Tomorrow, Saturday 10 June will see the Reopening of McNeillstown Independent Orange Hall, 15 Blackstone Road, Portglenone.
The hall which was was built in 1910 after a split in the Orange Order was the centre of community life for decades and has been in continuous use for well over 100 years. However as with many rural orange halls it was slow to move with the times and as expectations for facilities rose it became less used.
However a new Hall Management Committee had a vision for the hall and how it could once more be the centre of community life. The rich history of the hall and local area has been at the heart of their vision and the hall now has a community micro-museum and interpretive space.
The hall benefitted from a Rural Halls Renovation grant kindly provided by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. The funding which required a number of Mcneillstown volunteers to undergo training was granted a years ago and since then the group have engaged John Millar & Sons contractors to complete an ambitious renovation project.
The hall now has a kitchen, office/meeting room with male and female disabled toilets. Disabled access has been provided and a range of modern state of the art features will allow events and training to be hosted.
Tomorrow McNeillstown Independent Orange Lodge No. 46 and David’s Chosen Few Royal Black Encampment of Knights of Malta No. 21 will lead a parade of local lodges and bands to open the hall.
After an opening ceremony there will be a family fun day with fun and games for all. We believe the reopening will be the start of many more years of life around the hall.