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Royal Arch Executive Appointments

by Peter Wells

At the Berkshire Annual Convocation, to be held on Monday 24th July 2023, the ME Grand Superintendent intends and will be delighted to appoint or reappoint the following Companions to the Berkshire Royal Arch Executive.


As Deputy Grand Superintendent, E Comp James Sampins PPGS

Jim was Exalted into Windsor Castle Chapter No. 771 in 2005 and was Installed as MEZ in 2013. He is a Member of Berkshire First Principals’ Chapter No. 3684 and was appointed to the Acting Rank of Provincial Grand Sojourner in 2016. Jim was delighted to act as Royal Arch Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies for the first Consecration of a new Chapter in Berkshire for twenty-seven years, the Berkshire Chapter of Enlightenment No. 9946; he is an honorary Member of that Chapter. In the Craft, he holds the Grand Rank of PAGDC and has for the last five years been Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies. Jim is married to Francine. They have two grown up children. Outside of Freemasonry, he enjoys fly fishing and riding his motorcycle.


As Second Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Colin Townsend-Green PAGDC

Colin was Exalted into St. Swithun’s Chapter on the 3rd April 1989 reaching the Office of First Principal in 2004 and again in 2017. He has served his Chapter as its Scribe E almost continuously since 2005, until briefly switching Offices in 2017 and returning as Scribe E in 2019. He is a keen Royal Arch Mason, and his enthusiasm extends to memberships of two other Chapters, Berkshire First Principals’ Chapter No. 3684 and the Royal Naval Anti-Aircraft Chapter No. 3790, where he is officially SN or any other position needed. He received a First Provincial Appointment as Second Provincial Grand Sojourner in 2007, a promotion as Past Provincial Grand Sword Bearer in 2015 and appointment to Third Provincial Grand Principal in 2021. Colin was delighted to be honoured with a Supreme Grand Chapter Grand Rank appointment in March 2022 as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. Following the recent changes to the Royal Arch Ritual, Colin was invited to join the Demonstration Team which toured the Province to show how the then new, but now current, Ritual should work; a task he found rewarding and inspiring. Outside the Royal Arch and Craft Masonry, Colin is a Member of Outremer Preceptory of Knights Templar and currently unattached in the Orders of Mark and Rose Croix. He is a Chartered Building Surveyor by profession and has run his own company in Construction Management for over thirty years.


As Third Provincial Grand Principal, E Comp Peter Oakley ProvGSwdB

Peter was Exalted into Erlegh Chapter No. 9110 on 11th November 1998, reaching the Office of First Principal in 2011 and again in 2019. With the exception of Scribe E and Organist, he has served his Chapter in all Offices including a three-year stint as Treasurer. He is currently Director of Ceremonies of the Chapter. He was honoured in 2022 with promotion to the Office of Provincial Grand Sword Bearer. Peter was Initiated into the Erlegh Craft Lodge No. 9110 on 2nd July 1996, becoming Worshipful Master in 2004. After serving as the Lodge Director of Ceremonies for many years, he went back into the Chair in 2022 and is the current Worshipful Master. Currently, he is a subscribing Member of five Craft Lodges, including Berkshire Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge No. 9381, where he served as Director of Ceremonies for three years. After serving as Provincial Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies for six years, he was honoured by being appointed to the Grand Rank of PAGDC in 2018. Outside of the Craft and Royal Arch, Peter is also an active Member of the Orders of Mark, RAM and Royal & Select Masters. A dedicated family man, Peter has been married to Val for fifty years. They have three children and four grandchildren.


As Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra, E Comp David Arnold PGStB

David is a long-standing Member of the Royal Arch, having been Exalted into Ascot Chapter No. 2460 on 18th March 1989, working through the offices to be First Principal in 2001 and again in 2017. He is currently Scribe E of the Chapter and is also a Member of the Berkshire First Principals’ Chapter No. 3684.

His first appointment to Provincial Rank came in 2004, when he was appointed as Provincial Grand Sojourner. In 2011 he was promoted as Past Provincial Grand Registrar and again in 2018, was promoted as Provincial Grand Scribe Nehemiah. In June 2019 he was appointed as the Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra for Berkshire. David also enjoys other Orders of Freemasonry. He is a Past Master of the Pillars of Friendship Lodge No. 8238 having been Initiated into the Lodge on 5th January 1985. He currently holds the Provincial Rank of PPJGW. He is a Member of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, being a Member of Maidenhead Chapter RX No. 613 and Thames and Chiltern Chapter RX No. 1075, and holds the rank of 31° in that Order. He is a Past Master and Provincial Officer in Mark Masonry and is a Past Worshipful Commander in Royal Ark Mariner, being a Member of both Friendship and Care Lodge of MMM, and RAM, Nos. 1555. In April 2020, David was delighted in April 2020 to receive a Supreme Grand Chapter Grand Rank appointment as Past Grand Standard Bearer.


As Provincial Grand Treasurer, E Comp Richard Williams PAGDC

Richard was Exalted into Union Chapter No. 414 in 1986, becoming MEZ in 2003-4 and 2004-5. He is currently Treasurer of the Chapter. Richard’s first appointment in Provincial Grand Chapter of Berkshire was to the Acting Rank of ProvGStwd in 2006, followed by promotion in 2008 to Past Provincial Grand Sojourner. Richard is also a Member of the Berkshire First Principals’ Chapter No. 3684. In June 2010 he was elected as ProvGTreas and has continued to be elected as such every year since. Richard was delighted to be honoured with a Supreme Grand Chapter Grand Rank appointment in March 2015, as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, in recognition of his services to the Royal Arch in Berkshire. He is also active in Craft Masonry, being a Member of Reading Lodge of Union No. 414, where he was Worshipful Master in 1994 and is currently it’s Treasurer. He is also a Member of the Berkshire Masters’ Lodge No 3684, Old Ellesmerian Lodge No. 5368, Shropshire and Berkshire Provincial Grand Steward’s Lodge No. 9381, and is currently a Visiting Officer in Berkshire.


As Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies, E Comp Steve Hieke PAGDC

Steve is a very committed Freemason, being a Member of five Craft Lodges and four Royal Arch Chapters in the Provinces and Districts of Berkshire, London, and Surrey. He was Initiated into the Royal Edward Lodge No. 4787 (Surrey) in 1991 and Exalted into the associated Chapter in 1995. In Berkshire, Steve is a Member of St. John’s Chapter No. 795 where he is currently the Scribe E, and Berkshire First Principals’ Chapter No. 3684, where he held the Offices of Assistant Director of Ceremonies and Director of Ceremonies for a period of nine years. During his thirty years as a Craft Mason and twenty-six years in the Royal Arch, Steve has served in all the Lodge and Chapter Offices, with extensive stints as either Director of Ceremonies, Secretary or Scribe E, and consequently has gained considerable experience in the well running of Lodges and Chapters. It is not surprising therefore to find that he has been called on to serve at the Provincial level in all his Provinces. He has been a Visiting Officer for Surrey Lodges since 2018 and a Visiting Officer for the Royal Arch Metropolitan District of London since June 2021. In the Royal Arch Province of Berkshire, he was appointed as the Provincial Director of Ceremonies in June 2021 after having served firstly as Assistant Director of Ceremonies and then as Deputy Provincial Director of Ceremonies between 2016 and 2020. Steve was delighted to be honoured with a Supreme Grand Chapter Grand Rank appointment in March 2021 as Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies. Steve is well known for his commitment to Charity, and is not content with just giving money, but in taking an active part in raising funds. He has participated in several events to raise sponsorship for charitable causes, not least his epic static cycle ride, during the Covid restrictions, where he cycled 522 miles “virtually” over a period of twenty-two days, to simulate an earlier event when Companions of the Province undertook to ride to all the Masonic Centres in Berkshire Province in one day. On this occasion Steve succeeded in simulating a daily ride to and from each Masonic Centre in turn, receiving sponsorship from Chapters and individual Companions, to raise around £5,000 for the ProvGM’s Covid-19 Hardship Fund.


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