County Down Grand Black Chapter

Instituted 1846


Sir knt John Wallace compare for the evening.

                                                                                                                  Laura Dowey.

James and friends

                                                                                                          Thompson Brothers

County Officers assembled in preparation of the main Procession at Lisburn 2016

 Laying of wreath by County Grand Master Right Worshipful Sir Knight Brian Hunter


On Sunday the 26th of July 2015, Lecale Royal Black District Chapter No 2 held their annual District Church service in Killyleagh. The Sir Knights paraded to Killyleagh First Presbyterian Church led by Crossgar Young Defenders Flute Band where the service was conducted by the Reverend H Higgins. Accompanying the Sir Knights of Lecale was Andy Allen, a former soldier who had been seriously injured whilst serving in Afghanistan. Upon their return to Killyleagh Orange Hall, cheque presentations were made to Andy Allan, founding member of the AA Veterans Support Charity. On behalf of County Down Grand Black Chapter the Rt. Wor. Sir Knight Trevor Hawthorne, County Grand Master presented a cheque amounting to 1000.00. Subsequently, Wor. District Master for Lecale Sir Knight Fergus Woods presented Andy with a further cheque for 400.00 on behalf of Lecale District. In his address, Andy expressed his sincere gratitude for the unwavering support shown to 'AAVS' by the Royal Black Institution within County Down both at County and District level. A further vote of thanks was made to those ladies involved in making provision for refreshments after the presentations.






(left to right) Rt. Wor. Sir Knight Trevor Hawthorne, County Grand Master,                      (left to right) Sir Knight Phil Colmer, Deputy District Master,             
  Andy Allan, Founding member of 'AAVS' and                                                                  Sir Knight Nigel Bloomer, District Treasurer, Andy Allan,
   Wor. Sir Knight Colin Cunningham, Deputy County Grand Master (elect).                         Founding member of 'AAVS', Sir Knight Alan Brownlee, District Chaplin,
                                                                                                                                              Sir Knight James McKibbin, District Registrar & Sir Knight Fergus Woods,
                                                                                                                                                Wor. District Master




Most worshipful sovereign grand master Sir-knt Millar Farr receives a cheque from Lower Iveagh Royal Black District Chapter No1 for the Grand Black Chapter Appeal.  The aviation and bible society

Right Worshipful Sir Knight Sydney Wilson receiving his Certificate and Gift from Right Worshipful Sir Knight Colin Whiteside on the occassion of his retirement as Secretary to the Lecturing Conferences, having held the position for 46 years.


Alzheimers Society - Presentation of Cheque at Brownlow House on Wednesday 10th April 2013

Sir Knights from County Down Grand Black Chapter and Imperial Officers with the Sovereign Grand Master at the Presentaion of a Cheque for 95,0000 to representatives of the Alzheimers Society the Designated Charity of the Imperial Grand Black Chapter for 2012.


Lower Iveagh District Chapter

Sir Knights D McDowell Deputy Master of RBP 95, Sir Knight W Hobson, Brother of the late Sir Knight Leonard Hobson and Sir Knight J McCullagh Worshipful master of RBP 95 with Mrs Lila Hobson and family at the presentation of table cloth and banner straps in memory of her late husband.


Blackskull RBP 95 Charity Initiative

Blackskull RBP 95 recently held a Bike Run, Sponsored Walk, Coffee Morning and Table Quiz in aid of the Institution's designated charity - Alzheimers Society.

The Sir Knights raised a total of 4,000 which was presented to the Imperial Grand Treasurer - Right Worshipful Sir Knight William Abernethy on Friday 15th March 2013.

The Sir Knights are to be congratulated in their efforts for raising such a tremendous sum


House clearance uncovers lost Minute Book of Lower Iveagh District Chapter

The picture below shows Worshipful Sir Knight Colin Cunningham receiving the Minute Book from Virginia Doloughan Maguire daughter of the late Worshipful Sir Knight John Doloughan who was a Past District Master of Lower Iveagh Royal Black District Chapter No.1. He was a founder member of RBP 555 and interestingly enough the person responsible for proposing Sir Knight Cunningham for membership of LOL 828


The Minutes were found when Virginia's late brother's house was being cleared by his partner Wilma who was good enough to pass them on to Virginia. They show a record of the meetings of the Sir Knights of Lower Iveagh Royal Black District Chapter No.1 from 1924 to 1957. Still in good condition although with a few pages missing, they record many interesting events and details of the times. I have below included some extracts which may be of interest.

List of new Office Bearers elected on 29th March 1924.

Circular - Whilst a request, it is obvious from the last line that the recipient was expected to attend.

A 1940 notification that Brownlow House was to be acquired by the Military Authorities


The Sovereign Grand Master was the Guest of Honour at the recent unfurling and dedication of a new banner for Mullaglass Link & Chain RBP No 997.

The Preceptory is part of Newry Royal Black District Chapter No.4 the Worshipful Master of which is Worshipful Sir Knight Colin H Whiteside, who is also the Grand Master of the Grand Black Chapter of Down, Deputy Imperial Grand Treasurer and Past Assistant Sovereign Grand Master.

Due to inclement weather the unfurling was held in the games hall of the local Primary School by kind permission of the Chair of Governors and Principal. The proceedings were chaired by Sir Knight the Rev. Norman Hutton, District Chaplain of Newry Royal Black District Chapter No.4 and the praise was led by the Commons Silver Band from Newry.

The banner was unfurled by Mrs Betty Whiteside, wife of the Worshipful Master. A historic and family link was thereby maintained as the Preceptory's first banner was unfurled by Right Worshipful Sir Knight Whiteside's Great Grandmother in 1929 when his Great Grandfather was the Worshipful Master. The same scissors that were used in 1929 were also used to good effect again on this occasion.

The Venerable Archdeaon R G Hoey read some passages of Scripture, dedicated the new Banner and addressed the assembled Sir Knights and friends.

The Sovereign Grand Master also addressed the gathering and brought fraternal greetings and best wishes from the Imperial Grand Black Chapter.

Following a short parade the Sir Knights and friends were treated to a delicious supper provided by the ladies of RBP 997

Lower Iveagh Black Ball

Imperial, County and District Officers with their partners at the Black Ball held in Dromore Rugby Club on Friday 10th August 2012.


The Annual District Service of Lecale Royal Black District Chapter No.2 was held in 2nd Presbyterian Church Killyleagh on Sunday 29th July 2012. During the service, conducted by Sir Knight the Reverend David McCarthy, two new standards; the Union Flag and the Royal Black Standard were dedicated.

Photo shows (Back Row): Sir Knights Keith Cranston, Marcus McCorriston and Malcolm Leahy.

Front Row: Sir Knights Fergus Woods, DDM; Sam Osborne, District Treasurer; Alan Brownlee, District Chaplain; and Nigel Bloomer, WDM


The Worshipful Master and District Registrar of Lower Iveagh Royal Black District Chapter No.1 present to Guide Dogs for the Blind a cheque for 250.00 which was collected at the various monthly meetings throughout the District.


The Worshipful Master and District Registrar of Lower Iveagh Royal Black District Chapter No.1 present to Ward 6 Ulster Hosptial, 400.00 which was the collection at their District Service on Sunday 11th September.


New Regalia for the District Officers of Lecale District Chapter was dedicated at the Annual Church Service in Crossgar on 31st July 2011.

From left to right: Alan Brownlee - District Chaplain; Samuel Osborne - District Treasurer; Nigel Bloomer - Deputy District Master; Rev. Mervyn Gibson; George McKibben - Worshipful District Master; James McKibben - District Registrar.


On 23rd June 2011 the Sir Knights of Ballydonnell RBP 39 dedicated a new banner. Among the guests were the Deputy County Grand Chaplain Worshipful Sir Knight Pastor Roy Graham and the County Grand Treasurer Worshipful Sir Knight Brian Hunter.


A joint Installation of Juniper Tree RBP 11 and Bethlehem Golden Star RBP 169 Office Bearers for 2011-2012 took place in Dromore Orange Hall on Monday 14th March. The Installation ceremony was conducted by Sir Knight William Hobson (Worshipful District Master) and Sir Knight Mervyn McKinley (Deputy District Master). Sir Knight David Hobson was installed as Worshipful Master of Bethlehem Golden Star RBP 169, and Sir Knight John E St.Clair was installed as Deputy Master. Sir Knight William McMurray was installed as Worshipful Master of Juniper Tree RBP 11, and Sir Knight Neil McMurray was installed as Deputy Master. Also during the evening, Sir Knight Richard Fleming (District Lecturer) introduced seven candidates who received the Red Cross Degree including one candidate from Hillsborough RBP 423.

At the joint Installation of Juniper Tree RBP 11 and Bethlehem Golden Star RBP 169 in Dromore Orange Hall on Monday 14th March are: - Front Row L to R: Sir Knights - David Hobson (Worshipful Master of Bethlehem Golden Star RBP 169), Brian Gibson (District Marshall), Mervyn McKinley (Deputy District Master) William Hobson (Worshipful District Master) and Candidates who received their Red Cross degree; (holding certificates) Mark Andrews (Hillsborough RBP 423), John E St. Clair (RBP 169), Jason Atcheson (RBP 11), David Murdock (RBP 11), Charles Louden (RBP 11) and David Nelson (RBP 169) Ian Dunlop (Deputy District Lecturer), Richard Fleming (District Lecturer) and Alfie Gamble (Worshipful Master Hillsborough RBP No 423.

Keeping it in the family at RBP 169, Sir Knight Samuel Hobson receives a Past Masters Jewel and Certificate from his two brothers Sir Knight Leonard Hobson, Past Master (left) and Sir Knight William Hobson, Worshipful District Master (right). At the joint Installation in Dromore Orange Hall on Monday 14th March, the top post of Worshipful Master of Bethlehem Golden Star RBP 169 was kept in the family when Samuel was replaced by his son David (inset).


The Sir Knights of Ballynahinch parading in their centenary year to the District Service on 22nd August 2010 when their guest speaker was Rev. George Speirs. A centenary dinner was held on 3rd September at the Temple Golf Club when the guest of honour was the Sovereign Grand Master; Most Worshipful Sir Knight Millar Farr QPM.


The Worshipful District Master, Sir Knight Andrew McRoberts, of Banbridge District Chapter handed over a cheque to the Deputy County Grand Master, Right Worshipful Sir Knight Colin Whiteside at the last District Meeting. The cheque in support of the Designated Charity Appeal (Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda) amounted to 1,600.00 with hopefully further contributions to be received.


The members of Loughbrickland Black Evangelical Fellowship hosted a "Big Breakfast" in Banbridge Orange Hall on Saturday morning 20th November. Around 80 people enjoyed the delightful breakfast, which was prepared by Mrs Audrey McDowell and her team of helpers.

Everyone was welcomed to the hall by Paul Clydesdale, who also explained a little of the background behind the setting up of the fellowship. He said "the fellowship was formed just over two years ago by three Sir Knights from King Solomon's Rising Star R.B.P. No. 402, who saw it as their duty as Christian Sir Knights to go into the world and promote the Christian gospel and the reformed christian faith".

Grace was then said by Pastor Roy Graham, before everyone sat down to a wonderful feast including cereals, juice, grapefruit, fry, tea and coffee after which Alan Rogers invited Rev. Philip Thompson to lead the assembly in prayer. Mr Tony Meehan then read the Word of God from the Gospel according to Saint John, before a message was brought by Pastor Roy Graham. Thanks were expressed to Banbridge Orange Hall Committee, Audrey McDowell, the cooks and helpers, before the meeting was brought to a close by prayer.

The fellowship meets on the second Tuesday evening of every month in Derrydrummuck Orange Hall, and the meetings are open to everyone.

Further details can be obtained by emailing or on Facebook at Loughbrickland Black Evangelical Fellowship.


A Computer and First-Aid equipment were presented to members of the Dromore Red Cross Group at Dromore High School on Monday 4th October 2010 by the Sir Knights of Lower Iveagh Royal Black District Chapter No.1. The gifts were a token of the Sir Knight's thanks and appreciation for the assistance rendered by the Group when providing first-aid cover at all events held during the past few years and especially the Last Saturday demonstration at Dromore in August 2008 when some 40,000 people packed the town. In making the presentation, Sir Knight William Hobson (Worshipful District Master) said,"We hope that these gifts will help in the instruction of the young members in their training which has been ongoing in Dromore for over 50 years". He wished them well for the future and hoped that they would continue for many years to come.

Worshipful District Master: Sir Knight William Hobson (left) and Deputy District Master Sir Knight Mervyn McKinley (right) present a computer and first aid equipment to Hazel Watson (Group Leader) and May Kinkaid (Duties Officer) of Dromore Red Cross Group on Monday 4th October. Looking on are Link Group members Cameron Stewart and Nicole Haslem.

Pictured with the members of the Group are (From left to Right) Sir Knights Sandy Tolerton, Samuel Newell, Jim Wilkinson (District Treasurer), Mervyn McKinley (Deputy District Master), William Hobson (Worshipful District Master), Colin Cunningham (District Registrar), Brian Gibson, Colin Elliott and George McLoughlin.



On behalf of Banbridge Royal Black District Chapter No.6, Sir Knight Andrew McRoberts Worshipful District Master presented cheques totalling 460.00, (proceeds from the Annual District Church Service) to Sir Knight Joe Beck for the 'Holy Trinity Parish Church Save Our Spire Fund' and Sir Knight George Vennard for the 'UDR Benevolent Fund'.

Included seated are: Sir Knights Edgar Patterson Deputy District Master, Trevor Martin District Registrar, John Smyth County Grand Master, Raymond Chambers District Persuviant and William Graham Worshipful Master of RBP 27.

Sir Knights of King Solomon's Rising Star RBP 402 and friends who recently attended a Songs of Praise Service in Loughbrickland Presbyterian Church on behalf of Cancer Support. Included in the photograph are Preceptory Officers, Members of 'Inspire'; 'Closkelt Jubilee Singers'; Kelly McClimmond from Macmillan Cancer Support and Sir Knight Richard Fleming who was the guest speaker.

Below:- The cheque for 1,500.00 being presented.

County Officers and Officers of Lecale Royal Black District Chapter No.2 assembled in preparadtion for the Annual Demonstration at Crossgar on Saturday 29th August 2009.

Right Worshipful Sir Knight John Smyth being recognised for 40 years service to the Black Institution by Past Assistant Sovereign Grand Master Right Worshipful Sir Knight Colin Whitside.

Past County Grand Master Right Worshipful Sir Knight Jack Fairbairn Past District Registrar of Saintfield District Chapter receiving his retirement gift from Assistant Sovereign Grand Master Worshipful Sir Knight Colin Whiteside. Jack's son Sir Knight Robin Fairbairn is also present.