The Twelfth of July 1925: Portadown – The last Twelfth for Worshipful District Master W H Wright
There were many very ‘beautiful banners’ in the Portadown Twelfth procession in 1925. Amongst them was the banner for LOL 89 which was most admired.
Derrycarne Band led the District and the District Officers at the front included District Master W H Wright, Right Hon R Best, Major David Graham Shillington, Dr George Dougan, Deputy District Master David Moore, David Rock, Reverend Canon Moeran, Reverend W Hogarth and District Secretary James Dermott.
Corcrain and Parkmount bands also headed Lodges in the procession.
There were thirty-one Lodges on parade representing Portadown District. The Worshipful Masters and Secretaries are listed below:
LOL 7 Breagh WM: David Carrick, Drumnevin SEC: Samuel Woodhouse, Breagh
LOL 8 Drumheriff WM: Samuel J Smyth, Timakell SEC: Samuel J Russell, Timakeel
LOL 9 Clounagh WM: James Hewitt, Jervis Street SEC: Joesph H Caddell, Charles Street
LOL 10 Derrinraw WM: Robert D Fox, Derrinraw SEC: Robert J McAdam, Derrinraw
LOL 13 Derryneskin WM: John Boyce, Derryvane SEC: George Nugent, Drumleum
LOL 18 Brackagh WM: John Toal, Annagh SEC: James Copeland, Hanover Street
LOL 19 Ballyworkan WM: Fred Pentland, Drumnakelly SEC: David Hampton, Ballyworkan
LOL 20 Kilmagamish WM: William Brownlee, Kilmagamish, SEC: Thomas Carrick, Derryanville
LOL 25 Portadown WM: Thomas Askin, Meadow Lane, SEC: Thomas H Mallon, Park Road
LOL 31 Kilmoriarty WM: James Conn, West Street SEC: Herbert Dunlop, Kilmoriarty
LOL 35 Kilmore WM: James Hampton, Drumard Primate SEC: Thomas Cloughley, Monle
LOL 40 Portadown WM: David Moore, Grange Lower, SEC: William H Wright, Edward Street
LOL 56 Portadown WM: David Rock, Bridge Street SEC: Carter Hamilton, Erin Crescent
LOL 58 Portadown WM: James Harris, Water Street, SEC: James Donnell, Castle Avenue
LOL 78 Derrycarne WM: Thomas Robinson, Derrycorry, SEC: Ralph Herron, Derrycarne
LOL 80 Ballylisk WM: John Joyce, Brackagh, SEC: William Harrison, Ballylisk
LOL 81 Derryhale WM: Richard Preston, Mullaletra, SEC: Arthur Barr, William Street
LOL 99 Portadown WM: George Watson, Annaghdale, SEC: Isaac McBroom, Queen Street
LOL 107 Knocknamuckley WM: John Porter, Ballydonaghy, SEC: Richard Duke, Ballydonaghy
LOL 127 Portadown WM: James McCullagh, King Street, SEC: John Cooke, Water Street
LOL 172 Clonroot WM: John Callaghan, Clonroot, SEC: Alfred Pearson, Clonroot
LOL 273 Portadown WM: William Whittle, Selshion SEC: William Johnston, Derrycarne
LOL 322 Edenderry WM: Robert J Magowan, Park Road, SEC: Twinem Jackson, Alexandra Garden
LOL 339 Corcrain WM: Thomas J Boyle, Drumcree, SEC: William J Gilpin, Obin Street
LOL 371 Drumnahuncheon WM: Robert Forde, Mulladry SEC: Alexander Wright, Drumnahuncheon
LOL 395 Battlehill WM: John Cooke, Montague Street, SEC: George Sleith, Drumard Primate
LOL 417 Portadown WM: John Martin, Legmore Terrarce, SEC –
Other Districts present included; Richill, Loughgall, Tandragee, Armagh, Lurgan,Killylea, Keady, Newtownhamilton, Markethill and Bessbrook.
WDM William Henry Wright
This was the last Twelfth of Worshipful District Master William Henry Wright. Brother Wright was a member of LOL 40, which was later renamed in his memory. He took over the leadership of Portadown District on the death of Brother W J Locke in October 1905 and ‘for the next twenty-one years he proved more than equal to the high office bestowed upon him’.
His profession was a Solicitor, and he was born and bred in Mullavilly. He attended the local Church of Ireland in the townland and was a devoted member of the congregation, serving at various times as Churchwarden, nominator, synodsman and member of the vestry.
In his professional capacity as town Solicitor, W H Wright was held in high esteem.
“He always maintained a high standard of honour and enjoyed the respect and confidence of everyone who knew him”.
At one time he was a legal advisor to Portadown Urban District Council, as well as Lurgan Rural Council and he also had a large clientele among the commercial and farming community in the town and surrounding area.
As District Master of Portadown, Brother Wright enjoyed to a marked degree, ‘the affectionate regard of rank and file, who recognised him as a worthy leader’. It was stated that in the whole jurisdiction of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland ‘there was not a more efficient District Master than Brother Wright’. His counsel was also valued by members of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland and the County Grand Lodge.
Brother Wright was involved in many aspects if the local community and was the honorary Secretary of the North Armagh Unionist Association, in which capacity he was often called upon to make speeches as part of any platform party.
He also played a leading role in the formation of the Ulster Volunteer Force in 1912-1914. He was a well-known temperance advocate; he was president of the local branch of the Catch-My-Pal Society.
Brother Wright died on 10th April 1926 at the age of sixty-six, after a serious illness. He is buried in Mullavilly Churchyard. Major David Graham Shillington took over the leadership of Portadown District after Brother Wright’s death.
Portadown Orange District have a number of portraits which hang in the main stairway of Carleton Street Orange Hall. Brother Wright’s portrait has pride of place amongst them and his history and influence on Portadown Orange District’s heritage is an important part of the Carleton Street Orange Hall Tour which is conducted by Portadown Heritage Tours.