Olive Leaf Royal Black Preceptory No.542 came into being on 11th October 1950 when the warrant was issued to Sir Knight John McCready.
However, from the records of returns contained in the 'Report of Preceedings' of the Grand Black Chapter of Ireland at the Half-Yearly Councils held in the Orange Hall, 10 Rutland Square East, Dublin on Tuesday 8th December 1908 and in Picton Lecture Hall, Liverpool on Tuesday 20th July 1909 it would appear that Warrant No. 542 was previously issued to a Preceptory in Canada or as it was known British America.
The Preceptory was 'Lily Royal Black Preceptory No.542' and the Worshipful Master was Sir Knight Lewis Bradley, Souris. The Preceptory which had a membership of 17 met in a place called Lily Lake in the Province of Manitoba.
From records of returns contained in the 'Report of Preceedings' at the half yearly Councils held in Y.M.C.A. Hall, Wellington Place, Belfast on Tuesday 14th December 1920, and in the Orange Hall, Sandy Row, Belfast on Tuesday 28th June 1921, the Warrant appears to have moved to a Preceptory with a membership of twenty-eight in Edgerton, Alberta where the Worshipful Master was Sir Knight S.V.Snyder.
It would appear that the Warrant was subsequently returned and re-issued to Sir Knight McCready in 1950.
Originally encamped in the District of Newtownards Olive Leaf RBP 542 transferred to the new Bangor Royal Black District Chapter No.13 in 1956, the leading members of the Preceptory Sir Knights T J E Clarke, W G Clarke and William Watson being pivotal in the creation of that new District Chapter.
From records available it appears that the late Sir Knight T J E Clarke was the driving force behind the formation of RBP 542 and his efforts were recognised when he was made its first honorary member and later upon his death by having his portrait displayed on a new banner which was unfurled in 1974. The links with the Clarke family who had strong connections with Bangor Abbey Church and Loyal Orange Lodge 726 remain through the past and present members of the Preceptory who were and are members of that Church and Lodge.
The Banner shown on this page was unfurled on Tuesday 27th August 1996 at Bangor Town Hall by the Sovereign Grand Master Most Worshipful Sir Knight Right Honourable Sir James Molyneaux KBE MP, he was assisted by Worshipful Sir Knight H Creane BA (Hons) MA, Grand Lecturer of County Monaghan Grand Black Chapter. Afterwards the banner was paraded through the town followed by a supper in the Bangor Abbey Church Hall at which a number of Sir Knights were presented with long service medals by the Sovereign Grand Master.
The Preceptory actively engages in the affairs of the District Chapter and has provided many Sir Knights who have excelled in the elected positions of that Chapter. In recent years members have also been elected to positions within the County Down Grand Black Chapter with Sir Knight Trevor McBurney, Deputy County Grand Registrar and the Right Worshipful Sir Knight David McBurney the Past County Grand Master.
Beginning in 1968 the members of the Preceptory have forged strong ties with the Sir Knights of Rising Star of Motherwell RBP 162 and over the years lasting friendships have developed. The Sir Knights of each Preceptory regularly visit each other and take part in the local processions and demonstrations.
The membership of almost 40, has a mixed blend of youth and experience and with new members joining regularly the Officers and Sir Knights are confident the Preceptory will grow and expand and continue to contribute to the work of the District and County Chapters.