The death took place on Monday, March 9, of Most Wor. Sir Knt. The Lord Molyneaux of Killead,K.B.E., Past Imperial Sovereign Grand Master.
He was 94.
Lord Molyneaux held many offices within the Royal Black Institution and was the Sovereign Grand Master from June 1971 to December 1998.
The current Sovereign Grand Master, Millar Farr paid tribute to the life and work of Lord Molyneaux.
“We were shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Lord Molyneaux and we would like to extend our sincere sympathy to the entire family circle. They will be in our prayers.
“Lord Molyneaux was a dedicated member of the Institution for many years and gave strong leadership as Sovereign Grand Master. He led the Institution for 27 years and his commitment to its work throughout all that time was a wonderful example to all the members.
“He was a quiet unassuming man of immense integrity and he had a lovely way with people, from all walks of life. The word that dominated his life was service, whether it was in the RAF, the political field or the loyal orders. He was a true gentleman who inspired others and he will be very sadly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him, and particularly the Sir Knights in the Institution.
The Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Edward Stevenson said:
“Lord Molyneaux always epitomized the principles of the Institution and exercised very strong and steady leadership throughout the worst of the IRA’s terrorist campaign. There is no doubt that but for his responsible leadership of the unionist community during that period, Northern Ireland could have experienced even greater violence.”
There were tributes to the former Ulster Unionist leader and MP, from right across the political spectrum.
His political career spanned more than three decades.
James Molyneaux joined the Ulster Unionist Party in 1946 and went on to become one of its longest-serving leaders from 1979 to 1995.
At the end of World War Two, he was among the first British troops to enter the newly liberated Belsen concentration camp in Germany.
He was knighted in 1996 and was granted a life peerage in the 1997 Birthday Honours list, becoming Lord Molyneaux of Killead.
A more detailed report on the life and work of Lord Molyneaux will be published in the next edition of the magazine.