It is with great sadness that members of Harp & Crown M.L. No.60 mourn the passing of one of their Senior and Foundation members, R.W. Brother Ivan Miller. For a few months before his death Ivan fought with courage the knowledge that he had limited life expectancy with a cancer illness. Ivan was in his 80th year. He was born near Castlederg in Co. Tyrone and his working life in public service took him, initially to Co. Londonderry then to Ballymena, Co. Antrim, where he has lived for approximately 50years. He was married to Dorothy for approx. 58 years.
Ivan joined freemasonry at Portglenone M.L. No.450 in October 1965 and was Worshipful Master there in 1977. He was an active member of Portglenone and served as Rep. at the PGLA Board of General Purposes, a Rep. of the North Antrim Committee of Inspection and Lodge Almoner. He was also a Past PGL Inspector. In 1982 he was a Foundation member of Harp & Crown M.L. No.60. There he served as Almoner for a number of years and was W.M. in 2006. He was also the Worshipful Master of the Antrim Lodge of Installed Masters No.218 in 2013. Ivan was extremely interested in the charitable work in freemasonry and was a Past Chairman of Seven Towers and Massereene Masonic Charity Committee and was delighted to have also served as a committee member of the Masonic Girls Benefit Fund. As can be seen his popularity in the craft had no boundaries and he was an Honorary member of Stalwart Lodge M.L. No.96.
His enthusiasm for the Order extended far beyond the craft and in the Royal Arch he joined Portglenone RAC No.450 in 1970 and was installed as Excellent King in 1980. He then served as Registrar and Rep. for 450 at North Antrim Committee of Inspection. He was awarded District Grand RAC honours in 1995/1996 when he served as V. Ex. Capt. of the Scarlet Veil.
He also was in Knight Masonry being Excellent Chief in Seven Towers Council No.25 and was a Foundation member of Thiepval Council No.78 in 1996 and Excellent Chief in 1999. In Knight Masonry he was a Past Director of Ceremonies in Thiepval Council No.78 and Past Rep for Council No.25 and for Council No.93 (Duke of Leinster Australia) on the General Purposes Committee at Grand Council. He was a Past Chairman of Greater Belfast & District Committee of Inspection. A Past Chairman of Grand Council of Knight Masons (NI Class of Instruction) and a Past Standard Bearer to the Most Excellent Great Chief at Grand Council.
As an active member in the Order of the Temple, Ivan joined Ahoghill Preceptory 704 in 1989 and was Eminent Preceptor in 2008. In Provincial Priory he was Herald from 2009 to 2012.
In conclusion Ivan was a member of Ulster Chapter of Prince Masons No.6 and had been, just prior to the introduction of Covid restrictions, installed Senior Warden. Finally, Ivan was delighted to be notified in January 2020 by the Provincial Grand Secretary, of his appointment as a Foreign Representative of the Grand Lodge of Togo National at the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ireland. This occurred just before Covid-19 lockdown and although appointed he was deeply disappointed that he never got to Grand Lodge to officially represent Togo National.
Outside of Freemasonry Ivan was a keen member of The Pentagon Probus Club, Ballymena where he enjoyed the regular meetings of the Club and was a member of West Presbyterian Church where he and his wife, Dorothy, regularly worshiped. He also enjoyed the fellowship of the all-men group connected to the Church called Men United. Within both these groups he had a wide range of friends and acquaintances.
Ivan passed away peacefully on 9th March 2021 and due to Covid-19 restrictions the funeral service at West Presbyterian Church was by invitation only and the committal took place at Main Street Presbyterian Church, Garvagh.
At the service Rev. Daniel Kane described his public service as exemplary and of his delight in being able to make friends with so many people from all walks of life. Friends from Ivan’s Masonic brotherhood, Probus and Men United groups socially distanced outside the Church and at the committal.
Ivan Miller was a loyal member to all organisations he belonged to and in particular we in Harp & Crown Lodge No.60 will miss his wise council. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife, Dorothy, brothers, sister and other near relatives.