Orange Order Grand Master re-elected
Updated: Jan 27, 2020
Edward Stevenson has once again been unanimously re-elected as the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.
Members of the Order’s Grand Lodge met in Banbridge Orange Hall and decided that the Co Tyrone man should continue in the role at the helm of the Loyal Institution.
Mr Stevenson, a farmer from Ardstraw, has held the post for just short of nine years, having taken up the role in January 2011. He described his re-election as a “tremendous privilege”.
He said: “To receive the confidence of the membership of the Orange Institution is a humbling experience but also a tremendous privilege. I am proud to continue as Grand Master and very much look forward to fulfilling the respective duties of the role in what will be a challenging year ahead.”
Grand Lodge made clear their desire to play a role in developing a strategy that unites Unionism. They also reiterated their appeal to all in the Orange family to vote in the General Election to maximise the number of Unionist MP’s returned to Westminster. It is Grand Lodge’s view that this is an election about the future of the Union and sending a clear message that any border through the United Kingdom is unacceptable.
The meeting also discussed the forthcoming local political talks focussing on the restoration of devolution, during which the members present expressed their overwhelming and ongoing opposition to any new legislation concerning Irish language. Members highlighted their frustration at the already stark funding disparity between Irish language projects compared to support for cultural traditions and community infrastructure in the Unionist community.
The Grand Master added: “While there is a need to see accountable and effective government in Northern Ireland, Republicanism cannot and must not be continually rewarded for their intransigence at the expense of the Unionist community.”
Meanwhile, all other senior Officers of Grand Lodge were re-elected at the meeting, including Harold Henning as Deputy Grand Master. The presiding officer at the election was Henry Dunbar, former President of the Imperial Orange Council and Past Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland.