Newtownards District LOL no. 4

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

Ulster’s Chosen Few LOL 111

Warrant No. 111 was first issued shortly after the formation of the Orange Institution in 1795 to a lodge in the Lisburn area.

The lodge banner being carried through Newtownards during the 1990s

A duplicate of that warrant was issued by the Grand Orange Lodge in 1828 to a lodge in the Cookstown area of Co Tyrone. After the re-organisation of the Institution in 1846, a further duplicate of the warrant was issued in around 1851/2 to John Clarke in the Newtownards area.

John Clarke remained the Master of LOL 111 until 1856 but unfortunately no information is available regarding the other members. It is recorded in County Down reports of 1853 that the lodge started with 8 members.

In 1857 Samuel McCreight was the Worshipful Master. He was a builder who lived at Glenford Road and in 1886 his firm built the Orange Hall in Mary Street, which is still in use today. In 1861 when a dispute in No. 4 District led to the setting up of a new District Lodge No. 11, LOL 111 joined with the new district.

The lodge on parade in Newtownards on 12th July 2016

In the 1870s when it became fashionable to give lodges new titles, LOL 111 took the name ‘Hanoverians’. From 1861 until the lodge rejoined No. 4 District in 1879 the lodge had several masters and the number of members varied between 40 and 60, rising on one occasion in 1870 to 82.

In 1880 the Master was again Samuel McCreight and over the next 25 years the lodge went through lean times with the membership fluctuating between 30 and down to 10. In 1906 the Warrant became dormant and it was held by the District Lodge. In 1917 a few members again took out the Warrant with James Dalzell as the Master and with the new name ‘Ulster’s Chosen Few’.

Since that time the lodge has continued with a membership of around 20 to 25. It has mainly been identified with the east end of Newtownards and with families from East Street, Movilla Street and Greenwell Street.

New lodge flag

At the 2022 installation of officers meeting for Ulster’s Chosen Few LOL 111 the lodge conferred honorary membership on three long serving brethren. After the presentation two of the new honorary members Bro John Blair and Bro John Campbell presented the lodge with a beautiful embroidered lodge flag to be carried at the front of the lodge when on parade.

Quiz night winners

In the run up to the 2018 Twelfth celebrations the District hosted a quiz night for our lodges. It was an enjoyable and competitive night, with a team from Ulster’s Chosen Few LOL 111 topping the scoreboard at the end.

Well done to those brothers and to quiz master Mark McDonald.

New banner unfurled

Ulster’s Chosen Few unfurled a new banner in Mary Street Orange Hall on 18th June 2016. Launched to coincide with the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, the new banner remembers two brethren of the lodge, who served with distinction during the Great War and features imagery from the battle fields of France.

Scottish friends

The lodge had a long association with the Prince of Wales Accordion Band, Glasgow, who were regular visitors from Scotland to Newtownards every 12th of July for the annual celebrations. The band’s first connection with LOL 111 began in 1998 and were loyal supporters for around a decade.

They were established in 1966 and are still going strong. Consisting of families from all parts of Glasgow they are mainly all involved in the Orange Institution and are also members of sister organisations.

A welcome donation of a new lodge bannerette was kindly presented by the band in 2001 for the friendship both lodge and band had now been enjoying for a number of years. The Chosen Few presented the Prince of Wales with a five years devoted service cup in 2002 to show how much their loyalty to the lodge was appreciated.

A departed brother

Standing in Movilla Cemetery in Newtownards is this headstone, which was erected by the lodge in memory of a departed Brother. Its inscription reads:

“Erected by the members of Loyal Orange Lodge No. 111 Newtownards to the memory of their deceased Brother Col. Sergeant Samuel Adidle who departed this life 31st March 1861 aged 47 years”.

Elaborately decorated, it features many symbols of Orange importance and also of other organisations.

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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