Memorial service for former Royal Black leader William Logan

Pictured at the memorial service are members of William Logan's family; his wife Dorothy and sons Ian and Robin, with Sovereign Grand Master, Rev William Anderson (left) and Grand Chaplain, Rev William Murphy
Pictured at the memorial service are members of William Logan's family; his wife Dorothy and sons Ian and Robin, with Sovereign Grand Master, Rev William Anderson (left) and Grand Chaplain, Rev William Murphy

The Royal Black Institution has recognised one of its former leaders at a special memorial service in Co Londonderry.

Family of the late William Logan MBE joined with Sir Knights on Saturday to pay their respects to the past Sovereign Grand Master, who died earlier this year.

Mr Logan, 86, played a prominent role within the loyal order for almost a quarter of a century, leading the organisation from 1998 to 2008.

Speaking during the memorial service, held at Castledawson Presbyterian Church, Sovereign Grand Master Rev William Anderson paid tribute to the outstanding service of one of his predecessors.

“When I reflect on the life, work and witness of Billy Logan there is just one word that sums up his life to me – and that word is serve,” Rev Anderson said.

“Billy Logan was not afraid to serve in whatever capacity he found himself. He didn’t shirk his responsibilities when others would have been saying to him ‘why bother - you’re never going to make a difference, just lie back, enjoy life and let somebody else have all the trouble’. That type of attitude did not exist within the physic of Billy Logan.”

“Billy quickly learned the ways and instruction of our Royal Black Institution, but not only did he learn them - he was prepared to live by them, to serve others by them and thank God to die by them.”

Speaking as a personal friend, Rev Anderson continued: “You see, the more and more I got to know Billy, as we trusted each other more and more, I became very aware of a man who had a deep spiritual understanding of what true service meant. For him it was no half-hearted approach, it was all or nothing.”

Rev Anderson praised Mr Logan’s commitment and devotion to the Institution he led, singling out the Belfast man’s integral role in the organisation of the loyal order’s bi-centenary celebrations in 1997.

He said: “That was the character of the man, he was not afraid of work, he as not afraid to give, he was not afraid to share. And yet all this was at a cost to his dear wife and family. They rarely seen him after his work as he rushed out to attend various meetings at all levels within our Institution.

“I don’t think we can ever truly understand the debt we owe to men like Billy Logan. And not only to the men but also to their wives and families. It was a burden they had to carry and yet one they too carried with great dignity.”

Rev Anderson offered his sympathy to Mr Logan’s wife, Dorothy, and his three sons, Ian, Colin and Robin.

Next year, the Imperial Grand Black Chapter will host a similar memorial service for the late Millar Farr.

Mr Farr, 76, who succeeded Mr Logan as Sovereign Grand Master and led the Royal Black for a decade, stepped down from the role in the summer, prior to his death in October.

His tribute service will take place at Molesworth Presbyterian Church in Cookstown.