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Michael Osbaldeston


Paul Blay

Vice President

Peter McGauley


Matthew Clark


Graham Liverton

Membership Officer

Joseph Acton

Welfare Officer

David Brown

Circle Chamberlain

Robert Brandenberg

Charity Officer

Julian Shaw

Dining Secretary

Paul Murphy

Provincial Councillor

Joseph Acton

Exeter Circle Officers

Exeter Circle News

President’s Sunday comes to Sidmouth

The President of Exeter Circle - Bro. Robert Brandenberg decided that as he worships at Sidmouth, the annual President’s Sunday should come to Sidmouth. Following Mass everyone congregated at the Bedford Hotel on the Sidmouth esplanade and sat down to a top quality Sunday lunch.

With us were Canon Paul Cummins and Fr. Patrick Kilgarriff. After lunch Teresa Walsh told us about her immediate plans and invited Ladies to a fund raising event at her house. Following on, Bro. President gave a speech of an appropriate length. (No criticism of Teresa or Robert)

We all arrived on a cloudy spring day, but when it was time to go we found summer had arrived as the pictures below can testify.

The Bedford Hotel - Sidmouth

Bro. President Robert Brandenberg giving his speech.

This is the view we had when it was time to walk off our lunch.

Presentation to the Catholic Children’s Society

Brother President - David Siely presents a cheque to Patricia Nilsson who represents the Catholic Children’s Society (Plymouth). The cheque forms part of the total of £970 which was donated over the past year.

For the past year Exeter Circle has been supporting President David Siely in raising money for his chosen President’s Charity - The Catholic Children’s Society (Plymouth). Their representative for this area Patricia Nilsson was invited to attend the March meeting and gave an after dinner talk.

Patricia explained that the charity is a voluntary organisation with the majority of its funding arising within the Catholic community of the Diocese of Plymouth. Their work supports families of all faiths and beliefs and their services are open to everyone. She went on to explain that one in five children living in the South West are living in poverty, and in some areas of the region deprivation is even more severe.

Many parents and carers, despite working, find their income does not meet their basic needs such as a working cooker, warm clothes in the winter or a proper bed to sleep in. Then when circumstances change suddenly life gets even harder as they have no cushion of savings to fall back on.

Patricia thanked everyone present for all their efforts and said she was particularly thrilled to be receiving such a large amount. She also thanked the Circle for inviting her to the Catenian Dinner.

Skittles Night at the Maltsters Arms

On a typical autumn evening twelve energetic Catenian members with their wives and also several widows gathered at the Maltsters Arms in Woodbury to do battle with three balls and nine skittles.

Rather than play two teams, say men against ladies it was decided to play individually and have one winner. All credit to the ladies, the eventual winner was Ann Liverton who is a natural skittler.

Partway through the food arrived, and what a feast. There was so much that we were unable to finish it all off. Well done to Robert for organising this event, it was a shame that more members were unable to attend, non-the-less a very enjoyable evening.

Exeter Circle are delighted to welcome Erik Renz

David Siely, President of the Exeter Circle warmly welcomes Erik Renz into the Circle after his enrolment on Monday 12th October. Erik, married to Jessica, has moved to Exeter from Atlanta in Georgia. Jessica works at the Met Office and Erik works at a medical database company called First Databank. There, he is a clinical researcher that reviews pharmaceutical formularies and researches those products to be added to the database, so they can give clinical decision support to their clients.

Erik worked as a healthcare assistant for two years in the U.S. before moving to a hospital where he worked as a financial analyst for another 8 months, then relocating to the U.K.

Erik has an undergraduate degree in Biochemical Engineering and he has a master’s degree in Health Sciences. He is currently volunteering as a researcher in the mental health department at the University of Exeter Medical School while he applies to medical schools in the U.K., for entry in 2016.

Erik loves to be outdoors and active as does Jessica. They are both currently gym members at a local CrossFit gym (mixture of weights, gymnastics and cardio exercise). He enjoys running, also cycling.  Camping trips are always welcome and the outdoor activities that come with them. The couple both love animals and they are looking to bring a dog into their home soon. He is also currently going through training to become a volunteer visitor with the chaplaincy at the RD&E and is in formation for the Secular Franciscan Order.

Now that Erik has been properly introduced I sincerely hope this will give you all a lot more to talk about.

Back to Reed Hall for President’s Sunday

Brother President - David Siely, decided that it would be nice to go back to Reed Hall at Exeter University for his President’s Sunday. After Mass at the Sacred Heart Church in Exeter and on a beautifully warm summer Sunday, lunch was served in the hall. Those fortunate enough to be there were able to enjoy the ambience of the surroundings and the company of fellow Catenians.

After a lovely lunch and having put the world to rights, we all departed feeling ‘we have done our bit for society’. Well, we did give extra employment to catering staff and waitresses.

A big welcome to George Higgins and Matthew Clark

Left to right: Circle President - Joseph Acton, Iban de la Sota (Student), Barnaby Smith (student), Ryan Browne (Poole Circle), Bob Butler (Grand President), George Higgins (newly enrolled in Exeter Circle), Ben Hince (student).

At its March meeting Exeter Circle entertained two honoured guests.  The principal guest was Grand President Bob Butler, but also present as a visitor, was the then youngest Catenian, Ryan Brown of Poole Circle.  Ryan is studying at Exeter University.

Also attending was George Higgins, another student at Exeter University, who was enrolled into Exeter Circle during the meeting, and thus replaced Ryan with a claim to be the youngest Catenian. Also enrolled was a slightly older gentleman, Matthew Clark pictured below.

At this meeting, Exeter Circle was pleased to welcome three other visiting gentlemen of a similar age to Ryan and George.  All are members of the Cathsoc at Exeter University, with which the Exeter Circle has developed links over many years.  They have stated an interest in membership of our Association.

Bob Butler remarked that the combined ages of the four present came to little more than his own age!

Left to right: Circle President - Joseph Acton, Matthew Clark, Grand President - Bob Butler, George Higgins and Ryan Browne.

Sunday 16th September

On a lovely dry Sunday afternoon in September a group of Exeter Catenians along with wives, family friends and daughter walked along the river Exe estuary from Exmouth to Lympstone and back again. Once at Lympstone the party sat for refreshments at a local cafe, joining a large number of cyclists who were enjoying refreshments in the pub opposite. The main purpose of the walk was to raise money for the President’s Charity which this year is Shelter Box.

Brother David Smith meets the Queen

On 21st October 1949, David Smith travelled to Exeter on leave from Windsor where he was stationed. Having arrived at about 1.10pm and making his way to a bus-stop he became aware that something was 'going-on'  and being curious, he went to see what was happening.

To his surprise he saw it was Her Royal Highness, as she  then was, accompanied by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh inaugurating the ceremonial beginning of the rebuilding of Exeter. The image of Her Majesty on that day has always been in his mind no matter how the years have passed.This was all happening at the entrance to what, later, became the entrance to the  appropriately named Princesshay.

The spot was marked by a plaque for many years.

Then some months ago an advert appeared asking for people who had been present on that date to come forward. He submitted details and was invited to meet the Chief Executive, Mr. Philip Bostock. They talked for some time and to David’s astonishment Mr Bostock asked him if he would like to be presented to Her Majesty.


So, with two other people David met the Royal Party when they visited Exeter again on the 2nd May and he says it was probably the greatest honour he has been accorded in his life-time. A thoroughly memorable day..