Parade to celebrate silver jubilee of Orange ‘field’ in Magherafelt

Twelfth parades
Twelfth parades

Several thousand Orangemen will converge on Magherafelt this Saturday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the district’s demonstration field.

The field at Moneymore Road has been used to host various events over the years, most recently the Twelfth of July demonstration of 2013.

This weekend the ten lodges of Magherafelt District LOL No 3 - accompanied by visiting brethren and bands - will mark the anniversary by holding a special anniversary parade and service of re-dedication.

A lodge spokesperson said a few years prior to 1990 the decision was taken by the district to explore the idea of purchasing a demonstration field.

He said: “The then Worshipful District Master, Br Walter Greer, Deputy District Master, Br James Evans, District Secretary, Br William Keatley and the District Treasurer, Br John Kenning were given the task of locating a suitable field within the district town of Magherafelt.

“Following on from some discussions it was agreed to purchase a seven-acre field from Mr David Purvis located at Moneymore Road.

“The opening and dedication of the field then took place in conjunction with the Tercentenary Celebrations that were held around the country to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne on Saturday, June 9, 1990.”

Prior to the service of re-dedication brethren this Saturday evening, headed by Grand Lodge, County and District Officers with Bannerettes from throughout Northern Ireland will assemble at the demonstration field, at Moneymore Road from 7pm, leaving at 7.30pm prompt.

They will be accompanied by Bruce’s True Blues Accordion Band from Bellaghy, Lisnagrot Accordion Band, Kilrea, Moneydig Young Conquerors Flute Band from Garvagh together with bands from Magherafelt District LOL No 3 who will lead the procession through the town to the Diamond and back along the Moneymore Road to the field.

Br Walter Greer, who was instrumental in purchasing the field, will speak as will Londonderry County Grand Master and current Worshipful District Master of Magherafelt, Worshipful Br Hugh Stewart.

“It is anticipated that the whole Orange family will unite in strength once more as we celebrate this special milestone in the life of Magherafelt District LOL No 3,” the lodge spokesman added.