News Around The Province



Festival Jewels Presented at Regattas Lodge
25 Jul 2017
At the recent Regattas Lodge meeting the Lodge Visiting Officer, W.Bro. Roy Simmonds, entertained the brethren with one or two thoughts on jewels and medals in general and then proceeded to present Festival Patron jewels to the WM (W.Bro. Dr David Reeves) and Bro Secretary (W.Bro. Paul Denison-Edson). W.Bro. Dowdney was unfortunately not present to receive his jewel.
During the evening it was announced that at the October meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge W.Bro. Huw Shooter would receive his first (Oxfordshire) appointment to the rank of PPrGSwdB, that W.Bro. David Jenkin would be appointed PPrJGD and that W.Bro. Mark Nixon would be promoted to PPrSGD.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Roy Simmonds (Visiting Officer), W.Bro. Paul Denison-Edson (Secretary),
W.Bro. Dr David Reeves (WM) and W.Bro. Alan Knowles, APrGM
Wychwood Lodge Donation to Prostate Cancer Research
25 Jul 2017
Wychwood Lodge, Burford has donated £500 to Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds. The gift has been credited to Prostate Cancer Research and Development where it will help make a difference to both patients and their families. Prostate Cancer has affected Wychwood members and their families in the past and the Lodge is delighted to support this worthy cause.
 
W.Bro. Alistair Eden presents the cheque to
Cynthia Charlett of ORH Charitable Funds and Sister Anna Gittins
St Edburg's Celebrate 30 Years With Double Raising
24 Jul 2017
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Knowles accompanied by W.Bro. Graham Ellis (PrGChStwd), W.Bro. Roy (Sonny) Timms (PrAGDC) and W.Bro. Graham Scothern (PrGStdB), escorted by W.Bro. Dave Roberts PrAGDC, saw W.Bro. Kevin Hilton (WM) very ably assisted by officers of the lodge raise Bro's Owen & Carder to the sublime degree of Master Masons.
The lodge also presented a cheque for the significant sum of £5,000 to W.Bro. Graham Ellis (PrGChStwd) to go to the 2022 festival. W.Bro. Ellis thanked St.Edburg's for its very generous donation.
The meeting was special as St Edburg's lodge was celebrating its 30th year since its consecration on 25th July 1987, with two of its founder members present - W.Bro's Andy Gordon & Bert Hough.
The evening was rounded off by a very enjoyable festive board at the Bicester Masonic Centre.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Graham Ellis (PrGChStwd), W.Bro. Graham Scothern (PrGStdB), W.Bro. Kevin Hilton (WM),
Bro. Rick Owen, Bro. Michael Carder, W.Bro. Alan Knowles (APGM), W.Bro. Sonny Timms (PrAGDC)
 
(L-R) Bro. Rick Owen, W.Bro. Graham Ellis (PrGChStwd), W.Bro. Ron George (ChStwd),
W.Bro. Kevin Hilton (WM), Bro. Michael Carder
New Portering Chair for the Witney Community Hospital
24 Jul 2017
The members of the Wychwood Lodge, Burford have bought a Portering Chair for the Witney Community Hospital. A number of brothers have been cared for there over the years and currently 91 year old W.Bro. Jim Lazenby is there recovering from pneumonia. The chair was presented to Judy White of The League of Friends of Witney Community Hospital.
 
W.Bro. Alistair Eden presents the Portering Chair to Judy White of the League of Friends of Witney
Community Hospital on behalf of the members of the Wychwood Lodge, Burford
 
W.Bro. Jim Lazenby test drives the new Portering Chair, accompanied by Hospital staff,
Lodge members and Judy White of the League of Friends
Oxfordshire Freemasons on Parade at the Witney Carnival
24 Jul 2017
No less than seventeen Oxfordshire Freemasons and three Lady Masons marked on a hot sunny day parading through Witney as part of the carnival procession.
It was good to see Brethren from outside Witney attending as well as Bro. Bruce Barrett with DPGM V.W.Bro. Neal Spencer on wheelchair duty on the day.
Everyone who joined the parade thoroughly enjoyed themselves and all received a very good reception from the crowds lining the streets.
This was first time in a very, very long time that Freemasons have paraded through the streets, certainly in Witney and maybe next year we can attract more brethren to brave the parade and meet the public!
After the parade all retired back to the Witney Masonic Centre for cold refreshments and to meet their families.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Worshipful Master brilliantly assisted by Past Masters in conducting 3nd degree ceremony
20 Jul 2017
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Knowles accompanied by W.Bro. Russell Fowler PrSGD, W.Bro. Bernie Wegerhoff (PrAGSec), W.Bro. Graham Scothern (PrGStdB), Bro. Roger Worrall (PrGStwd) & escorted by W.Bro. Dave Roberts PrAGDC, saw W.Bro. Nigel Payne PrGTyler raise Bro. Ian Drysdale to the sublime degree of a Master Mason in an excellent manner. The following brethren (to a man) superbly assisted the WM in the ceremony - W.Bro's Andy Pickwick, Peter Gilkes & Dennis White (Raising), W.Bro's Mike Allcott & Kevin Horswill (Traditional History) & W.Bro. Henry Franklin (Working Tools). A superb ceremony for all in attendance to witness.
The evening was rounded off by a very enjoyable festive board at the Banbury Masonic Centre.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Alan Knowles (APGM), Bro. Ian Drysdale,
W.Bro. Nigel Payne (WM / PrTyler), W.Bro. Tony Brace (PAGDC)
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Bernie Wegerhoff (PrAGSec), W.Bro. Russell Fowler (PrSGD),
W.Bro. Alan Knowles (APGM), Bro. Ian Drysdale, W.Bro. Nigel Payne (WM / PrTyler),
W.Bro. Tony Brace (PAGDC), W.Bro. Graham Scothern (PrGStdB), Bro. Roger Worrall (PrGStwd)
Thame Masonic Centre at The Thame Music Festival
16 Jul 2017
The Thame Masonic Hall was opened to the public on the 8th July in the heart of Thame where the very first Thame Music Festival was being held. The display was very prominently positioned with the main stage on the car park opposite, cakes sandwiches which had been donated the brethren were on sale plus Tea and Coffee A busy afternoon ensued, members were on hand to answer questions a great amount of interest was shown.
Particular thanks to the organizers W.Bro. Steve Warner, Bro. Chris Gresty, Noelle and Joanne with help from Bro. Byron Harvey, W.Bro. Stan Hearn, W.Bro. Ken Poyser and a special thanks to Bro. Peter Stevens who worked tirelessly from 12 noon until 6pm who helped sell, service, wash and pack up. The event raised through sales the total sum of £240 for the Alzheimer's UK.
 
Twenty members of Shiplake Lodge receive a 2022 Festival Steward's Jewel
13 Jul 2017
At the meeting of Shiplake Lodge No. 7942 on Monday 19th June, W.Bro. Graham Ellis (Provincial Grand charity Steward) presented 2022 Festival Steward's jewels to twenty active members of the Lodge. This followed a donation to the Festival of £6,000 by the Lodge.
W.Bro. Graham Ellis thanked the Lodge for their excellent start to the Festival.
Following the presentation Bro. Brad Cumbers and Bro. Grant Perrin were Passed to the Second Degree by the Worshipful Master (W.Bro. Colin Cregan) assisted by W.Bro. Derek Elliott (IPM) and W.Bro. Roger Seward.
The next two meetings of the Lodge are on Monday 21st August and Tuesday 17th October and will see the two Fellowcraft being Raised during which W.Bro. Eddie Brown will give the "walking charge". A seldom seen piece of ritual to which all are invited to enjoy.
Please contact Bro. Secretary: 07785 538219 or use our Contact Us page.
 
W.Bro. Graham Ellis, Provincial Grand Charity Steward (far left), and the Brethren of Shiplake Lodge
Visit to Wiltshire Installed Masters Lodge - The Titanic & Freemasonry
11 Jul 2017
On 30th June 2017, W.Bro. David Laidlaw, Worshipful Master and W.Bro. Andrew Trueman, Secretary, ventured some 60 miles to Devizes in Wiltshire for a meeting of the Wiltshire Installed Masters Lodge. Hospitality as usual was great, with a warm personal welcome from the Provincial Grand Master of Wiltshire.
Being honoured guests and seated in the East, we had a prime position to hear a detailed lecture on the Titanic by an enthusiast who clearly knew his history! The lecturer had conducted his own research to discover that there were a number of Freemasons on board, a few of which were amongst the survivors. A fascinating account gave the latest theories on why the ship sunk so quickly. One brother present spoke of his father being a radio operator on one of the ships close by and who had received the SOS messages that were being transmitted!
A filling festive board followed on the top table, with just two toasts streamlining the evening and sent us on our way in good time. Thanks Wiltshire Installed Masters!
 
(L-R) W.Bro. David Laidlaw, WM and W.Bro. Andrew Tiffin PPrSGW,
WM of the Wiltshire Installed Masters Lodge
Light Blues' Club Dinner
11 Jul 2017
The Light Blues Club organised a fantastic night out for brethren at the Cosmo World food buffet restaurant in Oxford on 23 June. 16 brethren inc partners met for pre-drinks at Beerd (a new craft beer bar on George St) before heading off for an eat as much as you like feast! Those who survived on onslaught of food, returned to Beerd for a few late night drinks to see the night off! A fun evening with brethren from across the Province having enjoying a night out together in Oxford. Next stop is a Punting and Picnic day in Oxford on Sat 12th August!
 
Buttercross Lodge Past Master's Dinner
09 Jul 2017
The Annual Buttercross Lodge PM's Dinner organised by W.Bro. John Gorton took place at the Witney Masonic Centre on Thursday 6th July. The guest of honour was W.Bro. Kevin Prior, current Master plus 14 former Masters of the Lodge.
We were fortunate in having 2 senior PM's present, W.Bro. Brian Key and W.Bro. Peter Laurence, PM's from 1969 and 1975 respectively.
The PM's enjoyed an excellent meal in very congenial company exchanging stories of past times when they were in the Chair!
W.Bro. John Stanley
 
Buttercross Lodge Past Master's Dinner
Regattas Lodge Pass Blockley Lodge member Bro. Martin Burgess to the 2nd Degree
09 Jul 2017
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Knowles accompanied by W.Bro. Stephen Quant PrGOrator & escorted by W.Bro. Dave Roberts PrAGDC, saw the WM of Regattas Lodge W.Bro. David Reeves pass Bro. Martin Burgess in an excellent manner. Congratulations to the candidate who answered the questions in a fine manner. A special mention goes to W.Bro. Eric Warmington of the Blockley Lodge who gave a superb rendition of the extended, extended 2nd Degree Tracing Board. W.Bro's Roger Hazelden & Mike Tombs from Blockley Lodge were also in attendance to give their support, with W.Bro. Hazelden presenting the 2nd Degree tools.
The evening was rounded off by an excellent festive board at which an exceptional amount of money was raised for charity.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Alan Knowles (APGM), Bro. Martin Burgess, W.Bro. David Reeves (WM)
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Eric Warmington (Blockley), W.Bro. Mike Tombs (Blockley), W.Bro. Alan Knowles (APGM),
Bro. Martin Burgess (Blockley), W.Bro. David Reeves (WM Regattas), W.Bro. Roger Hazelden (Blockley)
Cardinal House. Update 29th June 2017
30 Jun 2017
Cardinal House. Update 29th June 2017
Facing brickwork nearing completion
Early stages of roof construction
Existing roof tiles being stripped back under ecological supervision
Roy Simmonds.
Lead Director (Properties) OMHC Ltd
Witney Masonic '300' Festival
27 Jun 2017
The Witney Masonic Centre opened on Sunday 18th June for the Witney Masonic '300' Festival, celebrating the Tercentenary with the local community.
The event was in the Centre and for the first time ever, on the green in front of it. The new Provincial tent, fairground ride and BBQ were on the green with plenty of room for the Teddy Bears Picnic! Local school children were invited along with their family and were encouraged to bring their teddies to picnic on the green! Unfortunately the weather was too good, being the hottest day of the year! Those that gallantly left their houses to attend, drifted inside the Centre to keep cool, with displays from local community groups (e.g. Karate, Irish Dancing) providing entertainment! The Masonic temple and museum were both open for the public to view, with much interest from those that came to see what all the fuss is about!
 
The idea of the Festival was to connect with the local community and as a first attempt, certainly did just that! There are plans to do something similar next year. The event raised nearly £300 with Witney lodges looking to top up the funds to give a great donation to the Teddies for Loving Care Appeal. Over 2m teddies have been given to children in A&E departments across the country through the appeal, including in the JR Hospital in Oxford.
Cllr Chris Woodward, Mayor of Witney and Cllr Mrs Lynn Little, Mayor of Carterton were in attendance and assisted W.Bro. Alan Knowles, Assistant Provincial Grand Master to unveil a new plaque, marking 300 years of English Freemasonry!
A fantastic, if not hot, day was had by all!
 
 
Scouting and Freemasonry: Creating Local Connections
24 Jun 2017
Click on any image below to view the document.
Oxford United Football Club's Walking Football Team
12 Jun 2017
Steve Pope fresh from his success as part of the team that won the Tercentenary Coarse Angling Inter Province Competition. Steve was selected to represent Oxford United Football Club's Walking Football Team, to play in goal. The team having only been put together two weeks ago, took part in their first League Match on Sunday. The team entered into the Thames Valley Walking Football league which consists of 12 teams of players over age 50, the league having already started. The matches are held at the superb facilities at Bisham Abbey near Marlow. The team were at a disadvantage as all the other teams had played 10 games. However with 3 wins one draw and a loss beating top of the League High Wycombe, Oxford were soon off the bottom of the league. Another player in the team is Andy Kitchen, son in law of Paul Kiefer another Oxfordshire Mason.
 
Cardinal House Update
13 Jun 2017
Brethren, you have all been kept up to date over the last few months regarding building progress at Cardinal House. As you have seen, the building process, under the watchful and expert eye of Roy Simmonds, has progressed well, and completion is expected late summer to early Autumn.
While all this has been going on, the Committee has been hard at work dealing with the business of getting the new building ready for occupation and subsequent day-to-day running. This has been, and continues to be, an extremely time-consuming and protracted process, and individual members of the Committee have put in a phenomenal amount of time and effort to ensure that the new Oxford Centre will be something of which we can all be proud. Any perceived delays in publishing information have been purely because of the efforts made by these brethren to ensure that the users of the new Centre get the best possible value for money, both in terms of accommodation and dining – something dear to every mason's heart!
There are still some details to be finalised, but the following costings should be sufficient to enable users to prepare their budgets, and also to allay any concerns among those units who have yet to make a firm commitment. These costings apply to regular users who have entered into a User Agreement, which is in the process of being drawn up.
Firstly, there will be no charge for any units meeting at Cardinal House during the remainder of 2017, and the charges specified will remain in force until the end of 2019.
Regular users will pay £12.50 per member per meeting – for example, the annual charge for a unit with 40 members meeting 6 times, will be £3000. This will include 2 free rehearsal or LOI/ Committee meetings per regular meeting, so a unit meeting 6 times a year will be able to have 12 rehearsal or LOI meetings at no extra charge – these meetings to take place in the Temple when available. The precept quoted above is the same as was charged at 333, therefore taking into account the general rise in costs over the last four years, the price of meeting at Cardinal House has gone down. If the Temple is occupied by another unit's regular meeting, the rehearsal/ LOI meeting will take place in the Ground Floor room currently referred to as the Committee Room. Meetings and rehearsals will be prioritised in the Centre Diary, booked annually in advance, and every effort will be made to accommodate Lodges' needs with regard to rehearsals and LOIs. Any additional one-off meetings in the Committee Room will be charged at a nominal rate of £15.
Dining Charges for all users are anticipated at £18 for two courses, £22-23 for three courses, inclusive of tea and coffee. Meals will be served by uniformed staff. The contract about to be entered into will provide a top class level of dining and service. Bar prices are being finalised, but will be comparable with those of other similar Masonic Centres.
All prices quoted above are inclusive of VAT.
Brethren, it has been a long haul, but we are very nearly there. Be in no doubt that the new Oxford Centre will be a great place to meet and dine, and that it will be a credit to us all. Its location will provide a springboard for future growth in that part of the Province which has been under-represented for too long, and will, over time, help to redress the balance. It is time to stop taking a parochial view, and think in terms of the long term future of masonry in Oxfordshire as a whole. I urge you to give the new Centre your support – in the longer term we will all benefit from its success.
W.Bro. R.J. Bridger PJGD
Isis Lodge raises money for Emergency Blood Bikers
12 Jun 2017
At the Islip lodge of Instruction Festival White Table meeting, held on Friday 9th June, one of the members of the Emergency Blood Bikers Bikes gave an excellent talk on the service they provide in medical emergencies. The evening raised £170.00 for the Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Northamptonshire (OBN) Emergency Blood Bikers, who like the Air Ambulance operate totally on voluntary donations.
 
Gateway Lodge No. 8501 Donation
12 Jun 2017
Mr & Mrs Ralphs of Botley threw open their garden to host a BBQ in aid of BLESMA. W.Bro. Bill Butcher attended and presented a cheque from Gateway Lodge No. 8501.
 
(L-R) Rose Ralphs, W.Bro. Bill Butcher and Dave Ralphs
Aelfric Lodge No. 8926 Double Passing
12 Jun 2017
The Brethren of Aelfric Lodge passed two candidates on behalf of Blockley Lodge in a splendid manner at Woodstock Masonic Hall.
 
(L-R) Bro. Torre, W.Bro. Roger Hazledean, the APGM W.Bro. Alan Knowles,
W.Bro. Ray Calleja WM, W.Bro. Simon Watson and Bro. Nokandeh
Churchill Lodge No. 478 Provincial Team Visit
12 Jun 2017
At the end of season meeting for Churchill Lodge No. 478, the WM was delighted to welcome the Provincial Grand Master and his team of officers attended by the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies W.Bro. Michael Murphy.
The WM then proceeded with a 2nd Degree ceremony of Passing for Bro. Matthew Fisher ably assisted by the officers of the Lodge.
A busy and jovial Festive Board rounded off the evening with the usual Churchill style.
 
(L-R) Dale R. Osborne PrJGW, Roy G. Timms PrAGDC, Jacob J.H. Ward PrGStB,
Christopher J. Davis PrGAlm (front), Nigel C. Payne PrGTyler (rear), Keith F. Harvey PrGMentor,
Thomas A.W. Edwards PrSGD, Neal C. Spencer DPGM, Bernd Wegerhoff PrAGSec,
Philip F. Harley WM PrGReg, Michael J. Murphy PrDGDC, James R.G. Hilditch PGM
Graham P. Ellis PrGChStwd, Roger W. Worrall PrGStwd, Robert Greenwell PrGSwdB,
Stephen L. Bentall PrGStwd, Barrie Scott PrJGD, Peter D. Smith PrGOrg,
Stephen G. Morrell PrGStwd, Russell D. Fowler PrSGD and David M. Roberts PrAGDC
Windsor Raceday & Concert Final Details
10 Jun 2017
WINDSOR RACEDAY & CONCERT FINAL DETAILS
Brethren,
The Tercentenary Celebrations at Windsor Racecourse are fast approaching and with four weeks to go, now is the ideal time for me to let you have the details of the day. On line Tickets will be posted over the next week direct from the Racecourse.
The gates will open at 12.10pm and the first race will start at 2.10pm. Parking is free on site, the earlier you arrive, the closer to the entrance will you be able to park. Car parking for Hospitality guests is to the rear of the Hospitality Marquees and is sign posted at the Racecourse, and there is a separate area for those who have booked coaches to park.
There will be seven races sponsored by various Masonic Orders with the last race starting at 5.20pm.
The Race times are approximate, pending any possible stewards' enquiries.
In the centre of the course, there is a free funfair, face painting and pony rides for children and numerous other attractions.
At approximately 6.00pm the headline act, Tony Hadley, will appear on the main stage and the day is expected to end at around 7.30pm.
Coaches and Taxis will need to be booked for your return journey to suit those approximate times.
There are plenty of dining options available and these can be viewed at: www.windsor-racecourse.co.uk, as well as numerous food outlets around the paddock lawn. You also have the option to take a picnic with you. The Racecourse operates three strict rules, no gazebo, no ball games and no bringing alcohol in to the venue.
The tickets you have purchased through the website or our sales team are for the Club Enclosure, which gives you access to all areas of the course apart from hospitality areas, private clubs or corporate boxes.
The Racecourse operates a smart casual dress code for the Club Enclosure, Smart jeans (no rips, tears or fraying) are acceptable as are smart tailored shorts, but trainers, sports-wear, cargo style shorts and flip flops will not be permitted.
Gentlemen are requested to wear a collared shirt.
I look forward to welcoming you all to this fantastic family day out and joining me to celebrate 300 years of Freemasonry.
R.W. Bro. James R.G. Hilditch
Provincial Grand Master.
Powerlifting World Champions!!!
07 Jun 2017
W.Bro. Mark Anderson (PM Butttercross Lodge No. 7240) and his family from Witney, decided to take up serious bench pressing.
12 months later Mark, wife Lucy and son Ryan all qualified for the world championships.
Although Mark, had ambitions to reach to become world champion in his age group, Lucy and Ryan were both new to the sport.
All three members of the family had qualified for the BDFPA (British Drug Free Powerlifting Association) British Championship held in Kings Lynn.
Their aim was for each to finish in the top three of their category, as this would qualify them for the world championships to be held in Antwerp on June 2.
The results were spectacular as all three finished first in the British championship!!
On 2nd June all three competed at the World Drug Free Powerlifting Association Championships in Antwerp and WON!!
 
(L-R) Ryan, Mark and Lucy
Woodstock Masonic Hall opens its doors to the public
07 Jun 2017
W.Bro. Brian Mayling, the Woodstock Masonic Hall Secretary, described their Open Day last Saturday as an outstanding success!
Although it did not generate as many enquiries for membership as hoped for, the event produced some surprising and unexpected bonuses.
The whole exercise involved a lot of work and planning and all the Lodges and their Ladies, at the Hall contributed in a joint effort. The event was advertised in the local newspaper, leaflets were posted to local properties and fliers circulated on the day around the Town. The display gazebo was erected on the main road through Woodstock Town, the Hall and Temple were prepared for visitors with complimentary tea, coffee and cakes and the bar was opened.
 
What followed was very enjoyable indeed! The profile of Freemasonry considerably enhanced by hundreds of vehicles and pedestrians noting the display gazebo in a very prominent situation. Several prominent and distinguished neighbours and dignitaries visited the Hall and Temple and we received many complimentary and favourable comments from them. Therefore, we have established a good relationship and made some very useful contacts with the local community. But, possibly the most surprising benefit was to our own family and friends! For while they often attend Masonic social events, Ladies festivals and White tables they never really get see and understand the importance of our work in the Temple. This had been meticulously prepared with a display of aprons depicting the various degrees, officer's collars positioned at the appropriate stations and many more items to promote questions and discussion, all supported by some very pleasant and appropriate background music. Many of the wives and partners enthusiastically raised many questions and now have a much better understanding of what we do and why we value our ceremonies so much.
In summary, it has been a terrific team building exercise for everyone involved in the Hall and I am sure we have laid the foundations for much bigger and better things in the future.
 
Provincial Mentoring Workshops - Woodstock Saturday 27th May 2017
07 Jun 2017
It has been quite some time since any kind of get together or meeting of the Provinces Lodge Mentors has taken place, in fact I have never been to one where there was any kind of training or information, advice or guidance on how to mentor effectively was given so it was past high time that the Provincial Mentoring Team of W.Bro's John Hayward, Klaus Hodge and myself got things up and running. John and Klaus are the two Deputy Provincial Grand Mentors and have been exemplary in their help and guidance in getting this workshops together so it as with a little sense of uncertainty that we set up and awaited our "delegates" to arrive for the 10 o'clock start. Luckily I had obtained, plugged in and tested the projector and equipment the day before with the help of Klaus so that we knew that all those hours of struggling with writing scripts, "Power Point" and slides would not be in vain. Klaus supplied the tea, coffee, milk and even some biscuits as we promised and, as it was warm, I supplemented that with some squash. No expense spared here you know! Sorry guys, no bar today. Being drunk in charge of a projector isn't wise.
We weren't to be disappointed as eighteen turned up which was a few more than booked in but they were all very welcome. The show got under way after the usual introductions from around the table and such diverse subjects as the structure of the Provincial Mentoring Team, What is mentoring, planning, keeping records and supporting your candidates was covered and discussed as a group. Where to obtain useful information and even some recommendations of mentoring books as well as the need to work together to share best practice were all discussed in detail.
 
John Hayward presented his methods and ideas with respect to centre co-ordinators and Klaus covered the need for good social events to foster a sense of belonging, especially for new members and the need to support Light Blues events as this will ensure the future of masonry in the Province.
So a very good Saturday morning indeed with those attending gaining a lot from the event and a very positive response with good feedback from everyone. We will be holding another event in the near future based on this first "basic training" format but will try and improve as we go along.
A special thank you from me must go to W.Bro. Klaus Hodge for the use of Woodstock Masonic Hall and John Hayward for his valuable advice and support and also to Raymond Callega for helping me and Klaus with kitchen duties. Finally to all those who turned up and supported this first event. Your enthusiasm and positive contribution is very much appreciated and proves that we are on the right road to strengthening the Province of Oxfordshire through our vital work with our candidates who are joining us in ever greater numbers.
Keith Harvey
Provincial Grand Mentor
Norton Lodge White Table
26 May 2017
The Norton Lodge No. 8872 held a very enjoyable White table event on Wednesday 24th May 2017.
A very short lodge meeting was held and the lodge was honoured with a visit from the Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan P. Knowles accompanied by the Past Provincial Grand Registrar W.Bro. Paul G. Buck
The Brethren and Ladies then received a most enjoyable talk from Puppy Socialiser for Dogs for Good Mrs Christine Parrett along with husband Alan and 10 month old Cassie (who will go into training at around 14 months just before Christmas) about the splendid work they do for people with varying disabilities from young children through to adults.
37 Brethren and Ladies then sat for an excellent meal where a gift aid envelope collection took place for Dogs for Good.
 
(L-R) Alan P. Knowles APGM, Mrs Christine Parrett along with Cassie and W.Bro. Richard C. Tew WM
Cardinal House. Update 25th May 2017
25 May 2017
Cardinal House. Update 25th May 2017
Scaffolding erected, facing stone & brick courses being laid
Of most importance, construction of the Bar Store
Crane on site, precast concrete 1st floor planks lifted in position
Roy Simmonds.
Lead Director (Properties) OMHC Ltd
Weyland Lodge Hold An Extra Meeting
16 May 2017
Weyland Lodge are in the fortunate position of having a backlog of ceremonies to conduct. To assist in the progression of their candidates becoming Master Masons they decided to hold an emergency meeting, and on 17 May passed Bro. Nicholas Allen to the degree of a Fellow Craft.
Their meeting at Bicester was witnessed by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, who was escorted by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies. The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, who is a member and Past Master of the Lodge, was also in attendance.
Worshipful Master Harry Hebborn and his team conducted a most proficient ceremony which was duly appreciated by the candidate.
The caterer, Sue Rapley, is shortly leaving Weyland Hall. To show their appreciation of her service over the years the Lodge presented her with a small gift during the festive board.
 
(L-R) APrGM, DPrGM, W.Bro. Harry Hebborn, Bro. Nicholas Allen
Double Initiation at Shiplake Lodge
17 May 2017
The Worshipful Master of Shiplake Lodge, W.Bro. Colin Cregan assisted by W.Bro. Roger Seward, Initiated Mr Bradley Cumbers and Mr Grant Perrin in splendid style and sincerity.
The Working Tools were presented by W.Bro. Roger Beavis and the Charge after Initiation by W.Bro. Ian Ford-Batey, Worshipful Master of the Temple Island Lodge.
At the Third Rising the Brethren of Shiplake Lodge voted to transfer £6,000.00 from the Relief Chest to the 2022 Festival.
The Visiting Officer, W.Bro. Brian Fairweather, led the assembled gathering in the Entered Apprentice's song to round off an excellent evening of Masonry and friendship.
The next meeting of the Shiplake Lodge will be on Monday 19th June at 6.30pm at Henley when both Bro. Cumbers and Bro. Perrin will be Passed.
Father Initiates Stonemason Son
16 May 2017
The meeting of Round Table Lodge of Oxfordshire No. 9509 at Bicester on Monday 15 May was honoured by a visit from the Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. James Hilditch.
The PrGM was accompanied by; the Provincial Grand Chaplain, W.Bro. Geoffrey Bourne-Taylor. A Provincial Grand Steward Bro. Roger Worrall, and escorted by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies W.Bro. Alan Baverstock.
W.Bro. Robin Barter relinquished the Chair in favour of the Senior Deacon of the Lodge, W.Bro. Rory Gear who proceeded to initiate his son Alexander Gear, whose profession is that of an Operative Stonemason.
All present enjoyed a well executed ceremony and fully appreciated the splendid occasion of a father being able to initiate his son into the Lodge, thereby becoming Brothers.
 
(L-R) Alexander and Rory Gear
 
(L-R) PrGM, Robin Barter, Alexander Gear, Rory Gear
200th Meeting of Upper Thames Lodge No. 8696
16 May 2017
The 200th meeting of the Upper Thames Lodge proved to be a very busy night, starting with a delegation from Hampden Lodge No. 6290 delivering the Travelling Gavel to safe keeping of the Worshipful Master. This was promptly followed by the initiation of Bro. Mark Newnham. W.Bro. Brian McDonald, who celebrates 50 years of being a Freemason, was then presented with gifts from the members to mark not only his wonderful achievement but to acknowledge the dedication and commitment he has, over nearly 40 years, shown to Upper Thames.
The proceedings in the Temple were followed by a Festive Board that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
 
(L-R) V.W.Bro. Phillip Purves (VO), Bro. Mark Newnham, W.Bro. Shahid Butt (WM Upper Thames),
W.Bro. Vaughan Humphries (WM Hampden), Bro. Jamie Bennett (Senior Warden and Master Elect)
and W.Bro. Brian McDonald
Busy night at Rathcreedan Lodge No. 8690 Installation plus Festival Donation
10 May 2017
The 248th meeting of Rathcreedan Lodge No. 8690 saw the Installation of W.Bro. Nigel Charles Payne into the Chair of King Solomon along with his Senior Warden, Bro. Mark Turner and his Junior Warden, Bro. Kevin Wright.
The ceremony was witnessed by 71 Brethren including the Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Oxfordshire, Worshipful Brother Alan Peter Knowles.
During the 2nd Rising, the APGM was presented with a cheque for £1500 toward the 2022 Festival.
 
Provincial Grand Officers Announcement
09 May 2017
  Transcript of the RW Provincial Grand Master's announcement regarding the new Provincial Grand Officers, delivered at the Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters last night.  
WM, Bro Wardens and Brethren
In any province, the Lodge of Installed Masters is one of the more important Lodges. It provides the perfect opportunity for Masters across the province, present and past, to come together to renew friendships and make further advancement in Masonic knowledge. It is pleasing that our numbers are increasing, but we have a long way to go to match other provinces, and it is down to all of us, not just the provincial executive and the executive of this lodge to encourage the PMs of our own Lodges to join.
To emphasise the importance of this Lodge, I will from time to time be using it for important matters in the Province. It is no accident that this Lodge will be sponsoring the new Provincial Stewards Lodge. And this meeting in May is usually ideally timed for me to make the announcement of key appointments in the Provincial Team, so attendance at this meeting will allow you to say that you heard it here first.
Come October, W Bro Alan Knowles will have completed a three year term of office as Assistant Provincial Grand Master. When I first called to offer him the position, he was somewhat disbelieving, as some of his so called friends had also been phoning him pretending to be me and making the same offer. He called me back the same day, to check it really was me, and the following day to check he had not been dreaming. Even then he was convinced that it was only a one year appointment and that he would be replaced the following October. Alan has been enormously effective as my Assistant and his passion for the Craft can be measured in the number of visits he had done over the last three years. He has also taken responsibility for our Tercentenary activities, which culminate in July at the Windsor Race day. I am very grateful for the support that he has given me and the province over the three years and it is only fitting that the Grand Master recently promoted him to the rank of PSGD. I know he will continue to visit and I am sure that we have not heard the last of his fascinating lectures.
I am pleased to announce that Alan will be succeeded by W Bro Graham Ellis as APGM. Graham was initiated in 1996 and became a member of this province in 2000 when he joined Upper Thames Lodge. Graham has been active in this province since 2011 when he became AGDC, a post he held for 2 years before being promoted to DepGDC for a further two years. Last year, I appointed him Charity Steward and invited him to take on the role of Chairman of the 2022 Festival for the MCF. He has performed that role effectively and with enthusiasm – the Festival is well and truly launched and pledges of over £100k have already been received. He will continue in this role, with the added authority of wearing a chain as APGM. I look forward to continuing to work with him over his term of office.
The wardens in this province also fulfil an important role, representing me at a good number of installation meetings. I am also asking them this year to get more involved in driving the Light Blues Club forward, in recognition of the importance of that group of Freemasons and the positive effect they have on our future.
The next Senior Warden will be W Bro Chris Beckley. Chris was initiated into Weyland Lodge back in 1979 and was installed as its WM in 1998. Since then he has held the office of DC for 8 years and has held the important offices of Mentor and Royal Arch Representative for a number of years. He was first rewarded with provincial rank in 2004 before being promoted to Active Superintendent of Works in 2010. I know he will get around the province during his year of office and I look forward to working with him.
W Bro Mike Smail will be the next Junior Warden. Mike was initiated into Rathcreedan Lodge in 1993 and was installed as WM in 2003. Since 2006, he has been the Lodge Almoner. He was appointed to Active Provincial Rank in 2008 as Junior Deacon and was subsequently promoted to Past Superintendent of Works. I know he too will get around the province during his year of office and I also look forward to working with him.
I also want to announce one other important change. W Bro Gurminder Singh was elected as Provincial Treasurer in October 2015. Since then, his professional life has changed and he now spends a lot of his time overseas. Recognising that he cannot do the Treasurer's job effectively, he has asked to step down from office, which I have accepted. He is replaced with immediate effect by W Bro Richard Skym of Amery Lodge. Richard is a very experienced Treasurer, having held the equivalent rank in other orders in other provinces, and we are very fortunate that he has agreed to take on this role.
The rest of the provincial appointments and promotions will be announced on the website as soon as everyone has responded.
RW Bro James Robert Guy Hilditch
Provincial Grand Master
Maid's Head Demonstration Team Perform at Installed Masters
09 May 2017
The meeting of Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters No. 7770 held at Thame on 08 May was treated to a performance of "Orleans: Grand Master of a Revolution" by The Maid's Head Lodge No. 8858 Demonstration Team who had travelled from Norfolk.
The play, which was performed in a most professional manner, provided a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge by depicting a story of the French Revolution and the involvement of Louis-Phillippe d'Orleans, Duke of Chartres and Grand Master of the Orient, King Louis XVI, and Robespierre.
 
Father installs Son at Old Saint Edward's Installation meeting
09 May 2017
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Knowles accompanied by W.Bro. Phil Harley PrGReg, W.Bro. Russell Fowler PrSGD and escorted by W.Bro. Dave Roberts PrAGDC, along with brethren from Cornwall, Derbyshire, Germany & Hungary to name a few, saw W.Bro. Martyn Prior install his son W.Bro. Kevin Prior into the chair of King Solomon in an excellent manner. W.Bro. Graham provided excellent support as 'Wing Man' to the installing master and a superb 'Address to the Master' was given by W.Bro. John Gregory of the Vulcan Lodge No 4382, Derbyshire.
It was a first for many of the brethren in attendance, as the installation of the new WM was carried out using 'Ancient Workings'.
The afternoon was rounded off by an excellent festive board at the Witney Masonic Centre. A special mention must be given to W.Bro. John Bush also of the Vulcan Lodge who gave us a brilliant rendition of the master's song. A voice to be proud of.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Alan Knowles (APGM), W.Bro. Kevin Prior (WM), W.Bro. Martyn Prior (IM)
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Phil Harley (PrGReg), W.Bro. Alan Knowles (APGM), W.Bro. Kevin Prior (WM),
W.Bro. Martyn Prior (IM), W.Bro. Colin Kennedy PAGDC, W.Bro. Russell Fowler (PrSGD)
 
The short and the tall of it. Masons come in all sizes.
(L-R) W.Bro. Dave Roberts (PrAGDC), W.Bro. Alex Young (IPM), W.Bro. Russell Fowler (PrSGD)
You wait nine years for an Apprentice and then three come along at once!
07 May 2017
Like the old Routemaster bus, The Temple Island Lodge No. 8031 wasn't going anywhere. That is until W.Bro. Chris Wagstaff and W.Bro. Roy Simmonds introduced three new initiates between them – in one year.
"I was the last Initiate in 2008", said the Worshipful Master, Ian Ford-Batey. "To have three during my year in office has been a great honour for me and a real shot in the arm for Temple Island".
Wednesday night's ceremony was a triumph of cooperation between members of Temple Island, with W.Bro. Chris Wagstaff taking the chair to initiate his candidate and friend Mr Jeremy Sidgwick.
The highlight of the ceremony was when Stuart Bindley-Ross, the first initiate of the year, (also Jeremy's friend and who was unaware that Stuart had become a mason) presented to Jeremy perfectly the Working Tools of an Entered Apprentice.
The Festive Board that followed continued the spirit of the evening with good cheer, short speeches and excellent company. It all ended with a stirring rendition of the Apprentice's song and an unbroken chain of over 30 Masons, which included the Provincial Grand Master of Oxfordshire and other visiting Grand Officers.
With more Initiates in the pipeline, it's 'all aboard' for another great year at The Temple Island Lodge No. 8031.
 
(L-R) Stuart Bindley-Ross, Jeremy Sidgwick, Ian Ford-Batey, PrGM and Sean Masterman
 
(L-R) Stuart Bindley-Ross, Chris Wagstaff, Jeremy Sidgwick, PrGM, Sean Masterman and Roy Simmonds
Founder Member Installed as Master of Witta's Island Lodge
07 May 2017
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Knowles accompanied by W.Bro. Dale Osborne PrJGW, W.Bro. Bob Greenwell PrGSwdB, W.Bro. Russell Fowler PrSGD, W.Bro. Jacob Ward PrGStdB, Bro. Roger Worrall PrGStwd and escorted by W.Bro. Dave Roberts PrAGDC, along with 60+ brethren saw founder member W.Bro. Robert (Barney) Barnfield installed in the chair of King Solomon with great sincerity by W.Bro. David Hutton.
In the risings W.Bro. David Shorten the lodge Charity Steward presented a cheque for £3000 from the Witta's Island Lodge to the Asst Provincial Grand Master to go towards the Masonic Charitable Foundation Festival. The Asst Provincial Grand Master accepted the cheque on behalf of the province and thanked Witta's Island Lodge for its excellent contribution.
The evening was rounded off by a jovial festive board and a thunderous visitors song from the Witta's Island choir.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Alan Knowles (APGM), W.Bro. 'Barney' Barnfield (WM) and W.Bro. David Hutton (IM)
 
(L-R) Bro. Roger Worrall (PrGStwd), W.Bro. Bob Greenwell (PrGSwdB), W.Bro. Alan Knowles (APGM),
W.Bro. 'Barney' Barnfield (WM), W.Bro. David Hutton (IM), W.Bro. Dale Osborne (PrJGW),
W.Bro. Russell Fowler (PrSGD) and W.Bro. Jacob Ward (PrGStdB)
Alfred Lodge Donation to 2022 Festival
03 May 2017
At Alfred Lodge's May meeting the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Rick Trotman, was pleased to present a cheque for £1,250 for the 2022 Festival to the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, W.Bro. Graham Ellis.
Also present were 4 other Active Provincial Grand Officers, headed by the Provincial Junior Grand Warden, W.Bro. Dale Osborne.
After the Lodge meeting an excellent Festive Board was, as usual, enjoyed by all.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Rick Trotman (WM), W.Bro. Dale R. Osborne PrJGW and W.Bro. Graham Ellis PrGChStwd
Travelling Gavel arrives in Thame
26 Apr 2017
The Province's Travelling Gavel has recently passed through the hands of the masters of both Universities' Scheme lodges in the Province: first Apollo University Lodge and then Blockley Lodge (the new Scheme lodge for Oxford Brookes' University). It's therefore fitting that the Masters of both Lodges were present to see it handed over to Hampden Lodge No. 6290 at its last meeting of the season in Thame on Friday 21 April.
After the deputation had transferred the Gavel in to the safe hands of W.Bro. Vaughan Humphries, W.M. of Hampden, they settled down to watch a delightful passing ceremony in which Bro. Chris Murray took his second degree, including memorable "extended" explanations both of the Working Tools and of the Tracing Board by Hampden's Junior and Senior Warden respectively.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Paul Gerstmayr (W.M. of Apollo University Lodge),
W.Bro. Jim Matarazzo (W.M. of Blockley Lodge) and
W.Bro. Vaughan Humphries (W.M. of Hampden Lodge)
Shiplake Lodge Pledge £6,000 to Oxfordshire 2022 Festival Appeal
26 Apr 2017
Bro. Colin Cregan was installed into the chair of Shiplake Lodge by the Installing Master W.Bro. Derek Elliott with W.Bro. Allan S. Peates PrSGW representing the Provincial Grand Master supported by W.Bro. Dale R. Osborne PrJGW and W.Bro. Sonny Timms PrAGDC.
The ceremony and the festive board were enjoyed by all as Shiplake's inimitable manner ensured a balance of good ritual and relaxed bonhomie.
At the Third Rising, Bro. Dan Stalley (Charity Steward) gave notice of motion that Shiplake Lodge would donate £6,000 to the 2022 Festival and £500 to Wokingham Mencap.
The Lodge is looking forward to a summer of full meetings with a double Initiation on Monday 15th May, a double Passing on Monday 19th June and Raisings on Monday 21st August and Tuesday 17th October.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Dale R. Osborne PrJGW, W.Bro. Allan S. Peates PrSGW, W.Bro. Colin Cregan,
W.Bro. Derek Elliott, W.Bro. Roy 'Sonny' Timms PrAGDC
Oxfordshire represented at the refurbished Masonic Memorial
21 Apr 2017
The National Memorial Arboretum is a natural site of remembrance at Alewas, near Lichfield Staffordshire. Amongst the many memorials at the Arboretum, there has been a Masonic one in place for some years and in recent months the memorial underwent a redesign and refurbishment. The Masonic Memorial is a simple design with two pillars at the entrance, chequered pavement and a rough and a smooth ashlar.
The refurbished memorial is in memory of all Freemasons that have passed on to the Grand lodge above, not just those who died in a conflict.
On Tuesday the 18th April, the refurbished memorial was dedicated with a simple service with representatives from Grand Lodge, a number of Provinces and members of the public. W.Bro. Peter Smith and W. Bro. Bill Butcher represented their respective Lodges and Oxfordshire.
     
  The Masonic Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum   (L-R) W.Bro. Peter Smith and W. Bro. Bill Butcher      
Aelfric Lodge No. 8926 Installation
19 Apr 2017
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Ray Calleja (WM), together with the representative of the PGM, W.Bro. Allan Peates PrSGW
 
The WM with his Wardens, IPM, Grand Officers and other active Provincial Grand Officers
That face rings a bell...
18 Apr 2017
Yes, it's our Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Alan Knowles, who spent an enjoyable day at Bicester with the Brethren of Clavis Lodge No 8585, the Lodge for campanologists. Worshipful Master W.Bro. Martin Kirk, with the full support of the Brethren of Clavis initiated Bro. Bill Liebow in splendid fashion.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Alan Knowles, W.Bro. Martin Kirk and Bro. Bill Liebow
New blood is injecting new life into Temple Island Lodge No. 8031
16 Apr 2017
Close on the heels of Temple Island 8031's first Initiation in nine years held in February, a second Initiation was performed on Wednesday April 5th.
The candidate was Mr Sean Masterman introduced by W.Bro. Roy Simmonds and seconded by W.Bro. Owen Mott.
At only 25 years of age, Sean lowers the average age of the Lodge quite considerably and marks another step in bringing Temple Island into the modern world and helping to assure its survival.
The Initiation ceremony was performed by W.Bro. Ian Ford-Batey, in front of Brethren and guests made up from eleven different Lodges.
 
A rowdy and enjoyable Festive Board followed, with the Fire after the toasts getting better and better so the synchronisation of knocks and claps reached near perfection.
The highlight of the evening was three verses of the Apprentice's Song performed and brilliantly led by the V.W.Bro. Phillip Purves who was in excellent voice.
W.Bro. Ian Ford-Batey said:
It has been so long since we have sung the Apprentice's song that we needed someone who knew how to sing it! I hope by the end of the year we will have sung it several more times.
Watch this space!
Thames Lodge No. 1895 MCF 2022 Festival Donation
16 Apr 2017
Thames Lodge kicked started their participation in the Oxfordshire MCF 2022 Festival by presenting a cheque for £5000 to the Festival Chairman.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Stephen Quant (Charity Steward, Thames Lodge),
W.Bro. James Hurst (Worshipful Master, Thames Lodge) and
W.Bro. Graham Ellis (Festival Chairman)
Semper Paratus Lodge No. 3015 restores link to its history
16 Apr 2017
When ex-firefighter, W.Bro. Bob Greenwell acquired a bell formerly used on a London Fire Brigade Dennis fire engine and presented it to the Semper Paratus Lodge, little did he realise that he would be instrumental in rekindling one of the oldest traditions of the Lodge.
Bro. Secretary, W.Bro. Brian Mayling recalled seeing an article published by the "Freemasons" when reporting on the Lodge's Consecration on 9th January 1904. It carried a reference to the Lodge's expectation to provide a Masonic home for members of the National Fire Brigade's Union. And the following extract from that report draws an interesting analogy between the Fire service and Freemasonry:
an onlooker would think it wonderful how each man took his station, and everything was in order and regularity within one minute of ringing the fire bell
The bell has now been beautifully mounted and adorned with an assortment of Fire Service and Masonic emblems and badges by W.Bro. Karl Symes of the Alfred Lodge No. 340. It also carries a variety of Masonic symbolism so while it is a lovely piece of Lodge furniture it is also of great interest, the supporting columns "having been formed hollow..."?
The bell is used to call the Lodge and Festive board to order and the nine o'clock toast.
 
Ex-firefighter W.Bro. Bob Greenwell PrGSwdB with the bell
Cardinal House. Update 7th April 2017
08 Apr 2017
Cardinal House. Update 7th April 2017
11 courses of blockwork laid, ready for main coursing of stone & brick.
Timber roof structure to lodge room raised ready for structural steels.
Roy Simmonds.
Lead Director (Properties) OMHC Ltd
Cardinal House. Update 30th March 2017
02 Apr 2017
Cardinal House. Update 30th March 2017
I am currently visiting Cardinal House once or twice weekly, and pleased to report that since the departure of the bats the build programme has progressed according to programme with no secondary delays to date. The following has been completed :-
  Building stripped out.
  Trees and hedges cleared.
  Top soil removed from area which will form additional vehicle parking.
  Excavations for foundations (no bodies found).
  Concrete poured.
  Drainage laid.
  Brick and block laid to bearing level.
  Beam and block floor laid.
  8 courses of blockwork laid, ready for main coursing of stone & brick.
  Timber roof structure to main lodge room raised ready for structural steels.
Roy Simmonds.
Lead Director (Properties) OMHC Ltd
Round Table Lodge Donation to Radio Cherwell
30 Mar 2017
The Round Table Lodge of Oxfordshire has donated £500 to Oxford's Hospital radio station, Radio Cherwell, with a further £500 donation made by the Lodge's Senior Warden, Brother Alireza Vahdani.
Members of The Round Table Lodge of Oxfordshire discussed which charities in the county should benefit from a donation, and they chose to donate £500 to Radio Cherwell, after having heard about the work they do for the patients in Oxford's Hospitals.
The Senior Warden of the Round Table Lodge of Oxfordshire, Alireza Vahdani made contact with his family in Malaysia, who said they were willing to support a cause that the Lodge was supporting, meaning Radio Cherwell benefited from a further £500 donation to the station, making a grand total overall of £1,000.
The donation will help Radio Cherwell progress further as the station enters its fiftieth year of broadcasting, with special events planned for later in the year, which will take place across Oxford's Hospitals in Headington, including the John Radcliffe, Churchill and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.
Chairman Neil Stockton, pictured receiving the cheque, commented:
Donations are the life blood of our charity and the generosity of the Masons will enable us to continue the work of putting smiles on the faces of sick people.
Everybody at Radio Cherwell are grateful for the donation made by the Lodge and Mr Vahdani and his family.
 
(L-R) Bro. Chris Lloyd-Staples (JW), Bro. Martin Green (ChStwd & Radio Cherwell Secretary),
Neil Stockton (Radio Cherwell Chairman), W.Bro. Robin Barter (WM) and Bro. Alireza Vhadani (SW)
The 88th Installation Meeting at Calthorpe Lodge
25 Mar 2017
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Knowles accompanied by W.Bro. Dale Osborne PrJGW, W.Bro. Russell Fowler PrSGD, W.Bro. Graham Scothern PrGStdB and Bro. Roger Worrall PrGStwd escorted by W.Bro. Sonny Timms PrAGDC were in attendance to witness W.Bro. Yanto Evans being installed as the 88th Worshipful Master of the Calthorpe Lodge by the Installing Master W.Bro. James Watts which was carried out in an excellent manner. The investment of the Lodge officers then followed in a sincere and somewhat humorous manner as would be expected by W.Bro. Yanto Evans.
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Knowles was kept busy given the Address to the Brethren followed by presenting a Grand Lodge Certificate to Bro. Edd Frost. W.Bro. Ron Barnett as well as being invested as Lodge Treasurer was invested as Lodge "Digital Organist" (he operates the Laptop that plays the organ). There followed an excellent festive board with good fellowship fun and humorous toasts.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Sonny Timms PrAGDC, W.Bro. Graham Scothern PrGStdB,
Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Knowles, W.Bro. Yanto Evans,
W.Bro. Dale Osbourne PrJGW, Bro. Roger Worrall PrGStwd
Informative Talk on the life of John Hampden
25 Mar 2017
At a recent meeting of the Hampden Lodge No. 6290 the brethren were treated to a wonderfully informative talk on the life of John Hampden by the 10th Earl of Buckinghamshire, Mr George Miles Hobart-Hampden. The lodge was further honored by a visit from the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Alan Peter Knowles. The evening concluded with a most enjoyable festive board.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Vaughan Humphries (WM) presenting a cheque
(to the John Hampden Foundation) to George Miles Hobart-Hampden
with the Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Knowles
Weyland Installation attended by 70 plus Brethren
19 Mar 2017
The Provincial Grand Master RW.Bro. James Robert Guy Hilditch, accompanied by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Peter Knowles, W.Bro. Dale Osborne PrJGW, W.Bro. Tom Edwards PrSGD, W.Bro. Roy 'Sonny' Timms PrAGDC, W.Bro. Graham Scothern PrGStdB, W.Bro. Stephen Bentall PrGStwd, Bro. Roger Worrall PrGStwd and escorted by W.Bro. Dave Roberts PrAGDC, saw Bro. Harry Hebborn installed in the chair of King Solomon with great aplomb by W.Bro. Chris Beckley. A special mention for Bro. Anthony Edwards who presented the 2nd degree tools in an excellent manner. The address to the master was given by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master in a fine manner.
In the risings W.Bro. Peter Lindfield the new lodge Charity Steward presented a cheque for £3000 from the Weyland Lodge to the Provincial Grand Master to go towards the Masonic Charitable Foundation Festival. The Provincial Grand Master accepted the cheque on behalf of the province and thanked Weyland Lodge for its excellent contribution.
The evening was rounded off by a jovial festive board and a thoroughly entertaining speech by the new Worshipful Master.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Peter Linfield (Charity Steward), W.Bro. Harry Hebborn (WM),
RW.Bro. James Robert Guy Hilditch (PGM)
 
The WM, Officers and Brethren of the Weyland Lodge
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Stephen Bentall (PrGStwd), W.Bro. Alan Peter Knowles (APGM), W.Bro. Dale Osborne (PrJGW),
W.Bro. Chris Beckley (IM), W.Bro. Graham Scothern (PrGStdB), W.Bro. Harry Hebborn (WM),
W.Bro. Roy 'Sonny' Timms (PrAGDC), RW.Bro. James Robert Guy Hilditch (PGM), W.Bro. Tom Edwards (PrSGD), W.Bro. David Roberts (PrAGDC), Bro. Roger Worrall (PrGStwd)
Double Celebration for Bertie Lodge
17 Mar 2017
The Bertie Lodge No. 1515, had a double celebration on Thursday 9th March 2017, at the Woodstock Masonic Hall when W.Bro. Bob Simpson received from the R.W. Provincial Grand Master, his 50 year certificate in Freemasonry.
On the same evening, the WM invited W.Bro. Adrian Barlow to initiate his son Bro. Ryan Hedley Barlow that being a poignant and enjoyable occasion for both Bro Adrian and Bro Ryan.
The RW PGM was escorted by the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Mike Murphy, together with a splendid retinue of Active Provincial Officers. The ceremony was followed by a very enjoyable festive board.
 
(L-R) W.Bro Tony McCluskey (PAGDC), W.Bro Bob Simpson (PPrSGD),
W.Bro Alan Bovingdon-Cox WM (PPrSGD), PrGM
 
(L-R) W.Bro Adrian Barlow (PPrGSwdB), Bro Ryan Barlow,
W.Bro Alan Bovingdon-Cox WM (PPrSGD), PrGM
Cardinal House. Update 10th March 2017
14 Mar 2017
Cardinal House. Update 10th March 2017
Since my update of 20th February 2017:-
  Excavations for the extension have been completed.
  23 cubic metres of concrete have been poured.
  Construction of the brick and blockwork have commenced.
We remain on track for a September 2017 opening.
Roy Simmonds. Lead Director (Properties) OMHC Ltd
Saint Giles Rehearses the 2nd Degree Ceremony
09 Mar 2017
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Peter Knowles, Past Junior Grand Deacon of the UGLE accompanied by W.Bro. Bob Greenwell PrGSwdB and escorted by W.Bro. Dave Roberts PrAGDC, were present to see a rehearsal of a 2nd degree ceremony, as the candidate was unable to attend due to illness. The WM, W.Bro. Fred Walker presented the 2nd degree tools eloquently and W.Bro. Eric Warmington gave a splendid rendition of the 2nd degree tracing board.
The evening was rounded off by an excellent festive board provided by the Woodstock catering team.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Mike Gardner (PAGDC), W.Bro. Alan Knowles (APGM / PJGD), W.Bro. Fred Walker (WM),
W.Bro. Bob Greenwell (PrGSwdB), W.Bro. David Thomas (PJGD)
Forrest Gump installs Theodore's new Master!
08 Mar 2017
The Provincial Junior Grand Warden W.Bro. Dale Osborne accompanied by W.Bro. Tom Edwards PrSGD, W.Bro. Bernie Wegerhoff PrAGSec, W.Bro. Roy 'Sonny' Timms PrAGDC, W.Bro. Peter Smith PrGOrg, W.Bro. Graham Scothern PrGStdB, with W.Bro. Nigel Payne PrGTyler and escorted by W.Bro. Dave Roberts PrAGDC, saw Bro. Bob Dixon installed into the chair of King Solomon by W.Bro. Ewan Gordon (known by many as our marathon running Forrest Gump) in an excellent manner. All three sets of the working tools were presented admirably and the address to the Worshipful Master was exemplary.
The festive board was enjoyed by all, especially the port provide by the new Worshipful Master.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Nigel Payne (PrGTyler), W.Bro. Peter Smith (PrGOrg), W.Bro. Tom Edwards (PrSGD),
W.Bro. Dale Osborne (PrJGW), W.Bro. Bob Dixon (WM), W.Bro. Ewan (Forrest) Gordon (IM),
W.Bro. Bernie Wegerhoff (PrAGSec), W.Bro. Sonny Timms (PrAGDC), W.Bro. Graham Scothern (PrGStdB)
and W.Bro. Dave Roberts (PrAGDC)
W.Bro. John Whitlock celebrates 60 years in Freemasonry at Marlborough
08 Mar 2017
On the 6th March 2017, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Alan Knowles, escorted by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Alan Baverstock, visited Marlbrough Lodge No. 1399 at Woodstock Masonic Hall.
Following the demonstration of the second degree (in which the 'candidate' was W.Bro. Mick Hollis), a sixty year certificate was presented by the APrGM to W.Bro. John Whitlock.
But John wasn't the only long serving member in attendance, W.Bro. Ted Bentley PJGD 1399 WM 1992 was also there, it wasn't until the festive board we heard that it was 72 years to the day that he was initiated into Marlborough Lodge.
 
(L-R) The APrGM with W.Bro. John Whitlock
Gateway Installation - 2nd Time in the Chair for W.Bro. Allan
08 Mar 2017
The Provincial Senior Grand Warden W.Bro. Allan Peates accompanied by W.Bro. Dale Osborne PJGW, W.Bro. Phil Harley PrGReg, W.Bro. Bob Greenwell PrGSwdB, W.Bro. Peter Smith PrGOrg, W.Bro. Graham Scothern PrGStdB, W.Bro. Jacob Ward PrGStdB & W.Bro. Stephen Bentall PrGStwd & escorted by W.Bro. Dave Roberts PrAGDC, saw W.Bro. Paul Allan installed into the chair of King Solomon by W.Bro. Tony Judd.
The evening was rounded off by an excellent festive board & some unique wine taking by the Worshipful Master with members who were employed by the air force & emergency services.
 
The newly appointed officers of the Gateway Lodge
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Stephen Bentall (PrGStwd), W.Bro. Jacob Ward (PrGStdB), W.Bro. Phil Harley (PrGReg),
W.Bro. Allan Peates (PrSGW), W.Bro. Paul Allan (WM), W.Bro. Tony Judd (IM), W.Bro. Dale Osborne (PrJGW),
W.Bro. Bob Greenwell (PrGSwdB), W.Bro. Peter Smith (PrGOrg), W.Bro. Graham Scothern (PrGStdB)
Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters - Discovering the Secrets of St Paul's Cathedral
08 Mar 2017
W.Bro. David Laidlaw, Worshipful Master and W.Bro. Andrew Trueman, Secretary, crossed the border into Berkshire Province on Saturday 25th February, arriving at Sindlesham Masonic Centre for an enlightening meeting of the Berkshire Masters Lodge. Hospitality was fantastic, with a warm welcome and designated seats, they sat back to discover the secrets of St Pauls Cathedral.
Some of you might be thinking what degree was this? Well it wasn't a new masonic degree, but rather a fantastic talk by W.Bro. Ken Endres PAGDC entitled: 'St Paul’s Cathedral and Sir Christopher Wren: was he a Freemason?'.
W.Bro. Endres had worked at St Paul's for over 15 years and whisked us away into the history and running of the cathedral. Buried in the crypts (now full), is a certain Sir Christopher Wren, who on the evidence presented clearly seemed to have been one of the early speculative Freemasons. Cathedral documents point to this, as does the Square & Compass painted on the roof, said to be directly under the crypt where he lays. There is plenty of other occult symbolism at St Paul's worth searching for!
So it seems that it's not just Freemasonry that is said to have secrets! St Paul's clearly has a number of its own to discover! They are currently raising money to renovate the whole set of 3 ton bells that have more or less been in continuous use since their installation.
A gin & tonic and lunch proceeded the meeting where as honoured guests, the top table awaited! If only every meeting could be like this ... (L-R) V.W.Bro. Colin Hayes PGSwdB Worshipful Master of the Berks Masters Lodge with W.Bro. David Laidlaw WM
 
 
Square & Compass in St Paul's Cathedral
Buttercross Installation and Peter Laurence celebrates 50 years as a very active Freemason
08 Mar 2017
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Alan Knowles, escorted by the Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Cermonies, W.Bro. Mike Murphy, together with a splendid retinue of Active Provincial Grand Officers enjoyed an excellent Installation evening at Buttercross Lodge at Witney Masonic Hall.
But our own Assistant Provincial Grand Master wasn't the only one in attendance, W.Bro. Steve Jones, Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Derbyshire was also in attendance together with a full supporting cast.
The evening saw the very well known Oxfordshire Freemason W.Bro. Peter Laurence receive his 50 year certificate, presented by the APrGM while Bro. Edmund Strainge also received a presentation, which include a vintage founder's jewel for his 30 years sterling service as Lodge Steward and it was all wrapped up with a superb festive board.
   
(L-R) W.Bro. Peter Laurence with W.Bro. Alan Knowles (L-R) Bro. Edmund Strainge with W.Bro. Alan Knowles
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Mick Hitchcock PGChStd (Derbyshire), W.Bro. Graham Scothern PrGStB, W.Bro. Ron Ashton SW,
W.Bro. Mike Murphy PrDGDC, W.Bro. Alan Knowles APGM, W.Bro. Kevin Prior WM, W.Bro. Tom Buxton IPM,
Bro. T. Atkin JW, W.Bro. Steve Jones APGM (Derbyshire), W.Bro. John Gregory PrJGD (Derbyshire),
W.Bro. Robert Greenwell PrGSwdB and W.Bro. Martyn Prior PPrAGDC
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Kevin Prior WM with W.Bro. Martyn Prior PPrAGDC
Blockley Lodge No. 6345 Installation Meeting
02 Mar 2017
The Installation of the Master Elect of Blockley Lodge No. 6345 took place on Tuesday 28th February 2017 after having been delayed by a month as a result of the Master Elect being incapacitated in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The Lodge was honoured by a visit from The Deputy Provincial Grand Master, V.W.Bro. Neal Clive Spencer, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Peter Knowles and the Provincial Grand Organist, Peter Smith together with V.W.Bro. Phillip Purves and W.Bro. Roy (Sonny) Timms, PrAGDC.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master had previously volunteered to act as Installing Master and delivered, what can only be described as a master-class Installation ceremony, to the delight of the Brethren present. He even sang the Master's Song, unaccompanied, at the Festive Board.
 
(L-R) V.W.Bro. Phillip Purves, V.W.Bro. Neal Spencer, Bro. John Rippington (SW),
W.Bro. Revd James Michael Stephen Matarazzo Jr (WM), Bro. Mark Boullé (JW),
W.Bro. Alan Knowles, W.Bro. Peter Smith
Exemplo Ducemus Lodge No. 9738 Cheque Presentation to Maggies Oxford
01 Mar 2017
On the 8th February 2017, John Hayward presented a cheque for £250 on behalf of Exemplo Ducemus Lodge No. 9738, to Anna Dominey, Maggies Oxford Centre, Oxford. In recognition of the care, practical, emotional and social support they provide free to cancer patients, their families and friends.
 
(L-R) Anna Dominey and John Hayward
Oxfordshire 2022 MCF Festival Launch Dinner
01 Mar 2017
Friday 24th February saw the official launch of the Oxfordshire 2022 MCF Festival with a Black Tie Dinner held at the Kassam Stadium. During the evening cheques totaling £10,000 were present to the PGM by V.W.Bro. Neal Spencer on behalf of Provincial Grand Lodge, and by V.W.Bro. Mark Harwood on behalf of Provincial Grand Chapter.
Guest speakers from the Masonic Charitable Foundation concluded their addresses by presenting the Provincial Grand Master with the first Festival Jewel.
 
PGM wearing first Festival Jewel which was presented to him by
W.Bro. Les Hutchinson, Chief Operating Officer, Masonic Charitable Foundation
 
W.Bro. James Newman, OBE, Deputy President and Chairman,
Masonic Charitable Foundation addressing the audience
 
V.W.Bro. Mark Harwood, PDepPGM, PGSwdB in his capacity as Deputy Grand Superintendent
presenting a cheque for £5000 on behalf of Provincial Grand Chapter
 
(L-R) W.Bro. James Newman, OBE, Deputy President and Chairman, Masonic Charitable Foundation,
V.W.Bro. Neal Spencer DepPGM,
R.W.Bro. James Hilditch Provincial Grand Master,
V.W.Bro. Mark Harwood PDepPGM, PGSwdB on behalf of Provincial Grand Chapter
W.Bro. Les Hutchinson Chief Operating Officer, Masonic Charitable Foundation
 
(L-R) The PGM with Les Hutchinson, Chief Operating Officer of the Masonic Charitable Foundation
St Mary's Lodge No. 1763 Prostate Cancer Cheque Presentation
22 Feb 2017
On Thursday 16th February Worshipful Master W.Bro. David Kew attended an Aylesbury Vale Prostate Cancer Support Group (AVPCSG) lunch meeting at the ASM Football Stadium, Thame where he presented a cheque for £450 which had been raised through the generosity of all brethren that attended the St Mary's Christmas meeting festive board. The W. Masters chosen Charity being Tackle Prostate Cancer (TPC), after having received treatment 3 years ago himself, and has since regularly attended the support group meetings. The cheque was presented to Roger Wootton the International Chairman of Tackle Prostate Cancer also Secretary of the Aylesbury Vale Prostate Cancer Support Group.
This makes a total £1,800 donated to the AVPCSG and the TPC within the last 12 months from the St Mary's Lodge.
 
(L-R) Roger Wotton receiving a cheque for £450 from W.Bro. David Kew PPrGSwdB
Installation Meeting of Cherwell Lodge No. 599
20 Feb 2017
On Friday 17 February, W.Bro. Peter James was installed into the Chair of Cherwell Lodge No. 599 at Banbury by W.Bro. Michael Shepherd.
Their was a turn out with sixty Four Brethren dining after the meeting.
The Provincial Grand Master was in attendance, escorted by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, and was accompanied by seven active Provincial Grand Officers:
   W.Bro. Allan Peates, Provincial Senior Grand Warden. W.Bro. Steve Bowles, Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works, W.Bro. Dave Roberts, Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Peter Smith, Provincial Grand Organist, W.Bro. Graham Scothern, Provincial Grand Standard Bearer, Bro. Roger Worrall, Provincial Grand Steward and W.Bro. Nigel Payne, Provincial Grand Tyler.
 
(L-R) The newly installed Worshipful Master and the PrGM
 
(L-R) PrGDC, PrGStdB, PrGSuptWks, PrSGW, WM, PrGM, PrAGDC, PrGOrg, PrGStwd and PrGTyler
Cardinal House. Update 20th February 2017
20 Feb 2017
Cardinal House. Update 20th February 2017
This week Arboriculture Contractors have been on site, removing hedging and trees to the rear of the Cardinal House, opening up the area for the extension to the building and extension to the car park.
The laurel hedge to the frontage has been pruned, making the site and building presentable from the road.
We remain on track for a September 2017 opening.
Roy Simmonds. Lead Director (Properties) OMHC Ltd
The PGM Visits the Oxfordshire Scout Gang Show
16 Feb 2017
Last evening, Wednesday 15th Feb 2017, the PGM and Roger Hampshire attended the Oxfordshire Scout Gang Show and thoroughly enjoyed the show where all the performers are aged between 8 & 25 years.
A Gang Show is a variety show performed by Scouts & Guides. The aim of the show is to give young people in Scouting and Guiding the opportunity to develop theatre skills and perform on a professional stage. For some this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The 150 plus performers are young members of the Scouting and Guiding movements within Oxfordshire who perform items based on Musicals, Comedy Sketches and Popular Music giving their time for rehearsal and the performance free on top of other Scouting/ Guiding and Education/ Work commitments.
The show week is the culmination of six months of hard work by both performers and support teams.
If you have never seen a Gang Show come along and see for yourself how talented the youngsters are. Then sit back and enjoy the electric atmosphere!
Visit the website: oxfordgangshow.org.uk
     
(L-R) The PGM talking to Oxfordshire's Lord Lieutenant Tim Stevenson and Cllr Norman Chairman of West Oxfordshire District Council   Roger Hampshire (right) talking to Alec Stanworth, Deputy District Commissioner of Oxfordshire Scouts  
Cardinal House. Update 12th February 2017
13 Feb 2017
Cardinal House. Update 12th February 2017
The carpark has now been stripped back giving an area for the storage of materials, some of which has already been delivered to site. Next week excavations for the extension will commence for which you can see from the above photo a 5 ton Kubota is on site ready for action.
We remain on track for a September 2017 opening and I know David Laidlaw is working hard sourcing good quality furniture and fittings. Likewise John Short is working diligently to procure the catering contract, ensuring high quality food and service to match a high quality building.
Roy Simmonds. Lead Director (Properties) OMHC Ltd
Alfred Lodge Installation Meeting and 203rd Anniversary Festival
09 Feb 2017
The 203rd annual anniversary festival of Alfred Lodge No. 340 was held at Woodstock on Tuesday 07 February 2017.
The Provincial Senior Grand Warden escorted by the Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies were accompanied by a number of active Provincial Grand Officers:
   The Provincial Grand Registrar, Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works, Provincial Grand Senior Deacon, and Provincial Grand Steward.
Also in attendance as members of the lodge were the Provincial Grand Sword Bearer, W.Bro. Bob Greenwell, and Provincial Senior Grand Deacon, W.Bro. Tom Edwards.
W.Bro. David Wright installed Bro. Richard Trotman as his successor as Worshipful Master of the Alfred Lodge.
 
(L-R) Alan Baverstock PrGDC, Phil Harley PrGReg, Allan Peates PrSGW, Richard Trotman WM,
David Wright IPM, Steve Bowles PrGSuptWks, Russell Fowler PrSGD, Stephen Bentall PrGStwd
Bertie Lodge donation to the Oxford Charity SeeSaw
05 Feb 2017
On Thursday 2nd February 2017 at the Woodstock Masonic Hall, the Brethren of Bertie Lodge No. 1515 invited Mrs Anne-Marie MacMillan, a representative of the Oxford Charity SeeSaw, to their white table event. The purpose was for the Master of Bertie Lodge, W.Bro. Alan Bovingdon-Cox to present a cheque in the sum of £374 on top of the £200 already donated.
SeeSaw was established in 2000 to meet the needs of bereaved children and young people in Oxfordshire. Since then they have supported over 4300 children, young people and their families.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Barry Vernon, W.Bro. Kevin Cruickshank, W.Bro. Alan Bovingdon-Cox WM,
Mrs Anne-Marie MacMillan, W.Bro. Malcolm Percey and W.Bro. John Day
A bright new Light and the end of the Tunnel for Temple Island Lodge No. 8031
02 Feb 2017
On Wednesday February 1st, Temple Island Lodge No. 8031 initiated a new brother. The first initiate in nine years.
"It has been a long awaited day a long time coming," said Ian Ford-Batey, Worshipful Master of the Lodge, who was the Lodge's last initiate way back in 2008.
The evening commenced with a moving eulogy to the late W.Bro. Bert Butland, delivered with compassion and reverence by W.Bro. Martin Rasch.
The Initiation that followed was performed by W.Bro. Chris Wagstaff who took the chair for the evening to install the candidate he had proposed and his best friend Mister Stuart Bindley-Ross.
Considering that this was a meeting in early February when no-one wants to venture out, the novelty of Temple Island having a Candidate drew past guests out in their thousands – well dozens, as the attendance register shows. The Festive Board afterwards reflected the fun and spirit of the occasion.
"The good news is" added the Worshipful Master "that there are two more Candidates in the pipeline for our April and May meetings".
So literally watch this space as it looks like Light may be being restored to what had looked like a dark future for Temple Island Lodge No 8031.
 
Provincial Inter Lodge Quiz Night
02 Feb 2017
The Inaugural Provincial Inter Lodge Quiz Night, held at Witney Masonic Centre, proved to be a great success with 8 lodges competing for the "Keith Bone Quiz Competition" shield, kindly donated by the Theodore Lodge. With a further 6 lodge teams and guest teams competing in the Supporters competition, with over 100 people in attendance in total. The Witta's Island Lodge quiz team won the Provincial Inter Lodge Quiz competition after seeing off stiff competition from the Alfred Lodge No.1 team and the Evenlode Lodge team in a tense tie-break!
 
The Witta's Island team, known as "A Touch of Class" will now go on to represent the Province at the Tercentenary celebrations, Inter-Provincial Quiz to be held in Witney on 31st March, hosted by the Province of Oxfordshire.
Well done and Good luck to the Witta's Island Lodge quiz team.
This proved to be a most enjoyable social occasion bringing lodges together throughout the Province.
 
Temple Island Lodge No. 8031 get a really nice present after Christmas
30 Jan 2017
 
St Giles Installation
20 Jan 2017
A great night was enjoyed by all who attended the Installation Meeting of St Giles Lodge at Woodstock, where the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Frederick Walker, remained in the chair for a further year.
The Provincial Senior Grand Warden, W.Bro. Allan Peates, was joined by W.Bro. Bob Greenwell, the Provioncial Grand Sword Bearer, W.Bro. Bernie Wegerhoff, the Provincial Assistant Grand Secretary, W.Bro. Tom Edwards Provincial Senior Grand Deacon anbd the Provincial Grand Organist, W.Bro. Peter Smith.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Tom Edwards PrSGD, W.Bro. Bob Greenwell PrGSwdB, W.Bro. Frederick Walker,
W.Bro. Allan Peates PrSGW, W.Bro. Bernie Wegerhoff PrAGSec and W.Bro. Peter Smith PrGOrg
Installation and Burns Night at Round Table Thames Valley Lodge
20 Jan 2017
The installation meeting of Round Table Thames Valley Lodge No. 9697 was held on Thursday 19 January at Henley-on-Thames.
The Provincial Grand Master was in attendance. He was accompanied by: W. Bro. Bob Greenwell PrGSwdB, W.Bro. Stephen Quant PrGOrator, W.Bro. Tom Edwards PrSGD, and W.Bro. Stephen Bentall PrGStwd. They were escorted by W.Bro. Alan Baverstock PrGDC.
During the meeting, W.Bro. John Avery PAGDC, intstalled Bro. Steven Dumper as his successor into the Chair of the lodge.
Highlight of the Burns night Festive Board was a most dramatic address to the haggis by W. Bro. Allan Dishington. An English translation was also provided, enabling those not conversant in the Gaelic tongue to follow and fully appreciate the proceedings.
 
(L-R) PrGM, W.Bro. Steven Dumper, W.Bro. John Avery
Lodge of Peace No. 8850 Installation Meeting
19 Jan 2017
On Wednesday 18 January the APrGM W.Bro. Alan Knowles attended the installation meeting of Lodge of Peace at Thame. He was accompanied by the PrGSuptWks W.Bro. Steve Bowles, and escorted by the PrGDC W. Bro. Alan Baverstock.
All appeared normal. However, immediately after the minutes had been approved, and with the APrGM still in the chair, the PrGDC unexpectedly proceeded to the west, and to the surprise of all present, announced that the RW Provincial Grand Master was without and demanded admission.
For the second time that evening, an escort was formed and the PrGM entered the Lodge. A slightly shocked APrGM offered the PrGM the gavel of the lodge which was accepted.
To the relief of W.Bro. Chris Cox (Lodge Secretary) the PrGM advised that he had been booked in for the Festive Board, but under the name of another Brother.
The PrGM announced that the reason for his un-publicised visit was to present a fifty year certificate to one of the founders of the lodge, V.W.Bro. N (Nick) R.H. Howland PGSwdB PDepPrGM. This was undertaken in an amusing and informative manner.
 
(L-R) Nick Howland & PrGM
 
(L-R) PrGM, W.Bro. Gareth Thomas, W.Bro. John Thomas, APrGM
The Worshipful Master, W.Bro. John Thomas PPrGReg having been restored to the chair proceeded to install the Master Elect, his son (and Brother), Gareth.
The fifty plus Brethren in attendance enjoyed a superb ceremony in the Temple, and a delightful meal at the Festive Board.
Islip Installation - Master Continues for 2nd Year
18 Jan 2017
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master V.W.Bro. Neal Spencer PGSwdB of the UGLE accompanied by the Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Knowles PJGD of the UGLE, W.Bro. Bob Greenwell PrGSwdB & W.Bro. Tom Edwards PrSGD & escorted by W.Bro. Dave Roberts PrAGDC, saw W.Bro. Ian Ross remain in the chair of King Solomon as Worshipful Master for a second year.
The evening was rounded off by an enjoyable festive board & a number of raffle prizes returning home with the Active Provincial Officers & visitors to the Islip lodge.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Nick Carter (VO), W.Bro. Bob Greenwell (PrGSwdB), W.Bro. Alan Knowles (APGM),
W.Bro. Ian Ross (WM), V.W.Bro. Neal Spencer (DPGM), W.Bro. Tom Edwards (PrSGD)
It's all the sevens at the Caversham Lodge Installation
15 Jan 2017
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Alan Knowles, together with the Provincial Junior Grand Warden, W.Bro. Dale Osborne were joined by W.Bro. Graham Scothern Provincial Grand Standard Bearer and escorted by Provincial Assistant Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Sonny Timms to witness and excellent Installation ceremony at Caversham Lodge.
W.Bro. Steve Hill was installed into the Chair of King Solomon for the third time and it appears the number seven is his lucky number, he was Worshipful Master in 1997, 2007 and now 2017, it looks like another great year for Caversham!
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Sonny Timms, W.Bro. Dale Osborne, W.Bro. Alan Knowles,
W.Bro. Steve Hill and W.Bro. Graham Scothern
Bertie's Master continues for a second year
15 Jan 2017
On 12th January 2017, the Provincial Junior Grand Warden, W.Bro. Dale Osborne was escorted by W.Bro. Mike Murphy, Deputy Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies along with the Provincial Grand Sword Bearer, W.Bro. Bob Greenwell and Provincial Senior Grand Deacon W.Bro. Tom Edwards, attended the Installation meeting of Bertie Lodge No 1515. W.Bro. A.G. Bovingdon-Cox was installed in the chair of King Solomon for his second year as Master.
A most excellent evening was experienced by all at Woodstock.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Mike Murphy (PrDGDC), W.Bro. Bob Greenwell (PrGSwdB), W.Bro. Dale Osborne (PrJGW),
W.Bro. Alan Bovingdon-Cox (WM), W.Bro. G.F.T. McCluskey (PAGDC), W.Bro. Tom Edwards (PrSGD)
Upper Thames Lodge Cheque Presentation to the Oxfordshire 2022 Festival
14 Jan 2017
Friday 13th turned out to be a lucky day for W.Bro. Graham Ellis, PrGChStwd as he was presented with a cheque for £1800 in favour of the MCF 2022 Festival. The Worshipful Master of Upper Thames Lodge, W.Bro. Shahid Butt presented the cheque on behalf of the UTL Social Club who had raised the money through various social events over the past year.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Shahid Butt WM and W.Bro. Graham Ellis PrGChStwd
Windrush Lodge No. 1703 Installation Meeting
12 Jan 2017
The Provincial Grand Master was in attendance at the installation meeting of Windrush Lodge No. 1703 at Witney on Wednesday 11 January.
He was accompanied by W.Bro. Allan Peates (PrSGW), W.Bro. Mike Murphy (PrDGDC), and W.Bro. Steve Bentall (PrGStwd). They were escorted by the PrGDC.
W.Bro. Martin McBride (PPrGSuptWks West Lancs) was installed as Worshipful Master by W.Bro. Ross Woodford.
This is the second occasion upon which Martin has been in the chair at Witney as he was WM of Witta's Island Lodge No. 9359 in 2015.
 
(L-R) PrGM, Martin McBride, Ross Woodford
Saint Barbara Installation Meeting
11 Jan 2017
The Assistant Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Alan Peter Knowles PJGD of the UGLE, accompanied by W.Bro. Bob Greenwell PrGSwdB, W.Bro. Russell Fowler PrSGD, W.Bro. Tom Edwards PrSGD & Bro. Roger Worrall PrGStwd & escorted by W.Bro. Dave Roberts PrAGDC, enjoyed an excellent Installation ceremony where the outgoing Worshipful Master, W.Bro. Matthew Atkins installed Bro. Martin Craft into the chair of King Solomon, in an excellent manner, ably assisted by several brethren of the lodge.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening was rounded off by a convivial festive board & a number of sincere speeches.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Sonny Timms (PrAGDC), W.Bro. Bob Greenwell (PrGSwdB), W.Bro. Dale Osborne (PrJGW),
W.Bro. Alan Knowles (APGM), W.Bro. Martin Craft (WM), W.Bro. Matthew Atkins (IM),
W.Bro. Tom Edwards (PrSGD), W.Bro. Russell Fowler (PrSGD), Bro. Roger Worrall (PrGStwd)
The Amery Lodge Installation
09 Jan 2017
Oxfordshire is fortunate indeed to have the Amery Lodge, which is dedicated to members of the Provincial Executive and Heads of Orders, so you can imagine that with the Principal Officers representing a plethora of Orders and coming from the surrounding Provinces, that the ritual would be interesting to say the least.
The Lodge Secretary felt a little like Rick Wakeman, with his desk containing a wide variety of books of various colours from which to check the ritual, and just in case a small prompt may be required, but it was to no avail, as the Installing Master, R.W.Bro. James Hilditch, Installed the Master Elect, W.Bro. Ron Bridger, in spectacular fashion mainly using Emulation Ritual. The newly installed Master appointed his Senior Warden, R.W.Bro. Ian Alexander QC and his Junior Warden, W.Bro. Ray Cochrane in his own inimitable style, together with the rest of the officers, while our Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, W.Bro. Alan Baverstock delivered the address to the Master, W.Bro. Graham McGowan-Smyth delivered the address to the Wardens perfectly and our own Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Alan Knowles delivered the address to the Brethren in a way only he could.
In all, a most enjoyable meeting where matters were discussed to help support the Craft in general, as well as the other orders.
 
(L-R) R.W.Bro. James Hilditch and W.Bro. Ron Bridger
Good news from Masons in Witney
04 Jan 2017
Each year the Buttercross Freemasons Lodge in Witney, raises money for community good causes and charities. The year 2015 – 2016 was no exception, the Worshipful Master Ron Ashton decided to select the Eynsham and Long Hanborough Medical Care Group to receive £1000. This was not only in recognition of the continued good work, support and medical care the Centre continues to provide the local community, but in recent times they helped both him and his wife through periods of illness!
In addition two other charities benefitted with £1000 each; "The Children's Trust", for children with Brain Injuries and "Aspire", which supports people with Spinal Injuries.
The picture shows staff at the Hanborough Medical Centre receiving the cheque.
 
(L-R) Dr. Jessica Harris, Dr. Lorenz Kemper, Ron Ashton & Dr. Neil Rust. (Picture: John Stanley)
Bowyer Installation Meeting & Delivery of the Travelling Gavel
04 Jan 2017
The first Craft meeting within the province in 2017 was that of Bowyer Lodge No. 1036 at Chipping Norton on Tuesday 03 January.
The Provincial Senior Grand Warden (W.Bro. Allan Peates) was in attendance. He was accompanied by W.Bro. Graham Scothern (PrGStB), and they were escorted by the PrGDC.
A delegation from Exemplo Ducemus Lodge No. 9738 (see Secretaries report below) travelled from Bicester and passed the Travelling Gavel into the temporary custody of Bowyer Lodge.
The main body of the meeting was the Installation of W.Bro. Ian Faulkner as Worshipful Master for the year by his predecessor W.Bro. Jonathan Foster.
 
(L-R) W.Bro. Alan Baverstock (PrGDC), W.Bro. Allan Peates (PrSGW), W.Bro. Ian Faulkner (Worshipful Master),
W.Bro. Jonathan Foster (Installing Master), W.Bro. Graham Scothern (PrGStdB)
 
(Exemplo Ducemus Lodge Members L-R) W.Bro. Alan Baverstock, Bro. Trevor Ballinger,
Bro. Simon Garey, W.Bro. Nick Smith, W.Bro. Mike Treffler
Exemplo Ducemus Lodge No. 9738 passes the Travelling Gavel
to the Bowyer Lodge No. 1036
On Tuesday 3rd January 2017, the Exemplo Ducemus Lodge sent out a posse to Chipping Norton to forward the Travelling Gavel on its onward journey around the Province.
Exemplo Ducemus Lodge being the youngest lodge in the province is composed mainly of brethren of working age, this made it difficult to muster a large contingent, in the end only 4 members were able to make the trip; W.Bro. Nick Smith, P.Pr.S.G.D., W.Bro. Michael Treffler, P.Pr.J.G.D., Bro. Simon Garey and Bro. Trevor Ballinger, the Worshipful Master being unavoidably absent at the very last minute.
I am pleased to report that we were made very welcome by the lodge and the Gavel was passed over with due ceremony by one of our younger members, Bro. Simon Garey. This duty was sprung on Bro. Simon at the last minute due to the Worshipful Master being absent.
The visitors were then seated in the lodge and the Installation ceremony proceeded with. Following the meeting we were treated to an excellent festive board and W.Bro. Nick replied on behalf of the visitors.
All in all, a very good evening was had by all.
W.Bro. N. Smith
Secretary
 
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