Top Orangeman David Hume resigns amid cost-cutting at Order
One of Ulster's best-known leading Orangemen has stepped down from his senior role after staff cutbacks in the loyal order.
Dr David Hume from Ballyclare has been the Orange Order's director of services since 2003, following a career as a journalist with the Larne Times.
After 12 years of service Dr Hume revealed he is taking redundancy - a move he described as "the safest financial option" for his family.
"On Friday I said a fond farewell to my work colleagues at Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland after over 12 years' service," he wrote on Facebook.
Dr Hume said the position he held was being axed by human resources.
Earlier this month Dr Hume was one of those who marked the milestone 5,000th visitor at the new Museum of Orange Heritage on Belfast's Cregagh Road.
Ironically, the museum is the reason jobs are being lost, according to the Orange Order.
Another museum, focusing on the origins of Orangeism, is located at Sloan's House in Loughgall, Co Armagh.
And the extension of the Institution's headquarters at Schomberg House displays items and artefacts relating to the history of Orangeism across the world.
Dr Hume has been involved in all these projects and said he is proud of his achievements.
"I am very proud of the outreach work which I was involved in, and of the relationships built up within the wider and the nationalist community through our education programmes," Dr Hume said.
"When it was announced in our local paper in 2003 that I had become director of services with the Orange Order, the first man to stop me in the street in Larne and congratulate me was proud to tell me he was a Catholic and he wished me well.
"His congratulations have always remained with me and I hope they have given me a sense of perspective."
An Orange Order spokesman said: "Dr David Hume served the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland faithfully for 12 years. Over several months there has been a review of the overall staffing needs of the institution in light of the opening of the new Museum of Orange Heritage.
"This comprehensive review led to significant restructuring, which resulted in several members of staff being made redundant. Dr Hume's redundancy had no reflection on his abilities or expertise while employed as our director of services."