Lodge Life: A remarkable Twelfth

The 2020 ‘12th at Home’ celebrations have been declared a ‘great success’ by The Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Most Wor. Bro. Edward Stevenson.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 8:00 am

The 2020 ‘12th at Home’ celebrations have been declared a ‘great success’ by The Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Most Wor. Bro. Edward Stevenson.

There is no doubt that the 2020 Twelfth of July will live long in the memory. A Twelfth like no other as the Orange Family ensured it was marked in style!

The traditional parades did not take place and instead we saw garden parties, barbecues, tractors-runs, banner displays, drive-in church services and of course, Radio Boyne. Many bands paraded through their local areas to bring musical entertainment to those who were enjoying Twelfth day festivities in their gardens with family and friends.

The formal elements of a Twelfth Day, such as the Platform Proceedings and reading of the Resolutions, found a new home on the internet as many watched via social media.

The Grand Master was delighted with the success of the 12th at Home initiative, which was designed to keep the Orange Family and the wider community safe during this Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “The 330th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne will be one we will never forget. We celebrated the occasion very differently this year with the 12th at Home and I am delighted to say it was a great success.

“The commitment of the Orange family to stay at home for the greater good of the entire community must be recognised. Normally, we estimate that up to half a million participants and spectators turn out on the Twelfth so the ability of the Institution to effectively implement its stay at home Twelfth should not be underestimated.

“We may not have had our traditional parades due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but this will be regarded as a great day for the Orange Institution. Coronavirus didn’t ruin our Twelfth – we adapted and celebrated it locally and at home.

“Covid-19 forced us to re-imagine the Twelfth of July for 2020 and the creativity shown by our members, their families and friends has been outstanding. I think there will be lessons learned as to how we could possibly add to and enhance next year’s Twelfth when, God willing, we return to our traditional parades and events.

“The Orange Family came together and marked the Twelfth of July at home with family, they listened to Radio Boyne in their thousands, and were entertained by bands playing in the street.

“I trust everyone had an enjoyable time and we look forward to a double celebration in 2021 with a return of our traditional Twelfth of July parades and the Northern Ireland Centenary celebrations.”

Radio Boyne, which was the cornerstone of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s celebrations, proved a resounding success.

The radio station, aided by the introduction of the Orange Order Mobile App, attracted strong audiences over the four days of broadcasting.

Listeners tuned in from all around the world, with messages of support and photographs being sent from Australia, America, Canada and right across the United Kingdom. This certainly brought a real global feel to events. The level of engagement, through the sharing of photographs of families marking the ‘12th at Home’ was tremendous, with hundreds of images being received and shared on the Grand Lodge website.

The Orange Family certainly enjoyed the occasion with many happy memories of a Twelfth that was unique!