A special stone to commemorate Northern Ireland’s CentenNIal has been unveiled by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.
Made from basalt quarried in Co. Antrim, the stone features the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s Northern Ireland CentenNIal crest. It was formally unveiled during a short service by the Grand Master Most Wor. Bro. Edward Stevenson on Saturday, 5th March at Schomberg House.
The service of dedication, led by Grand Chaplain Rev. Alistair Smyth, was attended by a number of invited guests, including DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and TUV leader Jim Allister.
Speaking during the event, the Grand Master said: “This CentenNIal stone – together with our CentenNIal parade which will take place on Saturday, 28th May – form part of our events to celebrate 100 years of Northern Ireland - a hugely significant milestone in our history.
“Disappointingly but predictably, throughout 2021 there were those who told us that there is nothing to celebrate. They sought to belittle, undermine and erase the history of our people and our country.
“Let me be very clear, over the past 12 months and more the Orange family has been unashamedly celebrating Northern Ireland. We are all immensely proud of this place and its achievements in the past ten decades.
“The Orange Institution has been an integral part of Northern Ireland’s history and many of those considered to be instrumental in its creation were members of our Order.”
He added: “I am firmly of the belief that it is that proud history which allows us to be confident and secure in our sense of place, in our identity and in our country as together we look forward to the next 100 years.”
During his address, the Grand Master also highlighted the good work currently being done by many lodges to support the people of Ukraine.