East Antrim lodges and bands gearing up for Twelfth

Localised Twelfth demonstrations are to take place across Larne, Carrickgergus and Newtownabbey next week as coronavirus restrictions ease.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 3:49 pm

The Orange Institution has confirmed that the public will be able to enjoy the traditional sights and sounds of the Twelfth of July demonstrations closer to home as localised parades are set to take centre stage.

For 2021, the normal 18 main demonstrations have been replaced by more than 100 local parades across the province.

Eight Orange lodges will take to the streets in Carrickfergus at 11am on July 12 along with approximately four bands to celebrate the 331st anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

Members of Sixmilewater District at the Somme Memorial parade in Ballyclare on July 1. Pic by Love Ballyclare.

Speaking to the Times, John McMurran (Worshipful Master LOL 947), said: “It will be great to be back parading and it will be great for the town. It will be a much shorter day than a usual Twelfth, but we’re fortunate to be able to have a Twelfth this year.

“I would urge everyone, whether they are participating or spectating, to respect the social distancing and Government guidelines.

“We don’t want people gathering in large groups to watch the parade in the town centre and would appeal to everyone to follow the health advice.”

The parade will commence at the Orange Hall, following the route of Woodburn Road, Ellis Street, Minorca Place, Irish Quarter West, Albert Road, Lancastarian Street, North Street, High Street, Joymount, Scotch Quarter, Taylors Avenue, Marine Highway, Belfast Road, Davys Street, Irish Quarter West, Albert Road and finishing at the Orange Hall. There will be no return leg.

Brian Kerr (Worshipful District Master Cloughfern District LOL No 24) is looking forward to celebrating the Twelfth in Newtownabbey.

Mr Kerr said: “The Lodges, brethren, families and communities have been looking forward to getting back to a Twelfth demonstration for two years now.

“It will be a day of celebration having the colours and sounds of our culture out on the streets again, particularly in the centenary year of Northern Ireland.

“Hopefully 2022 will see a return to our full Combine parades and a complete return to traditional events.”

A total of seven lodges and four bands will take part in the Cloughfern demonstration, commencing at noon.

The bands and brethren will begin at Cloughfern Protestant Hall, before walking the route of Doagh Road, Fernagh Road, Princes Drive, Station Road, Doagh Road, Green End, Rathmullan Drive, The Diamond, Rathmore Drive, West Crescent, Derrycoole Way, Glenbane Avenue, Glanroy Terrace, Old Irish Highway, O’Neill Road, Knockneagh Avenue, Tullevin Drive, Knockenagh Avenue, Doagh Road and returning to Cloughfern Protestant Hall.

Five lodges and one band will march in the Carnmoney District LOL No 25 parade in Glengormley.

Starting at 11.30am, they will follow the route of Glenvarna Drive, Ballyclare Road, Jubilee Road, Antrim Road, Carnmoney Road, Portland Avenue, Ballyclare Road, Lillian Bland Park, Ballyclare Road, Queens Park, Queens Avenue, Queens Drive, Burnthill Road, Ballyclare Road and Glenvarna Drive.

Worshipful District Master of Carnmoney District, Albert Steele, hopes that 2022 will see the full return of traditional demonstrations across Northern Ireland.

Mr Steele said: “It will be nice to get back out on the roads. Things are going in the right direction with regards to the Covid-19 pandemic and hopefully next year will see the full return of parades across the province.

“I’d appeal to everyone to respect the social distancing on Monday at the parade and hopefully we can all have an enjoyable day.”

Nine lodges and two bands will participate in the Sixmilewater District Lol No 10 demonstration in Ballyclare.

Commencing at Six Mile Leisure Centre at 11.30am, the brethren and bands will follow a route of Ballynure Road, the War Memorial, Main Street, The Square, Rashee Road, Erskine Park, Ballyeaston Road, The Square, Doagh Road, Ollardale Park, Hawthorn Way, Avondale Drive, Main Street, Ballynure Road and Six Mile Leisure Centre.

Speaking to this newspaper, Worshipful Master of Young’s Temperance True Blues LOL 957, William Shannon, said: “With the return of the annual Battle of the Boyne demonstrations, Young’s Temperance True Blues are delighted to once again be parading as part of Sixmilewater District in their hometown of Ballyclare, particularly in this centennial anniversary year.

“In what has been such a trying and difficult time for the whole community, Sixmilewater District No 10 suffered the loss of their highly esteemed District Master, Bro William Thompson. The Orange Institution have lost 52 members to date during the pandemic and though Young’s Temperance True Blues are glad to be back, there is also a great deal of sadness and LOL 957 extend sincere sympathies to all bereaved.

“The Orange Institution have worked actively throughout the pandemic, raising thousands of much needed funds for the NHS, secured and delivered vital PPE kits throughout Northern Ireland and Grand Lodge have constantly ensured their members were fully informed of the rules laid out by the Stormont Executive, with the temporary suspension of meetings as well as parades.

“Locally Young’s Temperance True Blues raised £250 for the local foodbank in Ballyclare and £250 for the NI Hospice towards their Emergency Aid appeal, as well as delivering a number of PPE kits to two local care homes.

“With lockdown restrictions easing, Young’s Temperance True Blues LOL 957 wish to thank the local community in supporting the ‘2020 12th at Home’ celebrations last year and wish everyone this year a safe and happy July 12.”

A total of 19 lodges from Larne District LOL No 1 and nine bands are set to mark the Twelfth in the town.

Commencing at Glynn Road at 11.30am, they will make their way along a route of Bridge Street, High Street, Pound Street, Meetinghouse Street, Albert Street, Carson Street, Pound Street, Victoria Road, Old Glenarm Road, Herbert Avenue, Newington Avenue, Glenarm Road, Curran Road, Portland Road, Portland Street, Bay Road, Curran Road, Main Street, Lower Cross Street and Narrow Gauge Road.

Roy Beggs (Worshipful Master Larne District No1), said: “Like many organisations Orangemen have been endeavouring to follow the Covid-19 guidance to protect our members and the wider community.

“On July 1, we had a restricted out-door service commemorating the 105th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in which the 36th Ulster Division suffered huge loss of life and injuries. We are also arranging a Larne District Drive-in service for this Sunday.

“It’s great once more to be able to publicly celebrate the success of the Battle of the Boyne and the Glorious Revolution. I am looking forward to safely meeting up with Orangemen and women and taking part in the Larne District LOL No1 local parade.

“I would urge spectators who are joining us to enjoy the day and to follow the standard social distancing guidance and taking any necessary Covid protection measures so that they too can enjoy the Twelfth in a relatively risk-free manner.”

Members of the Magheramorne Silver Band are preparing to take part in the Larne parade.

Looking ahead to the event, the band’s Chairperson, Ariane Moore, said: “I think the band and the public have greatly missed parades and other events over the past year or so.

“Obviously everyone’s safety is paramount, but it is really exciting to be back practising and we look forward to our return to performances in public, the first being the Twelfth at home in Magheramorne and in Larne.”


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