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Craft Executive Appointments

by Peter Wells

At the Provincial Grand Lodge Annual Meeting, to be held on 26th September 2023, the RW Provincial Grand Master for Berkshire, Anthony Charles Howlett-Bolton OBE, intends and will be delighted to make the following key appointments.


As Provincial Senior Grand Warden, WBro. Stephen Ricks

Initiated into Victory Lodge No. 3954 in Newbury in 2005, Steve became Worshipful Master in 2012. He is also a Member of Lodge of Commerce No. 215 and was Worshipful Master in 2018. He was appointed as Provincial Grand Steward in 2015 and joined Berkshire Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge No. 9381, where he currently holds the Office of Junior Warden. He was appointed Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies between 2017 and 2023. He is a Member of Berkshire Masters’ Lodge No. 3684, serving as Junior Warden from 2020 – 2022, and an honorary Member of Swallowfield Pitt Bridge Lodge No. 9970. Steve is a founding Member of Berkshire Lodge of Enlightenment No. 9946 and, having been Exalted into the Royal Arch in 2018, is also a Founder of the Berkshire Chapter of Enlightenment No. 9946. He is a Member of Pangbourne Mark No. 1094 and Donnington Castle Rose Croix No. 856. Steve has been a member of the Provincial Learning and Development Committee since 2012 and a member of the Provincial Membership team since 2020.

Steve is married to Jane and between them they have four children. He has worked in the defence sector for the past forty-six years. Following partial retirement in 2021, he now works limited hours. Steve is a lifelong birdwatcher and enjoys travel, particularly cruising.


As Provincial Junior Grand Warden, WBro. Stephen Hughes

Initiated into Arranwell Lodge No. 7174 in 1985, Stephen became Worshipful Master in 1997 and again in 2009. He joined St. Edmund Lodge No. 6451 in 2011 and became Worshipful Master in 2018 and again in 2021. He is a Royal Arch Mason. He was Exalted into Isis Chapter No. 4242 in Oxfordshire in 1990 and became MEZ in October 2001. He was appointed Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in 2004, Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works in 2009 and Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in 2016. He holds Provincial Grand Chapter Rank in Oxfordshire.

Stephen is married to Karen. They have two daughters and three grandchildren. They currently live in Abingdon-on-Thames. He is a time served operative Master Stonemason and became Managing Director of a multi awarded winning Stonemasonry company which was the first in the UK to be awarded a Royal Warrant. Currently, he works part time as a Stone Consultant. He and Karen are both avid Wolverhampton Wanders supporters and long-time season ticket holders.


Upon the retirement of WBro. Jim Sampins after ten years sterling active service to the Province, five years as Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies and five years as Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, and upon his preferment as Deputy Grand Superintendent in July, the RW Provincial Grand Master for Berkshire, Anthony Charles Howlett-Bolton OBE intends and will be pleased to appoint:

As Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, WBro. Paul Thomsett

Initiated into Tylehurst Lodge No. 6526 in 2004, Paul became Worshipful Master in 2012. He is the current Worshipful Master of Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge No. 9381 and was the founding Secretary of Combined Services Lodge No. 9900. He was appointed Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies from 2018 to date. A Royal Arch Mason, he was Exalted into Wellesley Chapter No. 1899 in 2010 and holds Provincial Grand Chapter Rank in the Royal Arch.

Paul is married to Susan. Having served in the Queen’s Regiment for six years, he now works in IT, designing networks, an industry he joined after leaving the Army. Outside of Freemasonry, he is a keen gardener, a regular clay pigeon shooter, an occasional golfer and has an interest in horse racing.


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