Orangeman Bailie leader of rare ability, funeral is told
A prominent Orangeman and former county grand master lived life as a "true Ulsterman and faithful leader", mourners have been told.
The funeral service of Dawson Bailie took place yesterday in Kilcooley Presbyterian Church, Bangor.
Mr Bailie, who joined the Orange Order in Belfast's McComb Lodge as a young child, served as county grand master of Belfast from 2000 to 2009.
The married father and great-grandfather passed away in his home in Donaghadee, Co Down, at the age of 81 last Saturday.
Yesterday's funeral saw a huge turnout from all ranks of the Loyal Orders - including those from Scotland - as well as representatives from political parties and community groups.
Delivering the funeral address, Rev Mervyn Gibson, the grand secretary of the Orange Order, said Mr Bailie not only had a deep love and commitment to his family and church, but also to his "other loves: his country and the Orange Institution".
"Dawson was from an Orange family and so it was no surprise that he joined the Junior Institution at six years old," he told mourners.
Throughout the years Mr Bailie had held various posts within the Orange Order, mourners heard, as well as taking an active interest in charities.
Mr Bailie, who was a member of the Ulster Unionist Party, was also a member of the Royal Black Institution and the Apprentice Boys of Derry.
He had also served nearly 25 years as an RUC reservist during the Troubles.
"Dawson's unionism was simple; support for the monarchy and a strong United Kingdom. He didn't see the need to over complicate it," Mr Gibson continued.
"Today we, the Orange family, lay to rest a true Ulsterman, a faithful Orangeman, someone who led from the front, someone who never sought leadership, but accepted it when called upon to do so.
"A leader who had that rare ability of also being one of the boys."
The service heard that Mr Bailie had battled cancer for the past four years.
Mr Bailie, who was laid to rest in Ballyvester Cemetery, Donaghadee, is survived by his wife Agnes, daughter Mandy and the wider family circle.