that it was worth it for the comfort that it
brought to the girls coming back after long
weeks spent in work at the front.
A "Vacation Lodge" for Women
War Workers?American and French
The Hotel Petrograd is the Mecca of women
war workers when they are on what is known
as a "permission." They come back from the
front after their period of work in canteen
or hospital, as they express it, "all in," with
but one thought in their minds?to take a hot
bath and tumble into a real bed. They are
shown to a room and nothing is heard from
them for twenty-four hours. Meals are sent
up to them, but more often than not the tray
remains outside the door with the food un
tasted, for the inmate ideeps straight through
the next day. The day after that she begins
to "sit up and take notice," and by evening
she puts on fresh clothes, descends to the din?
ing room and begins to make inquiries about
opera and theatre tickets. From that time
until her ten days' leave is over she is on
the go every minute and she goes back to the
camp or hospital rested and recuperated and
ready for another long period of strenuous
There are gay dinner parties almost every
evening in the dining room of the Hotel Petro?
grad, when the bright uniforms of both the
men and women, and the gay decorations of
the national colors give the room a very festive
appearance. The last function which Miss
Geary arranged before her departure was a
dinner given by a dozen nurses and canteen
? workers just back from the front in honor of
as many marines who were then on their way
to join in the fray and cover themselves with
There are no restrictions for the women at
the hotel. They may come and go as they
like; the outside door is never closed. Miss
Geary feels that these women are over there
on serious business and that they will con?
duct themselves with dignity and decorum, and
that to lay down rules for them would be al?
most an insult, and up to date the results have
proven that she is right.
There have been exciting times at the Hotel
Petrograd, notably the night that a munition
plant was blown up and the Minister of Muni?
tions himself sent word that the hotel was in
grave danger. This scare was hardly over be
girl behind the
gunner and the
etta Roe lofs,
Y. W.C.A. or?
her with hot
tion and good
fore an air raid and bombardment shook the
building. All this caused no panic or hysteria.
for almost every woman in ?the house had faced
danger as great over and over again.
The Hotel Petrograd is not. yet entirely self
supporting, but month by month the deficit
grows smaller, and it i< hoped and expectd
that it will very soon be at least self-support?
A great deal has been said in praise of the
morale of our soldiers overseas and .Mi.-s
Geary pays as great a tribute to the courage,
conscientiousness and dignity of th women who
are working with them over there. There
never have been finer women, she will tell you.
"since th.? v.- ?;?]] began, and every man, wonias
and child in these United States has reason t*.1
be proud of them."
And i!;:-; bein*g the case, aren'f you ?glad
that, you made that little contribution las;
winter to heip the work of the Y. W. C. A.?
War as a Character Builder?Terrors
That Cease to Terrify
"La ? Vie Femi?
nine ," Paris,
has a front
cover like this
on its May 19
how little bom?
air raids have
By MAY BOSMAN
AMERICANS little realize yet the tre?
mendous influence that war has had
upon character in Europe?not only of
the lighting men, but, more strikingly, of those
who have stayed at home: the old men, the
women, the children.
Selfishness, envy, extravagance have fallen
like a cloak from the shoulders of rich women.
They wash dishes and scrub floors ten and
twelve hours a day in canteens, and appar?
ently have forgotten their smooth hands and
their social prejudices. Old men no longer
play chess or meditate in their club windows.
They cannot! And little children seldom cry
when they are hurt. "The soldiers don't!"
they ;*ii you.
L'^on little children the burden oi war falls
most heavily: it is their characters that are
to be moulded most by this terrible conflict
now raging. But English mothers have taken
certain steps to guarantee that this moulding
may be a happy one.
"The war does not, come home to them as it
does to the French children and the poor little
Belgians," they say. "Yet?there is a war.
They must know of it. They must grow up
to appreciate just what it has meant."
Where the Spirit
It is the custom in England and Scotland
for children to salute all maimed or invalided
soldiers on the streets and in the parks, and
to stop in their play and talk to them. On
appointed days they carry flowers and fruit
to the hospitals and themselves.present these
to the men without arms or legs or eyes, as
the case may be. The children do not shrink
from any of these men. There is no dread, no
revulsion, at sight of a disfigured face or a
For every child is taught this daily: "These
soldiers are beautiful. They are great men.
They are Christ-like men. They have become
as they are in order that you might grow up
happy and safe and free."
This is a litany in British homes. And the
little children, growing up in the time of this
most horrible of wars, understand. Any man
they have known is unchanged to them, even if
he comes home wjth a wax mask replacing one
side of his face. The man with an arm or a
leg gone is only different from the child him?
self in that his loss of limb makes him a better
person. They appreciate it all without seem?
It goes to soften the dire effects of war.
Nothing those children see in the streets
hereafter will fill them with horror or will
repel them. "This is war. These men have
suffered from it. Therefore they are more
beautiful than they were before they suffered."
It is a simple thing that American mothers
might teach their children?when it becomes
necessary: that is, when our boys begin to
come home, marked by the suffering that has
made them beautiful.
While children are taught this litany of love
in England, they are safeguarded from other
horrible aspects of the war. Underground re?
treats have been prepared for use during air
raids, and going into these in time of need is
made to seem like a game by parents and
nurses and teachers. "Great fun!" they call
it. And "Who cares about the Germans?" is
the kind of cheer they give when they march
or run into these cellars.
But nowadays the dugouts are never used
at night by most families. Why? Because
youngsters sleep during air raids, even when
their elders are astir. Then let them sleep!
God is good! Better let them die now in their
beds than grow up nervous wrecks or with a
lifelong memory of childish fright and horror!
It is said that fewer deaths result among those
who are sleeping near the top of a house that
is bombed?there is not such a weight of
masonry to crush them, perhaps?and so par?
ents put children to sleep above the second
floor wherever it is possible. More and more
English people are getting to ignore the raids.
Houses are often struck by lightning; they are
sometimes struck by bombs. Why, then, en?
courage children to fear bombs more than
li??htnin??? they. ask.
During the day the children of the rich pay
little attention to the Zeps. Daylight raids are
infrequent, and the wealthy sections of the
city, as we know, are little visited, day or
night. The Hun cannot destroy as many
babies to the square inch there as he can in
crowded quarters where men and women have
larger families! So he uses his devil's in?
genuity upon the poor.
During daylight raids nurses are instructed
to keep their charges moving about the little
family parks and gardens and to make no com?
ment on Die noise of' the anti-aircraft guns.
Sometimes the children do not know that a
raid is going on.
Individual English children, boys and girls,
display traits of character not common in the
young, and acts of real heroism are not in?
frequent in these days. The force of example
and precept is preparing them to grow up into
a bigger, better race even than that represent?
ed by their elders, the men who are fighting
Concerning a Boy
Who Was Once Afraid
Reginald Weedon. of Ilford, Essex, for in?
stance, is only eleven years old and an ordi?
nary, play-loving schoolboy who used to be
very timid?before the war. But like the
children about him in Europe, he lives in an
atmosphere of bravery, and it has had its
effect upon him.
His father and three brothers are at the
front; his mother and sister are doing can?
teen and Red Cross work. He runs all the
errands of the house, goes to school and takes
care of his baby sister. He hasn't time to be
a Boy Scout?a circumstance he deplores, but
accepts without complaint.
One Saturday morning Reginald was riding
down hill on his wheel to the butcher's when
he saw a team of horses drawing a half-loaded
moving van start to run away down hill. At
the foot of the hill was a crowded quarter,
with many babies and children in the streets.
Reginald just speeded up and chased the
van. When he got near enough he grabbed
the back of the wagon, kicked his wheel from
under him (it was a new wheel, and the lad
does not have many new things) and drew
himself up into the van. He crawled over the
swaying furniture and pans and things to the
front seat and out upon the shafts, where he
got hold of the reins and stopped the team?
just in time.
Had there never been a war Reginald Wee
don could not have done that at eleven years
of age. Perhaps he never could.have done it.
Until a short time ago he had cried with fright
at the dark!
But he has done it now as a matter of course.
The furniture moving people gave him a hand?
some wrist watch as a reward and the neigh
hors had the bicycle repaired for him. But
Reggie is very much upset if any one tries to
"It vas nothing a1 all!" he says stoutiy.
"You should see what cur fellows do in
??oto jHm?) Bo Sou ?3ap for
iour Coffre? H
It is not idle curiosity on our part, this in?
terest in your coffee bill. There is much mys?
tery about coffee, its blends, grades and prices,
and confusion of terms always means unintelli-,
gent and unprofitable buying. You may buy
two coffees that differ only in the roasts given
them, and pay more for the one than the other,
and, liking one better than the other, think that
you are paying for a difference in quality.
Fresh roasting, the right degree of roast
Jlight or dark, to suit your taste), grinding
just before making, and careful preparation of
the beverage?these arc all requisites for a
real cup of coffee. On Page 2, the Institute
Service page, you will find a full discussion of
methods of coffee making, with different types
of coffee machines and grinders.
Will you let us help you to solve the buying
end of the problem? Fill out the coupon below
and mail it, with'31 cents', to the Club Service
Station, and.you may .find .among the samples
offered a coffee? that suits you for much ?ess
money than you are paying now. The samples
include one of the best Bogotas obtainable
(Manizales, from Colombia, Central America),
which is offered in two forms?i. e., with a
city roast (medium), and with a dark or
"high" roast, the latter being preferred for
after dinner coffee and regularly by many who
like a so-called stronger coffee with more body
and color. The other sample is the best grade
of one of the cheaper coffees?a Santos.
Which is which? Semi in the coupon at?
tached if you would help ?to solve the coffee
mystery and report to the Service Station by
mail or 'phone as to which coffee, Red, White
or Blue, you like best. The key to the puzz'e
will be given in the Institute section next Sun?
day, July 21, and orders received after that
These three coffees will be sold in five-pound
packages, 17 cents a poun 1 \or the Santos
and _2 cents for the Bogotas, plus 10 cents a
package for wrapping an ; postage if you ari
not a club member and delivery must be wad?
by mail?-a total of 95 cents, or $1.20 for ft'?
pounds of coffee by mail. Club members.mti
order live-pound packages for deliwy with
other orders, at 17 and 22 cents net. Sing*"
pound packages of the Bogotas may be had
for 23 cents.
The average coffee order for a family of.I***
is about six pounds a month. To save fro? ?
to 15 cents a pound, as you can by buymf
through the Cooperative Clubi (the amou?
varying as to whether you buy the cheaper?"
more expensive coffee), means a saving of -ror
$3 to $12 a year, or one to four Thrift Stan-*-*
a month. ANNE LEWIS PIERCE,
Director, Tribune bM&-+
?rtocr ioitr Coffer Vampirs
To The Tribune Institute Consumers' Clubs Service Station.
3210 Broadway. New York City.
Referring to your offer in the Sunday Tribune of Juh 7 and 14, please send me three
sample tne-ounce bags of coffee. Red, White and Blue, for which I inclose 31 cent*-*
cents for coffee and 6 for postage. ?Club members omit postage and give number of club?!
Street Address. I r:,, _?w e.?.
_ . . Lit\ and State.