Celebrating 300 years of Freemasonry
15 Teams from the provinces of Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, and Oxfordshire duly arrived at Long Ashton Golf Club on the morning of Friday 21st July 2017 to compete to be crowned the first winners of the Tercentenary Golf Trophy.
All the players were welcomed by the organiser and enjoyed the hospitality of the club with a coffee and a bacon roll.
Although the weather forecast had predicted rain all day, by the time the first Bristol team teed off, the weather was dry with a slight breeze and it looked like we might all enjoy a rain free round.
However, this was not the case as by the time the Oxfordshire team started the rain had started and this carried on throughout their round.
The first teams out did manage to play most of the front nine holes before the rain arrived.
However, the covered "Half Way House" offering drink and chocolate biscuits was a welcome relief from the rain as each team completed the 10th hole.
One of the biggest problems was not the fact that players were getting cold and wet with gloves slipping from the clubs but several teams had issues with their scorecards becoming wet and obliterating the scores as they were written down – some teams transferred their scores to the "official club scorecard", but this made no difference as the wet seemed to penetrate everywhere.
As teams completed their rounds it was obvious that the rain was taking its toll on the scoring. The first teams out seemed to have the better of the weather and had posted the best team scores until the very end, when the Oxfordshire team emerged from the 18th green – more like a scene from Finding Nemo than a golf competition.
The sanctuary of the changing rooms and hot showers was a welcome relief to all players. The chance to partake in a drink followed by a superb 2 course buffet was for many the highlight of the day.
However, this was a team golf competition and winners there must be!
Oxfordshire took the honour of being crowned the first winners of the Tercentenary Cup, with Bristol 1 as runners up and Bristol 4 in third place.
Despite the weather, everyone enjoyed the event and hopefully this will be a competition that will be organised again next year.
On the 24th of June, Allan Jenkins proudly represented the Province of Oxfordshire in the Tercentenary London to Brighton cycle ride. Allan was one of approximately seventy riders who took part. It was a long and tough trip, but made all the better by the helpers at the refreshment stops, and the backup crews along the route. With legs getting tired after the many up hill climbs, meeting the head wind on the final stretch along the Brighton esplanade was not well received, however after completing this journey, all were very well received at Barford Court and burgers were consumed with relish. Allan's magnificent efforts were rewarded for completing the ride, with sponsorship he had raised for the British Heart Foundation, totalling in the region of £200. Allan would like to extend a grateful thank you to all fellow Masons, friends and family who donated to this worthy charity. Congratulations Allan.
2017 marks the official 300th birthday of Freemasonry, celebrating how three hundred years ago, on 24 June 1717, four London Lodges came together to form a Grand Lodge, the first in the world. The Tercentenary will be commemorated with a calendar of high profile events both nationally and locally.
Ken Ramsden BPMGS Captain welcomes all the visiting teams after dinner with Stephen Harvey BPMGS Secretary and organiser
Berkshire Province Masonic Golf Society was asked to host a 5-way Inter Province Golf Championship at Lambourne Golf Club on June 8th. Teams from Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire with 64 golfers competing in the Tercentenary Championship and was a very close contest.
Despite the dull conditions some excellent golf resulted, with Buckinghamshire Masonic Golf Society Team 1 winning the championship, netting 107 points Winning by a single point over Runners Up Oxfordshire.
Pictured below: (left to right). Winners Bucks Team 1 – 107 points. David Hawkins, Capt Paul Savage, Steve Smirthwaite with Anthony Charles Howlett-Bolton.
Pictured above Right:- Runners-up Oxfordshire Team 1 – 106 points. Anthony Charles Howlett-Bolton centre, with winners PGM James Hilditch, Mike Augar with, Charlie Augar and Alex McDonald.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Berkshire, Anthony Charles Howlett-Bolton presented the prizes and supported the BPMGS Hon Secretary and organiser Stephen Harvey BPMGS Hon Secretary, as the host Province.
Jim Wilson (Top Left) from Berkshire playing of a handicap of 7 netted a score of 40 points and picked up the Best Individual Prize, and Trevor Passby (Top Middle), also from Berkshire picked up the Runner up prize.
Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire also cleaned up on Nearest the Pin competitions, with Billy Allen Oxfordshire. (Top right), winning on Hole 5, and Stan Green of Buckinghamshire won on Hole 17. (Bottom right).
£100 lost balls sweep was shared by Paul Allen, Oxfordshire (Bottom Left) & Peter Harborne, Buckinghamshire. (Centre) with Anthony congratulating Stephen for his efforts in organising a very successful day. (Bottom right).
The entire winners gather together to finish off the day with a collective winning team photo.
BPMGS invited 4 visiting Provincial Officers to join them for the presentation dinner and ceremony. Paul Gower Provincial Grand Master for Province of Hertfordshire, Middlesex Deputy PGM Simon Thoday, Province Grand Master for Province of Oxfordshire James Hilditch, supported by Tercentenary Executive Paul Buck.
Top left. Terry Turner Middlesex Captain hands over the Inter Province Trophy to Ken Ramsden Capt of BPMGS. Middle picture BPMGS Captain Ken receives Inter Province Cup v Bucks, winning by a margin of 2 points. 268 v 264 points. Top right, Terry Turner Middlesex Captains hands over their Cup to the Bucks Captain Paul Savage.
Bottom left. David Hesketh (BPMGS) drives on the finishing 18th hole. Bottom Right. Charlie Augar (OMGS) drives the 16th.
The tercentenary celebrations continued on the sporting from with this, the first, Inter Provincial Coarse Angling Match between teams from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Oxfordshire which took place on the Grand Union Canal at Manor Fields, Bletchley near Milton Keynes, on Sunday 14th May 2017.
The participants started to arrive ready for the team captains to draw for their respective teams pegs at around 8am and were greeted by W.Bro. Stephen Parker, the Hertfordshire team captain and organiser of the event, ably asssted by his team who had worked hard to peg out the stretch to be used by the 50 odd anglers on the day and put up tables and even provided a Hot Food Van selling bacon rolls, tea, coffee and other delights to get us all in the right frame of mind to do battle.
The draw was duly completed by the team captains and then it was just a case of deciding who would fish in what section. Five sections one side of bridge 97 and five the other so we in the Oxfordshire team did the technical thing and drew lots. Some had a long walk and some not so far so off we went to our sections and got set up ready for the starting whistle at 10 o'clock. Five hours later and the "all out" was sounded at 3 o'clock and for some it was not a moment too soon!
For most, like me, it was a struggle to get anything to bite but for some it was a whole lot better with some nice bream making up the weights. Most of us had to catch small bream, or razor blades as they were that small, perch and ruffe. Still, my 6 fish for 8 ozs was worth valuable points on the day. To explain this was a points match so it was vital that we all caught something as it was lowest points wins. The heaviest weight in a section was given one point and then two down to the lowest weight scoring a maximum of five. Add up you team of tens total points and you have your winners. Easy isn't it?
After much counting and re-counting the result was as follows;
Top weight on the day was Bro. Dave Tebbutt, Hertfordshire, with 13lbs 3ozs. An excellent weight on the day so well done to him.
So we did it! Oxfordshire are the first Inter Provincial Coarse Angling Champions. A great day and good to meet some new friends and get re-aquainted with some older ones too. Here's to next year then.
(L-R) Steve Pitson, W.Bro. Keith Harvey (Capt), Alan Campbell, Rick Quinlan, W.Bro. Paul Hanlon,
Gordon Collier, Chris Webb Kneeling, Vernon Adam in blue, Andy Webb in Red, Joff Rodgers in Orange,
Brian Hutchings in Green, W.Bro. Steve Pope
Oxfordshire Winners!
The Tercentenary Celebration Interprovincial Bowls match was proudly hosted by the Province of Oxfordshire on Friday 12th May, this was the fourth of the eleven planned events to take place and as promised proved to be a most wonderful day. All five Provinces, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex were in attendance, each providing the maximum two teams of four players. With twenty spectators added to the former numbers, the event had a really enjoyable atmosphere, which the intermittent rain could not even dampen. The event was formally opened with the APGM of Oxfordshire, W.Bro. Alan Knowles welcoming all and wishing the teams the very best of luck.
The format for the day was, two leagues consisting of one team from each province in both of the leagues. The winning team from each league would contest the final. The first of the group matches started at 10.15 and set the high standards for the day, each match being a closely fought contest. This continued for the remainder of the rounds. The matches were so closely contested that each group winner was not decided until the last ends of the final league matches.
Once all the scores and points were verified, Oxfordshire "A" and Middlesex "A" had proven victorious in their respective groups and would contest the final. The final proved to be as exciting as had the earlier matches, seeing a very skilled and closely contested match. Middlesex "A" began the final very strongly taking a 6-0 lead from the first end. Oxfordshire "A" dug deep for the remaining five ends but were unable to turn around the first end deficit. The final score ended Oxfordshire "A" 5, Middlesex "A" 8. Middlesex "A" proving worthy victors and winning the Tercentenary Celebration Interprovincial Bowls Tournament. An excellent and well deserved win, congratulations.
The day was rounded off with the prizing giving ceremony conducted by the PGM of Oxfordshire, R.W.Bro. James Hilditch, congratulating the winners, Middlesex "A" and presenting the most excellent trophy to them and thanking all who had made this event so successful and to all who had been in attendance. The Middlesex Captain Mark Hallam received the trophy from the PGM and thanked the organisers for hosting the day and looked forward to the return fixture next year which Middlesex would host.
Middlessex "A" receiving the trophy from the PGM, R.W.Bro. James Hilditch
The Finalists: Oxfordshire "A" & Middlesex "A"
Oxfordshire "A" & "B"
Middlesex "A" & "B"
Berkshire "A"
Berkshire "B"
Buckinghamshire "A"
Buckinghamshire "B"
Hertfordshire "A"
Hertfordshire "B"
As part of the Tercentenary celebrations, the Masonic Classic Vehicle Club commenced their TC300 event with its launch at the south central - route 1 event at Windsor Great park on the 21st May.
The event was attended by the Grand Master, HRH the Duke of Kent, who having spent some time viewing the many classic vehicles on display that had been cleaned and polished, started the symbolic first short car rally by flagging each car that was taking part through the start gate.
The weather was superb and there were many different types of classic cars and motorbikes on show, along side the classic vehicle event was the 300 mile walk and Teddy bears picnic making the event a great day and in particular a fabulous start to the many National classic runs planned for 2017.
HRH at the start gate talking to some of the event organisers prior to the
start of the short 20 mile run through the Windsor area
Two of the Oxfordshire contingent who attended the event WBro. David Laidlaw and the
DPGM, VWBro Neal Spencer, with David's 1974 Teal Blue MGB roadster ready for the start of the TC300 run
Saturday 29th. April 2017, at Rib Valley Hertfordshire
It was an early start for us, as we needed to sign in at 08.00 for a start time of 09.00. There were no traffic problems and we all arrived in good time.
Our team of six were, Akim Akkouche, Paul Connor, Matthew Fisher, Ian Horrocks, Terry Saxton and myself. All experienced Fly Fishermen, more used to taking Special Needs young people fishing with the Charity than competition fishing. Nevertheless, we were all up for the challenge! Our task or team objective was simple, catch bigger and more fish than the other teams! We were competing against teams from Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex; Berkshire didn't enter a team.
One of mine that didn't get away!
John Clark, the Hertfordshire Branch Chairman & Organiser explained the rules; all flies to be de-barbed, Brown Trout to be returned; catch and retain 3 Rainbow Trout prior to the "weigh in" at 14.00. Any angler could continue fishing after killing his 3 Rainbows, other fish caught would be weighed and returned. The weight of extra fish would only count in the event of two teams having the same weight at the end.
Matthew & Terry obviously having fun
To begin all anglers selected their "starting peg" from the hat and would move clockwise 3 pegs every 45 minutes. This ensured all anglers had an equal chance with no-one sitting all day in a hot spot. However, it meant team members were spread around the lake and not able to communicate.
Akim & Paul at the 'weigh in'
Everyone was anxious to get started and we were soon getting "takes", but landing the fish initially proved more difficult for some of us. The fish were very lively and fought hard, many were lost. Dave Hollis the Bucks Organiser and Team Captain was on an adjacent peg to me and I followed him round. Dave a good fishermen was one of the first to catch, so the pressure was on!
Ian at the 'weigh in'
As the morning passed I landed a couple, but the competition were also very active. I could see the landing nets entering the water to bring ashore their catch. As activity slowed mid-morning I took the opportunity to walk round, have a chat with our guys and "talk tactics"! What flies are catching and how can we come out on top? The camaraderie in our team was second to none and we were all catching, but it was impossible to gauge the final result.
(L-R) Oxon Team, John Stanley, Matthew Fisher, Akim Akkouche, Terry Saxton, Ian Horrocks and Paul Connor
Time passes quickly when you're having fun and the hooter soon sounded, it was 14.00 already. The weather on the day turned out to be ideal for fishing, overcast and not too bright, so no complaints there.
Bucks winning team
As we gathered for the weigh in there was plenty of friendly banter between the teams, with some even saying, stones can be used to increase fish weight and that some individual on another team may have started early, but I couldn't possibly confirm that!
All participants plus organisers
Anyway, the full results are shown on the table below. Bucks were winners with 14 fish weighing 31lbs. 12 oz. Oxon were second with 14 fish weighing 29lb. 9oz. Dave Hollis had top weight with 7lb. 1oz. and I came second with 6lb. 11oz. It was close!
Province:Name:WeightNo of Fish:
BucksJ Webster6703
A Hodge6483
D Hollis7103
G Cook21501
D Reed61403
J Dykes2341
Total Weight311212
HertsC Peers31102
G Fowler6203
S Hutchinson2501
J McKenzie4282
Total Weight1648
OxonA Akkouche3402
M Fisher6203
T Saxton11401
J Stanley61103
P Connor5002
I Horrocks61003
Total Weight2990
MiddxM Vincent4882
E Garty6303
A Matamala11301
P Gardner61303
D HoareDNW
M Daniels41102
Total Weight2408
Total Weight of fish caught101101247
Top Weight IndividualD Hollis (Bucks)     710
Congratulations must go to John Clark and his team from Hertfordshire for hosting a great day's fun! Perhaps we should have a return match next year with the winners playing host?
Thanks to my friends on the Oxfordshire Team for their help, support and being there!
John Stanley, Captain Oxfordshire Fly Fishing Team.
Pictures: John Stanley.
The Tercentenary Interprovincial Quiz was proudly hosted by the Province of Oxfordshire, held at the Witney Masonic Centre. The second of the eleven Tercentenary sporting and social events arranged to celebrate the 300 anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England.
Both the DPGM VW Bro Neal Spencer and the APGM W Bro Alan Knowles were in attendance to oversee the proceedings. Six teams competed for the prize, representing the Provinces of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. A closely fought contest over 8 rounds saw the Province of Berkshire proving victorious with 60 points and becoming Tercentenary Champions, with Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire in a very close second and third respectively. An excellent evening enjoyed by all from the three Provinces.
Winners Berkshire
Runners Up Buckinghamshire
Third Place Oxfordshire