Countdown underway to first heritage week

Jonathan Mattison and Coleen Large, dressed in Williamite period costume, promote the first-ever Orange heritage week which commences next Thursday. Photo by Graham Curry
Jonathan Mattison and Coleen Large, dressed in Williamite period costume, promote the first-ever Orange heritage week which commences next Thursday. Photo by Graham Curry

The Orange Institution’s first ever heritage week will encompass history, culture and music, it has been confirmed.

The inaugural event, which runs from September 21 to 28, includes a programme of activities that celebrate and inform audiences about the origins and the traditions of the order, its membership, and its influence upon wider society.

Among the events taking place are historical talks focusing upon the origins of the order, its role during the Home Rule period, and the service and sacrifice of Orangemen during the First World War.

A number of Orange halls across the Province will open their doors to the public, incorporating guided tours. A Lambeg drumming match will also take place in Co Antrim.

The timing of the initiative has historical and cultural relevance, commencing on the anniversary of the formation of the institution in 1795.

To launch the week-long event, a lecture will take place at the Museum of Orange Heritage at Sloan’s House, Loughgall.

Heritage week will culminate on Ulster Day, marking the anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant by unionists in opposition to Home Rule in 1912.

Orange Heritage Week 2017 – Programme of Events

• September 21

Diamond Day lecture (Luther’s Legacy: Rev Ron Johnstone) – Museum of Orange Heritage, Loughgall, 8pm

• September 23

Open day and talk (Orangeism and World War One: Dr Jonathan Mattison) – Banbridge Orange Hall,11am

Open day and tour – Carleton Street Orange hall, Portadown, 11am & 1pm

Lambeg drumming match – Burnside Orange hall, Antrim, 2.30 - 6pm

• September 24

Annual Ulster Day service – Ballyclare Methodist Church, 3.30pm

• September 25

Open day and tour – Carleton Street Orange hall, Portadown, 1pm

Open evening (including history of Orange portraits provided by Sam Carrothers) – Enniskillen District hall, 7.30pm – 10pm

Historical talk (Orangeism and the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant: Gordon Lucy) – Listullycurran Orange hall, Dromore, 8pm

Open night and talk (Origins and formation of Orange Order: Dr David Hume) – Limavady Orange Heritage Centre, 8pm

• September 26

Open day and tour – Carleton Street Orange hall, Portadown, 11am

• September 27

Open day and tour – Carleton Street Orange hall, Portadown, 1pm

• September 28

Open day – Museum of Orange Heritage, Belfast, 10am – 5pm

Guided tour – Clifton Street Orange Hall, Belfast, 10am – 12 noon

Open day and tour – Carleton Street Orange Hall, Portadown, 11am

Archives evening – Museum of Orange Heritage, Belfast, 6.30pm – 9pm

Open evening – ‘The Scotti Rooms’, Cuil Rathain Historical & Cultural Centre, Coleraine, 8pm

Open evening – Moygashel Orange Hall, 7pm – 9.30pm.