GUIDING STAR R.B.P. No. 1133,
Guiding Star R.B.P. No.
1133, was granted its Warrant on 8th June 1923, Sir Knight, Reverend
A. B. White, it's first Worshipful Master, being entrusted with it.
The Sovereign Grand Master at this time was Sir Knight W. Lyons, and
the County Grand Master of Armagh, was Sir Knight N. J. Allen.
This was not the first
Preceptory to sit in the Newtownhamilton area, as a previous
Preceptory holding a Warrant, and using the existing number of
Glenanne R.B.P. No. 225 is known to have operated before becoming
dormant. With an initial membership of fourteen members the Preceptory
carried on under Sir Knight Rev. R. B. White, and degrees
were conferred for some twelve years by a Sir Knight Hyde who travelled
up each month from Markethill. From it's formation in 1923, the
Preceptory is thought to have gone to the "Last Saturday in August"
The Preceptory paraded
with a new banner unfurled on the 6th June 1936, and under a new
Worshipful Master, Sir Knight John Cooke, and the following year is
the first record of travelling to the 13th July demonstration to
Scarva. Records show that the Sir Knights held a "Black Ball" in 1939
and in 1940 hosted a District Service in Tullyvallen Orange Hall. In
1940 typical dues for a month were four old pennies, rising to six old
The year after the Second
World War saw a membership of 40 Sir Knights, which with the close
proximity of Preceptories at Aughnagurgan and Belleeks was a
creditable membership. Sir Knight S. A. Wright was Worshipful Master,
Sir Knight S. Watt was Deputy Master, Sir Knight James Hughes was
Registrar, Sir Knight Rev. R. B. White was Chaplain and Sir Knight J.
Cooke was Treasurer. The Preceptory met in the small corrugated iron
building known as the Temperance Hall in Castleblaney Street,
Newtownhamilton, opposite Townsend School.
The Temperance Hall was
used for various social events and in the minutes from one meeting it
is noted that while the monthly Preceptory meeting was being held in
the ante-room, a cinema show was taking place in the main section of
the hall, much to the annoyance of the Sir Knights.
The Worshipful Master,
Sir Knight S A Wright, was the local Headmaster of Townsend School with
a reputation for strict discipline and in 1948 he was to become
Worshipful District Master of Markethill. The Registrar, Sir Knight
James Hughes, ran a local grocers shop and also held the office of
Preceptory Lecturer. Sir Knight Reverend A. B. White was Chaplain and
Rector of the Church of Ireland Parish Church on the Cullyhanna Road,
outside Newtownhamilton. To-day this Church is in a derelict state,
with only the walls and graveyard remaining. The forty Sir Knights who
were members of the Preceptory in 1946 came from varying occupations
as follows:- twenty-nine farmers, one blacksmith, one lorry driver,
one school teacher, three labourers, three grocers, one carpenter and
1949 was a busy year for the Preceptory under its new Worshipful Master,
Sir Knight Leonard Watt. It hosted a District Meeting; attended the
unfurling of a new banner at Belleeks; held its annual "Black Ball";
attended the District Service in Markethill (in fact two buses
travelled from Newtownhamilton to that service); discussed the
purchase of a new banner; and attended the annual Scarva
demonstration. Because of a shortage of good quality sIlk following
the Second World War, the Preceptory had to postpone the purchase of a
new banner in
1949. During the
late forties and early fifties, the Preceptory usually hired a car to
carry the officers to the District meetings. The Sir Knights of R.B.P.
1133 contributed to the purchase of a new District bannerette in 1952
and in 1954 held their first monthly meeting in the then new Orange
Hall in Newtownhamilton. The new banner first discussed in 1949, was
finally purchased in 1956, at a cost of eighty-three pounds and
fifteen shillings, with each member contributing the sum of one pound.
By the end of the 1950's
the Preceptory boasted a membership of some seventy Sir Knights, with
Sir Knight Leonard Watt still as Worshipful Master.
Following the purchase of
the new banner, and moving to the new Orange Hall, with seventy
members on the roll book, the Preceptory moved quietly through the
1960's. But if that decade was low key, what a difference the next
would be for the Officers and Sir knights and for all the wrong
reasons as they witnessed the start of the so called "Troubles". In
July 1973, Sir Knight Sydney Watt became the first member of R.B.P.
1133 to die at the hands of I.R.A. terrorists. Sir Knight Watt was a
farmer and part-time U.D.R. soldier who lived about one mile outside
Newtownhamilton and was shot as he returned home to the family
bungalow. This unfortunately was to be followed by the death of Sir
Knight William Meaklim, a local grocer, abducted and murdered in
mid-August 1975, and then on the 1St September 1975, at the
Tullyvallen Orange Hall massacre, the Preceptory lost four worthy Sir
Sir Knight James McKee,
J.P., his son, Sir Knight Ronnie McKee, Sir Knight John Johnston and
the following day, Sir Knight William Herron died of his injuries.
South Armagh was gripped in fear, especially the small and isolated
Protestant community, and by February 1976, the Preceptory was in
mourning again, this time for Sir knight Joseph McCullough, a
part-time U.D.R. soldier, shot dead on his farm about a mile from
Tullyvallen Orange Hall. Just two months passed and the evil hand of
terrorism robbed the Sir Knights of another fine member, Sir Knight
Robert McConnell, again a part-time member of the U.D.R., who prior to
his untimely death had taken up the office of Preceptory Lecturer.
Just inside the main door of the Orange Hall in Newtownhamilton, a
marble plaque was erected by the Sir Knights of R.B.P. 1133 in memory
of their fellow Sir Knights from the Preceptory who were murdered at
the hands of terrorists.
We do not know of any
other Preceptory in Northern Ireland which has lost so many of its
members through the present troubles and it is a credit to the
Officers and Sir Knights of Guiding Star R.B.P.
who under such
provocation remained calm and dignified and carried on with quiet
determination during these desperate times. The Preceptory was proud
that during the mid-1970's, in the face of such evil, it retained a
membership of some sixty Sir Knights and had the honour of having a
member, Sir Knight Joe Hawthorne, as Worshipful District Master of
Once again, in 1980, the Sir Knights paraded behind a new banner, and an
extension of the kitchen at the rear of Newtownhamilton Orange Hall
was well subscribed to by the Preceptory. Guiding Star R.B.P. No. 1133
has at present sixty-four members and we look forward to the 1990's
and the challenges it holds. Many changes have taken place within and
without the Preceptory since its formation back in 1923, and the
present day, but we are sure and confident, that with the experience
of the older members and the enthusiasm to pursue the aims of the
Royal Black Institution by our younger members, Guiding Star Royal
Black Preceptory No. 1133 will carry on with great vigour through the
next decade and indeed into the next century.
For 53 years from the formation of the Preceptory Guiding Star RBP
1133 paraded Newtownhamilton on their return journey from Scarva.
In 1998 an illegal protest led by Sein Fein/IRA residents group
composed of republicans blocked Dundalk Street preventing the
Preceptory from entering it. Most of these republicans did not live in
Newtownhamilton never mind Dundalk Street.
On 13th July 1999 because of the illegal activity of republicans the
previous year the unelected, undemocratic and unaccountable parades
commission re-routed RBP 1133 from their traditional route.
As a Christian law abiding Institution, Newtownhamilton RBP 1133
abided by the unjustifiable decision to pander to a violent minority
whose sole aim is to destroy our protestant religion and culture and
try to force us into a united Ireland against the wishes of the
It is the wish of RBP 1133 that our democratic right to walk the
Queens highway will be restored not only to us in Newtownhamilton but
in all areas in Northern Ireland.
|1923 - 1937
||Rev A. B. White
|1937 - 1938
|1939 - 1940
|1941 - 1944
|1945 - 1948
|1949 - 1969
|1970 - 1974
|1975 - 1989
|1990 - 1991
|1991 - 1998
|1998 - 2004
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
During what has become known as the troubles Guiding Star RBP1133 had
eight of their Sir Knights murdered by republican terrorists. We do
not know of any other Preceptory in Northern Ireland which have had so
many of their Sir Knights murdered.
Below is a photograph of a memorial tablet erected by Sir Knights
of RBP 1133 in their memory.
On Sunday 17th April 2011 Guiding Star RBP
1133 Newtownhamilton held their second Church parade. Leaving
the Commons, Newtownhamilton some 50 plus Sir Knight from RBP
1133 and visitors led by Whitewater Pipe Band Newtownhamilton
who had 14 pipers, a credit to their Pipe Major David Hawthorne
and all members made their way to 2nd Newtownhamilton
Presbyterian Church where Sir Knight David Scott from
Rathfriland was the special speaker. The collection from the
service will be donated to LEMOS. On behalf of the WM and
Brethren thanks to all visiting Sir Knights for their continued
Sir Knights from various
Preceptories, included is Sir Knight Jim Copeland, PWDM
Markethill No 3 District
and PM RBP 1133 who organised the
Over the hill, Brethren making their
way to church.
Band and Preceptory on the return
On Tuesday 12th April 2011, Guiding Star RBP 1133
made history within the Preceptory if not within the Institution when
they had 5 Sir Knights have the Red Cross Degree conferred on them.
This was not unusual in itself, but 4 of the 5 were brothers.
Below photograph of the 4 brothers taken with their
father and grandfather.
Back Row L - R. Brothers Warren
Montgomery, Jonathan Montgomery, Robert Montgomery and Clifford
Front Row L - R Sir Knight Walter Keating (grandfather) Eldon RBP 33
Newbliss, Clones No.1 Dist. Co. Monaghan and their father Sir Knight
David Montgomery PM RBP 1133.
After conferring of the degrees the District
Officers then proceeded to carry out Installations, Sir Knight Wayne
Hawthorne was installed as Registrar and Sir Knight Allen Hawthorne
installed as Committee Member.
Back Row L - R Sir Knights John
Bartholomew Knights of the Red Cross RBP 801 Hamiltonsbawn
(father-in-law of Robert Montgomery), Roy Hanna Eldon RBP 33 Newbliss,
Clones No. 1 Dist. Co. Monaghan, Jonathan Montgomery, Jonathan McNiece
(5th Sir Knight to receive the Red Cross), Warren Montgomery, Robert
Montgomery, Clifford Montgomery and David Montgomery PM RBP 1133.
Front Row L - R Sir Knights William McCombe WM RBP 1133, Thomas
McBurney WDM No.3 District Markethill, RBP Aughnagurgan Star and
Garter RBP 658, Ronnie Black, District Lecturer, Knights of the Red
Cross RBP 801 Hamiltonsbawn and Jim Copeland Lecturer RBP 1133, PDM
No. 3 District Markethill and PM RBP 1133.
Annual dinner and dance
On Friday 4th March 2011 the Preceptory held its
third annual dinner and dance. Unlike last year this year received
great support from Sir Knights, families and friends with an almost
full house. After the sumptuous meal supplied by Andy Crozier everyone
enjoyed the evenings music by the Brook Boys.
The evening was so successful that next years dinner and dance has
already been booked.
New for Old
On Tuesday 8 February 2011 RBP 1133 welcomed
District Officers, Sir Knight Tom McBurney WDM and Sir Knight Ronnie
Black District and County Lecturer to their meeting to carry out the
election of Officers for the incoming year.
On taking up the chair all thought it was going to be a clear round as
in previous years but when it come to the Registrar Sir Knight Allen
Hawthorne who had been in post for 7 years informed all that he did
not wish to be re-elected as he thought it was time for some of the
younger Sir Knights to get involved in the running of the Preceptory.
With the usual stampede of volunteers wishing to be elected to office
the only name that went forward and was elected was Sir Knight Wayne
Hawthorne who will be installed in office to replace his father at the
Sir Knight Leonard Watt receiving his
40 year medal from the WM RBP 1133 Sir Knight William McCombe.
Sir Knight Watt joined the Institution in November 1970 and has been a
His late father Leonard Snr, was the WM
of RBP 1133 from 1949 to 1969,
the longest serving WM in the
Sir Knight Jim Copeland (left)
receiving his 40 year medal from the WM William McCombe.
Sir Knight Copeland joined the
Institution in 1967 and has been a faithful member since joining.
A former Past Master of RBP 1133 and Past Deputy District Master and
Past District Master of Markethill RBP District No. 3.
Sir Knight Copeland is a member of
Cladybeg LOL 305. In 1984 was elected to serve as the Deputy District
Master of Newtownhamilton LOL District No. 9, until 1992 when he
became the Worshipful District Master a position he still holds. He
is the County Armagh Grand Treasurer a position he has held from 1981
and is a member of the GOLI Central Committee.
Sir Knight Jackie Strain was recently
presented with his 50 year bar by the WM William McCombe.
Sir Knight Strain has been a faithful and respected member of RBP 1133
and has seen a lot of changes since he
joined the institution in January 1960
Annual dinner and dance
RBP 1133 held their second annual dinner and dance in the King George
VI Memorial Orange Hall, Newtownhamilton on Friday 5 March 2010.
Whilst the attendance was not great those present enjoyed a wonderful
meal and many a story of bye gone days was exchanged.
Reports received would suggest that the music was not of the usual
high standard but due to the short notice this was all that could be
next years dinner and dance promises to be much better as initail
plans are already underway.
The Preceptory thanks goes to those who supported the event and to the
caterers who supplied their usual high standard meal, Mr & Mrs A
Presentation of medal L - R Wm McCombe,
Canon Little and Samuel Courtney BEM
WDM & DDM Tom McBirney and William Copeland. In the
background Samuel Maclean Treasurer RBP 1133 and WM Whitewater
Temperance LOL 117,
The WM; RBP 1133 and some of his
On Tuesday 14 February 2006 Guiding Star RBP 1133 Preceptory meeting
in Newtownhamilton Orange Hall had 3 generations of the one family and
both grandfathers of a Sir Knight in attendance.
Sir Knight Kyle McCombe was conferred with the Red Cross Degree in the
presence of his father William who is the WM of RBP1133 and his
grandfather Jim, Pursuivant of RBP1133 a role now filled by Sir Knight
Sir Knight Kyles other grandfather was also in attendance, Sir Knight
and Brother George Lockhart, Searce RBP221, Newry District No. 4.
It was with much sadness that the Brethren of RBP1133 learned of the
death of Sir Knight George Lockhart on 8 January 2009. He was not a
stranger to RBP 1133 and was always made very welcome on his visits.
Sir Knights William McCombe WM, Jim McCombe, Kyle
McCombe and the late Sir Knight George Lockhart.
Prior to departing from Newtownhamilton on Tuesday
14th July 2009, Guiding Star RBP 1133 was presented with two new
swords by Sir Knight Samuel Redmond. Sir Knight Redmond, a member of
RBP 1133 for over 45 years, was unable to parade this year due to
Sir Knight Samuel Redmond and William
Sir Knights David Smith, Swordsman,
William McCombe WM, Samuel Redmond, Alistar Cooke visiting Sir Knight
from RBP 272, Co. Fermanagh and Colin Elwood, Swordsman.
On 8th September 2009, the WM and some
Sir Knights of RBP 1133 travelled to the home of Sir Knight and
Brother David Lowe in the Crossmaglen area of South Armagh where he
was presented with his 50 year medal.
Sir Knight Lowe joined RBP 1133 in May 1959 and has been a faithful
member ever since. Due to a recent illness Sir Knight Lowe has been
unable to attend Preceptory meetings but wished the Preceptory every
success as it continues to go from strength to strength.