THE SOMME MEMORIAL LOYAL ORANGE LODGE 842
Plymouth District LOL No 64, held their Annual Parade, Service and function on the weekend of 30th October 2010. The occasion was to commemorate the 322nd Anniversary, of William, Prince of Orange, landing in Brixham on 5th November 1688 and the start of what is known as The Glorious Revolution. This period in British and European history was crucial, as it ensured many of the Civil and Religious Liberties which we still enjoy to this day.
The weekend started with everyone meeting on the heights overlooking the fishing port of Brixham. The weather was overcast, but dry and as the Brethren and Sisters arrived at the assembly point, they were greeted by the sounds of a Lambeg drum, accompanied by a couple of fifers - a great start to the day as it is a rare sight in England these days to see Lambegs on parade.
At 2:30pm the Parade moved off - it was lead by the Plymouth District Officers and followed by Metropolitian Provincial Officers, Plymouth District Lodges and many other Lodges from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This event has grown steadily in numbers over the past few years and on this occasion, there were Lodges present from most of the English Provincial Grand Lodges, County Grand Lodge of Glasgow, County Antrim and Banbridge. The music was provided by Colonel Saunderson Accordion Band and Pride of Norris Green Accordion Band, as well as the Lambeg drum and fifers from the 'Drumming for Heroes Group'.
The Parade made it way towards Victoria Road and then down the steep hill, onto Berry Head Road and alongside the sea wall into the town. At the War Memorial, the parade halted and memorial wreaths were laid by Plymouth District, Metropolitan Province and the Ladies Loyal Institution of England. The Parade being close to Remembrance Sunday, also acts as a focal point where Brethren remember all those of the Orange Institution and the many others who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, so that we can live in freedom today in the UK.
As the parade made it's way into the historic town it was a great sight to behold. The procession was awash with colour and noise particularly as the sound of the Lambegs echoed off the narrow streets of the historic fishing port. Amongst the banners on display were those from Plymouth, Bristol, Southampton, Medway, Banbridge and Glasgow - as the procession entered the town to the sound of 'Marching through Georgia' many people lined the streets to wave, cheer and show their support.
The parade stopped again at the statue of William, Prince of Orange, where a wreath was laid by Plymouth Junior Loyal Orange Lodge, before moving on to the quayside adjacent to the old Lifeboat Station. A short service was held where the Worshipful District Master spoke and paid tribute to our forces past and present who had paid a huge sacrifice in the name of liberty. The District Chaplain led the Brethren, Sisters and assembled friends in a religious service and gave an address on ' Two Kings, Two Kingdoms'. After singing the National Anthem, the Parade fell out.
Obelisk marks the spot where the Prince of Orange stepped ashore
Drumming For Heroes
Among the Brethren on Parade were around 40 members of the Drumming for Heroes group, who are planning to transport a Irish Lambeg Drum, which weighs about two stone, through England, Scotland and then over to Northern Ireland, where they will carry it from Carrickfergus to The Battle of The Boyne site, at Drogheda. The group previously raised thousands of pounds carrying the drum to the top of Ben Nevis in 2008. The Lambeg will hold pride of place at many functions within the UK, where it will be signed by the Worshipful Masters of the Lodges present.
Organiser Colin Girvan said: "The idea is to start off in Brixham, the landing place of King William III. We wanted to do this challenge for Help for Heroes as it's a great charity that has caught the imagination of lots of people."
Donations can be made to 'Help for Heroes' by clicking the drum link below
In the evening a function was held in a Torquay hotel where both bands who had been on parade, played a medley of both Orange and popular tunes. The Lambeg drum was then given centre stage and officially handed over from the Scottish Lodges to their English Brethren, who will host the drum at several functions over the coming months. Many people took the opportunity to have their photograph taken alongside the drum and a good amount of money was raised for thr Help for Heroes Charity - a very worthy cause.
Brethren of The Somme Memorial LOL 842, Bristol, join their Worshipful Master with the drum
Many thanks to all those who travelled to Brixham to support the Plymouth District Brethren, in particular those who travelled from Scotland, Ulster and the Drumming for Heroes Group. Many thanks are also due to all those who worked so hard to make this event such an outstanding success. Praise be to God, for Plymouth District has had several new members throughout the last year and with plans for a new Lodge to open in Cardiff in the near future, it must be our hope and prayer, that Orangeism would continue to grow in this part of the world.