Order falls silent on Remembrance Day
Updated: Jan 24
The Orange Institution fell silent on Monday, November 11, at 11am, for the annual Remembrance Day Service.
Following a short parade along the Cregagh Road in East Belfast, Brethren, Sisters and members of the public gathered in the Memorial Garden at Schomberg House.
Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, laid a wreath on behalf of the Institution during the service, which was conducted by Grand Chaplin Wor. Bro. Rev. Stanley Gamble.
In his opening remarks, Grand Master Stevenson paid tribute to all those who made the supreme sacrifice.
Mr Stevenson said: “It is always with a heavy heart that we gather on 11 November each year to remember the sacrifice of so many during the two World Wars and other conflicts.
“In this centennial year of the 1919 Armistice and 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, we especially pause to remember those Brethren and Sisters who gave so much in defence of freedom and democracy during two World Wars.
“Since the establishment of our Institution, our members have been to the forefront of defending liberty, often paying the supreme sacrifice. We know this only too well in our beloved Ulster, where 338 members of the Institution were murdered by Terrorists with many more left to bear the trauma and scars of over 40 years of terrorist action against a free people.
“Everyone gathered here today will have their own thoughts and memories about events of the past and loved ones lost. It is important that we remember those who gave so much in various theatres of war, and in defence of Northern Ireland. As Grand Master, and an Institution, we pledge that such sacrifice will not be air brushed from the pages of history.
“As members of the Loyal Orange Institution, we must also remember and cherish the greatest sacrifice made for us – that of the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary.
“As we remember those who paid the supreme sacrifice this morning, I appeal to everyone to also turn their thoughts towards the Cross and the importance of that event - a sacrifice made that all who believe might have eternal life.”
Also in attendance were Grand Secretary Rev Mervyn Gibson, Deputy Grand Master Harold Henning, Grand Lecturer Robert Barr and Past Grand Master Robert Saulters.
Among those present to pay their respects were Wor. Grand Mistress of the Ladies Association, Joan Beggs; Roy Nixon, Junior Grand Master; David Hart, Acting Worshipful Master of Thiepval Memorial Lodge and visiting Brethren and Sisters from around the province.
Additional wreaths were laid by Cregagh Defenders LOL and pupils from Cregagh Primary School.
In a separate ceremony, a wreath was laid at the Memorial Window in memory of the Orange Brethren and Sister who were murdered during the Troubles.
Accompanying Bro. Bobby Rainey, from the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Murdered Brethren Memorial Committee, were Bros. Bobby and Alexander McCready, from Annahinchago Temperance LOL 580. Bobby’s brother Thomas John McCready was murdered on November 16, 1974.
The annual wreath-laying event is organised in partnership with Thiepval Memorial Lodge.