Death of former Orange grand master Dawson Bailie ‘the passing of an era for many’
Tributes have been paid to the Orange Order's former county grand master of Belfast.
Dawson Bailie died at his home on Saturday. He was 81 years old.
Mr Bailie, who joined the Orange Order as a junior in Belfast's McComb Lodge aged six, served as county grand master of Belfast from 2000 to 2009.
Grand master Edward Stevenson said: "It was with profound sadness that the officers and members of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland learned of the passing of Bro. Dawson Bailie, past county grand master of Belfast on Saturday evening.
"Dawson was a lifelong member of the Orange Order and gave dedicated service to the institution that was an example to others.
"We offer our prayerful support and sympathies to the Bailie family at this very sad time."
Current Belfast county grand master Spencer Beattie described Mr Bailie as "a legend within Belfast Orangeism".
He added: "Dawson's wisdom, enthusiasm and wit will be greatly missed.
"As county master, he led from the front.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Agnes and the wider family at this sad time."
The grand secretary of the Orange Lodge Of Ireland Rev Mervyn Gibson will be conducting the funeral of Mr Bailie later this week.
He described Mr Bailie's death as "the passing of an era for many" in the Orange institution.
"Dawson was a pivotal figure for Orangeism in Belfast for many, many years," continued Rev Gibson.
"He was an extremely popular Brother and a loyal friend to many.
"It's a loss to the institution throughout Ireland but it's also an even bigger loss to his family."