Orange Order Celebrates Opening of New HQ

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), October 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

Orange Order Celebrates Opening of New HQ


Byline: Story by BILLY KENNEDY Pictures by TONY WAUGH

Ten thousand Orangemen and women turned out for the opening of the new Schomberg House headquarters of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland on Saturday.

Headed by more than 30 bands, the lodge members from across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland and England paraded over a four-mile route through east Belfast.

The various contingents paraded in county formation from the main assembly point at Templemore Avenue, with the Belfast districts marching from Ballynafeigh Orange Hall. They carried county and district colours and large turn-outs were present from Co Down, Co Antrim and Co Tyrone.

Earlier, the Orange Grand Master of Ireland Robert Saulters officially opened the new headquarters at a ceremony attended by senior members of the Institution.

The dedication was carried out by Orange Grand Chaplains Canon Ernest Long, the Rev Stephen Dickinson and the Rev Victor Ryan.

The new pounds 1million building at Cregagh Road, Belfast replaces the House of Orange at Dublin Road, Belfast as the administrative headquarters of the Orange Institution in Ireland.

Mr Saulters said the Schomberg House opening was a highly significant milestone for the Orange Institution and he welcomed Grand Masters from three other Orange jurisdictions - Iain Wilson (Scotland), Ron Bather (England) and Dave Griffin (Canada) - and representatives of the Loyal Orange Women's Association from Ireland and Scotland, as well as the Junior Orange movement.

Various presentations were by visiting senior Orangemen for display in the new building.

Wreaths were laid at the Castlereagh war memorial and as the march past Schomberg House was observed by Robert Saulters and the other leading officials.

Some streets along the route were decorated for the march and many householders observed the Orange Order call to fly the Union flag to mark the occasion, which coincided with the 89th anniversary of Ulster Day.

The new Schomberg House headquarters, formerly the administrative centre for Castlereagh Borough Council, is named after the Duke of Schomberg, who was King William's leading general at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. …

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