RBP No. 641 – Greeves Memorial – Boland

In early 1947 seven brethren of Boland LOL 375 joined Drummond Faith Defenders RBP 426 with a view to forming a new preceptory in Boland to replace the one that had gone out of existence in 1926.  The seven Sir Knights received their degrees in Drummond and spent 3 years learning how the Black Institution worked.

On 5th November 1951 they took out warrant No. 641 to be encamped at Boland in the District of Killyman. On the suggestion of some District Officers, it was agreed to name the new Preceptory Greeves Memorial in memory of the late Sir Knight RD Greeves, a member of RBP 511, WDM of Killyman R.B.D.C. No.1 and County Grand Master of Tyrone, who had died a few months earlier.

The foundation WM was the late Sir Knight RA Ferguson, who held the position until 1995, a total of 44 years. Sir Knight Ferguson was still active in the Preceptory, District Chapter and County Grand Chapter until his death in 2001.

The Preceptories first banner cost £81 and carried a portrait of the late Sir Knight RD Greeves. The banner was unfurled by Mrs Clegg Greeves, daughter-in-law of the late Sir Knight Greeves on Wednesday 20th August 1952.

A new banner of Greeves Memorial R.B.P. No. 641 was painted by J.N. Hargy of Ballymoney and unfurled by Mrs R.A. Ferguson, wife of the Worshipful Master, on Wednesday 20th August 1980.  The Dedication was by Sir Knight Rev. Canon W.G.H. Williams MA, District Chaplain.  The front of the banner shows Moses leading the children of Israel across the Red Sea surmounted by a small portrait of the late Sir Knight Robert Douglas Greeves, from whom the preceptory takes its name.  The reverse of the banner is a painting of Belshazzar’s Feast surmounted by a small Red Cross and Crown representing Civil and Divine Law.

Greeves Memorial has been headed by 4 bands since being formed in 1951.  A long association was held with Augharan Pipe Band, until Boland formed their own Accordion Band in 1964.  Boland Accordion Band was renowned for its musical excellence and high standards and was invited to play at a number of high profile community events.  However, the band was forced to close in 1991 as many members were moving away to university rendering the necessary weekly practices impractical.  For a short time the Preceptory was led by Churchill Silver Band, but another strong link was formed with Ballyreagh Silver Band in 1994.  The Fermanagh band have been leading the Preceptory ever since.

In November 1960 the Preceptory joined with the Orange Lodge in a project to build a new Orange and Black Hall.  It was opened on Saturday 16th June 1962 by the late Sir Knight and Brother Joseph Brodison JP WDM Killyman District LOL. No.1.

Following three arson attacks during the 1990s, the last of which severely damaged the building, the hall was renovated and updated, providing members with modern facilities and security.  The Re-opening and Dedication took place on Saturday 9th June 2001.  Right Worshipful Sir Knight Millar Farr re-opened the hall and Sir Knight and Bro. Rev. E. Culbertson D.G.C.I. performed the dedication.

In addition to the monthly prayer meetings, two open religious services are held per year, one in June and the other in November.  The collection at these services goes to support charities.  In recent years the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association and Action MS have benefited.

An annual variety concert promoted by Boland Hall Management Committee is held to provide the local community with entertainment and the members look forward to many more such events in the future.

Some Sir Knights of particular note are:-

  • Right Worshipful Sir Knight Millar Farr is a Past Assistant Sovereign Grand Master (serving from 2000-2003) and has been WDM of Killyman R.B.D.C. No.1 from 2000-2005 and was elected Sovereign Grand Master in 2008.
  • The Registrar, Sir Knight James McFarland, is an Imperial Deputy Grand Master and was the County Grand Lecturer until 2003.  He served as WDM of Killyman R.B.D.C. No.1 (1988-1994) and as District Lecturer.