At the beginning of September, a long awaited visit to His Majesty King Charles’ private home at Highgrove, Gloucestershire was made by keen gardeners from Malvern Circle. A guided tour, followed by a cream tea in the onsite cafe was enjoyed by 9 brothers, wives and friends. The weather absolutely glorious and the gardens were beginning to show their autumnal splendour. Many interesting architectural features on the tour gave inspiration to us all.
Although photographs in the gardens and around the house are not permitted, the Malvern visitors managed to get a record in the café.
On Saturday 16 September 2023, our Circle President, had his President Mass at Olton Friary was concelebrated by Fr Bijou (parish priest) & Fr Enrico (‘Provincial’ for the Italian section of the Sacred Heart Father’s order) went very well, and was attended by about 40 or so Brothers, Wives, Guests & Children.
Fr Bijou made a speech at the end of Mass greatly praising Bro Harold (our President) – we later joked with Harold that it was a virtual ‘canonisation’ ! It was followed by tea/coffee plus sandwiches & cakes in the parish hall, which were delicious
Sutton Coldfield’s September Circle Meeting welcomed back Jonathan Berg who gave a talk on his latest book –Artfully Birmingham – a guide to Birmingham’s Public Art to be published on 1st November 2023. The book explores the public art of Birmingham in a dramatic way from the statue of Lord Nelson in the Bull Ring to the latest street art in Bohemian Digbeth and Deritend. Jonathan is no stranger in writing books about Birmingham illustrated with his own photographs. He has published five editions of his book – Positively Birmingham exploring the modern city in texts and images and also a book on Birmingham – Invention and Design –Elkington of Birmingham detailing the company’s invention of electroplating and electrotyping techniques. After dinner brothers, ladies and guests which included Brother President John Shuck of the City of Lichfield Circle together with Past Provincial President Andrew Bodger also of Lichfield Circle took part in a quiz in which Jonathan showed various photo portraits of some 10 art examples in Birmingham from his new book and those present had to provide details of the location or significant aspects of the portraits. A most enjoyable and informative evening and the circle awaits the publication of Jonathan’s new book which will make the ideal Christmas stocking present. Pictured is Jonathan displaying one of the photographs from his forthcoming book.
Pictured are pupils and members of staff of St Joseph’s school, Malvern at the end of term when Malvern Circle, represented by President John Duddington, award prizes to those young people who have worked especially hard during the course of the term. The award ceremony was attended by the Head and Deputy Head of the school and teaching staff together with parents and other Circle members. The awards are intended to encourage the students to apply their best efforts to their school work. It is also, at the same time, hoped to spread the Catenian message, particularly among parents that we are here and present and pleased to help with parish life. Malvern Circle has been involved in this project since pre-Covid days and we are always welcomed by the school for taking an interest in their activities. We wish the school every success with its work among the young of our town.
The week beginning 20th March at St. Joseph’s Primary School in Malvern, the Circle brothers and wives were asked if they would help with encouraging the students to think about their future careers through a series of talks or workshops. Calling on their own experiences and areas of expertise, several members went to the school to interact with the children. Topics covered included gardening, construction and journalism.
Pictured are former Science teacher Diane Walsh giving a demonstration and talk
about being a professional gardener, whilst husband Mike, a former Construction Company Director, chatted to the students about working in construction.
Later in the week, Anne and Michael Peden and Vince and Fiona Conway enacted a short play entitled ‘The Gift’ so that students could practise writing a newspaper article about the story which they had just witnessed. Fiona, a former BBC radio journalist and writer wrote the play and spoke to the students about how a good article should be written and what to include.
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.