Work begins to rebuild Donegal Orange Hall

Pictured are Keith Thompson DM; James McKnight, Chairman of Committee; Alan Laird WM; Sam Parker and his son John Parker, of Larne Harbour LOL 766; Ross Hunter, foreman of Lowry Construction and Ian McConaghy, Hall Committee.

Pictured are Keith Thompson DM; James McKnight, Chairman of Committee; Alan Laird WM; Sam Parker and his son John Parker, of Larne Harbour LOL 766; Ross Hunter, foreman of Lowry Construction and Ian McConaghy, Hall Committee.

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The members of Convoy Thiepval Memorial Loyal Orange Lodge, No 1005, in East Donegal had special reason to celebrate when they met on February 17.

They got together with a very special guest to officially lay the cornerstone of their new Orange Hall.

The ceremony was carried out by special guest Bro Sam Parker, himself a former member of the Lodge, who made the journey from Larne, Co Antrim.

The original hall was destroyed in a sectarian arson attack in November 2014 and as one of a number of similar attacks on remote Orange Order buildings.

The ceremony had special significance as Bro Parker had helped to build the original hall back in 1930.

His late father, Bro Samuel Senior, together with Bro Oliver McClure, led a team of voluntary workers who built the original hall in the town.

It was this same hall which was open to all in the community, but which was destroyed the attack in 2014.

During his visit ‘home’ Bro Parker met the builders, Lowry Construction, and regaled them with interesting and humorous insights into the original construction, recalled the horses, carts, ropes and buckets which were used in 1930 compared to the cranes and modern machinery of today.

Convoy Thiepval Memorial LOL 1005 was formed in 1919 as a lasting memorial to the Convoy men who fell during the Great War.

The original hall was named The Thiepval Memorial Orange Hall and at least 70 Unionist men from the Convoy area served their King and Country during WWI in the Army, Navy and Air Force. Some of their descendants are members of the Lodge today.

Following the arson attack it was agreed that a new hall be built to carry on the proud tradition of remembrance.

The Convoy Lodge members are greatly indebted to the Lodges, Preceptories and ABOD, as well as clubs throughout the British Isles which contributed and continue to support the Convoy Hall Appeal.

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