Orangeman who helped create museum is mourned

Former Grand Lodge archivist, David Cargo, 89
Former Grand Lodge archivist, David Cargo, 89

The Orange Order has paid tribute to a historian who had helped to create its new museum.

David Cargo, 89, a historian and archivist, was described as an “inspirational” figure within the Loyal Orders in a statement from the Orange institution.

It said he played a key role in the development of the Museum of Orange Heritage.

The Newtownards man served in the voluntary role for almost three decades, and remained active until his death, and published many booklets and pamphlets on Orange history.

The Orange Order said that, along with the late Cecil Kilpatrick, Mr Cargo was central in opening up the archives of the institution to researchers and the wider public.

In a statement, Dr Jonathan Mattison, Museum of Orange Heritage curator, said the archivist was particularly keen that the traditions of the Institution should be better understood by young people.

He said: “David was a mine of information about the Loyal Orders and was determined that others understand the Orange Institution.

“During the 1990s he and Cecil Kilpatrick, gave order to the chaos that was the archive collection of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

“His passion for history was infectious.

“I first met David when studying at Queen’s University and this big, friendly giant of a man, helped me greatly during my studies. He never bragged about his achievements, but then truly great men never do.

“His professionalism as an archivist, and personal friendship to me, will be greatly missed.”

Mr Cargo is survived by his wife Margaret and three children, David Junior, John and Elizabeth, as well as his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.