Scarva: Royal Black leader invokes spirit of 1984 author George Orwell in call to resist ‘the obliteration of history’

The leader of one of Northern Ireland’s loyal orders has quoted renowned anti-authoritarian thinker George Orwell in his annual address to his brethren.

By Adam Kula
Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 12:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 12:27 pm

Sovereign Grand Master Rev William Anderson of the Royal Black Institution said an event such as the annual July 13 gathering in Scarva was “an opportunity to reflect on the past, to examine the present and look forward with hope for the future”.

His address (circulated in written to the News Letter beforehand) says that today is a time to remember those who had paid the supreme sacrifice in two world wars, conflicts and acts of terrorism “in the defence of freedom and in the pursuit of peace”.

He said it was “a peace that is being subverted and altered today by those with a political agenda”, adding: “We must resist such attempts to rewrite the past and ensure that the true legacy of our past is taught to the children of today.”

George Orwell, Rev Anderson

Quoting the author George Orwell, he said: “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their understanding of their history.”

Rev Anderson added: “We simply must not allow that to happen here in our beloved part of the United Kingdom. We all have our part to play in ensuring that the correct story of our past is kept alive. We owe it to the next generation.”

He said it was “a very confusing world, a world that considers that it needs to re-write the truths and unshakeable facts that have stood the test of time”.

George Orwell (real name Eric Arthur Blair) is arguably the premier British writer of the 20th century.

Dead by the age of 46 in 1950, he had fought against the Fascist forces in the Spanish Civil War – something which turned him against Communism too – and is best remembered today for the novel 1984, in which a future state brainwashes people to accept such falsehoods as “2 + 2 = 5”.

But Rev Anderson said Scripture “reminds us where our hope should lie – I trust that we will all be found building our future in Christ alone”.

He added: “Today, may I encourage you all to be proud of your past, to live in the present, content with your life as you share it with others, and to be confident of your future.”

Earlier, the sovereign grand master told the gathering that 2022 was “a special year”.

“We have been able to return to Scarva in our thousands, as we have done before the world-wide pandemic prevented us from doing so over the past two years. It is good to be back!”

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