12 December 2012

GRAND MASTER RE-ELECTED BY ORANGE ORDER

Most Wor. Bro. Edward Stevenson, Grand Master of Ireland


EDWARD Stevenson has been re-elected as Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

Members of the Order’s Grand Lodge gathered today at Doorin Orange Hall, Mountcharles, Co Donegal and decided that the Tyrone farmer, 57, should remain at the helm of the Loyal Institution for at least another year.

The Ardstraw man succeeded Robert Saulters as Grand Master in January 2011.

Speaking after the meeting in the Republic, Mr Stevenson said it was a “great honour” to continue in his role.

He said: “I am very pleased and humbled to be re-elected, particularly at the end of a year when the Ulster Covenant commemorations illustrated the enduring strength of Orangeism and its continuing relevance in modern society.

“The Orange Institution holds a unique and valued place within the Protestant community and I look forward to further advancing its proud ethos over the next 12 months.”

Meanwhile, Rev Alistair Smyth was re-elected as Deputy Grand Master at the meeting of the Loyal Order’s ruling body. Drew Nelson retains his position as Grand Secretary.

06 December 2012

In Memoriam: Bro Norman Usher

Bro Norman Usher

The Worshipful Master, Officers and Brethren of Royal York L.O.L. 145 record, with sadness, the death of Brother Norman Usher, a faithful member of the Loyal Orange Institution for many years, on Saturday, 1 December 2012. A true Gentleman, he had held the office of Worshipful Master within the lodge in 1971. His conduct in, and commitment to, our institution was never for personal gain but for the benefit of others, and was consistent with his actions in the wider community in which he lived and worked. We will mourn his passing, but nowhere will that loss be more greatly felt than with his immediate family, his wife Maureen and the family circle and to them we extend our heart felt sympathy.

Andrew Charles, WM

30 November 2012

Happy St. Andrews Day!

Happy St. Andrews Day!
Nemo me impune lacessit.

05 November 2012

Palmer Street Remembrance Service


Upcoming Remembrance Service Parade

Palmer Street Remembrance Service
Sunday, 11 November 2012
Assemble at West Belfast Orange Hall @ 2:15 pm for 2:30 pm parade.

01 November 2012

ORANGE ORDER STATEMENT ON DAVID BLACK MURDER

The Grand Master of Ireland, Most Wor Bro Edward Stevenson.



Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, said:

“On behalf of the Orange Institution, I would like to express our collective revulsion at the senseless and brutal murder of one of our esteemed members. 
David was a devoted and loyal member of Montober LOL 661 for approximately 30 years, as well as a fine prison officer. His professionalism throughout the worst of the Troubles and beyond is in stark contrast to the cowardly and faceless terrorists who today have left a wife without her husband and two children without their father. 
Our thoughts and prayers are with David’s wife, Yvonne, his children Kyle and Kyra, and wider family circle at this deeply traumatic time. They can be assured that the Orange fraternity will rally around them in their hour of need. 
David’s death brings to 337 the number of members of our Institution who have been murdered by terrorists since 1969. David’s crime like many of those before him was to wear the uniform of his country, serving the community as a member of the security forces. We owe it to him and all other murdered brethren that the perpetrators of this evil deed are brought to justice. 
I urge anyone with any information in relation to this heinous crime to contact the police as a matter of urgency.”

22 October 2012

Annual Reformation Day Church Service Parade


Upcoming Church Service Parade

Annual Reformation Day Church Service Parade
Sunday, 28 October 2012
Assemble at Hopewell Avenue @ 2:15 pm for 2:30 pm parade.

04 October 2012

The York Brake

The Brake at the Covenant Day Parade Celebrations. Photo taken by Bro. Clr. Brain Kingston 


Royal York LOL 145 rekindled part of its history on Saturday when some of its members made their way from Belfast City Hall to Parliament Buildings and back in a Landau pulled by two Black Friesian horses. This recreated the use of horses by the lodge which began back in the mists of time.

Wor Bro John Harcourt Past Master of the Lodge and the senior member on parade was visibly moved as he recalled his days as a young member of Royal York when “The York Brake”, was a permanent fixture at all major Orange events held in Belfast.

“The Brake” a similar coach was pulled by horses owned by the Harcourt family until its condition necessitated its retirement from use and it was presented by the family to The Ulster Transport Museum where it is still housed.

W.Brother Harcourt commenting on the history of “The Brake” as he made the journey back from Stormont stated that it was highly probable that it had actually been used on Ulster Day 1912 and that he had never expected to be able to relive the experience as a member of Royal York.

The Landau used for the parade drew admiring glances and many very appreciative comments both during the journey and when parked at Parliament Buildings
.
The pair of black horses, perfectly turned out by their owners Emma James and Robert Smyth of “Bygones Carriages,” their shining coats glistening in the bright sunlight presented a spectacle enjoyed by all, None more so than Wor.Brother Harcourt who was delighted as they trotted up Royal Avenue, round The City Hall and back to the grounds of Royal Belfast Academical Institution, used by kind permission of The Principal and Administrator.

Deputy Master Wor Bro David Dalzell speaking at RBAI commented “It was a marvelous way to complete the perfect parade and looked forward to many more similar experiences.

The best thanks of the Lodge go to The Lord Laird of Artigarvan for all his assistance in the organization of the momentous event.

Wor. Bro. Kenneth Latimer (Lay Chaplain)

The Horse

Where in the world can we find nobility without pride,
friendship without envy?
Here where grace is bound with muscle and strength by gentleness confined

He serves without servility, he has fought without enmity
There is nothing more powerful, nothing less violent
There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.

England’s past has been borne on his back
All our history is his industry
We are his heirs
He is our inheritance.

25 September 2012

Ulster Scots should have independence vote - Orangeman

Flag of Scotland, St. Andrews Saltire

THE Orange Order's Director of Services has called on the Scottish government to allow Ulster Scots to vote in the referendum on the future of Scotland.

Dr David Hume was speaking at an event organised in Glasgow by the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland to commemorate the centenary of the Ulster Covenant.

He said that Ulster Scots had provided the first unifying factor in Scottish history in the 6th century and helped develop Scottish interests in Ireland and elsewhere from the 17th century.

"We are stakeholders as well. Surely a decision such as this should not ignore our input?" he said.

The Director of Services recalled the strong support for Ulster Unionism a century ago in Scotland, where thousands of Ulster exiles signed at locations including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Troon, Ayrshire and elsewhere.

"A century on, the constitutional future is clearer now. The constitutional status of Northern Ireland will not change without the consent of the people. But the Union that was so dear to the hearts of 471,414 men and women in 1912 is under threat in other ways,” he said.

“In 1912 Scots unionists watched anxiously for Ulster and in 2014 Ulster will watch anxiously for you as nationalists seek to win a referendum which would alter totally the constitution of our nation. A union without Scotland would be a poorer place."

"It would be our hope that the Scottish people remain with us and remain within the Union. Victory is not assured. No one should believe that. But you can be assured that we are with those who stand by the Union and we will not forsake you as your forefathers did not forsake us.

“Many of them were not born in Ulster so they could not sign the Covenant. But they held it in their hearts. We will not forget you for that and the continuing support you give to us."

Dr Hume continued: "It is a great privilege to be Scottish. But we should not mix up patriotism with nationalism. In 2014 there will be attempts to sell the two as one product. But people should not be confused. It is natural to be Scottish and support the Union. Within the Union there is cultural difference, and other differences too; that is the great value of the Union. It is a value which binds us together under common structures and ethos."

He added: "When the referendum comes in 2014 the SNP want to extend the vote to those who are 16 years of age and, presumably, more likely to vote as directed by the SNP. I would call on them to extend the referendum to the Ulster Scots. After all, we provided the first unifying force in Scotland in the 6th century AD and we later extended Scottish influence to Ireland in the 17th century. We are stakeholders as well. Surely a decision such as this should not ignore our input?"

24 September 2012

Centenary of the Ulster Covenant Parade - Donegall Street - GRAND ORANGE LODGE STATEMENT

St Patricks Chapel, Donegall Street, Belfast

THERE has been much dishonest and misleading information concerning the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland parade, which will be held in Belfast on Saturday 29 September to mark the centenary of the signing of the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant and the issue of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Chapel, Donegall Street.  The Grand Lodge wishes to clear up any ambiguity and address some of the comments that are taken as fact and going unchallenged.

The only leg of the parade that will be passing St Patrick’s Chapel will be the Grand Lodge officers, their guests and the five districts attached to Belfast Orange Hall, Clifton Street, accompanied by 14 bands. The entire parade will not be passing St Patrick's.

The focal point of the recent concern has always been St Patrick’s Chapel. It was there that the incident occurred on the 12th July, a Parades Commission determination to ban music on the ‘Last Saturday’ was imposed and it was opposite the chapel that the protestors stood. The banner carried by the protestors stated ‘Respect St Patrick’s Church'; ‘respect’ became the mantra of all and crystallised the issue.

It was therefore in response to a call by Fr Michael Sheehan for quiet conversations away from the public glare that the Grand Lodge entered into direct dialogue with the clergy and parishioners of St Patrick’s concerning the issue of respect. All involved in the conversations were clear what the issue was - respect for St Patrick's Chapel.

These conversations addressed the heart of the matter and Grand Lodge made it clear that they would not be entering into negotiations with the Residents Group as the issue was focused on St Patrick’s and the parishioners. While Fr Sheehan thought it may be useful to talk to the Residents Group, the conversations proceeded on this understanding.

The Grand Lodge made no pre conditions regarding who would be present during these conversations nor the numbers involved, that was down to which parishioners were invited by the clergy. We appreciated Fr Sheehan’s openness and frankness during our conversations and he advised that the Chair of Carrick Hill Residents Group had been invited twice to attend, but refused.

Fr Sheehan also made it very clear that he could not speak for the Residents Group, no more than they could speak for the Church. This assured us that by speaking to him and the parishioners we were engaging with those who had the authority to speak on behalf of St Patrick's Chapel. Grand Lodge took part in the conversations as did representatives from Belfast County Grand Orange Lodge, local district Orange Lodges, bands and the local community.

All present agreed that the conversations were worthwhile and meaningful. The issue of what respect looked like was widely discussed. There was a broad consensus that silence or a single drum beat added a menacing tension to parades. Fr Sheehan helpfully stated that he would openly welcome the playing of hymns as bands passed the chapel, if that was to be our decision. He added that this would be his position no matter what others called for.

Following wide consultation within the Unionist family the Grand Lodge issued a statement that on this occasion only hymns would be played as the parade passed St Patrick's on 29 September as a mark of respect. We thank all those involved in the quiet conversations and as stated publicly we are happy for those to continue.

We look forward to a response from the Bishop, Clergy and parishioners to the invitation to visit Schomberg House as we seek to build mutual understanding.

We thank all within the Unionist family for their support and encouragement in this matter as we look forward to a great day of celebration on 29 September when we will commemorate the signing of the Ulster Covenant.

Ulster Covenant Centenary Parade


Upcoming Special Parade

Ulster Covenant Centenary Parade
Saturday, 29 September 2012
Assemble at Hopewell Avenue @ 9:30 am for 10:00 am parade.

20 September 2012

BELFAST PARADE TO MARK ULSTER COVENANT CENTENARY



THE historic grounds of Stormont will provide the setting for an
Ulster Covenant celebration and family fun day on Saturday, September 29.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the east Belfast event, which will also cater for a major Loyal Order parade to mark the centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant.

The parade – organised by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland – is expected to be one of the largest demonstrations witnessed in Northern Ireland in recent times.

The procession is scheduled to leave from Belfast City Hall - venue for the most famous Covenant signing in 1912 – at 11am before participants parade the six-mile route to the Stormont estate.

While the parade will likely dominate interest on the day, a wide variation of music, children’s entertainments, exhibitions and stalls will also be provided to cater for the large crowds at Stormont from 10am.

Those in attendance will be entertained by notable performers including Lambeg drummers, Grallagh Unionist Flute Band, County Antrim Fife and Drum, Bright Light Highland Dancers, Ulster Scots Folk Orchestra and The Thompson Brothers.

A food village, face painting and balloon modelling, historical memorabilia and Loyal Order displays will also be available to members of the public.

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has chosen the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice as its charity partner for the occasion.

From the starting point of the City Hall, the parade will move off and proceed by Donegall Square North, Chichester Street, Victoria Street, Albert Square, Donegall Quay, Queen Elizabeth Bridge, Middlepath Street, Newtownards Road, Upper Newtownards Road, Prince of Wales Avenue (Stormont Estate) to the rally point at Carson’s statue.

The parade will also pass a review stand – holding members of the Loyal Orders who participated in the Ulster Covenant 50th anniversary commemorations in 1962 – at the main gates to Parliament Buildings.

When the entire parade – incorporating up to 200 marching bands from across the Province - has congregated at Stormont, an open air service of thanksgiving will be held. 

Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, will also address assembled Loyal Order members and supporters. 

It is anticipated that the platform proceedings will commence at 3pm.

Prior to the main procession, the majority of districts representing Belfast County Lodge will form up – as on the annual Twelfth parade – at Carlisle Circus. Other
districts will make their way to the City Hall from both south and east Belfast.

County Grand Lodges representing Antrim, Armagh, City of Londonderry, Londonderry, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan will form up at designated points along Sandy Row before parading to the city centre.

Representatives from the Royal Black Institution, Apprentice Boys and Independent Orange Order will also participate in the parade.

Members of the Association of Loyal Orangewomen of Ireland will join the main procession at the Knock traffic lights. However, sisters are encouraged to parade with their own districts, if desired.

A return parade to the city centre – following the religious service - will only involve members of Belfast County Grand Lodge.

The Grand Lodge of Ireland have urged - due to the large numbers in attendance - for all parade participants and spectators to heed the instructions of marshals on the day.

Speaking ahead of the Covenant parade, Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson said: “We expect the event on September 29 to be an occasion to remember and one worthy of the centenary.

“In our view, the Covenant anniversary will be about commemorating our forefathers and their belief in common values enshrined in the Union. We look forward to coming together as a community to do so.”

Dr David Hume, Director of Services for the Orange Order, said: “This will be a major event and a family day for enjoyment and celebration. We also know that city hotels are benefiting from those attending the parade and flights into the Province have also booked up.”

He added: “We have a full programme of activities at Stormont so families of brethren and the general public can enjoy the entertainment and children’s activities prior to the arrival of the parade.”

17 September 2012

GRAND ORANGE COVENANT PARADE STATEMENT

Royal York Loyal Orange Lodge walking past Belfast (St. Annes) Cathedral.

THE Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland look forward to the parade on Saturday 29 September to celebrate the centenary of the signing of the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant, an event that saw the Unionist family united and determined. 


Sadly there has been an unhealthy focus on the parade at a point were no previous contention existed - St Patrick's Roman Catholic Chapel in Donegall Street. Occurrences at St Patrick's on the 12th July and the 'Last Saturday’ have already been the subject of statements clarifying that for any inadvertent offence caused, no hurt was intended.

The apologies offered have been graciously accepted by the Clergy in St Patrick’s as genuine.

Additionally, quiet, frank and constructive conversations have taken place with the clergy and parishioners, as the Institution sought; to defuse tensions around the forthcoming Covenant parade, and build relationships by listening to views raised and explaining our position in respect of parading, music and the Parades Commission.

Indeed, the Grand Lodge has an outreach programme that visits Catholic Maintained Schools regularly to share information about our culture and history. In furtherance of this outreach we invite Bishop Treanor, the clergy and parishioners of St Patrick's to visit the Covenant exhibition at Schomberg House as our guests. It is hoped that the lines of communication opened by this opportunity will be maintained and developed in the months ahead.

In a respectful and sincere effort to address what we heard and following further conversations with local districts, bands, community representatives, political leaders and locally elected representatives, the Ulster Covenant centenary parade on 29 September when passing St Patrick's, which will be open; will play hymns. The return parade in the early evening will show similar respect.

The Orange Institution is committed to civil and religious liberty for all and developing a programme of mutual understanding that begins to rebuild Christian neighbourliness and a return to normality. All we seek is acceptance and respect for our traditions; we will not deny others what we ourselves desire.

07 September 2012

A Statement from the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland


THE Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland notes the continuing public interest concerning the forthcoming Ulster Covenant centenary celebrations, which culminate in a major Loyal Order parade that will take place in Belfast on Saturday 29 September.

This landmark occasion allows a unique opportunity to commemorate one of the most momentous and cultural events in the history of these islands, and as we move into a period involving a number of significant centenaries it is essential that we celebrate our different cultures in an atmosphere of tolerance and mutual respect.

The Orange Institution is engaging in quiet conversations, which are taking place – away from the public gaze - to address issues that have arisen in relation to peaceful protests against the Parades Commission. We are genuinely committed in finding a just and equitable resolution to these matters.

The recent open letter from the Royal Black Institution has already served to defuse tensions and the Grand Orange Lodge fully supports the sentiments expressed.

Despite the best efforts of the discredited and unaccountable Parades Commission – to stifle our proud heritage, the Orange Institution prayerfully looks forward to a peaceful day for all of Northern Ireland, as the Unionist family celebrates this milestone in their history.

03 September 2012

ORANGE ORDER SUPPORTS CHILDREN’S HOSPICE

Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, and Siofra Healy, Director of Income Generation with the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice, pictured at Stormont ahead of this month's Ulster Covenant parade and family fun day.
THE Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has chosen the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice as its charity partner for a major event later this month to mark the centenary of the Ulster Covenant. 

Thousands of people are expected to converge on the Stormont estate on Saturday September 29, when the east Belfast venue provides the setting for the culmination of a Loyal Order parade and family fun day.

The procession – which will commence from Belfast city centre at 11am – is expected to be one of the largest demonstrations witnessed in Northern Ireland in recent times.

In supporting the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, the Grand Orange Lodge hopes to raise money for local children and families who depend on hospice services. The charity provides specialist care to children and young people with life limiting conditions.

Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, said that the Institution wished to leave a “lasting legacy” to the local community as well as commemorating a formative event in the history of the British Isles.

He said:
“Donations by members of the Loyal Orders, their families and supporters at our Ulster Covenant celebrations will make a real difference to young children with life limiting illnesses and their loved ones.
“The Children’s Hospice receives limited government funding and relies heavily on voluntary donations to fund their vital services each year.” 
He continued:
“If each lodge were able to raise just £100 through a collection or a fundraising event ahead of the celebrations, we could raise enough money to fund four Children’s Hospice Community Nurses for an entire year.
“I would therefore urge everyone to give a personal donation to the designated charity collectors on the day or support the Children’s Hospice stand at Stormont.”
 Director of Income Generation with the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, Siofra Healy, said:
“Every pound raised from this event will be used to fund community nurses who provide specialist care to children and young people in their own home.
“As a regional service, we offer care in hospice and in the family home. We rely heavily on public donations to fund our service so we are delighted to be the nominated charity for this community event.”

To make an immediate donation to the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, please text the word GIVE followed by £1.50, £3, £5 or £10 to 70444.

The text service costs your chosen donation amount, plus network charge. Northern Ireland Hospice receives 100 per cent of your donation. Obtain bill payers permission. Customer care 0844 847 9800. Charity No XN45696.

12 July 2012

12th JULY RESOLUTIONS 2012


FIRST RESOLUTION: -  Faith





As members of the Loyal Orange Institution we give thanks to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which we enjoy.  We believe that there is only one true and living God, the Creator of Heaven and earth.  We praise God for His great self-revelation in the pages of Holy Scripture and for sending His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to be our Saviour.

Today we remember God’s covenant of grace which has made salvation available to all who will repent of their sin and trust in Jesus as their Saviour.  In an increasingly secular world we urge all men to study the Scriptures so that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit they may come to saving faith in Jesus Christ.


SECOND RESOLUTION:  Loyalty

We the Orangemen assembled at Barnetts Demesne, Belfast, extend our Heartiest congratulations to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the Diamond Jubilee of her accession to the Throne.  We give thanks to Almighty God for Her Majesty’s devoted service to this country and the Commonwealth.  We gratefully appreciate Her Majesty’s visit to Northern Ireland last month as part of her Jubilee celebrations. We pledge our continuing loyalty to Her Majesty The Queen and her heirs and successors, being Protestant.  With all of her loyal subjects we pray – God Save the Queen


THIRD RESOLUTION: The State

We the Orangemen assembled at Barnetts Demesne, Belfast. commemorate with pride this centenary year of the signing of the Ulster Covenant of 1912, mindful that the stand of our forefathers against Home Rule helped preserve our identity and retained our cherished position within the United Kingdom at that time and thereafter. We remain convinced that the Union offers the best possible future for all the people of Northern Ireland as equal citizens of the United Kingdom.

11 July 2012

Keep Ulster Tidy on Twelfth, says Order


THE Orange Order has issued a reminder to the tens of thousands of people expected to enjoy this year’s Battle of the Boyne anniversary celebrations to be “tidy on the Twelfth”. 

The Grand Lodge of Ireland has urged members of the public to be litter conscious next Thursday and to avail of the many refuse bins provided at each of the 18 parade venues across the Province.

The anti-litter message has been endorsed by the Order’s cartoon mascot, Diamond Dan, and features on leaflet documentation which will be distributed at selected flagship demonstrations.

This year’s Twelfth parades recommended by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland for tourist flagship status as part of the biggest festival in Northern Ireland will take place in Carrickfergus, Enniskillen and Ballynahinch.

David Hume, Director of Services for the Orange Order, insisted the Loyal Institution was committed to playing its part in helping to create a cleaner environment.

He said:
"In Northern Ireland there are often complaints about the level of litter after events and there are people who thoughtlessly throw down litter. 
"We want to encourage those who attend our events to extend the pride they show in the Orange Order to pride in keeping our country tidy for not only visitors but also everyone who lives here.
"Where there are litter bins there is really no excuse for dropping litter. We need as a society to address littering and to encourage people to be tidier.
"That is why we felt that Diamond Dan, who was designed as a character with a message for our young people, should convey an anti-litter message this Twelfth at our flagship festivals in Ballynahinch, Carrickfergus and Enniskillen, but the message is for all venues of course." 

The other Twelfth demonstrations are scheduled to take place in Crumlin, Portglenone, Ballymena, Broughshane, Cloughmills, Keady, Belfast, Newry, Kilkeel, Donaghadee, Tobermore, Coleraine, Pomeroy, Castlederg and Aughnacloy.

10 July 2012

A Statement on behalf of the County Grand Lodge of Belfast on the Parades Commission Determination regarding Ligoniel Lodges on the Twelfth of July


A meeting of County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast has taken place with representatives from the three Ligoniel Lodges affected by the Parades Commission attempt to deny them of their traditional ‘Twelfth’ celebrations, through the ludicrous decision insisting that they return past Ardoyne shop fronts by 4 pm.  


In addition to the normal denial of rights and freedoms that the Parades Commission regularly impose, this impossible demand would deny these Brethren the opportunity to attend the Platform proceedings, including the religious service at Barnett Demesne. It would also see a parade return through the City Centre at a time when the Orange Institution and Belfast City Centre Management have worked for several years to maximise footfall for local traders. It is clear that the policing and traffic flow implications of this 4 o’clock deadline have not been thought through. We would therefore urge that common sense prevail and this ill conceived stipulation be changed.


All Belfast Districts pledge their full support to the Ligoniel lodges and thank the North and West Parades and Cultural Forum, the local community and politicians for their ongoing support and efforts to resolve this issue. Further meetings are planned to address this mess that the Parades Commission have yet again created.

09 July 2012

Belfast County Boyne Anniversary Parade


Upcoming Parade

Belfast County Boyne Anniversary Parade
Thursday, 12 July 2012
Assemble at Hopewell Avenue @ 9:45 am for 10:00 am parade.

02 July 2012

Belfast Twelfth Parade will Celebrate Covenant


The parade to mark the 322nd anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne will leave Belfast Orange Hall, at Carisle Circus, at 10.00am.

The Millar Memorial Flute band will lead the parade as it makes its way along Clifton Street, Donegal Street, Royal Avenue, Castle Junction and Donegall Place to Belfast City Hall.

A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Cenotaph in the grounds of the City Hall shortly before 10.30am and the parade will then proceed via Donegal Square West, Bedford Street, Dublin Road, Shaftsbury Square, Bradbury Place, Lisburn Road, Balmoral Avenue and Malone Road to Barnetts Demense.

As usual, thousands of spectators including visitors from other countries are expected to line much of the route through the capital city.

The platform proceedings at Barnett’s Demesne will begin at 3pm and the chairman for the afternoon will be the County Grand Master, Tom Haire. The resolutions will be read by Rev. Ronnie Johnston, Deputy County Grand Chaplain, Rev. Mervyn Gibson, County Grand Chaplain

It is expected that 70 bands will take part in the parade and they will make their return journey at 4.15pm.

In the souvenir booklet for the Twelfth in Belfast, the County Grand Master Tom Haire said:

“This year we will see the centenary of the signing of Ulster’s Solemn League and Covenant in 1912. This was a defining moment in the history for our people, when the steely determination of Ulstermen and Ulsterwomen secured our cherished position within the United Kingdom and thwarted the ambitions of republicans to destroy our heritage, culture and way of life.
“The Ulster Covenant commemoration, which will occur throughout the year, will be an excellent focus for the Unionist community and provide us with time to reflect and to give thanks for our forebearers who stood steadfastly in defence and support of the union.
“As County Grand Master, I am greatly encouraged by the upsurge in tourist interest in the Twelfth celebrations in Belfast.
Indeed each year the television coverage reveals visitors from not only other parts of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland but also from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and mainland Europe. Some are coming to rediscover their roots, other are just curious but they all want to be part of the biggest cultural festival in Europe. Let’s hope they receive a truly warm Ulster welcome.”

Boyne Anniversary Service


Upcoming Church Service Parade

Boyne Anniversary Service
Sunday, 8 July 2012
Assemble at Hopewell Avenue @ 2:15 pm for 2:30 pm parade.

25 June 2012

Somme Remembrance Wreath Laying


Upcoming Parade

Somme Remembrance Wreath Laying
Monday, 2 July 2012
Assemble at Clifton Street @ 7:30 pm for 7:45 pm parade.

36th (Ulster) Division Memorial Parade & Service


Upcoming Church Service Parade

36th (Ulster) Division Memorial Parade & Service
Sunday, 1 July 2012
Assemble at Hopewell Avenue @ 2:15 pm for 2:30 pm parade.

No. 9 District L.O.L. 'Whiterock' Parade


Upcoming Parade

No. 9 District L.O.L. 'Whiterock' Parade
Saturday, 30 June 2012
Assemble at Glenwood Street @ 2:00 pm for 2:15 pm parade.

22 June 2012

FLAGSHIP TWELFTHS NAMED FOR 2012


Three of this year’s Twelfth demonstrations have been selected by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland for tourist flagship status.

The Twelfths in Enniskillen, Carrickfergus and Ballynahinch have been chosen to get extra support during the run up to the biggest festival in Northern Ireland.

Grand Orange Lodge Director of Services, Dr. David Hume said:
“The three venues impressed the judging panel because of their contacts with their local councils and other stakeholders and with a varied programme of events surrounding the Twelfth demonstration itself.
“One of the delegations seeking flagship status even brought council officers from their local authority to help lobby for the coveted flagship title. The move was seen as an increasing sign of the high level of co-operation at local level between organising districts and local authorities as well as the status which the title of flagship gives.
“The three districts selected put forward very professional and detailed submissions and clearly a lot of work has already gone into their plans. We look forward to training the Orange Welcome Hosts, who will act as ambassadors for the Orange Institution and its traditions on the Twelfth itself and helping to maximise the benefit which each district will get through conferment of this status.
“This is an Olympic year and the centenary year of the Ulster Covenant as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, so it will be a memorable year generally and we wish Carrickfergus, Ballynahinch and Enniskillen districts every success in their plans.”
Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said:
“The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s announcement today that it has selected Twelfth demonstrations in Enniskillen, Carrickfergus and Ballynahinch as flagship events is welcome news. The Flagship concept focuses on those parades that want to broaden their appeal to attract a tourism audience and I have no doubt that those involved in the three selected demonstrations will provide a varied and vibrant programme of events.
“This year offers unprecedented opportunities for tourism and, now that the three Flagship Parades have been selected, they can take their place in the Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s NI 2012 programme, along with the Scarva Sham Fight. The Twelfth of July parades will also be publicised on the NITB’s consumer website www.discovernorthernireland.com
“I look forward to attending the Flagship Parade in Enniskillen and wish the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland every success with its preparations for the Twelfth.”

GOVERNMENT MINISTER OPENS COVENANT EXHIBITION


A new exhibition on the Ulster Covenant, was officially opened on Thursday, June 21, by Hugo Swire, M.P. Minister of State for Northern Ireland.

The exhibition will run from June to December at the headquarters of the Orange Order, Schomberg House in Belfast and will be at Somme Heritage Centre from July for a few months before travelling to other venues including the Donegal County Museum

The artefacts on display include one of the original Covenant printing plates, Lord Brookeborough's covenant, signed in blood, and the ink stand used by Carson at the City Hall (this on loan from Lord Bannside).

David Hume, Director of Services for the Orange Order, said:

“This is an extensive and significant exhibition which will highlight the story of the Home Rule period leading up to the Ulster Covenant.

“The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland believes that the unionist community wants to have the opportunity to learn more about this period and reflect on it, hence the funding which has been committed to what is an extensive exhibition.

“We are also delighted to have a duplicate exhibition running for several months at the Somme Heritage Centre in Newtownards and look forward to working in partnership with the Centre and other smaller museums in future on such projects.

“The 1912 Covenant was a seminal development in modern Irish history and deserves to be remembered. We hope this exhibition will go some way towards that aim.”

Mr Swire said:
"I am delighted to open this exhibition on the Ulster Covenant which has been put together by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. The Third Home Rule Bill and the Ulster Covenant, whose centenaries we mark this year, had a profound impact on the history of these islands.  Indeed the Covenant has often been described as the foundation stone of Northern Ireland.  I have often said that our approach to centenaries should be to promote greater education and understanding of what have in the past been controversial and divisive events.  I am confident that this exhibition, which contains some fascinating historical artefacts, clearly serves that purpose."

The Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, said:
 "The Covenant shaped the future political and constitutional development of the island.
 "For the ordinary unionist, the significance of the Covenant was in giving a sense of security at a time when all they held dear was under threat. The fact that it was signed by 471,414 men and women showed how important they understood it to be a century ago.
“We are hopeful that many people will visit the exhibition and learn more about this very important time in our history. We are delighted that the Minister of State, Mr Swire, was able to officially open the exhibition.”

18 June 2012

Belfast Orange Hall United Districts (Tour of the North) Parade


Upcoming Parade

Belfast Orange Hall United Districts (Tour of the North) Parade
Friday, 22 June 2012
Assemble at Hopewell Avenue @ 7:00 pm for 7:30 pm parade.

21 May 2012

No. 6 District W.L.O.L. (Duncairn)


Upcoming Church Service Parade

No. 6 District W.L.O.L. (Duncairn)
Sunday, 27 May 2012
Assemble at Alexander Park Avenue (North Belfast Orange Hall) @ 2:30 pm for 2:45 pm parade.

14 May 2012

Centenary of 1912 Balmoral Review & Rally


Upcoming Special Parade

Centenary of 1912 Balmoral Review & Rally
Saturday, 19 May 2012
Assemble at Hopewell Avenue @ 9:45 am for 10:00 am parade.

23 April 2012

Happy St. George's Day!

Dieu et mon droit

Annual Widows Fund Service


Upcoming Church Service Parade

Annual Widows Fund Service
Sunday, 29 April 2012
Assemble at Hopewell Avenue @ 2:15 p.m. for 2:30 p.m. parade to St Anne's Cathedral. 

04 March 2012

FLAGSHIP TWELFTHS NAMED FOR 2012


Three of this year’s Twelfth demonstrations have been selected by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland for tourist flagship status.

The Twelfths in Enniskillen, Carrickfergus and Ballynahinch have been chosen to get extra support during the run up to the biggest festival in Northern Ireland.

Grand Orange Lodge Director of Services, Dr. David Hume said:
“The three venues impressed the judging panel because of their contacts with their local councils and other stakeholders and with a varied programme of events surrounding the Twelfth demonstration itself.
“One of the delegations seeking flagship status even brought council officers from their local authority to help lobby for the coveted flagship title. The move was seen as an increasing sign of the high level of co-operation at local level between organising districts and local authorities as well as the status which the title of flagship gives.
“The three districts selected put forward very professional and detailed submissions and clearly a lot of work has already gone into their plans. We look forward to training the Orange Welcome Hosts, who will act as ambassadors for the Orange Institution and its traditions on the Twelfth itself and helping to maximise the benefit which each district will get through conferment of this status.
“This is an Olympic year and the centenary year of the Ulster Covenant as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, so it will be a memorable year generally and we wish Carrickfergus, Ballynahinch and Enniskillen districts every success in their plans.”

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said:

“The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s announcement today that it has selected Twelfth demonstrations in Enniskillen, Carrickfergus and Ballynahinch as flagship events is welcome news. The Flagship concept focuses on those parades that want to broaden their appeal to attract a tourism audience and I have no doubt that those involved in the three selected demonstrations will provide a varied and vibrant programme of events.
“This year offers unprecedented opportunities for tourism and, now that the three Flagship Parades have been selected, they can take their place in the Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s NI 2012 programme, along with the Scarva Sham Fight. The Twelfth of July parades will also be publicised on the NITB’s consumer website www.discovernorthernireland.com
“I look forward to attending the Flagship Parade in Enniskillen and wish the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland every success with its preparations for the Twelfth.”

The 18 demonstrations on Thursday, July 12, will be held in:
Carrickfergus
Ballynahinch
Enniskillen
Belfast
Donaghadee
Broughshane
Ballymena
Portglenone
Pomeroy
Crumlin
Keady
Aughnacloy
Castlederg
Newry
Kilkeel
Cloughmills
Tobermore
Coleraine.

A Twelfth demonstration will be held in Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal, on Saturday, July 7.