The warrant of LOL 1501 has an interesting history. It was originally an army or marching warrant which was brought to the town in the 1840s.
This warrant was first issued to a lodge in Bandon, Co Cork in 1823 and then renewed on 6th July 1824. It was handed back to Grand Lodge in 1830. It was re-issued in 1832 to the 81st Regiment of Foot and re-directed to the 83rd Regiment in 1866. It was returned to Grand Lodge again in 1876. It was re-issued in 1877 to Hugh Evesbeth of Mill Street, Newtownards as W.M. There were 40 members returned that year.
The lodge had no returns in 1880, but in 1881 they returned 18 members with Samuel McCreight as WM. Bro McCreight was the builder of the present Orange Hall in Newtownards. In 1882 the warrant was renewed to Henry Finley of Zion Cottage, Newtownards.
In 1883 T.R. Lavery, a local factory owner became WM and remained in office until 1899. The position was taken over by James Mawhinney of Frances Street in 1900. T.R. Lavery became District Master of No 4 District in 1907 and remained so until 1941 when he died.
The lodge members were active in the 1912 Ulster crisis when many joined the UVF and consequently became members of the 13th Bttn Royal Irish Rifles (36th Ulster Division) in the First World War. The WM of the Lodge in 1916 was Lt. William Wright who was on duty at the Somme on 1st July 1916.
The lodge is known as the Volunteers. It has been very active in the District Lodge all the years of its existence, supplying many of the District officers through the years even up to present day. Past members of the Lodge have held the post of District Master of No 4; the late Bro T.R. Lavery, Bro W Webb, Bro E Young and Bro J Boal.
President of the club, T.R. Lavery was a prominent figure in all the loyal orders and in the political life of the town. Born in 1852 he was the owner of the Ann Street Hemstitching Works. A Town Commissioner, in 1904 he became the chairman of the newly formed Newtownards District Council. In the same year he became Master of RBP 290. He was President of the Apprentice Boys until his death in January 1940.
The current banner features the victory of King William III at the Battle of the Boyne on one side and on the other side a biblical scene. This banner dates from 21st June 1969 when it was unfurled by the late Bro. Elliott Young’s wife Emma.
Unfurling of banner in 1969