Noteable Orangewomen

Sister Margaret Johnstone Past Grand Mistress 1960

Sister Margaret Johnstone Past Grand Mistress 1960

Sister Margaret Johnstone was born in Glasgow in 1899 and settled in Alloa in 1912. Her father died and Margaret began working at the age of 13 in Paton’s Mill at a time when there was no “welfare state”.

Margaret met her husband to be during the Great War, they married on Armistice Day 1918 as Margaret refused to marry until hostilities had ceased. They were married happily for 37 years before her husband died in the Zetland Mine Disaster, they were blessed with 6 daughters.

Sister Johnstone was a founding member of two ladies’ lodges LLOL 229 and LLOL 196, she was elected onto the Ladies Association Committee and served with distinction travelling all over Scotland teaching Lectures, attending Services and events. In the year of 1960 was elected to serve as Most Worthy Grand Mistress of Scotland.

Living in Clackmannan created difficulties for Margaret as public transport at the time was nothing like it is today and she was often cut off from visiting other areas, at the age of 60 years old she learned how to drive and bought herself a car in order to carry out her duties more effectively.

Sister Johnstone was an ambassador for the Orange Order and spent time visiting Brothers and Sisters in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Sister Dorothy Murray B.E.M.

Sister Dorothy Murray B.E.M.

Dorothy Murray joined LLOL 3 and made a long and lasting impression upon the lodge and its members. Coming from a business background she brought a wealth of knowledge and organisational skills to the lodge.

She quickly learned Lodge Lectures, Instructions and History not only of her own lodge but of Orangeism in general. Dorothy used her range of interests which included history, nature and art and used them to nurture, educate and shape the lives of new and young members.

She was elected to serve as a member of the Ladies Orange Association Committee where her skills as a teacher were invaluable, she travelled through Scotland sharing her knowledge. She was a respected and well-known member within her church and community where she worked tirelessly for charities and good causes.

In 1976 she was awarded the British Empire Medal for service to the National Savings Trust and wore this medal upon her Orange Collarette until her death when it was gifted to the Loyal Orange Institution of Scotland.

Sister Helen Hosie Past Grand Mistress 1971

Sister Helen Hosie Past Grand Mistress 1971

The founder of the Scottish Orange Home Fund.

Helen was born at the height of the Great War in 1916. She was born in Paisley although her father was an Ulsterman, he was an essential worker as an engineer and remained at work during the war. Helen joined the Juvenile Lodge in Paisley and waited patiently until she was 16 as she was desperate to become an adult member. She regularly attended church and was a member of the Girls Guidry (now Girls Brigade), she saw the Lodge as an extension of her church life.

In 1938 with threat of war Helen joined the ARP (Air Raid Precautions) and it was there that she met her husband to be Andrew Hosie.

In the early 1950s Helen became a member of the Ladies Association Committee and was later elected Most Worthy Grand Mistress in 1970. January 1971 saw the tragic “Ibrox Disaster” where many Orange Families lost loved ones. Helen travelled Scotland mainly on public transport, occasionally alone taking gifts and money where needed to the bereaved families and showing real compassion.

During her time of office Helen chartered a flight to Canada and along with 160 Orange Brothers and Sisters went out to enjoy the 12th July celebrations in Toronto. During this trip to Toronto Helen learned how the Canadian Order looked after their Senior Members that the idea we could do something similar in Scotland was born. On her return Helen along with other Orangewomen started fundraising for what was the Ladies Orange Home Fund.

In 1977 after raising thousands of pounds they entered negotiations and talks with officers in the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland. A partnership was formed and the Scottish Orange Home Fund was created as the first and only registered charity of the Loyal Orange Institution of Scotland.

Today the Scottish Orange Home Fund manages three holiday facilities and continues to offer holidays for senior members as well as respite breaks for those in need. Credit for this must go at least in part to Sister Helen Hosie.

Sister Margaret McWhinney Past Grand Mistress 1926

Sister Margaret McWhinney Past Grand Mistress 1926

In 1909 the first warrants were granted to Ladies Orange Lodges, Margaret McWhinney was one of the first women initiated into Scotland’s First Ladies Number 1. As large numbers of women joined these early lodges, they became more knowledgeable and experienced and branched out to create other lodges. Margaret McWhinney done just that and joined LLOL 10 where she was Worthy Mistress for 23 years.

Brought up in Christian homes Margaret McWhinney and her husband instilled their Christian Values as well as their Orange beliefs upon their family of three sons all of whom were members of the Institution. They were a very musical family all learning different instruments and providing music and entertainment at social evenings and services.

Sister McWhinney’s charitable fundraising was well known and in particular the fundraising to establish the Grand Lodge Headquarters in Cathedral Street Glasgow. She was elected as President of the Ladies Association of Scotland, a position today recognised at the Most Worthy Grand Mistress. Shortly after her passing the Grand Lodge report book of 1938 recorded that “the work of the Institution would greatly miss the presence of Sister Mrs Margaret McWhinney, Past President who was one of the most active members of the Ladies Section”.

Sister Margaret McIver LLOL 66 District 37

Sister Margaret McIver LLOL 66 District 37

Margaret McIver nee Russel was born in Ayrshire and moved to Glasgow when her father who was a policeman was transferred, she married James McIver of LOL 76 in 1888 and they had nine children. Maggie’s career started accidentally when she was asked to look after a hawker’s barrow at Parkhead Cross, she not only looked after the “Barra” but was selling from it and doing a roaring trade. Within a year she had her own stall selling fruit to theatre queues at night at the age of 14.

Margaret and her husband had a small fruit shop in Bridgeton, they later moved to Green Street and eventually settled in Marshall Lane in the Gallowgate. They had an idea to hire out “Barras” to street traders at 1/6d per week and soon had over 300 barrows in their yard at the Gallowgate.

After James’s death in 1930 Margaret built a function hall above the market which was a great success, she decided to run the place herself and the Barrowland Ballroom was born Christmas Eve 1939. In 1958 the ballroom was victim of a fire but it was to rise from the ashes on Christmas Eve 1960.Many famous bands continue to visit the ballroom. Glasgow City Council have honoured Margaret McIver by naming one of the gates to Glasgow Green “Maggie McIver’s Gate”.

Sister Helen Walker Past Grand Mistress 1995 - 1999

Sister Helen Walker Past Grand Mistress 1995 – 1999

Sister Helen Walker was born in Glasgow just as World War II ended in 1945.

Helens family were Ulster Presbyterians, her Grandfather came to Scotland and settled in Glasgow. Helen’s mother of the same name was a Godly lady and the Superintendent of Rising Sons of Yoker JLOL 55 in Whiteinch District Number 7. Helen joined the lodge when she was a young girl and joined LLOL 80 as an adult, her mother was worthy mistress of the lodge for over 40 years and was succeeded by Helen.

Helen was actively involved in her lodge and also held an administrative post within a University. She found time to engage in part time studies with Bible College, she was also a gifted musician and singer and used these talents to entertain at Orange Functions or at services of Worship.

Helen joined the Ladies Association Committee as Director of Music; she served several positions before being elected as Most Worthy Grand Mistress in 1995.

During her time in office Helen travelled extensively withing Scotland and to other Jurisdictions including Canada and Ghana where she worked with Ghanaian members preparing them as leader in the Ladies Orange Lodge. Helen was privileged to preach in the Church in Keta.

Helen took early retirement and proceeded to take up the post as part-time Pastor in Glasgow Evangelical Church and always considered this her greatest achievement. Helen conducted Funerals, Marriages and Christening throughout Scotland and beyond.

She battled cancer bravely and was looking forward to the Ladies Centenary Year in 2009 but was sadly called home to glory early that year.

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