Belfast Telegraph

Gibson is elected grand secretary of Orange Order

By Rebecca Black

Presbyterian minister the Reverend Mervyn Gibson has been elected to serve as grand secretary of the Orange Order.

The east Belfast man was voted into the role during a meeting of the Order's ruling body in Co Londonderry.

He succeeds Drew Nelson, who died in October following an illness.

Tributes were paid from a broad spectrum of people to the Dromore solicitor.

Rev Gibson (58) will work alongside grand master Edward Stevenson and deputy grand master Harold Henning at the head of the institution.

Mr Stevenson and Mr Henning were re-elected at the meeting in Eglinton.

Rev Gibson said he felt "extremely honoured" and humbled to be elected.

"Words are inadequate to describe the dedication and commitment of my predecessor, the late Drew Nelson," he added.

"His legacy and influence will live long within our ranks."

Rev Gibson is the minister at Westbourne Presbyterian Church in east Belfast. He previously served in the RUC and is a former chairman of the Loyalist Commission and member of the Haass talks negotiating team.

Mr Stevenson congratulated the new grand secretary on his election.

"He is a man of great faith and integrity who voices the strong Christian principles of the Order and has worked tirelessly with numerous stakeholders in Belfast to promote the Orange cause," he said.

"It is also appropriate at this time to pay tribute to the contribution of Mervyn's predecessor, Drew Nelson, who played a pivotal role in the development of the institution for more than a decade as grand secretary."

A special memorial service was held during the Eglinton meeting in memory of Mr Nelson (60).

Rev Alistair Smyth and Rev John Noble were also elected as grand chaplains of the order.

Robert Barr and Norman Henry were elected as grand lecturer and deputy grand lecturer, and Brian Dorrian was re-elected as grand treasurer.

Belfast Telegraph


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