Glenavy Protestant Hall

Protestant Hall – Glenavy Parish

It is the widespread belief that the Protestant Hall in Glenavy was erected on the site of a former Moravian chapel which had been in existence since the early 1750s.

The village possesses a very handsome Protestant Hall, erected in 1870. It contains a large room capable of holding 500 persons, a committee room, two lodge rooms, and caretaker’s apartments.

Extract from "GLENAVY : PAST AND PRESENT", compiled by Charles Watson, M.A., B.D., T.C.D. Vicar of the Union. 1892

Call for Tenders to built Glenavy Protestant Hall

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 21st February 1870 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.


Contractor wanted for the erection of a Protestant Hall in Glenavy. Plans and specification may be inspected on any day (except Sunday). up to the 5th March next, by applying to Mr. John Lorimer, Glenavy. Sealed proposals to be forwarded by post to Mr.Joseph English, Crumlin, not later than Monday, the 12th March.

The lowest tender not necessarily accepted.

Dated February 17, 1870.

Laying the Foundation Stone

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 30th April 1870 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

GLENAVY PROTESTANT HALL Laying of the Foundation Stone (From our own reporter), Glenavy, Saturday.

The foundation-stone of the new Protestant Hall, Glenavy, was laid to-day by the Very Rev. Dean Stannus, in the presence of a large assemblage, and with much éclat. This hall, which is intended for lectures, soirees, religious and other meetings in connection with all Protestant denominations, will supply a want long felt in the locality. The ground has been obtained at a nominal rent, with a lease for 150 years from The Marquis of Hertford through his agent, W.T. Stannus, Esq., D.L. The building will be 60 feet long by 30 feet broad, and two stories high. On the ground floor there will be a news-room, a committee-room, two small rooms, and apartments for a caretaker. On the first floor there will be a large hall 52 feet by 30 feet, with a platform at the end, and capable of accommodating upwards of 500 persons. Altogether the building promises to be substantial, which admirably adapted for all the purposes for which it is intended. The builder, Mr. Robert McConnell, Lurgan, has undertaken to have it completed on the 1st October. The cost of erection will be about £750; and as there will be a considerable amount of that yet to be subscribed, it is hoped the friends of the cause will make an effort to have the hall opened free of debt.

Two o’clock was the hour arranged for the ceremony, and at that time the muster of friends from the town and surrounding districts, as well as from a distance, was very great. All the Orange Lodges of the districts adjoining were largely represented, the brethren wearing the insignia of the Order; and each lodge, having its flag, marched to the ground to the music of the fife and drum. A platform was erected in a corner of the field near the projected hall, and was occupied by a large number of the Protestant clergy and the leading gentry of the district, with their lady friends. Amongst those present were:- The Very Rev. Dean of Ross, A.H. Pakenham, Esq., J.P.; Captain Douglass, J.P.; Thomas J. Smyth, Esq., J.P.; Rev. F.E.J. Smyth, Vicar of the Parish; Rev. G.A.Chadwick, Rev. Robert Hannay, Rev. Richard Irvine, Rev. Robert Lindsay (Lisburn); Rev. William Greer (Antrim); Rev. J.A. Whiteside (Muckamore); Rev. Mr. McCormick (Ballinderry); Rev. J.A. Johnston, Rev. A.C. Canning; W.J. Gwynn, Esq, D.C.G.M.; W.J. Johnston, Esq; Samuel Walkington, Esq., Oatland Cottage, Ballinderry; Arthur Mussen Esq., M.D.; Wellington Young, Esq.; John G. Murray, Esq.; John Hall, Esq. (Deerpark); Messrs Robert Galbraith, Joseph English, John Bullick, Samuel Donaldson, James Culbert, William Wheeler, Wm. Crawford, John Oakman, Langford Geddes, Archibald Lyness, Oliver Ingram, Fortescue Murray, William McConnell, James Allen, James Armstrong, Samuel Suffern, William B. McDonald, Allen B. McKinstry, Geo. Quigley, Allen Bickerstaffe, Saml. Bryans, Hyram Torr (Farr?), William Cairns, John Buckles, Andrew French, James Manderson, John Clendinning, Beecham Hendren, Allan Ross, S. Ballance, Wm. Ingram, Wm. Clarke, Wm. R. Cahoon (America), Thomas J. Wilson, G. Ferris, Wm. J. Higginson, Malcolm Flemming (Antrim), Jacob Davis, Alex. Thompson, Wm. Maclive, A. Armstrong, Henry Bell, Wm. H. Cummins, Isaac Cousins, Johathan Bell, Edward Bell (Derrymore), Edward Johnston, James Gibson, John C. Bolton, James Kerr, James Moore, Allan R. Burrowes, S. Johnston (Dundrod), John Taylor (Ballinderry), John Oakman, Jas. Wm Boyd, James Nelson, J. Hall (or Hull?), Joseph Young, Thomas Green, Saml. Green, Allan Bell, James Johnston, E. Atkinson, Malcolm Fleming, Antrim; Robert Johnston, Antrim; George Dixon, Crumlin; Thomas Hall, Hall’s Grove, Ballinderry.

The Lisburn Amateur Brass Band, under Mr. W.H. Adair, was present on the platform, and played a number of appropriate and spirit-stirring airs during the day.

Shortly after two o’clock, Dean Stannus, accompanied by the respected vicar of the parish, and other clerical friends, arrived at the scene of the ceremony, and took his place on the platform, amid loud cheers.

On the motion of Mr. A.H. Pakenham, J.P., seconded by Dr. Mussen, the Rev. E.J. Smyth, Vicar of Glenavy, was called to the chair, amid applause.

The Chairman having opened the proceedings with prayer.

The Secretary (Mr. Joseph English) read letters of apology for non-attendance from Lord Massereene, Rev.G.V. Chichester, Stewart Blacker, Esq.; Rev. Henry Henderson, Thomas Stannus, Esq.;Issac J.Murphy, Esq; Rev. John White, Antrim; George P. Johnston, Esq; Rev Hugh Hanna, Rev. Robert Hill, Soldierstown;Richard Lilburn, Editor of News-Letter.

The ceremony of laying the foundation-stone was then performed by Dean Stannus,who, for that purpose, was presented with a beautiful silver trowel (from the establishment of Mr. Gibson, Castle Place, Belfast), bearing the following inscription:- "Presented to the Very Rev. James Stannus, D.D. Dean of Ross, on the occasion of his laying the foundation-stone of the Glenavy Protestant Hall – April 30, 1870." A bottle containing a parchment scroll with all the particulars respecting the Hall, copies of the News-Letter and Weekly News, and a number of current coins of the realm, having been placed in a cavity prepared for their reception, the stone was lowered into the place, and the Dean, after the usual formalities, pronounced it well and truly laid amid enthusiastic cheering, the band playing "The Protestant Boys."

Dean Stannus, having returned to the platform said – gentlemen, I cannot express what pleasure it gives me, and how much flattered I feel, at your kind perseverance in almost insisting on my being present on this very interesting occasion – perhaps the more interesting on account of the immense change that has been accomplished (since the undertaking of this building) by that severe measure which so much concerns the Protestant population throughout the kingdom – whio, I am happy to say, do not succumb to the difficulties in which they are placed, but manfully apply themselves to the reconstructing of that edifice of which the most essential part was our venerable and long established Church. (Applause) By this measure – after various attempts and political struggles, particularly by the extension of the franchise almost to the very lowest – our revered Church has been stripped of every manner of support of the means for Divine worship; but still we shall hold together and not be deterred from our duty, and with God’s blessing right ourselves from the effect of this severe measure – (applause) – for in it we can see no justice. (hear, hear.) But thanks be to the great Giver of good things, we can already see a good day dawning for His faithful people; and that we are sure, with His Almighty aid, to surmount our great difficulties, and to be able, by our patient and persevering exertions, and by the liberality of friends, and reliance on the Almighty Author and Giver of Everything, to maintain our position. (Loud applause) But, my friends, recollect we have a building on hands; and we hail institutions like this as the beginning of a good work for our country, and we earnestly hope that Protestant halls, such as we have met here today to found for Glenavy, will be spread over the whole land. (Cheers) I trust they will be the means of uniting Protestants more closely together, and also of spreading Protestant truth and Protestant principles throughout the length and breadth of the land – those great truths which have made the sister kingdom "first flower of the earth, and first gem of the sea." (loud applause)

The Chairman then said – Brother Protestants I think I may say I congratulate you on the present occasion (Applause). The foundation-stone of the Glenavy Protestant Hall has just been laid. After a good deal of trouble and some difficulty, we have made a beginning. The name of the hall sufficiently shows what it is designed for. (Cheers). It is to be a Protestant Hall. (Cheers.) I dare say I am not mistaken when I say that there are some here who would like something more distinctive – (applause) – something of a more decided colouring; and I know if it were put to you to choose the colour, what would it be. (Cries of “Orange,” and loud applause) Decidedly; and all I can say is, if you choose to call it the Glenavy Orange Hall, I, for one, have no objection under the sun. (Applause) I am not an Orangeman; perhaps you will say, more the pity –(hear, hear) – but still, I have yet to learn that there are any great differences between round Protestantism and genuine Orangeism. (Loud cheers.) I think the great principles are one and the same. I believe that they are all derived from the Bible- the Word of the living God – (hear, hear) – to which both Protestants and Orangemen look as the infallible standard to guide us here. Doubtless, I may say, the term Protestant is more comprehensive and more enlarged, but the principles are the same – the great and glorious principles for which our forefathers, in days gone by, contended – for which many suffered, bled, and died – (applause) – and for which, by the blessing of God, we will still be prepared to contend, and stand by, so that we may hand down those blessings and privileges untrammelled and unfettered to our children’s children. (Loud applause.) It would ill become me, on the present occasion, to detain you with any observations, as there are several gentlemen who have come from a distance, at great inconvenience, to come from a distance, at great inconvenience, to address you. Will you allow me to mention one fact, which, I am safe in saying, you will reckon an interesting one, when I tell you that it is connected with this parish, and with one whose memory you all greatly honour – William 111., of glorious, pious, and immortal memory? (Great cheering). When William’s army was on its way from Belfast to a river near Drogheda, commonly called the Boyne – (loud cheers) – it rested for a while at Lisburn, and as there was not sufficient accommodation there for the whole army, a detachment was sent to Glenavy – (cheers) – where it was well received and well entertained by your forefathers. I believe they were entertained hospitably by the vicar and the inhabitants of the town, and we are further informed that the officers of the detachment appreciated the kindness they had met with here, and were determined to make some acknowledgement. They carried out their resolution, and presented to the church of Glenavy some plate, which I am now going to show you (handing out a large silver goblet in excellent state of preservation). This inscription on it is still legible, and I will read it to you:- "This plate was given to ye Church of Glenavy by the officers of the Queen’s Regiment of Horse, commanded by ye Hon. Major-General Sir John Lanier, in the year 1690. In honorem Ecclesiae Anglicanae." I think the latter part should be rendered, in consideration of the changed circumstances in which we are placed, "in honour of the Irish Church." (Applause) I don’t suppose there is a parish in Ireland that can boast of such a time-honoured treasure as this (Cheers) It has been handed down through eleven successive vicars – I am the twelfth, and Mr. Gladstone says I will assuredly be the last. Well, my friends, I believe in my conscience Mr. Gladstone has done many things utterly unjustifiable, and has taken from us Protestants what he had no right – (hear,hear) – but one thing he cannot take from us, the great and glorious blessings which have been handed down to us – blessings and privileges achieved for us by William and his followers nearly 200 years ago. (Loud and enthusiastic cheers.) The chairman concluded by calling on the Rev. Mr. Hannay, of Belfast, to address the meeting.

Rev. Robert Hannay, who was warmly received, said when he had been invited by the secretary to address the meeting, he at once said he would be happy to do so. It was not the first time he had been privileged to address the people of Glenavy, and he hoped it would not be the last. (applause) He felt particular gratification in being present on account of the occasion that had brought them together. He agreed with Dean Stannus’s remark that the opening of such halls at this, of which they had just laid the foundation-stone, was doing a great work for their children, and probably a much great work for their children, and probably a much more extensive work for good than they had yet dreamed of. (Hear, hear) Among the benefits which the building of such halls would confer on the community, he reckoned this as one of the greatest – that Protestants might meet upon a common ground together, and that in their lodges and in their meetings cultivate that kindly brotherly feeling among Protestants which should be cultivated systematically among them. (Applause) He looked forward to a much closer union in the future than we have had in the past –(applause) – and probably such a union might be brought about to a great extent through the instrumentality of the Orange Institution, which embraces in its ranks Protestants of the various denominations. (Loud cheers) If they would not do anything else they would lead to a kindly, charitable toleration of their different religious systems. (Hear, hear) Let each one among them commence the difficult work of examining the beam in his own eye before he commences the still more difficult operation of removing the moat from his brother’s eye. (Applause) However much it might gratify the pride of a man to be told that his brother Protestant held such and such queer doctrines and strange views, the man was an enemy to the Protestant cause, whether he spoke from the platform, the Press, or the pulpit, who spoke or wrote a magic word the tendency of which was to set one Protestant against another. (Cheers) What were they going to meet there for? To commemorate the glorious past. Was that all? It was a great thing to look back. They derived strength from the contemplation of what others have done. But they must also look forward, and, steadily and without fear, contemplate the future circumstances of the Protestant people of Ireland. It had now become necessary to reconsider the position in which, as Protestants, they intended for the future to stand towards the various political parties in England.His solemn conviction was, that the time has come for the formation of a thoroughly independent party in the country – (cheers) – a party that would not tie itself to any political party in England merely because it bore a certain name – that would not consent to be the hewers of wood and the drawers of water while it was possible for them to cast an independent power into the legislative action of our common country. (loud cheers.) He believed that they would make, above all things, the support and propagation of their religion, and the prosperity of their country, the great Protestant aim and watchword from this time forward. (Cheers) He did not know what recent legislation had left on their minds; but it produced such a deep impression on his that he did not feel that he owed allegiance to any political party in England. (Cheers) They had thrown them overboard. No doubt there was in the House of Lords a somewhat brilliant sham fight on the second reading of the Irish Church Bill. No doubt there was a great effervescence of aristocratic and Episcopal eloquence on their side, but it was all a sham fight. He knew for a fact that before the debate was commenced at all it was quietly arranged that the Bill was to be read a second time, and the very majority the one party was to allow the other was actually agreed upon. (Loud cried of "Shame, shame.") He believed, by the majority of both parties in that House, the Protestants of Ireland were regarded as a kind of Jonah in the political ship – the cause of all the trouble and disturbances there – and they determined among themselves to throw overboard to save themselves, devoutly hoping, he had no doubt, that there should be no inconvenient whale in the neighbourhood to swallow them, and cast them ashore again to trouble their English trade. (Laughter and cheers) However, he did not despair of Ireland. The future of that country in not so black as, some years ago, one might have thought. It was a healthy sign of the times in Ireland that the Roman Catholic people are beginning to shake themselves from priestly control in politics; and he hoped that would go on till they would think for themselves in religion. (Applause) Why should they doubt the possibility of the spread of Protestant liberty? Let them look at the Continent and they would see that in Austria, Spain, and Italy the priestly power was shaken off, and sacerdotalism was falling before the ark of liberty, as the idol of Dagon had fallen down before the ark of the Lord. (Applause.) Why should they despair? What had taken place on the Continent might take place in Ireland. (applause) Let them love their country, and work unitedly and harmoniously for her benefit, and, by the blessing of God, a brighter day would dawn upon her. (Cheers) In conclusion, he advised them to cultivate kindly feelings of brotherly love towards one another, and to be guilty of nothing inconsistent with their principles and professions. He resumed his seat amid applause.

Mr. W. J. Gwynn, D.G.M., Count Antrim who was loudly cheered, apologised for the absence of the Grand Master, and said the building of such halls, which were being upreared so rapidly and so frequently among them, were the very things that would give permanency and stability to the Orange Institution, and make the districts be worked in a way they never had been before, (Applause). On the previous day he had received a letter from a gentleman who had been an advanced Liberal, but had his views changed by recent legislation,asking some information about the building of Protestant Halls, which he proposed to erect – one on his estate in Tyrone and one on his estate in Fermanagh. (Applause) They must have heard a great deal about the Independent Grand Orange Lodge of Carrickfergus. (Derisive laughter). It was rather entertaining to the members of the genuine Grand Lodge to hear of such a monstrosity as that talked of. (Cheers) Well, he had been at Carrickfergus on the previous day, and he was glad to be able to tell them that there was an enthusiastic body of men there who had got their eyes opened to the folly they had been temporarily led into – (cheers) – and on Tuesday next they were to have a meeting for the purpose of reorganising them and setting them on their feet again. (Cheers) No person had a better opportunity of knowing the Institution at large than he had, especially in this county, and he was glad to be able to repeat what he had previously stated, that the applications for the information of new lodges and new warrants were going on as earnestly and rapidly as ever. (Applause) In fact, the Orange family were like the Israelites of old when the Egyptians laboured to keep them down: the more a hostile Government attempts to discourage them the more they multiplied and grew. (Cheers) Having refered to the peace of the eight counties in the South under the Coercion Bill, and contrasted the state of things there with Ulster, where the Orange Institution flourished, he expressed a hope that such halls would go on increasing and remarked that it was a happy augury having the foundation-stone of that hall laid on the birthday of Queen Mary, the wife of William of Glorious Memory, (Loud applause.)

Rev. G.A. Chadwick, who was received with applause, said he could not help regarding the occasion that had brought them together as symbolic not only of the union of Protestants, but also as the rallying of Protestants – (applause) – and because he was quite sure a few months ago they were somewhat disheartened by the heavy and sudden blow that had fallen upon them. They were then in the house of their friends; they were there to build their own house. Protestants were now beginning to feel that as long as they stood together, come the world in arms, they did not fear them (Applause.) They were beginning to feel that union was a shield. They were beginning to feel that there was such a thing as Protestantism apart from Presbyterianism, apart from Episcopacy, apart from Wesleyanism. Just as the grand o’er canopying blue of heaven covers all our native land, so all these things are embraced under the common roof of our common Protestantism. (Applause). It was for the sake of that – it was to recognise that – ay, it was to organise that they were building their halls. Some people said Protestantism was a mere negative thing. People had said that infidel is Protestant, that Unitarian is Protestant, that all sorts of people are Protestant, because they protest against Rome. But as all Protestants, they tested not merely against Rome, but against Romanism, and the sacardotalism of Rome, and maintain that every man is a freeman whom the truth makes free; and, if the Son makes them free, then are they free indeed. (Applause) He supposed they all noticed, as he had noticed, on the Grand Master’s sash a wreath of shamrocks. He wanted them to remember that they were loyal men, and would be loyal to the last gasp to their own land, which is Ireland. (Applause) They were all Irish, united by a solemn treaty, though it had some gaps and wide fissures in it. They were not going to forget the beauty and richness of their own valleys, or the grandeur and majesty of their own valleys, or the grandeur and majesty of their own hills; they were not going to forget the valour, proved on many a field, of their own sons. They were not going to forget either that, whatever history Ireland has that is worth boasting of, is the history of Protestant Ireland. (Loud cheers.) They understood in time past how to stand shoulder to shoulder; how to strike simultaneous blows; how to march together; and, if necessary, how to die together. (Applause) Let the Protestants of Ireland be united in the future as in the past – not entering into politics, but, as Mr. Hannay had told them, keeping free from them – dealing with them as they were dealt with – and stand together for the interest of their own land, recognising no mere party as such. (Applause) Let them remember, as Protestants, to be true to the colours of the Irish nation – for blue is the colour of the Irish nation –(applause) – and while the Irish kings sat upon their thrones their garments were dyed in saffron, which is orange – (applause) – and, in the presence of a common danger, they should stand together soberly, calmly, prudently, honestly, as men who could be respected, and who respected themselves. (Applause) They should be willing even to sacrifice something for their principles. They should emulate the spirit of the young Austrian soldier at Sadowa, who would not allow the Prussian doctors to heal his wounds last they should find Austrian flag which he had wrapped lest they should find the Austrian flag which he had wrapped round his besom, determined to die rather than allow the flag to fall into hostile hands. Oh for something more of that spirit among Irish Protestants! Then, come life or death, for Protestantism they would live, and for Protestantism they would die. (Loud applause)

On the motion of Mr Murray, seconded by Capt Douglass, a cordial vote of thanks was passed to Dean Stannus for his kindness in attending that day, and for the trouble he had taken in connection with the hall.

Dean Stannus, in acknowledging the compliment expressed the pleasure it afforded him to give any assistance he could to such a project. (Loud applause)

Rev. A.C. Canning (Presbyterian minister) briefly moved a vote of thanks to the chairman, and referred to the cordial terms on which they had always acted. They should always remember that whether Episcopalians or Presbyterians, they had sound evangelical Protestant principles in common, and, hand-in-hand, they would all go forward teaching and practising these great doctrines (Applause).
Mr Walkington seconded the motion, which was carried by acclamation. The Chairman briefly returned thanks.
The proceedings terminated with the singing of the doxology, and the benediction.

Opening of Glenavy Protestant Hall

The "Belfast News Letter" dated 3rd July 1872 carried the following advert:


Place on SATURDAY, the 6th July inst,
At One o’clock p.m.
The Hon. EDWARD O’NEILL M.P., will preside
Several influential friends of Protestantism, lay and clerical, will address the meeting.
A first-class Band will be in attendance.
A Special Train 1st,2nd, and 3rd Class – will
Leave Belfast at 12 o’clock noon, calling at the under mentioned Stations:- Lisburn 12.25; Brookmount 12.35, Ballinderry (unreadable) arriving at Glenavy at 12.55; returning from Glenavy at 6.12 p.m.
The ordinary train from Antrim leaves at 11 a.m, returning from Glenavy at 4.41 and 7.41.
Tickets of admission can be had from any member of Committee, or at the door on Saturday.
Glenavy, Co.Antrim, July 1st, 1872.

The opening of Glenavy Protestant Hall was a historic event in the village and attracted dignitaries from far and wide.

The "Belfast Newsletter" dated Monday 8th July 1872 carried a comprehensive account of the opening ceremony of the hall.


Upwards of two years ago a number of persons connected with the Protestant cause in Glenavy and the surrounding districts, having long felt the want of a suitable building for their meetings and reunions, determined to make a united and strenuous effort to erect a hall in Glenavy worthy of the cause of Protestantism. A few friends waited on W.T. Stannus, Esq, D.L., J.P., agent to the then Marquis of Hertford, who, after discussing the matter in a very friendly spirit, promised, on behalf of Lord Hertford, a suitable site in Glenavy for a term of 150 years, at the nominal rent of one shilling per annum, and also a handsome subscription on behalf of his lordship. The promised lease and donation were obtained before the demise of the late marquis. A public meeting was held, which was presided over by Rev. E.J. Smyth, Vicar of Glenavy (who, with every member of his family, took a warm interest in the matter), at which a committee and office-bearers were appointed. Through the untiring exertions of a few members of the committee upwards of £400 was collected, and a splendid hall built, 60 feet by 30, and about 28 feet high, the upper portion being in one large hall, capable of accommodating from 500 to 600 people: The minor hall, and other apartments below are for smaller meetings and for a caretaker.

The foundation stone was laid on the 30th April 1870, in the presence of a numerous and enthusiastic assemblage. The cost of the building will be about £200. The external appearance of the hall is very chaste and neat, and it forms a very conspicuous and pleasing addition to the public buildings of Glenavy. Red brick is the material of which the walls are composed, the facing being of white. Entrance is obtained by an arched doorway, which is flanked on either side by two windows which give light to the vestibule. Above these are the other two windows which light the staircases; while over the door is a fine-looking wheel-window, lighting a cloakroom connected with the main hall. At present there is a stone wall in front of the building, but when this is taken down, as intended, and a nest iron railing put up, and shrubbery planted around, Glenavy will be in possession of a Protestant Hall as neat, substantial, and commodious, considering the necessities of the district, as any Protestant community in Ulster.

The friends of the movement could not have desired a finer day for the celebration of the opening ceremony than Saturday; the sun was bright, the air was mild, and the whole of Glenavy, young and old was astir. The people were evidently determined to present an appearance that should be worthy of the distinguished visitors whom they had invited to participate in the opening ceremony; and not a house in the village that was suited to the operation but was whitewashed, not a flag in the neighbourhood but was unfurled, and not a flowerbed but seemed to look prettier and more beautiful than ordinary Saturdays. The arrival of visitors by the special train from Belfast was greeted by the private hand of Lord Masserene, which was kindly granted by his lordship for the occasion and by a numerous body of the people, who had assembled at the railway station. Opposite the entrance to the hall two poles were erected, one on each side of the gateway, which were decorated with flowers, and a line, similarly adorned was stretched from the one to the other, having a floral device pendant from the middle.

At one o’clock the hall was well filled, and the proceedings promptly commenced. Amongst those whom we observed present were – The Hon. Edwd. O’Neill, M.P.; Re. Edwd. Johnson Smyth, Vicar of Glenavy; Rev. R. Lindsay, Rev. E.P. Roe, Rev. Jonathan Harding, Rev. M. Matthews, Rev. Charles William Harding, and Miss J. Harding; Captain Starkie, and Mrs Starkie; Mrs. Wilkinson,Rev.W.D.Pounden, Lisburn; Stewart Blacker,Esq.; Rev. John McGroarty, Soldierstown; E.A. Chichester, Esq, Randalstown; Thomas J. Smyth, Esq., J.P. and Mrs Smyth, Goremount; Rev. E. Maguire, Vicar of Ballinderry; Walter T. StannusEsq., D.L., J.P., and Hon. Mrs. Stannus; Rev. Dr. Hannay, Vicar of Belfast; Wm. James Gwynn, Esq, Antrim; Captain Douglass, J.P., and Mrs Douglass; Rev. Henry Henderson, Holywood; Rev. Wm. Greene, Vicarof Killead; Rev. Hugh Hanna, Belfast; Rev. Walter Johnson, Rector of Connor, and Miss Johnson; Rev. J. Hamilton Bennett, Crumlin; Dr. Mussen, and Mrs. Mussen; Rev. A. Gault; George P. Johnston, Esq., and Mrs. Johnston; Lucas Waring, Esq; Miss Johnston, Rev. Mr.Luther, Rev. Mr. Hartrick, Dr.Scott; Joan Oakman, James Bradbury, Hammerton; John White, Berry Oakman, Jonathan Peel, Mrs. Peel and Miss Peel; Wm. Wilson, John Manderson, John Bullick, Wm. M. English, Wm. Armstrong, – Donaldson and Miss Donaldson; James Ballance, Samuel Ballance, Wm. Wheeler, and Miss Wheeler; James Smyth and Miss Smyth, Poplar Hill;Joseph English and Mrs English, Crumlin; Wm. Ingram, and Miss Ingram; James Lorimer, and Mrs. Lorimer; Archibald McErvel, and Miss Mc Ervel; Francis Barrons, Robert Gresham, and Miss Gresham; John Johnston, and the Misses Johnston; Robert jebb, Deerpark; James Gibson, Edward Higginson,- Burrows, and Miss Burrows; James Palmer,Wm. B. McDonald, John Lorimer,Nelson Bell, Wm. John Ingram, Oliver Ingram, Wm. Cairns, Wm. Gray, Thos. Balmer, James White, – Chase, Langford Lodge, Wm. Crawford, Langford Geddis, Wm. John Geddis,John Rea, Ballyhill; John Corken, Wm. Bell, Shaw Armstrong, Allen Bickerstaff, George Dixon, James Crossan, William John Knox, &c.

The following lodges were represented – 72,73,471,618,148,63,314,1831,124,191,1895 and 1893.

Rev. E.J. Smith moved that the Hon. Edward O’Neill, member of the county, take the chair.

Mr Charles E. McClintock had great pleasure in seconding the motion.

The chair having been taken, an opening prayer was offered up by Rev.E.J. Smith, Vicar of Glenavy.

The CHAIRMAN then rose, amid applause, and said it gave him great pleasure to be able to be present, especially as at one time he was afraid he would not be able to accept the kind invitation given him by the committee connected with the hall. It also, he must say, gave them all great pleasure to see amongst them so many tried and trusted friends of the principles which had drawn them there – (hear, hear) – some of them having come from a considerable distance. The meeting in that respect was larger than he had expected, and he thought they must all be very grateful to those gentlemen who had honoured them with their presence on this occasion. (Hear) Considering this difficulty which one sometimes had in deciding between various duties, some of which may be conflicting – and he would not wish to underrate the importance of an occasion like the present – and considering those principles of right that should be observed as a general rule, he could hardly undertake to come over from London in the middle of the session to attend one meeting in the County Antrim, especially as on the present occasion he was obliged to return to London immediately. He thought, however, it would not do to act rigidly upon that in this case, when he remembered that, although he had often been in the neighbourhood enjoying the hostility of his kind friends , yet this was the first occasion of a public kind that he had of meeting with his friends in Glenavy, and he determined, if possible, to overcome the obstacles to his coming, and as a consequence, there he was. (Loud Applause). He would apologise for having so long spoken upon a personal matter, and would now proceed to the more immediate object of the meeting. That object was as they knew, the opening of the Protestant Hall, a hall which was founded for lectures, soirees, and various meetings in support of Protestant principles; and that might lead them to consider one or two of the objects which Protestantism wishes to advance was he believed, the union of order with freedom. That was a union that had not always been very rigidly secured in some European countries, but it was one which he thought would be admitted was to a great extent secured under the British Constitution. (Hear, and applause) Protestantism, therefore, in advancing the opinion, does so in harmony with the constitution under which we live, and he might say, too, that Protestantism, in cherishing and protecting our liberties, does so in no narrow spirit of sectarian animosity. It was willing that the liberties that were won for us by our forefathers, nearly two centuries ago, should be the birth-right not only of every Protestant, of every Briton, but ought to be ready and willing to extend the sympathy and add to every man and body of men whose object is t oppose any undue restriction of our liberties, or any violent exercise of power. Therefore, he thought they ought to rejoice in the strength, and prosperity of Protestantism, as it was evinced by the multiplication of halls such as the spacious one in which they were assembled, and as it was evinced also by many other unmistakable signs; and they ought to rejoice that they lived in a land many of the inhabitants of which united a respect for authority and toleration and moderation towards all, with a jealous guardianship of their liberties. (Applause) An occasion would soon be afforded to the Protestants of the North of Ireland practically illustrating the greatness of their principles, and of carrying them out with firmness combined with an anxious desire that might lead to an interruption of the people (hear, hear_ – and he was glad to think that they would be able to do so this year, and he hoped in future years, unfettered by the bugbear that formerly hung over them in the shape of the Party Processions Act. (Laughter & Applause) That Act had often been brought before it by Sir Hugh Cairns and Mr. Whiteside – he used the names by which they were known- and during the last four years it had been reps before the country with great energy and perseverance by Mr. Johnston and those who served with him – (applause) – and that Act, he need hardly remind them, had been this year repealed on the motion of the Executive Government, and with the unanimous consent, he thought of all parties in the Houses of Parliament and the country. No exceptional legislation therefore, now hung over the July anniversaries – (applause) – but he might say that they would do well to remember- though, perhaps, he should hardly speak upon that point in the presence of so many trusted leaders of Protestant opinion – that in proportion as their liberties increased so also their responsibilities increased. He was struck with some words Mr. Johnston used at the laying of the foundation of an Orange Hall in Bangor that if they would allow him he would conclude by reading the words he alluded to: they were addressed primarily to Orangemen, but he thought they were also applicable to Protestants generally, though more peculiarly to the highly organised body of Protestants to which they were mainly addressed. (Hear) Mr. Johnston said – "To the Orangemen of Ulster upon the next 12th of July will be committed a great trust, as well as a great privilege, and it ought to be the duty of every Orangeman coming out in procession, or attending any meeting, to feel that the honour of the Protestant cause is especially committed to his charge. Every Orangeman should guard that cause from dishonour and disgrace. Temperance and sobriety should mark the proceedings of that day. The eyes of all will be upon you – the eyes of the Government, the eyes of your friends, the eyes of your foes. Let it be the proud privilege of the Orangeman to guard from dishonour our glorious Protestant cause, so that the 12th July, 1872, will be a white letter day in the history of our institution, and that no one will be able to say that the cause of Protestantism, the cause of God’s truth, the cause of man’s liberty, has suffered at all from the conduct of the Orangemen of Ulster on the glorious 12th of July." The honourable gentleman then said – I have now to declare the hall open for the purposes for which it has been erected – viz, for the holding of lectures, soirees, and other suitable meetings in support of Protestant principles, and I have now to ask Mr. English to read the letters of apology which may have been received. (Applause).

Mr. Joseph English (secretary to the committee) intimated that he had received letters of apology for absence from the following gentlemen, many of whom, however, had sent donations to the building fund:- John Savage. Esq., J.P., Mayor of Belfast; Philip Johnston, Esq. J.P. (ex-Mayor of Belfast), James Torrens, Esq., James Johnston, Esq; Chas H. Ward, Esq; R. Tooker, Esq. Cork; John Hall, Esq., Holywood; James C. Price Esq., Saintfield House; Thomas F. Caldbeck Esq, Eaton Brae, Loughlinstown; Rev. A. Bullick, Ardkeen Rectory; Rev. A.C.Canning, Crumlin, Samuel Young, Esq, Lisburn; William Mussen Esq., Belfast; William Johnston, Esq, Ballysillan house; Robert Atkinson, Esq.; William John Johnston, Esq., Ann Street, Belfast.

Rev. Dr. Hannay (Belfast) was then called upon by the chairman to address the meeting, and, on rising, congratulated the Protestant people of Glenavy and its neighbourhood on having successfully crowned the work which was so auspiciously commenced two years ago, and he trusted that this hall would long stand in their midst as a hall where true Protestant principles would be inculcated, and where brotherly unity and love would be fostered and encouraged. He remembered that the time when the foundation stone of that hall was laid was a very critical time in the history of Irish Protestantism, shortly after the second reading of the Irish Church Bill in the House of Lords had passed. Everyone at that time who understood anything of politics was well aware that the vote then given was just the signal for Irish Protestantism entering upon a new stage of its existence. Many of their friends were naturally (unreadable) – alarmed and anxious as to the result of that sudden and severe blow to the Protestant cause in this land, many feared that it would work most injuriously destroy, and some believed it would ultimately destroy Protestantism in the country. He could not say that he himself shared to any great extent in the gloomy anticipations with respect to the future. He had faith in the principles of Protestantism; he believed that whatever political action might do in the way of weakening and shattering existing organisations, be they political or ecclesiastical, that in certain principles there is live and vitality. They could not destroy truth. They might for a time beat down the witnesses to it and silence them, but it would rise again; it had always been so, and so it would always be; and as he held that the principles included in the general term Protestantism to be in accordance with Divine truth, he therefore held that they never could be extinguished in this land, and when he looked back now upon the trying period, which is passed he asked – Were they not justified then in the dark and trying hour, in looking hopefully to the future. He congratulated the Protestants of Ireland upon the way in which they met and grappled with the difficulties they had to deal with. Their brethren of the Presbyterian Church had not precisely – in church matters- the same difficulties to contend with, and heavy losses were inflicted upon them. And how did they do? They set to work like men instead of sighing over the irrevocable past – they set to work to make the best of it they could, and most heartily he congratulated them upon the success which had attended their earnest efforts. The Church to which he belonged himself had in many respects a more difficult tasks, but he thought their Church people had shown a heartiness, a willingness, and zeal in the work of reconstruction which augured well for their future also; and if here and there ther had been a little effervescence and overflow of animal spirits, they were not, perhaps, to be surprised that people long unaccustomed to certain rights had privileges should, on the first trial, exercise them in a way that afterwards they found not to be altogether the best. But they had reason for great thankfulness that their Protestant Churches had come out of the struggle weakened not one bit; he believed they were stronger in the affections of the people than they were before the passing of that Act. (Loud Applause) When he looked round about on the state of the country today, and asked himself "What are the prospects of Protestantism in Ireland today?" he confessed that he took a cheerful view of their prospects. He did not think that any one could observe at all carefully what was going on in Ireland, not among Protestants alone, but among their Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, without noticing that a great, a very marked change was passing over the minds of Roman Catholic people of Ireland. (Applause) There had been a leaven working, he had no doubt, secretly for a long time, which was now beginning to manifest itself in a very remarkable manner. He considered it as a most hopeful sign for the country that the Roman Catholic people are beginning now to assert political independence, that they are shaking off the grasp off the priest, and are showing their determination in many boroughs and counties in Ireland to vote according to their conscientious convictions. That was not all the country wants, but they should be thankful for any such healthy sign among the people as that certainly was. Take such a case as the judgement delivered by Mr. Justice Keogh with respect to the Galway election case. That was one of the most remarkable testimonies to the growing spirit of independence among educated Roman Catholics in Ireland that any man could desire to see, and it was a witness to this that educated Roman Catholics have been so long ground and crushed under that intolerable sacerdotal despotism that they can stand it no longer, and are determined to speak out. All honour to Mr. Justice Keogh for the manly, honest judgement he delivered upon that occasion. (Loud Applause) he knew the Roman Catholic priests were very angry with that judgement, but he conceived they were taking a very wrong course in reviling the judge who delivered it. If they wanted to get themselves respected in this country, they ought to concur in the judgement, and say "It is not a right thing, in our opinion, for a priest to perjure himself." They ought to set their faces against the conduct of those men; but, if they join in it, the judgement refers to the whole priesthood, instead of to one. The course they are taking is one that will bring discord and disgrace upon them, and will completely overthrow their efforts. These were two great hopeful symptoms, attribute them to what they would, in the political life of the country. If he were asked – To what are these things to be attributed? he would say – To a great extent to the gradual leavening, slowly and almost imperceptibly of the minds of the Roman Catholic population, with truer and better principles, imbibed almost insensibly from what they are going on among Protestants around about them. He thought Protestantism was telling the country, and under God’s blessing it depended greatly upon the way in which Protestants managed matters for the future how much their influence would extend among their Roman Catholic fellow countrymen (Applause). The Orange Society had a great future before it if it but had the wisdom to take hold of the opportunity that lies before it now. The vitality of the organisation itself no one could possible doubt. The springing up in every neighbourhood of such halls as that, the handing together in lodges of such a vast number of the Protestant population, showed that the Orange Institution has a hold upon the hearts of the people today, as it had in former times and that it is not dying out. It was not extinguished by the Party Processions Act, and it will not be extinguished by the repeal of that Act. But very much depends now upon the way in which the members of the Institution looks upon the state of affairs round about them. He would say to them that the great aim of such an organisation should not all self- glorification, or exultation over others, but simply this – the preservation and propagation of certain principles, the value of which had been thoroughly tried and proved – (laughter and applause) – they wanted to preserve for themselves certain liberties, and they wanted their fellow countrymen to become sharers in it; but this could only be possible where men were so far educated themselves as to be able to read history, and see the bearing of history upon their own times. He thought every hall like that ought to have a library connected with it – a library not merely for taking in daily newspapers and magazines, but the standard works of history, which should be carefully studied by the members of the Institution. Then every member would see what is today is because of something that had been yesterday. There was no chance in these things; it is all cause and effort the state of things today springs from something that happened before; the working of certain principles before produces something now. What they and he were doing today would produce something after they have gone. They should carefully consider the tendency of certain principles, the bearing of certain modes of action, and how they are likely to affect the future prosperity of the country. Therefore, he would say their great anniversary time should not be merely a holiday, an occasion for more congratulation and spending a pleasant day in the country, and then suppose the mission of Orangeism is completed. That was a small position of it indeed. There was a great deal more if Orangeism was to be a practical benefit to the country in which it exists. They must take hold of its principles, and see how they themselves are to work them into the social and political life of the country. There are great problems waiting to be solved, and according to the way in which they dealt with these would the future of the country be decided. Their justification was one that combined in itself two distinct elements; it was a political institution conducted upon religious principles ; and if they carried that into practice, in its working there could be no doubt at all of its being a permanent benefit to the country and community on which it exists. They should not separate these two. Politics, rightly understood, were a part of religion; separate politics from religion and refuse to guide political action by the Spirit of the Lord and by the direction of His Word, and they would not do much good. A political life and action conducted in a religious and prayerful spirit is the description of political life that will permanently benefit the country. He prayed that god might give His blessing to them in this Institution, and that they might ever be Protestants and Orangemen in that sense, living a life religiously political and politically religious. (loud applause)

Rev. Henry Henderson, who was received with applause, next addressed the meeting. He joined heartily with his friend and brother , Rev. Dr. Hannay, in congratulating them on the opening of that splendid hall in Glenavy, a hall which was not only an honour to the Orangemen of Glenavy and the district, but he must say – and he had been at the opening of a great many halls – it was an honour to the Orange Institution of Ireland. They had set a noble example to their brethren throughout the country, not only showing to then the advantage of building a hall, but of doing it in a right style; for it was a hall that would adorn the streets of Belfast. (Applause) he was unable to be present at the laying of the foundation stone of this building, but he had the honour to receive an invitation, and he would have been present only that circumstances prevented; he would have come to show his sympathy with the brethren in getting up such a building as this; and he would have come to show that he rejoiced and felt it an honour to identify himself with his Orange brethren in every part of Ulster; and he should have come also in order that he might have had the privilege of being present at a meeting presided over by the venerable Dean of Rose, who he regretted to say was not present, but who, had sent two noble representatives. And he might say that he deeply regretted that the infirmities of advanced age had prevented them from having the honour of the presence of the venerable and beloved Dean Stannus. He congratulated that meeting and they had as their chairman one of the honourable members for the County Antrim – (applause) – one of the members of the princely house of O’Neill – (applause) – and he was not afraid to say there, as an Orangeman, that he was glad to see the chairman there as a Conservative – one of the noble Conservative band of Ulster, who fought their battles in the House of Commons, (Applause). There were certain newspapers at the present moment that were urging upon the Orangemen of Ireland to do certain things on the approaching Twelfth of July, which he was sure they would not do, because he did not think the Radical papers of Ulster were exactly the papers to be the guides of Orangeman. But one of the things put forward in a Radical paper published in the town of Coleraine was that Orangemen, now that they have got the Party Processions Act repealed, should turn upon the noble Protestant landlords of Ulster and devour them upon the subject of tenant-right (laughter) Well that is not bad. The yeomanry of Ulster were an honour to Ireland. (Hear hear). The protestant yeomanry of his own county, grand old County Down, where would they get their betters? They were an honour to the estates on which they lived; and he would say this, that the noble landlords of Down and Antrim deserved the attachment of their people, for at all times they had been generous, kind and indulgent towards their Protestant tenantry. (Applause) These papers would divide class from classes, turn the tenants upon the landlords and the landlords upon the tenants – for what purpose? Not for the advantage of the tenantry, but for the destruction of Conservatism in the land, in order that the yeomanry of Ulster might be laid at the back of Cardinal Cullen and Archbishop MacHale, and that gang of priests who received such an encomium from Judge Keogh, one of their co-religionists, in Galway. (Loud applause) But from the platform he told those Radical papers that the union between the Orange and Protestant yeomanry of Antrim and Down and their Protestant and indulgent landlords is a union that they will never break, and he would say this – woe be to the cause of Protestantism and Orangeism if ever one class should be set against another in the country. (Hear and applause). Another trick, older than that perhaps, was to endeavour to divide their Churches . Appeals had been made to the Presbyterians of the country to separate themselves from their Episcopalian brethren; but they would wisely unite. His noble, distinguished, lamented father, Dr. Cooke, all his days proclaimed union, loving and unbroken, between the Protestant Churches of Ireland. His friend and brother , the Rev. Hugh Hanna, had spent his days and nights, his strength and brilliant talents in advocating the same union. There were his brothers, the Rev. Mr Greene and the Rev. Mr Johnston, rector of Connor, the son of the Grand Master of County Monaghan, one of the noblest Orangemen that ever wore an orange scarf about his neck, both of whom maintained and advocated union among the Protestant Churches. That was as it ought to be; and one of the great characteristics of the Orange Institution was that they did not know sectarianism in the lodge. They met as brethren, and all bigotry was shut out at the door – (applause) – and he felt that hall would be distinguished as a means of maintaining and conserving the glorious Protestantism of the Protestant Churches in the land. (Loud Applause). Now, he would just take the liberty of saying a word or two, following up the observations of Dr. Hannay as to the character of the Orange Institution. He said, and he had ever maintained , that pre-eminently one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Orange Institution was that it was a religious institution – (applause) – and every one connected with it was solemnly pledged before God to support the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; and he, so far as he was concerned, did not believe that he would have anything to do with the Orange Institution unless it had that character. (Hear) One of the laughable objections to the Orange Institution was – and it was sometimes put forward in the papers he had referred to – How could a minister be an Orangeman? – that dreadful Institution. It is impossible for a Christian man to be an Orangeman. Well, in reply to that he would point to Lord Roden, one who had a better crown than the coronet he wore – the crown of life – for there never lived a better man than the late venerable Earl of Roden. Another objection was – How can a Presbyterian be an Orangeman? Because every one who joins the orange Institution swears that he will maintain the Episcopal Church. So they said Well, he was prepared to support the principles of the late Established Church of Ireland ; for while he loved his own Church he loved every Church that loved the truth of God. It was not vile slander and calumny – it was not sects they were pledged and solemnly bound to maintain but it was the glorious faith of the Reformation as upheld by Cranmer and Ridley and Hooker in England, and by the immortal John Know in Scotland (Hear, and loud applause) Another characteristic of their Institution was, that it was a political Institution – might he say Conservative? He had always taken the liberty of saying no Radical can be an Orangeman, or, if there is a Radical Orangeman, there is something curious about him -(laughter)- he could not understand his constitution at all (continued laughter) – because and Orangeman pledged himself to do – What? To support all our great protestant national institutions and interests. And, in the last place, there was another characteristic of the orange Institution, to which Dr. Hannay did not specially refer – that was the social character. It brought men together of different classes and different ranks, and he hoped they would soon see their chairman in their ranks – (loud applause and hear) – and if he would but wait and meet them on the Twelfth he would never rue day or moment when he joined the noble band of Orangemen of Ulster in Antrim town. (Loud Applause) At all events, they had Lord Massereene- an Orangeman- and Lord Edwin Hill – an Orangeman – and there was the prince among the princes of their Orangemen – Edward Blacker – (loud applause) and when they met in their lodge-room rank was forgotten for the time. The twelfth was coming. Well he hoped to be in Antrim; and it had been said that the Orangemen will take advantage of the abolition of the Party Processions Act (A voice: No) – and violate the law and act in a disorderly manner. But no; with the help of god, no. Just because the Act has been abolished Orangemen in every quarter would be more particular than ever before as to their conduct, and would set a bright and blessed example to the whole country as to the way in which the manly and independent, and industrious, and religious Orangemen of Ireland can conduct themselves, (Loud Applause) he said to them, and through them to his Orange brethren all over Ulster – let every man feel that the character of the Orange Institution is in his hands; let every Orangeman act the Christian; let every Orangeman on the Twelfth go proudly forth beneath the banner that he loves to the sound of the Protestant drum – (applause) – and let him go forth feeling that Orangeism is not a mere parade on the Twelfth, is not merely a showing off of colours – although he liked to see them – that it is not merely making a display on this or that day, and that ia all about it. No, let it be felt, let it be seen, that the Orangeman of Ulster feel that they are the guardians of God’s truth in Ireland, that they are the defenders of the British Constitution in Ireland; that they are the pillars of the British Throne; and, feeling the responsibility of having tremendous duties devolving upon them, let them go forth on the Twelfth in the spirit o prayer, in the name, and for the glory, of their God, to meet together wherever they hold a demonstration; and when they part let them, as brethren, go quietly to their homes, and in this way God would be glorified and their cause advanced (Loud Applause).

Stewart Blacker, Esq., said he was rejoiced to find himself amongst them, and under the true colour he was himself again. (Laughter and applause) But there were difficulties in the way of doing anything proper or good in this world , and he had experienced considerable trouble in coming to Glenavy. He rejoiced in his heart to find Orange and Protestant halls being as thickly sown over the country, and bringing to their cause such respectability and such honour. Br. Henderson had ably put before them the advantages of such a hall, and of their having a united platform on which the ministers of the various evangelical denominations of the Protestant Church could meet, and work hand in hand together, and oppose with a bold frost the common foe – Popery, (Hear) He felt, when he looked around him and saw the specimens of beauty and the cheering smiles of the ladies, that while they had their wives and sisters amongst them a genial and proper feeling came over the whole Institution – a rectifying principle, for no rough word would be spoken, but only that which was conducive to goodness, propriety, religion and good feeling. It was a great thing to have the ladies amongst them; but there was another great matter – in that place the word of truth would be spoken, their missions and their charities advocated -(hear) – and, instead of spending their money in tobacco smoking and whisky drinking, they could lay by their pennies for their destitute and respectable old people, and for their orphans. (Applause) One of the grandest feelings which he observed throughout the whole of Canada was the temperance and sobriety that conducted not only to the great political influence of the Order, but to the respectability that they bore in the front of them by taking care of their aged people and of their destitute orphans. (Hear, and applause) In every great city or town there was a Protestant Orphan School, and in Toronto the Orangemen of that city had added tow wings to such a building, and the were called the Orange wings – one was the Orange and the other the Purple wing, and there never was a nobler or better bird took its flight than the Protestant Orphan Society, with its Orange and Protestant wings. It was not long since, in another part of the country, he was present at a meeting in a hall erected for Orange and Protestant purposes in the town of Ballymena, where they held the Grand Lodge, and he was scarcely concluded there when he had to hurry away to the opening of one in the important town of Connor, where Br. Johnston did the honours of the parish – and he never saw a more glorious display than the single parish made in defence of Protestantism, and he could not but congratulate Br. Johnston on the appearance made by the district of Kells and Connor. But standing amongst them now he congratulated them in Glenavy on having erected such a building. It was really creditable and honourable to them to have such an admirable building for the purposes for which it was designed. It was by such acts as these that they would confer strength and respectability upon the Institution; and he would second what Br. Henderson had said in hoping that every Conservative, and every Tory, and every right-thinking politician, would at once cast off all unnecessary timidity, and join the Orange Institution. (Applause) He would tell them why – because the Orange Institution arose from necessity, and from a feeling of propriety and love of order amongst their humbler brethren; and it was that which had made it take root throughout the country and flourish as it does. They might talk of Conservatism; it was a very elastic word, and brought in all sorts of Conservatives. They had latterly had some who should properly be called Concessionists, for the first view they took of a question was to find a hole out of which they could creep, to see how a bargain could be made or a compromise effected. That was modern Conservatism; but it was now so with the Conservatism of Orangeism. The first thing they had to do was to consider whether they were right or wrong, and if their consciences told them they were right, they had but one term – "No surrender." There was an old bard in County Derry, and when he used to view the different Protestant political societies he would say –

Like fires among furze that on mountains are made,
Conservatives, Brunswickers, flourish and fade;
But Orangemen brave, still constant are seen,
The steady supporters of truth, Bible and Queen.

Yes the orange Institution was a society for the upholding of rank, and order, and law; it was a ? upholding an open and free ? walking in the steps of God’s commands. The present phase of the political world was very remarkable. There were stirrings up in all directions; ebullitions – extraordinary ebullitions and fermentations of the human mind. They could trace them in their various forms. In the Fenian they had the American Republican trying to cast his slime over the country; in the Ribbonman they had the priests’ mob of the lower orders, to execute any of the commands which their Church inculcates upon them; in the International Society they had a sort of ramification of the movement of labour against capital which is agitating the whole of Europe, stirring up persons who require to be paid against their paymaster; and they had a greater conspiracy than all these lowering and looming over them – an unfathomable one – the Ultramontane or Jesuit conspiracy – which stands apart and takes advantage of all the others. No matter where disorder might occur, wherever discontent was likely to be, they would find the Jesuit stirring up the elements of strife, and taking advantage of it to further the objects of the Pope and Popery. (Hear) It was a very remarkable thing, the rise of Ignatius Loyola, the first Jesuit, and the subsequent unremitting persistent efforts of the society for the furtherance of Popish rule. From that day to this is has gone on and from that day to this they might trace every disorder in every country in some way or other to the stirring up of the fearful aggressive conspiracy. Mr. Blacker then gave a detail of some of the principal movements in England with which the Society of Jesus was connected, and stated that lies and malignant vituperation was on of the principle weapons which they used- and they found at present a judge of the land undergoing a similar vituperation from every Popish paper and Popish writer. He referred to the several natural leaders of Orangeism, whom he enumerated, and lamented that they could not include the chairman, the Hon. Edward O’Neill, among the number. He congratulated the people of the country on the devoted attention which was given to the business of the House; he was never known to be absent from his duty. He hoped the day might be long absent when the North Of Ireland would have the slightest compunction or feeling of fear to meet boldly and faithfully and sternly all the dangers that may surround the Protestant cause –

Then let them give a cheer for those[1]
Who, still to honour cleaving,
Around that cause are seen to close
Which dastard souls are leaving,
Fair truth o’er all these ills shall rise,
That fear or fraud have wrought her,
And days return that men shall prize
Old Derry and Boyne Water.


Lord Massereene’s private band, was in attendance, here struck up the tune "Derry Walls."

Rev. Hugh Hanna next addressed the meeting. With the proceeding speakers he congratulated them on the hall which they had erected, and on the influential meeting which had assembled at the opening ceremony. They had received their honourable chairman with all cordiality, and he hoped that his advent there today would be the pledge and forerunner of many such appearances throughout the country, and of such appearances by other members of the order of society to which he belonged. Having expressed his sympathy with the remarks of Dr. Hannay as to the growing independence and enlightenment of educated Roman Catholics, and referred to the harm which was being done by Jesuitism in Ireland, which was marshalling the scattered elements of Papal strength to re-constitute them into a despotism as dark and dreadful as in the days of yore. Mr. Hanna proceeded to say that he quite coincided with the definition that had been given of the principle on which Orangeism is founded, and described it as animated by high religious principle. But he told them honestly be believed the Institution was now not as practical as it ought to be. While other bodies were presenting petitions to Parliament in aid of different movements they failed to exercise the influence the potency of which they were undoubtedly possessed. He concluded by urging them to endeavour to be more practical and more advice in their support of Orange and Protestant principles and interests.(Applause)

Rev. Edward Maguire next spoke, and in the course of his observations gave an able summary of the present position of the Papacy in Ireland, and the reason why any extension of its influence ought to be dreaded.

After some remarks from rev. E.T. Smith and James Gwynne, Esq., D.G.M., Walter Stannus, Esq., D.L., moved that the Hon. Edward O’Neill vacate the chair, and that the same be taken by the Rev. E.T. Smith.

The second chair having been taken.

Mr. Stannus moved a vote of thanks to the Hon. Edward O’Neill for presiding.

Mr. Donaldson seconded the motion, which was carried by acclamation.

A vote of thanks was unanimously awarded to Lord Massereene for kindly granting the use of the band.

The Hon. Edward O’Neill briefly replied.

After which a doxology was sung, the benediction pronounced, and the meeting separated.

At the close, a collection in aid of the building fund was taken up, which, including a number of donations that had been sent, amounted to about £80. Amongst the donations were the following:- Philip Johnston, Esq., J.P., £5; John Savage, Esq., J.P. (Mayor of Belfast), £2; James Torrens, Esq., £2 2s; Robert Atkinson, Esq, £1; W. Johnston Esq., Ballysillan House, £1; and W. Johnston, Esq., Ann Street, Belfast £1, being a second subscription.

This verse has been taken from an old song called "The Boyne Water". Here is a version taken from "The Purple Marksman Book of Orange Songs".

The Boyne Water

"July the first, in Oldbridge Town,
There was a grievous battle,
Where many a man lay on the ground,
And the cannons they did rattle."
In vain their bearing bold was shown,
In vain they marched to slaughter:
For oh! ’tis lost what William won
That day at the Boyne Water.

By no illusive phantom led,
Our visionary glory,
Our gallant fathers nobly bled,
The theme of song and story.
In freedom’s cause their swords were drawn,
Through fire and death they sought her;
But fear has lost what valour won
That day at the Boyne Water.

But yet we’ll drink a health to those
Who still to honour cleaving,
Around that cause were seen to close,
Which dastard souls were leaving,
Fair truth o’er all the ills may rise
Which fear or fraud have wrought her,
And days return when men shall prize
The deeds of the Boyne Water.

Landlord and Tenant Lecture

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 14th October 1875 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

An important lecture on the Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act was delivered on Tuesday evening, in Glenavy Protestant Hall, By F.R. Falkiner, Esq, Q.C., under the auspices of the Crumlin District Tenant-farmers’ Constitutional Association. There was a very large audience present. T.E. Smyth, Esq, J.P., occupied the chair. The Hon. Edward O’Neill, M.P., and James Chaine, Esq., M.P., at the close of the lecture addressed the meeting. The meeting passed a vote of confidence in the two county members. A full report of the interesting proceedings will be found in our columns this morning.

Elocutionary Entertainment

The following is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 4th April 1877 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Elocutionary Entertainment – On Monday evening last, a musical and elocutionary entertainment was given by the members of the Belfast Elocutionary Association (assisted by a few well trained voices, under the leadership of Mr. J.R. Smith) in Glenavy Protestant Hall. Rev. A.S. Melville presided. A varied and well selected programme was gone through in a manner which reflected the highest credit on the members of this young association. As it is just in its infancy (being only started a few months ago), and this their first appearance before the public, the hall was well filled with a most respectable audience, who frequently exhibited their appreciation of the performance by loud applause – Correspondent.

Fundraising Bazaar

The following is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 15th June 1877 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Bazaar in Glenavy – On Wednesday and Thursday next a bazaar, under the patronage of Lady Wallace, Lady Louisa O’Neill, Lady Savage and Mrs Chaine, will be held in the Protestant Hall, Glenavy. As the object is to raise money in aid of the fund for clearing off the debt on the hall, the enterprise is sure to meet with very extensive support. To add to the attractions a number of lady and gentlemen amateurs have arranged to give selections of music during the progress of the bazaar, while there will be also marionette performances, and the celebrated wizard, Herr Von Shuffeldorff, will entertain visitors by marvellous exhibitions of "magic, mystery, and metamorphoses." The names of the ladies forming the committee are a guarantee for the success of the project.


The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard – Saturday January 29 1887

Concert at Glenavy

One of the most successful entertainments ever held in this village took place on Friday evening last, in the Protestant Hall, the spacious room, which was most tastefully decorated for the occasion, scarcely affording standing accommodation for the large and influential audience. The programme was long an diversified, no less than 23 items being set down for performance. At 7 o’clock the concert opened with a piano solo, by the Rev. J A Armstrong, which was tastefully executed. The plaintive old local melody "Tis Pretty to be in Ballinderry" was most sweetly sung by Mrs. Watson, who received a well-merited recall. Mr W.P. Dowglass rendered "The Women of Mumbles Head" (C.Scott) with effect and feeling, as also his subsequent piece, "The Suicide" Wakefield’s song, "No Sir!" was rendered with much sweetness and piquancy by Miss S English, and Mr S Dunn’s fine bass voice was heard with power and pathos in Michael Watson’s beautiful sea song, "Anchored." An emphatic encore awaited him at its close, a favour which his next song, "Out on the Deep" (Lohr), also secured. Major Samuel K. Cowan’s recitation of his own two compositions, "The Toast" and "In the Old Canteen," met with much acceptance, the latter being enthusiastically encored. Miss R Morgan received well-deserved encouragement for her tasteful rendition of "An Old Garden" (Temple), and "The Love Tryst" (Macdonnell), the same honour being accorded to Miss Waring for her refined rendition of "Hope in Parting" and "Kathleen Aroon." A very amusing topical song, written by Major Cowan, was sung by Mr. F. Alexander, for which he received an imperative recall. The Misses Morgan rendered the duet "Greeting" (Mendelssohn) tastefully and artistically. Mr J.E. Hind of Belfast, an established favourite in the locality, convulsed the audience with his humorous sketch, "The Silver Wedding" and his comic songs (in character), "I Really am so Sleepy," and "The Unfortunate Man." A vote of thanks to the ladies and gentlemen who so kindly offered their services on the occasion having been proposed by Dr. Mussen, the singing of the National Anthem brought a most successful and enjoyable reunion to a close.


The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard dated 13th April 1889

Concert At Glenavy

A very successful and enjoyable concert took place in the Protestant Hall, Glenavy, on Wednesday evening, 10th inst, in aid of the local Brass band. The hall was filled to its utmost capacity by an enthusiastic audience, who rewarded the different performers with warm applause. The programme opened with a piece by the band, which, considering the very short time (two months) it has been in practice, was very creditable to themselves and to Mr. Weir, their instructor. Mrs. Sefton followed with the pianoforte solo "Pasquinade" (Gottachalk), in which she showed much ability in her execution. Songs "They all Love Jack" and "Six o’clock in the Morning" – were given by a well-known gentleman, and were loudly encored, and responded to. Mrs. Watson sang, with much acceptance, the song, "The Mill Wheel" and was equally successful in the song "Anchored." Encores being the order of the evening, she gave "Shy Robin." Miss Alice Sloan gave the audience a treat with her performances on the violin. She contributed two items. Considering the size off the young lady, it was very creditable, indeed, Miss McClure sang, "Alas! Those Chimes," and "Oh Steer my Bark to Erin’s Isle," in which she displayed much taste; and in response to encores, gave "We’d better Bide a Wee" and "Comin’ thro’ the Rye." Mr Spence followed with the song, "Queen of my Heart." and another song "The Old Brigade." Having to appear again, he sang "Hearts of Oak" in which he was loudly applauded. The pianoforte duet "Il Corricolo," was brilliantly performed by Miss Finlay and Miss Mussen; as was also the pianoforte solo, "Air du Dauphim," by Miss Finlay, in another part of the programme. Humorous readings were given by Mr. Dumican, entitled "Jemmy Hoy" and "Gape Seed," which evoked much merriment. Being heartily encored, he recited "The Irish Schoolmaster." Mr. Weir’s ability on the flute was amply demonstrated in his performance of the solos. "Bohemian Girl" and "Irish Airs." Miss Aggie Kenmuir, a Lisburn favourite, delighted the audience in the songs, "Quaker’s Daughter," and "The Song for Me," and, in response to an imperative encore, gave "The Kissing Bride." Mr. Weir, junior, contributed two items; and, as usual, had to appear again. Mr. Wm. McGahey, Belfast, sustained the comic element in his inimitable style, keeping the house in roars of laughter, songs, "Enniscorthy" "I Forget," "The Troubadour" "My Wife’s Relations" and a reading "Reubenstein at the Piano." Dr. Mussen has reason to be congratulated for his efforts. The accompaniments were efficiently supplied by Mrs. Sefton and Miss Finlay. The concert concluded at a late hour with the singing of the National Anthem.

Soiree & Musical Reunion

The following is an extract from The LisburnStandard, Saturday February 15th 1890

Glenavy District L.O.L. Soiree and Musical Reunion.

A very enjoyable soiree and musical reunion in connection with this lodge was held on Tuessday evening, in the Orange Hall, Glenavy, which was very neatly decorated. There was a large attendance of the brethren and their friends; amongst those being present – Revs C Watson, J.R. Sides, and J.A. Armstrong; Bros W.H.H. Lyons, Co Grand Master; Dr. Mussen, District Secretary; Jas Lorimer D.D.M.; J, Corken, James Smyth, Edward Irvine, 73, J. Neill 124. James Patterson 314; W.J. Smyth 340; James Sutters 351; C Quigley 18; James Armstrong, George Colburn; Thomas Irvine; W.J. Fleeton; Nathaniel Wilson, Allen Burrows, Henry Higginson, W. Lowry and J. McConnell.

After tea Bro W.H. H. Lyons took the chair on the motion of Bro. Dr. Mussen, seconded by Bro. Lorimer.

The Chairman who was most enthusiastically cheered, said he was very much obliged to them for the honour which they had conferred upon him. It was always a great pleasure to him to be present at these annual reunions, because of the courtesy extended to him, and because he knew so many of the brethren. (Applause). He was always glad to be able in any way to assist their esteemed District Secretary, who had so long occupied such an important position in connection with the institution – (hear, hear) – and he hoped that they might long have the benefit of his discretion. He was sorry to say that he had experienced a great loss in the death of Bro Wheeler, whom he regretted to find so suddenly called away from amongst them. Referring to current politics, he sadi he was very much surprised the other day to find that Mr. Wm O’Brien had been speaking at Manchester, and that his speech had been reported in The Times – a journal, which, as a rule, reported scarcely any speeches but those of Cabinet Ministers. The reason they reported his was, perhaps, to show how this gentleman treated English constituencies. Of course, if Mr O’Brien were to address an English audience as he does an Irish one it would be disgusted with him; and if he addressed and Irish as he does an English it would be no less disgusted with the mildness of his statements. At Manchester he spoke very mildly. He spoke of the tow nations which had been so long estranged, but which had so long been mixing in fellowship and peace. Which two nations did he mean? He (the chairman) feared if he means English and the Irish he was mistaken, and then he told them that he had always been an extreme man, and that during the whole time the Irish agitation he had never said an unkind word about the working millions of England. But did he forget that he had spoken of the accursed Saxon, and who was that? Why, it was the English nation. It could not be some mere half dozen Cabinet Ministers. Mr. O’Brien then went on to say that the English Government were just as selfish to the English working people as the English Garrison – meaning the Executive – in this country were to the working classes here. He (the chairman) had no doubt the Irish party were longing for the day then they would have a Parliament in College Green, and Mr. O’Brien seemed to think that on the day when the Home Rule Bill was inscribed in the statute book of England they would have a happy and contented nation ("Never".)

In enumerating the grievances of the Irish nation, he told them that the Constitution had been suspended in Ireland. Well, he might have added that his own party had suspended it for their own purposes. (Applause) Mr. O’Brien also stated that the right of public meeting had been done away with, but if such were the case but few could be surprised, since men like Mr. O’Brien and his followers went through the country sporting as they had done. If he had spoken fairly he might have drawn a very favourable comparison between the late government of Ireland under Mr. Gladstone and the present government under Lord Sailsbury. After reviewing the progress towards peace in Ireland during the past three years, the chairman said the Nationalists opposed the Ashbourne Act because the creation of peasant priatorship in Ireland would leave Mr. O’Brien, Mr. Parnell, and their followers without anything to do. (Hear, Hear). The present agitation was purely a religious agitation, and he did not think they who property in this country were prepared to resign and leave it all at once, nor yet would they give up their civil and religious liberty (Applause).

Re. Mr. Sides said it was a very hopeful sign for their parish to see so many young people gathered together on that occasion with so much enthusiasm and apparent happiness. The chairman struck the right nail on the head when he said the whole question in Ireland was a religious question -(applause) – and it devolved on them to show their neighbours that there was something more in Protestantism than the mere assembly with banners and walking on the Twelfth of July. They must let them see that their religion had something of the Bible in it, and if they could get their opponents to follow their example Ireland would become a contented and glorious kingdom. (Applause).

Rev. Mr. Watson expressed his pleasure in being present and also complimented Dr. Mussen on the great success with which his efforts to promote that entertainment were attached. (Hear Hear)

During the evening a varied programme of musical selections and recitations was contributed by the Lisburn Orchestral Band, Mrs Watson, Miss Morgan, Miss Mussen, Rev. J. Armstrong, Mr S Nixon, Mr. Weir and Mr. W??

On the motion of Dr. Mussen, a vote of thanks to the ladies and gentlemen who contributed to the programme, and also to the chairman, was passed by acclamation, and the proceedings concluded with the National Anthem.

Constitutional and Unionist Demonstration

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard – Saturday, November, 28th 1891.

A Constitutional
Will be held in the
Protestant Hall, Glenavy,
On MONDAY, the 30th day of November inst.

Rev. Dr. KANE
C.J. WEBB, Esq., J.P.,
And others will address the Meeting.

Chair to be taken at 7 o’clock by the Rev.A.H.

A great day for Glenavy. We remind our readers that a Constitutional and Unionist Demonstration is to be held in the Glenavy Protestant Hall on Monday evening next, under the Presidency of the Rev. A.H. Pakenham, J.P., a warm friend of the Unionist cause. The speakers will include Mr. W. Ellison Macartney, M.P.; Rev. Dr Kane, Christ Church, Belfast; Mr. C.J. Webb, and other men of mark. It is clearly the duty of the Unionists of the district to assemble in large numbers, and express their fealty to the time-honoured constitution under which it is our privilege to live, and to declare in unmistakeable terms that they are determined to hand down, unsullied and uncurtailed, the glorious heritage won for the people of Ireland at the beleaguered walls of Derry and on the banks of the historic Boyne. We trust that the inhabitants of one of the most loyal districts in Ulster will turn out in large numbers and carry enthusiastically the resolutions which will be submitted for consideration. The gathering will be one of the most important ever held in the tight little town, which has never wavered in its adherence to Constitutional principles.

Fundraising for Feumore Chapel of Ease

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard – Saturday, December 17th 1892.

Parish Of Glenavy
Sale of Work.

On Thursday afternoon a sale of work was commenced in the Protestant Hall, Glenavy, in connection with the parish church, and for the purpose of raising funds to erect a chancel in the Feumore Chapel of Ease. The half was prettily decorated, and the appearance of the building was enhanced by the elegant adornment of the stalls, replete with goods of an ornamental and useful description, skilfully and tastefully arranged. The opening ceremony was performed at half-past one o’clock by the Rev. Arthur Pakenham, J.P., of Langford Lodge, in the presence of a numerous company. After the singing of the doxology, and prayer by the Rev. C. Watson, Mr. James Lorimer (churchwarden) said it gave him very much pleasure to introduce to them their very good friend, Rev. Mr. Pakenham, who had very kindly consented to open the sale. Rev. Mr. Pakenham then declared the bazaar open, briefly referring to the great necessity there was for the erection of a chancel in the Feumore Chapel of Ease. On the motion of Mr. Fitzgerald, seconded by Dr. Mussen, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Mr. Pakenham, after which the sale was proceeded with. The sale was continued to-day (Friday) when the opening ceremony was performed by Alderman W.J. Johnston, J.P., Belfast.

Formation of a Good Templar Lodge

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Herald dated 9th April 1898.

Good Templary in Glenavy

A public meeting in connection with the formation of a Good Templar Lodge was held in the Protestant Hall, Glenavy, on the 28th ult. Bro. Henry Nixon, Dungonnell, occupied the chair. Bro. R. Semple, G.S., Belfast, delivered an address on the principles of the Order, which was listened to with rapt attention by a large and appreciative audience. At the close of the meeting an opportunity was afforded all those who wished to become members of the lodge, when a large number availed themselves of the privilege, and the lodge, which was named Star of Hope. No. 64 was instituted by Bro. Semple, assisted by the members of Lough Neagh Lodge, No. 141, Crumlin. The officers were then elected and installed by Bro. Henry Nixon, assisted by Bro. James Smith in the following order:

Brow. W.J. McKeown, chief templar; Sister Maria Millar, vice-templar; Bro W.R. Green lodge deputy; Bro Albert Peel, secretary; Sister Sara Miller, financial secretary; Bro. Geo Wilson, treasurer; Bro. W.J. Robinson, chaplain; Bro. John Peel, Marshall; Bro. G.S. Ingram, guard; Bro Wm Harbinson, sentinel; Bro. Henry Kerr, past chief templar; Bro Alexander Addison, deputy-marshall; Bro Andrew Millar, assistant-secretary. A vote of thanks to the members of Lough Neagh Lodge for their assistance during the evening was passed by acclamation, after which the lodge was closed, and the proceedings terminated.

Sale of Work

The following extract is from The Lisburn Standard – Saturday June 20th 1903.

Parish of Glenavy
A Sale of Work

On behalf of
District Church for Crumlin
Protestant Hall, Glenavy
Friday, June 26th –
Opening ceremony at Three o’clock by Mrs.
McClintock, Glendarragh, Chairman
Rev. J.A. Stewart, M.A.

Saturday, June 27th –
Re-opening Ceremony at 3.15 by Mrs. F.W.
Ewart, Lisburn, Chairman –
Dr. Mussen, J.P.

Numerous attractions – half hour Concerts,
Wright’s Bijou Orchestra, Mechanical
Fishpond, Photography, Shooting, Washing,
Darning and other competitions.

Admission six pence

Railway arrangements – Return tickets
On Friday at Single Fare from Belfast, Lisburn,
Antrim, and Intermediate stations. Cheap
Tickets Belfast on Saturday.

The presence of all interested in the work of
Church Extension in the Country is earnestly

District Church in Crumlin

To the Editor of the "Lisburn Standard"

Dear Sir – Last year you very kindly inserted a letter of mine in your paper in reference to the above object. May I once again draw the special attention of the friends of Church extension in this country to the sale of work which is to be held (D.V) in the Protestant Hall, Glenavy, on Friday and Saturday, June 26th and 27th, to help on this good work? Many friends from Lisburn and the neighbourhood encouraged us at our recent bazaar by their presence and practical sympathy. I would express the hope that the same kindness will be shown to us on this occasion. My people have taken up this work with great energy, the result of being more than two-thirds of the money required for the erecting the district church in Crumlin has been obtained. We are, however, anxious to raise the remaining one third, so that the church, which is now nearly completed, may be consecrated free of debt. Contributions from those unable to be present will be gratefully received by, yours faithfully,

J Boyle-Glover, Vicar.

South Antrim Election

The following extract is from The Lisburn Standard 22nd January 1910.

South Antrim Election.

Public meetings on behalf of Mr. Charles C. Craig, The Ulster Unionist Candidate, will be held as follows:-

Friday 21st January, Aghalee Hall at 6 pm Chairman – James Knox, Esq., J.P.
Friday 21st January, Lower Ballinderry at 7.30pm Chairman – H Walkington, Esq
Saturday 22nd January, Upper Falls Orange Hall 7pm Chairman – Walter J Richardson, Esq
Saturday 22nd January, Collin Orange Hall 8pm Chairman – E J Charley Esq., J.P.
Monday 24th January, Upper Broomhedge Orange Hall at 6pm Chairman – Rev. J. Leslie
Monday 24th January, Glenavy Protestant Hall 8pm Chairman – Dr. Mussen J.P.
Tuesday 25th January Knocknadona Protestant Hall at 6pm Chairman – Wm Higginson, Esq. J.P.
Wednesday, 26th January. Dunmurry (The Hall) at 8pm
Tuesday 27th January Lisburn Orange Hall at 8pm

Charles A. Mackenzie
Election Agent
12 High Street, Belfast.

Glenavy Protestant Hall Memorial

Just inside the front door of the Protestant Hall in Glenavy is a memorial plaque. It reads:


There are three columns of names on the tablet. There are a total of 96 names on the tablet. 21 men are listed as killed. View complete transcription

Concert for Soldiers

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Standard, 8th December, 1916

A Grand concert in aid of Christmas boxes for Glenavy Soldiers will be given in the Protestant Hall, Glenavy on Friday evening, 15th inst, by the North Irish horse Glee party.


In a 1920 Belfast Street Directory the caretaker for the Protestant Hall is listed as Arthur Farr.

Dance Ticket

Ballydonaghy Temperance L.O.L. 351
Pipe Band
The members of above Band request the
Pleasure of your company of a social and
Dance in Glenavy Protestant Hall, on
Friday, 14th May at 9 p.m.

Music by Gordon Johnston’s Band

Subscription: (inc. Supper) Ladies 4 shillings Gents 5 shillings

Proceeds in aid of Building Fund

God Save the Queen

LOL 351 Ticket

LOL 351 Ticket

Shooting Competition

The following extract is from the Lisburn Standard dated Friday 15th August 1930.

South Antrim Specials Shooting Competition.
Seven sub-districts take part.
Keen Struggle between Dunmurry and Glenavy.

The members of No. 1 District shot off their inter Sub-District Competition for cup and medals, presented by the County Commandant, District Commandant, and Sub District Commandant respectively.

The competition took place recently at Glenavy, on a range kindly lent for the occasion by Mr. James Ross. The teams were detailed to the targets in the following order:-

Aghalee, Knocknadona, Lurganure, Glenavy, Lisburn, Brookmount, and Dunmurry.

The first practice "Application" finished with Dunmurry leading, having made 19 bulls, 15 inners, and 1 mag. – total score 123. Glenavy was the next best with a total of 110. Brookmount 100, and Lisburn 99.

In the second round "Rapid" Glenavy scored 106, Dunmurry’s score being 105.

In the third and last round "Snapshooting" Glenavy and Dunmurry scored 99 points each the total scores being – Dunmurry (winners) 197; Glenavy (runners up) 285 points. The remainder finished in the following order:- Lisburn, Brookmount, Lurganure, Knocknadona and Aghalee.

At the conclusion of the competition Sub District Commandant A. Ross, Glenavy, extended a cordial invitation to the teams, their officers and friends to the Protestant Hall, where a sumptuous tea was provided by his wife and himself.

Captain A. Ronald Booth, Adjutant, occupied the chair, on his left, being Mrs Booth, Miss Wilson, and Mr. Fergus Wilson, of Springfield. On his right were Captain Gaussen, Adjutant, City of Belfast and his daughters.
Before giving out details of the competition Captain Booth read out apologies for absence from Colonel Pakenham, Langford Lodge, and one from Colonel H R Charley, County Commandant, who was unable to attend owing to illness. Before the giving out of prizes, Captain Booth congratulated Dunmurry on their victory and also Glenavy on giving them such a run for first place.

Mrs. Booth graciously presented the medals to the winning team also the individual prize to Special Constable T. Watson, of Glenavy, being only one point behind Constable McCappin.

Votes of thanks were proposed by Sub District Commandant D Benson, of Knocknadona, to Mr. And Mrs Ross for the splendid tea, Mrs Booth for the gracious manner in which she presented the prises, Mrs. L. Waring and Mrs. G. Elliot for their great assistance at the tea tables. These were passed by acclamation, and acknowledged on the ladies’ behalf by the Adjutant, District Commandant, Capt. L. Waring, and Sub District Commandant A. Ross.
Judging by the expression of satisfaction, Mrs. F. Farr is to be congratulated on making the tea, everyone being loud in their praises of the beverage.

The singing of the National Anthem brought a happy meeting to a close.

The Yank who won his Glenavy girl

The Digger recalls a wartime romance at Langford Lodge

The Yank who won his Glenavy Girl

The Protestant Hall in Glenavy was just one of many focal points during the second world war where people both young and old would meet for social gatherings and soirees in the district. Myrtle Armstrong and her sister Patricia were no exception. Their father, Thomas, was the local railway stationmaster, since the arrival of the family in the village in 1940.

Myrtle recalls that one evening they attended a dance in the hall. The music for the dances were provided by a local pianist and fiddler, and usually went onto into "the small hours."


Orange Banner is unfurled at Glenavy.

Procession through Glenavy headed by Pakenham Silver Band

Procession through Glenavy headed by Pakenham Silver Band
Date and source unknown.
The procession headed by Pakenham Silver Band passing through Glenavy with the new banner which was unfurled by Mrs. W. Moore for Pride of Glenavy LOL 618

Florence Harbinson presenting scissors to Mrs W Moore before she unfurled the new banner

Florence Harbinson presenting scissors to Mrs W Moore before she unfurled the new banner

Orange Banner is unfurled at Glenavy.

Pride of Glenavy LOL no 618 unfurled their new banner in the Protestant Orange Hall on Saturday evening last. The banner replaces the old one, which is 25 years old.

Br. George Kane, Deputy District Master, No 9 District, Belfast, took the chair, and the banner was unfurled by Mrs. W. Moore. She was presented with scissors by Miss Florence harbinson.

Rev. A.J.E. Campbell, M.A. Rector of Glenavy Parish, performed the dedication ceremony.

Speakers included Br. R. Harbinson, W.M., Br. W.J. Forsythe, D.M., Br. R.A. Bell, Br. D. Steele, Br. J. Magowan W.D.M. No 4 District, Br. R. Higginson, and Br. W.J. Harbinson.

Pakenham Memorial Silver band led the parade through the village after the ceremony. Lodges represented were Ballynadrenta No 1055, Crumlin 314 and 471, Fourscore 340, Dundrod 73, Crewe 124, Ballydonaghy 351, and Glenavy 227. the banner cords were carried by Masters John Scott, Thomas Moore, Ivan Harbinson and Mervyn Harbinson.

Sale of Work

The following extract is from The Lisburn Herald dated Saturday April 17th 1948.

Glenavy Parish
Countess Granville opens sale

The Protestant Hall, Glenavy was crowded last Saturday afternoon when a sale of work organised by the Select vestry of the parish of Glenavy was opened by the Countess of Granville.

The Archdeacon of Connor, Ven., J.R. McDonald, M.A., who presided, said that the object of the sale was to raise funds in connection with the parish which had rebuilt its church at a cost of £7,000. Rev W. J. Chambers and Rev. W.J.P. Frazer expressed the meeting’s gratitude to the Countess, and a vote of thanks to the chairman was carried on the proposal of Mr. J. Walker and Mr. G. Johnston. There was a great variety of stalls and buying was brisk.

Open Air Parade Service – Glenavy Youth Organisations

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Herald dated May 22nd 1948.

Glenavy Youth Organisations Open-Air Parade Service.

Will be held on Sunday 23rd May at 3.30pm on the lawn at Glendona (kindly lent by Mr. R. Acheson)

Local and visiting organisations will fall in at the Station Gates at 2.45pm.

Glenavy Conservative Band will head the procession, and also lead the Parise.

Salute will be taken by Major (Mrs.) Dickson, Commandant 2nd Belfast Battalion C.L.B.

Address by Rev. Gilbert Smith (Magheragall)

Collection for "Save the Children of Europe Fund."

(If weather is wet the Meeting will be held in the Protestant Hall, Glenavy.)

Social and Dance

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Herald dated 19th June 1948.

Glenavy Conservative Flute Band (Ladies’ Committee)

Social & Dance will be held in Glenavy Protestant Hall on Friday 25th June 1948 from 9pm till 2am.

The drawing of prizes in connection with the above will take place during the evening. Music by Summerhill Dance Band. Spot and Novelty Dances. Admission: Ladies 2s Gents 3s.

Mr William Bell – Lambeg Drummer

The following is an extract from the Ulster Star on 25th May 1963 and is used with permission of the paper.

Sudden death of Lambeg drummer

The Glenavy and District Drumming Club’s sixth annual drumming competition on Saturday was cancelled because of the sudden death of one of the competitors, Mr William Bell, a 63 year old labourer of Killough, Aghalee.

Mr. Bell was beating a Lambeg drum in Glenavy’s Main Street before the start of the competition, when he collapsed. He was taken into Glenavy Protestant Hall, but a doctor who examined him could only pronounce life extinct.

The body was later taken to the Massereene Hospital in Antrim, for a post mortem examination.

Mr. Bell’s wife, Mrs Annie Bell died about three years ago. He is survived by a son, Mr. William Bell, who is with a Ballinderry concrete block manufacturing firm and a brother Mr. Thomas Bell, Ballycairn, Aghalee.

The funeral took place on Monday to the family burying ground, Aghalee.

Annual Meeting and Election

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

Antrim Unionist Association Glenavy Branch
Annual Meeting and Election of Officers
will be held in The Protestant Hall, Glenavy
on Saturday, 4th Nov., at 7 p.m.
followed by Beetle Drive and Supper
Admission 2/6 Children 1/6

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.

Fundraising for Glenavy Protestant Hall
by The Digger

Basket teas, are now perhaps confined to the history books and to the memory of an older generation. In years gone by they were part of a social and fundraising venture held in many venues around the district. A young lady would prepare a basket containing food for a supper, often it would be decorated with seasonal flowers, ribbons, bows and crepe paper. The young men in attendance would bid on the basket, the highest bidder then went to the table with the lady who had prepared the basket and they had their supper together. Of course, if the men folk knew who had prepared the basket , and her situation in regards to a boyfriend, then bidding wars were not unknown to steer off an "opponent."

I came across a local ballad recently, the words, like so many, having been changed by a local mischief-maker. On this occasion Hugh McWilliam’s early 19th century ballad "Glenavy Dear" has been adapted, perhaps some seventy years ago, and records events in the village of Glenavy, and a basket tea believed to have been held in the Protestant Hall.

"A man that lives in Station-View
Now you can surely guess his name
A young maid’s basket bought that night
Down from the Crew Dam Lane it came.
From a basket sold for three and six
A quiet lad his tea he took
The lady she was sore displeased
I know it by her troubled look."

Fundraising events in the Protestant Hall, Glenavy have recently steered away from basket teas and now a calendar for 2010 is being prepared to raise much needed funds for restoration of the hall which has been in existence for over 135 years. The committee of the Restoration Fund are inviting members of the public and local businesses to offer donations in the form of purchasing a date square on the calendar. Each square will contain a name and a short verse or quotation which will be the choice of the donor.

The site occupied by the Protestant Hall was originally a place of worship for Moravians. A barn owned by one of the prominent land owners in the village was converted into a chapel in the early 1750s.

In 1870 a public meeting was called in relation to a proposal for the building of a hall. The meeting was chaired by the Reverend E.J. Smyth, Vicar of the parish church. A committee was formed and upwards of £400 was collected. In February of that year potential contractors were invited to view the plans and specifications and to submit tenders. The successful builder was Robert McConnell, Lurgan. The foundation stone was laid on the 30th April, 1870 by the Very Rev. Dean Stannus. The ground for the hall had been granted by the Marquis of Hertford via his land agent, the son of Dean Stannus – Walter Trevor Stannus, with a nominal rent of one shilling per annum. The total cost of the building project was approximately £800.

The opening ceremony was attended by clergy, gentry and orange lodge members from adjoining districts. Lisburn Amateur Brass band, under Mr. W.H. Adair were present on the platform and performed for those present. Dean Stannus was presented with a silver trowel to mark the event. A time capsule in the form of a bottle, containing parchment scroll, copies of newspapers and a number of coins, was placed in a cavity prior to the laying of the foundation stone.

The hall was officially opened on the 6th July 1872 at 1pm by The Hon. Edward O’Neill, M.P. Visitors who were arriving from Belfast on a special train were greeted by the private band of Lord Massereene. The local press described the new building as very chaste and neat, adding that it formed a very conspicuous and pleasing addition to the buildings of Glenavy. A description of the same building which appeared in the 1970 publication of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society was not as enthusiastic. "Basically a rectangular harled building, but the façade has been jazzed up with applied yellow brick, Romanesque detailing and a rose window. Its vulgarity resembles that of the Protestant Hall in Ballymena."

Irrespective of how the building was portrayed, its usage over the years fulfilled the original intentions and goals set out by the inauguration committee that included lectures, soirees, religious and other meetings.

There were many fundraising functions held in the hall over the years. In 1877 it was decided that little of no effort had been made to pay off the remaining debt of £250. In June of that year a bazaar was held. "Herr Von Shuffledorff" was billed as the celebrated wizard and he "performed exhibitions of magic, mystery and metamorphoses." A fender stool, a curiously wrought Indian cushion, a quilt made from birdskin and a picture of the Duchess of Devonshire as an infant were amongst the items balloted at the bazaar. It proved to be a resounding success and in July 1877 it was announced that £322 had been raised.

Over the years the building was to be the focal point for many political meetings, debates, speeches, electioneering and events. In 1875 a lecture was delivered on the Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act to the Crumlin District Tenant Farmers’ Constitutional Association. In 1889 a meeting was held to discuss the proposed sale of portions of Sir Richard Wallace’s estate. The Glenavy Unionist Club met there in 1912 to finalise arrangements for the signing of the Ulster Covenant. It is believed that over 350 signatures were recorded in the hall on Ulster Day.

In October 1888 the hall hosted a concert in aid of funding for the local lending library. The hall was equipped with a reading room and billiard room. At the beginning of the 20th century it is recorded that the reading room was open from 6 to 10 pm during the October to April period. A caretaker resided in a purpose built apartment at the rear of the hall. William Crowe had been the caretaker there until the position was taken over by Arthur Farr, a local railway porter and his wife Jane in about 1910. At that time the hall hosted a badminton club. Glenavy Parish Church regularly held fund raising bazaars, sales of work and concerts in the hall. Monies raised assisted the church in purchasing a curate’s house in the late 19th century, erection of a chancel at Femore church, and improvements and extensions to church property.

In April 1898 a Good Templar Lodge was formed there. It was named Star of Hope, No. 64 and the first officer holders included: W.J. McKeown – chief templar, Maria Miller – vice- templar and W.R. Green – lodge deputy. Other organisations using the hall included Glenavy total Abstinence Society and Band of Hope, the Hibernian Bible Society, Glenavy branch of the South Antrim Constitutional Association, Glenavy Home Guard and ‘B’ – Specials and Glenavy Conservative Flute Band. In the 1960’s Saturday night dances were popular and featured local show bands including Crawford Bell’s Mardi Gras Showband. Derriaghy Accordian Band held functions there also. In October 1965 they chose Miss Florence Babbington from Lisburn as their Grand Harvest Queen. A room in the hall was used for the employed to register each week during the 1970s.

In April 1967 a scheme was commenced to raise funds for reconstruction and renovation of the hall over a three year period. Over 40 years later renovations and alterations are underway at the hall.

If you would like to make a contribution to the renovation fund

and have your own square on the forthcoming calendar
then please contact or leave a message for
Roy Farrell
07564 600532.
Suggested donation £5 per square.

The Digger can be contacted via our Contact page or by contacting The Ulster Star office.

School Principal, James Allen, Retires

The following is from a newspaper cutting, source unknown dated Thursday 26th July 1979.

Head retires after 25 years

The feeling of warmth and friendship summed up friday evening’s entertainment, held in the Protestant Hall, Glenavy, to mark the retirement of Mr. Jim Allen, after 25 years as principal of Glenavy Primary School.

past and former pupils made the evening’s entertainment go with a swing.

Reverend Oliver Thompson acted as chairman and compere for the evening’s concert.
Mr. Morris the Headmaster of Crumlin High School and Mr. Leckey of Ballymacricket paid tribute to their colleague and friend, thanking him for his help and assistance over the years.

Mr James Allen receiving a carriage clock and cheque from Mr J. Christie

Mr James Allen receiving a carriage clock and cheque from Mr J. Christie

Mr. J. Christy and Mrs. Williamson, representing the Parents’ Teachers’ Association, presented gifts of a carriage clock and a cheque to the former principal, and Mrs. Allen received a glass bowl and a set of goblets.


Mr. Allen in his reply thanked the people for the splendid gifts, especially the time piece, which will always remind him of his days spent in the school.

He said he originally discovered Glenavy some 30 years ago, when he was out driving with friends and petrol was only 2/6d a gallon.

He discovered the primary school in the village a few years later when he was headmaster.

He said "We have made a lot of friends and found contentment and happiness, something of which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has not yet got his hands on."


"Life is like a pattern of strands, new strands and new children come along and grow up and fit into community life. And our lives have been permitted to be interwoven with yours, and that is something which we shall always cherish."

Mr. Allen thanked all the staff and people he had worked with over the years for their support and loyalty.

Mrs. Allen also suitably replied and she spoke of the warmth and friendship she had encountered over the years with the people of Glenavy.

And she thanked them for the beautiful gift which would always be a reminder of their friendship.

Local children took part in the concert, which featured former students who presenteda sketch of the TV Programme "Mastermind."

The accompanists were Mrs. Moore, Mrs.Barr and Mr. Wilson.

The Parents Association presented an excellent supper bringing the evening to a close.

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