A Warm Welcome to our Initiate, Bro. Shaun Tavener

A bumper crowd of over 50 Brethren were present to welcome Bro. Shaun Tavener into Freemasonry. All witnessed an excellent ceremony  undertaken by our Master and his Officers. Particular mention goes to our Junior Deacon, Bro Grant Howes, for his first foray into conducting a candidate throughout the ceremony, to Bro. Carl Frew for yet again presenting the First Degree Working Tools in a flawless and confident manner and to W. Bro. Steve Earl, whose rendition of the Charge drew well-deserved applause. As is the custom in our Lodge at the December meeting we also Called Off partway through to sip mulled wine. Later in the meeting our Visiting Officer, W. Bro. David Laidlaw, presented a Grand Lodge Certificate to Bro. Mark Mills. As always David’s explanation of the content and meaning of the Certificate held the attention of all present. The evening continued with an excellent meal at the Festive Board, when Bro. Shaun was further welcomed with an superb rendition of the Entered Apprentice’s Song sung by our visitor, W. Bro. Peter Jones, Provincial Senior Grand Warden, and the Masonic Chain. (see pictures below)

From Left to right: W.Bro. P.Walker, W.Bro. P.Jones, Bro. D.Casey, Bro. D.Scott, W.Bro. T.Edwards, Bro. S.Tavener, W.Bro. D.Lockwood, W.Bro G.Hunt, Bro D.Braun, Bro G.Twynham, Bro G.Howes Bro. C.Frew, W.Bro. D.Laidlaw, W.Bro. R.Claridge, W.Bro J.Flinn, Bro. B.Payne
Bro. David Braun (proposer), Bro. Shaun Tavener (candidate) W.Bro. Gowan Hunt (WM), W.Bro Jim Flinn (seconder)

Initiation Rehearsal & Grand Lodge Certificates Presented to 4 Members

Due to the late unavailability of our candidate for Initiation Bro. Mark Bone willingly stood in as the candidate when an Initiation was rehearsed at our October meeting. All who took part contributed to an excellent ceremony with particular mention going to Bro. Carl Frew for his flawless presentation of the Working Tools. Following the Rehearsal our Visiting Officer, W. Bro. David Laidlaw, presented Grand Lodge Certificates to 4 of our members, Bros. Pat Fagan, Mark Bone, Kevin Juggins and Matt Autery.  As always David’s explanation of the content and meaning of the Certificate held the attention of all present. Another candidate for Initiation was then proposed  and, subject to the ballot, he will be Initiated in December. Following the meeting around 40 enjoyed the excellent Festive Board.

From left to right: W.Bro Andy Proper PrGStB, Bro. Matt Autery, Bro. Kevin Juggins, Bro. David Scott S.W. W.Bro Gowan Hunt W.M.. Bro. Garry Twynham J.W., Bro Mark Bone, Bro. Pat Fagan. W.Bro Alistair Edem PrGO, W.Bro David Laidlaw PJGD, PAPGM

Thursday 8th September 2021

Semper Family BBQ 7th August 2022

Over 100 of the Semper Family from our Lodge & Chapter along with our social supporters enjoyed an excellent afternoon at Marsh Baldon Village Hall for our annual BBQ.

The shade given by the trees was most welcome as the temperature was the hottest we have had for many years, with no concerns about whether we would have to decamp to the Hall itself due to poor weather! No one complained about the weather this year (well not many!)

As always, there was plenty of food to go around, which included chicken, burgers, sausages, a vast variety of salad items and “proper” bread rolls and baps made by the Chapter’s very own MEZ, Cliff Ward.  Dessert was then called for in the form of a choice of gateaux or Sue Flinn’s wonderous trifle!

The main thing is it was a chance to meet up with family and friends away from formal Lodge/Chapter meetings

What’s not to like about all that !

Thanks go to the organising committee and those who slaved over the BBQs, cooked the fried onions, served the food, did the washing up, packed the tables away, cleaned the hall, sold raffle tickets  and picked up all the rubbish!!

The raffle raised £550 which will be distributed to local charities.

Click any of the images below to see a larger picture

2022 Chapter Installation Meeting

Semper Paratus Chapter was honoured by the presence of the Deputy Grand Superintendent, E. Comp. Les Steward, accompanied by a large retinue of Provincial Grand Officers, at its Installation Meeting when E. Comp. Cliff Ward was inducted into the MEZ’s Chair. Illness prevented our MEZ. E. Comp. Rick Walker, Scribe E., E. Comp. Peter Leaver and a few others from attending as did work commitments and a large traffic jam starting in Oxford caused by a concert at Blenheim Palace! 

With those difficulties put aside all were treated to a great ceremony which included a Semper version of “musical chairs” due to some members moving between offices during the meeting in order to cover for absent Companions. The evening also included the presentation of Supreme Grand Chapter Certificates to Comps. Luke Fowler and Geff Graham by the Deputy Grand Superintendent, which was enjoyed by all for the very informative yet relaxed manner it which it was conducted.

As always, the evening was rounded off with yet another wonderful Festive Board prepared by Lorraine and her staff. 

The Officers of the Chapter alongside the Deputy Grand Superintendent and his team
2nd view to show the “other half”

An appropriate plaque displayed in the Temple at Woodstock Masonic Hall

Yet Another Raising Ceremony

Due to the healthy situation that we find ourselves in it was necessary to hold an Emergency Meeting (by Dispensation) to Raise a further 2 of our Fellow Crafts, Bros. Pat Fagan and Mark Bone. A good number attended the meeting held on 19th May. Due to it being an Emergency Meeting a lot of the business usually conducted at a Regular Meeting was dispensed with. 2 Stewards who had not been present at the Installation meeting were invested by the Worshipful Master before all witnessed yet another superb Raising Ceremony undertaken by the Worshipful Master, W. Bro. Gowan Hunt, who was ably assisted by other members of the lodge. Some officers were unavailable due to sickness, work or other Masonic commitments and their places were taken by willing volunteers who undertook their duties in an excellent manner. Whilst all who took part contributed greatly to the enjoyable ceremony it has to be said that our Junior Deacon, Bro. Grant Howes delivered a magnificent rendition of the Traditional History which resulted in spontaneous applause from those present. Bros. Pat & Mark were raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason in true Semper style, guided expertly throughout by our Deacons, Bro. Dean Casey and Bro. Grant Howes.

The evening was rounded off as usual with an excellent Festive Board with thanks to the team at the Woodstock Masonic Hall.  Picture and words from our Brother DC

From left to right: Bro. Dean Casey – SD, W.Bro David Laidlaw PJGD, PAPGM, W.Bro. Julian Salcombe – JW (acting), WBro. Jim Flinn – Sec, Bro Mark Bone, WBro Gowan Hunt – WM, WBro. Dave Lockwood IG (acting), Bro. Pat Fagan, WBro. Ray Claridge – Chaplain, WBro. Bob Greenwell SW (acting), Bro Grant Howes – JD

Our Light Blues are growing

Around 50 masons attended our April meeting. It started with a warm and fitting tribute to our late Brother and friend, W. Bro. Derek Bampton which was presented in an excellent manner by Bro. Geoff Graham. Officers not present at the Installation meeting were then invested by the Worshipful Master before all witnessed a great Raising Ceremony undertaken by the Worshipful Master, W. Bro. Gowan Hunt, who was ably assisted by other members of the lodge. It should have been a double raising but, unfortunately, one of the candidates was unavoidably detained with work duties. Bro. Mark Mills was raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason in true Semper style, guided expertly throughout  by our Deacons, Bros. Dean Casey and Grant Howes. The evening was rounded off as usual with an excellent Festive Board. All are now looking forward to a Double Raising to be undertaken at an Emergency Meeting on 19th May.

From left to right: Bro. Dean Casey (SD), W.Bro. Scott Bearman-Brown, W.Bro. Andy Proper, W.Bro David Laidlaw PJGD, PAPGM, Bro. Mark Mills, W.Bro. Gowan Hunt (WM), Bro. Carl Frew (IG), Bro. Grant Howes (JD), W.Bro. Mick Hollis PPrSGW

masonic charitable foundation 2022

Message from Andrew Keech – Provincial Grand Charity Steward for the province of Oxfordshire

“I am delighted to advise that Semper Paratus Lodge has reached the silver level within the 2022 Festival appeal.”

Emergency Chapter Meeting

A special Convocation was held on 30th March 2022 to Exalt 2 Brethren from Semper Paratus Lodge Bro.’s Kieran Mace and Geff Graham in what proved to be a superb meeting where the Principles were assisted by 2 visitors namely E.Comp Julian Salcombe who stood in as J and E.Comp. Alistair Eden who had multiple roles as PS, Organist & Pianist at the Festive Board. Finally the night was concluded with Companions Dean Casey and John Blackford receiving their Supreme Grand Chapter Certificates by our very own Grand Officer E.Comp. Norman Sawyer.

Heartfelt congratulations to the 2 Exaltees and the whole team for an excellent evening (see photo below).

From left to right: E.Comp. Peter Leaver (SE), E.Comp. Martin Bourton, E.Comp. Cliff Ward (H), E.Comp. Norman Sawyer, E.Comp. Rick Walker (Z), Comp. Geff Graham, E.Comp. Julian Salcombe (J), E.Comp. Jim Flinn (DC), Comp. Kieran Mace,
E.Comp. Ray Claridge (SN)

2022 Installation Meeting

This year’s Installation meeting opened with a warm and fitting tribute presented by W. Bro. Ray Claridge to our late Brother and friend, W. Bro. Brian Mayling.  The evening then continued with the Installation of Bro. Gowan Hunt into the Master’s Chair. There were over 50 Masons present to witness the ceremony, which was conducted in true Semper Paratus fashion, i.e. with the right amount of gravitas where appropriate but also in a relaxed and happy atmosphere. The Worshipful Master was then pleased to present V.W. Bro. Graham Ellis, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, with a cheque for the 2022 Festival in the sum of £3,000. The DPGM thanked the Brethren and said that in having now donated over £21,000 to the Festival the Lodge had gained the Silver Award which he will be pleased to return to the Lodge and present on a future occasion. The evening was rounded off with an excellent Festive Board which included the traditional “Semper Steak Pie!”

Note: The year 2002 was the last time Semper Paratus had all light blues in the progressive offices. We are proud to say that after much hard work by many Brethren we have achieved this milestone again!

From left to right: W.Bro. Eden PrGOrg, W.Bro. Barlow PrGAlm, V.W.Bro. Ellis DPGM, PGSwdB, Our newly installed WM W.Bro. Gowan Hunt, W.Bro. Edwards PPrGSwdB DC, Bro Twynham JW, W.Bro. Laidlaw PJGD, PAPGM & W.Bro. Slaymaker PGStwd

Semper Paratus Lodge’s Ladies’ Festival is back !

After a 2-year break due to the pandemic Semper’s Ladies’ Festival was back with a bang this year in Bournemouth!

Over 160 gathered at the new location, The Cumberland Hotel, to enjoy a great weekend, meeting old friends, eating great food, being well entertained and having just a few drinks!

Everyone seemed happy with the quality of the accommodation provided (which is always a good start and a weight off the WM’s mind!)

Formalities at the banquet were in the very capable hands of our friend and professional toastmaster, W. Bro Peter Collis who ensured that things ran smoothly.

The only change from the usual format was that, due to a technical issue, the Semper “Choir” was not able to perform its “pitch-perfect” rendition of the Ladies’ Song. However, some who had heard previous such renditions said this was a bonus as the cotton wool they had brought along for their ears was not needed.

As usual all delved deep to buy raffle tickets and raise the amazing sum of £960 on the night, which was then rounded up to £1000. This year the proceeds are being presented to Cancer Research UK in memory of W. Bro. Brian Mayling.

Rumour has it that Bro. Gowan Hunt, soon to be our Worshipful Master, is looking forward to next year’s Ladies’ Festival so we’d all better get saving for it!

Here a few photos of the event (see below) if anyone has any more that they would like to see here feel free to email them to your friendly webmaster…

A message from our WM

It is with great sadness that we have to report that W. Bro. Brian Mayling PPrGSwdB LGR, Secretary of Semper Paratus Lodge and Scribe E of Semper Paratus Chapter, passed to the Grand Lodge above this morning, Friday 10th December 2021.

We thank the Great Architect of the Universe that he is now at peace after his long fight with illness.

A Mason in the truest sense of the word, he was kind, considerate, always there with a kind word of encouragement and a friend to all.

He was, and will always remain, Semper’s Father Figure.

R.I.P. W.Bro. Brian

Our Newest Members

Wednesday 8th December saw the initiation of our newest member Bro. Kevin Juggins, an excellent ceremony with Kevin escorted perfectly by Bro. Dean Casey a fine JD. A most enjoyable meeting with over 40 Brethren in attendance. We also welcomed W.Bro. Paul Hanlon PPrSGD into the Lodge.

From Left to Right – W.Bro Adrian Barlow PGAlm, W.Bro. David Laidlaw PJGD PPrAGM, W.Bro. Mick Hollis PPrSGW, SW-W.Bro. Rick Walker PPrGSwdB, W.Bro. Martin Bourton PPrGSuptWks, WM-W.Bro. Tom Edwards PPrGSwdB, Bro Kevin Juggins, JW-Bro David Scott, DC-W.Bro Jim Flinn PrSGW, W.Bro Julian Salcombe PPrADC, SD-Bro Garry Twynham

Return of the chapter

Members of the Semper Paratus Chapter were honoured by the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent of Oxfordshire by receiving the “Oxfordshire Chapter of the Year award for 2021”. This was made even more special by the exaltation of 2 new Companions – Comp. Dean Casey and Comp John Blackmore.

The members present were (left to right) Comp. D.Braun, Comp. J Blackford, E.Comp. P.Leaver, Comp. K.Mace, H – E.Comp. C.Ward, J – E.Comp B.Greenwell, E.Comp. D Lockwood, E.Comp. N.Sawyer, Z – E.Comp R.Walker, MEGS – E.Comp J.R.G.Hilditch, Comp. D.Casey, Comp. J.Warren, Comp. D.Scott, Comp. B.Mayling, E.Comp. J.Flinn, E.Comp. A.Pallett, Comp. E.Borges, E.Comp. R.Claridge, Comp. G.Twynham
Our first Chapter meeting of 2021 everyone happy to see Comp. Brian Mayling our celebrated Scribe E and “Founding Father”

Semper Family BBQ 8th August 2021

107 of the Semper Family – Lodge members, Chapter members, and Social supporters kicked-off the post Covid social activities with our annual BBQ.

As usual it was a very enjoyable occasion during which over £1,120 was raised for Charity. This in itself was remarkable as this was raised completely by voluntary donations. The usual raffle being avoided due to any lingering Covid concerns.

It was an unusual sight to see the whole buffet, which included chicken, burgers and sausages followed by gateaux and trifles all served by masked volunteers wearing surgical gloves. However, this did not detract from a tremendous afternoon, even the weather, while not baking hot, was dry and sometimes sunny.

Click any picture(s) to see full size

The organiser finally relaxing

The latest pictures from the Woodstock Masonic Hall refurbishment

Click here to see a video of the Temple

The Provincial team have created a new website with some interesting news and links specifically for the province of Oxfordshire, click the link below to go there

The latest pictures from the Woodstock Masonic Hall refurbishment

All pictures were taken in December 2020 by WBro.Jim Flinn


Welcome visitors and newcomers

12 | December | 2018
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master VW. Bro Neal Clive Spencer, escorted by the PrAGDC W. Bro Stephen Pope and accompanied by the PrSGW, W. Bro Cliff Ward and the PrGOrg, W. Bro Peter Smith attended the Semper Paratus Lodge number 3015 on the 12th of December at Woodstock and witnessed an excellent ceremony of a double raising of Bro’s Gilbert and James. The Ceremony was carried out by W Bro Bob Greenwell who was ably assisted  by both older and younger members of the Lodge. Over 50 brethren were in attendance for both the meeting and the festive board that followed, all enjoying the occasion.

Left to Right:Bro D Braun SW, W.Bro Stephen Pope PrAGDC. VW Bro Neil Clive Spencer DPrGM. Bro Mark James & Bro Lee Gilbert, W.Bro Bob Greenwell WM, W.Bro R Claridge Chaplain and the acting Junior Warden, W.Bro Steven Earl
Photo by bro. K Mace

A warm Semper Paratus welcome on a cold night

02 | March | 2018
A wonderful installation ceremony at the Semper Paratus Lodge No. 3015 was held on 28th February where W.Bro. Bob Greenwell was installed into the chair by W.Bro. Julian Salcombe.
The ceremony was followed by a very enjoyable and entertaining festive board where over 70 brethren attended including 31 visitors.
A very generous cheque was presented to the PSGW by the WM for the 2022 festival.

The evening was witnessed by a good number of active provincial officers led by W.Bro. Chris Beckley who was representing the RWPrGM and included W.Bro. Ivor Hawkins PrGSec, W.Bro. Peter Smith PrGOrg, W.Bro. Yanto Evans PrGStwd and W.Bro. Bob Swanton PrAGDC escorting.

Picture 1
Left to Right:
W.Bro. Ivor Hawkins, W.Bro. Peter Smith, W.Bro. Chris Beckley, W.Bro. Bob Greenwell WM,
W.Bro. Julian Salcombe IPM, W.Bro. Yanto Evans and W.Bro. Bob Swanton .

Picture 2
Left to Right:
(L-R) W.Bro. Chris Beckley PrSGW, W.Bro. Bob Greenwell WM

Semper Paratus Lodge No. 3015 restores link to its history

16 | April | 2017

Ex-firefighter W.Bro. Bob Greenwell PrGSwdB with the bell
Ex-firefighter W.Bro. Bob Greenwell PrGSwdB with the bell

When ex-firefighter, W.Bro. Bob Greenwell acquired a bell formerly used on a London Fire Brigade Dennis fire engine and presented it to the Semper Paratus Lodge, little did he realise that he would be instrumental in rekindling one of the oldest traditions of the Lodge.

Bro. Secretary, W.Bro. Brian Mayling recalled seeing an article published by the “Freemasons” when reporting on the Lodge’s Consecration on 9th January 1904. It carried a reference to the Lodge’s expectation to provide a Masonic home for members of the National Fire Brigade’s Union. And the following extract from that report draws an interesting analogy between the Fire service and Freemasonry:

“An onlooker would think it wonderful how each man took his station, and everything was in order and regularity within one minute of ringing the fire bell”

The bell has now been beautifully mounted and adorned with an assortment of Fire Service and Masonic emblems and badges by W.Bro. Karl Symes of the Alfred Lodge No. 340. It also carries a variety of Masonic symbolism so while it is a lovely piece of Lodge furniture it is also of great interest.

The bell is used to call the Lodge and Festive board to order and the nine o’clock toast.