The Orange Order is a Protestant organization based predominantly in Northern Ireland and Scotland, though it has lodges throughout Canada and the United States.
In Northern Ireland in 1795 the first Orange Lodge was established, with the date of the society’s first general meeting recorded as July 12, 1796.
On July 12, approximately 30 Orange Lodges will gather at the Neelin Street Community Centre (arena) in Carleton Place to celebrate the Battle of the Boyne’s 328th anniversary. Activities include a service of worship at 3 p.m., conducted by Rev. Dr. Ron Hunt of St. Bede’s Anglican Church in Nolan’s Corners. A roast beef dinner follows at 4:30 p.m.
“Jerry has done this for the last couple of years,” Kevin Bradley told the Canadian Gazette.
Bradley is the immediate past master Carleton Place’s Orange Lodge (No. 48), which folded in 2015 after celebrating its 185th anniversary.
Years ago, more than a couple dozen Orange Lodges operated in Lanark County. Today, there are two: Smiths Falls (No. 88) and Montague (No. 512).
“I now belong to Montague’s Orange Lodge,” Bradley said.
There is a parade on Thursday, which begins at 7 p.m., followed by a dance at 8 p.m.
“Everyone is welcome to attend the dinner and dance,” Bradley stated.
While the dance is free, the cost of the roast beef meal is $20 for adults and $17 for children 12 and under. People can pay at the door.
Bradley stressed the arena is accessible and air-conditioned, and there is plenty of parking.
The parade forms in the arena’s parking lot at 6:30 p.m. From there, it travels down Neelin Street, turning right onto Lake Avenue East. Participants march along Lake Avenue East to Bridge Street, turning right. From Bridge Street the parade turns right on Albert Street, which turns into Sussex Street, before heading back to the arena.
“A number of floats will be sporting Union Jack and Canadian flags,” Bradley said. “We also try to have Ontario’s flag ... we like to have all three.”
Montague’s Orange Lodge will have a small float and band in the parade, which goes rain or shine. The Loyal True Blue Association, a separate branch of the Orange Order, will also participate.
Over the years, the Orange Order has inspired the formation of the Ladies Orange Benevolent Association, Orange Young Britons, Royal Black Preceptory and Junior Orange Lodge.
The Orange Order’s mission is Working together for the betterment of family, community and country. It stands for democratic government, promotion and maintaining the protestant faith, preserving the English language, the public school concept, maintaining the monarchy, a united Canada and supremacy of law.
Carleton Place-Almonte Canadian Gazette