It was Napoleon who said ‘every soldier carries a field marshal’s baton in his knapsack’. In other words coming up through the ranks is never an obstacle to high or worthwhile office. This year’s President Roger Mullin is most definitely a ‘through the ranks’ man. Into his second term, the first was in 1997, he left school at 16, was a Queen’s Scout, and a senior manager in the telecommunications industry.

Roger was born in Liverpool on 12th August 1943 so will reach the magic ’70’ mark this coming summer. He attended Dovedale Road School before switching to the catholic St.Anthony of Padua from where after 11+ he moved on to De La Salle Grammar School, which became, on turning comprehensive in the 1970’s, the alma mater of Wayne Rooney.

On leaving school in 1959 Roger spent his whole life working in the telecommunications industry with the same company although through many changes of ownership starting as an apprentice engineer and taking on many roles, moving into management and working as part of a team developing management information systems. “I enjoyed every minute of it and although there were opportunities elsewhere I was happy to remain with the companies that came and went in my period of time there,” Roger explained.

A member of the scout movement for 19 years, Roger joined the cubs aged 7 and remained there for the next 19 years passing through the ranks becoming a Queen’s Scout, the highest honour in scouting, and a scout master. As a QS he met the Queen at Windsor for a Queen’s Scout parade in 1960.

“It was a great honour, a major highlight in my life and something I will treasure and remember for the rest of my life.” His scout troop was attached to his parish, St.Anthony of Padua, interestingly it was one of the few troops in England to be allowed to wear a kilt. “St.Anthony of Padua was a Franciscan and the Franciscans were the confessors to the Stuart kings so we were allowed to wear the Royal Stewart Tartan”, Roger explained (the different spelling is down to Mary Queen of Scots who changed the spelling to Stuart when living in France as the French had difficult pronouncing a ‘w’).

One instance to demonstrate the brotherhood of scouting was on a trip to Ampleforth. “We stayed in a nearby hotel,” Roger said. “We got talking to the manager and it turned out that he had been a member of the same scout troop. We spent a few hours reminiscing.”

At School, although by his own admission he was never a ‘world beater’, he played rugby and football. However, he played for the Old Boys XI where he was 3rd team captain and goal keeper and still has contact with some his contemporaries.

Today, he plays golf and is a member of Grange Park Golf Club. Other hobbies include gardening and DIY plus what he terms as pottering! “I was taking part in a survey and was asked my occupation to which I replied ‘professional potterer’. On retirement, the Circle Secretary Peter McBride, asked what change should be made to the Catenian National Directory – I have been shown as a ‘Professional Potterer’ ever since.

Roger is married to Sandra, his wife for 44 years and they have twin daughters Liz and Kate. He also has two brothers one lives in America, the other in Loughborough.

He is a parishioner at St.Julie’s where he tells anyone who asks he operates ‘back of house’ at Mass where he generally helps out, often being involved in providing first aid and recovering wandering children. Roger is Treasurer to the parish Social Committee and has organised the parish 200 Club for more than 10 years.

Roger has been a Catenian for 32 years and as well as serving a term as President in 1997 he was the Circle treasurer for 11 years. He will be inducted for his second term at the circle AGM on Wednesday 1st May. “It is a great honour to be President and doubly so to be asked a second time,” Roger confessed.

By Geoff Lightfoot

 


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