Family to the fore 
on village’s 
big day out

Always home for the twelfth from London was local man Gary McDowell who comes home to play the fyfe for Gracehill LOL 772.

Always home for the twelfth from London was local man Gary McDowell who comes home to play the fyfe for Gracehill LOL 772.

The village of Cullybackey resonated to the familiar sound of fifes and drums on Saturday in one of the most close-knit Twelfth demonstrations.

Orangemen representing 16 lodges took part in the traditional Triangle combine parade, hosted on an alternative basis between three venues – Cullybackey, Ahoghill and Portglenone. Thousands of people turned out to support the lodges, half of whom were accompanied by Lambeg drums.

The main parade started after 12.30pm from Ard-Na-Maine proceeding via Station Road, Main Street, Shellinghill Road, Kilmakevit Road, Tobar Park and into the community centre for festivities and a religious service.

Married couple Janet and Edward Simpson from Glasgow had travelled over to parade in the village, where their daughter and grandchildren live.

They said they were expecting a great day and had been “many times before”.

Janet, 69, said: “We have been in the Orange Order a long long time.”

Her 64-year-old husband Edward added: “We have been in the Orange Order more than 30 years anyway.”

Standing watching the bands was 54-year-old John Watt.

The Cullybackey man said he had been in the Orange Order but was no longer able to participate “because of illness”.

“I come here to see the bands and the music and colour,” he said.

“I live in Cullybackey. But I am still out to support it all.”

Meanwhile, 34-year-old Louise Glenholmes said her family has been coming to Cullybackey on July 12 “since I was a small child”.

“This is a family day out,” she added. “We go to Cullybackey, Ahoghill and Portglenone.

“My brothers are in the Cullybackey Pipe Band and my father is in another lodge, so it is a family day out.

“Everyone comes every year to follow their families.”

She added that her brothers “practise three times a week”.

“They are totally devoted to it, they put so much work into it. It is like a family to them.”

The service was conducted by Rev Richard McKay where the platform party included senior Orangemen from each of the three local districts: Cullybackey Worshipful Master Brian Warren, Ahoghill Worshipful Master Leslie Galloway and Portglenone Worshipful Master William McCallion.

Cullybackey District Treasurer, Harold McCloy, said: “Weather wise we weren’t too bad during the celebrations.

“We did have a damp return from the field but all in all we had a good day, another good celebration.”

Mr McCloy said the Twelfth was “very jolly as usual for us”.

“We are one of the smaller parades and a homely family affair where everyone knows everyone else,” he added.

DUP councillor Billy Henry said the Twelfth in Cullybackey “was celebrated by all the local lodges and a day that everyone enjoyed”.

“I was out to enjoy the day with my family,” he said. “My children are in a band in the Cullybackey area so I was there enjoying it as a father.”

The last time the Twelfth was held in Cullybackey was 2011.




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