Tony Baker, the well-known Richard Attenborough look-alike and President of number two Province of the Catenian Association, selected the Links Hotel in the attractive north Norfolk village of West Runton as the venue for this year’s Provincial Weekend. It took place between Friday October 8 and Sunday 10 and was attended by 80 brothers and their wives.
The highlight of the Friday evening was an excellent dinner followed by a quiz with a Norfolk theme. Saturday daytime was free for guests to do as they liked including trips to nearby Cromer or Kings Lynn, playing golf, walking or shopping.
About 20 guests availed themselves of the famous ‘Poppyline’ which involved interesting trips on old-fashioned trains run by the North Norfolk Railway Company. The day coincided with the annual members and shareholders event which involved several different engines travelling every half hour from Sheringham to Holt with stops midway at Weybourne Station.
The Saturday gala evening started with an excellent four-course dinner including wine and was followed by a very enjoyable 90-minute session of sea shanties provided by the ‘Blakeney Old Wild Rovers’ with the whole audience joining in enthusiastically. Tony Baker was encouraged to step onto the stage to sing ‘the drunken sailor’ as a finale which was well received.
Holy Mass on the Sunday morning was celebrated on the hotel premises and led by Fr Peter Brown.
A roast lunch followed with grace being recited by Fr Brown. Tony Baker then delivered a brief speech thanking all the brothers and wives who had attended. The many audience members warmly thanked Tony and Val for the trouble they had gone to in making the weekend such a massive success.
In June Tony had been presented with a scroll commemorating his 50 years membership of the Association. He joined the Circle in 1971 and became its president in 1988.
His main occupation was in sales, but he had several other interests including the management of local music bands. After several years business experience, he set up his own marketing company and began eventually to specialise in barn conversions, for which he won several awards.
His 50 years membership coincided with his 50th wedding anniversary, and to cap it all he was elected Provincial President for the year 2021-22.
Pictured above are the Catenians at their north Norfolk weekend. From left to right – Francis Harmer, President of the Norwich Circle, Fr Peter Brown, Val Baker alongside husband Tony Baker, Provincial President, and David Mullen, vice president of the Billericay Circle. Below is a train from the Poppyline.