Lodge Life: Ain't life grand for Ulster Orangeman

An Ulsterman '“ now living in Australia '“ has been elected as the most senior Orangeman in the world.

Thursday, 19th July 2018, 7:14 am
John Morrow, imperial grand master (right), is congratulated by Edward Stevenson, grand master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, following his election at this month's Imperial Orange Council in Scotland

John Morrow, 52, originally from Lisburn, was selected as imperial grand master at the triennial meeting of the Imperial Orange Council, held in Edinburgh earlier this month.

Members of the Orange Institution from across the world met in Scotland for the six-day conference to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Around 150 delegates – including the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, and other local senior Orangemen – joined representatives of grand lodges from Scotland, England, Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada.

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Attendees participated in a full programme of business meetings, workshops and educational visits, among other activities.

Mr Morrow, now based in Queensland, said he was “honoured” to be elected to the senior role by his peers.

He said: “It is a great privilege personally for me. It is also a great tribute to the membership across Australia who hold the Imperial Orange Council in high esteem.”

Mr Morrow, who is also Australian grand master, was accompanied by 10 other Orange representatives from the jurisdiction for the council meeting – the largest ever delegation from Australia to attend the event.

Regarding his priorities over the next three years, the electronic engineer maintained he would be focusing primarily on the recruitment and retention of members, among other matters.

“In Australia we have been working hard in terms of recruitment and strengthening Orangeism in the jurisdiction. We now have upwards of 1,000 members. Similar progress needs to happen throughout the world,” he said.

“I would also like to see an increased profile for the activities of the organisation, and continue our work to improve how the institution is perceived by others.”

Mr Morrow commended the Grand Lodge of Scotland for their hosting of the council meeting, which he attended during an extended stay in his native Northern Ireland. As well as catching up with family, he took part in the Twelfth parade in Aghalee and attended the Sham Fight in Scarva, for the first time.

Mr Morrow, who has been living in Australia for nearly 30 years, said he was “very much” looking forward to the next scheduled meeting of the Imperial Orange Council in 2021, which is due to be held in Co Fermanagh.

Meanwhile, Mr Stevenson was elected as senior deputy imperial grand master during the Edinburgh meeting.