a LARNE Orange lodge is in contention for a prestigious award later this month.
Chaine’s Inver LOL 596 is one of the nominees in the best new banner category of the Orange Community Awards.
The banner’s main image shows the Princess Victoria vessel which sank in one of the great maritime tragedies in 1953 when bound for Larne from Scotland, resulting in the death of 133 people. It also features the Chaine Memorial Tower, built locally in honour of former MP, James Chaine.
Artistic images from lodges all over Northern Ireland, depicting the signing of the Ulster Covenant, the end of the Second World War, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Woodburn Ebenezer LOL 787, Carrickfergus, is also one of the nominees with its new banner from when the lodge decided to jointly mark the centenary of the Ulster Covenant and its own formation. The front of the banner features Woodburn Orange Hall in 1912 when it was used as a location for locals to pen their opposition to Home Rule. The reverse showcases the historic landing of King William at Carrickfergus, priorto making his way to the Boyne.
The short-listed banners – all painted by local artist William Magowan - are representative of six individual Orange Lodges from across the Province, and were all unfurled for the first time during 2012.
Speaking ahead of the awards ceremony in Londonderry, Orange Order Director of Services, Dr David Hume, maintained all banner nominees were of an equally
high artistic calibre and were each worthy winners in their own right given their historical significance.
He said: “The banners entered for this year’s Best New Banner award present our judges with an extremely difficult task. They draw on the local history of the areas concerned and they provide excellent artistic expression.
“Orange banners generally tell a story, not only about the Battle of the Boyne but many other aspects of our heritage and culture, from the Reformation to local scenes, from the Second World War to distinguished past members of lodges.
“The banners are a unique way of explaining our history and the values we hold and a colourful and visual celebration of that culture.”
He added: “All the lodges entered can be extremely proud of their new banners and hopefully they may encourage ideas in others now planning ahead for a new banner in their area.”
The Orange Community Awards – now in their eighth year - are held on an annual basis to showcase the community work undertaken by members of the Loyal
Other prizes due to be presented at the event – taking place at the Waterside Theatre in Londonderry – will include the respective recipients of the Grand Master’s Award, Individual and Lodge Community Involvement categories and the Best Charity Fundraising Lodge amongst others.
Tickets can be obtained for the awards ceremony on Saturday, January 26 by contacting the Waterside Theatre box office on 028 7131 4000. Tickets cost £6 each. The event will commence at 7.30pm.