Monday 14 December 2009


Orange Order Grand Master Robert Saulters, pictured with senior unionist figures at the launch of the project to build interpretive centres on Orangeism in Belfast and Loughall. From left, David McNarry, Ulster Unionist Party, Peter Robinson, DUP leader, Mr Saulters and Jim Allister, TUV Leader.

The Orange Order has launched ambitious plans to develop interpretive centres at its headquarters in Belfast and in Loughall,Co. Armagh,  the founding place of Orangeism.

The Order is the lead partner in a £4M project which will see museums and interpretive centres at Schomberg House, Belfast, and Sloan’s House in Loughall.

“It will be an unequalled historical collection of historical material relating to Orangeism,” said Director of Services Dr. David Hume.

An application for the iconic proposal has been submitted to a European Funding Programme along with a detailed business plan.

Dr. Hume went on;
“It is a central plank of the submission that the Orange Order has a key role in society and that unless there is engagement with the Order from the wider community, there will continue to be misunderstandings leading to conflict and lack of respect for difference cultures.
“The Orange interpretive centres proposal gives the opportunity for that understanding to develop.”

Planning permissions has already been obtained for the proposed development at Schomberg House, while permission is pending for the Loughall site.

Museum consultants from London have visited both sites and produced detailed plans to enhance the outstanding collection of artefacts and documents which is held by the Orange Order.
Their suggestions include the re-creation of a one-third replica model of the sculpture of King William on Clifton Street Orange Hall in Belfast as a focal point for the display area at Schomberg House.
An early 20th century Orange Hall would also be created inside the building and would be utilised as the entrance to a new dedicated museum area as well as an educational resource for school and community visits, and a location for lodge meetings.
At Loughall, there are plans for tableaux which will recreate the signing of the first Orange Lodge warrants in 1795.

Already 100 Orange lodges across Ireland have written in support of the proposals and highlighted that they have historical materials which they would wish to place in any new interpretive centre.
Support letters from across the community have also been submitted with the application with testimonials from schools and community groups who have engaged with the Order and its community education programme.

In addition, the Cavan County and Monaghan County Museums and the Millmount Museum in Drogheda have signed up to be partners with the Loughall Centre, while the Somme Centre and the White House at Whiteabbey are partners with the Schomberg House project. This means that the various sites will be able to transfer exhibitions and literature will be on hand at each encouraging visitors to the others.

“This is without doubt one of the most significant projects ever undertaken by the Orange Order,” said Dr. Hume.
“We know there is a massive appetite from all sections of the community about our history and these interpretive centres will become the focal point for anyone who has a sense of history and tradition and wants to learn more.”

The plans were unveiled to politicians, opinion formers, historians and other interested people at an event in Schomberg House.

Wednesday 11 November 2009


Edward Stevenson, Deputy Grand Master, Robert Saulters, Grand Master, and Mervyn Bishop, Grand Treasurer.

The Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Robert Saulters, has spoken of the sacrifice made by Orangemen during the Troubles.

He was speaking at the annual Remembrance Day Memorial Service at the headquarters of the Order, Schomberg House , on the Cregagh Road in east Belfast, on Wednesday, November 11.

He said:

Today, we gather to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for democracy and freedom.

We remember the men and women who died while serving their country, in conflicts all over the world. We think back to the battlefields of the First World War and the Second World War, Korea and the Falklands and many more.

More recently we have seen our armed forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many service personnel who are based here in Northern Ireland have served with great distinction in those countries.

Tragically some of them have been killed and others have been severely injured. They have suffered physical injury and many have suffered mental injury, which can take as long to heal.

Today as we lay poppy crosses we should remember those brave people. And we should also let their colleagues and their families know that they have overwhelming support in the community.

Last year, I had the privilege of attending the Homecoming Parade in Belfast. It was one of the most uplifting events I have ever seen. Hopefully the soldiers on parade on that day will have seen just how much we think of them.

We must also think today of the people who lost their lives in the Troubles – those people murdered by terrorists while doing their duty or going about their daily lives. And we must never forget those who were injured.

At the beginning of the Troubles, the Orange Order encouraged people to join the security forces and serve this country. Many of our members joined the police and the Ulster Defence Regiment and served with bravery and honour.

They made a serious commitment to the well-being and safety of everyone in this community. They did their duty but paid a terrible price.

Throughout the Troubles, the Orange Institution lost 330 people who were killed by the gun and bomb. That is approximately one tenth of those who died in all those years.
It is too easy to forget the price paid by Orangemen, the length and breadth of this country.

Of those 330 Orangemen who were killed, 214 of them were serving in the security forces or had previously served. The cowards who cut them down did not really care whether or not they still wore the uniform of their country.

In fact many of the murders were carried out while our brethren were at their most vulnerable, going about their civilian lives.

We should not forget our brethren who died because they chose to serve the community. Republicans are trying desperately to re-write history – to airbrush their evil deeds from the pages of the history books that are still to be written.

They have sought to vilify the Orange Order, they have sought to explain their campaign of ethnic cleansing as some sort of justified war. That is warped logic and we will not let them away with it. They can re-write their own books but they will not be allowed to change the true history of what they did.

Protestants, unionists and the loyal orders have had enough of republicans claiming that they had the right to take lives as part of what they called the armed struggle. They had no such right and we will not let them away with it.

They do not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the people who put on a uniform and swore allegiance to Queen and country.

We asked our members to join the security forces and now we owe them our support. We need to stand up for them.

Their sacrifices will not be forgotten, the pain and anguish of the loved ones they left behind will not be forgotten.

We will ensure that on days like this – Remembrance Day – we remember all the service personnel who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

We all have a unique covenant with the military. It is up to all of us, and our government, to ensure that soldiers are looked after properly – while serving abroad and here at home. We must also ensure that the after care for those injured and traumatised is as good as it should be.

This country and indeed the world would be a very different place if it was not for the armed forces.

Their courage should make the rest of us feel very humble.

We will remember them.

Sunday 1 November 2009

Palmer Street Remembrance Day Service

PARADE - Sunday 8th November 2009
Palmer St. Remembrance Day Service organised by United Districts
Brethren to assemble at 1415 in Regent Street at rear of Belfast Orange Hall for 1430 parade.
The Worshipful Master requests that any Brethren not attending other Remembrance services to please attend this parade to honour those killed in the Defence of Ulster.


Tuesday 27 October 2009


The Sham Fight – one of the biggest days in the summer calendar – has been captured on canvas.

The event is held in Scarva on July 13 every year and approximately 100,000 people pack into the tiny village to enjoy the occasion. It is probably the biggest single cultural event of the year in Northern Ireland.
Local Black Preceptory RBP 1000 organise the Sham Fight each year and there is little surprise when King William and his followers once again overpower King James.
The fight takes place in front of Scarvagh House with thousands of people cheering on the soldiers taking part.
RBP 1000 in partnership with Altnaveigh House, a community based organisation in Newry, commissioned a painting of the famous event.
Banbridge artist Bruce White has captured the day in a unique painting of the re-enactment. Set against the backdrop of Scarvagh House, the artist has brought all of the key players together.
The original painting will be held by the Imperial Grand Black Chapter and will be on display at their headquarters in Brownlow House, Lurgan.
A limited edition fine art print of the painting has been released for sale. Limited to 1000 copies (representing RBP 1000) the print will be on sale for £100 each. Each print is signed and numbered by the artist and will be accompanied by a short history of the Sham Fight.
All proceeds will go to the Sham Fight Committee and the Altnaveigh House Project.
The official unveiling of the painting will take place at Scarvagh House, Scarva, on Saturday, October 31 at 11am under the watchful eye of some of the Williamite and Jacobite soldiers depicted in the work of art.

The No. 1 print will be presented to Mr Alfie Buller, who owns Scarvagh House and the No. 1000 print will be presented to RBP 1000.
 The original painting will be presented to the Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution, Millar Farr.
Details of how to get the print can be obtained by emailing

Monday 26 October 2009


A valuable and historic book from the year of the Battle of the Boyne has been presented by Belfast City Council to the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

The Paymaster General’s Book from 1690 was held by Belfast City Council for many years after having been presented to Belfast Corporation. When the council realised the importance of the book and the records it contained about King William’s Army, they approached the Orange Order.

Councillor William Humphrey, Chairman of the Council Culture, Development and Arts Committee, presented the book – on permanent loan – to the Orange Order. It will be held in their headquarters, Schomberg House, and form part of their archive.

The Paymaster General was Thomas Coningsby, an ardent supporter of King William, who was alongside him for much of the Williamite Wars.

The Orange Order Library in Schomberg House is called the Conningsby Room.

Councillor Humphrey said that Belfast City Council did not really appreciate the historical significance of the book.

“We knew that it had been presented to the old Belfast Corporation way back in the mists of time,” he said.

“But, we did not really appreciate just how much information there was in it, until we gave it a more detailed examination. You could almost say this was a narrative of the events of 1690 and the start of the Williamite Wars. It is incredibly interesting and fortunately has been maintained in pristine condition.

”We decided to give it on permanent loan to the Orange Order so that more people would have access to it and read the fascinating detail.”

Dr. Jonathan Mattison, Research Assistant at the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, said the book was a goldmine of information.

“We are delighted to have such an important piece of history for display in Schomberg House,” he said.

“We are currently developing plans for the creation of an Interpretative and Educational Centre so that the whole community can learn about the Orange and related tradition in Irish, British and world history. Manuscript material like this book will have pride of place.

“We are extremely grateful to Belfast City Council for placing such an item with us.”

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Reformation Day Church Service

PARADE - Sunday 25th October 2009
Reformation Day Church Parade organised by Belfast County
Brethren to assemble at District Assembly at 1415 for parade at 1430 sharp.
The Worshipful Master requests full attendance at this important commemoration of our Reformed Faith's beginnings.


Wednesday 26 August 2009


The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has issued the following statement about the incident in Meigh, County Armagh, when armed men staged a roadblock in the village.

“We are extremely concerned at the situation which is developing in South Armagh, where the police appear to have surrendered effective control in some areas to paramilitary groups.
“Although not so well publicised, we believe this is also happening in parts of Fermanagh, which are not being policed.
“We are now seeing the inevitable legacy of the Patton Report.
“We fully support the policemen and women on the ground, who are being left in an impossible and life threatening position, because of the politically inspired changes to policing which are designed to appease rather that deliver a better service.”

Tuesday 14 July 2009


The County Grand Master of Belfast, Rt. Wor. Bro. Dawson Bailey, made the following speech at the twelfth platform proceedings:

It is with immense pleasure and pride as County Master of Belfast that I add my personal welcome to you all on this our 319th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne celebrations.
I am particularly pleased to welcome so many of the Orange family from around the globe as they attend the Imperial Orange Council of the World.
I have had the privilege of enjoying the hospitality extended by overseas Orange jurisdictions in Scotland, England and Canada. Therefore it is a great pleasure to return their kindness, as you join the loyal citizens of Northern Ireland’s capital city in celebrating King William’s victory at the Boyne.

There has been much talk about the membership numbers of the institution in recent days. We could debate the reasons for the decline but I believe the real story is that the Orange Institution remains strong and grounded in its foundation principles.
We are a global family of Protestants bound together in a brotherhood to promote the Reformed Faith and defend the civil and religious liberties won for all by the Glorious revolution.
Our influence has neither diminished or increased – the Orange Institution remains the largest organisation committed to the United Kingdom, we are a broad church, both in terms of our politics and our faith. We have all shades of Unionist within our ranks and a wide denominational spread.
Our strength is not in our numbers – which by any standards are still large – but our strength lies in our determination to remain British – our strength comes from the one and only true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I don’t need to remind those present Gideon only required 300 to defeat the enemies of his day.

The Twelfth celebrations attract hundreds of thousands on to the streets to watch and support us, the live television broadcast attracts by far the largest share of an audience on BBC Northern Ireland and over recent years tens of thousands have joined us live on the web. Not bad for an organisation that has been going for over 200 years.
Not bad for an organisation whose obituary has been written by many commentators. Not bad for an organisation who along with the rest of the community have faced 30 years of terrorist attack.
Let me say to those who are trying to write off the Orange Institution. The Twelfth is still the biggest event in the country. The Twelfth is growing. The Orange Order remains committed to the principles of our forefathers and the freedoms won at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne. We are not going away you know.

The freedoms we enjoy have been defended down through the generations. Members of the Orange Order have always rallied to the flag or supported those sent in our name to fight for King and Country. As we passed in our resolution today, we remember with pride those who landed on the shores of Normandy 65 years ago this year. Those from our Army, Navy and Air Force and the Allied Forces who established that bridge head on the beaches of Frances so the invasion of Europe could begin. We salute their memory with pride as they fought to defeat Nazism – one of the greatest evils the world has seen. Over recent decades our armed forces have fought terrorism in Kenya, Cyprus and many other countries.

We in the Orange and Unionist community bore the brunt of a terrorist campaign for over 30 years when republicans murdered Protestants simply because they were Protestant or served in the security forces. Sadly many innocent Roman Catholics were also slaughtered in the so called cause for a United Ireland. This Institution saw over 300 of our brethren murdered.
We will never forget their deaths or sacrifice, indeed we will remember all those innocent victims murdered by terrorists. However, one thing we will not take is a lecture from people like Martin McGuinness, who had the cheek to recently accuse the Orange Institution of not contributing to peace in this province.
How dare he. The contribution to peace by this loyal order in Northern Ireland is written large in the headstones and memorial plaques in cemeteries and Orange Halls the length and breadth of Ulster.
The former IRA man may now be a politician but the terror and mayhem his organisation brought to our streets, will not be forgotten by the Unionist community. The Orange Institution will continue to build peace in this part of the United Kingdom but we will keep a watchful eye on Mr McGuinness and his mates to ensure they do not speak with forked tongues.

And speaking of traditional enemies, I would like to wish Parades Commission chairman Roger Poole well as he departs these shores, sadly not before time. The Parades Commission‘s contribution to community relations could be likened to an ashtray on a motorbike – a waste of space.
They are a ship that is holed below the water, their captain has abandoned them and the remaining crew are re-arranging the deckchairs as the water rises around them. May I say to those left on board – nobody is going to throw you a lifeline. Your cruise is nearly over – abandon ship. Let me also fire a warning shot across the bows of the owner – the Secretary of State – the Parades Commission must go. No makeover or charm offensive will make them acceptable to this Institution. May I take this opportunity to thank the First Minister and all our Unionist politicians for their promise and commitment to rid us of the Parades Commission. We look forward to the demise of the Commission in the months ahead.

May I conclude by asking for your ongoing prayers for those who are serving Queen and Country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many forget we are at war – as we assemble here today, men and women are fighting on the frontline. Risking their lives and sadly some are dying so that you and I and generations yet unborn can live free from the evil of terrorism. May God bless them and keep them safe as we pray for their success.

Monday 13 July 2009

Have a Happy and Glorious Twelfth!

William crossing the Boyne

From the Worshipful Master, Officers and Brethren of Royal York LOL 145, we wish you a Happy and Glorious "Twelfth" Celebration.



Sunday 12 July 2009

1 Day to GO! - 2009 "Twelfth" Day Resolutions

Three resolutions will be read at all the Twelfth demonstrations on July 13.



We give thanks to Almighty God for the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit throughout the world.
As members of the Loyal Orange Institution we declare ourselves to be a Christian organisation, which embraces cultural, social and political aspects. Our Christian foundation is supreme and on this foundation these other aspects rest. It behoves us never to forget that Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone on which our Institution is built.
In this year of 2009 we mark two significant dates. We remember the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin, who was born on 10 July 1509, and we give thanks to God for the impact he had upon the Reformed Church. We also
remember with deep gratitude and thanksgiving to Almighty God the 150th anniversary of the Great Revival of 1859 here in Ulster. That great spiritual awakening is challenging us today as a Christian organisation, once again to play our part as a reviving influence in our land, through the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Let us get back to the simple purity of Christ’s teaching and example; back to the evangelising spirit of our forefathers; back to the basics of our Protestant Reformed Evangelical faith; back to the reviving power of the Cross of Christ that was so powerfully evidenced here in Ulster in the Year of Grace 1859.



We do hereby reaffirm our devotion and loyalty to the Throne and Person of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her other Realms, Defender of The Faith.

We urge all the members of the Orange Institution to display their loyalty to full measure by playing their part in the civic life of their communities and our country, and set an example of good citizenship for the well-being of Northern Ireland.



We stand firm for the Union of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We re-affirm, along with the members of the Loyal Orange Institution in England and Scotland, our commitment to the Act of Settlement of 1701 and urge those in authority to uphold the Constitution as handed down to our generation.

As an Institution which has lost 335 members to a vicious terrorist campaign in Northern Ireland, we re-iterate our belief that there is a clear moral distinction between innocent victims and those who killed and maimed them. We will never accept the false premise that those who committed acts of terrorism and murder should be granted an amnesty. Ultimately all those who involved themselves in terrorism must answer to their consciences and to God.

We acknowledge that there are many within society who bear the scars of terrorism, who still live with the pain and trauma of the past. May they be assured of our continued support.

We are also mindful that 2009 is the 65th anniversary year of the D Day Landings, which helped secure victory in Europe during the Second World War, and we give thanks that through the efforts of Allied soldiers at Normandy a bridgehead was created which defeated the terror of the Nazi regime. We are mindful that at this time brave soldiers stand on our behalf in Iraq and Afghanistan, defending democracy in these troubled times. As we extend our sympathy to the families of those killed or wounded we thank them and those continuing the campaign on behalf of the free world.

We issue a warm welcome to the delegates from across the world attending the Imperial Orange Council in Belfast this week, and trust that their visit will strengthen our links as a worldwide fraternity. We are reminded by their presence that we are the largest Protestant fraternity in the world and give thanks to God for the work and witness of the Orange Institution in past and present generations.

Saturday 11 July 2009

DM poses as King William with First Minister Peter Robinson

Royal York LOL 145 Deputy Master Andrew Charles as King William with First Minister Rt. Hon. Peter Robinson MP MLA at a welcome event for the Imperial Grand Lodge at Stormont

2 Days to the "Twelfth"


This year’s 'Battle of the Boyne' Anniversary Celebrations in Belfast on 13 July will be complemented by a full day of activity in the City Centre. Lamp posts will be adorned with banners and a leaflet produced jointly by Belfast Orangefest and Belfast City Centre Management will outline details of the Procession route, Shop opening times, Transport arrangements and On-Street entertainment.

The Orange procession will pass through Royal Avenue, Donegall Place, Donegall Square West and Bedford Street between 10am and 12:00pm, with the City Centre shops opening between 12:30pm and 4:30pm. During this afternoon period, world class street entertainment will take place, providing an array of dazzling performance artists from around the globe.

Star performers visiting Belfast include:
• The Von Trolley Quartet from Australia
• Mario, Queen of the Circus from the U.S.A.
• The Strangelings will present The Gaiety Engine

Street performance shows are scheduled on the hour from 12.30 to 4.30 in
• Cornmarket / Arthur Square
• In front of Castlecourt Shopping Centre, Royal Avenue
• Rosemary Street
• Fountain Street

A U105 roadshow will operate outside Castlecourt Shopping Centre between 11:30am and 2:30pm,

The Orange Parade will return through the city centre at approximately 5:00pm.

Translink are providing Metro and Train Services on 13 July 2009, which are above the normal level of public holiday services, and more frequent than Sunday services.
• At least half-hourly on all corridor services
• Hourly services on some non-core routes which don’t have a Sunday service

Tom Haire, Chair of Belfast Orangefest, said:

" We are looking forward to a wonderful celebration as we welcome visitors from around the world to our annual 12th festivities and celebrations. The Orange Institution in Belfast is pleased to support the opening of the city retailers, especially in the present economic climate and we would encourage all in the City Centre on 13th July to enjoy the parade and enjoy the shopping".

Andrew Irvine, Belfast City Centre Manager, said:

“We have been pleased to facilitate a true partnership between Orangefest and Belfast Chamber of Trade & Commerce. The result of this good work will be day of pageantry, entertainment and performance. This setting provides an ideal environment for the city’s retailers to open their business and enjoy high levels of footfall. While this is the first time that Belfast Chamber of Trade & Commerce has asked its members to open for business on The Twelfth, some 80% of city centre retailers have committed to opening. I do believe that over the period of the day, there is something for everyone and all the ingredients for a great family day-out.

Friday 10 July 2009

3 Days to the "Twelfth"


Shops in the centre of Belfast will stay open on the Twelfth this year, which will be held on Monday, July 13.

Orangefest, on behalf of the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast, and Belfast City Centre Management have been working on the initiative since last year, in partnership with the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The shops will open around 12.30 when the Orange parade has passed through the city centre and is on its way to the demonstration field at Barnett’s Demesne, near Shaw’s Bridge. They will close around 4.30pm, or one hour before the parade makes its return journey.

Councillor William Humphrey, Deputy Chairman of Orangefest, said:

“The Twelfth is now a major tourist attraction in the Northern Ireland calendar. We know that as well as local people, there are many others who time their visits to the province to co-incide with the celebrations.

“The County Grand Lodge of Belfast and Orangefest have been working for several years to enhance the family friendly atmosphere to the Twelfth and this has been extremely successful.

“The colour, pageantry and music of the Twelfth in Belfast is enjoyed by tens of thousands of people.

“We have worked very successfully with Belfast City Centre Management, the Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Belfast City Council and the police to bring about this major development, which we believe will be in everyone’s interests. People will be able to enjoy the parade and take time to have something to eat in the local restaurants or do a bit of shopping.

“The Twelfth in Belfast has become a true festival and we will continue to work to improve the day for everyone. Last year, in conjunction with the police, there was a clampdown on street drinking and this added to the family friendly atmosphere. We will be working closely with the police again this year and we would ask all supporters and visitors to work with us, and the police, to make the Belfast Twelfth a very special and enjoyable day for everyone.”

Thursday 9 July 2009


The annual Twelfth parade in Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal, will be held on Saturday, July 11.

Fifty lodges from Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan , as well as visiting Orangemen, will take part in the parade which begins close to St. John’s Parish Church at 1.15pm.

The parade then goes to the demonstration field, on the edge of the shoreline – surely one of the most beautiful locations for an Orange parade anywhere in the world.

Visiting Orange dignitaries from around the world will lead the parade, set against the backdrop of the Donegal Hills and the rolling breakers of the Atlantic.

A religious service will be held at 3pm and the guest speaker will be the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Robert Saulters.

The Twelfth in Donegal has been held in Rossnowlagh since 1978 and it has become traditional to hold the parade on the Saturday before the main Twelfth parades. This means that lodges in the Irish Republic are able to attend the Twelfth demonstrations in Northern Ireland.
There are 44 Orange Halls in Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Leitrim and the Orange Order has members in nine counties in the Irish Republic.

4 Days to the "Twelfth"


There will be an international flavour to the Twelfth celebrations in Northern Ireland this year.

Delegates from all over the world will attend a three day conference of the Imperial Grand Council and take part in various parades on Monday, July 13 and the Co. Donegal demonstration in Rossnowlagh on Saturday, July 11.

Royal York LOL 145 will be celebrating this with a Horse Drawn Brake in the procession at Belfast, welcoming the delegates.

The Imperial Grand Council meets every three years and was last held in held in Belfast in 1997.

The three day conference on issues affecting the Orange Institution will include more than 100 delegates from the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, England, Scotland, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Togo and Ghana.

The Imperial Grand President, Robert Saulters, who is also Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, will welcome brethren from around the world.

He said:

“This is a very important year for us as it is our turn to host the Imperial Grand Council. The meetings will be held during the Twelfth week when many important issues relating to our Orange Institution will be discussed.

“This is the 43rd meeting of the Imperial Council, the first having taken place in London in 1867. We look forward to welcoming the delegates, visitors and friends back to our jurisdiction.

“An extensive programme of events has been arranged and I would hope that our visitors will go home and spread the good news of Ulster hospitality from the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.”

Orangeism spread rapidly throughout Ireland and abroad after its establishment in 1795.

The primary means of its spread included emigration of Irish Protestants, and the extension of the Orange tradition through military warrants, lodges which met in regiments sent around the British Empire. Mission work in places such as West Africa also led to the growth of Orangeism there.

It was not until 1867 that Orangemen from across the world met to discuss how best to further the “cause of Truth, and the extension of the Orange Society”.

A year earlier, a preliminary conference had been held in Belfast to discuss the proposal of William Shannon, who was the Grand Secretary of Central Canada.

The suggestion had already won favour with many senior Orangemen, including William Johnston of Ballykilbeg and the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland gave its approval in a motion proposed by Johnston in December 1865.

The first meeting of the Imperial Orange Council of the World took place in Radley’s Hotel in London on July 17, 1867, with the Earl of Enniskillen appointed as the first President.
The Imperial Orange Council is not a governing body, as it does not make laws or rules for Orange Grand Lodges, but it does bring together the various jurisdictions in a spirit of fraternity and fellowship in witness to the founding principles of 1867.

The Imperial Orange Council meets every three years at a different country in which a Grand Lodge exists and was last held in Toronto.

Wednesday 8 July 2009

5 Days to the "Twelfth"


The parade to mark the 319th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne will leave Belfast Orange Hall, at Carisle Circus, at 10.00am, Monday, 13 July 2009.

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

A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the City Hall 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.

It is expected that 70 bands will take part in the parade.

A service of thanksgiving will be conducted by Dr. Victor Ryan, Imperial Grand Chaplain and the guest speaker will be Dawson Baillie, Belfast County Grand Master.

In the Twelfth booklet, Mr Baillie said:

“I have been delighted to see so much restoration work being carried out in our Orange Halls. However, despite the so called peace process, the enemies of Ulster continue to attack our halls with many of the attacks not being reported. But I would encourage our brethren to continue with the good work.

“We have progress on one hand but on the other we still have the disliked and discredited Parades Commission, but it is to be hoped that the government will soon see the error of its ways and remove it from our midst.

“Over recent years we have been endeavouring to make the Twelfth a family day out with some success. As well as the traditional service of thanksgiving at the field we have been providing some entertainment and we would encourage families and friends of our brethren to come and join us and make the day a wonderful success.”

Tuesday 7 July 2009


The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has condemned vandalism attacks on two Orange Halls over the weekend.

Sectarian slogans were daubed on the Orange Hall in the centre of Rasharkin. This is the fourth time this year that the hall has been the target for attack.

Paint was also thrown at the front of, our own, Belfast Orange Hall, at Carisle Circus.

Extensive work was recently carried out to enhance the appearance of the hall, which is the location for the start of the Belfast Twelfth Parade.

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has also condemned recent attacks on Orangemen and their property.

Missiles were thrown at Orangemen taking part in the Whiterock parade on Saturday and over the weekend sectarian slogans were daubed on Greencastle Orange Hall.

In a separate incident, sectarian slogans were daubed on the car belonging to an Orange Order chaplain, attending an open air church service at Aghadavey, near Antrim.

The Orange Order said:

“There has been an upsurge in hate crimes against the Orange Order in recent days. We believe that intemperate remarks by leaders of the nationalist community have created an atmosphere , which is seized upon by criminal elements to justify their actions and attacks on Orange culture.

“Last November the SDLP’s Social Development Minister called the Orange Order ‘sectarian’ and a couple of weeks ago the Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, talked about the ‘sectarian provocation’ of Orange parades.

“Remarks like these do not help the situation and we would call upon nationalist and republican leaders to use language more in keeping with their position in society.”


Orange Hall attack condemned

A weekend attack on one of Belfast’s landmark buildings has been condemned by the council.

Paintbombs were thrown at the Belfast Orange Hall in Clifton Street on Friday evening.

The building currently is undergoing a comprehensive upgrade, as part of Belfast City Council’s ‘Renewing The Routes’ programme. The £30,000 scheme has included cleaning the fa├žade of the building, removing the security grilles and upgrading the railings.

The weekend attack was condemned by Councillor William Humphrey, Chairman of the council’s Development Committee, who said:

“The restoration of the Belfast Orange Hall – a building of great historical and architectural merit – is a key element of our ‘Renewing The Routes’ programme in this area.

“Obviously, we are now going to have to make good the damage sustained in this attack: this will have implications not only for this particular project, but it will have a knock-on effect for other projects in the area, as we will have to find the money from other budgets.

“The renovation of shop fronts further along the Crumlin Road, together with a number of environmental improvement schemes, have been warmly welcomed by the local community, and it is a real shame that this mindless attack by a small minority, who do not represent that community, has damaged not only the Hall but also potentially these other projects, which have shown this part of Belfast in such a positive light,” concluded Councillor Humphrey.

Monday 6 July 2009

Boyne Remembrance Thanksgiving Service

PARADE - Sunday 12th July 2009
Boyne Rememrance Church Parade to St. Michaels Parish Church
Annual Boyne Thanksgiving Service organised by the Committee of Management of Belfast Orange Hall, Clifton Street
Brethren to assemble in District Assembly Points at 1415 for parade at 1430 sharp.


Sunday 28 June 2009


The Orange Order has promoted the Twelfth as a major tourist attraction for Americans.

A delegation from the Order has just returned from a four day trip to New York, organised in conjunction with British and Irish authorities, the Ulster Scots Agency, the Ulster Scots Community Network and Tourism Ireland.

The delegation consisted of Drew Nelson, Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Mervyn Bishop, Grand Treasurer, David Scott, Education Officer, Dr. Jonathan Mattison, Project Officer, and Charlie McAdam, County Grand Secretary of Cavan. They were accompanied by George Patton, Chief Executive of the Ulster Scots Agency and William Humphrey, Chief executive of the Ulster Scots Community Network, who are both Orangemen.

Drew Nelson said:

“A huge amount of work has been done to develop the cultural aspects of the Twelfth and make it one of the major tourist attractions in Northern Ireland. We believe there is massive potential in the United States to encourage people to visit Northern Ireland around the time of the Twelfth.

“We discovered at the Smithsonian Festival in Washington in 2007 that there is a strong interest in the Orange Order and literally tens of millions of Americans can trace their roots back to Ulster Protestant emigrants.

“We have built a strong relationship with the tourist authorities and this was an opportunity to build on that and help bring more people into our country as tourists. They can enjoy the Twelfth and visit many of the historical sites in Northern Ireland as well as visiting the excellent Battle of the Boyne site in the Irish Republic.

“Our aim was to increase the number of tourists who visit Northern Ireland and that can only be a good thing for the economy.”

The delegation also held discussion with potential philanthropic funders, who may consider helping the Institution develop its plans for an interpretive and education centre at its headquarters in Schomberg House, Belfast.

David Scott, Education Officer, said:

“We have ambitious plans for an interpretive and education centre. Its role will be to tell the story of the Order and promote greater understanding of the Institution throughout the entire community.

“We have regular visitors from all sections of the community who are really interested in our history and love to see the artefacts and documents that we keep at Schomberg House.

We can develop that further and the archives we keep would be of tremendous interest to genealogists tracing their family roots.

The Orange Order delegation also visited Scots-Irish historical sites and met tourism chiefs.

There are currently two Orange lodges meeting in New York, one in the Bronx and the other in Manhattan and meetings were held with members of both lodges. They reported a recent resurgence in interest in the Orange Order in the United States. Two new lodges have been formed in the past couple of years, in New York and North Carolina.
Grand Secretary Drew Nelson said;

“I was delighted by the enthusiasm and ability of the members we met in New York and hope that the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland will be able to offer practical support to them as they continue to expand.”

Thursday 25 June 2009

Battle of the Somme Wreath Laying at Belfast Cenotaph

PARADE - Wednesday 1st July 2009
Battle of the Somme Anniversary Wreath Laying at Belfast Cenotaph
Brethren to assemble in Clifton Street at 1930 for 2000 parade.
Other Brethren to meet at the Cenotaph at the City Hall.


Tuesday 23 June 2009

Battle of the Somme Remembrance Service

PARADE - Sunday 28th June 2009
Ulster Divison Memorial L.O.L. 977
Annual Battle of the Somme Remembrance Service in Church House (Assembly Buildings)
Brethren to assemble at District Assembly points at 1415 for 1430 parade.
Service to be held at Presbyterian Church House.
The Worshipful Master requests full attendance to support our fellow brethren from District No. 3 in L.O.L 977.


Saturday 20 June 2009

Whiterock Parade

PARADE - Saturday 27th June 2009
Annual Parade to Whiterock Orange Hall and area organised by D.L.O.L. No. 9
Brethren to assemble in Denmark Street at 1330 for parade at 1345 sharp.
The Worshipful Master requests full attendance to show support for our fellow brethern in this parade.


Friday 19 June 2009

Orange Order Condemn Racist Attacks‏

Speech by Dr. David Hume MBE, Director of Services of the Grand Orange Lodge, at the unveiling of a new banner for Ballykilbeg LOL 1040, 18 June 2009 at Ballykilbeg, County Down.

The Director of Services of the Grand Orange Lodge has condemned intimidation of people based on race, colour or creed.

He said such attacks could never be right, whoever they were directed against Orange Halls or ethnic communities.

Speaking at the dedication of a new banner for Ballykilbeg LOL 1040, Downpatrick, County Down, he said that “The intimidation of people because of their race, colour, creed, or political belief can never be right, whether it is directed against Protestants or members of the Orange Order, or ethnic minorities in Belfast. Such attacks are the work of closed minds and empty brains.

“Because you do not like someone does not give you the right to remove them from the neighbourhood. We as a Protestant people are well aware of the impact of ethnic cleansing, because we suffered it in the Irish Free State in the early 1920s and it resulted in an exodus of tens of thousands of innocent people, and the murder of others,”

The full text of the speech follows;

Thank you for your invitation to be here tonight; I bring you fraternal greetings from my own private lodge Magheramorne LOL 291, in Larne District.

This is an historic occasion for the brethren of LOL 1040 and those who gather to support the lodge. I am delighted to share with you in this historic occasion and the fellowship of our gathering here tonight.

The unfurling and dedication of a new banner is an important milestone in the history of any lodge. This banner portrays two very important figures in the history of our Orange tradition.

William of Orange was the deliverer of civil and religious liberty. He brought relief from tyranny and arbitrary power. We believe that the hand of providence was upon him and that the outworking of his stand for civil and religious liberty secured us as a people.

William Johnston of Ballykilbeg was a dedicated follower of the Prince of Orange and a committed Orangeman within the ranks of this Institution. So much so that he went to prison for Orange principles.

Both men lived in testing times.

Both men had a sincere and dedicated faith that sustained them through those times.

They were outstanding leaders in their generation. William of Orange was fearless in battle, as was witnessed at the Boyne. If William Johnston had not been prepared to challenge an unjust law and go to jail, many ordinary men would have continued to be persecuted and prosecuted for their beliefs. These two men are rightly regarded as pillars of our Institution. They gave direction, purpose and leadership, without which no cause can prevail.

They did so in trying times.

We too in our generation have lived through and are in the midst of testing times.

We have witnessed a terrorist onslaught against democracy in our land, and it has cost the lives of 335 members of our Institution. As far as we are concerned and the majority of people in Northern Ireland are concerned, despite recent attempts to rewrite history and re-evaluate the future, those who murdered in cold blood and with callous disregard can never be viewed as victims. Pope John Paul II said that murder was murder. He was right. Yet years later we find others trying to sell an idea that everyone is a victim. We are asked to accept this erroneous proposition in Northern Ireland, yet it would mean that the 9/11 terrorists would be viewed equally as victims of those they killed on the aeroplanes they flew into the Twin Towers. This proposition is abhorrent to decent people. How can a man who deliberately and in cold blood pulls a trigger or detonates a bomb be a victim? He can’t. Not in our book. Not now, and not ever.

While the war may, it is claimed, be over, the cultural war and the propaganda war continue. Attacks on our Orange halls are part of that wider cultural war. Republicans believe that if they can defeat the Orange Order, they will be well on their way to achieving their goals. We are rightly seeing media attention and civic attention focus on racist attacks this week, but sometimes it is easy to forget that the Orange community has been subject to the same type of attacks over many years. We have had nearly 300 Orange Halls attacked, members intimidated, and, sadly, 335 of our brethren murdered by terrorists.

Republicanism needs to address its responsibility in all of this. Views haven’t changed much from the days of Eamon de Valeria, who said in 1919 “…There are among the Irish minority a few who love their British citizenship and are loath to give it up. To those we have made the fair proposition that it is but a short distance across the channel to the shores of England, and they are at liberty to move over; and that the Irish republic will see that they are recompensed for any material holdings they leave behind”

There, in essence, is the blinkered republican solution to the problem. If there are people you do not like get rid of them however you do it. That is why we are seeing the attacks on our Orange halls; because there are those in the republican community who believe they can remove us from the map by destroying our halls. That is why they object to our parades. They do not want to reach accommodation. They do not want us at all. This is a bit of a contradiction to the idea that the Republic cherishes all her sons and daughters equally, is it not? It nails the lie that a United Ireland is possible, because unless the unity was in the hearts of the people it would not be unity at all. And clearly, there is no coming together of hearts and minds over that issue.

The intimidation of people because of their race, colour, creed, or political belief can never be right, whether it is directed against Protestants in Rasharkin in County Antrim, as is also ongoing, or ethnic minorities in Belfast. Such attacks are the work of closed minds and empty brains. Because you do not like someone does not give you the right to remove them from the neighbourhood. We as a Protestant people are well aware of the impact of ethnic cleansing, because we suffered it in the Irish Free State in the early 1920s and it resulted in an exodus of tens of thousands of innocent people, and the murder of others. This needs to be acknowledged by the Republic, which has developed the maturity and ability to do so, whereas republicanism has not.

Republicanism needs to consider its future after the election results in the Irish Republic. Any lingering hopes Gerry Adams may have had of being President must be slowly slipping away. But worse, the idea of a United Ireland has slipped too, because the south does not want it any more (if it ever really did). Northern Nationalists, if not republicans, need to readjust their outlooks in this new dawn.

We in the unionist community also need to reflect. We see government in disarray. We see a world in crisis. It is sometimes a world which seems to be turned upside down. In Zimbabwe and Iran we see elections that are a farce and will simply not pass for democracy. Yet in Northern Ireland, where democracy exists to allow us to cast our vote, we see a high percentage of the electorate unable to motivate themselves to the polling stations. This apathy is one of the enemies which the unionist community faces. Those unionists who did not go to the polling stations in the European elections effectively did vote – they supported Sinn Fein.

If unionists continue on this path, it will be a dangerous road to travel. Apathy is a serious problem. Not voting is playing into the hands of republicans, who have embraced democracy as the means to an end while still clinging to the armalite or its equivalent throughout history. Continued apathy will ensure that the ballot box has value for Sinn Fein IRA.

And divisions within the unionist family will also serve the same purpose. If unionism continues to divide against itself, we could see a Sinn Fein First Minister after the next election. Is that what we want? It is perhaps what we will deserve if we do not address this matter maturely. The Orange Order has called in the past few years for unity. We want to see a unity, not necessarily of political parties, but certainly a unity of purpose. We need a common direction. As a community we want to see that unity. And we need to see it. Of course there are different political viewpoints and that is reflected in political parties. But our unionist politicians need to ask if they want to be a footnote in the history books, explaining how unionism was defeated. We need common foundations, and an agreement over the direction in which we are to travel. We probably need agreement over certain electoral areas and seats, unless we are content to lose seats and political influence in crucial areas of the country.

This is increasingly a pluralist society. It is a society which is changing. It is a society which presents many challenges. This week we have witnessed some of those challenges. How do we welcome the stranger in our land? Do we welcome them? Do we want them? As an Institution which stands for civil and religious liberty for all, there should be no doubt for us that we say no to racist mindsets and intimidation. Yet our society is full of contradictions. Our government has had to be forced to extend rights to the Ghurkhas, who have served us faithfully in the ranks of our army over generations. Our government cannot provide adequate policing to protect ethnic minorities under attack and the Chief Constable wants to cut the police reserve so there are less police on the ground. That, does not only count for ethnic minorities, of course; in Rasharkin in County Antrim some people are engaged in a determined campaign of ethnic cleansing against the small Protestant and Orange community, and the PSNI is regarding it as a sectarian problem which is not primarily a policing issue. If this same attitude is being taken in South Belfast then it is no wonder there are problems in our society.

Thankfully, the vast bulk of people in Northern Ireland are decent people. The people who attack property identified as belonging to one side or another should ponder that they represent no one other than a destructive fringe. The solution for Northern Ireland is that we must all live together and respect each other for what we are. All that we ask is to be respected and we can extend no less privilege to others. We believe that our health and future is best assured within the United Kingdom, that is why we are unionists. Being British is not about being one particular creed or race. It is about people of many backgrounds living and working together. The Orange Order has a role to play in standing up for being British. The danger has been that this has been left to those on the fringes and that now we see they are coming in from the fringes because people are fed up with political correctness and there is a backlash against the established political parties. It is difficult for a government to talk of being proud to be British when officials in councils prevent people from flying the Union Flag or St. George’s Flag because they think it is not politically correct. Those are the people who are handing victories to the BNP in England.
The Orange Order has no colour or race bar. The Orange Order is proud for all the right reasons of what and who we are.

The Orange Institution is the common thread in the fabric of the Protestant community. It unites people from all backgrounds. It is national and international. It stands firm for principles which remain standing in our modern world. The banners we carry are banners of freedom.

May your Ballykilbeg banner, which links you to the past, be honoured in the present and carried long into the future. May your journey as a lodge be marked by many milestones such as this…

Sunday 14 June 2009

Orange Historical Exhibition


Orange Historical Exhibition

Organised by
Lagan Valley
Orange Historical Society

To be held in

The Orange Hall
Railway Street

7th to 11th July 2009

Open 12 Midday to 8PM daily.

Everybody Welcome.

Saturday 13 June 2009


The three authors of the world history of the Orange Order - Beyond The Banners - pictured with King William (Robert Jordan) at the launch of the book in Carrickfergus. They are from left David Scott, David Hume and Jonathan Mattison. A new book has been published, telling the story of the Orange Order across the world. Beyond The Banners has been published in a joint venture by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland and Booklink, an international publisher based in Holywood, Co. Down. The 144 page hardback is a full colour, high quality production, which features photographs and images of many artefacts held by the Orange Order. Beyond The Banners focuses on the Institution worldwide, including countries where lodges no longer exist, such as Malta, Cuba, Brazil, India, Nigeria, the Philippine Islands and South Africa. The publication places the Orange Order in the context of Irish history and world society. It was launched at a reception on Thursday, June 11, in Carrickfergus, the town where William, Prince of Orange landed before the Battle of the Boyne. The authors of the book are Jonathan Mattison, David Scott and David Hume. It was financed by the Educational Affairs Committee of the Grand Lodge. The cover of the publication is an impressive specially commissioned piece of artwork, produced by graphic artist Kyle Thompson. It is an iconic image of William arriving in choppy seas in Belfast Lough with Carrickfergus in the background. The coffee table book includes chapters on The Glorious Revolution, early Orange Societies, the foundation of the Loyal Orange Institution, fraternal bonds across the world and famous Orangemen. There are also sections on Orange Halls, banners and regalia. The book will be on sale at Schomberg House, the headquarters of the Orange Order and also in bookshops at £20. The Grand Master of the Orange Order, Robert Saulters said: “I am thrilled with the book. It is a fantastic history of the Orange Institution and can be enjoyed by everyone who reads it, regardless of whether they are in the Order or not. “Currently the Institution has nine grand lodges across the world – Ireland, England, Scotland, Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Togo and Ghana. We have 100,000 members and we are a vibrant organisation, centred on the Reformed Protestant Faith, which makes a huge contribution to society in so many different ways. “There can be few cultural organisations as big as the Orange Order with membership in different parts of the world. “I am currently the President of the Imperial Orange Council of the World. The Council meets every three years in the various jurisdictions throughout the world and highlights the brotherhood that exists across the world in common cause. “I am delighted that delegates from all over the world will hold their annual conference in Northern Ireland in July. “Northern Ireland will be at the centre stage of Orangeism this summer and the launch of this book was timed to coincide with the arrival of so many of our friends from around the world. “I would like to thank everyone who was involved in its production. Our designers, publisher and all the contributors have worked exceptionally hard and I believe the end product speaks for itself. The quality of their work shines out from every page.” The publisher of the book, Claude Costecalde of Booklink in Holywood said: “I have worked on a number of other big publications such as Presbyterians in Ireland and Stormont, the House on the Hill and they have been very successful. I believe that the image of the Orange Order has been unfairly dented over the years and I trust that this book will redress the situation. “As a Frenchman, I have been fascinated by the Orange Order and it has been a privilege to work with so many committed people. “This book will be unique. Beyond The Banners is a wonderful gift, a reference book and a comprehensive guide to the history of an organisation that has been an important part of society for more than 200 years.”

Friday 12 June 2009

United Districts Parade

PARADE - Friday 19th June 2009
United Districts Parade
Bi-Annual Parade of Shankill Road / Woodvale Road & Crumlin Road Areas.
Brethren to assemble at District Assembly points at 1900 for parade at 1930 sharp.


Wednesday 10 June 2009


A crowd of more than 10,000 is expected in Carrickfergus on Saturday, June 13, for one of the most colourful events in the Orange calendar.

Members of Royal York LOL 145 will be there as York Island Arts & Heritage Association, adding to the historical re-inactment and celebration.

The Carrickfergus Pageant, which marks William Prince of Orange’s landing in the town in 1690 on the way to the Battle of the Boyne, has become a major annual event and the organisers are hoping for an even bigger turn out this year.

One hundred European re-enactors from France, Italy, England, the Irish Republic, Belgium and Norway will take part in the colourful spectacle. They will be wearing uniforms from the Williamite period and about 15 people will be on horseback.

“We normally have about 10,000 people at the Pageant,” said organiser John McMurran.
“This year we are making a very special effort to add even more colour to the event. We expect a huge number of people will turn out.
“Carrickfergus is steeped in history and the Pageant is a big draw for tourists.”

The parade, involving about 18 bands, will leave Woodburn Playing Fields at 12.45pm and go to the harbour for King William’s landing at 1.30pm. He will then lead the parade through the town to Marine Gardens, arriving there at approximately 2.30pm.

The return parade will begin at 4.30pm back to the playing fields.

This year will be the first outing for the Carrickfergus Historical Re-enactment Group Fife and Drum band.

There will also be a re-enactment in Carrickfergus on Friday, June 12, in St. Brides Street car park and again on Sunday afternoon at 2.30pm.

Friday 5 June 2009


The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has condemned arson attacks on two Orange Halls in County Armagh during the night.

Carrickawillen Orange Hall, near Darkley, was destroyed by fire and there was also an attempt to break into Cladybeg Orange Hall near Newtownhamilton. A fire was started at the rear of the hall but burnt itself out, causing minimal damage.
And the Orange Order has revealed that there was an attempt to burn Newcastle Orange Hall 12 days ago. Minor damage was caused on that occasion.

A statement from Grand Lodge condemned the attacks as attempts to create community tension.

“We would appeal for calm from all our members and our supporters. The way to deal with these attacks is to work with the police and help them find the culprits.
“There must be people in the area who have valuable information about who is carrying out these attacks on our culture. Now is the time for all right-thinking people to condemn the attacks and pass on any information they have to the police.”

The latest incidents bring to 298, the number of arson attacks on Orange Halls since 1971. Seven halls have been targetted by arsonists this year.

Monday 25 May 2009

Women's Association Annual Church Service

PARADE - Sunday 31st May 2009
No. 6 Womens District L.O.L. Church Service
Annual Church Parade and Service in North Belfast.
Brethren and Sisters to asssemble North Belfast Orange Hall at 1415 for parade at 1430 sharp.
Brethern from the Orange Institution are very welcome in this parade to support the Womans Association.


Monday 27 April 2009

Orange Order Director calls for a cultural revival across the United Kingdom

The Director of Services of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Dr. David Hume, has told a conference in Glasgow that Protestants need to act to preserve the unique heritage of the United Kingdom and the Orange Institution.

Addressing the bi-annual conference of the County Grand Lodge of Central Scotland in Motherwell at the weekend he said that those who have promoted political agendas which have attempted to downgrade the national identity of the United Kingdom are now in danger of handing political victories to parties which would be at the opposite extreme of the political spectrum.

“Those who have promoted agendas which have attempted to downgrade the national identity of the UK are now in danger of inadvertently handing political victories to parties who are capitalising on the frustration and annoyance of ordinary people, who are now made to feel that they should be ashamed to display their British identity. The truth is that being British is not about race, or creed or culture. Being British is about pluralism not uniformity, it is about respect for difference and about difference itself,” he said.

Dr. Hume said that it had become almost embarrassing to speak about the United Kingdom in any Protestant context.

“The issue of the Act of Settlement is a case in point, with attempts to portray the present constitutional arrangements as being about bigoted outlooks best confined to the 17th century. The truth, as one leading historian put it on Radio Four recently, is very different; the issue is whether a future monarch would be taking political direction if they were Roman Catholic from the Pope, who is a temporal head of state.

“The solution to it all is very simple. The Vatican should withdraw its insistence that the children of mixed marriages must be brought up as Roman Catholics. This would allow individual conscience to prevail.

This was the very issue that so concerned Irish Unionists in the period 1886-1914 and modern Ulster Protestants believe that they were right to oppose Home Rule for the very same reasons that we have concerns over revoking the Act of Settlement today. As Ulster Scots many of us do not come from the Anglican tradition, yet we accept the particular arrangements which inform the Succession to the Throne. These issues need to be dealt with maturely and require mature discussion. Labelling people as bigots is a sign of immaturity,” Dr. Hume said.

And he said all of this political correctness was leading to a situation where ‘Middle Britain’ was switching off from political life, which would be to the benefit of no one.

“The heritage which the Orange Order propounds is a heritage of civil and religious liberty. This means that we support a pluralist society as part of the legacy of the Glorious Revolution of 1688-90. But, equally, it means that we expect to have our majority views and ethos respected and taken account of,” the Orange Order Director of Services said.

In his speech to the conference, he called for members of the Orange Institution to take the lead in a cultural, social and religious revival across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

“Our challenge in this modern world is to preserve our heritage, but to do much more than that.

Our heritage is built on our culture. Our society. Our ethos. The history that has shaped us. And our faith.

What we need now in this Kingdom is a revival of our identity, for all the best and all the right reasons, a cultural, social and religious revival for the 21st century. There are people who have tried to take the Great out of Great Britain, to bring disunity to this United Kingdom. Our legacy for the future should be to take the lead in making people rightfully proud of who and what they are.

We are the very organisation which can take that lead, the very people who can hand down that legacy.

Barack Obama wrote of his beloved grandmother in the following terms; “What Toot believed kept her going were the needs of her grandchildren and the stoicism of her ancestors.”

That must be what keeps us going as well,” the Orange Order Director of Services said.

“We have been handed a flame to pass on un-extinguished. It is a flame of civil and religious liberty and amidst all storms around it, it will survive,”

Tuesday 21 April 2009


Three Twelfth demonstrations have been selected as flagships for the biggest festival in Northern Ireland.

The flagships will be the standard bearers for the 18 demonstrations being organised by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland on Monday, July 13, 2009.

The three locations are Banbridge, Bangor and Larne. The events in those areas will receive special promotional support from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Tourism Ireland. Grand Lodge will also work closely with the organisers of the flagships to promote the Twelfth.

Official estimates last year calculated that more than 500,000 people either took part in the parades or enjoyed them as spectators.

The Orange Order Director of Services, Dr. David Hume explained:

“Three years ago we chose Bangor as a flagship Twelfth and more than 80,000 people attended the demonstration. The year after that Enniskillen was chosen and the tourist authorities were involved in very successful ‘host training’ for our stewards. Last year the flagship Twelfths were Belfast, Tandragee, Dromara and Coleraine and they proved extremely successful.

“We know that more than half a million people enjoy the Twelfth and there is hard evidence that an increasing number of tourists are planning trips to Northern Ireland at that time of year so they can see the parades.

“Many people time their visit home to family and friends just to see the Twelfth.

“All of our parades are very important and we will be working with all the organisers to maximise the positive impact of the Twelfth parades. But Grand Lodge decided that we should put an extra special effort into three demonstrations this year. We selected the three locations and we have no doubt that they will be a huge success.”

The Orange Order has been working closely with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Tourism Ireland to attract more visitors to the province in July.

“We have built a strong relationship with the tourist authorities,” said David Hume.

“They are the professionals in their world and we have listened to their advice so that we can enhance what is available to the public.”

The Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Robert Saulters, said:

“The Twelfth is a unique attraction in Northern Ireland and it brings with it immense benefits to the economy and to everyone in the community. We will be doing everything we can to make the Twelfth attractive for all the family and for anyone – local or visiting – who wants to see it.

“This year is very special for our institution. It is Imperial Orange Council year and delegates from across the Orange world will gather in Belfast in July for the 43rd Triennial Conference.

“The Orange Order has 100,000 members throughout the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Togo and Ghana. We are a worldwide fraternity and it will be a special occasions to see so many of our fellow brethren here in Northern Ireland.

“It will be a fantastic opportunity to show off all that is good about Northern Ireland. We are also planning to take delegates to the excellent Boyne Battlefield site near Drogheda.”

The Rossnowlagh parade in Co. Donegal will be held on Saturday, July 11 this year and the demonstrations on July 13 will be in Belfast, Banbridge, Armagh, Londonderry, Kilrea, Dromore (Co. Tyrone), Bangor, Killyleagh, Larne, Glenarm, Ballymoney, Annalong, Coagh, Fivemiletown, Ballymena, Lisburn, Portglenone and Lisbellaw.

Many of the Twelfth demonstrations will form part of festivals running for two or three weeks in their area.

Monday 20 April 2009

Loyal Orange Widows Fund Service

PARADE - Sunday 26th April 2009
City of Belfast Loyal Orange Widows & Orphans Fund Service
Annual Church Service in Church House, 1530.
Brethren to assemble at District Assembly Points at 1414 for parade at 1430 sharp.
The Worshipful Master requests full attendance for this important service.


Wednesday 8 April 2009


Shops in the centre of Belfast will stay open on the Twelfth of July this year.

The parades across Northern Ireland will take place on Monday, July 13.
Orangefest, on behalf of the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast, and Belfast City Centre Management have been working on the initiative since last year, in partnership with the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The shops will open around 12.30 when the Orange parade has passed through the city centre and is on its way to the demonstration field at Barnett’s Demesne, near Shaw’s Bridge. They will close around 4.30pm, or one hour before the parade makes its return journey.

The Twelfth attracts the biggest single crowd to Belfast at any time during the year and it is believed that more than 250,000 people either take part in the parade or line the route.

Councillor William Humphrey, Deputy Chairman of Orangefest, said:

“The Twelfth is now a major tourist attraction in the Northern Ireland calendar. We know that as well as local people, there are many others who time their visits to the province to co-incide with the celebrations.
“The County Grand Lodge of Belfast and Orangefest have been working for several years to enhance the family friendly atmosphere to the Twelfth and this has been extremely successful.
“The colour, pageantry and music of the Twelfth in Belfast is enjoyed by tens of thousands of people.
“We have worked very successfully with Belfast City Centre Management, the Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Belfast City Council and the police to bring about this major development, which we believe will be in everyone’s interests. People will be able to enjoy the parade and take time to have something to eat in the local restaurants or do a bit of shopping.
“The Twelfth in Belfast has become a true festival and we will continue to work to improve the day for everyone. Last year, in conjunction with the police, there was a clampdown on street drinking and this added to the family friendly atmosphere. We will be working closely with the police again this year and we would ask all supporters and visitors to work with us, and the police, to make the Belfast Twelfth a very special and enjoyable day for everyone.”

Andrew Irvine, Belfast City Centre Management, said:

“Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce, under the leadership of its President John Moore has undertaken a Herculean effort since September last year to drive footfall and economic life in the city centre.
“The businesses have sealed a very close working relationship with Belfast City Council and Belfast Visitor Centre and Convention Bureau to drive the city forward, now under the heading of Belfast 2009.
“A key element of the current campaign is to leverage the benefit of the extensive offer Belfast has in terms of events and festivals. The business community is therefore pleased to step up to the plate and play its part in helping to build Belfast’s largest visitor number event into a festival with international appeal.”

Tuesday 31 March 2009


Petrol bombs have been thrown at our Orange Hall in Belfast.

The attack happened here, Belfast Orange Hall, at Clifton Street, near Carisle Circus this evening.
Four petrol bombs were thrown at the building while about 50 Orangemen attended a meeting inside. No-one was injured and damage was superficial.

A spokesman said:
“Only last week we removed the protective cage from around the hall as a step of faith. However it has only taken a week for people to attack our hall and risk people’s lives. This is very clearly an attempt to create tension in the community. We would appeal for people to remain calm and allow the police to carry out an investigation and find the culprits. Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area should contact the police immediately.”

Monday 30 March 2009


Orangemen from County Antrim are to raise money for the benevolent associations connected to the two soldiers and the police officer murdered a few weeks ago.

Members of Randalstown District LOL 22 are to hold a coffee morning in Randalstown Memorial Orange Hall this Saturday, April 4 between 10am and 1pm.

A spokesman said:
“The whole community was shocked at the recent violence which claimed the lives of Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar, and PSNI constable Stephen Carroll. We wanted to let their colleagues know that we appreciate their service to the community and we thought the best way to do this was to raise funds for the benevolent associations, which help to support widows and families, the injured and disabled.
“We hope that the local community will give strong support to the work of the associations.”

Sunday 29 March 2009


The Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Robert Saulters, has urged the Unionist and Protestant community to engage with the Historical Enquiries Team.

Speaking at an Orange Order function in Moneymore, Mr Saulters said the HET were carrying out a very important function in Northern Ireland.
He said:

“We have recently seen the debacle over the Eames-Bradley Report and their failure to understand the difference between the perpetrators and the victims of violence.

“There was also the offensive recommendation that the families of every single person who died in the Troubles should receive compensation. That recommendation made no distinction between the paramilitaries and the rest of our community.

“The Orange Order knows all about the grief caused by terrorism. More than 330 Orangemen died in the Troubles. Many of them were serving in the security forces at the time, some were going about their normal routine and some were even murdered while attending Orange meetings.

“One tenth of the people who died in the Troubles were Orangemen, so we believe we have a right to speak up on their behalf.

“Our Murdered Brethren Appeal has given us an insight into the trauma suffered by families and indeed by those who were terribly injured. Our research has shown that these families do not want blood money. They want people convicted for the murders of their loved ones and they also want to know the truth about what happened.

“Senior officers from the Grand Lodge have held very constructive talks with HET and we were impressed by their integrity and determination to report on the truth about how people who died.

“Members of the Unionist and Protestant community have been slow to engage fully with the HET and I would strongly urge them to be more positive about what they are trying to achieve and support them where possible.

“There are a number of high profile and incredibly expensive public inquiries taking place in Northern Ireland.

“HET has a very small budget in comparison to these inquiries but they have people who are determined to establish the truth about every death they investigate.

“There is a lot of talk about human rights at the moment. The families of our Orange brethren who were killed have the basic human right of knowing what happened on the day that changed their lives for ever.

“The work of HET will not bring back those who died but it will bring an understanding of the circumstances and may, in a small way, reduce the pain and suffering endured by so many families.

“We will continue to work with HET to ensure that there is a proper perspective on the history of the Troubles and I would personally encourage people in our community to do likewise.”

Monday 23 March 2009


The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has condemned weekend attacks on Orange Halls in different parts of Northern Ireland.
There was an attempted arson attack on Ballykelly Orange Hall in Co. Londonderry and republican graffiti was painted on three Orange Halls and a Protestant Hall in the Gleneavey and Lisburn area of Co. Antrim.
A spokesman for Grand Lodge said:
“We are extremely saddened by this latest spate of attacks on our property right across Northern Ireland. We had hoped these sort of attacks and this form of intimidation had stopped.
“These halls are important buildings in their local communities and are used by a wide range of groups which include the Orange Order, local bands, church organisations and other cultural and community groups.
“Clearly there are people in the community who want to create tension and division by targetting these premises and our way of life.
“As we have said many times in the past, the only way to react to such sectarian attacks is to work with the police and ensure they get all the information they need to bring charges against the people responsible.“We would ask anyone who has the slightest information which could help the police, to get in touch with them immediately.”

Wednesday 18 March 2009

Lodge Variety Concert & Film Screening THIS FRIDAY!

FRIDAY 20th MARCH 2009 @7.30 PM

  • The Documentary "Brethren in Arms"
  • The Crimson Star Flute Band
  • Graham Harris Piper
  • The Johnston School of Highland Dance

And The Official Launch Of The Association of Brethren in Arms

Contribution: £5.00 pay at door.

Royal York LOL 145 is hosting a variety concert and film screening to raise funds for the lodge.

A ballot will be held for prizes on the night. For more information please e-mail us on