THE SOMME MEMORIAL LOYAL ORANGE LODGE 842
Plymouth District held their Annual Parade & Service, one week earlier than usual this year, to facilitate a Remembrance Parade in Liverpool.
This event marks the landing at Brixham, Torbay, of William, Prince of Orange on the morning of 5th November 1688, which led to the Glorious Revolution. As such it is a very important event in the Orange calendar.
The Brethren assembled at Rae Barn Close at 2:30 pm and by 3pm the parade had moved off.
Representatives were present from Lodges in Southampton, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Bristol, London, Sussex, Liverpool, Northamptonshire and further afield, including several Brethren from Northern Ireland and Scotland.
The Parade was led by the Colonel Saunderson Memorial Band, followed by the District and Metropolitan Provincial officers and as it wound its way down towards the seafront, the parade made a very colourful spectacle, with many households coming out to watch, along the route.
The Parade halted at the town's War Memorial, where wreaths were laid in memory of the fallen. From here it progressed to the seafront, to be greeted by many well wishers and tourists. Pausing again, a wreath was laid at the statue of William, Prince of Orange, by a member of Plymouth Junior Loyal Orange Lodge.
The statue is close to the spot where the Prince of Orange came ashore on that famous day in November 1688. The statue's foundation stone was laid on exactly the 200th Anniversary of William's landing, with the finished unveiling exactly one year later.
The Parade halted for the final time along the seafront, at the old fishmarket. The District Worshipful Master, conducted the Act of Remembrance, which included a two minutes silence. He then addressed the gathered Brethren, Sisters, friends and visitors, giving an address marking the importance of this place and paying respects to our Nation's Forces at home and abroad.
A religious service was then led by the District Chaplain, which included a Scripture reading from Psalm 46 and the hymn "Fight the Good Fight". The service concluded with the Benediction, followed by the first two verses of The National Anthem. The Parade then fell out.
County Antrim Brethren at the statue
Many Brethren then took the opportunity to have photographs taken at the Prince of Orange statue. Most notable were the Brethren and ladies from Larne District, who, never missing a photo opportunity, seemed intent on claiming the statue as their own! Special thanks must go to these Brothers and ladies who came over for the Parade from County Antrim. They included Brothers from Shaw's Memorial L.O.L. 22, Larne, Raloo True Blues L.O.L. 55, Ballynure L.O.L. 610, and Kilwaughter L.O.L. 520. It was a fantastic effort for them to attend and their support was much appreciated by the District. Hopefully they will spread the word of this fantastic event and next year we may see even more guests from across the water.
Brethren of The Somme Memorial LOL 842, Bristol,
along with Sisters from Liverpool
A social function was held in a local hotel on the evening of the parade and this was a great success, as it gave many people the opportunity to renew old acquaintances and make new ones.
The landing of William of Orange at Torbay, 1688 by J.M.W. Turner
The District Master confirmed that this was the largest number of Brethren who had walked on this parade, beating the record of the previous year. Special thanks must go to the District for putting on a superb event and in particular Deputy District Master Bro. Neil Young and his wife, who put many hours of hard work into the organising of the event.
Let us hope and pray, that next year's event will be bigger again and that Plymouth District will increase in numbers and go from strength to strength.