Sir Frederick Fraser, Halifax School for the Blind replying to Sherman Swift, CNLB
January 30th, 1918
I beg to acknowledge your very kind favor of January 22nd enclosing a check for one hundred dollars, kindly contributed towards the Halifax Blind Relief Work by the Board of Managers of the Canadian National Library for the Blind. Will you kindly convey to the Board the very sincere thanks of the Halifax Blind Relief committee for its generous and timely help.
It is impossible at this date to give you an absolutely accurate statement as to how many persons in Halifax will be totally or practically blind as a result of the explosion. For seven weeks we have been busy in securing data with respect to the newly blinded in Halifax and have at present a corps of fifteen workers reporting upon the cases.
On Thursday of this week we open in the School for the Blind a free out-patient clinic with Dr. J.W. Stirling of Montreal in charge. Here we hope not only to give treatment and advice to those who have had their eyes seriously injured, but also to make a careful registration of the degree of sight or lack of sight of each individual. Our register varies from day to day but without pretending that the following figures are absolutely accurate I may state that 548 persons met with serious accidents to their eyes, that 242 have lost the sight of one eye and that 306 are registered as totally blind or doubtful. My own estimate from the first has been that upwards of 200 people will be totally or practically blind in consequence of the explosion.
Our plans for the future have not yet taken concrete shape but it is evident that the resources of the School for the Blind, the Home Teaching Society, the Maritime Association for the Blind, etc., etc, which owing to war conditions were seriously taxed before the explosion will now be utterly inadequate to meet the new demands which will be made upon them. Under these circumstances I feel very grateful to the Canadian National Library for the Blind for its intimation that at a later date it may be able to render aid of a larger and more practical character.
Again thanking your directors for their help and for their words of sympathy, and with kindest regards to you, I remain, very truly yours,
C.F. Fraser, Superintendent, Halifax School for the Blind.