AN awards ceremony took place in Limavady recently, acknowledging the achievements of those involved in the local Orange community.
The Lodge of the Year Award went to Dungiven Faith and Crown Defenders LOL 2036, who have played an active part within the Institution over the last year. The Lodge has continued to grow in numbers with those new members adding to the Lodge’s representation at District and Private Lodge parades. The Lodge has provided several District Officers and a Trustee for the Orange Field Committee. LOL 2036 recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and held a very successful celebration dinner that was attended by the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master and other senior members of the Institution.
Lodge members play key roles within local churches and have undertaken numerous fundraising projects. Trips to the battle fields of France and Flanders and to London have been organised by the Lodge. Members from local Lodges and neighbouring Lodges have attended. Bro. Richard Dallas who now resides and works in Las Vegas has been instrumental in establishing a Lodge in that city. He is the 1st Worshipful Master of the Lodge.
The Community Involvement Award was presented to the Orangeman who has contributed most to the local community in the past year. The 2012 shortlisted winner was Keith McMichael, Ballykelly LOL 699. Bro. McMichael is a Past Secretary and Deputy Master of LOL 254. He recently transferred to Ballykelly LOL 699. He is a Past Secretary and Chairman of Limavady Orange Hall Committee. He is nominated for this award for his work in the many Ex-Service organisations in which he is involved. Specifically Chairman of Limavady Royal British Legion Branch and Chairman of the Ulster Defence Regiment Association.
The Orange Businessman of the Year award was presented to one of the many members involved in the local or wider business community. The 2012 Winner was Raymond Semple, Dungiven Faith and Crown Defenders LOL 2036. Bro. Semple founded ‘Moyola Precision Engineering’ in 1976. The Castledawson company has established itself over 35 years as one of the key players in Northern Ireland within the strong aerospace industry. The company’s main market is overseas with exports into China, USA, Japan, Mexico and Singapore. When the company started in 1976 it had an annual turnover of £26k and was operated by two individuals, today it has a turnover of £10m and employs a workforce of 80 people from across the local community.
The Young Orangeman of the Year was presented to the Young Orangeman who has contributed most to the Orange family and his local community over the course of the last year. The 2012 Winner was David McKeegan, Ballyquin Sons of Ulster LOL 645
Bro. McKeegan is a member of Ballyquin LOL 645 and has helped in various fundraising projects for the Lodge. Most recently he helped organise an anniversary Dinner Dance to celebrate the centenary of Ballyquin Orange Hall. Bro. McKeegan is also a keen member of Ballyquin Sons of Ulster Flute Band and has helped raise vital funds for the band over the years. He is currently Deputy Band Master of the band.
The Orangeman of the Year award was presented to the Orangeman who has contributed most to the Orange family and his local community in the last year.
The 2012 winner was Jonathan Holmes, Ballynarrig LOL 650. Bro. Holmes is a past winner of the Young Orangeman of the Year award. He is a Past Deputy Master of his Private Lodge, Ballynarrig LOL 650 and has been District Secretary of Limavady District LOL No.6 for approximately 10 years. Bro. Holmes has assisted the organising and running of band parades in Limavady and Coleraine through his involvement with the Limavady Marshals Club. He is Assistant Chief Marshal of the Club. He is a keen member of Ballykelly Presbyterian Church and has in recent years joined the local bowling club. Bro. Holmes is also Deputy Master of Limavady Star of the East RBP 97.
The Massey Memorial Award for Excellence, the highest honour on the Awards list was presented to William Douglas. As the name suggests, the award not only honours someone who has achieved excellence in some capacity, but also perpetuates the memory of one of one of Limavady’s most famous sons; Wartime Prime Minister of New Zealand, William Ferguson-Massey.
The recipient of this year’s award certainly mirrors many of the attributes of Massey. He is a family man, a farmer, a politician and he is a faithful church member. He has given wartime service to crown and country and he has shown a lifelong commitment to the Orange Institution and to the wider Orange family.
This year’s winner was born in 1921 and worked here locally in the Burnfoot area as a farmer. During World War II he joined the Royal Air Force and served throughout the war as a flight lieutenant.
He became active in politics, serving in the Limavady Rural District Council from 1960 to 1973 with the Ulster Unionist Party. On 28 June 1973 he was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly with 8,245 votes. He held this seat at the Constitutional Convention election of 1975 and again at the 1982 Assembly election. He served as the Ulster Unionist Party Chief Whip during that Assembly term.
His Orange credentials rose to the fore in Limavady District in the 1960s as he led the fight against republicanism during those dark and dangerous times. His mobilizing of the local Orange and Unionist community at that time should never be underestimated.
He became Limavady’s Worshipful District Master in 1960 and remained in office for the next 30 years. The service he gave not just to Limavady District, but to County Londonderry and to Grand Lodge is immeasurable.
Some have said that he is the County Grand Master that never was. He was nonetheless made an Honorary Deputy Grand Master by the Grand Orange Lodge of the Ireland. A title he holds to this day.
He is famous for his love of music. There can be no doubt that his work with marching bands in this District, has contributed greatly to the fact that we have always had some of the best bands in the country.
He has spent a lifetime tutoring new young bandsmen and women throughout Limavady and further afield. Indeed his name is highly respected throughout the world of Ulster band music.
In fact even in recent years he nurtured, advised and guided the young men who came together to form Dungiven Crown Defenders Flute Band.
This is my last opportunity as District Master to choose the winner of this award, and I was determined not to leave office without honouring the longest serving District Master Limavady District has ever known.
Brethren, Sisters, ladies and gentlemen it gives me great pleasure to present the most humble and modest Orangeman I have had the honour of knowing.
The father of Limavady District Loyal Orange Lodge and the winner of this year’s Massey Award for Excellence; Worshipful Brother William Albert Boyd Douglas