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 shamfight@talktalk.net.

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.