Saturday night’s Somme Commemoration Parade in Ballymoney was one of the first parades we have been able to organise since the easing of COVID restrictions. It signalled an important milestone for the Institution and we would like to thank the brethren and sisters of Ballymoney District Lodge ILOI No. 1 for the work they put into organising this important event.

The Battle of the Somme is an important backdrop to our Northern Ireland Centenary commemorations as it reminds us of the price paid by Ulstermen in the service of the Crown. It is no exaggeration to say that Northern Ireland was bought and paid for with the blood of the 36th Ulster Division. While there was always an understanding that if the government did not revisit the issue of Unionist opposition to Home Rule there would be repercussions. However the very obvious sacrifice at the Somme forced the Government in time to make special provision for Ulster. The result was of course the creation of Northern Ireland.

Somme Commemorations 2021

It is therefore fitting that the backdrop to the launch of our Centenary Commemorations and Celebrations is the Somme Parade this year. It is also fitting as it sees us back on the road again and able once more to parade in a more traditional format. We look forward to many more successful events.

The annual parade focussed on the War Memorial in Ballymoney where on are written the names of the men of the area who serviced and sacrificed with such distinction.

The service was taken by Rt Wor. Phil Moffatt Deputy Imperial Grand Chaplain. Imperial Grand Lodge Officers led by Imperial Grand Master James Anderson led the parade from Townhead Carpark.

The event which preceded the annual Tullaghans Sons of Liberty Flute Band Parade saw crowds out on the streets adhering to regulations but in a real spirit of remembrance and celebration.

It was an important night for the Independent Orange as it saw us back on the streets in the traditional format, and it was clear that the people of Ballymoney were eager to enjoy their traditional culture once more.

Members of Ballymoney District ILOI No.1 were  joined by representatives of O’Hara’s True Blues LOL, Dunaghy Flute Band  and others who laid wreaths in memory of members who had been killed in WWI.
The event which has been organised and led by our Ballymoney District has marked the sacrifice and service of local men, whose names are craved in the memorial in the town. The event was particularly poignant in light of the present circumstances, and we would like to thank all those taking part.
For those who were unable to make the parade we will this year be running a programme of on-line and real time events. We are mindful of the concerns of many who wish to play it safe and stay local this year, so we will be giving our members and supporters the best of both worlds with actual parades and events and for those who enjoy our Virtual events we will be mirroring each online.
We Will Remember Them.


Video Gallery 

Thanks to all those who attended and recorded the event. For all the videos of the parade you can find them here

The parade halted at the War Memorial as members gathered to pay tribute to the fallen.