Edward Stevenson re-elected as Orange Order grand master

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Edward Stevenson has been unanimously re-elected as the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

Members of the Order’s Grand Lodge met in Belfast on Wednesday and decided that the Tyrone farmer, 63, should remain at the helm of the loyal institution.

Grand Master Edward Stevenson (second from left) with senior Orangemen Brian Dorrian, grand treasurer; Harold Henning, deputy grand master; and Rev Mervyn Gibson, grand secretary

Grand Master Edward Stevenson (second from left) with senior Orangemen Brian Dorrian, grand treasurer; Harold Henning, deputy grand master; and Rev Mervyn Gibson, grand secretary

The Ardstraw man has held the post for almost eight years, having assumed the role in January 2011.

Speaking following his re-election, Mr Stevenson said it was a “tremendous privilege” to continue in the role.

He said: “It is deeply humbling, and I am extremely proud, to once again receive the confidence of the membership of the institution. I very much look forward to fulfilling the role and carrying out the respective duties as grand master to the best of my ability in the year ahead.”

During Mr Stevenson’s tenure of office, among the many highlights so far, the institution has opened two museums in Belfast and Loughgall; with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales visiting the latter in 2016.

Earlier this year, Mr Stevenson welcomed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to the institution’s Belfast headquarters.

Meanwhile, Harold Henning was re-elected as deputy grand master at the Grand Lodge meeting. Rev Mervyn Gibson also continues as grand secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.