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.