Last Saturday: Royal Black Institution keeps it local with 28 smaller parades

The 2018 Last Saturday Parade in Cookstown which is hosting a demonstration again this SaturdayThe 2018 Last Saturday Parade in Cookstown which is hosting a demonstration again this Saturday
The 2018 Last Saturday Parade in Cookstown which is hosting a demonstration again this Saturday
The Royal Black Institution will hold a ‘Local Last Saturday’ across Northern Ireland on Saturday with an estimated 17,000 members and bands taking part.

Traditionally, the ‘Last Saturday’ demonstrations are held at six locations across Northern Ireland.

However, due to the pandemic, its ‘flagship day’ has been organised on a more localised basis, with a greater number of smaller processions. For the second year in a row, all plans for larger demonstrations have been put on hold.

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Instead, more than 350 preceptories, almost all headed by top quality flute, accordion, silver and pipe bands will take part in 28 local parades, organised at district level. Thirty preceptories and bands from counties Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal will also attend.

Each parade will involve a short religious service – and it will also be an opportunity for participants and supporters to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Northern Ireland.

The Royal Black Institution has urged everyone attending a parade to comply with Covid health regulations and guidance.

Sovereign Grand Master the Rev William Anderson said: “Throughout this terrible pandemic, the Royal Black Institution has played a responsible role, cancelling meetings and processions in a bid to help curtail the virus spread.

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“As a civic-minded and Christian organisation, many of our members played active roles in helping the sick and shielding.

“Considering the tumultuous and, at times, dispiriting last 18 months, I am sure these local parades will bring huge joy to participants and spectators alike as we witness for our Reformed Christian faith and celebrate the centenary of our beloved country.”

Three resolutions will be passed at the parades.

On faith, the institution reiterates its commitment to Reformed Protestant principles and urges its members to uphold traditional Christianity in their lives.

On loyalty, the institutionin pledges to remain loyal to Her Majesty the Queen and praises her clear senses of duty, service and Christian witness through her leadership.

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On the constitution, the institution calls upon the government to remove the Northern Ireland Protocol, which, it says, “has diluted the citizenship of the people of Northern Ireland by allowing a foreign power to have control of our customs and borders.

“We wish to remain in the United Kingdom and our citizenship of such is not open for negotiation or to be used as a bargaining tool by our government or any foreign power.”

WHERE AND WHEN ... full list of all 28 Royal Black parades


• Lisburn: Procession leaves Wallace Park at noon to parade the city. Service and act of remembrance at the Cenotaph, after which the parade returns to Wallace Park. Thirteen preceptories and bands.

• Ballymena: Service of worship at Ballee playing fields 11.45am; then parade through Ballymena town 12.30pm. Twenty-three preceptories and bands.

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• Antrim: Service and wreath-laying at the Cenotaph 11.30am. A parade of Antrim town 12.30pm. Ten preceptories and bands.

• Larne: Act of remembrance at Cenotaph with a service noon, and a parade through Larne town. Twelve preceptories and bands.

• Ballymoney: Service at war memorial followed by a parade at 12.30pm around the town. Twelve preceptories and bands.

• Ballyclare: Service and act of remembrance at war memorial noon, followed by a town parade. 12.30pm. Eleven preceptories and bands.


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• Primatial City (Armagh) - Killylea: act of remembrance at Armagh Orange hall 10am. Service at Kennedies Road, Killylea 11am, followed by a village parade. Twelve preceptories and bands.

• Summerisland (Loughgall): Act of remembrance at Loughgall war memorial 11.30am, followed by a parade through the village to demonstration field for service. Return parade 2.30pm. Ten preceptories and bands.


• The City Grand Chapter and Sandy Row District No 3 leave Sandy Row Orange hall at 10am. All seven districts meet at Belfast City Hall at 10.45am. Act of remembrance at the Cenotaph 11am. The procession will start at 11.30am towards Botanic Gardens, returning to Great Victoria Street to disperse. Eighty preceptories and 40 bands.


• Lower Iveagh: Service at 11.30am at Dromore Orange hall followed by a parade of the town. Thirteen preceptories and bands.

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• Lecale and Castlewellan: Service in Clough at noon followed by a village parade, with both Lecale and Castlewellan districts participating. Fifteen preceptories and bands.

• Newry: Parade leaves Downshire Road, Newry,10.30am for Orange centennial fields, Belfast Road. Service in fields at noon. Return parade to Downshire Road 1pm. Nine preceptories and bands.

• Ballynahinch: Parade around Ballynahinch 11am from Orange hall with a service at Belfast Road. Nine preceptories and bands.

• Banbridge: Parade around Banbridge town 11.15am. Ten preceptories and bands.

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• Rathfriland: Parade around Rathfriland town 11am, with wreath laying at the war memorial. Eight preceptories and bands.

• Mourne: The District Chapter meets for an act of worship at 7pm at Mourne Esplanade, Kilkeel. This will be followed by a parade around Kilkeel. Four preceptories and bands (600 members).

• Largymore: Meets in Barbour playing fields, Lisburn, for service 11.15am, followed by a parade in Lisburn city, including wreath laying at the war memorial. Thirteen preceptories and bands.

• Comber: Service at Comber Orange hall 11.30am, followed by a parade around the town. Ten preceptories and bands.

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• Newtownards: Parade in Newtownards town centre noon. Thirteen preceptories and bands.

• Saintfield: Service in church car park, Comber Road, Ballygowan 11am, followed by parade around the village noon. Nine preceptories and bands.

• Bangor: Service at 11am in grounds of Bangor town hall. This includes unfurling of a new banner for RBP No 784, followed by a parade around the town centre. Four preceptories and bands.


• Coleraine: Meeting at Killowen Orange hall, Coleraine 11am for service and act of remembrance. Followed by parade of Coleraine town centre 11.30am. Eleven preceptories and bands.

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• City of Londonderry: Parade will leave Shanreagh crossroads noon for parade to Limavady Orange field. A wreath will be left at Limavady war memorial, followed by parade. Service at 1.15pm. Nine preceptories and bands.

• South Londonderry: Parade in Desertmartin 11.30am from field on Moneymore Road, and going through village for service 12.30pm. Sixteen preceptories and bands. Guest speaker is Sovereign Grand Master Rev William Anderson.


• Killyman: Service in Lord Northland Memorial Park, Dungannon, noon, followed by parade around Dungannon 1pm. Sixteen preceptories and bands.

• Aughnacloy: Service in grounds of Aughnacloy College noon, followed by parade around Aughnacloy. Ten preceptories and bands.

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• East Tyrone: Service at Cameron’s Hill noon, followed by parade in Cookstown to Derryloran parish church. Fourteen preceptories and bands.

• Castlederg: Castlederg district will be joined by Strabane and districts, as well as guests from Co Fermanagh and Co Donegal. Service in the Orange Field 12.30pm, followed by a parade of Castlederg town centre. Twenty-three preceptories and bands.