Joan Beggs ‘honoured’ to take top Orange post

Grand Mistress of the Association of Loyal Orange Women of Ireland.' 'Joan Beggs
Grand Mistress of the Association of Loyal Orange Women of Ireland.' 'Joan Beggs

The new head of the women’s Orange Order has said she is both “honoured” and “humbled” to take the top post.

Joan Beggs, from Newmills in Tyrone, replaces outgoing Grand Mistress Olive Whitten, who held the position for 17 years.

Mrs Beggs, a grandmother and former auxiliary nurse, was nominated by her peers at a recent meeting in Armagh.

She said: “I am fully aware of the responsibility that has been bestowed upon me, but will do my utmost to serve the interests of our membership at all times and to ensure the association continues to go from strength to strength.

“In doing so I pledge to promote the Christian and reformed faith, and strongly defend and uphold our Orange heritage.”

Mrs Beggs also paid tribute to her predecessor, adding: “We wish her God’s richest blessing for the future.”

The Association of Loyal Orange Women of Ireland has active lodges across Northern Ireland, as well as maintaining a presence in the border counties of Donegal and Monaghan.

In addition to Mrs Beggs, both the head of the Orange Order – Edward Stevenson – and the Royal Black – Millar Farr – are also from Tyrone.