‘Thank God for NI’s place in UK’

The Royal Black Institution has marked Northern Ireland’s centenary by thanking God for NI’s position within the United Kingdom “which has guaranteed us our civil and religious freedoms, security, and prosperity”.

Monday, 3rd May 2021, 3:07 pm
Royal Black Sovereign Grand Master Rev William Anderson on parade. File photo

In a statement to mark the country’s 100th birthday the Institute said, “We have much to thank Almighty God for, and such thankfulness should call us all to follow the ways of God, thereby enabling the future of Northern Ireland to be set in His Peace, a Peace that reminds us that our hope lies not in the might of man, but in Christ himself.

“Our Institution’s programme of events to commemorate the centenary of NI is based the “Sir Norman Stronge Memorial Project” which focuses on the joint themes of “Service and Sacrifice”, twin attributes that reflect not only the life of our former leader but also many of our Sir Knights who have worked assiduously and, in some cases, like Sir Norman Stronge, paid the supreme sacrifice to ensure a stable future for Northern Ireland.”

The Institutes commemoration plans include:

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• Production of a Centennial Medal;

• A sponsored charity walk around Northern Ireland, with donations going to The Somme Nursing Home in Belfast, the Institution’s Designated Charity Appeal;

• Unveiling of a bust of Sir Norman Stronge at the Institution’s new headquarters in Loughgall;

• A special exhibition and booklet on the life of Sir Norman Stronge;

• A Book of Remembrance recording all Sir Knights who paid the supreme sacrifice during the Troubles.

Further details on all these events will be available online and social media.

“Given the loyal determination of the people from our Province, we trust and pray that our descendants will be celebrating the Bicentenary of Northern Ireland in 2121,” adds the statement.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” Psalm 33:12.