Northern Ireland news

Orange Order to appoint first ever chief executive - only members need apply

Grand Secretary Drew Nelson last year at the annual parade at Drumcree Parish Church. Picture by Freddie Parkinson
Staff Reporter

THE Orange Order is to appoint its first-ever chief executive in an effort to professionalise and modernise the 221-year-old organisation.

The position is only open to members of the Orange Order and has an annual salary of £42,000 attached.

The successful applicant will be responsible for 10 full-time staff who serve members of more than 1,100 private lodges, and also be a spokesperson for the Order.

The new chief executive will be responsible for `leading the development and execution of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s long-term strategy' and be accountable to its senior management team.

First on the `to-do' list will be an assessment of the major risks facing the Order and creating a `risk register' to help it "monitor and manage" issues.

The appointment is understood to be part of a wider moves to reorganise the body - which has a troubled public image - that has also seen a full-time press officer employed and two new museums of Orange culture opened.

In December, the Order’s director of services David Hume, who had held the role for more than a decade, accepted a redundancy package after the position was axed.

Orange Grand Secretary Drew Nelson told the News Letter the decision to create the position came out of a review of the Institution's headquarters and was a "completely different post" to Mr Hume's.

However, he acknowledged that the director of services had been the lead role within its headquarters before this new position was created.

"We hope that we'll be a more dynamic organisation; more proactive rather than reactive," Mr Nelson said, ruling himself out of the running for the new position.

"I suppose in a sense we are seeking to influence and stay relevant in a different way than we’ve previously done."

He said it is important for the institution to stay "relevant".

"I've seen over my lifetime how some organisations have become irrelevant and have faded," Mr Nelson said.

The post is also only open to those who have a university degree or comparable academic qualifications.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news