THE SOMME MEMORIAL LOYAL ORANGE LODGE 842
Plymouth District No. 64 hosted their annual celebration over the weekend of 28-30th October 2011. The event followed the same format as in previous years and also following the trend of recent years, there was an excellent turnout. Lodges were present from Plymouth, Bristol, Portsmouth, Southampton, London, Birmingham, Essex, Liverpool, Scotland and Larne in County Antrim.
Plymouth District itself is comprised of St Augustine LOL 904 of Plymouth, The Somme Memorial LOL 842 of Bristol and Plymouth Junior Orange Lodge No. 1, but the District is soon to have another Lodge, when the Rawlins White Memorial LOL will be formed in Cardiff, South Wales.
The Anniversary has been celebrated for many years with notable years being the 250th Anniversary (see below) and in 1988, on the 300th Anniversary, where Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, came to Brixham and was joined by members of the Dutch Royal Household.
The Grand Lodge of England marks the 250th Anniversary in 1938
On Saturday afternoon, the Brethren and Sisters assembled at Rea Barn Road in preparation for the Parade. Prior to the parade setting off, there was a dedication ceremony of a new bannerette. Lord Cairns Memorial LOL 242 of Birmingham had brought their new bannerette to this parade and it was this bannerette which was unfurled and dedicated by the Plymouth District Chaplain Bro Ian McFarland.
Brethren of Lord Cairns Memorial LOL 242 proudly show their new colours
The parade set off at 2:30pm and the Colonel Saunderson Memorial Accordian band provided the music as the Orangemen and Orangewomen made their way towards the town centre. On an otherwise overcast grey day, the parade was a colourful spectacle as it made its way down onto the Berry Head Road. At the War Memorial the marchers stopped for a wreath laying ceremony and two-minute's silence. This parade not only marks the anniversary of William, Prince of Orange landing in Brixham on 5th November 1688, but also is a Remembrance Parade where we mark and pay respect to those who have paid the ultimate price to keep our nation free.
As the marchers arrived in the town centre, many supporters and onlookers came out to see the assembled Brethren - many people perhaps unaware of the connection that Orangeism has with this part of the British Isles. At the Prince of Orange statue, a wreath was laid by a member of Plymouth Junior Orange Lodge No. 1, in memory of the Dutch Prince who came to our aid 323 years ago.
The parade made its way to the fishmarket area, when it halted and a religious service was held. After being addressed by the District Worshipful Master, the service was led by the District Chaplain. The hymn for the day was 'Abide with Me', which is a hymn that will forever be associated with Brixham as it was written by the Rev Henry Francis Lyte, who was vicar of All Saints Church. He wrote the famous hymn one Sunday evening in 1847, whilst watching the sunset over the beautiful Brixham harbour. The Chaplain gave an address based on the 400th Anniversary of the King James Version of the Holy Bible and this was well received by the Brethren and onlookers alike.
After the service many Lodges took the opportunity to pose for photographs in front of the Prince of Orange statue.
In the evening an excellent social event was held in a Torquay hotel, where the music was provided by the Colonel Saunderson band.
The Somme Memorial LOL 842 of Bristol, at the Prince of Orange statue
This was another very successful event hosted by Plymouth District and indeed these are good times for Orangeism in this part of the world. The new Cardiff Lodge will be opened in the springtime and this will also come under Plymouth District No.64. It has been 90 years since Orangeism has had a presence in the Welsh Capital and it will be a proud day for Plymouth District when that Lodge opens in March 2012.
Many thanks to all those Brethren and Sisters who travelled some distance and who helped make this a special event, with thanks once again to the members who came over from Country Antrim.
The Landing at Torbay