Orange brethren get set for the ‘big day’

The City of Londonderry Grand Orange Lodge. INLS2817-104KM
The City of Londonderry Grand Orange Lodge. INLS2817-104KM

Orange brethren across Mid Ulster are getting prepared for the Twelfth parades in Stewartstown and Garvagh later today (Thursday).

Seven districts will step out in Stewartstown, representing the host district as well as Killyman, Cookstown, Castlecaulfield, Pomeroy, Coagh and Benburb.

The Twelfth was last held in the village seven years ago.

Upwards of 70 lodges and approximately 50 bands – silver, accordion, pipe and flute – will participate in the annual gathering.

Stewartstown District Lodge will have on public display a special bannerette, recently dedicated to commemorate Orangemen from the locality who served in the First World War.

The main parade will commence at 12.15pm from the assembly field on the Coagh Road. From there, it will proceed via North Street, The Square, Hillhead and on to the demonstration field on the Coalisland Road.

The religious service will incorporate a drumhead service where the proceedings will be conducted by the District Chaplain, Rev Robert Boyd.

The resolutions will be proposed by Deputy County Grand Master, Robert Abernethy.

Meanwhile, large crowds are expected to converge on the village of Garvagh for the annual south Londonderry demonstration which is scheduled to move off at 12 noon.

About 60 bands and eight districts will be on parade – Garvagh, Castledawson, Magherafelt, Kilrea, Ballyronan, Tamlaght O’Crilly, Moneymore and Tobermore.

All districts will assemble at Ballynameen Avenue and parade through the village via Kuirn Road, Upper Main Street, Lower Main Street and Coleraine Road to the demonstration field.

Platform proceedings are due to get underway at 2pm and will be chaired by County Londonderry Deputy Grand Master, James Evans.

The religious service will be led by Rev Joseph Andrews, County Chaplain.