An Orange lodge from Carrickfergus celebrated its 150th Anniversary in style with a gala ball at the Culloden Hotel in Cultra.
Over 150 people packed into the venue which witnessed attendees travelling from Harthill and Armadale in Scotland as well as from Tamworth, England, to be with Bennett’s Chosen Few LOL 553 on this special occasion.
On arrival at the Hotel, guests received a red carpet reception with a traditional musical welcome provided by the Sir Henry Inglesby’s Corp of Fife and Drums in their striking blue uniform.
Special guests at the event were the Mayor of Carrickfergus, Alderman Billy Ashe and Brother Drew Nelson, Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.
A number of speeches were made congratulating the lodge on reaching this historic milestone, after which the entertainment was led by the Shankill Road Defenders Flute Band who provided a full repertoire of their musical ability before the social festivities began.
A Lodge spokesman commented: “2014 is a big year for our lodge with the celebration events having been planned some two years in advance.
“Firstly we had the production and launch of our historical booklet detailing the history of the lodge in March 2014 followed by our gala ball event.
“We also have further events planned such as a presentation night to present our members with a commemorative tie and jewel and the unfurling of a new lodge bannerette.
“The unfurling event will take place on the morning of Saturday 14th June prior to the annual pageant re-enactment parade at King William’s statue on the Castle Green.
“It has and will be an extremely busy year but a year of events that the lodge feel has been well worth the effort.
“We as a Lodge would like to thank the committee members who have worked tirelessly organising these events as the attention to detail to make the events a massive success was exceptional.
“A big word of thanks must also go to our photographer on the evening Miss Lauren McGookin whose photographic record will live with us for years to come.”