Friday, 4 October 2013


Responding to the announcement by Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, that there will be a new Parades Commission appointment process, an Orange Order spokesman said:
“The Orange Institution, along with the other Loyal Orders and marching bands fraternity, will shed no tears at the replacement of the current Parades Commission.
Its end of term report will make for abysmal reading, validating its lamentable record of failure as an unaccountable body ill-disposed towards the traditional Protestant parading sector.
We trust this appointment process will only be memorable in that it is the last by a serving Secretary of State. 
Rather than new personnel operating the same failed system, what is urgently required is the replacement of the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 with a better regulatory mechanism. 
By engaging positively in the Haass talks, the Orange Institution remains committed to finding a replacement to the Parades Commission. 
Parading policy and legislation must be based on civil and religious liberties for all and special privileges for none.”

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


The County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast has expressed dismay at the latest Parades Commission determination denying Ligoniel brethren from completing their traditional Twelfth parade.

A spokesman said: “The Twaddell Initiative outlined by the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast was a genuine and sincere attempt to resolve the current impasse, and reach an equitable solution allowing our Ligoniel brethren to complete their Twelfth parade in a dignified manner.

“It is shameful that the Parades Commission – who created the situation at Woodvale – choose to consistently deny civil and religious liberty for all in north Belfast, and blatantly ignore a commitment by the Institution to full and open dialogue with Ardoyne residents following the completion of this long-held and traditional parade. Rather, they continue to consume only the republican narrative, succumb to the threat of violence posed by dissidents and in doing so have poisoned the positive atmosphere emanating from the Haass talks.

“However despite this setback, the Orange family and our Unionist partners involved in the Civil Rights Camp remain determined to peacefully and resolutely maintain the ongoing presence at Twaddell Avenue. The campaign will continue for the lodges to be allowed to go home.”

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Ulster Day Church Service & Parade 2013

LOL1845, with Officers and Brethren from  Grand Lodge and the City Grand Lodge of Londonderry, cross the River Foyle on Craigavon Bridge.

Last Sunday, 29 September 2013, The Rising Sons of William, Queen's University L.O.L. 1845, held it's Annual Ulster Day Church Service and Parade in Londonderry, the United Kingdom City of Culture 2013, with the kind permission of the City Grand Loyal Orange Lodge of Londonderry.

The Lodge paraded from Bonds Street in the Waterside to St. Columbs Cathedral via Craigavon Bridge and the Diamond War Memorial.

We were accompanied by the Grand Master and Grand Secretary of Ireland, Officers and Brethren from the City Grand Lodge of Londonderry, Sisters from the Loyal Association of Orangewomen, the County Grand Master of the Royal Arch Purple Chapter and Junior Brethren and Sisters.

The parade was led excellently by Killaloo Accordion Band.

Wor. Bro. Mark Dunn LL.M. (Worshipful Master Queen's University LOL 1845), Rt. Wor. Bro. Dr. Rev. Stanley Gamble BA Mth DPhil (Grand Chaplain), Most. Wor. Bro. Edward Stevenson BAgr (Grand Master), Very Rev. William Morton (Dean of St Columbs, Londonderry), Rt. Wor. Bro. Drew Nelson LL.B. (Grand Secretary) & Rt. Wor. Bro. James Hetherington (CIty Grand Master of Londonderry)

A special service of Choral Evensong was held at St. Columb's Cathedral, Londonderry, for the Officers and Brethren of Queen's University Belfast L.O.L. 1845 and guests.

The Dean, the Very Reverend Dr. William Morton welcomed the lodge to the Cathedral, and in particular, the Grand Master, the Most Worshipful Bro. Edward Stevenson who was in attendance.

The Choir sang the entire service, which included Psalm 118: 14-29 and the canticles Magnificat and Nunc Dimitis.

Bro. Alan Steele read the first lesson (Nehemiah 2) and the Grand Secretary, Rt. Worshipful Bro. Drew Nelson read the second lesson (1st Peter 2.1-17). The prayers were said by the Grand Chaplain, Rt. Worshipful Bro. Reverend Stanley Gamble, who also preached the sermon.

During his address, Reverend Gamble spoke about the life and times of Nehemiah, the great Hebrew leader who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. He said, "Nehemiah was a man of vision, a man who not only saw the need of his people, but who acted to meet that need. He gathered around him a team to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and successfully withstood opposition from without and conspiracy from within. He was a man of faith who God used to renew the life of his people and to give them hope for the future." Reverend Gamble went on to encourage lodge members to be leaders of the future by rebuilding the lives of people around them and by restoring the fortunes of their community.

The Anthem for the service was Urbs Fortitudinis (We have a Strong City), sung to a setting by Michael Franklin, sometime organist of the Cathedral. William Blake's acclaimed hymn Jerusalem also featured as one of the hymns.

Worshipful Master of the Queen's University lodge, Worshipful Bro. Mark Dunn LL.M., thanked the Dean and Choir for the service, and congratulated them on their efforts as part of the UK City of Culture 2013. He also thanked the City Grand Lodge of Londonderry, for all their help in organising the Parade and Service on the Lodges behalf; the Band, for it's excellent playing to and from the service; and all the guests for attending.

An excellent day in Londonderry was completed with a return parade to the Waterside in beautiful autumn sunshine.