New Banner Unfurling
The following is an extract from the Irish News and Belfast Morning News dated 28th February 1912 and appears with permission of the Irish News.
Division 716, Aldergrove, has, since its establishment a few years ago, had more than its share of trouble and anxiety, but thanks largely to the financial secretary, Bro. Cooley, and other members, it has overcome all obstacles, and is now on a good solid footing. What better evidence of this could be found than that Dr. Blewitt, national treasurer, is to unfurl a new banner for them on Sunday evening, 10th march, in the Hibernian Hall, Ulster Street, Belfast, at 6 o’clock. The members of Division 21 have been taken the matter up with their usual earnestness, and a splendid concert may be expected in addition to the address which will be delivered by Dr. Blewitt. The men of Aldergrove are deserving of the support of local Hibernians, and I am sure that they will rally around them on the 10th, at the unfurling of their new banner. Bros. McConnell, McAteer, Quinn and Cooley will represent the division on the occasion.
The following is an extract from the Irish News and Belfast Morning News dated 6th March 1912 and appears with permission of the Irish News.
My friends in Aldergrove seem infected with the general enthusiasm which prevails. At the last meeting five new members were initiated. Owing to the Mission having opened in Belfast the committee decided that they would have the function of the unfurling of their banner postponed a couple of hours later – namely, at eight o’clock, instead of six, on Sunday evening, 10th March, in the Ulster Hibernian Hall. The members of Division 21 are sparing no efforts to make the event a success. A select programme of Irish songs will be submitted. Those who attend the functions in this hall know that they can rely on a first-class concert.
The following is an extract from the Irish News and Belfast Morning News dated 11th March 1912 and appears with permission of the Irish News.
Banner unfurled in Division 21’s Hall, Belfast
An interesting event took place in the hall of Division 21 of the A.O.H., Ulster Street, last night, when a new banner of the Aldergrove division (716) was unfurled in the presence of a large audience. Mr. J. O’Hare occupied the chair, and in the absence of Dr. Blewitt, Mr. J. Hughes, Belfast district secretary, performed the ceremony.
Mr. Hughes said he regretted the absence of Dr. Blewitt, who was unable to attend owing to an important meeting being held the same night at which he had to be present. After apologising for not having prepared his speech, owing to the manner in which he had been called to fill the vacancy. Mr. Hughes proceeded to give a history of the Aldergrove division. He said it had been in existence for three years, and its history was unique , as it was in the centre of Orangeism and Protestantism. (Applause) They had struggled with great success through much opposition, with the result that they had been able to be in the position that night of having a magnificent banner to symbolise all the greatness of Hibernianism and nationality. (Applause). The Aldergrove division was in the most isolated position in Ireland; but that did not damp their ardour. They might be only forty or fifty strong, but they were earnest in their work. (Applause). He (Mr. Hughes) felt it a great compliment to be asked to fill the vacancy caused by Dr. Blewitt’s absence, because there was no division which he had more admiration for than Alder grove (Applause). They had come there that night a very long distance by car, and that alone showed how enthusiastic they were in that part of the country. The banner had been made by a Belfast firm, and reflected great credit by its artistic skill. On one side of the banner was a figure of St. Patrick, while on the other was a fine scene of the Battle of Ballynahinch. Along the side they had portraits of many patriots, the most noble being O’Connell, the great Liberator; Michael Davitt, the late Father McKinley, late chaplain; and last of all, their own great Parliamentarian, Joseph Devlin. (Applause). Concluding, the speaker hoped that the banner which was about to be unfurled would take its place in the great final demonstration, now not far distant, when the long-desired wish of Ireland would be realised. (Applause).
Mr. Hughes then unfurled th of a varied and enjoyable character was then proceeded with, the following taking part – Miss Clara McCann, Miss Mantell, Messrs Keatley, Burns, McNeice, O’Hagan, treacy, and Bowen.
The meeting concluded with the singing of "A Nation Once Again."
The following is an extract from the Irish News and Belfast Morning News dated 20th March 1912 and appears with permission of the Irish News.
The Hibernians of Aldergrove were in a hearty and jubilant mood on Sunday last. They had a double reason for rejoicing, In addition to the fact that it was the anniversary of our National Apostle, there was another reason – the parade for the first time of the new banner, which was unfurled on the Sunday previous in Belfast. I am told that the procession was one of the finest displays of Nationality ever seen in that part of the county. Aldergrove division hoisted the new banner on the banks of famed Lough Neagh and proceeded to Mass at 11 o’clock, which was celebrated by the Rev. Father McLaverty, who, after Mass, addressed the members of the Order. The members of the Crumlin Division, with band and banner, also participated in the celebration. After Mass the party proceeded back to their starting point, where refreshments were served in good style by Mr. William Quinn, of Ballyniff House. The entire proceedings passed off without the slightest hitch; and all dispersed without the slightest hitch; and all dispersed satisfied with the day’s outing.