News Around The Province

Royal Arch Tripartite meeting of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire
07 May 2019
On Monday 8th April 2019 the Province of Berkshire hosted the third Tripartite meeting of Active Provincial Officers from Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire along with a good contingent of Companions from all three Provinces at Sindlesham Masonic Centre. The purpose of this year's meeting was to attend Wellesley Chapter No. 1899 and unite in a service of thanksgiving to celebrate their 125th anniversary. 104 Companions were treated to a most interesting oration given by E.Comp Rodney Bancroft – click here for a copy. These meetings cement a solid Masonic relationship between the three Provinces and everyone who has ever been involved hopes that they continue in the same vein.
Most Excellent Grand Superintendents
E.Comp James R.G.Hilditch (Oxfordshire),
E.Comp Ian Hopgood (Berkshire) and
E.Comp John Keeble (Buckinghamshire)
accompanied by Active Provincial Officers from all three Provinces
The MEGS James R.G. Hilditch accompanied by
(L-R) E.Comp Fin Gordon PrAGSE, E.Comp Les Steward DepGSupt, E.Comp Nick Carter PrDGDC,
E.Comp David Greig PrGSN, E.Comp Jim Flynn PrGSwdB, E.Comp John Lewis Pr1stAGSoj,
E.Comp Alan Baverstock PrGDC and E.Comp Andy O'Sullivan PrGSE
Supreme Grand Chapter Appointments and Promotions
06 Mar 2019
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent E.Comp James Robert Guy Hilditch is pleased to announce the following members in the Royal Arch Province of Oxfordshire are to receive First Appointments or Promotions in Grand Rank at Supreme Grand Chapter on Thursday 25th April 2019.
First appointment
E.Comp. Antony P. Grier GStB
E.Comp. Andrew K. O'Sullivan PGStB
E.Comp. Prof. Stephen J. Tucker PresCGP
E.Comp. Jeremy G. Whitmore PGSwdB
Please note that the Supreme Grand Chapter Investiture is open to all Companions regardless of rank, should they wish to attend. Further details of the meeting will be circulated by your Scribe E.
Andy O'Sullivan
Provincial Grand Scribe E
Travelling Drinking Horn arrives in Thame
02 Feb 2019
On 23rd Jan 2019 MEZ and a sizeable delegation of members of Alfred Chapter delivered the travelling drinking horn to St Mary's Chapter. The meeting was also attended by the Second Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Andy Pickwick and several other Active Provincial Officers who witnessed the exaltation of Comp Jason Grover into the Chapter.
Alfred Chapter No. 340 Exaltation
20 Jan 2018
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent accompanied by the Deputy Grand Superintendent and three active Provincial Grand Officers attended Alfred Chapter No. 340 on Tuesday 15th January 2019. During the evening the M.E.Z, E.Comp Roger Hazelden exalted two Companions, Alexander Kevin Yen and Ali Al-Moghrabi into the Royal Arch in top form. A very enjoyable evening was had by all.
Provincial Team Conduct Exaltation at Marlborough Chapter
20 Jan 2018
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent attended the meeting of Marlborough Chapter No. 1399 on Monday 14 January.
He was accompanied by thirteen present and past active Provincial Grand Chapter Officers, who were deputed to temporarily relieve the Chapter officers of their posts.
The provincial team then conducted the exaltation ceremony with Bro. Derek Burrows being the candidate.
With the nineteen chapters in the province working at least six different rituals. E.Comp. Les Steward DepMEGS had compiled a new 'Provincial Ritual' especially for the occasion.
This proved to be a great success, and was well received by all.
The provincial team assembled and ready to deliver the new Oxfordshire Provincial Ritual
(L-R) Derek Burrows, the newly exalted companion of Marlborough Chapter with their MEZ Swalie Forest
Provincial Team Visit To Carfax Chapter
21 Dec 2018
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent visited Carfax Chapter No. 5723 at Cardinal House on 17 December.
He was accompanied by fourteen active Provincial Grand Lodge Officers.
The evening concluded with a 'white table' festive board where partners, friends, and guests enjoyed a Christmas Festive Board with seasonal entertainment.
St Mary's Chapter 50 Year Certificate
09 Dec 2018
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent accompanied by the Provincial 2nd and 3rd Grand Principals attended St Mary's Chapter on 28th November 2018. In the second rising the MEGS was very pleased to present a 50 year certificate to E Comp Jack Williamson. E comp Jack was very surprised, expressed his sincere thanks and said he was quite overcome with emotion.
Cherwell Chapter No. 599 Convocation
11 Nov 2018
The Cherwell Chapter No. 599 were pleased to have the attendance at their Convocation on 2nd November of the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent who was accompanied by the Deputy Grand Superintendent; Provincial Second and Third Grand Principals; and escorted by Ex. Comp. Nick Carter Provincial Dep. D C; a bevy of other active Provincial Officers formed the Provincial team – 14 overall. In addition the First Principals of the Jersey and Rathcreedan Chapters were in attendance.
During the convocation the MEZ mentioned the Centenary of the ending of World War 1 and the Companions stood to Order as a mark of respect for those who had made the ultimate sacrifice in that conflict; the MEGS presented a Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate to Companion Tony Reynolds; and the Companions of the Chapter took part in the delivery of the explanation of the Somerset Tracing Board to the appreciation of all present. Afterwards, the Companions reunited in the dining room and participated in an enjoyable Festive Board where the catering was up to the usual very high standard for which Banbury is renowned.
Windrush Chapter No. 1703 Exaltation
11 Nov 2018
The M.E.Z. of Windrush Chapter No. 1703 E.Comp. Steve Hignell welcomed E. Comp. Andy Pickwick, 2ndPrGPrin to the Chapter meeting on Thursday 1st November 2018. Also present were five active Provincial Officers and E. Comp. Michael Florey, PDepGSupt. During the meeting the M.E.Z. assisted by his Officers exalted Comp. Steve Parnell into the Royal Arch Chapter. The M.E.Z. E.Comp. Steve Hignell is photographed with the two candidates he has exalted during 2018, Comp. Liam Walker (September) and Comp. Steve Parnell (November).
(L-R) E.Comp. Paul Allan, PrGStwd; E.Comp. Andy Pickwick, 2ndPrGPrin; Comp. Liam Walker;
Comp. Steve Parnell; E.Comp. Steve Hignell; E.Comp. Finlay Gordon, PrAGSE
Culham College Chapter No. 2951 Banner Dedication
28 OCt 2018
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent E.Comp. James R.G. Hilditch assisted by E.Comp. Les Steward DeptGSupt, E.Comp. Chris Cox Prov2ndGrand Principal, E.Comp. Sonny Timms PrGSN and E.Comp. Alan Baverstock PrGDC along with twelve other Active Provincial Grand Officers attended Culham College Chapter No. 2951 on Saturday 20th October 2018 to perform a Banner Dedication Ceremony for the Chapter. This meeting also coincided with the Chapter's 40th anniversary.
(L-R) E.Comp. A. Baverstock PrGDC, EComp. L. Steward DeptGSupt, E.Comp. P. Kiefer H,
E.Comp. R. Miles Acting Z, E.Comp. J.R.G. Hilditch MEGS, E.Comp. F. Gordon J,
E.Comp. C. Cox Prov J, E.Comp. R. Timms PrGSn
The Provincial Team with members of Culham College
Chapter No. 2951 and their newly dedicated Banner
New Chapter for Woodstock
16 Oct 2018
Witney Temple was packed on Saturday 06 October with Companions keen to witness the consecration of a new Chapter, Semper Paratus Chapter No. 3015, the first Chapter to be Consecrated in the province for eighteen years.
The Grand Superintendent (James Hilditch), was assisted by; Les Steward (DepGSupt), Andrew Pickwick (PrGH), Chris Cox (PrGJ), Andy O'Sullivan (PrSE), Peter Smith (Acting PrSN), Alan Baverstock (PrGDC), and Nick Carter (PrDGDC).
The petitioners for Semper Paratus Chapter No. 3015 chose their primus three principals to be: E.Comp. James Flinn (MEZ), E.Comp. Richard Walker (H), and E.Comp. Cliff Ward (J). They were duly inducted into office.
Comp. Brian Mayling's hard work as founding Scribe E was rewarded by him being invested as Provincial Grand Steward.
Future meetings will be held at Woodstock.
The Consecration Vessels
Some of the members of Semper Paratus Chapter No. 3015
Carfax Chapter Installation
15 Oct 2018
At the first meeting of their season on Monday October 1st, at Cardinal House, Carfax Chapter No. 5723 installed their new officers.
E Comp Leo Catney was installed at First Principal by EC Richard Alliston, who had held the office for two years, E Comp Neal Spencer will occupy the chair of H for the next year, and E Comp Ken Thomas will occupy the chair of J.
The Provincial visitor was E Comp Chris Cox, Provincial 3rd Grand Principal, accompanied by E Comp David Kew, PrAGDC and E Comp Jim Young, PrGSwdB.
At the end of the festive board following the meeting a magnificant cake, baked by Debbie of RD Catering, the Cardinal House caterers, was presented to E Comp Mick Freeman, the Chapter organist, to mark the day of the meeting also being his 80th birthday. The members of the Chapter helped him to eat it but there was still a large piece left over to take home to his wife Pam.
Installation of Third Provincial Grand Principal
30 Sep 2018
On Tuesday 18 September at the meeting of Oxfordshire First Principals' Chapter No.777O, the Grand Superintendent installed E.Comp Chris Cox as Third Provincial Grand Principal.
Other appointments made were: E. Comp. Mark Baker as Provincial Grand Treasurer, E.Comp. Andy O'Sullivan as Provincial Scribe E, and E.Comp. Fin Gordon as Assistant Provincial Scribe E.
Visitors included Grand Superintendents in and over the provinces of Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire, Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire.
The Chapter were honoured by a team visit from the Provincial Grand Chapter Officers of the year who delivered a presentation of an explanation of the Somerset Tracing Board.
The next meeting of the Chapter is on Saturday 16 March 2019, when E.Comp's Eric Johnson, Geoffrey Goodman, and Ivor Hawkins will be installed as the three principals.
The Grand Superintendent with the newly appointed, obligated, invested,
and installed Third Provincial Grand Principal
E.Comp. Bernd Wegerhoff congratulates his successor
as Third Provincial Grand Principal
Provincial Team Visit to Jersey Chapter at Bicester
17 Sep 2018
On Thursday 13 September, the Grand Superintendent was accompanied by fourteen active Provincial Grand Chapter Officers on a visit to Jersey Chapter No. 2334 at Bicester.
The main feature of the evening was MEZ E.Comp. Jim Young and his team Exalting Bro. Stephen Hanger into the Supreme Degree.
The Exaltee with the MEGS, and the three Principals of Jersey Chapter
MEGS and members of the provincial team
Convocation of Rathcreedan Chapter No. 8690
17 Sep 2018
At a meeting of Rathcreedan Chapter No. 8690 on the 5th Sep 2018, saw 34 Companions witness the exaltation of Bro Jason Caul, a member of Shipston on Stour Lodge No 9418 (Warwks).
Amongst the visitors were a delegation from Wychwood Chapter on a fraternal visit.
We were also pleased to receive a visitor from Australia in the person of E.Comp Geoff Slee who is the First Principal of Nowra Royal Arch Chapter 73 which is part of United Supreme Grand Chapter of Mark and Royal Arch Masons, New South Wales and Australia Capital Territory.
(L-R) E.Comp Geoff Slee (1st Principal Nowra Chapter 73), E.Comp Keith Mitchell (H),
E.Comp Mark Turner (MEZ), Comp Jason Caul (Exaltee),
E.Comp Mike Smail (Acting J), E.Comp Bernie Wegerhoff (Provincial 3rd Principal)
St Giles Chapter Meeting
09 Sep 2018
E Comp Phillip Purves was voted as an honorary member of St Giles Chapter on Thursday 6th Sep 2018 in recognition of his services over many years. The meeting was attended by E Comp Andy Pickwick, Provincial 2nd Grand Principal.
Prov Grand Scribe E
13 Aug 2018
EComp Dave Roberts and his wife, Sharron, have decided that they will be moving away from Oxfordshire in the not too distant future and as a result Dave has decided that it would not be right for him to take up his appointment as Prov Grand Scribe E. The ME Grand Superintendent, E Comp James Hilditch, has reluctantly agreed. He thanks Dave for his great contribution to the running of the Province and wishes him and Sharron a very happy future wherever their travels take them. WBro Dave will continue as ProvDep GDC in the Provincial Grand Lodge of Oxfordshire until he moves.
EComp James Hilditch has appointed E Comp Andy O'Sullivan to the role of ProvGSE and EComp Mark Baker to the role of ProvGTreas with effect from 18 September 2018 and wishes them both well in their new roles.
New MEZ for Rathcreedan Chapter
09 Jul 2018
The installation meeting of Rathcreedan Chapter No. 8690 at Bicester on Wednesday 04 July saw E.Comp. Peter James install E.Comp. Mark Turner as his successor.
The Deputy Grand Superintendent, E.Comp. Les Steward was in attendance and was accompanied by a number of active Provincial grand Chapter Officers.
Travelling Drinking Horn stops off at Jersey Chapter
17 Jun 2018
The MEZ of Rathcreedan Chapter, E.Comp. Peter James, accompanied by a delegation of 10 companions, visited Jersey Chapter in June to hand over the Travelling Drinking Horn into its safekeeping. Jersey's MEZ, E.Comp. Jim Young, was very pleased to receive it. The visiting companions were then invited to rest their weary legs after the long haul from Banbury and watch the ensuing Exaltation Ceremony.
Another Exaltee for Jersey Chapter
09 Jun 2018
On Thursday 7th June Jersey Chapter welcomed yet another new member into its midst when Ken Haynes of Weyland Lodge was the Exaltee.
The evening started with a large contingent from Rathcreedan Chapter, including the Provincial Grand Joshua, E. Comp Bernd Wegerhoff, delivering the Travelling Drinking Horn to the Chapter. It then continued with Comp. Ken being exalted in an excellent ceremony, primarily undertaken by the MEZ, E. Comp. Jim Young, and Comp. Mark Slaymaker, the Principal Sojourner.
The evening was rounded off with a great Festive Board.
(L-R) E. Comp. Andrew Trueman (H), E. Comp. Jim Young (MEZ),
Comp. Ken Haynes and E. Comp. Kevin Burrows (J)
RT Oxon Chapter Royal Arch Tracing Board
18 Apr 2018
Having used the Somerset Tracing Board presentation at a previous meeting, the Round Table Chapter of Oxfordshire have now added a framed copy of it to their permanent Chapter furniture. It is displayed or reversed at the appropriate times when the Chapter is opened or closed.
Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters Meeting
25 Mar 2018
At the meeting of Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters on 19 March 2018, the PGM announced that W.Bro. Ivor Hawkins, PAGDC, would be stepping down as Provincial Secretary in October, following his decision to move to the Isle of Wight. W.Bro. Ivor has made an enormous contribution in this role over the past four years, and previously as Assistant Secretary and the whole province is grateful.
The PGM further announced that he will be appointing W.Bro. Bernie Wegerhoff to fill that role at the Provincial meeting in October.
As a result, W.Bro. Bernie will be stepping down as Third Provincial Grand Principal, so that he can focus on this new role, as well as he existing role of Provincial Supreme Ruler in the OSM. E.Comp. Chris Cox will be promoted to that role and E.Comp. Dave Roberts will be appointed as provincial Scribe E. These changes will be made some time in the autumn at one of the Chapter meetings.
Following these changes, there are vacancies for an Assistant Secretary and Assistant Scribe E. Brethren and Companions who are interested in applying for either of these roles will be invited for interviews - further details will be available shortly in the next edition of the Second Rising and on the website.
I wish everyone well in their new roles, and a long and happy retirement to Ivor, although I have no doubt we will continue to enjoy his company on many occasions.
Oxfordshire Provincial Chapter of the Year Award 2018
25 Mar 2018
At the Oxfordshire Provincial Grand Chapter meeting held on Thursday 22nd March 2018 the Provincial Grand Superintendent for Oxfordshire Most Excellent Companion James R.G. Hilditch presented the "Annual Oxfordshire Provincial Chapter of the Year Award" to E.Comp. Howard Chirgwin, MEZ of the Windrush Chapter No. 1703.
(L-R) E.Comp. Finlay Gordon, E.Comp. Clive Hooker, E.Comp. Stephen Hignell, Comp. Alan Smith,
E.Comp. Howard Chirgwin, E.Comp. Paul Allan, Comp. Stephen Thacker, E.Comp. Peter Connor,
E.Comp. Michael Pacey, E.Comp. John Gorton and E.Comp. John Stanley
Supreme Grand Chapter Appointments and Promotions
08 Mar 2018
The following appointments and promotions have recently been published by Supreme Grand Chapter.
First appointment
E.Comp. Chris Carter, Past Grand Standard Bearer
E.Comp. Phillip Purves, Past Grand Sword Bearer.
E.Comp. Les Steward, Past Grand Sword Bearer.
E.Comp. Malcom Geater, Past Assistant Grand Sojourner.
Our congratulations go to all and wish them an enjoyable day on the 26th April 2018 at the Supreme Grand Chapter Investiture meeting.
Chris Cox
Provincial Grand Scribe E
Wychwood's Most Excellent Installation
28 Feb 2018
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, James Hilditch, accompanied by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, E.Comp. Les Steward, the Third Provincial Grand Principal, E.Comp. Bernie Wegerhoff, together with a number of Active Provincial Grand Chapter Officers enjoyed a cosy Wychwood evening at Burford, enjoying the installation of the three Principals, E.Comps. Malcolm Bennett as Z, Simon Watson as H and Graham Lee as J.
The evening was rounded off with an excellent festive board, though the stand in Janitor for the evening failed to scale the dizzy heights of Companion Alan Jenkins!
Thames Chapter Convocation
24 Feb 2018
On 21st Feb 2018 Thames Chapter were honoured by a visit from the MEGS, James Hilditch, DepGSupt, Les Steward, PrGH, Andy Pickwick, PrGJ, Bernie Wegerhoff and 11 other officers of Provincial Grand Chapter. During the meeting the Provincial Team delivered an explanation of the Chapter Tracing Board, a picture of which is held by the Chapter Principals in the accompanying photograph.
Each of the Team delivered part of the lecture which was well received by all the Companions present.
There followed an excellent festive board where the Companions enjoyed good food in convivial company.
Bowyer Chapter Installation
16 Feb 2018
Bowyer Chapter's 6.15pm start saw everyone in place and ready for the entrance of the Provincial team headed by the Deputy Grand Superintendent Excellent Companion Les Stuart, the Second Provincial Grand Principal and the rest of the Provincial Officers.
The Deputy Grand Superintendent was offered the gavel to which he immediately returned. The Installation got off to a good start and the installing principle (EC Mike Augar) had obviously put a lot of work into his ritual which was flawless.
The three Principals were installed into their chairs after H and J reaffirmed their obligations EC Tony Judd (H) and EC Bob Swanson (J) having preoccupied these positions. The installing Principle EC Mike Augar explained the MEZ robe after which the other robes were reaffirmed. The rest of the ceremony was completed in a very efficient but light hearted form.
There followed an excellent festive board continuing the light hearted and happy atmosphere ending with the Janitors toast at 9.30pm
Alfred Chapter No 340 Installation Meeting – Provincial Team Visit
10 Dec 2017
The installation meeting of the Alfred Chapter No. 340 took place at Woodstock on Tuesday 21st November 2017 and the Principles and companions of the chapter were pleased to receive the Most Excellent Grand Superintendant, E.Comp. J.R.G. Hilditch, Deputy Grand Superintendant, E.Comp L.C. Steward, Provincial Grand Haggi, E.Comp. A. Pickwick, Provincial Grand Joshua, E.Comp. B. Wegerhoff and almost a full team of Provincial Grand Officers. In a fine example of the Oxford ritual E.Comps K.M. Field was installed as MEZ, R.M. Hazelden as H and S.M. Pope, LGCR as J.
The MEGS and his team at Alfred Chapter
Travelling Drinking Horn visits Thame
10 Dec 2017
On the 22nd Nov 2017 the Round Table Chapter delivered the Traveling Drinking Horn to St Mary's Chapter in Thame.
The following members were in the delegation:
   E.Comp. D. Munton MEZ
   E.Comp. L. Steward DGS
   E.Comp. D. Charlton PGStB
   E.Comp. M. Baker PPrGSoj
   Comp. B. Harness PPrGSoj
   Comp. D. Fido
All present enjoyed a good exaltation ceremony followed by a most convivial Festive Board.
E.Comp. David Munton handing the Horn to E.Comp. David Kew, MEZ , E.Comp. David Greig, Haggai and Stan Hearn, Joshua. Also in attendance was E.Comp. Bernie Wegerhoff, Third Provincial Grand Principal
Saint Giles Chapter No. 8904 Installation
Jul 2017
At the installation meeting of Saint Giles Chapter on 26th Oct 2017 the Principals were delighted to receive a plethora of Provincial Officers including the Deputy Grand Superintendent of Oxfordshire E.Comp. L.C. Steward, the Second Provincial Grand Principal of Oxfordshire E.Comp. A.J. Pickwick, the Third Provincial Grand Principal of Oxfordshire E.Comp. B. Wegerhoff, the Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah of Oxfordshire E.Comp. P.D. Smith, the Provincial 1st Asst Grand Sojourner of Oxfordshire E.Comp. A. Barlow, The Provincial 2nd Asst Grand Sojourner, E.Comp. E. Pilling, the Provincial Grand Standard Bearer of Oxfordshire E.Comp. K. Thomas and the Provincial Grand Steward of Oxfordshire E.Comp. S. Hearn.
Bowyer Chapter Exaltation
28 Oct 2017
On 10th Oct the MEGS, James Hilditch attended Bowyer Chapter accompanied by the Second Provincial Grand Principal of Oxfordshire E.Comp. A.J. Pickwick, the Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah of Oxfordshire E.Comp. P.D. Smith, the Provincial 1st Asst Grand Sojourner of Oxfordshire E.Comp. A. Barlow, the Provincial Grand Treasurer of Oxfordshire E.Comp. A.K. O'Sullivan, the Provincial Grand Standard Bearer of Oxfordshire E.Comp. K. Thomas, the Provincial Asst Grand Director of Ceremonies of Oxfordshire E.Comp. D. Kew and the Provincial Grand Steward of Oxfordshire E.Comp. S. Hearn. They witnessed the exaltation of Bro. Benjamin (Ben) James Hunt in an excellent ceremony.
The Exaltee, MEGS and Principals of the Chapter
Carfax Chapter No. 5723 Installation Meeting
08 Oct 2017
E Comp's Andy Pickwick, PrGH, Bernd Wegerhoff, PrGJ, Peter Smith, PrGSN, Adrian Barlow, Pr1stAsstSoj and Ken Thomas PrGStB all attended the installation meeting of Carfax Chapter No. 5723 on 2nd Oct 2017. A good time was had by all.
Grand Rank Appointments in the Royal Arch
17 Sep 2017
Congratulations to the following who are to receive celebratory Grand Ranks at Supreme Grand Chapter on 8th November 2017:
   Andy Pickwick with a first appointment to PGStB
   Mick Hollis promoted to PAGSoj
Cherwell Chapter No. 599 Convocation
17 Sep 2017
The Cherwell Chapter No. 599 Convocation held on Friday 15th September was honoured by a visit from the Provincial Second Grand Principal, E.Comp. Andrew Pickwick, the Provincial Third Grand Principal, E.Comp. Bernd Wegerhoff, the Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah E.Comp Peter Smith and the Provincial Grand Standard Bearer E.Comp Ken Thomas.
Following an exemplary exaltation ceremony which saw Comp. Ed Frost exalted into Royal Arch Masonry, all present enjoyed an excellent Festive Board.
(L-R) E.Comps. Peter Smith, Andrew Pickwick, Chris Carter, Ron Barnett,
Comp. Ed Frost, E.Comps Yanto Evans, Bernd Wegerhoff, Ken Thomas
Windrush Chapter No. 1703 - Visit from the Provincial Third Grand Principal
09 Sep 2017
On Thursday 7th September 2017 Windrush Chapter No. 1703 was honoured by a visit from the Provincial Third Grand Principal E.Comp. Bernd Wegerhof accompanied by six other Active Provincial Grand Officers.
The Officers of the Windrush Chapter performed an exemplary exaltation into Royal Arch Masonry for Comp. Jasvinder Jugdev.
After welcoming the candidate into Royal Arch Masonry E.Comp. Bernd Wegerhof presented a Royal Arch Certificate to Comp. Martin Murphy.
After the meeting the companions of Windrush Chapter and their visitors enjoyed a convivial festive board.
(L-R) E.Comp. Bernd Wegerhof, PrGJ; E.Comp. Stephen Hignell, H;
E.Comp. Howard Chirgwin, MEZ; E.Comp. Paul Allan, J and Comp. Jasvinder Jugdev
Saint Barbara Chapter Presents £3000 to Katherine House Hospice
03 Sep 2017
It was a sad fact of life that the Companions of Saint Barbara Royal Arch Chapter had no option but to surrender their warrant, however, all was not in vain as in a last hurrah! E.Comp Ivor Hawkins, presented a cheque on behalf of the members of Saint Barbara Chapter to Katherine House Hospice in Adderbury.
The Hospice has always figured in the Chapter's charity donations over the years and after closing the books, the Chapter Committee agreed to donate the remaining sum in the bank account to this very worthy cause and Katherine House Hospice's Fiona Smith and Doctor Charles Bond were on hand to receive the donation of £3000.
(L-R) Ivor Hawkins, Fiona Smith and Charles Bond
Provincial Grand Chapter Team Visit to Banbury
Jul 2017
On Wednesday 5th. July 2017 the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent J.R.G. Hilditch, together with a large number of Provincial Grand Chapter Officers visited Rathcreedan Chapter No. 8690 in Banbury.
They were all impressed with the ceremony which saw E. Comp. P. Watts install his successor E. Comp. P. James as MEZ of the Chapter. The whole ceremony was conducted in an excellent manner, with great dignity yet in a very enjoyable way.
The festive board was enjoyed by all and well worth the trip to Banbury.
(Front L-R) E.Comp. M. Turner H E.Comp. P. James MEZ, E.Comp. K. Mitchell J
(Back L-R) E.Comp. K. Harvey PrDGDC, E.Comp. A. Barlow Pr1stAsstGSoj, E.Comp. P. Watts Installing Z,
MEGS E.Comp. J.R.G. Hilditch, E.Comp. G. Gregory PrGSoj, E.Comp. B. Wegerhoff PrGJ,
E.Comp. K.D. Thomas PrGStdB, E.Comp. D. Roberts PrAGSE, E.Comp. S. Hearn PrGStwd and
E.Comp. P. Gilkes PPrGJ Chapter DC
Berks, Oxford & Bucks Tripartite Convocation
27 Jun 2017
On 19th June 2017 Oxfordshire Provincial Grand Chapter hosted the first Tripartite Meeting of the Provinces of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The meeting took place at the Installation Convocation of the Round Table Chapter of Oxfordshire at the Bicester Masonic Centre. Over 80 Companions from the three Provinces, members of the Round Table Chapter and other visitors attended the meeting. These included the Most Excellent Grand Superintendents of Oxfordshire, James Hilditch, and Buckinghamshire, John Keeble, together with the Deputy Grand Superintendent of Berkshire, Bernard Greenwold. Also in attendance were our own Deputy Grand Superintendent, Les Steward, Second Provincial Grand Principal, Andy Pickwick, Third Provincial Grand Principal, Bernd Wegerhoff and 19 other active Officers from the Province of Oxfordshire.
The Installation Ceremony was well conducted by the Officers of the Round Table Chapter in their own serious but "light hearted" manner.
After the meeting the Companions attended a most convivial festive board. A good time was had by all and we look forward to the next tripartite meeting planned for next year to be hosted by Buckinghamshire.
The Round Table Chapter Principals accompanying the MEGS, DGSupt and PrGJ
The Oxfordshire Provincial Team accompanying the MEGS, DGSupt and PrGJ
The Tripartite Visiting Officers
Be proud of your Royal Arch Chapter membership and show your membership to others
13 May 2017
Now available are "Royal Arch Masons of the Province of Oxfordshire" Chapter cuff links and matching lapel badge. They come complete with a padded storage box. Proceeds from their sale with be donated to the 2022 Craft Festival on behalf of the Royal Arch.
The box set is available from your visiting Provincial Executive or contact who will be pleased to arrange a set for you.
There is a limited supply, so once they are gone, they are gone! – don't miss out obtain your own set now.
Support this special Order, The Grand Superintendent and the 2022 Festival.
The set is at the very reasonable price of just £10.
Windrush Chapter No 1703 - 60th Anniversary Installation Meeting
10 May 2017
E.Comp. Leslie Steward, Provincial Deputy Grand Superintendent and E.Comp. Andrew Pickwick, Provincial Grand Haggai supported by 12 Provincial Grand Officers and accompanied by E.Comp. Michael Florey, PGSwdB, PPrDGS and E.Comp. Harry Benford, PGSwdB, PPrDGS (Berkshire) attended the 60th Anniversary Installation Meeting of the Windrush Chapter No. 1703 on Thursday 4th May 2017.
To celebrate the 60th Anniversary the Three Principles were presented and invested with a new set of Robes by the Companions of the Chapter.
The Three Principles of Windrush Chapter No. 1703:
E.Comp. Howard Chirgwin, MEZ; E.Comp. Stephen Hignell, H; E.Comp. Paul Allan, J;
resplendent in their new robes with
E.Comp. Leslie Steward, PrDGS, E.Comp. Andrew Pickwick, PrGH,
members of the Provincial Team and honoured guests
(L to R) E.Comp. Michael Florey, PGSwdB, PPrDGS, E.Comp. Leslie Steward, PDGS and
E.Comp. Harry Benford, PGSwdB, PPrDGS (Berkshire)
New Banners for the Apollo University Chapter
07 May 2017
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent James R.G. Hilditch together with 12 Active Provincial Officers attended the meeting of Apollo University Chapter on Saturday 6th May 2017.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent James R.G. Hilditch accepted an invitation to take the First Principals Chair at this meeting and was delighted to accept the gift of a new set of banners from the Provincial Grand Chapter of East Lancashire.
A delegation of 14 Active Officers from East Lancashire were led by their MEGS, Sir David Trippier.
Also in attendance was the President of the Universities Scheme, Sir David Wootton Past 3rd Grand Principal who was attended by Charles Hopkinson-Woolley acting GDC, and The Most Excellent Grand Superintend for Cambridgeshire together with 4 of his Active Officers.
Following the presentation and dedication of the banners, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent relinquished the chair, and a candidate was exalted into the Holy Royal Arch.
The companions departed to dine together at the Oxford Union.
(L-R) Bill Dastur (MEGS Cambridgeshire),
Sir David Wootton (Past Third Grand Principal, President Universities Scheme)
James Hilditch (MEGS Oxfordshire) and
Sir David Trippier (MEGS East Lancashire)
Oxfordshire Provincial Grand Chapter Active Officers in Attendance
The Principals of the Apollo Chapter No. 357
Bowyer Chapter No. 1036 Exaltation
26 Apr 2017
The Deputy Grand Superintendent, E.Comp. Les Steward, visited the Bowyer Chapter No. 1036, enjoying a wonderful evening and witnessing the exaltation of Comp. Paul Connor.
(L-R) E.Comps. Paul Buck, Mike Augar, Les Steward DepGSupt, Comp. Paul Connor and E.Comp. Bob Swanton
Carfax Chapter Donation to Restore Charity
30 Mar 2017
Carfax Chapter recently donated £200 to the local Restore charity as part of their regular giving to support local and National charities.
Restore is a charity based on Manzil Way in Cowley. They are a mental health charity where people who are suffering with mental health issues go, to seek advice, get help with recovery and learn new skills to assist in getting themselves back into work. It offers various workshops to attend from exploring new skills in woodwork to cafeteria assistants.
Mackenzie said the £200 donation will help towards getting the volunteers trained in mental health first aid and safeguarding. These skills are vital in helping people move forward with their lives.
The 3rd Principal E.Comp. Leo Catney (centre), with Companion Andrew Proper,
hand over the donation to Mackenzie at Restore.
Cherwell Chapter No. 599 Installation Convocation
08 Mar 2017
All change at Banbury, the installation convocation of Cherwell Chapter, EC Ron Barnett installed as MEZ, abley supported by EC Nigel Payne, H, and EC Yanto Evans, J.
The convocation marked the standing down of EC Chris Carter, PPrGJ, as Chapter DC after 25 years of unbroken service an amazing effort of support and dedication to the chapter!
A very happy and evening was enjoyed by all attending along with the DepGSupt, EC Mark Harwood and the Prov J, EC Peter Gilkes.
(L-R) E.Comp's Mark Harwood, Nigel Payne, Ron Barnett, Yanto Evans and Peter Gilkes
Wychwood Chapter No. 2414 has a busy evening
03 Mar 2017
On Thursday 23rd February the Wychwood Chapter No. 2424 was honoured with a visit from E. Comp. Peter Gilkes, the Third Grand Principal for the Province of Oxfordshire.
A delegation from the Marlborough Chapter No. 1399 led by E. Comp. Swaylie Forrest delivered the Travelling Horn into the safe keeping of E. Comp. John Holtom, M.E.Z. of the Wychwood Chapter No. 2414.
E. Comp. Peter Gilkes presented Grand Chapter Certificates to four of the five Companions who had been Exalted into the Wychwood Chapter throughout 2016.
(L-R) Comp. A.N.Other, Comp. Alistair Eden, E.Comp. Peter Gilkes,
Comp. Ian Budd and Comp. Thomas Vaughan
Bowyer Chapter No. 1036 Installation Meeting
17 Feb 2017
On the 14th February 2017, at an installation meeting of the Bowyer Chapter No. 1036, at Chipping Norton, E Comp Mike Augur was installed as MEZ, E Comp Paul Buck as Haggai and E Comp Clive Power stood in as J.
After a wonderful ceremony the Companions retired for a most enjoyable festive board.
(L-R) E Comp's Paul Buck, Mike Augur and Clive Power
Windrush Chapter No. 1703 Sixtieth Year Celebrations
10 Feb 2017
On Thursday 2nd February 2017 the M.E.Z. E.Comp. Michael Murphy assisted by his Officers commenced the Windrush Chapter No. 1703 "60 Years Celebrations" by Exalting his father Bro. Martin Murphy into the the Royal Arch Chapter. Windrush Chapter was honoured by a visit from E.Comp. Peter Gilkes, Provincial Third Grand Principal along with E.Comp. Michael Florey, PPrDGS and the assembled companions witnessed a very moving and excellent ceremony. After being exalted Comp. Martin Murphy remarked "how much he had enjoyed the occasion and wished that he had not waited such a long time before joining the Royal Arch Chapter".
Further "60 Year Celebrations" taking place during the year will be the presentation of a new set of "Three Principles Robes" which is due to take place at the Installation meeting on Thursday 4th May 2017, with three candidates lined up for Exaltation throughout the rest of the year.
(L-R) E.Comp. M.A.A. Florey PPrDepGSupt, E.Comp. J.W. Stanley PrGAlm, E.Comp. P.N. Horton,
E.Comp. P.W. Gilkes 3rd PrGP, E.Comp. P.E. Allan, E.Comp. M.J. Murphy,
E.Comp. R.G. Buckingham PPrGSoj, Comp. M.A. Murphy, E.Comp. D. Wilson PPrGSN,
E.Comp. S.W. Hignell, Comp. C.G. Foster, Comp. A.T. Smith PrGOrg
(L-R) E.Comp. M.J. Murphy welcomes his father Comp. M.A. Murphy into the Windrush Chapter No. 1703
St Mary's Chapter No. 1763 Provincial Team Visit
30 Jan 2017
On Wednesday 25th January 2017 the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over Oxfordshire, James Hilditch, accompanied by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, Mark Harwood, the 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, Les Steward and 14 other Active Provincial Officers from Oxfordshire visited St Mary's Chapter in Thame. On this occasion they were joined by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over Warwickshire, Phillip Hall, the 2nd and 3rd Provincial Grand Principals, Paul Wheeler and David Evans, and 13 other Active Provincial Officers from Warwickshire.
(L-R) E Comp David Evans, 3rd Provincial Grand Principal (Warwickshire),
E Comp Phillip Hall, MEGS (Warwickshire),
E Comp James Hilditch, MEGS (Oxfordshire),
E Comp David Kew, Haggai, E Comp David Greig, Zerubbabel, E Comp Cliff Baker, Joshua,
E Comp Mark Harwood, Deputy Grand Superintendent (Oxfordshire),
E Comp Les Steward, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal (Oxfordshire) and
E Comp Paul Wheeler, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal (Warwickshire)
They were treated to an excellent exaltation, very ably undertaken by the Officers of St Mary's Chapter and enjoyed a most convivial festive board as can be seen on the several photos.
Deputy Grand Superintendent
04 Dec 2015
The Deputy Grand Superintendent E.Comp Mark Harwood, PGSwdB, has asked to retire from his office at the annual meeting in March 2017 and with a degree of reluctance, I have agreed. Mark has served the Province faithfully and assiduously over a very long period in both Craft and Chapter, starting as ProvAGDC in Craft in 2004. In 2008, he became ProvGSE, a post he held for three years with distinction. Mark then moved back to the Craft to become first AProvGM and then DepProvGM over a four year period. I had no hesitation in appointing him as DepGS in 2014. I have valued his wise counsel, good friendship and humour over a long period. I know that he will not disappear entirely and he has threatened to keep visiting Lodges and Chapters regularly and I am sure we will find a suitable role to continue to use his talents. On behalf of all members of the Province, I thank Mark for his dedicated service and wish him a long and happy retirement.
I am pleased to announce that E.Comp Les Steward, PGStdB, has accepted my invitation to step into Mark's shoes as Deputy Grand Superintendent, and that E.Comp Andy Pickwick, PProvDepGDC, will be appointed as Second Provincial Grand Principal and E.Comp Bernie Wegerhoff, ProvAGSE, as Third Provincial Grand Principal. All will be invested at the Provincial meeting on 30 March 2017.
James Hilditch, MEGS
Wychwood Chapter does the double!
18 Nov 2016
At a packed convocation of Wychwood Chapter in Burford, Bro. Ian Budd and Bro. Alistair Eden were exalted in exceptional style, both brethren benefiting from the first part of the ceremony separately and individually, then enjoying the remaining part of the ceremony together.
The Grand Superintendent was in attendance, together with the Second Provincial Grand Principal and the convocation was followed by a very happy and enjoyable festive board.
(L-R) E.Comp. Les Steward PrGH, E.Comp. David Lockwood, Comp. Alistair Eden,
E.Comp. John Holtom, Comp. Ian Budd, E.Comp. Malcolm Bennett and E.Comp. James Hilditch MEGS
Cherwell Chapter No. 599 Double Exaltation
09 Nov 2016
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent James Hilditch and the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal Peter Gilkes attended the Convocation of the Cherwell Chapter No. 599 on Friday 4th November 2016 when they witnessed the exaltation of two candidates Chris Gasson and Dean Newman. The MEGS also presented his Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate to Companion Chris Coulson.
MEGS James Hilditch (R) and 3rd Provincial Grand Principal Peter Gilkes (L)
presenting the Supreme Chapter Certificate to Comp. Chris Coulson
In the back row from left to right the 3rd Provincial Grand Principal E.Comp. Peter Gilkes; Comp. Chris Gasson; Comp. Dean Newman; the MEGS James Hilditch and in the front row E.Comp. Ron Barnett 'H' ; E.Comp. Peter Cottrell 'MEZ'; and E.Comp. Yanto Evans 'J' of Cherwell Chapter No. 599
Rathcreedan Chapter No. 8690 Exaltation
08 Sep 2016
The Rathcreedan Chapter No. 8690 were privileged to receive a delegation of Provincial Grand Chapter Officers headed by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent for Oxfordshire at their September 7th meeting.
Most Excellent Grand Superintendent James Robert Guy Hilditch was accompanied by the 2nd Provincial Grand Haggai Leslie Steward and our very own 3rd Principle Joshua, Peter William Gilkes.
Sonny Timms presided over the meeting as Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies.
The Candidate for Exaltation was Bro. Tony Williams, Inner Guard of the Rathcreedan Craft Lodge. A most proficient Ceremony was followed by good food and banter at the festive board.
The Oxfordshire Travelling Drinking Horn
13 Jun 2016
Having received the Oxfordshire Travelling Drinking Horn from St Marys Chapter No. 1763 at our regular convocation on May 16th a deputation from Carfax Chapter attended the June 2nd Convocation of Jersey Chapter, at Bicester, to pass on the Horn.
The Carfax delegation, consisting of our three principles – EC Ken Thomas (Z), EC Richard Alliston (H) and EC Barclay Lawrence (J) – plus EC Ken Chapell, EC Eugene Gratwohl, EC David Laidlaw, Comp Paul Denison-Edson, Comp Basil Hughes & Comp Andy Proper, was received warmly by the 3 principles of the Jersey Chapter and the Horn was delivered into their safe keeping according to the prescribed ritual.
The Carfax delegation was treated to an excellent double exaltation in the 1941 Ritual and afterwards to a warm and friendly festive board, where EC David Laidlaw responded to the toast to the visitors.
Carfax Chapter No. 5723 Convocation
25 May 2016
The Companions of Carfax Chapter received two delegations at their convocation on May 16th at Woodstock. Firstly they were visited by the Provincial representatioves E.Comp. Les Steward, Prov Grand H, E.Comp. Peter Gilkes, Prov Grand J, E.Comp. Chris Cox, Prov Grand SE, E.Comp. Keith Pauling, Prov Grand SN, and Comp. Graham Harvey, Prov Grand Stwd.
After the meeting was opened the Chapter then received a deputation of 11 companions from St Mary's Chapter, Thame, led by their MEZ E.Comp. Derek Starling, bearing the Travelling Drinking Horn.
The three principals then exalted Comp. John Blessing, using the traditional Oxford working.
Carfax Chapter will be passing on the Travelling Drinking Horn to Jersey Chapter at Bicester, at their next meeting on Thursday June 3rd.
The Provincial Grand Chapter meeting at Heythrop Park
04 Apr 2016
The Provincial Grand Chapter meeting at Heythrop Park witnessed not just the installation of EC Peter Gilkes as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal, but the delivery from Culham College Chapter of the Travelling Drinking Horn into the safe keeping of Provincial Grand Chapter, and the charging of the Provincial Sojourners to deliver it safely to another chapter!
The Chapter of the Year was awarded by the ME Grand Superintendent to Culham College Chapter in recognition of all the hard work and efforts of the of the companions of the chapter to recover from more difficult times.
The ME Grand Superintendent is his address commented on the tremendous efforts of EC Tony Nimmo who had stood down as 3rd Provincial Grand Principal in attending as many of the chapter meetings as he did, Tony's name was entered as attending almost every convocation within the province, a wonderful effort that had not gone unnoticed!
The ME Grand Superintendent reappointed as his Deputy EC Mark Harwood and as 2 Provincial Grand Principal EC Les Steward, and charging them to "revamp" the RA Representative scheme as part of the reconnection of the Royal Arch with the craft and likewise with the companions as a whole.
Some 140 plus companions then enjoyed a most pleasant luncheon basking in the spring sunshine which bathed the dining room at Heythrop Park, and as one of our visitors commented on social media afterwards "what a venue that is wow", which really just summed up the day, and a most enjoyable convocation.
Installed First Principals Chapter No. 7770 Installation Meeting
21 Mar 2016
All change at Installed 1st Principals on installation convocation Saturday 19th March, the Henley Masonic centre hosting the meeting, Thames, E.Comp. Phillip Batten was installed and MEZ, E.Comp. Tony Taylor as H, and E.Comp. Neil Jupp as J. The convocation was well supported from all around the province with the ME Grand Superintendent accompanied by his Deputy and Provincial H and J. The highlights of the convocation were the lecture delivered on Moses, Aholiab and Bezaliel by E.Comp. Dennis White, the appointment of the chapter officers and most importantly of the stewards messrs Hilditch and Baverstock ... but the surprise event and the best of all was the presentation of a Meritorious Service Award by the ME Grand Superintendent to E.Comp. George Strachan in recognition of his devoted service to Royal Arch Masonry within the Province of Oxfordshire, which was received with great acclaim, for once E.Comp. George was stuck for words!
(L-R) E.Comp. George Strachan, E.Comp. Tony Taylor, E.Comp. Phillip Batten,
E.Comp. Neil Jupp with the ME Grand Superintendent
Cherwell Chapter No. 599 Installation Meeting
06 Mar 2016
E.Comp. Peter Cottrell was installed as MEZ of Cherwell Chapter No. 599 in the presence of PrGH E.Comp. Les Steward.
(Back L to R) Comp. Jack Reed, E.Comp. Les Steward PrGH, Comp. Mark Hunt
(Front L to R) E.Comp. Ron Barnett (H), E.Comp. Peter Cottrell (MEZ), E.Comp. Yanto Evans (J)
The Cherwell Chapter is looking forward to a good year under the direction of the new Three Principals, with Exaltees in the pipeline for both of its Convocations during 2016.
The Provincial Second Grand Principal presented Supreme Grand Chapter Certificates to the most recent Exaltees of the Chapter, Comp. Jack Reed and Comp. Mark Hunt.
Carfax Chapter No. 5723 Exaltation
06 Mar 2016
On the 3rd March at Carfax Chapter No. 5723 I witnessed a very sincere exhortation ceremony by the officers present, although short in numbers due to unforeseen sickness and work commitments, all the officers and partially the stand-in's gave a very good account of themselves.
The ceremony being conducted by E.Comp. Ken Thomas MEZ, whom was very ably supported by acting PSoj Comp. Leo Catney, followed by "H" E.Comp. Richard Alliston with the symbolical lecture and E.Comp. Neil Spencer with the mystical lecture. A great time by one and all. The newly exalted Comp. Andrew Proper stated at the festive board how much he enjoyed the ceremony and was quite moved when he was restored to light.
(L-R) E.Comp. Tony Nimmo 3rdProvGP, E.Comp. Richard Alliston "H",
Comp. Andrew Proper, E.Comp. Ken Thomas MEZ, E.Comp. Barclay Lawrence "J"
Wychwood Chapter No. 2414 Installation Convocation
14 Feb 2016
A super installation convocation at Wychwood Chapter on 25th February - John Holtom installed as Z David Lockwood as H and Malcolm Bennett as J - as witnessed by Mark Harwood and Mike Florey Deputy Grand Superintendents present and past. With three SGC certificates presented and 4 exaltees proposed the principals are going to be a little busy!
RT Oxon Chapter No. 9509 Meeting
14 Feb 2016
When the Second and Third Provincial Grand Principals of Oxfordshire E.Comp. Les Steward and E.Comp. Tony Nimmo visited the meeting of Round Table Chapter of Oxfordshire at Jurys Inn (formally The Oxford Hotel) on 10th February they witnessed an Exaltation Ceremony which the Second Grand Principal later describe at the Festive Board as full of Round Table "idiosyncrasies".
The Candidate Bro Dean Fido was received into the Chapter in an Exaltation Ceremony that was relaxed but with dignity and decorum at the appropriate times. The Principals and the PS worked to a high standard. The Third Provincial Grand Principal presented a SGC Certificate to Companion Chris (only my mother calls me Christopher when I misbehave) Grant in an equally relaxed but informative manner. This most enjoyable meeting was rounded of by a Festive Board which was enjoyed by all, especially the fraternal banter.
The Third Provincial Grand Principal and
Comp. Chris Grant with Certificate attached
Bowyer Chapter No. 1036 Installation Meeting
10 Feb 2016
A exceptionally good installation convocation on Tuesday 9th February at Bowyer Chapter No. 1036, Chipping Norton, with EC's Royston Williams, Mike Augar and Paul Buck taking the principals chairs. The chapter could not have wished for a better happier and enthusiastic trio which reflects the "on the up buzz" being felt not just in the chapter but around the Royal Arch and province as a whole, and with two exaltees scheduled to follow, demonstrating just that.
More than 30 attended the convocation and dined, with chapters from Banbury, Henley and Warwickshire all represented enjoying the hospitality and companionship of the Bowyer Chapter - well worth a visit!
The DeptGSupt and 3rdPrGP Visit Caversham Chapter
04 Feb 2016
The DepGSupt and the 3rdPrGP visited Caversham Chapter on Wednesday 3rd February to witness the exaltation of Bro Gordon McCoy of Caversham Lodge. The evening commenced with the presentation of a SGC to Companion Michael Boswell by his father, the MEGS of Suffolk, the exaltation ceremony that followed was faultless, the MEZ and his officers continue to set a very high standard. The DeptGSupt and 3rdPrGP enjoyed a most memorable convocation and excellent dining at the after proceedings hosted by the chapter at Reading Golf Club.
The picture shows the DepGSupt congratulating the exaltee Companion Gordon McCoy on his exaltation.
The Travelling Drinking Horn Arrives at the Apollo University Chapter No. 357
02 Feb 2016
A delegation from Alfred Chapter visited Apollo University Chapter to pass into the care of the chapter the travelling drinking horn - and had the pleasure of watching the exaltation of three new companions. The convocation was marked by the presence of the MEGS along with the DGSupt, the PrGScribe N and the DGSupt of East Lancs, Paul Rose.
An excellent convocation was concluded with a well attended luncheon where all enjoyed good fare and company.
Provincial Team Visit to St Mary's Chapter
29 Jan 2016
A provincial team visit to St Mary's Chapter on Wednesday 28th January was rewarded with witnessing the exaltation of W.Bro. Albert Ingram of Hampden Lodge, here being congratulated and welcomed into the Royal Arch by the Provincial Deputy Grand Superintendent, Mark Harwood, and the Chapters Z Tony Hill.
(L-R) Deputy Grand Superintendent Mark Harwood,
Comp. Albert Ingram and E.Comp. Tony Hill Z
It was a very happy and successful evening and final team visit prior to the Provincial Convocation on 31st March this year. The Province was well represented as was the chapter with some 52 enjoying good company and hospitality.
Provincial Team Visit to Warwickshire
20 Jan 2016
On the evening of the 19th January the MEGS along with 13 other members of the Royal Arch Provincial team visited the Swan of Avon Chapter, Stratford on Avon, as guests of the Royal Arch Province of Warwickshire. The convocation was well attended and we were all treated to an exceptional evening of Warwickshire ritual and hospitality. Many old friendships were rekindled and new acquaintances formed. All in all a super evening and the reciprocal visit is being planned!
The "Travelling Drinking Horn" establishes a new bench mark
17 Dec 2015
On Tuesday 8th December 2015, E. Comp. John Holtom (representing the MEZ of Wychwood Chapter No. 2414) accompanied by 14 companions visited the Bowyer Chapter No. 1036 in Chipping Norton.
E. Comp. Bob Swanton, MEZ welcomed the visiting Wychwood Chapter Companions and received the "Travelling Drinking Horn" into the safe keeping of Bowyer Chapter. During the meeting E. Comp. Bob Swanton assisted by his Officers performed a first-class Royal Arch exaltation ceremony for Bro. Sean Councill.
Since the "Travelling Drinking Horn" commenced its travels around the Oxfordshire Province, the numbers of Companions accompanying it has increased on each visit. The bench mark set by Wychwood Chapter for the most visitors now stands at fifteen. The challenge is on to see which Chapter is going to break the record?
Jersey Chapter No. 2334 Installation
16 Oct 2015
On Thursday 8 October, members of Jersey Chapter, No. 2334, had a very enjoyable evening at Weyland Hall, Bicester when the Three Principals were installed. The meeting was attended by the 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, E. Comp. Les Steward.
Pictured are - (front row) E. Comp John Newbold (MEZ), E. Comp Tom Edwards (H) and E. Comp Riki Rodgers (J), (back row, left to right) E. Comp Roy Thomas (SE), E. Comp Reg Neate (PZ), E. Comp Les Steward (PrGH) and E. Comp Jim Young (DC)
The Royal Arch "Travelling Horn" Visits the West of the Province
12 Oct 2015
On Thursday 8th October 2015, the Royal Arch "Travelling Horn" was transported to Wychwood Chapter No. 2414 by eight Companions of Cherwell Chapter No. 599. E. Comp. David Reed entrusted the "Travelling Horn" into the safe keeping of E. Comp. William Wynn.
On behalf of the Companions of Wychwood Chapter No. 2414, E. Comp. William Wynn welcomed the visitors to Burford on what proved to be an enjoyable evening with a very full agenda. During the meeting E. Comp. William Wynn exalted Bro. Adrian Edwards into Royal Arch Chapter and successfully conducted ballots for two Brethren for exaltation and two joining Companions into Wychwood Chapter No. 2414.
Carfax Chapter No. 5723 Installation Convocation
06 Oct 2015
Once more a very interesting evening hosted by Carfax Chapter No. 5723. At their installation convocation when E.Comp. Ken Thomas took the chair of MEZ, E.Comp. Richard Alliston took the chair of Haggai, and E.Comp. Berkeley Lawrence took the chair of Joshua, this was for the second time in each of their masonic careers.
The Chapter is in good hands and looks very prosperous with a further two candidates in the pipeline, I look forward to seeing you all once again at your legendary Christmas whites table meeting on the 21st of December.
I also had the pleasure of presenting a Supreme Grand Chapters Certificate to Comp. Roberto Bonassisa their most recent member.
E.Comp. Anthony W. Nimmo
Provincial Third Grand Principal
Cherwell Chapter No. 599 Convocation
21 Sep 2015
Two special events took place at Cherwell Chapter No.599 last Friday.
Firstly the "Travelling Drinking Horn" arrived accompanied by a delegation from Windrush Chapter No. 1703 (see article below).
The second special event was the Exaltation of Jack Reed by his father, E. Comp. David Reed PPrGStB, the current MEZ of the Cherwell Chapter.
This completed a unique "double" for the Reed family because Jack was also Initiated into Freemasonry by his father when he was Worshipful Master of the Calthorpe Lodge No. 5172 in 2012.
(L-R) E.Comp. Mark Harwood DGSupt,
MEZ E.Comp. David Reed PPrGStB,
Comp. Jack Reed,
E.Comp. Philip Horton MEZ Windrush Chapter
The Royal Arch Travelling Drinking Horn First Journey
21 Sep 2015
The Royal Arch Drinking Horn travelled to Cherwell Chapter No. 599 on Friday 18th September 2015.
The Three Principals of Windrush Chapter No. 1703: E. Comp. Philip Horton, MEZ; E. Comp. Michael Murphy, H; E. Comp. Howard Chirgwin, J; entrusted the Royal Arch Drinking Horn into the safe hands of E. Comp. David Reed, PPrGStB, MEZ of Cherwell Chapter No. 599.
The Three Principals of Windrush Chapter were accompanied by E. Comp. Michal Pacey, Scribe E. and E. Comp. John Stanley, PPrGSoj.
Oxfordshire First Principals Chapter No. 7770 Meeting
17 Sep 2015
The First Principals Chapter held their most recent convocation on Tuesday 15th September at the Thame Masonic Centre.
A splendid evening was had in which Comp Ken Elston Chairman of the Masonic Philately Society entertained the companions present with a lecture on "Postage Stamps with Masonic Connections". All were quite enthralled at the imagery and references on so many stamps not just from the UK but from around the world.
Comp Ken was congratulated by all on the quality of his presentation and his vast knowledge of the images and of the characters involved.
The next item on the Agenda was to elect the Three Principals for the ensuing year - and the following companions were declared selected as follows:
  • MEZ E.Comp. Philip Batten PPrGSN
  • H E.Comp. Anthony Taylor PrGSN
  • J E.Comp. Neil Jupp PPrGSN
The chapter re elected E Comp Andy O'Sullivan as Treasurer at which point he proposed a "reduction" in the chapter dues to £30.00 per year a most popular move!
The photo shows the principals for the evening with Comp Ken:
(L-R) E Comp Phillip Batten H (Z elect), E Comp Paul Keifer Z,
Companion Ken Elston and as acting J E Comp Chris Cox
The installation convocation will take place at Henley on Thames on Saturday 19th March 2016 - all Companions are welcome.
Windrush Chapter No. 1703 Hosts the Provincial Grand Chapter Meeting
04 Sep 2015
Windrush Chapter hosted a well attended meeting at the Witney Masonic Centre of Provincial Grand Chapter where the MEGS unveiled the "Travelling Horn" as well as a proposed Chapter of the Year Award. The attendance of the DPGM, the APGM and the Inspector General of the Ancient and Accepted Rite in support of the MEGS was greatly appreciated by all.
The MEGS presented the "Travelling Horn" to the MEZ who was encouraged to pass it on, with the provided appropriate ceremonial, at his next visit as MEZ to another chapter within the Province. The horn was the centre of much attention and received with much enthusiasm and smiling faces, and as can be seen from the pictures with admiration!
The MEGS also announced that at the Provincial convocation on the 31st March 2016 he would be awarding a prize for the Chapter of the Year, which again set minds thinking as it would be based not just on number of exaltations and ceremonial but as well as enthusiasm and support of the companions of not just their chapter but of others within the province.  
Once Provincial Grand Chapter was closed all enjoyed an extremely well presented lecture on the Royal Arch Chapter Jewel which was delivered by the principals of Windrush Chapter.
The MEGS and the provincial team then retired and the chapter returned to normal business.
Once the chapter was closed all enjoyed an excellent festive board at which great humour was had by the MEGS at the expense of not just the 2nd Grand Principal and the DG Superintendent, but of himself also and not forgetting the "Travelling Horn".
A most successful and enjoyable evening of Royal Arch Masonry was had by all, with the rekindling of old friendships and pride in this most important of orders.
What's The Royal Arch All About?
20 Jul 2015
St Edburg's Lodge, Bicester, held their 131st Lodge meeting on Friday 17th July, and hosted a very special and important event as item number 4 on their summons the first presentation of ...

Click on the page on the right to read report
Caversham Chapter No. 3831 Donation to the Alexander Devine Children's Hospice
29 Jun 2015
(L-R) E.Comps. Malcolm Geater and Steve Hill presenting a cheque for £750
to the Director of Funraising, Sally Stevens, on behalf of Caversham Chapter No. 3831
(see also Caversham Lodge £1000 Cheque Presentation to Alexander Devine Children's Hospice)
Caversham Chapter No. 3831 Exaltation Convocation
14 Jun 2015
The Three Principals of Caversham Chapter with the ME Grand Superintendent James R.G. Hilditch
and the Provincial Second Grand Principal E. Comp. Leslie C. Steward.
The Three Principals of Caversham Chapter with the five Grand Superintendents who attended the
Exaltation Convocation of the Grand Superintendent of Suffolk's son on Wednesday 10th June.
Windrush Chapter No. 1703 Installation Meeting
12 May 2015
(L-R) Clive Hooker PrGStd, Les Steward PrGH, Mike Murphy new H,
Phil Horton new MEZ, Howard Chirgwin new J and Tony Nimmo PrGJ
The Provincial Second Grand Principal presenting a SGC Certificate to Comp Bill McDowell
Marlborough and St Mary's Chapter Meetings
24 Apr 2015
Two very different RA meetings this week - the first a full Provincial Team visit to Marlborough Chapter where EC Chris Carter, PPr3rdGP and a team from Cherwell Chapter delivered a most informative talk on the chapter officers and the historical characters they represent. A big thank you to Chris and his team, and to the companions of Marlborough for hosting the evening.
The second was the installation convocation at St Mary's, a very well attended event which included the presentation of a SGC to companion Rudi Feiler. Pictured below are the new Principals (L-R) D Starling, A Hill, and J Watts with the supporting Provincial team.
The second is of the DGS and Companion Rudi with the SGC - many thanks to new Janitor EC Alan Baverstock for acting as the happy snapper and iPhone expert!
Berkshire and Oxfordshire Royal Arch Freemasonry
26 Mar 2015
At our recent Installation meeting of Loddon Chapter No. 3427 in Berkshire on Wednesday 11th March 2015. E.Comp. Andy O'Sullivan Pr2ndAssGSoj a PZ of Caversham Chapter No. 3831 and Loddon Chapter No. 3427 was installed as H for the second time in Loddon Chapter, E.Comp. Tony Trigg - current Joshua of Caversham Chapter and a PZ of Loddon Chapter was installed as J and E.Comp. Johnathon Johnson of Loddon Chapter was installed as MEZ for the first time (we will no doubt try and recruit him into Caversham Chapter in due time).
We like to think that the Companions of Caversham Chapter are doing their bit to promote harmony and brotherhood between the Provinces of Oxfordshire and Berkshire.
An interesting note is that the Provincial 3rd Grand Principal, E.Comp Jem Whitmore is already a member and PZ of Caversham Chapter and the current MEZ (E.Comp. Graham Howe) of Loddon Chapter is also the current MEZ of Caversham Chapter.
(L-R) E.Comps. Andy O'Sullivan, Johnathon Johnson and Tony Trigg
Oxfordshire Royal Arch Companions appointed or promoted to Grand Rank
23 Mar 2015
Oxfordshire Royal Arch Companions appointed or promoted to Grand Rank
At the Annual Investiture Meeting of Supreme Grand Chapter, to be held at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London on Thursday 30th April, The Most Excellent First Grand Principal, HRH the Duke of Kent will be pleased to appoint and invest the following Companions from the Province of Oxfordshire:
First Appointments
Christopher John Cox - St Mary's Chapter No. 1763 - Past Grand Standard Bearer
Mark Kenneth Harwood - Thames Chapter No. 1895 - Past Grand Sword Bearer
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent, James Robert Guy Hilditch, would like to take this opportunity to express his congratulations, together with those of the Province to those receiving honours in recognition of the hard work and dedication they have put in on behalf of the Province of Oxfordshire and the Royal Arch in general.
Installed First Principals' Chapter No. 7770 Investiture Convocation
23 Mar 2015
Installed First Principals' Chapter held their investiture convocation on Saturday 21st March at Banbury and hosted the Metropolitan Provincial Grand Chapter Demonstration team who delivered their "Talking Heads" presentation, over 50 attended.
EC Paul Kiefer was installed at MEZ by EC David Charlton, along with EC Phil Batten as H, and EC Les Steward as J. As importantly was the election of EC Mike Florey to that of honorary membership of the chapter which was greeted with great Masonic acclaim!
An orderly queue for refreshment!
Some 9, yes companions 9, new joining members of the chapter were then elected, the Scribe E advised of a further 4 other applications being mentioned for the next convocation!
There then followed the presentation which lasted some 35 minutes which stimulated much praise for the quality and positive messages conveyed, and the MEGS praised the team in his thanks for giving so freely of their time to support the Chapter.
There followed an excellent luncheon and all were away in plenty of time to be home for the Twickenham kick off... (the score, although a win, the only disappointment for the writer, who confesses to be half Scot, on otherwise a great way to spend a Saturday).
The MEZ of St Mary's on hearing the DGS had bought a drink!
MEGS Visit to St Edburg's Chapter No. 9233
23 Mar 2015
The MEGS and his immediate team visited St Edburg's Chapter No. 9233 on 20th March to support the investiture of the Principals. It was a very happy convocation and the MEGS was honoured to present Companion "Tom" Sietnieks with his SGC certificate.
The next convocation of the chapter is on 20th November 2015, so it gives companions of the Province plenty of time to book a visit to support this chapter, who have their own ritual.
Carfax Chapter No. 5723 Exaltation
12 Mar 2015
On 5th March Carfax Chapter welcomed as an exaltee Roberto Bonassisa, Roberto is a member of Carfax lodge and was truly amazed at the chapter and it's ritual.
Cherwell Chapter No. 599 Installation Meeting
08 Mar 2015
Installation of the three principals of Cherwell Chapter 509
(L-R) PrGH Les Steward, MEGS James Hilditch, Chapter 2nd P Peter Cottrell,
1st P David Reed, 3rd P Ron Barnett and the PrGJ Tony Nimmo
The MEGS presented a Holy Royal Arch Grand Chapter Certificate to Comp. Neal Howkins
Wychwood Chapter No. 2414 Installation Meeting
03 Mar 2015
The installation of the three principals at Wychwood Chapter, Burford was well supported and Bill Winn was successfully installed as 1st Principal by his predecessor EC Mark Jewell. The meeting was marked by a visit from the MEGS James Hitditch the DGS Mark Harwood, the 3rdPGP Tony Nimmo and the PGSE Chris Cox.
(Front L-R) MEGS, Chapter 2nd P John Holtom, 1st P Bill Winn, 3rd P David Lockwood and the DGS.
(Back L-R) PGSE, and the 3rdP Grand Principal.
The meeting was followed with the usual excellent fare at the festive board, the MEGS commenting, "congratulations to all on such a happy and fun meeting and excellent festive board".
Culham Chapter No. 2951 Installation Meeting
23 Feb 2015
An excellent afternoon at Culham College Chapter a very well worked installation of the three Principals a real team effort, and not one of the Principals is an IPZ! The visiting Provincial Team are pictured below with (from L to R) front row: H - Jeremy Gadd MEZ Adrian Barlow J - Andrew Gordon Jnr.
With a candidate to exalt on the 17th October all bodes well for this Chapter. To round off the meeting Comp James Cairns was presented with his SGC certificate by the DGS.
(from L to R) front row: H - Jeremy Gadd, MEZ - Adrian Barlow, J - Andrew Gordon Jnr.
Thames Chapter No. 1895 Meeting
20 Feb 2015
(L-R) Companion Dan Coppock being presented with his Supreme Grand Chapter certificate
by Mark Harwood (acting H), with Stephen Quant (acting Z) and Graham Ellis (J).
Provincial Team Visit to St Giles Chapter No. 8904
13 Feb 2015
The MEGS and his team visited St Giles Chapter No. 8904, Woodstock, on 12th February to support the chapter and witness the exaltation of Paul Lester, Evenlode Lodge.
After an excellent meeting and the MEGS presented Comp. Paul with his provincial RA tie, Paul commented later that "the evening and ceremony was just amazing and that I am so pleased to have taken this next step in freemasonry."
111 Years Not Out For Bowyer Chapter No. 1036
11 Feb 2015
A very happy and fun evening was enjoyed by all who attended and the Bowyer 111 years anniversary meeting – the minutes of the same convocation 100 years ago were read and what was most inspiring was that despite the war they kept meeting in support of those who were absent serving in the forces and to make sure the chapter and masonry was still there for them on their return.
(Back row L-R) PrGSN Tony Taylor - DepGSupt Mark Harwood – Pr3rdGP Tony Nimmo – PrGSE Chris Cox
And most importantly !
(Front Row L-R) "H" Royston Williams – "Z" Bob Swanton – "J" Mike Augar
The principals hope to enjoy the company of other RA masons in the Province both at Chipping Norton and when visiting other chapters in the province.
Presentation of a Grand Superintendent's Meritorious Service Jewel
25 Jan 2015
At the St Barbara's Chapter meeting 22nd Jan 2015 the MEGS presented a Grand Superintendent's Meritorious Service Jewel to E Comp. Tony Brace.
We now come to an extra item on the agenda – the presentation of the Grand Superintendent's Meritorious Service Jewel.   
In introducing this, I should make it clear that it is a long time since this was last awarded. I had intended to make this award at the Provincial Chapter meeting, but unfortunately the recipient was not present. However, it does give me the benefit of making the award in the recipient's own chapter.
This award is made at the recommendation of my predecessor, but I have no hesitation in following through his wishes, and I also hope that it will not be so long until it is awarded again.
Usually, these awards are described in the third person, to leave you all guessing who the recipient is. But, on this occasion, it would not take too long to work it out and I will save you even that, by asking the Provincial DC to bring E Comp Tony Brace to me.
E Comp Tony, I don't want to embarrass you with a long account of what you have achieved in Chapter, but let me start by saying that you have been a Royal Arch mason for nearly 40 years, having been exalted into this Chapter in the 70's. You have been MEZ of this Chapter twice. You were also a founder of Rathcreedan Chapter and MEZ of that Chapter. You have held the office of DC in both St.Barbara Chapter & Rathcreedan Chapter for a number of years having previously been AssistDC in both.
But this award also recognises your promotion of the Holy Royal Arch at every opportunity. Even today, I see that the candidate has been seconded by you. Your knowledge of R.A. is considerable and you always available to junior members to whom you pass on both knowledge and encouragement.
E Comp Tony, you have also held the highest office in other orders and have been a good friend to me, with much wise counsel. So it gives me great pleasure to present you with the Grand Superintendent's Meritorious Service Jewel."
The MEGS presents a Grand Superintendent's
Meritorious Service Jewel to E Comp. Tony Brace
The Grand Superintendent for Berkshire Visits Caversham Chapter
16 Oct 2014
Article courtesy of the Berkshire Provincial Grand Chapter website.     
On Friday 10th October, the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent for Berkshire, Excellent Companion Ken Benford visited the Caversham Chapter in the Province of Oxfordshire to see two Berkshire Companions installed into two of the Principal's Chairs.
The Convocation was officially represented by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent of Oxfordshire, Excellent Companion James Hilditch, the Third Provincial Grand Principal, Excellent Companion Anthony Nimmo and the Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah, Excellent Companion Anthony Taylor.
The 2 Grand Superintendents,
Excellent Companions James Hilditch and Ken Benford
Tony Trigg was installed as J and Graham Howe was installed as the MEZ. Both companions are members of Loddon Chapter in Berkshire which has a very close affinity with Caversham Chapter and indeed, Graham Howe is now MEZ in both Chapters. Excellent Companion Peter Anderson was installed as H.
The Principals of Caversham Chapter,
Excellent Companions Peter Anderson (H), Graham Howe (MEZ) and Tony Trigg (J)
A very good ceremony in the beautiful Temple at Caversham was followed by a lively and entertaining Festive Board at the Reading Golf Club.
It is good to see members of both Provinces crossing the boundaries to enjoy their Royal Arch masonry and the attendance of two Grand Superintendents was very much appreciated and enjoyed by all the Companions.
Cherwell Chapter Presentation Team
9 May 2014
For the Chapter's 125th Anniversary Convocation the Director of Ceremonies, Ex Comp Chris Carter researched, developed, and produced a comprehensive lecture, that was delivered by participation of the Officers and Companions of the Chapter to the acclaim of all, especially the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and his then current team of Officers who were in attendance.
Click to view PDF
The MEGS suggested that the Chapter might like to produce 'cut down' versions and 'take them on tour' around the Province and indeed perhaps further afield into other Provinces.
These Presentations make for an ideal 'daily advancement in Masonic knowledge', in situations where a Chapter has no Candidate and would otherwise being staging a 'rehearsal'.
Click on the page on the right for further information.
To arrange bookings, please in the first instance contact:
E. Comp Chris Carter on Cherwell Chapter Presentation Team or 07973 409718.
Royal Arch Bicentenary and Royal College of Surgeons Appeal 2013
6 Feb 2014
A letter from The Second Grand Principle, George P. Francis.

Click on the image to the right to view/ download the PDF document.
Click to view PDF
The Oxfordshire Provincial Grand Chapter team visit St Mary's Chapter
22 Jan 2014
It may seem strange to talk about Christmas being over, when we haven't even got there yet, but when the festivities are behind us, what better way to start the new year than with a full Provincial Grand Chapter team visit to St Mary's Chapter in Thame?
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and his officers have very full diaries throughout the year with commitments both within and out of the Province, therefore full team visits are considered very special occasions, so the Principals and Companions of St Mary's Chapter in Thame will be honoured to receive the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent together with his active Provincial Grand Officers on the 22nd of January 2014.
St Mary's Chapter would welcome visiting Companions from other Chapters in the Province, so if you would like to attend this very special occasion, please drop a line to E.Comp. Chris Cox, the Scribe E of St Mary's Chapter and he will be delighted to book you in for what will be a very enjoyable convocation.
Meanwhile, the Oxfordshire Provincial Grand Chapter Team would like to take this opportunity to wish all members of the Royal Arch a happy, healthy and enjoyable Christmas!
The First Principals Chapter to host the RCS appeal closing
18 Sep 2013
The evening of Wednesday 18th September this year will see the Companions of the First Principals Chapter of Oxfordshire provide a demonstration of the Ceremony of the Veils and celebrate the official closing of the Royal College of Surgeons Appeal in Oxfordshire at Banbury Masonic Hall.
The Most Excellent Grand Superintendent together with officers of Oxfordshire Provincial Grand Chapter will be in attendance and this provides Oxfordshire Royal Arch Masons with the rare opportunity of witnessing a demonstration of the Ceremony of the Veils outside of the Province of Bristol.
The evening will also feature a review of the fund raising achievements of the Province and what is hoped to be a "thank you" presentation by The Royal College of Surgeons.
This unique event is open to all Royal Arch Companions, not just Installed First Principals, and you are welcome to contact the scribe to book in for what promises to be a sensational evening in the temple that Cherwell and Rathcreedan Chapters have the privilege to call home.
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