'Heroes' exhibition launched by Order

LINFIELD boss David Jeffrey yesterday kicked off an exhibition on Ulster's most famous Orangemen.

The show, put together by the Orange Order, features heroes of the institution dating back to the 19th century.

Blues manager Jeffrey – himself a Co Down Orangeman – was at the Order’s Belfast headquarters in Schomberg House for the unveiling.

The surprising roll-call of Orange heroes include Dr Thomas Barnardo, founder of the children’s charity, as well as two former prime ministers.

Sir John McDonald, the first PM of Canada from 1815 to 1891, joined when the Grand Orange Lodge of British North America was established.

The Order played a major role in Canadian politics during McDonald’s term, with members in western Canada helping suppress Louis Riel’s uprising against the country’s government in the late 1800s.

Other famed Orangemen featured are William Ferguson Massey, the ex-PM of New Zealand, and Rev W F Marshall, a leading poet who is dubbed “the bard of Tyrone”.

The Heroes from History exhibition, which also shows ancient banners, follows on from last year’s hugely popular William Archive Exhibition.

Organiser Dr David Hume from the Order said the show caters for both sides of the community.

“There is a growing fascination with Orange culture and that comes from people in all walks of life,” he added.

“Last year the Williamite Archive proved very popular with groups such as schools and individual visitors.

“We are very keen to have schools and community groups visit us for this exhibition and learn more about the institution.”