Newtownards District LOL no. 4

The governing body of 12 Orange lodges in Newtownards, County Down

Boyne LOL 1054

Boyne LOL 1054 was formed some time during the 1820s. By 1831 when No 4 District Lodge (Ards) was formed the first District Master was James Boal of LOL 1054.

In the late 1850s there was a dispute in the district, which led to the formation of No 11 District (Upper Ards) in 1861. LOL 1054 became a founding lodge of No 11 District and provided its first District Master. The lodge at this time met in a lodge room in Mary Elgin’s, Upper Mary Street. Around this period lodges began taking names, when prior to this they were known by lodge number. In 1874, 1054 was known as ‘Boyne’.

At this time lodges carried large flags rather than banners and 1054 seems to have purchased a new flag in 1886. In its early days the lodge was known as the ‘stone-cutter’s lodge’, as many of the members worked in the nearby quarries, but the lodge was known later as the ‘tradesmen’s lodge’.

a lodge gathering in the 1930s

From 1900 to 1917 the Master of the lodge was James Smyth, who was to play an important role in the life of the lodge and Orangeism in Newtownards. The first lodge banner was unfurled in the early years of the 20th Century with King William crossing the Boyne on one side and the Relief of the Siege of Derry on the other.

Bro James Smyth, former Deputy Grand Master of Ireland

During the First World War, twenty members of the lodge volunteered to serve in the Armed Forces, and at one stage during the war there were only three active members to keep the lodge going. Four members of the lodge were to pay the supreme sacrifice. These were Rifleman Robert Lightbody, 6th Royal Irish Rifles, Private Andrew Russell, Cameron Highlanders, Private David Taylor, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and Rifleman William McQuiston, 13th Royal Irish Rifles.

In October 1918 it was reported that a member of LOL 1954, Company Quartermaster Sergeant Hans Smyth of the 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal ‘for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty’. Another former member of the lodge, Thomas Murphy joined the 42nd Battalion of the Canadian Infantry, and in 1918 was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty in action.

It was proposed that portraits of the King and Queen be painted on the lodge lambeg drums, however this proposal was withdrawn and the lodge decided instead to have a portrait of Lord Kitchener and Sir Edward Carson. In 1922 LOL 1054 had 74 members on the books.

Bro William Maurice May, MP

It was also a time of high unemployment, which led to a number of members of the lodge emigrating to North America. The lodge treasurer, James Smyth, who had been elected Deputy District Master in 1920, was able to report in 1923 that the lodge was in a healthy financial condition despite so much unemployment.

A new lodge banner was unfurled in June 1925. The design of the banner was the same as the previous banner. Nine members of the lodge served during the Second World War.

In 1940 James Smyth was elected District Master, and in 1943 he became a Deputy Grand Master of Ireland. In May 1944 the lodge presented an illuminated address to James Smyth who celebrated his golden jubilee in Orangeism. He had been the lodge treasurer for the past twenty years.

Following a discussion at the District, where it had been put forward that every lodge in the town be responsible for an arch, LOL 1054 erected a lodge arch in Mary Street.

In 1954 when the lodge decided to purchase a new banner, a portrait of the late Bro James Smyth was on one side and the Relief of Derry on the other.

the lodge gathered on 12th July 2007

William Maurice May M.P., who had transferred to LOL 1054, was given a warm welcome to his first meeting of the lodge in October 1955. In November 1956 he was congratulated by the lodge on becoming Deputy District Master, and the following June the lodge congratulated him on becoming Minister for Education in the Stormont Government.

The lodge discussed purchasing a new banner in 1972. The lodge decided that the banner should have Scrabo Tower on one side and The Sermon on the Mount on the other. The banner cost £120 and was unfurled on 1st July 1975.

The present banner featuring King William at the Boyne and scenes of Newtownards was unfurled in 1997.

Unfurling Of New Bannerette

In May 2007 the lodge unveiled its new bannerette and flags. Special speakers were the Past Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland and former MP for South Belfast, Rev Martin Smyth and the Grand Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge, Rev Stephen Dickinson.

Mrs Amanda Graham, wife of our then-Worshipful Master, unveiled the bannerette and Wor Bro Hugh Morrison and Wor Bro James Dickson unfurled the flags.

The lodge also took the opportunity to present two fifty year service jewels to Wor Bro James Dickson and Wor Bro James Woods.

The bannerette portrays the martyrdom of Latimer and Ridley on one side and the King William III crossing the Boyne on the other. An open bible, as the symbol of our protestant faith, surmounts both portraits.

Londonderry and Donegal

On Saturday 8th September 2007 members of Boyne LOL 1054 and friends went on a trip to Londonderry and East Donegal. In the maiden city we were given a guided tour of the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, the City Walls and St Columb’s Cathedral. The excellent tour guide was the local historian William Temple.

After lunch the party crossed the border into East Donegal where they met up with members of East Donegal Ulster Scots Association.

After tea and biscuits, musical entertainment and poetry was provided and finally the trip moved on to Faughan Presbyterian Church hall for an excellent tea.

Thanks to Farset for funding, Billy Brown for transport, William Temple, the East Donegal Ulster Scots Association for an insight into how the Protestant minority community live in the Irish Republic and the ladies of Faughan Presbyterian Church for the excellent catering.

Protestant rally

The lodge commemorated the 400th anniversary of the failure of the Gunpowder Plot with a Protestant Rally held at Schomberg House on 5th November 2005.

The event was organised in conjunction with the Evangelical Protestant Society and Wor Bro Rev Eric Culbertson spoke on the Gunpowder Plot and Wor Bro Rev Ron Johnston spoke on Orange Principles. Among those in attendance were the Grand Master, Most Wor Bro Robert Saulters and the Past Grand Master Wor Bro Rev Martin Smyth.

A further rally to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the burning of the Protestant Martyrs was held at Schomberg House in April 2006, with the special speaker being the Deputy Grand Master of Ireland, Wor Bro Rev Stephen Dickinson.

The hall was decorated with banners depicting the martyrdom of the Protestants bishops Latimer and Ridley, including the old banner of Blue Banner Total Abstinence LOL 781 from Donaghadee and Silent Valley LOL 263 from Mourne District.

Boyne Trip 2004

The lodge organised a trip to the Boyne battle site in April 2004.  A short parade was held across the river accompanied by the Bawn Silver Band from County Tyrone. At the riverside a short thanksgiving service for King William’s victory was held, conducted by the lodge chaplain Wor Bro Pastor Roy Graham. Members of lodges from Cavan and Monaghan were also present at the service. Despite the near constant rain the lodge members and friends had an enjoyable day out with the opportunity for some shopping in Drogheda.

Dan Winter’s Cottage

The lodge held its 2003 Installation of Officers at Dan Winter’s Cottage in Loughgall, County Armagh, where the decision was taken to form the Orange Order following the Battle of the Diamond in 1795.

members and guests at Dan Winter’s cottage

Booklet publication

To commemorate the 450th anniversary of the burning of the Protestant martyrs, the lodge published a booklet in 1998, which featured articles on John Foxe, the memorials to the Protestant martyrs, and some of the women martyrs of the Reformation.

Why not join us?

Newtownards District consists of twelve lodges making up a membership of over 300. Each lodge holds a monthly meeting, where issues affecting the lodge are discussed. Though much of the business is of a formal nature, there is much social gathering between the members as well, at parades and other events which are organised throughout the year. If you would like to talk to someone about joining, contact us

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