Steve Hieke's Crazy Covid Bike Ride
Not a man to stand idle during a Crisis, and concerned about his lockdown weight gain, Companion Steve Hieke of St John’s Chapter No. 795, the Provincial Deputy Grand Director Ceremonies, had decided to make use of the static cycle in his garage, to lose a few pounds, but found it difficult to commit to a regular programme. On hearing this the ME Grand Superintendent E Comp Ian Hopgood felt he needed some motivation and challenged him to emulate a bike ride he made around the Province some years ago, when Steve and he, along with a number of other Masons, visited every Masonic Centre in the Province, in one day, in the aid of Charity. On this occasion the Grand Superintendent suggested that a suitable cause would be to raise monies for the PGMs Covid -19 Hardship Fund .
Steve readily rose to this Challenge, but decided that due to the present restrictions on travel and social distancing, he would be riding alone, and staying safely at home while carrying out the ride on a fixed cycle, and setting himself the target of “virtually” travelling to each Masonic Centre and back home, each day, or over two days, depending on distance.
Steve set off, at 4.00pm, on the 4th June 2020, to mark the date and time of the Annual Provincial Grand Chapter Convocation, which would have taken place on that day, if Masonic Meetings had not been suspended.
Steve completed this challenge on the 25th June 2020, and, after 22 days, 522 miles, and having spent 34 hours 40 minutes in the saddle, he had “virtually” visited all the Masonic Centres in the Province, where Chapters meet. His progress has been closely monitored, with reports on the website, showing the journey he has made each day. Details of Steve’s weight loss and the monies collected in connection with this Challenge will be published in due course. Check out Steve's progress here.
Steve has much appreciated the support he has received during this event and sends his grateful thanks to all who have responded to his initiative, so far, and have made donations towards the PGMs Covid -19 Fund. Donations may be made by cheque, payable to "Provincial Grand Chapter of Berkshire", and sent to the Provincial Grand Scribe E, Berkshire Masonic Centre, Mole Road, Sindlesham, Wokingham, RG41 5EA, or bank details can be obtained from the Provincial Charity Steward, John Kirkpatrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date posted: 17 June 2020
Keeping In Touch
If you want to know more about the various ways in which Lodges and Chapters can keep in touch with their members and Masonry, and how modern technology can help you, have a look at the excellent suggestions on the Craft Website, by clicking the link below.
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Date posted: 16 June 2020
SGC Grand Rank Appointments - 30th April 2020
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Date posted: 30 April 2020
COVID-19 - Communication from UGLE - 14th April 2020
An official communication from the United Grand Lodge of England - Tuesday 14 April 2020
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Regional Communication Groups map
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Guidance on Donating to the Masonic Covid-19 Appeal
Date posted: 14 April 2020
COVID-19 FAQs for Lodges and Chapters
Please click below for advice from the UGLE, relating to problems arising from the suspension of all Masonic activity.
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Date posted: 12 April 2020
COVID-19 Letter from the Grand Master, 17th March 2020
Companions, the Grand Master has today ordered the suspension of all Lodge and Chapter meetings for a period of four months, with immediate effect.
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Date posted: 17 March 2020
Berkshire Chapter Ladies Supper 2020
Royal Arch Ladies Supper returns in great style
Over 180 people attended the return of the Annual Ladies Supper in its revised format as a Dinner Dance on Friday 28th February, 2020, when, for one night only the Flavell Suite at Sindlesham Masonic Centre was transformed into the hottest night spot in town.
With low lighting and sweet music, guests were treated to a three course meal, dancing and a top class Cabaret Act in the person of Jay Antonio singing a lively selection of songs from Motown and Soul Classics, which kept the dance floor packed for hours.
An excellent Raffle was arranged during the evening, with winning tickerts being drawn by the RW Provincial Grand Master, E Comp Anthony Howlett-Bolton. The star prize was a well stocked hamper of edibles and consumable items, selected and put together by the Deputy Grand Superintendent E Comp Jem Whitmore and his wife Chrissy, altogether raising over £1,040 for the Berkshire Festival 2023.
The ME Grand Superintendent and his Lady Jane were delighted to see so many people at the event, welcoming them all and and hoping the turnout would set the standard for future occasions.
Date posted: 1 March 2020
Geoff Heron's 60th Anniversary
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Diamond Geezer - Geoff Heron - 60 years a Royal Arch Mason
Comp Geoff Heron – Downshire Chapter No. 2437
Companion Geoff Heron was Exalted into the Downshire Chapter No. 2437 on the 2nd February 1960, and 60 years later, at the age of 89 years he is still attending meetings, and is a very active and much admired member of the Chapter.
The occasion of this Anniversary was celebrated on the 4th February 2020 at a meeting of the Chapter, when the Provincial Second Grand Principal, E Comp Mike Warner presented Geoff with a Certificate to mark the occasion, but not before having sat Geoff down and read to him a detailed and interesting history of his life and Masonic career, during which it transpired, among other things, that the Wokingham Masonic Centre is much indebted to Geoff who, through his experience in soft furnishings and drapery, helped to provide the curtaining and seating in the Temple.
Mike was supported by the ME Grand Superintendent, E Comp Ian R G Hopgood, his Deputy E Comp Jeremy G Whitmore, PGSwdB, Third Provincial Grand Principal E Comp Rodney L A Bancroft, TD, PAGDC, and an extensive retinue of Provincial Officers of the year.
The evening was enjoyed by over 40 Companions who loudly applauded and congratulated Geoff on attaining this remarkable milestone, and afterwards continued their celebrations with a sumptuous and convivial Festive Board.
Geoff Heron, a truly Diamond Geezer.
Date posted: 5 February 2020
Royal Arch Support Group
Berkshire R A Support Group Volunteers
The Provincial Executive and DC’s team, has decided to set up a Support Group (similar to that of the Craft) to assist struggling Chapters in the Province of Berkshire. This will be co-ordinated by E. Comp. Steve Hieke, ProvDepGDC, and overseen by the 2ndProvGP, E. Comp. Mike Warner.
- A dedicated group of Companions is required who are willing to attend all regular meetings of the identified Chapters, including rehearsals, and to assist with the ritual where required. Group members will be allocated to their preferred Masonic Centres, according to Chapter needs and to that end it will be of great help if those interested in helping can indicate which Masonic Centres they are able to attend and which particular parts of the ritual they can assist with.
At the present time three Chapters have asked for assistance and the Co-ordinators are looking to have a team of at least four or five Companions per Chapter – each having a Team Leader who will liaise with Steve Hieke.
The Province is also looking to set up a dedicated team of Companions, with reliable skills, who are able to assist other Chapters within the Province, at short notice, to fill vacant offices due to non-attendance such as illness, work and family commitments.
Steve Hieke and Mike Warner will also attend as many of these meetings as they can to try boost numbers and assist with the ritual where necessary. Please only apply if you have sufficient time to actively support these Chapters.
A similar initiative has proved to be very successful within the Craft in Berkshire - and has helped many struggling Lodges, a lot of whom are now flourishing.
If you are interested in helping the Province with this extremely important task, please download and complete the Support Group questionnaire with your details.
Date posted: 13 September 2018