23 July 2013

ORANGE INSTITUTION CONGRATULATES ROYAL COUPLE

THE Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has offered its best wishes to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge following the birth of their first child and future monarch.

Grand Master Edward Stevenson said:

“The Orange Institution is delighted by today’s wonderful news and on behalf of the entire membership I wish to convey our warmest congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of a baby boy.

We offer the Royal couple God’s richest blessing as they come to terms with parenthood and wish the new family unit health and happiness in the months and years ahead.

Amid times of austerity and economic gloom, the birth of a Royal baby who will one day succeed his father to the throne is welcome, inspirational and uplifting news. The new-born’s arrival will be celebrated across the whole of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and indeed the wider world.

Today’s announcement will be met with great joy particularly here in Northern Ireland, where the Royal family is held in such high esteem and unrivalled affection. Members of the Orange fraternity around the globe, including the Republic of Ireland, will also be heartened by this magnificent news.

On such an historic occasion, the future monarch and entire Royal family are assured the continued prayerful support, service and loyalty of the Orange Institution. God Save The Queen.”

17 July 2013

RICHARD HAASS INITIATIVE

In 2006 the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland stated publicly that it would enter into dialogue with the Government and others as necessary to find an alternative to the Parades Commission. 

In 2007 the Institution played a full role in the Strategic Review of Parades. Chaired by Paddy Ashdown, an Interim Report was published, but a final report was never agreed, as the political context changed.

The issue of moving the parading agenda forward passed to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister following the signing of the Hillsborough Agreement in February 2010. The Institution played its full role in assisting the drafting of legislation regarding parades at this time.

We are presently working with our partners in the Unionist Forum to address the issue of parades and have always made it clear that the Orange Institution has been and is committed to finding a replacement to the Parades Commission, based on the principles of non-discrimination, equality, transparency and good administration.

Parading policy and legislation must be based on civil and religious liberties for all and special privileges for none.

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland will willingly and actively participate in the Haass Initiative with a view to replacing the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 with a better regulatory system.

We believe that it is vital that the bands community and the other Loyal Orders being the Independent Loyal Orange Institution, the Apprentice Boys of Derry, the Royal Black Institution, the Association of Loyal Orangewomen of Ireland, the Junior Orange Association, the Junior Orangewomen’s Association and the Royal Arch Purple Institution are involved in this process. All of them are also targeted by the present regulatory system.

15 July 2013

Statement on 12th July Parades Determination Crisis

The County Grand Orange Lodge in Belfast seeks to clarify events concerning the 12th July surrounding the illogical decision by the Parades Commission.

The Orange Institution was consistent and unambiguous in their appeals that violence had no place at the planned protests. The considerable anger expressed by the entire Protestant Unionist and Loyalist community, which the Secretary of State acknowledged was there; an anger that emanated from the fact the Commission rewarded violence and an anger that needed channelled into peaceful expression. Therefore following meetings with the local lodges, community, politicians and our partners in the Belfast Parades Forum it was decided to mount a protest at the location where the parade would be halted on the Woodvale Road and at other parts of the city.  There was never any appeal for people to join those protests.

Woodvale Road
In respect of the proposed protest at Woodvale Road, when the local lodges arrived there was already a large crowd assembled. There were stones thrown at the police and within a short space of time water cannons were deployed and plastic bullets fired without warning into the large crowd. Those who had come for a peaceful protest were soaked and injured, leading to anger amongst many of those gathered. Orangemen and Politicians tried to calm the situation down, and we pay tribute to Nigel Dodds, local politicians and other partners from the Belfast Parades forum,– not only for their work at this protest, but also at several other times throughout the day. It was agreed with the police that if the violence stopped, they would facilitate the protest, unfortunately this could not be achieved, because of the anger of the crowd at the robust police action from the outset.  The protest was suspended at 12.55am on 13th July by the Brethren of the Ligoniel Lodges.

East Belfast
The violence in East Belfast was not as a result of any protest action. A police land rover, believed to be gathering evidence for the Parades Commission, caused the parade to stop on several occasions as it progressed along the Newtownards Road. Attempts to contact senior police officers by several community representatives to have the matter resolved quickly, failed as PSNI phones were not answered. At this stage there was a premeditated and sustained attack on the parade from the Short Strand area. Paint bombs, stones and bottles rained down on the participants and spectators, many were injured several of them requiring hospital treatment, one young bands women has a suspected fractured cheekbone; another female received 10 stitches to a leg wound; a full list of casualties is being collated.  The onslaught left young children and many spectators traumatised. Considerable damage was also caused to banners and band uniforms as the parade returned home through what had become a riot. The riot was clearly the responsibility of those from the Short Strand who attacked the parade and its supporters.

Protests
Orangemen and bandsmen returned to the Newtownards Road to protest. There were still a few masked youths attacking police. The protest placed itself at police lines and the rioting stopped, sporadic stoning incidents were condemned and stopped by protestors. However, after a period, stone throwing again started and the protest was halted.

Peaceful protests were held at the following locations, without incident.
Twaddell Avenue
Carlisle Circus
Hesketh Road
Ballygomartin Road
Flax Street
Clifton Park Avenue
Albertbridge Road

Attacks on Parade
Ballynafeigh District were attacked with eggs and bottles in the morning at Agincourt Avenue as they made there way to join the main parade. Two young girls and two band members were hit with missiles. The police protection normally present at this location was absent.

Sandy Row District was attacked with missiles from Peter’s Hill as they paraded along the Shankill Road in the morning on route to Carlisle Circus. One member was injured.

Lodges at Lancaster Street, York Street junction were attacked by Nationalists throwing bricks and bottles on two occasions, one bandsman was injured. Hand to hand fighting was taking place as those on parade defended themselves before police arrived.

Comments
The PSNI have serious questions to answer, not least, with so many police officers available, why were they unable to stop clearly orchestrated attacks; and in the case of the Short Strand, a prolonged attack lasting over 30 minutes along the length of the Peace Wall.  The Secretary of State needs to reflect on the Parades Commission, the body that created this crisis, rather than further alienating the Unionist community by ill informed comments.

The violence, which we condemn, cannot be used as an excuse for not addressing the issues that have been raised by this ludicrous determination, a shared future, community relations and Nationalist’s intolerance. Issues that require a political response and solution.

There will be the blame game and point scoring by all for the events that unfolded, however the Orange Institution will not be scapegoated for where the responsibility for this crisis truly lies - at the door of the Parades Commission.

It was always recognised that politics would be the ultimate solution and in that respect we welcome the recall of the Assembly.  We will review our position regarding peaceful protest after the debate there and following further discussions with our political and community partners. We again reiterate, violence is not the way forward and ask all involved in such activity to stop immediately.

09 July 2013

Talks with the Crumlin and Ardoyne Residents Association

The County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast would like to thank the Brethren and community representatives who were involved in talks with Crumlin and Ardoyne Residents Association. 

The talks, which were lengthy and lasted over two days, were comprehensive and frank. The local Lodges explained their position with regard to the parade along the Crumlin Road on the Twelfth morning and evening. Those present also articulated the interests of the local unionist community and discussed issues expressed by nationalist residents, as the delegation sought to understand why the parade was opposed.

The local Lodges are willing to continue with the engagement should it be helpful to address genuine issues and concerns. In taking this historic step to engage, the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast, their community and political partners sought to build on the spirit of the ‘Comprehensive Template’, which has been delivered in full.

We believe all steps possible have been taken by the Orange family to ensure a peaceful Twelfth for those who parade and protest along the Crumlin Road.

03 July 2013

One Hundred Years On ... Wednesday, 2nd July 1913


July 1913 Minutes (PDF)
York L.O.L. 145
Clifton St Orange Hall
Belfast 2nd July 1913

The usual monthly meeting of this Lodge was held on the above date. The W.M. Bro E Leathem presided, and Bro Joseph Davidson D.M. occupied the vice-chair.

The Lodge having been opened in prescribed form and a portion of scripture read by the chaplain, Bro Rev Dr Walker, the secretary read the minutes of previous meeting which were confirmed.

Lodge Com. Report

A report of Lodge Committee meeting was read and the candidates Bro Kelly and Whitten were held over to our next meeting their being no report on them.

Reinstatement Bro Clements & Mills

The committee recommended that Bro Isaiah Clements be reinstated for 10/”, Bro Taylor proposed and Bro Joseph Davison seconded that this recommendation be adopted, was passed unanimously as was also Bro Hugh Mills for the same sum on the proposal of Bro R Scott, seconded by Bro Joseph Davison, Bro Mills to be proposed in District once readmission after 2nd term of suspension.

Certificate Bro A Courtney

Bro  J Davison proposed that the certificate of Bro A Courtney be granted to LOL 1213 for the sum of dues and certificate 2/6 subject to return of white sash or its value 7/6, seconded by Bro R Scott and passed.

Certificate Bro William Molyneaux

The committee recommendation to the application for Bro Wm Molyneaux Certificate that if be granted for dues of and cost 2/6, subject to proposition for readmission after 2nd term suspension being proposed by Grand Lodge and to be proposed by LOL 740, notice of same being given our lodge, Bro Joshua Lougher proposing and Bro Joseph Davison seconded that this be adopted. Passed.

Deacon Pole Bearers 12th July

The committee recommendation that Bro Russell and Taylor take charge of Deacon Poles and appoint their assistants, was passed unanimously.

Visiting Brethren

Two visiting Brethren were announced and on the proposal of Bro R Lougher seconded by Bro Charles Kirkwood.
Bro Stewart, WM No 4 LOL New South Wales, and
Bro Wm J Whiteside LOL No 7 New York
Were admitted and received a very hearty welcome, the WM conveying the greetings of our Lodge to the visitors.

Initiations

The following candidates were initiated into the Loyal Orange Institution: Messers Alfred Milligan, John H Kyle, Ernest Chambers, Wm Atkinson, Wm McMurray, Albert McCullough and Alex Tipping; Bro Joshua Lougher, Charles Kirkwood, Wallace Linton and Robert Scott, acting as sponsors.

Admitted O C

Bro Alex McKee O C LOL 940 Gilford, was admitted on Transfer.

Anniversary Service St Barnabas Church

The WM now appealed to every member of the Lodge to attend Divine Service on Sunday 6th inst, in St Barnabas Church at 3:30 PM under the auspices of No 3 District and he further appealed that the members would by their attendance at 12th July Celebration in Craigavon be making History, and he hoped that this Demonstration would show to our Lead, Sir Edward Carson, that the Orangemen of Belfast could always be relied upon to support him in his fight for our Civil & Religious Liberty.

UVF Parade

Bro R Lougher requested all those who had signed the Ulster Volunteer Force Form to attend a Parade on Saturday the 5th inst, and gave further particulars.

The WM having to retire the chair was reoccupied by the DM Bro Joseph Davison.

Application “Bro Joseph Graham Cert”

An application was read from LOL 2097 Toronto for the Certificate of Bro Jospeh Graham, proposed by Bro Taylor and seconded by Bro R Lougher, that secretary forward same free. Passed.

Candidates

The following candidates and new members were proposed:
W James Bryan Wilson (Motor Engineer) 132 Madrid St
Proposed by Bro Hugh Lougher, Seconded by Bro David Mateer
Bro W J Kenolty (Grocer) 86 Blythe St, OC LOL 592
Proposed by Bro V Harrision, Seconded by Bro R Scott
Bro W J McGaughey (Salesman) 71 Lomand Ave OC LOL 987
Proposed by Bro Rowland Haye, Seconded by Bro Joseph Davison
Bro Thos Boston (Salesman) 104 York St, OC LOL 204 Lurgan
Proposed by Bro R Lougher, Seconded by Bro Dr K Kempston

This having concluded the business, the Lodge was closed in due form.

God Save the King

Richard H Taylor WM (acting)
John Sayers, Secretary