RBP No 882 – Star of Bethlehem – Kilnacart

The first encampment of the Preceptory was held on Wednesday 7th January 1948. A warrant had been issued in the name of Sir Knight I. M. Symington of RBP 979 on 29th December 1947. The first meeting consisted of 17 members with some 95 visiting Sir Knights from other Preceptories. A District Chapter meeting was opened with Sir Knight R.D. Greeves, County Grand Master, presiding and Sir Knight W.J. Hall, District Master, in the vice chair, assisted by the following Sir Knights: Rev. Stanley Thompson, S.K. Wingfield Espey, S.K. George Little, S.K. Moses Busby, S.K. Jack Frizelle, S.K. Harry Mackey, S.K. HJ Bennett and S.K. Thomas Orr.

After ceremony according to ritual the County Grand Master handed over to Sir Knight Ivan Matthews Symington the warrant empowering him to hold a Royal Black Preceptory No.882 encamped at Kilnacart. The District Chapter was then duly closed and Preceptory No. 882 opened with Sir Knight RD Greeves presiding and Sir Knight Moses Busby in the deputy’s chair.

An installation of officers was carried out by Sir Knight WJ Hall as follows:

  • WM – Sir Knight Ivan Symington
  • DM – Sir Knight WJ Dalton
  • Chap – Sir Knight David McIntyre
  • Registrar – Sir Knight Joseph Reid
  • Treasurer – Sir Knight JH Symington.


The first banner of the Preceptory was purchased in February 1948 from RBP No. 52 Dungannon and the first outing of the Preceptory was to the Royal Black demonstration in Ballygawley in August 1948.

A new banner was unfurled on Friday 19th August 1955 by Mrs I.M.Symington (Falkland) and dedicated by the Rev. Baker, Rector of Derrygortreavy Parish Church. The scissors were presented by Miss Gladys Devlin. (Paintings on the banner were of Arise and Eat and of Royal Black Emblems).

On 31st July 1958 Sir Knight William Mewhore, being home on holiday from Australia, presented the Preceptory with a beautiful mallet on behalf of his brother George. On 22nd July 1962, Sir Knight Joseph Mewhore presented a further mallet on behalf of his brother William.

On 24th September 1977 the Preceptory suffered a sad loss when Sir Knight Robert Bloomer was murdered by IRA terrorists. A memorial tablet was erected in Kilnacart Orange Hall and dedicated at a memorial service held on Thursday 29th November 1977.

On 29th March 1979 the Preceptory presented Sir Knight Ivan Symington with a barometer in appreciation of his 30 years faithful service as Registrar. Sir Knight Symington acted as Registrar a total of 38 years from 1950 to 1988.

In April 1980 the Preceptory presented Sir Knight William Reid with a beautiful clock in appreciation of his long service as Treasurer.

A new banner was unfurled on 15th August 1980 by Mrs William Reid and dedicated by Sir Knight Canon WGH Williams, Castlecaufield. The scissors were presented by Miss Jennifer Bloomer. The painting on the front of the banner is taken from 1st Kings, Chapter 19 – Arise and eat and the painting on the reverse is taken from Exodus, Chapter 3 and depicts Moses and the burning bush. The Banner was painted by J.N. Hargy, Ballymoney.

From the formation of the Preceptory in 1948 until 1961, RBP 882 was always led by Kilnacart Flute Band. This was then changed to an accordion band which has continued to lead the Preceptory on parade to the present day.

On 1st November 1998 a 50 year thanksgiving service was held in Kilnacart Orange Hall conducted by Rev. A.J. Parkhill (BA), rector of Clonfeacle Parish Church. To mark the occasion a beautifully decorated cake bearing the Preceptory’s number was baked by Mrs Elizabeth Frizelle.

In March 2004 two young Sir Knights, Desmond and Alistair Bloomer, brothers, became WM and DM of RBP No. 882.