Monday 10 December 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Worshipful Master, Officers and Brethren of Royal York Loyal Orange Lodge Number 145.

Sunday 9 December 2007

Ulster Ties

The Ulster Society @ Queen's University Belfast is selling Ulster ties priced at £16.00 each. All profits go to the society.

All merchandise can be viewed on their website

Help promote Unionist culture at Queen's.

Queries or orders can be placed via email:

Saturday 27 October 2007

Reformation Day Church Parade & Service 2007

Sunday 28th October 2007

Annual Reformation Day Church Parade organised by
County Grand Loyal Orange Lodge of Belfast.

Assemble at District Assembly Points at 2.15 p.m. for parade at 2.30 p.m. sharp.


Friday 28 September 2007

Queens Lodge Annual Ulster Day Service 2007

Sunday 30th September (3.00pm)- 5th Annual Ulster Day Service.

This year’s service will be hosted by Co Armagh in the town of Markethill. Brethren are asked to assemble at 3.00pm at the bottom of Newry Street at the junction with the Armagh/Newry Road for a short parade to the service at Markethill Chapel of Ease (Church of Ireland) at 3.30pm. It is anticipated that the incumbent minister Rev Neville Hughes will lead the service. All members of associated lodges are invited to attend.

Direction from Belfast-
  • Take the M12 from the M1 to Portadown
  • Follow the signs for Armagh
  • At the Stonebridge roundabout, take left towards Richhill
  • In the village of Richhill turn left towards Hamiltonsbawn/Markethill
  • At Hamiltonsbawn travel straight over the staggered crossroads to Markethill
  • At the end of the road take left, onto the Armagh/Newry Road. Approx 1 ½ miles along this road, turn right into Newry Street and the assembly point

Wednesday 11 July 2007

The "Brethren In Arms" Float

Presbyterian Irish Republican Rebels
fighting for Irish liberty and Catholic Emancipation
in battle with
Yorkshiremen, Anglican Orangemen and Catholic Militias
fighting for King, Constitution and the freedom of Britain
Only in ULSTER! Saintfield 1798

On our float you can see men of the York Fencible Regiment (a regiment from which our lodge was formed) and rebels of the '98 at Saintfield.

The Fencibles were fighting for the Government of the time, for the King and Constitution, for the status quo.

The Rebels, stirred on by what had happened in America and France, were fighting for a republic, free from kings and with freedom from religious intolerance, and most importantly freedom from taxes levied in Irish goods.

The Battle of Saintfield was one of the few where the Rebels gained the upper hand, however the rebellion in total was put down. The rebels in Ulster was mainly Presbyterian, following, in their way, the path their relatives in America had laid with independence and freedom, to this end, they also demanded emancipation for their fellow Roman Catholic Irishmen. After the rebellion was put down, it transpired that many of their fellow Irishmen, did not have their high ideal, and massacres of Protestants in the rest of Ireland during the rebellion was common, and shocked those in the North who had fought in what they felt was a "just cause".

Soon came the Act of Union, binding Ireland to the rest of Britain. It was unwanted by Orangemen (who wanted their own, ascendancy parliament in Ireland retained) and by Rebels, however, they would soon be brought round.

Union brought all that the rebels had fought for: Freedom, personal and Financial, and even Catholic Emancipation, though that would take another 3 decades. The Orangemen saw Union as a stronger means of protecting that "civil and religious liberty" which they espoused. So it was that the foes across the battlefield were finally brought together as...

...Brethren In Arms

The Fencible Regiment and the Battle of Saintfield

Presbyterian Irish Republican Rebels
fighting for Irish liberty and Catholic Emancipation
in battle with
Yorkshiremen, Anglican Orangemen and Catholic Militias
fighting for King, Constitution and the freedom of Britain
Only in ULSTER! Saintfield 1798

In 1786 Britain was facing a major crisis. The country was at war with France and invasion was expected any day. The greatest worry was that a French army would land in Ireland and then invade England and Scotland.

At the same time the recent American War of Independence had produced a great desire for religious and financial freedom among the huge numbers of Ulster Presbyterians who had brothers and cousins who had fought for America. Theses men set up the “United Irishmen” to promote the same ideals as those expressed in the American Declaration of Independence.

To defend against these twin threats, the British government raised a number of Fencible Regiments in England and Scotland and sent most of them to Ireland. The York Fencible Regiment was raised in the City of York in 1792 and was sent to Ulster soon afterwards. The Regiment was stationed in Belfast and Comber. In 1796 (one year after the formation of the very first Orange Lodge) a lodge was formed within the ranks of the York Fencibles. This lodge was called Royal York No. 145 (The Royal prefix because the first warrant was signed by a son of King George III who later became King of Hanover.).

In 1798 the Battle of Saintfield was the first major victory for the United Irishmen in Ulster. The York Fencibles took the major part in the battle and suffered very heavy losses (56 officers and men from a total force of 250).

However the Royal York Lodge remained in existence and to this day still meets every month. The Lodge is very proud of its origins and still honours the men of the York Fencible Regiment.

Monday 9 July 2007

"Brethren In Arms" Tie

Click on the above image to see a larger version of our "Brethren In Arms" Tie produced to commemorate the end of Operation Banner. See our "Brethren In Arms" Association.
Orders can be made, via the lodge e-mail address:
Price: £15 including presentation pack.

Saturday 23 June 2007

12th Booklet Article

Bro. Iain Jamieson (in WWI battle dress) looks over: The great 12th Float of the Eagles Wing, The Regimental Dinner, Rebels & Fencibles relaxing at the Saintfield Festival and Members at our meeting in the House of Lords, Palace of Westminster.


York is a very old Lodge having been formed from the ranks of the York Fencible Regiment in 1796. The Regiment was stationed in Ulster to protect Britain from French invasion. During the 1798 uprising the York Fencibles played a major role. In June 1798 the Regiment took part in the Battle of Saintfield and lost 56 officers and men [out of a total strength of 270]. The Regiment was disbanded in 1802 when some of it’s members joined the newly formed Rifle Brigade and fought with Wellington against Napoleon’s armies in Spain, France, and at Waterloo. However the Lodge remained in existence and the Lodge warrant (signed by the future King of Hanover, hence ‘Royal’) made its way back to Belfast where LOL145 has met on the first Wednesday of every month ever since.
York has always been very active in the support of Orangeism and the ideals of the Glorious Revolution. Over the years the Lodge has supplied a number of Orange leaders in Ireland and worldwide. The Lodge has also sponsored two successful daughter Lodges. In recent years the lodge has sought to develop and expand the cultural and community side of Orangeism. The Lodge has always been very proud of its origin in the York Fencibles. The Lodge has explored the history of the 1798 in Ulster and especially the Battle of Saintfield. The Lodge was the driving force in the creation of the York Island Arts and Heritage Association [York Island is a small area of ground just outside Saintfield where the dead of the York Fencible Regiment are mainly buried]. The Assoc. has gone from strength to strength and set up a film company, which produced a much-acclaimed film about the Battle of Saintfield, “Brethren in Arms”. Many Lodge members took part in the film and wore the red and gold uniform of their brothers who originally created LOL 145. The Assoc. has also produced an original play about the 1798 entitled “Who dares speak”. Arising from the Association’s work on the film the Down Council asked them to organise the Saintfield Festival, which has now become an annual event. This January the Lodge held a York Fencible Regimental dinner in honour of the members who died at Saintfield.
York is also the only private Lodge to have held a meeting and dinner in the Palace of Westminster (by invitation of Lodge members Lord Rogan and Lord Laird). This historic event was held to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and was attended by many prominent guests including the Grand Masters of England and Scotland. York Lodge has been very active in support of the Grand Lodge of Belfast’s efforts to make the Twelfth of July parade even more attractive to the community generally and to tourists in particular. The Lodge has had a float or similar attraction in the procession for the past three years. These included a large scale model of a seventeenth century emigrant ship, a horse drawn brake containing Lodge members in the uniform of the York Fencible Regiment, and a float displaying the talents of the only English Lambeg drumming Club, “Luton and Bedford”.
The Lodge has ambitious plans for the future including an “Orange” picnic at the Boyne which will have re-enactment displays, a variety of top stage acts, and extensive catering including a hog roast. It has also been involved in academic ventures, working with the Queen’s LOL 1845 and The Queen’s University Ulster Society to produce a definitive online record of Orange and Loyal Songs and Poems. We have also been a t the forefront of entering the online arena with the creation of our own lodge website, with histories, events and photographs of Royal York.
The future is Orange and LOL 145 intends to be there.

Wednesday 20 June 2007

Join the "Brethren In Arms" Association

The Association of
Brethren in Arms

The association of Brethren in Arms was founded primarily but not exclusively to commemorate the role played by all those members of the Loyal Orders who contributed in diverse ways to Operation Banner, the army’s support of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and later the Police Service of Northern Ireland over the past years.
From the soldiers of the regular army, the men of the RUC, The RUC Reserve , The Ulster Defence Regiment , The Home Service Battalions of The Royal Irish Regiment , The Civilian Support Services , and all those un-named civilians who’s assistance , prayers and support all contributed to the campaign .
The part played by the families of those who served cannot be forgotten, the wives and sweethearts, the sons and daughters, the parents and grandparents who waited in hope of that familiar voice and dread of that ever too frequent knock on the door.
“They Also Serve Who Only Stand And Wait”
The scope of the association has been widened to include all those who served for sovereign and country in the many campaigns throughout history. Those who served in and for the cause of Ulster both at home and overseas from the army of King William, through the years of rebellion in Ireland. In two world wars, and subsequent conflicts, to those who still serve in the many conflicts throughout the world. Their service and sacrifice continues the long history of Ulster’s loyalty to sovereign and country. All of the above mentioned gave some, some gave all and it is our intention to insure that their service and sacrifice is neither forgotten nor understated in the cause of political correctness.
Truly they were and are
Brethren in Arms.
They Shall Grow Not Old As We Who Are Left Grow Old
Age Shall Not Weary Them Nor The Years Condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them

Friday 1 June 2007

Irish Language Consultation Letter

Margaret O'Keeffe
Irish Language Bill Team
Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure
3rd Floor Interpoint
20-24 York Street
BT15 1AQ

Friday, 01 June 2007

Dear Margaret O'Keeffe,

Re: Irish Language Bill Consultation

I am writing to you on behalf of the officers and brethren of Royal York LOL 145, in connection with the above consultation.

It is the opinion of the lodge that this legislation is divisive and detrimental to the community in Northern Ireland. It does not allow for the parity of esteem that should be enjoyed by Ulster-Scots in law, funding and accessibility and has been introduced purely for political motives. This is not Scotland or Wales where language is a neutral issue, and also there is more than one language that could claim to be the native language of Northern Ireland.

Without the legislation being joint between Irish and Ulster-Scots, and promoting equality between those two languages, it is doomed to be perceived in a sectarian manner and be resented by the majority, and avoided by even most of its speakers.

It must not be allowed to continue.

Yours truly,

Graham Steven Barton
Worshipful Master
Royal York L.O.L. 145

Thursday 17 May 2007

In Memoriam: Brother David Hanlon

20th May 1921 - 13th May 2007

Brother Hanlon joined the Loyal Orange Institution from the age of 14, and was a constant and diligent attendee in both the Orange and the Black. A good member of York, he attended meetings right up until his death and has a record unsurpassed by any other member. He will be missed by all his fellow brethren.

Sunday 22 April 2007

Grand Variety Concert A Great Success!

Our Grand Variety Concert has been a great success, raising a great deal of funds for our ventures and providing a great night of entertainment in Clifton Street orange hall, for a large crowd. A great time was had by all, the video about is only a small taste of a great night.

Thursday 5 April 2007

Grand Variety Concert

Royal York L.O.L. 145
Belfast Orange Hall
Clifton Street
Saturday, 21st April 2007
Admission at door: £5

Colonel Saunderson Memorial Corps of Drums
Purdysburn Flute Band
Ballysillan Highland Dancers
Lisburn Songwriters Circle
The Official "Royal York" Piper
A Number of Characters from Old Belfast

for more information e-mail us:

Sunday 18 March 2007

Distinguished Brethren

The members of “York” have come from all walks of life: - Merchants, Artisans, the Medical Profession, the Law, Journalism and the Church. With such a varied source of members the lodge can boast many distinguished men who have been associated with it.

Notable amongst these was Wor. Brother Sir Joseph Davison, D.L.. He was Grand Master of Ireland from 1941 until 1948 and Imperial Grand Master for the Orange Council of the World from 1937 until 1948 the year in which he died.

Wor. Brother Barlow who was an authority on Orange History, also was Deputy Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland and the Orange Council of the World.

Brother Robert J. Adgey, a good member of “York”, was one of the original planners of the famous gun running expedition. His work during those critical days brought him in contact with Ulster’s famous leader Lord Carson and Viscount Craigavon.

The lodge can boast many politicians in its history. It has had two Lord Mayors of Belfast. Wor. Brother Walter Johnston, P. M., Brother George Hall, Brother J. Harcourt and Brother T. L. Cole had all served in the Belfast Corporation, the latter also being a member of the Northern Ireland Parliament. Dr. Norman Laird, OBE also served as a member of the Northern Ireland Parliament.

In modern times, the lodge has a membership as varied from students and old age pensioners to peers of the realm.

Wor. Brother Lord John Laird of Artigarvan is a member of the lodge, as well as a crossbencher in the House of Lords, and is well known for his works for the Ulster-Scots agency. He was also (before its prorogation) a Member of the Northern Ireland Parliament.

Wor. Brother. Lord Dennis Rogan of Lower Ivegh is also a member of the lodge and was given his peerage at the same time as Lord Laird. He has been involved with politics in the Ulster Unionist Party for many years, serving as Secretary to the party and being its leader in the Lords.

Saturday 3 March 2007

A Short History of Royal York L.O.L. 145

York L.O.L. 145 has the distinction of being one of the oldest working lodges in Belfast, having been formed before the 1798 Battle of Saintfield from the ranks of the York Fencible Regiment and originally called The Royal York Independent L.O.L. 145. The prefix 'Royal' was awarded by the signature on the warrant of the fifth son of King George III who later became King of Hanover. The suffix 'Independent' was dropped when the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland came into being in 1800.

According to a report in the Belfast News Letter, the Regiment distinguished itself during the Irish Rebellion if 1798, particularly at the battle of Ballynahinch (shown above) on June 12, 1798.

The English regiments were supplemented by loyal Ulster Protestants during the Rebellion, and some of these helped regulars from the "York Regiment" to form the "Royal York Independent Lodge 145".

The Lodge first met in Frederick Street, Belfast, in 1796, four years before the formation of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. The word "Royal" was used in the Lodge's title because the original warrant was signed by Prince Ernest, fifth son of King George III.

Prince Ernest became Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, and Earl of Armagh, and later, in 1837, became King of Hanover. The Prince was Imperial Grand Master in 1828.

According to the Newsletter in July 1799, the Lodge organised the first 12th July procession in Belfast, in that same year.

More recently the lodge has been on trips to the Boyne, Dan Winters Cottage, and to London for the Jubilee march through Trafalgar Square.

The lodge has a good family tradition with the descendants of many families being members though the years. It is the only lodge in No. 3 District to wear the traditional Sash on parade and carry a flag instead of a banner, this dating from the lodges military origins.

The membership of the lodge is made up of a wide cross section of the population comprising business men, surgeons and even an undertaker in its time.

The two most notable offices held by members of the lodge are that of Deputy County Grand Secretary (W,Bro. Val Young) and Grand and County Grand Treasurer (W.Bro. Mervyn Bishop).

Saturday 20 January 2007

Qualifications of an Orangeman

The Master and Members of every Lodge into which a Candidate is proposed to be elected must satisfy themselves with all due solemnity previous to this admission that he possesses the following qualification. It is to these criteria that every Orangemen should dedicate himself.

An Orangeman should have a sincere love and veneration for his Heavenly Father, a humble and steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, believing in Him as the only Mediator between God and man. He should cultivate truth and justice, brotherly kindness and charity, devotion and piety, concord and unity, and obedience to the laws; his deportment should be gentle and compassionate, kind and courteous; he should seek the society of the virtuous, and avoid that of the evil; he should honour and diligently study the Holy Scriptures, and make them the rule of his faith and practice; he should love, uphold, and defend the Protestant religion, and sincerely desire and endeavour to propagate its doctrines and precepts; he should strenuously oppose the fatal errors and doctrines of the Church of Rome and other Non-Reformed faiths, and scrupulously avoid countenancing (by his presence or otherwise) any act or ceremony of Roman Catholic or other non-Reformed Worship; he should, by all lawful means, resist the ascendancy, encroachments, and the extension of their power, ever abstaining from all uncharitable words, actions, or sentiments towards all those who do not practice the Reformed and Christian Faith; he should remember to keep holy the Sabbath Day, and attend the public worship of God, and diligently train up his offspring, and all under his control, in the fear of God, and in the Protestant faith; he should never take the name of God in vain, but abstain from all cursing and profane language, and use every opportunity of discouraging those, and all other sinful practices, in others; his conduct should be guided by wisdom and prudence, and marked by honesty, temperance, and sobriety, the glory of God and the welfare of man, the honour of his Sovereign, and the good of his country, should be the motives of his actions.

Sunday 14 January 2007

York Fencible Regimental Dinner

12th January 2007

Wor. Bro. Lord Rogan of Lower Iveagh toasts the regiment of York Fencibles at the Annual Royal York LOL 145 dinner.