Glenavy Orange Institution

The Orange Institution

From The Lisburn Standard – Saturday 11th November 1899

GLENAVY PARISH CHURCH

On Sunday last the usual Fifth of November service was held in the above church, when the Orangemen of the district attended in full strength. An appropriate sermon was preached by Bro. The Rev L. M. Boyle-Glover, M.A. At the conclusion of the service the congregation joined in singing the National Anthem.

“A History of Orangeism in the Glenavy District”

The following is an extract taken from “A History of Orangeism in the Glenavy District – A Tercentenary Booklet 1690 – 1990” with the kind permission of the Officer and Brethren in Glenavy District.

This is the Worshipful District Master’s address.

When one looks at the history of the District Lodge and in particular at those who served as District Masters, on, I hope, can be allowed to think ‘why me in this great year’. However I count it a great honour and privilege to have been elected District Master and to have been asked to write these few words.

Glenavy District L.O.L. No 4 was headed for many years by the local doctor and County Antrim Grand Secretary W. Brother Dr. A. Mussen J.P. Dr. Mussen set the tone for the District in those days in that he led from the front and gained the respect of all. The evidence for this is seen not only in the District Lodge minutes but also in the records of the private lodges where I have read ‘Let us see what Dr. Mussen says’ not ‘What the District Lodge says’ and the fact that his own lodge L.O.L. 227 is known to this day as ‘the Doctor’s Lodge.’

Glenavy District Lodge is a very unassuming lodge, it has no airs or graces, it s seldom controversial and only a few resolutions ever came from it to County Grand Lodge. Maybe we are ‘too laid back’ to use a modern term, maybe we should take more interest in what is going on and express our views, I’m sorry I don’t know the answer. The District Lodge has never been easy to manage. The minutes show that W. Brothers George Thompson, John Barnes, Col. Pakenham and Joe Magowan had their trials and tribulations when in office but most of these I feel can be accounted for by the friendly rivalry between the lodges.

The Rev. Charles Watson in his book Glenavy, Past and Present (1892) describes the Orange Institution in Glenavy as ‘Flourishing under the fostering care of Dr. Mussen and the members are a most respectable body of men. There are eight lodges with 300 members and four orange halls, Glenavy, Crewe, Dundrod and the Mount’. One hundred years later we have nine lodges, seven orange halls and four hundred and eighty five members and I consider that the Rev. Watson’s description still applies, we are a respectable body of men.

This year has seen the lodges working together as never before and I thank you all most sincerely for the competitiveness together with the brotherly love which has made many of our Tercentenary events a success. We began towards the end of 1989 with the darts competition in the Crewe orange hall, a very successful event so much so that it had to be extended to two nights instead of one. Brother D. Harbinson who organised the competition was delighted with the response.

The bowls in the Mount drew competitors who could play bowls and some who could not but it didn’t matter. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we were all pleased at the winners. Well done J.L.O.L. 83.

Badminton was another sell out, lots of good players and a very professional tournament.

The snooker final was an all L.O.L. 340 game but never -the- less a very good entertaining game which kept us on the edge of our seats in Glenavy.

The football competition in Crumlin brought back happy memories for the co-ordinator, if not a winning trophy.

Brethren, thank you all for taking part – organising, playing and providing trophies – in what I believe has revived the lodges in the District, and hopefully we will be repeating the competition for many years to come.

Saturday 23rd June is Glenavy’s ‘big day’ and judging by the other events it is going to be a successful one.

Finally may I on behalf of us all thank Brother S. Davison who headed our 1990 Committee for his hard work in keeping us all on the right track.

Brethren, it is with much pleasure that I lead your District Lodge into the 1990’s and I am certain that with your support Glenavy District L.O.L. No. 4 will be as flourishing and successful in the 1990’s as it was in the 1890’s. I therefore wish you all, in your various Lodges, every good wish for the years ahead and may we always remember the motto of William, Prince of Orange, whose name we bear, and whose glorious memory we cherish:-

‘I WILL MAINTAIN THE PROTESTANT RELIGION AND LIBERTIES OF ENGLAND’

Thomas Ross
W.D.M.

A parade took place through Glenavy village to the Parish Church on Saturday 23rd June 1990 to celebrate the District Tercentenary Celebrations. Other events on that day included a Sham fight on Main Street by Carrickfergus Pageant Team, Tug of War competition in the Church Meadow and a Wheel Barrow Race at Main Street.

The Faithful & The True (A history of Orangeism in County Antrim)


The Faithful and The True

The Faithful and The True

“The Faithful & The True (A history of Orangeism in County Antrim)” — by John McGregor.

First edition published 2006.

Limited Edition Print of 1000 – each individually numbered.

Religion, riots and rhyme in Glenavy

Glenavy Parish Church

Glenavy Parish Church

The people of Glenavy and surrounding districts in previous generations were no strangers to violence. Early records and documents that have survived the ravages of time give us a brief insight into the troubled past.

A Mrs Adkinson, wife of Captain Adkinson, related her experiences of the burnings in Lurgan in 1641 and the effects the uprising during that period had on her family. She had relocated to Glenavy according to Public Record Office of Northern Ireland D695/145.

It was often said that the Parish Church in the village had escaped the notice of Oliver Cromwell due to the density of trees in the area, unlike the churches of Templecormac, Tullyrusk and Trummery. Read more »

County Antrim Grand Lodge, 1932 at Glenavy

A meeting of the County Antrim Grand Lodge of Ireland in 1932 at Glenavy.<br /> County Grand Officers and brethren are photographed prior to the half yearly meetings

A meeting of the County Antrim Grand Lodge of Ireland in 1932 at Glenavy.
County Grand Officers and brethren are photographed prior to the half yearly meetings

Meetings similar to this took place in many towns and villages in County Antrim.
(Source unknown – kindly provided by D Jamison, Belfast compiler of the book Banners of Freedom)

Memorial Service – W. Bro Joseph Magowan

The following is an extract from The Ulster Star dated 28th October 1967 and appears with permission of The Ulster Star.

Glenavy District L.O.L. No.4
Memorial Service
for the late
W. Bro. Joseph Magowan
(W.D.M. 1947 – 1967)
in Glenavy Parish Church
Sunday, 5th November, at 3 p.m.
Brethren to assemble at Glenavy Protestant Hall at 2.45.
Visiting Brethren Welcome.

Glenavy District leaving the Protestant Hall, Glenavy

Glenavy District leaving the Protestant Hall, Glenavy

Glenavy District leaving the Protestant Hall, Glenavy

 

The Billingsley Family from Legananny, County Down and L.O.L. 1602


A card discovered in an old bible by the great great grandson of the recipient James Billingsley, born in 1861 in the townland of Legananny, County Down. James had been a member of LOL 1602 in Belfast until May 1881. Originally LOL 1602 was an orange lodge in the Glenavy District and the warrant for the lodge moved to Belfast in the 1860 period.

A card discovered in an old bible by the great great grandson of the recipient James Billingsley, born in 1861 in the townland of Legananny, County Down. James had been a member of LOL 1602 in Belfast until May 1881. Originally LOL 1602 was an orange lodge in the Glenavy District and the warrant for the lodge moved to Belfast in the 1860 period.

A discovery of a card in a bible addressed to a James Billingsley dating from the Victorian era aroused the interest of his great great grandson. Andrew Chapman made contact with me to see if I could provide him with any clues as to the origin of the card. The card is inscribed in calligraphic font “Presented to Bro. James Billingsley by members of L.O.L. 1602 on the occasion of his leaving for England. Belfast 24 May 1881.”

The inscription is of course a reference to an Orangeman who was leaving his Belfast lodge and moving to England.

Early County Antrim records held by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland show that in 1852 the lodge warrant was in the Glenavy district area under the name Edward Scott from “Ballypitmore”. This is believed to be Edward Scott who resided at “The Prog” in the townland of Ballypitmave, Glenavy. In the 1860 period the warrant was transferred to the Belfast district and in 1861 it was held under the name of Robert Barr from Charles Street South, Belfast. The lodge is no longer in existence.

James Billingsley’s great grandson was unsure as to where his ancestor had been born, but he believed it was in the County Down area. Subsequently it was recently discovered that there was a baptism record for James Billingsley on the 27th April 1861 in Drumgooland Parish Church. He was the son of Robert Billingsley and Margaret Dalzel who were married in 1847 and resided in the townland of Legananny. Other records show that the family resided in the vicinity of the flax mill at Legananny and they owned just over seven acres of land in the vicinity which is located off Legananny Hall Road, Ballyward. The Billingsley name can be traced back to at least the early 19th century in that area.

The Billingsley name is not to be found in the Legananny area in the mid 1860 period and it is believed that Robert and Margaret Billingsley and their family – John, Alexander, Margaret, Elizabeth, Robert, William and James relocated to the Belfast area. Members of the family who remained in the Belfast area married into the Wylie, Nesbitt, Black and Kirkwood families.

Billingsley Family

Billingsley, born in the townland of Legananny, County Down in 1861 pictured here with his wife and family at 29 Elgin Street, Stoke on Trent. James had been a member of LOL 1602 in Belfast until May 1881 when he relocated to England

The surname appears in the 1901 and 1911 census in the Belfast area and many of those names can be directly linked to the Billingsley family who had originated from Legananny townland. Several members of the family were involved in the flax industry as flax dressers. The burial records held by Belfast City Council indicate that there are dozens of burials associated with the Billingsley surname in Belfast City Cemetery. The majority of these burials can also be directly linked to this family. They lived in a number of addresses in the Belfast area including the following streets -Bann, Bellevue, Bray, Carlow, Dunmoyle, Kendal, Langford, Louisa, Raleigh and Snugville.

James Billingsley on leaving Ireland in 1861, settled in the district of Hanley, Stoke on Trent. He became a Lieutenant in the Salvation Army in 1862. James married Mary Ann Handley in 1886 and the best man at their wedding was Rodney “Gipsy” Smith a well-known British evangelist. James Billingsley, known as “Big Jim”, attained the position of Police Court Missioner for North Staffordshire which he held for thirteen years. He passed away on the 22nd March 1931 which was the 13th anniversary of the death of his son John Alexander who had been killed in action during military service in WW1. He had another son Robert Bertram who was killed as a result of an explosion on HMS Bulwark in 1914.

James Billingsley’s great great grandson, Andrew Chapman, is interested to learn more about the Billingsley family who originated from the townland of Legananny, County Down and settled in the Greater Belfast area.

Anyone who may be able to assist is invited to make contact with “The Digger”.

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