RBP No. 523 – Star of the East Temperance – Dungannon

The first encampment took place on 1st August 1899. The first few meetings were held in the Y.M.C.A. Rooms, Dungannon and from December 1899 onwards were held in the Orange Hall, Thomas Street, Dungannon until 20th October 1922 when they held the first meeting in the new Orange Hall at Castle Hill Dungannon.

Sir Knight David Hamilton a chandler from Donaghmore was elected first W.M., Sir Knight John Beatty, a law clerk from Dungannon the D.M., Sir Knight James Gilpin a shop assistant elected Chaplain and Sir Knight H. Beatty a Cabinet maker from Dungannon elected Registrar. It is interesting to note from the early records the various occupations of members: farmers, labourers, shop workers, blacksmiths, tailors, footmen, butler, groom, linen lappers etc. Over the ensuing years the numbers increased until a peak in 1966-67 when there were 76 members on the roll.

The first banner was ordered from London at a cost of £19-2-4 unfurled by Miss F. Stewart on 10th 1900 and carried at the head of the Preceptory at the 12th August Demonstration at the Killymoon Estate, Cookstown.  The music was supplied by two pipers and a little boy at a cost of 25 shillings plus the cost of their train fares.

The current banner was unfurled on the morning of the Last Saturday 31st August 1991 at 9:30 a.m. at Castle Hill, Dungannon by the late Sir Knights S.T. Leaney and John G. Hobson, two of the oldest members of the preceptor, and dedicated by the Chaplain Sir Knight A.S. O’Connor M.A The leading side of this banner depicts a scene from St Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 2, vv 1-3 and 7-9. The reverse depicts a scene from 1st Kings Chapter 19 vv 1-5. The banner was painted by the late Tommy Strain of Omagh at a cost of £900.

The preceptory held a centenary service of thanksgiving on Sunday 1st August 1999 at 3.00p.m. in the Lord Northland Memorial Hall, Dungannon. This service was conducted by the Chaplain, Sir Knight Canon A.S. O’Connor M.A. with an address by Sir Knight Rev. Kenneth R.J. Hall. Four Sir Knights were presented with 50 year Long Service Medals and 6 Sir Knights with 40 year Long Service Medals by Sir Knight William Abernethy, Assistant Sovereign Grand Master.

The Worshipful Masters of the Preceptory from 1951 are as follows:-

  • 1951 WM Sir Knight Courtney, DM Sir Knight R Kempton
  • 1952 WM Sir Knight Courtney, DM Sir Knight Gracey
  • 1955 WM Sir Knight R Kempton, DM Sir Knight W Millar
  • 1956 WM Sir Knight William Millar, DM Sir Knight William Clarke
  • 1963 WM Sir Knight John Steenson, DM Sir Knight William Clarke
  • 1965 WM Sir Knight John Steenson, DM Sir Knight William Clarke
  • 1977 WM Sir Knight John Steenson, DM Sir Knight J Heenagh
  • 1980 WM Sir Knight John Steenson, DM Sir Knight Bob Wright
  • 1981 WM Sir Knight John Steenson, DM Sir Knight Richard Devlin
  • 1982 WM Sir Knight Richard Devlin, DM Sir Knight S J Patton
  • 1989 WM Sir Knight Richard Devlin, DM Sir Knight S Henderson
  • 1998 WM Sir Knight Richard Devlin, DM Sir Knight Albert Meenagh
  •  2008 WM Sir Knight Keith Hardy, DM Sir Knight Norman C.E. McKinney