The Orange Institution has hosted a gala dinner in County Fermanagh as part of its ongoing commitment to the Drew Nelson Legacy Project.
The flagship event, which was held at the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, on Friday evening, attracted more than 350 guests.
Family, friends and peers of the former senior Orangeman, including Grand Master Edward Stevenson, were among those in attendance.
It is now two years since the Institution announced an ambitious £1 million initiative to permanently recognise the contribution of one of its most high-profile members, all with the aim of benefiting the next generation of community leaders.
The Orange Order has set the goal of significantly expanding its current student provision in the university area of Belfast. It is now over a year since the Institution employed a full-time youth development officer, Gary McAllister, who is available to provide relevant training and guidance to young people across Northern Ireland and the border counties.
This year’s gala dinner is the latest in a series of annual fundraising events which have been hosted by individual lodges, districts, and other community groups. At the end of September, the Institution held its popular ‘Brew for Drew’ coffee morning fundraiser.
Speaking at the gala dinner, Mr Stevenson said: “Tonight’s event marks a renewal of our commitment to ensure that Drew’s legacy is not forgotten. This project seeks to ensure that the future leaders of Orangeism are equipped and developed so that they can best face the many challenges which no doubt lie ahead for our Institution and our community.”
Prior to his death in 2016, Mr Nelson served as Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland for 12 years, assuming the role in December 2004.