NEW CENTRE REPRESENTS MAJOR ORANGE INVESTMENT IN LIMAVADY
DEVELOPMENT of a new Orange centre in Limavady represents a £700,000 investment by the Orange Order locally.
Work began on the Limavady Orange Heritage Centre in February 2016 on the site of the old Limavady District Hall and it will be officially opened on July 1, 2017.
A large attendance of Orangemen and women and their supporters are expected to take part in the parade around the town on that date to help celebrate the occasion, while the Grand Master of the Orange Institution, Edward Stevenson, will formally turn the key in the new Catherine Street building and declare it open.
That evening the hall will be open to the public between 8pm and 10pm, with everyone welcome.
The three-storey building will include an Orange museum as well as a function room, a lodge room and offices.
The Roe Valley Credit Union Ltd will also have its offices in the building, and there are ambitious plans by the Orange District to provide tours of the museum and expand outreach into the wider community to tell the story of the Orange tradition.
Keith Thompson, one of the Trustees of the new premises, said the new development was exciting news for the Orange Order in Limavady and district, “This new building represents a major investment and a great optimism for the future,” he said.
“Trustees of the old Limavady Orange Hall took a strategic decision to replace the old building, which had served its purpose well over the years since it opened in 1891, and to erect a modern facility on the site. This will include an Orange heritage centre as well as functional rooms for lodge meetings and social events,”
“We are looking forward to the opening and to letting everyone see the work that has been done,”
Another Trustee, Cllr. Aaron Callan, said that it was felt it was important to help preserve the past though the modern centre, “There are a lot of interesting historical documents and artefacts and we felt they should be preserved and that they should be utilised to help tell the story of Orangeism in the area,” he said.
“We have also had the promise of artefacts once the centre is open, so we anticipate adding to the collections on display,” he said.
The project consultant has been Orange historian, writer and broadcaster, Dr. David Hume, who said that Limavady District had to be commended for its vision in creating a place for heritage in the new centre.
“Sometimes in Orange Halls you will find old photographs and certificates dotted around the walls, but that does not in itself tell the overall story of Orangeism. In deciding to display artefacts, have interpretive panels and also audio visual aspects to the centre, they have shown great vision and the finished product will be engaging and informative for visitors, whatever their background,” he said.
Limavady Orange District was formed in 1811 and the first lodges in the area appear to have been started in the late 1790s. The new centre will feature details on the early lodges and Orange halls in the area as well as prominent figures within the Institution locally.
Artefacts from 19th century Orangeism, the Home Rule period and both world wars will be among those on display.
Key artefacts include
- a Limavady Unionist Club Banner from 1892,
- Ulster Volunteer Force Patriotic Fund Administration Committee minute book, August 1916 to July 1921. The Committee dealt with claims of dependents of UVF members serving in the First World War as well as assisting families of injured members unable to work owing to war injuries.
- Orange certificates from the early 19th century
- Minute book of Roe Valley LOL No. 984 from its formation in 1904. The first Worshipful Master was Robert A. Thorpe. The lodge no longer functions but warrant No. 984 continues in the District.
- An old cannon belonging to Bovea Orange Lodge which was cast in Scotland in the 1820s
Several of the rooms in the new centre will be named after prominent figures including W. F. Massey, who rose to become Prime Minister of New Zealand and was a prominent Orangeman in his adopted homeland.
As part of the work on the new centre, a logo has been designed and this will feature at the front of the building and on literature. It was based on the window design at the front of the old building, which has also been replicated on the new centre and includes William of Orange.
In the months after the official opening the District will be hosting tour groups and further details will be posted on their website, which can be found at http://www.limavadyorange.com
For further comments contact:
Cllr. Aaron Callan, 07843 879358
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org