Orange Heritage Week 2019
Updated: Jan 24
History, tradition and identity will be brought to the fore once again as the Orange Institution plays host to its third annual heritage week, from 21-28 September.
The series of events gets underway with ‘A Joyful Noise’ – a concert in the Ulster Hall on Saturday, September 21, featuring the singing of favourite hymns and uplifting praise.
Some of the pieces to be performed have been selected by the public following a successful soc
ial media poll which attracted hundreds of votes.
The historical birthplace of Orangeism will be centre stage as The Orange Tree Festival in Co Armagh will explore the formation of the Loyal Order through music, song and cultural experiences.
The three-day event, held in Loughgall, will be one of a programme of activities aiming to celebrate and inform audiences about the origins of the Institution, its membership and its influence on wider society.
Other confirmed events include a visit by the Orange History Club to West Belfast Orange Hall and Graveyard. The Museum of Orange Heritage at Schomberg House will be open as usual, featuring a range of displays including the For Singing and For Dancing exhibition.
In Portadown, Carleton Street Orange Hall will host a festival of events, from 23-28 September, including displays, talks and historical exhibitions, as part of ‘Our Loyalty is Not for Barter’ which commemorates the transition of the 4th Portadown Battalion of the Ulster Volunteer Force into the 9th Battalion of the Royal Ulster Fusiliers.
In Limavady Orange Heritage Centre, there will be a lecture and book launch entitled Roe Valley Volunteers, which examines the formation and evolution of the 2nd Battalion North Derry Regiment ‘Limavady’ Ulster Volunteers. This event is on Wednesday, September 25, at 8pm.
The timing of Orange Heritage Week has historical and cultural relevance, commencing on the anniversary of the formation of the Institution in 1795. It will culminate on Ulster Day, marking the anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant by unionists in opposition to Home Rule in 1912.
The Orange Tree Festival will feature guided tours of Dan Winter’s Cottage and the Museum of Orange Heritage at Sloan’s House. Other highlights include traditional musical performances and workshops, and historical talks.
Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, highlighted the educational benefits of Orange heritage week, which he described as an “integral component” of the Loyal Order’s calendar of outreach events.
He said: “Now in our third year, I am delighted that once again we have a variety of events and activities taking place across the Province. By showcasing the impressive cultural heritage of Orangeism and its significance, this venture aims to educate and inform all sections of society about our traditions and identity.
“I wish the respective organisers every success with their endeavours; and would encourage all of our members, and the wider public, to get involved and show their support for this tremendous initiative.”
Tickets for ‘A Joyful Noise’ are still available and can be purchased by visiting https://www.ulsterhall.co.uk/what-s-on/a-joyful-noise/