In his first formal event since being appointed Imperial President of the Imperial World Orange Council at the 45th Liverpool Sessions at the Council’s Triennial Council meeting last week, the guest of honour, Henry Dunbar, told Brethren in Coleraine that a strong bond united Orangemen in Ulster with Brethren in Scotland.
The Orange Council President said that, well into the 21st Century it was very apparent that the Orange Institution in Scotland and Northern Ireland was being “discriminated against and demonised for promoting the Protestant Reformed Faith and Orange heritage and culture”,
Critical of the Parades Commission’s handling of the Brethren in Twidell, he said the decision reached by the commission had “totally flew in the face of civil and religious liberties for all”.
Recalling the core principles of what the Orange Institution had been founded on and stood for, Mr Dunbar reminded Brethren that the Orange Institution was a religious organisation, based on the inspired work of God; at its heart was the main principle of civil and religious liberty for all, which, he said “must be maintained”.
“This principle lies at the very core of Orangeism and at the heart of the Glorious Revolution of 1688-1689. The Institution is loyal to the constitution of 1688 and recognises the key liberties enshrined it as the basis on which or modern freedoms are based,” he said.
“We also fully realise and understand that we now operate in a society that has significantly changed over the last 220 years and the reality is that modern society is secular and is also multi-cultural, and we realise the political landscape, especially in Scotland, has also changed.”
Turning to the outcome of the Scottish Referendum, he said he thanked God that Scotland was still part of what he called “the greatest union the world has ever known”.
“I also thank Almighty God that we continue to enjoy our freedom and liberty, strength and unity as part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” he said.
He told Brethren that Ulster did not need a referendum and he urged the people of Scotland and Ulster to “go back to the truth of the Gospel and the true Gospel message of salvation”.
“As we parade in the Boyne celebrations today as loyal subjects of the British Crown, I wish you all an enjoyable time.
“More than that, in the year that Her Gracious Majesty makes history by becoming Britain’s longest serving monarch, what better way to honour her tremendous service, than by rededicating ourselves and the Orange Institution, to maintaining the unity of Her realm?
“We are the voice of the Protestant people in Scotland and in Ulster and it is very evident to us that the churches are silent out of some notion that they are politically correct and sensitive on this issue.”
The Orange Council President went on to thank the Orange Order in Coleraine for their invite to appear as their guest at the platform proceedings and added: “Let us stand united in Christ and always remember that united we stand and divided we fall. Thank you and God’s blessing to you all,”