Newtownards District LOL no. 4

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

Junior LOL 131

Junior LOL 131 was reformed in August 1991 filling the void which had seen Newtownards District without a Junior lodge since the mid-eighties.

Following the collapse of the two previous lodges, the decision was made that any new junior section would be run under the guidance of the District, and not an individual private lodge.

The warrant number 131 was again applied for, as it had previously been used in Newtownards, and on 30th August 1991 the lodge opened with seventeen new members. Attempts to trace the previous lodge banner had failed, and so a new lodge standard was unfurled on 5th June 1992.

The unfurling of the new banner in 1992

The early years saw great times as the membership swelled to the point of returning 45 members at the end of 1992. The lodge also brought home trophies for scripture and 5-a-side football, as well as playing host to the Junior District’s Church Service in 1993. Residential trips to the Junior Grand Lodge-owned property, Warren House in Donaghadee were also organised.

Four members of the lodge undertook a course to learn the Junior Orange Lecture and, because of a dispute at the time in County Down over the wording of the lecture, the brethren from Newtownards carried the honour of being the only practicing lecturers in the District for a time.

Junior demonstration day, 2003

The replacement of three Superintendents in five years, however did nothing to help the stability of the lodge and the loss of the original Superintendent began a downward spiral for the lodge as attendance numbers began to drop over the next few years and even today the lodge is still recovering from the dip in interest.

Since around 1998 the lodge has been steadied by a new leadership team and though things are not what they used to be, the current members are those that have the honour of saying that they helped to bring the Junior County Demonstration back to Newtownards after an absence of around thirty years. June 2001 saw the County Down Juniors parade the town to Londonderry Park, fittingly in the lodge’s tenth anniversary year.

The lodge also made its first steps outside of Northern Ireland in 2001, as ten members attended a Junior demonstration in Liverpool. The visit to Liverpool reflected several trips made the other way by Junior boys and girls from the area who had made earlier visits to take part in our annual County Demonstration.

Two former Worthy Masters of the lodge went on to hold Superintendent positions, and several of the senior lodges in the town have felt the benefits of JLOL 131, as a number former members have passed into the senior ranks.

12th Presentation 2006

The Junior lodge received the kind gift of new officers cuffs from Women’s Lodge No. 110 this year. The new cuffs were dedicated and presented on the 12th morning by Sisters Kathleen and Marlyn Boal. Here they are proudly displayed by the WM James Boal and his deputy Brian Peden.

12th July 2005

As host for the 2005 Twelfth demonstration, Newtownards District decided to add a pageantry element to the parade by employing the Junior Lodge in period costume. This involved the boys dressing as members of the Williamite army, behind their standard and falling into the parade behind the carriage of King William and Queen Mary.

The King and Queen were also played by Junior members, with William representing JLOL 131 and Mary portrayed by a Junior Girls Lodge member.

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