Sad passing of past Grand Master Ian Wilson

Jim McHarg, Most Worthy Grand Master writes,

It is with the greatest of sadness that I must inform our members of the heart breaking news of the passing of a past Grand Master of the Orange Order in Scotland, Ian Wilson.

Sadly, Ian suffered a massive stroke and passed away today, surrounded by his family.

I am sure, like me, you will be shocked at this terrible and completely unexpected news.

Ian’s contribution to the Orange Order in Scotland cannot be overstated.  He dedicated a significant part of his life to the Order and achieved so much.  At a very difficult time for the Orange community in Scotland, Ian, as Grand Master, took the very bold and courageous step of throwing open the doors of the Orange Order to let others see us, to see the real Orange membership behind the newspaper headlines.  He believed in us, and our faith.  He championed our cause, and he stood up for our community, our heritage and for each and every one of us.  He took the unprecedented step of writing an article for publication in the Catholic Observer.  He wanted to reach out to others and let them see that although we shared religious differences, we were all simple human beings and that we all had a place in Scottish society.  Ian featured heavily in a television documentary series – 21st century Orangeman, such was the positive impact that Ian had on reforming, modernising and asking for understanding of what the Orange Order was all about.

Beyond his very public role as Grand Master, Ian was active in raising thousands of pounds for charity, not only through his Orange affiliation, but also through his local church and with many charities.  He was of course a family man, and I cannot begin to imagine the loss they must feel today.

When he stepped down as Grand Master he continued to serve the Order in a variety of ways.  He had already grown the Orange Torch newsletter into a fully professional and wide reaching magazine, and he continued in his editorial role right up to present day.  All of us will have seen Ian at meetings, events and functions, and he continued to offer me his wise counsel and advice, and I was always grateful to hear it.

Ian did so much for us, and now it is our turn to do what we can to support Ian’s family, particularly Helen, his wife, and their family.  They will be suffering, as all of us who knew Ian are suffering, as we try to come to terms with his passing.

I would ask all of our members to send Ian’s family your prayers and keep them in your thoughts at this sad and difficult time.

Well done good and faithful servant.

Jim McHarg

Most Worthy Grand Master

Grand Orange lodge of Scotland

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