The Championship Comes To Sutton Coldfield Circle

The Championship Comes To Sutton Coldfield Circle

Football was the main focus of Sutton Coldfield’s January  meeting  held at Moor Hall Hotel Sutton Coldfield  on Monday 9th January when  they welcomed John Eustace Head Coach of Championship side Birmingham City F.C . John was introduced by  Vice President Peter Westbook who  outlined  his  playing career at Coventry City, Stoke City, Watford  and Derby County and  his managerial career at Kidderminster Harriers , Queens Park Rangers and now at Birmingham City.  John then took part in a question and answer session  from brothers and guests  on subjects  ranging  from – The challenges of a managerial position , relationship with players  supporters club, talking  to the media preparing for games , financial aspect of the club and the transfer market.  The evening was most informative into the insight of the game and was particularly welcomed by all blues fans in the room. John Eustace personally introduced himself to all those present finding out there  were rival supporters from Aston Villa, Southampton and Stoke City.  Two circle Blue Nose supporters – Mike Mc Namara and Liam Tomlinson are seen in the photo together with John Eustace in the centre.

Quality Not Quantity At Christmas Party  And A Surprise Gift

Quality Not Quantity At Christmas Party And A Surprise Gift

Sutton Coldfield Circle held its Christmas Party after its meeting on 12thDecember . Although attendance was down on pre covid occasions  some 35 brothers, wives and guests enjoyed  a festive occasion . In the chair at dinner was Brother Fred Kettell who ably led the assembled in a range of popular carols.  At the circle meeting Brother President Mark McGrail Presented Brother Mike Gaffney  with a £50-00 celebration gift voucher on behalf of the circle to mark the occasion of the award of his 50 year Membership Scroll at the November Circle meeting.

A Double Special Celebration At Sutton Coldfield Circle

Sutton Coldfield’s November Circle’s meeting on November 14th   turned out to be a double special celebration with two 50 year membership scrolls being presented instead of a planned one by Great Britain National President Brother Roger Lillie.  At Streetly Circle’s meeting a week before a 50 year scroll was due to be presented   to Brother Peter Dickens but unfortunately Brother Roger’s car broke down in Oxford on his way to Streetly’s venue at Lee Marston near Coleshill. However all was not lost with Brother Peter and his wife Vickie being invited to attend Sutton Coldfield’s Circle meeting at which Brother Mike Gaffney together with his twin sister Elizabeth was being presented with his 50 year  scroll

The meeting and dinner which followed was an outstanding success with over 110 attending including brothers,wives and guests. It was an honour not only to have Brother Roger attending but also his wife Margaret  together with Brother  Provincial President  Andrew Bodger , Brother Director John Minster and his wife Gill , Provincial Officers , Presidents and brothers from some 14 circles in the Province.  Brother Roger gave a brief resume of Brother Mike and Peter’s achievements which included the various offices held within the respective circles and the contribution that they had given to the Association over the years. The Morgan Cup raised £325.17 for the Bursary Fund. It was also an opportunity for brothers from around the Province to meet together again after the end of the Covid 19 restrictions.

Winners And Losers Raise £810 For Charity

Winners And Losers Raise £810 For Charity

Placing bets on the races was more than brisk at Sutton Coldfield Circle’s race night held at Moor Hall Hotel after the circle meeting on Monday October 11th. Brothers , wives  and guests had the choice of placing  bets on  eight races all of which had been sponsored by circle members. The event was organised by Brother  Steve Broom assisted by his family with  video recorded  races together with commentaries. There were also prizes and rosettes for the owners of all the horses which were again sponsored. There was much excitement as punters encouraged their chosen horses. Some did better than others. An excellent night enjoyed by all with £810  being raised for Circle President Mark Mc Grail’s charity Lisieux House, a local based charity which supports adults with a learning disability and adults on the autism spectrum to live  happy, enriched lives , full of opportunity and choice.

A New Brother For Sutton Coldfield Circle – An Image Architect

A New Brother For Sutton Coldfield Circle – An Image Architect

Sutton Coldfield Circle welcomed Michael O’ Shea into the Circle and the Association at its October meeting. Michael is a parishioner of Holy Trinity Sutton Coldfield and is semi retired. For the last twenty five years  Michael was in the retail business and for the last five years as a part time hobby he has been passionate about dressing men and women to enhance their looks and show their true potential and describes himself as an Image Architect – You can have most things in life if dress for it. So brothers and ladies of Province No 6 here is your chance to enhance your appearance at all those circle and provincial events. Brother Michael is pictured( left) being welcomed by Brother President Mark Mc Grail.

The Amazing Interview With A Sutton Coldfield Priest

The Amazing Interview With A Sutton Coldfield Priest

Approximately 50 Sutton Coldfield Catenians wives and guests enjoyed a memorable occasion on the night of the June circle meeting on Monday 13th June  listening to Father Michael Ho Huu Nghia  Parish Priest of Holy Trinity, Sutton Coldfield being interviewed by Past President Peter Westbrook. The theme of the interview were the surprises he has experienced and the people he would he invite to dinner and why.

One of Father Michael’s most significant experiences was as a ‘boat person’ fleeing Vietnam. Along with 76 other people, they endured 17 days at sea. Towards the end of that period, a lady gave birth to a child in front of everyone in the boat. Father Michael prayed for a rescue and vowed that if they were rescued he would ‘try to be good man all his life’.   Right on cue, a British ship rescued them the following day. For the first time he experienced British tea and perhaps more importantly the compassion the crew showed them. This surprised him as he had seen very little of it before! Indeed one of the things he loves about the British is the amount of compassion shown to other people; another great surprise.

Whilst most of his boat comrades opted for settlement in the USA, Canada or Australia, Father Michael was determined to go to the UK as he had been rescued by a British ship. He was temporarily settled at Eccleshall in Staffordshire (which ironically is Celtic for Church place) where he was surprised to hear a fellow inmate state that he had left one hell to go to another, owing to the weather. However, he was surprised when this fellow inmate stayed and became an eminent surgeon in Manchester. It was whilst at Eccleshall,  a local catholic priest Father Sandy Brown came to see them all and offered comfort and any treats. Father Michael asked for a bible, not only for his Christian faith but also to help him learn English. 20 years later, Father Michael received an immense surprise when listening to Father Brown recount the story of him giving a bible to some poor Vietnamese refugee in Eccleshall, and this resulted in that person learning more about Christianity resulting in him becoming a priest. The astonished congregation then heard Father Michael say afterwards that he was that poor Vietnamese refugee!

Father Michael, studied in Rome  for the priesthood and was surprised to meet Pope John Paul the second on a number if occasions and recounted how the Pope addressed him and remembered him. He was there when the Pope was shot and subsequently forgave the perpetrator. A great inspiration for the young aspiring priest.

On being asked who he would invite to dinner, Father Michael equivocated but when pressed said it would be Archbishop Bernard Langley of Birmingham , Daniel Hurd, Father Gwilym Lloyd of St Anne’s  Streetly (a longstanding friend). When reminded that this was still short a list  he desperately added two more Peter and Sandra Westbrook. When asked about what the meal would be, he recounted Archbishop Bernard’s  visit to Holy Trinity  when he clearly enjoyed Fish and Chips from a local fish and chip shop.

The interview lasted an hour but could have lasted many more, as it was clearly apparent that many more anecdotes and stories were still to  be explored. The audience were captivated by Father Michaels’ humility, experiences and of course his humour. It was an excellent evening.