Colonel the Rt.Hon. R.H. Wallace
M.E. Companion Wallace served as District Grand Second Principal in 1921 and was appointed Grand First Principal in the same year. He first presided in that capacity on 15th September, 1921. M.E. Companion S. G. Fenton continued as Deputy.
Colonel Wallace lived at Myra Castle, Downpatrick, and was head of the firm of Messrs. Hugh Wallace & Co., Solicitors and Notaries public, Belfast and Downpatrick. He was called to the Bar of the Inner Temple in 1886 and admitted a Solicitor of the High Court of Justice in Ireland in 1890.
In 1879 he joined the Royal South Down Militia and his association with that Regiment extended over 34 years. He commanded the 5th Royal Irish Rifles, later known as “South Downs”, during the South African War. He was the author and composer of the rousing song concerning “The South Downs”.
In Freemasonry he attained The Supreme Council of the 33° and was Representative of the Grand Lodge of Columbia at the Grand Lodge of Ireland, and a Past Grand Junior Warden of Grand Lodge. He was greatly interested in the charities and was Treasurer of the Victoria Jubilee Annuity Fund in Down and a member of the Grand Lodge Board of General Purposes.
Among his many masonic activities his interest in the District Grand Chapter was paramount and under his leadership the District made much progress and sixteen new Chapters were added. The knowledge of ceremonial and ritual was greatly improved throughout the District due in no small measure to his personal interest and work which brought about many beneficial changes in the Laws and Constitutions of the Order. By his literary efforts he has left many valuable records regarding Freemasonry, especially about relics and antiquities in Down.
On 28th September, 1922, the members of District Grand Chapter presented him with a miniature Sceptre as a token of their affection and loyalty and on his election to the 33° presented him with the regalia and ring on 18th December, 1924, as a further mark of appreciation.
His unfailing attendance at District Grand Chapter was typical of his sense of duty and till his death on 23rd December, 1929, he was absent from only two Convocations—both through illness.
A period of three months mourning was observed in all Chapters in the District and at District Grand Chapter on 19th March, 1930, a most moving tribute to his memory was moved by V.E. Companion Rev. D. D. Boyle, M.A., and seconded by V.E. Companion Rev. Canon Swanzy,M. A., District Grand Chaplains.
Colonel the Rt.Hon. R.H. Wallace died 23rd December, 1929.