New Orange Hall
The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard Saturday April 2nd 1910.
New Orange Hall in Lower Ballinderry
Foundation Stone laid
Speeches by Mr and Mrs C C Craig
The foundation stone of a new Orange Hall was laid in the presence of a large demonstration of loyal people at Lower Ballinderry on Easter Monday afternoon by Mrs Craig, the wife of Mr. Charles Curtis Craig, M.P., for South Antrim. A great need has existed for many years past for a building of that character in the neighbourhood, and it was felt that the time had arrived towards the end of the present winter when the brethren of LOL No 191 should make an effort to provide for themselves more ample accommodation. There were many difficulties, however, to be overcome in setting about so responsible an undertaking, but these were faced with that indomitable courage and resolution which have ever characterised Orangemen in every part of the Empire, and in a short time preparations were being made on a scale which augured well for the success of the movement. A committee was formed for the purpose of taking charge of the building operations and the arrangements for raising funds, and before long they were in a position to invite tenders for the carrying out of contract. An all important matter, however, was the selection of the site, and after several attempts had been made to secure one sufficiently central, Brother Thomas McKeown, the worthy Deputy Master of the County, had come to their assistance in a manner as generous as his action was praiseworthy. He gave the lodge a fee farm grant of an admirable plot of ground a few yards from the cross roads, right in the middle of the village, and in addition subscribed towards the building expenses with the utmost liberality. The hall, which is now in course of erection, will, when completed, be over forty feet in length and about thirty feet in breadth, while the height will be two storeys. The material to be used in the walls will be the best stone procurable, dressed in the front and corners in order to impart to the structure that appearance of finish and beauty which is associated with so many buildings of its kind throughout the country. The interior will be divided into rooms of dimensions calculated to serve the purpose for which they are intended, and when the hall is opened the brethren will be in possession of one of the most handsome and up to date halls in the country. In the project upon which they have entered they have the hearty sympathy and support of the whole Protestant population of the district, a matter which should stand them in good stead when they are considering the financial side of the scheme. On Monday the Orangemen of Lower Ballinderry turned out in full force to attend the ceremony connected with laying the foundation stone, and they were augmented by large contingents from adjoining centres, some travelling all the way from Belfast.
The lodges present were
Rose Lane Ends No. 68, Br. Joseph Heaney, W.M.
Ballinderry No. 72, Br. H Walkington, W.M.
Megaberry No. 86, Br Matthew Beckett, W.M.
Killultagh No 71, Br W R Quigley, W.M.
Ballinderry No 148, Br W J MacDonald, W.M.
Ballinderry No 191, Br Albert Devlin, W.M.
Aghalee No 42, Br John G Clarke, W.M.
Soldierstown No 224, Br George Wilson, W.M.
The Cairn No 236, Br Joseph McCurry W.M.
York Loyal Orange Lodge No 700, Brs Thomas Heazley, D.M. and Joseph Faloon.
The bands in attendance were Aghalee Flute Band, Crumlin Flute Band and Soldierstown Flute Band.
On the site of the hall a substantial platform had been erected for the purpose of accommodating the speakers, and it was decorated wit banners and other emblems of the Order. The chair was occupied by Br H Walkington, Worshipful District Master, and amongst those present were:
Mr C Craig, M.P., and Mrs Craig; Br Thomas McKeown, Deputy District Master; Mrs McKeown; and Miss McKeown; Br Dr. Mussen, G.C.; Mrs A Walkington, the Misses Parke, the Misses McComb, the Misses Major, Miss Buchanan, Mrs Allen (Lisburn), Mrs Leinster (Ballinderry), Brs G. Clarke, M.C., G.C., Joseph Parke. Apologies were received from Brs W H H Lyons, D.L., County grand Master; Rev. W J Minchin, Geo. C.G Young, Ballymena; and John S Carrick, Lurgan.
The Chairman, who was very warmly received, said he had to express his thanks to the officers and members of Loyal Orange Lodge191 for the honour they had done him in asking him to occupy such a position at that ceremony. It was a great pleasure, indeed, to him to respond to their wishes in the matter and give the undertaking with which they were concerned that day all the support in his power. (hear, hear) They had met together for the purpose of laying the foundation stone of a new Orange Hall for the brethren of the lodge who had organised that demonstration in the Lower Ballinderry district, and taken lead in a movement which they hoped to see culminated by the erection of a similar building for every other lodge in that part of their county. (Cheers) He thought they had been very fortunate in having such a friend as Br McKeown to come to their assistance when they were intending to do, and that they desired suitable ground on which to build, he made them an offer of the land on which they were assembled that afternoon; and not only did he do that, but he also gave them very substantial subscriptions. Mrs Craig, the wife of their parliamentary representative, Mr. Charles Curtis Craig, had kindly consented to perform the ceremony of laying the foundation stone, and they felt greatly honoured by her presence. (Cheers) She tool a deep interest in the Orange Institution all over the country, and she could meet with no welcome more hearty than was accorded to her at Lower Ballinderry that day (Cheers) Br Thomas McKeown then, on behalf of the brethren interested, presented Mrs Craig with the solid silver trowel to perform the ceremony and emphasised the welcome that had been extended to her in coming amongst the loyal people of that neighbourhood. The trowel bore the following inscription:- “Presented to Mrs C C Craig, by the members of LOL No 191, on the occasion of her laying the foundation-stone of the Orange Hall at Lower Ballinderry, March 28th, 1910.”
Mrs Craig having declared the stone well and duly laid, amidst a scene of great enthusiasm, said she was greatly honoured when they invited her to some to Lower Ballinderry to help in the work of erecting a new Orange Hall. She felt it was an occasion on which she was certain to meet many warm friends formed there during more stirring times, and also that the project marked, as the erection and completion of an Orange Hall always did, the putting of another spoke in the wheel of prosperity in that progressive part of the Imperial province. She had noticed that wherever Orangeism spread and flourished the people were loyal, contented, and happy, and it was her opinion that nothing afforded better indication of the welfare and prosperity of a district or a county than the number of Orange Halls that it contained, as meeting centres for the members of their grand old institution. (Cheers) A few days ago she travelled from the South of Ireland towards the North, and she was compelled to observe, whether she would or not, that in proportion as the South was left behind and the North was further penetrated into, the whole aspect of the country changed and became more and more characterised by the signs of progress. (Cheers) She hoped that before long their Order would be able to journey in the opposite direction and carry with it the spirit of enterprise and well doing, so that not one portion of Ireland but the whole of it might be made as loyal and prosperous as any other part of the United Kingdom. (Hear, hear). The hall which they were about to build on that site would be another step towards bringing about that result, and it would prove, she was sure, a great benefit to all who would meet there from time to time for the transaction of lodge business. She thanked them for the beautiful trowel which they had presented to her, and she would always keep it in memory of what to her was a most interesting occasion. (Cheers.)
Dr. Mussen, who was greeted with cheers, said it afforded him sincere pleasure to move a hearty vote of thanks to Mrs Craig for the very capable and graceful way in which she had laid the foundation stone of that hall. He need not remind the meeting of the many acts of kindness that that lady and other members of the Craig family had performed for the benefit of their country, and especially of the Orange Institution. It would be very difficult for them to refuse to do anything that tended towards the welfare of so loyal a body of men as the Orangemen of Ulster were, for in the past contests in that division the members of that Order stood true to their present representative in the House of Commons to the last man, and that they were prepared to render him the same signal service should ever occasion require it any time in the future (Cheers)
Br Edward Mockler in seconding the resolution said although Br Dr Mussen’s speech had been short, his heart was in the right place, and he was always to the front when anything had to be done for the benefit of the Orange Institution . (hear, hear) They were glad to welcome Mrs Craig amongst them, and they took her presence as another proof of the goodwill that she entertained towards the members o their Order. They were also pleased to have with them Mr Craig who also manifested a deep interest in the welfare of the Orange and Protestant cause (Cheers.) He was proud to say that the Orange Institution was holding its own, both in Ballinderry and in other parts of the country, and it was as big a force at present as it ever had been in maintaining opposition to Home Rule. Should such a crisis as they passed through a number of years also threaten their country with disaster afresh, the Orangemen would be found ready and willing to stand forth the champions of civil and religious freedom that thei fathers had been, and raise the old battlecry of “No Surrender.” (Cheers)
The resolution was passed amidst cheers, and appropriately conveyed by the chairman.
Mr Charles Curtis Craig MP who was enthusiastically received, said they had heard with their own ears that his wife was well able to return thanks for herself if she wanted to do it – (hear, hear) – for just a few minutes ago she had made what they would agree was a most excellent speech. Some of them might have been present a year ago at Aghadowey, when they were opening an Orange Hall there, and they would remember that she made a speech on that occasion, and he prophesied that within the next twelve months she would be able to make one twice as good. (laughter). That prophecy , he thought they would admit, had been absolutely verified that day. (Cheers). All the same, he had great pleasure on Mrs Craig’s behalf and on his own behalf also, for the reception they had been good enough to accord him, to return them the sincerest thanks. He believed, however, that he would be a very poor representative of that important constituency, and Mrs Craig would be a very poor wife of a member of Parliament, if they did not come there and do their best to assist a people who had helped to return him by the splendid majority of 2790 votes. (A Voice – We’ll make it 3000 the next time, and cheers) They had been favoured with a beautiful day for embarking upon the erection of that hall, and they should look upon that as an augury of success in their undertaking. The building had been very much needed in that district, which was a strong centre of Orangeism, and he hoped that it would be used on every possible occasion for the advancement of the interests of their Order, which was making such gratifying progress in every part of the world where the Union Jack had been unfurled to the breeze. (Cheers) They would meet in their new hall for the different objects associated with the promotion of the wellbeing of Orangeism and Protestantism, and it was his hope to have the privilege of being amongst them, in times either of peace or of national crisis, to address them on the topics of the day, and to do what he could to stimulate them in their efforts for the maintenance of those principles dear to the hearts of every loyal and intelligent Ulsterman (Cheers) A great many thinking people were agreed that a general election was only a few weeks away, or at most only a few months, distant, and in the event of its approach he was led to believe that the men of Lower Ballinderry, like those in other portions of the South Antrim division knew what they were expected to do. (Cheers) The last general election was precipitated because of the action of the House of Lords in referring the Budget presented by Mr. Lloyd-George to the decision of the people themselves, and the result had justified the course pursued by the Upper House. The House of Lords had proved in the past the greatest bulwark between them and separation from the rest of the empire. (hear, hear) But while he said that he recognised that the time had come for some alteration might be he was not in a position to say. What they wanted to see was the remodelling of the House on lines that would preserve its efficiency as a check on hasty and ill-considered legislation, while the peers, who were not fit for any reason to be looked upon as part of such legislative body, should be deprived of the right to sit in that assembly. It was the great desire of the Nationalists to reduce the strength of the Second Chamber with the object of people would defeat their designs when the question came to be submitted to their decision. (Cheers) Having alluded to the progress of Orangeism, and its stability in South Antrim, the speaker expressed the belief that the brethren would in the future, as on bygone occasions, show by their votes they were flinching nothing in their determination to preserve the unity of the empire. He was glad to be able to tell them that the Liberals had to some extent redeemed their past inattention to the needs of the navy, and although the navy should be above party, he would always, when necessity arose, see that its supremacy at sea was never left in uncertainty. (Cheers)
On the motion of Br Clarke, seconded by Br McKeown, a hearty vote of thanks was passed to Br Walkington. The proceedings concluded with the National Anthem.
The following extract is from the Lisburn Herald Saturday 13th April 1912.
New Hall opened at Lower Ballinderry
On a site at Lower Ballinderry, given by Br. Thomas McKeown, a fine two storey orange Hall has been erected and was formally opened on Easter Monday by Mrs. Walkington of Oatlands. Subsequently a bazaar in aid of the building fund was held.
At the inaugural proceedings Mr. C.C. Craig, M.P., presided, and there was a large attendance of Orangemen and other friends.
The Chairman, having expressed the regret felt by Mrs Craig at her inability to be present, briefly addressed the meeting, and then introduced Mrs. Walkington, to whom they presented, on behalf of the members of LOL No. 191, a beautiful gold key with which to open the hall.
Mrs. Walkington who was cordially received said she would always regard the handsome key of which she had been made the recipient as one of her most valued possessions. It was a great satisfaction to see complete that building, the foundation stone of which had been laid a few months ago by Mrs. Craig, whose absence that day they all regretted. It spoke well for the energy of Br. Thomas McKeown and other friends, and she hoped they would have many happy meetings there, using their best endeavours to maintain their loyal principles.
Mrs. Walkington then opened the hall, and subsequently declared the bazaar open.
Votes of thanks were proposed by Br. the Rev. J. Minchin and Bro. H Walkington and seconded by Brs. Rev. James Richardson and G. Clarke, after which the business of the bazaar was proceeded with.
On the 10th inst. the bazaar was re-opened by Mrs. Mussen of Glenavy, who stated, in the course of an interesting speech, that the orangemen of Ballinderry deserved to be congratulated on having accomplished such a good purpose and she trusted that the building would be a rallying point and a tower of strength to the Unionists and Orangemen of the district. She trusted that the sales would be such as to leave the hall free of debt.
Br. J. Minchin and Dr. Mussen then adressed the meeting, and sales were briskly entered upon.
A new banner for No 3 district was unfurled by Br. henry Walkington, D.M., on the 8th inst.