“Waltzes, polkas, rills and trills and smiles” High low I go, how we danced them all …”
The words of the song, “Dance at the Orangemen’s Hall,” written by the late Fred Peach describe some merriment there over a century ago, relating a humourous story of mischief and its consequences. For anyone over a certain age, the Orangeman’s, or Orange Hall as it was called, evokes a flood of memories.
The name had nothing to do with colour at all. Back in 1889, a group of the Orange Order formed in Cow Bay (Port Morien) and built a meeting hall there. The Order was named for Prince William of Orange, who seized the British throne after defeating the Catholic King James in battle. The Orangemen promoted the Protestant faith and mutual aid of their members. It wasn’t uncommon for members of many religious groups at the time to form exclusive fraternal organizations.