New role in loyal order for Co Antrim businessman
A Ballymena businessman has been appointed assistant sovereign grand master of the Royal Black Institution.
Harold McCloy (50) dedicated his term of office to his late father Harry, who died suddenly in October having been a member of the loyal order for almost 65 years.
Mr McCloy, who also holds positions at preceptory, district and county level within the institution, was appointed to his new role at the half-yearly meeting of the imperial grand council in Cookstown.
He said: "My dad encouraged and supported me in my roles of office. If he had been alive today this latest appointment would have made him very proud, but I know he is in his heavenly home looking down upon us."
Mr McCloy is managing director of his own business, Village Blinds.
He joined the institution in 1997 and is a member of Mount Horeb RBP 270, encamped at Cullybackey, serving as worshipful master for a two-year term. He is currently the preceptory's treasurer.
Sovereign grand master Rev William Anderson hailed the appointment of his new assistant as a "great boost" for the institution.
Sir Knight McCloy replaces Sir Knight William Ballie, who had completed his three-year term as an assistant sovereign grand master.
The Royal Black Institution has three assistant sovereign grand masters who each serve a three-year term - Harold McCloy, Richard Emerson and Colin Berry.