When President Tommy Jacob realised that the reader at Mass on President's Sunday was a BBC newsman he was not deterred by the sacredness of the edifice or the solemnity of the event from asking Danny Savage to give a talk to the Circle. So a date 7 months ahead was agreed and Danny duly appeared after the March circle meeting..
Danny gave a fascinating account of his career in radio and television journalism from his early days in hospital radio to regular appearances today reporting on events in the North of England as varied as the Cumbrian tilting train accident to the case of the cannabis-growing lady pensioner. As may be imagined questions flowed freely and it was eventually necessary to bring them to an end. Danny is at the beck and call of his pager and he expressed the hope that he would not be called out at 7 a.m. the next day. Sadly his hope was disappointed as he was on radio the next day reporting day reporting on a murder case in Halifax.
Bradford Circle brought the Catenian year to a close in style with a magnificent Dinner Dance at the Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford. 160 sat down to an excellent banquet followed by dancing to the 17-piece swing band "Nightshift"
Wharfedale Circle celebrated its annual Irish Night on March 15th, with entertainment from "The Dalesmen" and a trio of Irish Dancers. There was also plenty of opportunity to shake down the Guinness and Irish Stew on the dance floor.
It wouldn't be a Catholic "do" without a raffle and we managed to raise £90 towards the President's Charity
Bradford Circle hosted the Province 3 snooker competition on Monday 5th March.
Eight teams from Leeds, York, Wetherby and Bradford Circles started off and a tense final between Leeds and Bradford resulted in a win for Bradford Circle.
Wetherby Circle annual domino tournament was held on 26th February. 16 visitors from around Province came to see fair play. After some tense moments, the winning team from Leeds 3 triumphed over their worthy opponents from Wetherby.
The annual Province 3 Ball on 24th February at the Cedar Court Hotel , Wakefield, was a grand event with around 140 attending, in the presence of Grand President Mike O'Malley and Anne-Marie, President of Province 3S Peter Auchterlounie and Sorine, and President of Province 3N Peter Dowson and Grace.
A highlight for some was the presentation of the Circle Golf Trophy to Ken Pilling and James Walsh of Huddersfield Circle, while for others it was the arrival of "guest DJ" Jammy Savile later in the evening!
York Circle hosted the Provincial Quarterly Mass on 25th January. Most of the Circles in Province were represented in a full meeting room. Mass was celebrated by Canon Murphy. At the start of the meeting, two new Brothers were enrolled into York Circle.
We wish them and their families long and happy memberships of the Association.
Wharfedale hosted a joint meeting with Harrogate Circle on 18th January. We had an excellent attendance and afterwards enjoyed a meal and live music from "Hurricane Blue"
After Wetherby's January meeting, Miss Lesley Dickenson, who is a barrister, spoke informally about her career and gave us some insight about Courts and legal matters generally. Although the normal route to the Bar commences at one of the top grade Universities, Lesley followed a simpler path but without detriment to her eventual achievement. Starting life as solicitor she was enabled by the new arrangements to be called to the bar. She even attained the judicial bench and sat as a Recorder.
Answering questions she covered in some detail the whole subject of juries, the difficulties of handling witnesses and the care that must be taken in handling admissions by defendants.
Professor Graham Mulley thanked Lesley for her most interesting talk and praised her ability in answering questions. some of which were very difficult.
James and Trina Hagerty
James Hagerty, of Bradford and Wharfedale Circles, has recently been awarded two fellowships for his historical research and academic publications. In July 2006 the Academic Board of Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds, awarded him an Honorary Life Fellowship for his book commemorating the College's fortieth anniversary - Trinity and All Saints 1966-2006: Celebrating 40 Years of Learning. In October of the same year James was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an honour reserved for those who have made a significant and original contribution to historical scholarship.
James, who is a former headteacher of St Bede's Grammar School, Bradford, has written many school text books but his main research interest is post-Reformation English Catholic history. He has produced numerous parish histories and has written extensively on the history of the Diocese of Leeds and on the growth and development of Catholicism in northern England. In 2000 he edited the centenary history of St Bede's and in 2005 published Myddelton Lodge and Myddelton Grange: Catholicism in Ilkley and Addingham. With Robert Finnigan, he edited The Bishops of Leeds: Essays in Honour of Bishop David Konstant and in collaboration with Tom Johnstone he undertook pioneering research into the role of Catholic military chaplains. This led in 1996 to the publication of The Cross on the Sword: Catholic Chaplains In The Forces and subsequently many articles in both military and religious history journals. James is currently working on the centenary history of the Catenian Association and is researching the life and career of Cardinal Arthur Hinsley, the first headmaster of St Bede's.
In 2005-6 James was Provincial President of Province 3 North. He is currently Provincial Membership Officer.
Wetherby Catenians and the St. Vincent de Paul Society were fortunate in persuading Wetherby's Elysian Singers to provide an early and suitable introduction to the festive season with a concert of Christmas music in St. Joseph's Church, Wetherby.
A careful selection of well known pieces such as the traditional "Gaudete Dominium", Pearsall's beautiful "In Dulce Jubilo", two works by David Willcocks "The Infant King" and "Tomorrow shall be my dancing day" lent interest and character to the presentation. Malcolm Sargent's less well known "Mary had a baby" was much appreciated
After a happy interlude when mince pies and mulled wine were enjoyed by audience and singers, the second half of the programme figured works by Walton, Andrew Carter, Vaughan Williams, Craig Bell and Malcolm Sargent, all performed delightfully and with well blended voices.
The programme also provided an occasional opportunity for community singing with the old favourites "O Come all ye faithful", "O little Town of Bethlehem" and "Hark the Herald Angels"
A special word of praise is due to Jackie Faulkner who had not previously played on the St. Joseph's Church organ. Her performance was of a very high standard and a very effective support for the Singers.
Canon Nunan thanked the Elysian Singers for providing such a wonderful concert.
Almost £400 was collected for the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
While the Wharfedale brothers were holding their November meeting, Barbara Wholley gave a brief but excellently presented demonstration of flower arranging to the ladies. After supper the arrangements were raffled off, raising £25 for the presidential charity fund.
Photo shows Bro President Steve O'Neill amidst the ladies...
After our November meeting the Wetherby and District Circle were entertained by John Wallis of Halifax Circle. John was an engineer with the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council and when that body was abolished he began a new career as an entertainer. He has become well known and popular with audiences in Wetherby and the surrounding villages as a troubadour and raconteur. He was recently the compere at the Royal British Legion concert in Collingham.
His present subject was "The Golden Age of Music Hall and Variety" illustrated by his own musical accompaniment and stories from his researches into the topic. We were amused by reminiscences of Charlie Chaplin, Robb Wilton ("The Unemployed Workers Union who will protect you from any job offers from he Labour Exchange") and the stars of the famous Leeds old time music hall theatre City Varieties. There was a tale of the small boy whose mother told him he was four but when asked by the conductor when he would be five he innocently replied "When I get off bus"; Of an amusing Church notice "Don't let worry kill you . Let the Church help"! We were given a taste of Vera Lynn and her wonderful work entertaining the troops.
A cheque for £1325 was presented by last year's President Graham Mulley to Don Gray of the SVP for last years efforts by the Catenians
The Provincial Snuff Box, which had lain unclaimed for some months with Bradford Circle, was successfully claimed in November by a visiting team of Brothers from Huddersfield Circle, led by President Ken Pilling
Bradford recently enrolled three new Brothers; Giancarlo Esposito and Edward Jandzio in June and Michael Sayers in November. We wish them and their families many happy years in the Association
On 23rd September, Wetherby Circle celebrated its 80th anniversary with a magnificent dinner at the Bridge Inn. Many Brothers from other circles were in attendance, including Grand President Mike O'Malley. The photo shows (from left to right) Director Joe McNally, Grand President Mike O'Malley, President Tommy Jacob, Past Grand President John Clarke
At the previous meeting, Stephen Clarkson was enrolled into Wetherby Circle. (I didn't have my camera with me then, so the photo was taken at the 80th anniversary meeting) We wish him many happy years in the Association The photo shows (left to right) Grand President Mike O'Malley, President Tommy Jacob, Stephen Clarkson, Membership Officer Graham Mulley
Glen Cookland was enrolled at the Circle meeting on 15th August. We wish him many happy years in the Association.
21st June saw over 60 present at the Bridge Inn for a joint meeting of City of Leeds and Wetherby Circles. The evening started with the Provincial Quarterly Mass for deceased brothers celebrated by Father Michael McLaughlin of St. Austinís, Wakefield. There were many visitors from Bradford, Huddersfield, Harrogate, York, Leeds, Sheffield, Ampleforth, Ilkley and Darlington including immediate Grand President John Clarke, Director Joe McNally, Provincial President Peter Dowson and several Provincial Council members.
Two collections were made - one of £184 for the Provincial Lourdes Fund and the other of £200 for the Vocations Fund.
As is usual on such occasions the meeting itself suffered from the hesitancy of the two Presidents as to who exactly should have the next line. Nevertheless with good will and good humour there were no serious deviations from the prescribed procedures and the meeting finished in good time for a very welcome and much appreciated meal.
Although the members of the Wetherby Catenian Association normally confine the activities at their meetings to useful and instructive talks by a variety of speakers they occasionally try to vary their programme by including other activities. One of the most popular is their annual visit to Tadcaster Bowling Club when they bravely attempt to play that complicated game called Crown Green Bowling.
Onlookers may consider that bowls is a relatively simple and uncomplicated game requiring no special expertise. Nothing could be farther from the truth as is quickly pointed out to novices. Such niceties as the placing of the correct foot on the pad are rapidly and firmly pointed out to beginners as being essential to the ritual of the game. One has to learn that the spherical objects used are called "woods" although made of a resinous material and of differing weights. There is a certain significant spot on the wood pressure on which affects its eventual route when bowled. Although a courtly game once favoured by King Henry VIII and intended to be confined to the noble and wealthy classes there are opportunities by skilful and devious play of thwarting the careful positioning of one's opponents by sending their woods flying in all directions. The calculation of the winners of each section involves complicated measurements of the relative position of each wood to the "jack" or "kitty" which has to be repeatedly explained to newcomers.
Our picture shows the game organiser Don Pile with the winning team of John Colgan and Susan Notley who were declared winners. We all then trooped into the pavilion and enjoyed a generous and very welcome buffet and appropriate beverages. It was on the next day that we suffered the painful results of the unusual exercise.
The annual Mass in St. Leonard's Chapel at Hazlewood Castle was attended by many Catenians from Wetherby and York. Celebrated by Father Michael Gallon of Tadcaster and Father Michael Ingwell of Clifford assisted by Deacon Brother Edwin Murphy the Mass was offered for the repose of the soul of the late Mike Readman, at the request of Val his widow.
Led by James Hagerty, Provincial President of 3 North, a 44-strong Catenian group from Province 3N and 3S spent the weekend of 29 April - 1 May in Dublin's fair city. Highlights of the trip included a guided tour of Dublin, Mass in the Pro-Cathedral, a trip to the Natinal Stud at the Curragh, an Irish Night at Polly Hops, and a visit to see the Book of Kells in Trinity College. A typical warm Irish welcome was extended to all and the 'craic' was as good as ever!
Graham Mulley, the outgoing President of Wetherby Catenians, concluded his year of office with two important events. On Saturday 22nd April Graham hosted a dinner at Wetherby Golf club attended by 97 members and friends. This function was not accompanied by a dance and the after dinner entertainment was confined to a speaking contest in which Graham, no mean raconteur set himself against two well schooled speakers in James Hagerty, former headmaster of St. Bede's, Bradford and Joe McNally, retired police superintendent and barrister. Caution forbids my expressing an opinion as to the winner but suffice it to say that the three provided a fund of good humour and some excellent jokes. A raffle produced a generous contribution for the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Graham's final effort after the meeting on Monday was what might be termed a swan song. He invited members and their friends to contribute favourite pieces of prose or poetry. The result was a marvellous ensemble which included a facetious journalistic report of a domino trophy, a Flanders and Swan almanac, several poetic offerings by our Welsh representative, an original doggerel by Mike Pioli, Jess Rowett's humorous prediction of her taking advantages of advancing years to do her own thing. David Barker gave a spirited impression of a Lancashire dialect character, and Frank Rowett offered a rustic interpretation of the story of Magna "Charter". Mike McBennet's choice of poetry was wide and amusing as was Graham Mulley's inclusion of a John Betjeman piece. Tony Gaffney concluded the evening with some thoughts on old age and the only piece of Shakespeare of the evening.
Graham thanked all of the participants for their contributions which had made it a very interesting and enjoyable function.