LOL 31 Bible and Crown Defenders, Kilmoriarty
The warrant of No 31 was taken out by Abraham Hart, of Kilmoriarty on 6th August, 1796, and it had a very large membership, sometimes over 50, in its early days. In 1797, it was meeting at Totten’s Hill, the Master being Thomas Finn, who was succeeded in 1808 by Richard Hunt. From 1813 to 1826, William Cregan was Master, and it was meeting in Mullentine and known as Mullentine Excelsior Lodge. Joseph Morrison was Master from 1826 until 1830; Thomas Davison from 1831 until 1836; and John Hunt from 1837 until 1850; and William Kennedy from 1851 to 1855; while in 1856-60 Benjamin Ford is Master and John Freeburn DM.

From 1837, it had been sitting in Kilmoriarty but in the later part of 1860 we find it in Mullentine again with Jervis Cook as Master and William Grimason as DM. The former held the office of WM until 1871. William Grimason was DM until 1863, when he was succeeded by Thomas Jackson, who held the office until 1865. Thomas Jackson had been secretary before he became DM, and was succeeded by William Lawson, who carried out the secretarial work until 1872, when he became DM, John McQuade being Master in that year. Ben Finegan, who was treasurer from 1864 until 1866, succeeded William Ward as DM, in 1867 and held the office until 1870, David Woodhouse being DM in 1871. John Finegan was treasurer from 1867 until 1870, and William J Grimason in 1871.

In 1874 William Lawson became Master, with John McQuade as DM, John Summerville as secretary, and Jervis Cooke (succeeding William Woodhouse) as treasurer. Joseph Grimason was treasurer in 1875 and John Kelly in 1876-77. Archie Lisk was DM in 1877 and Benjamin Woolsey in 1878. William Lawson and John Summerville held their respective offices as Master and secretary until 1880. William J McIlroy was treasurer in 1878, J Kelly in 1879 and T Whaley in 1880. There is a blank during 1881 and 1882 we find it known as ‘The Kilmoriarty Excelsior Lodge’ with John Summerville Master and W J McFadden, secretary. The latter became Master in 1883 and held the office until 1902. A White, who became DM in 1883, was succeeded in 1884 by Robert Cassells. John Courtney became secretary in 1888; James Lamb held the office in 1891 and James Robinson from 1892 until 1899. Treasurers were 1883 T Whaley; 1884-88, William Bertram; 1889-91, Benjamin Woolsey; 1892, John Courtney; 1894-1902, T Whaley. In 1898-9, John Joyce was DM and William Dunne held the office 1900-1902. W J Stevenson was secretary 1900-1902. In 1886 the name was changed to Derry Rossmore Scarlet Star.

1n 1903 the officers were :- William Dunne, WM; Thomas Whaley, DM; James Robinson, secretary; and W J Stevenson, treasurer. In 1904 James Caughey become the Master and held the post until 1907, when he was succeeded by W J McFadden, who held it until 1910. James Conn was DM from 1904 until 1910; with Alex McMurray secretary and Thomas Whaley treasurer for the same period. In 1905 the number became ‘Bible and Crown Defenders.’

A new set of officers was elected in 1911. Alex McMurray was Master until 1914; James Magee, DM until 1913; and Robert Walker secretary until 1916.

William Clayton was Master in 1915, and Hugh Lyttle filled the office from 1916 until 1921. William John Magee, who was DM from 1914 until 1916 was succeeded by James Conn, who held the post from 1917 until 1921. F W Cregan was secretary from 1917 until 1921. F W Cregan was secretary from 1917 until 1920, Fred Wright filling the position in 1921. Treasurers during the period 1911 to 1921 were James Lamb, Hugh Raymond, Thomas Whaley, and R Walker.

James Conn has been Master since 1922. Joseph Morrison and Henry Mullen who were succeeded in 1923 by Thomas Magee and Herbert Dunlop, who held their offices until 1926. James Finlay was treasurer from 1921 until 1926.

Hugh Raymond was DM, 1927-28; and Ben Partridge since 1929. Herbert Conn was secretary from 1927 until 1934, when he was succeeded by William Dawson Thompson. John Hayes has been treasurer since 1927.

At times during the last 10 years the membership has been up to 70. The Hall in Kilmoriarty was opened on Easter Monday 1912.

The principle officers for the year 1936 were - James Conn, West Street, Portadown; Benjamin Partridge, Montague Street, Portadown; William Dawson, Thompson, West Street, Portadown; John Hayes, Hampton Terrace, Portadown

On 24 May 1985 the members of LOL 31 unfurled a new banner which featured a portrait of their late Worshipful Master, Bro. Tom Woods. The unfurling ceremony was performed by bis son, Bro. To ramie.1 Woods. The Pride of the Birches Accordion Band accompanies LOL 31 on parade. Bro. Private- James Magee of LOL 31 served during the Great War. He was killed in action. The lodge has a photograph of Bro. Magee, in full service uniform, which was taken shortly before he left for the Front. The lodge's original warrant, issued in 1796, is in the Orange Museum in Loughgall.

The late Bro. W. D. Thompson was lodge Secretary from 1985 until his death in 1978. Bro. Thompson was also District Secretary 1969-78. The present District Secretary, Bro. Robert Wallace, is a member of LOL 31. In 1994 Kilmoriarty Orange Hall was re-roofed at a cost of £2,300.

Worshipful Masters of the lodge from 1922 are as follows:

1922-50 James Conn
1951-83 T R. Woods
1984-85 K. J. Hanlon snr.
1986-88 B. Partridge
1989-90 Samuel Ruddell snr.
1991-92 Robert Hall
1993-94 H. E. Browne
1995- Victor Fleming

History of Lodges Index