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Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters Installation Meeting - October 2021

After a long break caused by the Covid Pandemic, at an Emergency Meeting on Tuesday 26th October our PrGM, RWBro. Jamed Robert Guy Hilditch installed his successor, W Bro. Ron Bridger as Worshipful Master of the Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters No. 7770, at a very enjoyable Installation meeting held at Oxford Masonic Centre, Cardinal House, Marsh Baldon.

The Address to the Worshipful Master was delivered by the PrDPGM, VWBro. Graham Ellis, the address to the Wardens given by WBro. Chris Wagstaff, and that to the Brethren given by PrGM, RWBro. James Hilditch.

W.Bro Ron Barnett, W.Bro. Ron Bridger, R.W.Bro James Hilditch and V.W.Bro. Graham Ellis

The Meeting Attendees

Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters Installation Meeting - September 2019

On Saturday 28th September 2019, Oxfordshire’s very own PrGM, RWBro. James Robert Guy Hilditch was installed as Worshipful Master of the Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters No. 7770, at a very enjoyable and well attended Installation meeting held at Oxford Masonic Centre, Cardinal House, Marsh Baldon.

The meeting was chaired by the Former 2018-2019 Master, WBro. Peter Norman, ably assisted during the ceremony of installation by the soon retiring PrDepPGM, VWBro. Neal Clive Spencer.

The Address to the Worshipful Master was also delivered by the PrDPGM, VWBro. Neal Clive Spencer, the address to the Wardens given by long-standing Lodge Chaplain, VWBro. Philip Purves, and that to the Brethren given by PrAPGM, WBro. Graham Ellis.

The meeting was attended by six honoured guests from other neighbouring Installed Masters Lodges from the Masonic Provinces of; Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Warwickshire and Middlesex. Senior among the Officer's invested for 2019-20 by the newly installed Worshipful Master were; WBro. Tony Taylor as Senior Warden and WBro. John Stanley as Junior Warden.

R.W.Bro James Hilditch and W.Bro. Peter Norman

The 2019 - 2020 Team of Officers

Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters Installation Meeting - September 2018

W.Bro. Ken Calcutt installed W.Bro. Peter Norman as Worshipful Master of the Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters No. 7770 at Cardinal House on Saturday 29th September 2018.

The Address to the Worshipful Master was delivered by W.Bro. Paul Buck, that to the Wardens by VW.Bro. Philip Purves, and to the Brethren by W.Bro. Mike Smail PrJGW.

The meeting didn’t all go to plan, but made for fun meeting, which the Lodge is all about. The Lodge had six honoured guests from other Installed Masters Lodges from Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Wiltshire, which added to the occasion!

The Provincial Grand Master was at hand to congratulate the newly Installed Master.
The Worshipful Master and the officers for 2018-19.

Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters Installation Meeting - September 2017

W.Bro. David Laidlaw installed W.Bro. Ken Calcutt as Worshipful Master of The Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters No. 7770 at Woodstock on Saturday 30 September.

The Address to the Worshipful Master was delivered by the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, that to the Wardens by V.W.Bro. Philip Purves, and to the Brethren by the Provincial Grand Master.

The Lodge is sponsoring the new Oxfordshire Provincial Grand Stewards' Lodge, and to allow Brethren to become Founders, the Provincial Grand Master took the opportunity to appoint and invest a number of Brothers to the rank of PPrGStwd.

At the next meeting of the Lodge on 19 March 2018, W.Bro. Professor Roger Burt will present his 2015 Prestonian Lecture; "Wherever Dispersed: The Travelling Mason in the 19th Century".

Worshipful Master Ken Calcutt and the 2017-18 Lodge Officer
(L-R) Invested as PPrGStwds; Nigel Payne, Bernard Frow, Mike Allcott, Paul Denison-Edson, Richard Skym, Paul Buck and Kevin Tomes

Visit to Wiltshire Installed Masters Lodge - The Titanic & Freemasonry

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>

French inspired revolution in Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters!

A packed crowd of 60+ brethren gathered in Thame to see the seeds of revolution be sown! This was of course the topic of the Maids Head Demonstration Team's latest play on Louis Philippe d'Orléans, the Grand Master of the Grand Orient de France (the French Grand Lodge). A keen Freemason with liberal ideas, he supported the French Revolution. This would ultimately lead to his downfall and he was sentenced to death by guillotine for treason in 1793.

There was a lots of other business packed into the meeting too! The Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters sponsored the formation of a new Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge which will be consecrated towards the end of the year!

The PGM also made several exclusive announcements on Provincial appointments for this year, with W.Bro. Graham Ellis to succeed W.Bro. Alan Knowles as APGM. W.Bro. Christopher Beckley of Weyland Lodge will be the new Provincial Senior Grand Warden and W.Bro. Mike Smail of Rathcreedan Lodge to be Provincial Junior Grand Warden.

W.Bro. Ken Calcutt, a member since 1983 and DC for 10 years was also elected Master Elect, representing the Witney, Woodstock & Burford grouping within the Lodge. It is hoped that he will be installed into the chair at Cardinal House at the end of September!

A relaxed and jovial festive board ensued, with a fantastic meal, good company and short speeches!

Worshipful Master W.Bro. David Laidlaw with the Maids Head Demonstration Team

Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters - Discovering the Secrets of St Paul's Cathedral - Saturday 25th February 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

Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters Installation Meeting – 17th September 2016

17 members of the Oxfordshire Provincial Grand Lodge team, headed up by the R.W. Provincial Grand Master, his Deputy and Assistant arrived en masse at the Jury's Inn Hotel, Oxford to witness a very good humoured and quite "different" installation as W.Bro. Roy Simmonds Installed our Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. David Laidlaw in the chair of King Solomon.

The Installed Masters Secretary, W.Bro. Andrew Trueman announced a number of new members too as Installed Masters continues to grow, attracting talent young and old from the Province.

The Installing Master had a message to pass on to the Lodge and his officers for the year:

Dear All,

I really enjoyed my year, made possible by 7770 key players.

Below is an extract placed on the website at the beginning of my year:-

1.   I intend to be very active in visiting neighbouring Installed Masters Lodges and will encourage other members to join me.

2.   I hope to make meetings fun, and informal, without losing dignity.

Maybe I pushed my luck with the following comment:-

3.   I will make a conscious effort not to wear stripes and a dark jacket and ensure I have some of my brightest socks on display!

My year is now over, so many thanks for all your support and friendship. I leave others to judge the degree to which aims 1 – 3 were achieved.

I am confident 7770 will have a super year with David Laidlaw in the Chair, and look forward to our meetings being held at Cardinal House!

Roy Simmonds, IPM

The WM & Oxfordshire Provincial Grand Lodge Visiting TeamThe Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters Officers, together with the RW Provincial Grand Master and his Deputy

'BE PREPARED': Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters turns its head to Scouting

On 21st March 2016, the Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters was honoured to host the 2012 Prestonian Lecturer Tony Harvey, who presented his talk on Scouting & Freemasonry.

Who would have thought that when asked who had been involved in the Scouting movement that around 2/3 of the room stood up?! It was only then that it was impressed upon us the close parallels between the two organisations, particularly on moral outlook. Both require a belief in a supreme being, both value service to others and both commit to developing oneself. The President of the Scout Association is also our Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent. With such clear parallels, it left much food for thought. Today Freemasonry continues to support Scouting at all levels and this lecture certainly suggests we ought to continue to strengthen that relationship.

Following the excellent lecture, the Lodge enjoyed a relaxed and fun festive board, boosted by the presence of a good number of visitors, many of which are to become members at our next meeting in May! A small delegation from the Apollo University Lodge also crashed the party (inc a Fellowcraft!) and were made most welcome – the more the merrier!

Whilst membership is restricted to Installed Masters, the Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters is open to all to visit and can provide an fun and informative night out! Please come and visit us in the future!

(L-R) W.Bros. A. Knowles APGM, N. Spencer DPGM, R. Simmonds PGStB, A. Harvey PPSGW (Derbyshire) and G. Ellis PPrGReg

Visiting is like a box of chocolates; you never know who you’ll meet! (Apologies for the jumbled plagiarism).

At the invitation of V.W. Bro. C.W. Deakin PDPGM and Worshipful Master of Dorset Masters Lodge No. 3366, W.Bro. Roy Simmonds and W.Bro. Brian Fairweather attended as Master and Senior Warden of the Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters No. 7770 and, along with 80 other Masters visitors and guests, were royally treated to a very interesting meeting and lecture on the 'Universities Scheme'. The meeting held under the banner of Verwood Lodge No. 9177 took place at the Wimborne Masonic Hall on Thursday 3rd March 2016. Amongst the many interesting aspects of the Temple was the display of eight wall plaques depicting the traditional history. W.Bro. Fairweather mentioned during the meeting that his mother Lodge, Old Rectory No. 6651, meeting at Caversham Masonic Centre, benefitted from a full set of ten of the same wall plaques, this caused considerable after dinner questioning and exchanging of website details, by several historically inclined brethren. Visiting, as stated earlier, is just like the proverbial box of chocolates as, still unaware of the surprise awaiting them, the visiting Oxfordshire Masons were surprised by none other than that well known Oxfordshire Brother and member of Oxfordshire Installed Masters, W.Bro. Steven Quant, disguised as W.M. of Brownsea Island Lodge No. 9698.

Visiting truly is like a box of chocolates. And such fun!

The photograph shows the Oxfordshire visitors posing amongst the very distinguished brethren in the persons of the Dorset PGM, R.W. Bro. Richard Merritt and DepPGM, V.W. Bro. Nigel Carrington.
The Dorset Masters Lodge Worshipful Master V.W. Bro. C.W. Deakin PDPGM, flanked either end by his Senior and Junior Wardens, plus other visitors standing.

Roy’s Ranging Triggers Tales of the Wild West.

W.Bro. Roy Simmonds, Worshipful Master of the Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters was royally entertained during his recent visit to the Buckinghamshire Lodge of Installed Masters (Bucks LIM) in a truly wild west manner when the topic for the evening was 'Freemasons of the American Wild West.' Yeehaw!

The light hearted talk was given by W.Bro. Michael Karn PAGSwdB to a packed house of Installed Masters and Brethren. The talk was delivered with great knowledge and interest to a very appreciative audience. So much so that the DPGM commented in his summing up that this was the first occasion in ten years that, to his knowledge, no one at this meeting had fallen asleep during a lecture!

Memories were further stirred with mention of The Lone Ranger, cowboys, cowboy films and comics, all a happy reminder of Saturday Morning Cinema.

Having completed the formalities most efficiently earlier in the Lodge the Worshipful Master, W.Bro. John Hurley PAGDC, (pictured with W.Bro. Roy Simmonds) together with the Brethren, retired to the main Teepee for the Festive Board where, despite prohibition being in force during the Lecture, it was rumoured that W.Bro. Roy managed to get a drink out of W.Bro. Ray Harrison of Bucks LIM, who is also ADC of the Oxfordshire Mark degree. No mean feat in itself according to Roy! Send for the Sheriff it’s nearing High Noon!

Visiting is such great fun!

(L-R) W.Bro. John Hurley PAGDC and W.Bro. Roy Simmonds

Visiting; Seeking the jewels in the crown

Like Raiders of the Lost Ark the Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters Worshipful Master Roy Simmonds, accompanied by his Senior and Junior Wardens Brian Fairweather and Graham Ellis, went forth to seek the jewels of visiting, and boy did they find them with the Worcestershire Installed Masters Lodge No 6889!

Jewel number ONE!

In a quiet suburb of Birmingham lies the Moseley Masonic Centre, subdued from without, magnificent from within. On the afternoon of the Oxfordshire team's visit the Summons Agenda stated simply:

Talk entitled 'To the Ends of The Earth'.

Bro Arthur Williams of White Ensign Lodge No. 9169 gave a scintillating illustrated talk on his life as a young Royal Marine and then, due to a serious accident, as a paraplegic.Captain

Check out the link below to the Film and T.V. programmes he has hosted and his next challenge as a television reporter now heading to the B.B.C. and the Rio Olympics.

The Lodge W.M. W.Bro. M. Taylor, told the brethren gathered at the Festive Board that it is normal to describe disabled people as being 'constrained' in a wheelchair. He continued by strongly suggesting that this was a description which could never be attributed to Bro. Arthur Williams, a view endorsed by the seventy or more brethren present with loud applause.

Surprise Presentation.

Jewel number TWO

Having being greeted on arrival by none other than Worcestershire's Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Bro. Robert Vaughan, the Oxford travellers then enjoyed, along with the members and visitors, the presentation of a fine portrait in oil of the Provincial Grand Master, it apparently being a Worcestershire tradition.

Visiting really is one of the jewels of Masonry which, as W.Bro. Simmonds stated at his Installation, would be the main thrust of his year in office, that, and ensuring everyone enjoyed themselves.

Mission accomplished!

Berks and Worcester visited, Buckinghamshire and others being arranged. Why not come along?

Follow the link to check out Arthur Williams's intriguing life. Truly a modern day Indiana Jones!


The Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters Worshipful Master is seen, right, with his wardens having admired the new portrait.

Colourful turn out for Installation meeting at The Oxfordshire Lodge of Installed Masters No. 7770

On Saturday 26th September 2015 the Brethren of the Lodge and guests attended a very happy and convivial Installation meeting when W.Bro. Roy Simmonds, W.Bro. Brian Fairweather and W.Bro. Graham Ellis, W.M. S.W. and J.W. respectively, took office at the meeting held at the Oxford Hotel in Wolvercote, Oxford.

The very august group which included the Provincial Deputy Grand Master W.Bro. Neal Spencer witnessed a superb ceremony by Installing Master W.Bro. Keith Mitchell, including an excellent rendition of the rarely seen extended Inner Workings.

Thanking all those members that assisted in the ceremony, in particularly W.Bro. Mitchell for the huge effort he had undertaken to improve the member's enjoyment of the Lodge, W.Bro. Simmonds stated that his intentions were to visit, with hs Wardens and other members of the Lodge, as many surrounding Provinces as possible during his year in office, but most of all to ensure that all the members have a fun year!

The afternoon concluded when the Brethren retired to enjoy an excellent Festive Board, with much merriment and humour.Captain