Lisburn to host annual ‘Orange Awards’ next month

Local football manager and Orangeman, David Jeffrey was the recipient of the Grand Master's Award at last year's ceremony. Pic by Graham Curry

Local football manager and Orangeman, David Jeffrey was the recipient of the Grand Master's Award at last year's ceremony. Pic by Graham Curry

Nominations are open for this year’s Orange Community Awards, which are due to be held in Lisburn next month.

The annual ceremony showcases the extensive community work undertaken by members of the Institution, recognising and rewarding excellence within the Loyal Order, as well as acknowledging the achievements of those in the marching bands’ fraternity.

The showpiece event will take place at the city’s Island Arts Centre on Friday, March 31.

Prizes due to be presented on the night will include those for Best New Banner; Individual and Lodge Community Involvement; Youth Development; Individual Musician’s Award and Band of the Year; as well as a Sporting Achievement Award.

As is tradition, senior Orangeman Edward Stevenson will also personally confer the special Grand Master’s Award.

Last year’s recipient was current Ballymena United manager, and Orange Order member, David Jeffrey, who was recognised for his exemplary service to local football.

Recent winners have included local entrepreneur William Wright, Olympic rower Alan Campbell and BBC journalist Walter Love.

Chief executive of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Iain Carlisle, said: “The Community Awards provide a unique opportunity to highlight and reflect upon the outstanding commitment which many members of the Institution give to their lodges and communities, and over the years hundreds have been recognised.

“The aim of the awards is to recognise and reward excellence, and we are delighted to be returning to Lisburn for what promises to be another memorable evening, as we once again acclaim individuals and lodges for their sterling, and often publicly unseen, work and activities throughout the year.”

He added: “With the deadline for nominations in early March, we would encourage all members and lodges to get involved in this wonderful annual event.”

A full programme of entertainment on the evening will include Ballylone Flute Band, Markethill Highland Dancers and gospel choir, Men in Black.

Tickets, priced £10, can be obtained by contacting the Island Arts Centre box office on 028 9250 9254, or alternatively via its website.

Application forms for the various categories are currently available for download via the Grand Lodge website at www.grandorangelodge.co.uk

They can also be requested by emailing communityawards2016@goli.org.uk or by telephoning on 028 9070 1122.

The closing date for receipt of completed nominations is Friday, March 10.