Monday 2 July 2012

Belfast Twelfth Parade will Celebrate Covenant

The parade to mark the 322nd anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne will leave Belfast Orange Hall, at Carisle Circus, at 10.00am.

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

A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Cenotaph in the grounds of the City Hall shortly before 10.30am 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.

As usual, thousands of spectators including visitors from other countries are expected to line much of the route through the capital city.

The platform proceedings at Barnett’s Demesne will begin at 3pm and the chairman for the afternoon will be the County Grand Master, Tom Haire. The resolutions will be read by Rev. Ronnie Johnston, Deputy County Grand Chaplain, Rev. Mervyn Gibson, County Grand Chaplain

It is expected that 70 bands will take part in the parade and they will make their return journey at 4.15pm.

In the souvenir booklet for the Twelfth in Belfast, the County Grand Master Tom Haire said:

“This year we will see the centenary of the signing of Ulster’s Solemn League and Covenant in 1912. This was a defining moment in the history for our people, when the steely determination of Ulstermen and Ulsterwomen secured our cherished position within the United Kingdom and thwarted the ambitions of republicans to destroy our heritage, culture and way of life.
“The Ulster Covenant commemoration, which will occur throughout the year, will be an excellent focus for the Unionist community and provide us with time to reflect and to give thanks for our forebearers who stood steadfastly in defence and support of the union.
“As County Grand Master, I am greatly encouraged by the upsurge in tourist interest in the Twelfth celebrations in Belfast.
Indeed each year the television coverage reveals visitors from not only other parts of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland but also from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and mainland Europe. Some are coming to rediscover their roots, other are just curious but they all want to be part of the biggest cultural festival in Europe. Let’s hope they receive a truly warm Ulster welcome.”