Orange Institution launches ‘Moving Tributes’ exhibition
Updated: Nov 7, 2022
The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has today launched an exhibition of banners and drums as part of this year’s Orange Victims’ Day events.
The exhibition entitled ‘Moving Tributes’, was formally opened this morning at Brownlow House in Lurgan and features more than 40 exhibits, including banners, bannerettes and Lambeg drums. All are tributes to members of the Orange Institution and others who lost their lives to terrorism since 1921, many relating to ‘The Troubles’.
The launch of the exhibition, which was attended by families of the victims, representatives of all the Loyal Orders as well as politicians, was led by Grand Master Most Wor. Bro. Edward Stevenson.
He said: “It is through Orange Victims Day and exhibitions such as this that we recognize the sacrifice made by the 339 Orangemen and one Orangewoman. The majority of these victims were murdered while serving as members of the security forces. However, others were killed simply because they were protestants.
“The recent support for the IRA and its despicable terror campaign – both from Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill and her insistence that there was no alternative to the violence and through the chanting of pro-IRA slogans by thousands of young people at a concert in West Belfast – is incomprehensible, particularly for those of us who lived through the worst years of murder and violence.
“I can only imagine the deep hurt that such glorification of murder must cause the families of all those who lost loved ones at the hands of the terrorists.”
Mr Stevenson paid tribute to the ongoing work of victims groups to pursue justice for all innocent victims and warned the Government against any deal on legacy which would see perpetrators escape justice.
He added: “Any political development or backroom deal which allows the perpetrators of these evil actions to escape justice, any re-writing of the truth regarding the brutal and inhumane slaughter of our brothers and sister and any process which allows murderers to enjoy the freedoms and privileges they denied to so many, is wrong and cannot, and will not command support from our Institution and the wider Orange family.”
Assistant Grand Master Wor. Bro. Mark Smyth, who was appointed by the Grand Master to lead the Moving Tributes exhibition, emphasized that while the exhibits on display focused on a range of individuals, the Orange Institution was committed to remembering all victims.
He said: “The decision to bring together the banners, bannerettes and drums in this exhibition as part of Orange Victims’ Day was made to highlight the sacrifice made by the many members of the Loyal Orders who lost their lives during the Troubles.
“340 members of our Institution lost their lives during the Troubles. That represents around one in ten of the total number of victims.
“Moving Tributes is designed to be a poignant display, honouring those who lost their lives during the Troubles. However, as we come together today, we also remember that many hundreds more are commemorated on memorial plaques on the walls of Orange Halls around the country.”
The ‘Moving Tributes’ exhibition will be on display at Brownlow House from today (Thursday, 1st September) and will run through to Saturday, 3rd September.
Following the launch of the exhibition, representatives of the Orange Order, Association of Loyal Orangewomen of Ireland, Junior Grand Orange Lodge, The Apprentice Boys of Derry, The Royal Arch Purple Chapter and the Independent Loyal Orange Institution attended an Act of Remembrance hosted by the Royal Black Institution at its Loughgall Headquarters.