Tribute paid as past Grand Master of Orange Lodge dies

A past Grand Master of the Orange Lodge of Scotland has died.

Ian Wilson, was remembered by the current Grand Master, Jim McHarg, as someone who led the “modernising and reforming” of the Orange Order in Scotland.

Mr Wilson died yesterday after suffering a massive stroke.

He was politically active during and after his time as Grand Master

The former Grand Master was a Conservative council candidate in the 1999 elections in West Lothian.

He also campaigned for Scotland remaining in the United Kingdom in the 2014 referendum stating a Union parade of Orange Order members in Edinburgh, which Better Together distanced itself form would be “a loud, proud and noisy affair.

In 2010 while he was Grand Master as behaviour at and around Orange parades was under scrutiny, he warned members and followers of the July Boyne Parade not to “spoil the day with drunken and loutish behaviour”.

Jim McHarg, Most Worthy Grand Master paid tribute to Mr Wilson on the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland website.

He said: “It is with the greatest of sadness that I must inform our members of the heart breaking news of the passing of a past Grand Master of the Orange Order in Scotland, Ian Wilson.

Sadly, Ian suffered a massive stroke and passed away today, surrounded by his family.He added: “Ian’s contribution to the Orange Order in Scotland cannot be overstated.  He dedicated a significant part of his life to the Order and achieved so much.  At a very difficult time for the Orange community in Scotland, Ian, as Grand Master, took the very bold and courageous step of throwing open the doors of the Orange Order to let others see us, to see the real Orange membership behind the newspaper headlines. Mr McHarg added: “He wanted to reach out to others and let them see that although we shared religious differences, we were all simple human beings and that we all had a place in Scottish society.  Ian featured heavily in a television documentary series – 21st century Orangeman, such was the positive impact that Ian had on reforming, modernising and asking for understanding of what the Orange Order was all about.”

Mr McHarg said: “I would ask all of our members to send Ian’s family your prayers and keep them in your thoughts at this sad and difficult time.”

Published on the 14th of October 2019
Article taken from the Evening Times

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