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1 October 1846 — Fr Jean-Louis Rocher to Fr Jean-Claude Colin (2), Sydney

Translated by Peter McConnell, September 2010

Ad majorem Dei gloriam & Dei genitricis Mariæ Virginis
Sydney 1st October 1846.
Very Reverend Father,
Father Junillon arrived at Sydney on 11 September after his voyage to San Cristobal. As he had only 800 francs in kitty at the (Econome) bursar’s office, after I had paid the first expenses, I had to make a further bank draft to meet the charges that provisions and crew necessitated.
Before his departure from Sydney for France, Father Dubreul had to inform you of that bank draft, which he made at approximately 6000 francs.
I did everything I could not to exceed that figure, but unfortunately I couldn’t. That sum of 6000 francs as well as what remained in kitty has been completely absorbed be it by the crew which he had to pay and feed at Sydney for 16 days or to buy provisions on board and for the different mission stations.
So there is not even a cent for Father Junillon to buy some clothes, some items and some tools. Therefore I have been forced to increase the bank draft by another 2000 francs making a total of 8000 francs. It has been drawn on the account of the widow Guérin and Sons at Lyons.
Everything was ready, the bank draft and the letters were signed, when the manager of the Commercial Bank at Sydney said to Father Joubert who presented them to him, that he was very surprised that we made the bank drafts because we had for more than three weeks more than 20,000 francs at our disposal. That piece of news was a great shock to me, not having received any letter to advise me. It will probably arrive by the ship which left London on June 1.
Not being aware for what mission station that money was destined, I have for the moment nevertheless stopped the draft; I will sanction it later if the money is not destined for the central mission station. Therefore please be so good as to keep 8000 francs to honour the abovementioned bank draft, if at the present time you have in kitty funds for Bishop Bataillon. I will delay it as long as I can using the money that has arrived in Sydney to pay the expenses of Father Junillon.
I had sent a most respectful letter to Bishop Bataillon, but telling him formally that it was the first time and the last that I signed drafts unless I was authorized to do so from the proper quarter.
Very Reverend Father, I understand all the consequences of bank drafts but we have been in a really distressing situation for these several months that have just gone by.
Right now I am renewing the need to put letters of credit in the names of the two signatories so that when one is absent the other is able to withdraw money.
In a few days time Bishop Douarre is leaving for France; I will use that opportunity to write to you again.
Receive the assurance of my respectful feelings,
Your very humble
and very obedient servant,
Missionary priest.