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Covid-19 Memorial Service
The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland held a Memorial Service in Portadown on Sunday, 16th October, 2022, in memory of all members of the Orange Family who lost their lives to Covid-19.
The Service, which took place in St. Mark’s Church of Ireland, was attended by family members of many of those Brethren who died during the pandemic, along with representatives of Grand Lodge, County, District and Private Lodges.
Also attending were Health Minister Robin Swann; Chief Medical Officer, Sir Michael McBride; and Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Ian Young.
Speaking at the service, Grand Master Most Wor. Bro. Edward Stevenson said: “Those we remember today were our Brothers in the Orange Institution. But we recognise that more importantly they were husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles and cousins and their passing was felt most deeply within their respective families. Our thoughts and prayers remain with you all.
“The reason we are gathered here today is to remember all the members of the Orange Family who lost their lives due to Covid-19. Sadly, we lost many members of our Institution during the pandemic. But we also lost many family members and friends. And today, we remember them also.
“As an Institution we remain vigilant and very much aware of the fact that Covid is still with us – it hasn’t gone away.
“It is our humble hope – with God’s blessing - that this service helps bring some comfort to those who mourn their loved ones. I can assure them they have the prayerful and practical support of the Orange Institution.”
The music at the service was led by Commons Silver Band from Newry. Their participation was most fitting as they lost two of the leading figures within their organisation as a result of Covid-19. Wor. Bro. David Andrews – who was one of the first members of the Orange Institution to succumb to Covid when he died on 23rd April 2020 – was leading drummer and had given almost 60 years of dedicated service to the band. They also lost their conductor Bobby Andrews, who died on 29th March 2020.
The offering collected exceeded £2,000 and this will be presented to the chosen charity - Marie Curie - in due course.
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