Brethren from across Northern Ireland, including two senior officials from The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, were in town on Saturday for a very special celebration - the 145th anniversary of Britannia LOL 1912.
Brilliant sunshine greeted the unfurling of a new Lodge banner at Cathedral Youth Club and the banner’s inaugural a parade of the city.
Among those to join the Lodge members for an outdoor service of dedication were The Assistant Grand master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Rev Mervyn Gibson, also the Grand Chaplain of the GOLI, and Raymond Spiers, past Assistant Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ireland and District Master of No 6 District of East Belfast.
During the afternoon 50 Year Medals were presented to three members of Britannia LOL 1912, Norman Hughes, Victor Wray and Joey Stewart, and praise was led by the William King Memorial Flute Band.
The Deputy Mayor, Gary Middleton, presented awards to Chloe Jones, Jack Holland, Luke Hepburn and Cameron Murray, who were winners in the banner design competition run over the past eight weeks at Cathedral Youth Club, and gifts were also presented to the two girls who performed the unfurling of the new banner, Megan Walker and Andi Anderson.
A key feature of the new banner is the inclusion once more of Britannia’s lion, which was omitted in the Lodge’s second banner.
Thanking the members of LOL 1912 for the honour and privilege of officiating at the Service of Dedication, the Dean of Derry, Very Rev Dr William Morton said he hoped that he hoped each time it was paraded that members of the Lodge communicated the message of peace.
He said he had been enormously impressed at how the project had involved the young people of The Cathedral Youth Club in the design process allowing them the opportunity and experience of making a banner and experiencing part of the culture of the area.
Leading in prayer, the Dean went on to dedicate the new banner saying: “May the labours of all who were involved in procuring this new banner be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord and every time the banner is carried may the members lift high the standards of Your saving Gospel and communicate the message of peace which You O Lord bring to all who call upon You for mercy and for help.”
Calling on Cathedral Youth Club members Megan Walker and Andi Anderson to unfurl the banner, he continued: “We dedicate this new banner to the glory of God and for the use of Britannia LOL 1912 in the name of Almighty God, Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Grant O Heavenly Father that this banner will always be used so that those follow it and all who observe it will walk worthily of their Christian calling and that in all things God’s name may be praised and glorified and His Kingdom be advanced upon earth.”
To watch a video and slideshow for highlights from the Service of Dedication log on at www.londonderrysentinel.co.uk and look under the Loyal Orders tab or on the news feed.