Landmark day as Royal Black Institution opens new headquarters

The Royal Black Institution will mark a milestone in it 225-year history on Saturday (April 2) by opening a new state-of-the-art headquarters in Loughgall, Co Armagh.

More than 2,000 sir knights and 10 bands will parade through the village – from Red Lion Road/Ballymagerney Road – at noon before the Main St building is declared open by Sovereign Grand Master Rev William Anderson.

An exhibition focusing on the lives of past leaders will form part of the event, including the unveiling of a bust of Sir Norman Stronge, a former sovereign grand master and Somme hero, who was murdered by the IRA in 1981.

Speaking ahead of the opening, Rev Anderson said: “It will be an emotional day, culminating as it does with the opening of the first-ever headquarters to be owned by our institution.”

Sovereign Grand Master Rev William Anderson outside the new Royal Black headquarters in Loughgall

The sovereign grand master will lay a wreath at the newly unveiled bust while a lament is played by piper Sir Knight James Frazer.

A service of worship will begin in the public park at 1.45pm and will be followed by the return parade at 3pm.