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Provincial News

Thank You - Bob and Kathy

There are few Catenian Brothers who have done more for the association than Bob Butler. In fact the work that he has done impacts one way or another on every single member. For a year he was at the pinnacle of the association when he was elected Grand President. None of these achievements would have been possible without the help and support of his wife, Kathy (see below).

It was only fitting therefore, that Provincial Council decided to say ‘thank you’ to Bob and Kathy, not just by giving them another present but to personally attend a rather special lunch at the Ilsington Country House Hotel near Haytor in their honour.

This magnificent trophy has been donated by past Provincial President - Bro. George Phillips to encourage each and every brother to make, at the very least, one visit in the Catenian year to another Circle or Group (not pre-group) Meeting.

To be awarded this trophy will involve a fair bit of driving and it appropriately resembles the steering wheel of a sporty car.

It is my belief that to be involved in the handing over ceremony and then to have this trophy sat on the head table of all Circle Meetings for however long that Circle or Group is entitled to keep it will enthuse others to go all out to have it for their own Circle or Group.

Now, please study the rules which are different to the Tom Ward Provincial visiting trophy.


The George Phillips Visiting Trophy


1. The Trophy will be awarded to that Circle or Group  which has the highest percentage of its active brothers (that is, those brothers not on the Permanent Exclusion List as agreed by Provincial Council) making at least one visit to the meeting of another Circle or Group.

2. Members of Provincial or Grand Council whether voted on by their Circle/Group, voted on by Provincial Council or co-opted by Provincial Council are not eligible and will not count in the percentage calculations.

3. In the event of a tie the Trophy will be awarded to both Presidents/Chairman and held by one Circle/Group for six months then ceremonially handed over to the other for the final six months.  

George Phillips

Emily Harry wins Final of The Public Speaking Contest in Manchester

Grand President - Peter Woodford presents Emily Harry with her certificate and cheque.

Bro. Bob Butler writes:

“The photo of Emily giving her winning address before a packed auditorium in Manchester says it all.  She not only matched the best by the skill of her presentation, but captivated the audience, and adjudicators, by her charm and personality. Earlier she had been the winner of a close competition in Plymouth, and became Province 13’s first ever representative in the National Final.

Kathy and I have been to several finals in Manchester, and it is every year a firm date in our diary.  The standard is always very high, but this year the sixteen young people were, by general consensus, the best in recent years.

Emily’s chosen topic was, ‘Technology is not necessarily improving the quality of our lives’.  She spoke for the required four minutes, and I felt then that she could well be the winner.  There was a long wait while the adjudicators deliberated, everyone was given positive feedback, and finally Emily was declared the winner.

Congratulations must go to Emily and her family, but this could not have come about without the determination of Peter Holman that we should be represented this year.  He, and his small team, ensured that we staged a heat in a professional manner, and sent a worthy representative to the Final.

Support from Circles, for a Catenian event encouraging young people, was surprisingly sparse.  Only Torbay (£200) and South Hams (£25), of our seven Circles, made a financial contribution.”

Photographs kindly supplied with permission to print by:

Steve Kaye from

Manchester North and Middleton Circle.

P.S.C. presentation to Owen Bush from St. Boniface College.

Brother Provincial President - Peter Holman presents the individual trophy and the winning cheque for £50

Bob Butler, Frank Ashcroft (Head) Owen Bush, PP Peter Holman, Kathy Butler and Steve Trew (Head 6th Form)

Owen is holding the Province 13 Trophy for the winning school, donated by our former Director, Vince Walsh. Owen spoke for four minutes on the subject “Youth is wasted on the young”. When asked why he had chosen that particular subject from fourteen others he said that he felt it was the most challenging! Owen is very much looking forward to going on to Manchester in September for the National PSC Final.

The Provincial dinner was held at Buckfast Abbey on Wednesday 25th May. This year a Memorial Mass was arranged for Vince Walsh (RIP) in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in Buckfast Abbey. After the dinner Teresa Walsh talked to us about Vince and gave us a few anecdotes. Then followed the presentation of various trophies.

The Duchy Trophy for best attendance at Circle meetings during the year was won by West Somerset Circle. This was accepted by Bro. Jonathan Marshall from Brother Provincial President - Peter Holman.

The Tom Ward trophy for the best visiting record went to Plymouth Circle and was accepted by Brother President - Jim Murphy.

The George Phillips Trophy for the most first visits was won by the West Cornwall Group and to accept it was Brother Tony Sadler. At present this is a paper trophy, however one day the missing trophy might be replaced.

The winner of the Provincial Quiz Trophy went to West Somerset and quite rightly was accepted by Bro. Jonathan Marshall.

Trophies and paper trophy

The Peter Bleakley Boules Trophy was won by the Duchy of Cornwall Circle. On their behalf the Trophy is accepted by Peter Kwee.

The winner of the Spring Golf Competition was Bro. Paul Blay from Exeter Circle

 (see below).

Tonight saw the official handover by Bro. Provincial President - Peter Holman.

Annual Peter Bleakley Boules Competition

Left to right - Brothers John Luscombe, Trevor Davies, Grand President David Rowley, Eileen Rowley, Brothers Bob Butler and Plymouth President Jim Murphy all ready to attack the Barbeque.

Jaqui Bleakley presents the Peter Bleakley Trophy to the winning South Hams Team

Left to right - Brother Peter James, Grand President David Rowley, Brother Trevor Davies and Eileen Rowley

Province 13 held it's Annual Boules Competitions at St. Augustine's Priory, Cadleigh near Plymouth. The day started with Mass at The Priory followed by a Barbeque in the grounds of the Church. After lunch, two Boules Competitions were held - one for the Provincial Peter Bleakley Trophy and one for Plymouth Circle members and friends.

Competition was high with the measuring tape studied several times by the judges, Brother Bob Butler and Brother Mike O'Sullivan. Eventually after a thrilling Final, the Peter Bleakley Trophy was won by South Hams Circle with North Devon Circle as fine Runners - up.

The competition for Plymouth Circle members was won by Mike Norton, Mary Norton and Madeleine Lester with David Leah, Peter Lester and Matty Cooke as Runners-up. The prizes were presented by Grand President David Rowley. A glorious, hot, sunny day thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The finalists of the Plymouth Circle Competition

 Left to right - Peter Lester, Brother David Leah, Brother Mike Norton, Mary Norton, Grand President David Rowley, Madeleine Lester and Matty Cooke.

Grand President David Rowley presents the prizes to the winning team of the Plymouth Circle Competition

 Left to right - Brother Mike Norton, Mary Norton and Madeleine Lester.

Provincial Quiz - Round one

Left to right: Peter Shaw, Joseph Acton, Paul Blay, John Mitchell, Peter Ripley & George Phillips

In the first round of the Provincial Quiz, Exeter Circle drew against Duchy Circle and hosting the match was Plymouth Circle. The picture above shows the two teams warming up for what turned out to be a cliff hanger of a match. Duchy flew away with a good start and at the third round were thirty points ahead of Exeter. The Exeter team then started to claw their way back and after the sixth and final round were only five points behind. I am sure that if there had been seven rounds Exeter would have won, or perhaps I am being a little biased.

It has to be said that the Plymouth Circle were the perfect hosts, when it comes to hospitality they have worked out a strategy and it could not be faulted. Well done to Plymouth Circle and well done to the two quiz teams who had to face quite a number of difficult quiz questions. All in all a good exercise in keeping the brain cells working.

Autumn Golf Meeting

Left to right: Francis Drake, Philip Shields and Keith Preston all enjoying the

18th. hole

Sunshine greeted fifteen golfers from Exeter, Duchy, Torbay and Plymouth at Stover Golf Club for the Autumn meeting. Great day's golf followed by a lively, enjoyable Dinner.

The winner was Paul Murphy ( Exeter Circle ) 2nd, Paul Blay ( Exeter Circle ) and 3rd. Francis Drake ( Plymouth Circle ).

Open Council Meeting - 2017

At the end of January Provincial Council held an open meeting at the Dartmoor Lodge in Ashburton,  inviting members who will be taking up a new role within their Circle in April. This has proved to be a useful exercise, allowing Brothers who are doing the same job to compare notes and pass on hints and tips to those who will be taking over later in the year.

The photo above was taken after the main meeting, after which everyone formed small groups to discus whichever topic they were interested in. Following that, most sat down to an enjoyable lunch in the newly refurbished dining room. Well done to a few Brothers who were delayed by a road traffic accident in Cornwall.

Third Public Speaking Contest

Looking at the picture above you would be forgiven for thinking that this is another school hall. In fact this was once a Catholic Church but is now used by The Holy Cross Primary School and was the venue for the latest Public Speaking Contest. All of the young people sat in the front row were contestants and  another contestant - Jade - needed to leave immediately after her piece.  Talking to them is Michael O’Sullivan, one of the adjudicators. He announced that the runner-up was Hannah Johnson from Notre Dame School and the winner was Elise Irish also from Notre Dame School - pictured below.

Elise Irish - Notre Dame School

Provincial Weekend at Bournemouth

Left - Mary Holman, Peter Holman - Director, Kathy Butler, Bob Butler - Past Grand President

Right - Peter Frost  Provincial President, Margaret Frost, Graham Johnson -  Provincial Vice President & Moira Johnson

Province 13 held their Provincial weekend at the Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth, from the 24th to the 26th February 2017.

41 attended the weekend and enjoyed a comfortable Hotel, excellent food, caring staff and most of all the friendship and fellowship in a true Catenian manner.

On Friday evening we had an informal dinner followed by entertainment.

A formal dinner was held on Saturday, where we were welcomed by Brother Director Peter Holman. This was followed by dancing.

On Sunday morning we attended Mass at the Sacred Heart Church in Bournemouth where we received a very warm welcome.

That was followed by Lunch before departure.

We would like to thank Mike and Barbara Fake for their excellent arrangements.

Left to right: John Luscombe - Jim Murphy President Plymouth - Sue Murphy (Hidden ) - Wendy Davies - Paul Robinson Plymouth Vice President - Madeleine Lester

& Kathy Butler

Vehicle Collection My Life Story

One of the aims of the Provincial Web-site is to help everyone to get to know each other, therefore I have asked Bro. Trevor Davies to share with us details of his hobbies and life in the Police force. It is common knowledge amongst older members that Trevor has an impressive collection of model vehicles. To find out more, click on the link below.

In addition, Trevor has made available his life story, a fascinating account of 32 years in the Police Force which has been well illustrated and would make a good book. Please click on the link below.

Thank you very much Bro. Trevor for allowing us to share in your very interesting career.

If any other Catenian Brother in Province 13 would like to share their life story or details of any hobbies then please get in touch.

Keith Bearne

Bro. Trevor Davies

Provincial Autumn Golf Day

Left to right: Father Tim Lewis, John Luscombe (Organiser) - Mike O’Sullivan, Mike Fake (Provincial Councillor) and Brian Henwood.

Winners: 1st Father Tim Lewis (Guest)  2nd Mike O’Sullivan (Plymouth Circle)  3rd Brian Henwood (Guest)

Golf Spring Meeting

Left to right:  Mike O'Sullivan ( Plymouth Circle ) Bob Butler and Fred Pearce

( Plymouth Circle ) Absent Barney Bettesworth ( Torbay Circle )

The meeting was held on a glorious Spring day at Dainton Park Golf Club, Newton Abbot. Players from Duchy, Torbay, Exeter and Plymouth met and enjoyed a good day's golf on an exacting but beautiful Course.

The results were very close with the winner, Mike O'Sullivan winning on countback from Barney Bettesworth and Fred Pearce a close third. The prizes were presented by Honorary Golf member Bob Butler.

 18th. hole being played by: left to right - John Mallinder ( Torbay Circle )

Fr. Tim Lewis ( guest ) Fr. Michael Cole ( guest ) and Fred Pearce ( Plymouth Circle ).

Fourth Public Speaking Competition

The Competition this year was held in St. Peter's Catholic Church, Crownhill, Plymouth. Sadly some competitors were unable to attend but the three contestants who did make it provided a very worthwhile and enjoyable occasion.

Subjects chosen were " My biggest concern for the future " by the winner Agnel Geo Stephen from Richard Huish College, Taunton,  "Being young is overrated" by the runner- up Samuel Prince from St. Cuthbert Mayne  Torbay and " The most important lesson of my life so far" by third placed Megan Louise Thompson from Notre Dame Plymouth.

The winner's prize was presented by Peter Chapman of Torbay Circle, the runner- up prize by Trevor Davies of Plymouth Circle and the winning school trophy by Teresa Walsh.

The event was organised by Peter Holman, Director from Province 13.