President 2010-11

On Tuesday April 27th, Karol Grabowski became the 49th President of Mansfield and Dukeries Circle 197 of the Catenian Association. He writes:


This is my second time round and I am greatly honoured that the brothers of the Circle have seen fit to allow me to take this office again. When John Campbell was President last year, we tried to keep a photographic record of what he had been up to and I thought I would embrace the new technology this year by setting up this blog to record my thoughts over the year. I can add pictures so there will be something for posterity and, should anyone read this, you can offer comments to enhance the blog.

My aim for the year is to try and revitalise some of our membership by offering a range of events that will hold a greater appeal for more people and by finding ways to encourage some we seldom see  at meetings to attend more regularly. To that end, Martin Dillon (VP) and I have discussed a number of family orientated possibilities such as:

  • a picnic in Clumber Park or Sherwood Pines with a game of rounders thrown in for both adults and children;
  • some visits to theatre productions (you may remember that a small number of us went to see a Shakespeare play performed at Nottingham Castle last summer and there are two similar events coming up in July);
  • a family 10-pin bowling session at Mansfield Bowling;
  • a night at the dog races and/or Southwell Races;
  • we are looking into the possibility of taking the children and grandchildren to a “Santa Special” on the Peak Rail between Rowsley South and Matlock Riverside in December (tickets need to be booked by the start of October if we want to stand any chance of getting them); and
  • some gentle walks in Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire to get some fresh air and enjoy each others’ company in a really informal setting.

To encourage greater attendance of brothers, we have had the excellent suggestion that  twice or three times in the year we offer a pint  of beer (or one round of your preferred drink) out of Circle surplus funds to everyone that attends – come on, that’s not a bad offer, is it?

All these will be in addition to the events listed in the social calendar that was distributed at the AGM. We really would like other suggestions and particularly volunteers to co-ordinate such events – I am hoping for at least a couple of volunteers and additional suggestions. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to gather names and inform the venue, so why not help Council to make this a year to remember? I don’t think it is fair that it is always the same members who sort things out since there is so much talent among our membership.

I started my visiting programme on a bit of a damp squib, I’m afraid. On Monday night (May 10th), three of us went to Loughborough in the vain hope that we could claim the Watts Pot (the Provincial award for visiting with at least 4 members). Despite my best efforts to persuade Loughborough into a new alliance between our two Circles and to make a progressive interpretation of the rules for claiming the Pot, we came away empty handed!  [Let’s hope the politicians have a bit more luck!]

I’d like to think we can do better for the next visit which is to the Inter Circle Rally on June 24th. It’s the Thursday after our June Circle meeting – where, by the way, we will be inviting Andrew Holloway from All Saints’ School to deliver his Public Speaking speech (more on that next time) – and I hope to take at least a couple of cars (if not a couple of people carriers!) to the Rally. Most other Circles manage at least a car load, so we should be no different. Come on, it will be a great evening and a chance to meet lots of brothers from across Province 15.