Unique Artefact of the month

A Ritual of Ceremonies for the First Degree of the Loyal Order of Moose.

The Loyal Order of Moose known now as the Moose International in Great Britain, is a fraternal organisation. Their aims are similar to the Loyal Order of Moose in the United States. These aims are to help the orphaned and the widowed. They organise and run a variety of fundraising and social events for worthy causes. Formed in 1926, the Moose International in Great Britain have 45 centres across England and Wales. Their headquarters can be found in Somerset.

This is an example of the variety of fraternal artefacts we have in our collections at the Museum of Orange Heritage.

New museums to promote Orange Heritage

New interpretative centres promoting the Orange Institution will be formally known as the Museums of Orange Heritage, it has been confirmed.

The museums, currently undergoing construction at Schomberg House, Belfast, and at Sloan’s House, Co Armagh, are part of the REACH Project (Reaching out through Education and Cultural Heritage), which received £3.6 million from the EU’s PEACE III programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

Both facilities are progressing well and expected to open later this year, providing a unique and unprecedented showcase of Orange history and culture.

The museum branding, which was commissioned by the Grand Lodge, is now officially trademarked. It encompasses King William III on horseback and is based on a silver statuette from 1829, produced in Cork city, now in the care of the Institution. The clearly defined saddlecloth represents the original version, also in the possession of the Loyal Order, and which will be one of the major attractions set to go on display at the Belfast site.

The official title of the new interpretative centres was unveiled by the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson.

He said: “The Museums of Orange Heritage represent one of the most significant and exciting initiatives ever undertaken by the Institution. There is now a sense of real anticipation as their physical completion moves ever closer.

“The new name exemplifies this innovative outreach project, and it is only appropriate King William III should represent such world-class interpretative centres, given his obvious historical significance and relevance.”

He added: “Both facilities in Belfast and Loughgall will allow us to preserve and present the impressive historical collections of the Orange Order, as well as promote understanding and mutual respect through interpretation and creation of shared space.”

The concept for the logo came from Grand Lodge Director of Services, Dr David Hume, and local graphic designer Mark Thompson was then commissioned to execute it.

Dr. Hume said: “The silver statuette of King William is an outstanding artefact and we are delighted that it will be the first artefact that the visitor to our Belfast museum sees.

“The saddlecloth is another major historical piece and the design incorporates it as well. We expect that this logo will be viewed by thousands of visitors to our centres each year and it is a very clear and modern treatment which also looks back to the era of William III, which really epitomizes what the museum will be doing.

“The Museum of Orange Heritage will provide a focus for those interested in learning about Orange traditions, culture and community when the two sites open this summer, and we are very excited about this major project.”

The redevelopment of the Institution’s Cregagh Road headquarters will include a museum displaying a wealth of items and artefacts relating to this history of Orangeism across the world. The expansion will also incorporate a research facility and educational resource, with particular access for school and cross-community visits.

The refurbishment of Sloan’s House – where the first Orange warrants were signed over 200 years ago – will include an extension to cater for an additional museum exhibition area and provision of detailed information relating to the early history of the Orange Order.

Five full-time staff, including a museum curator and marketing officer, have been appointed to work at both sites.

Part-funding for the project was provided by the Department for Social Development and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, in the Republic of Ireland.

Orange Order launches exhibition in London

The Orange Institution has formally launched an exhibition at the Palace of Westminster, promoting its outreach programme and the forthcoming opening of two new interpretative centres next year.

Opinion formers, including members of both the House of Commons and Lords, joined others in London to learn more about the REACH Project (Reaching out through Education and Cultural Heritage), which received £3.6 million from the EU’s PEACE III programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

The interpretative centres, in Belfast and Loughgall, are expected to open in May 2015 and will provide a unique showcase of Orange history and culture.

A wealth of items and artefacts relating to the history of Orangeism across the world, will go on public display as part of the extension of the Institution’s Belfast headquarters.

The expansion will also incorporate a research facility and educational resource, with particular access for school and cross-community visits.

In a joint initiative to promote shared space and great levels of reconciliation, improvement works are also taking place to refurbish and extend Sloan’s House in Co Armagh.

Grand Lodge Director of Services, Dr David Hume, was joined by other Orange representatives and museum staff at the London event.

The senior Orangeman said the Westminster launch provided a “major opportunity” for the Institution to outline its “excellent outreach work” to public representatives across the UK and other key figures, ahead of the opening of both Orange museums next spring.

He said: “The REACH initiative is unprecedented in terms of the outreach which is being and will be undertaken by the Orange Institution.

“We received Peace III funding because of the commitment of the Order to outreach to the wider community, particularly the nationalist community, and to engage in presenting our tradition and culture to them. Education and mutual respect are essential in our society as we move towards the future and this project is committed to those two principles.

“The opening of two new interpretive centres next year will provide unique facilities for visitors to come and learn more about the Orange tradition in Ireland and throughout the world. The Orange Institution has an outstanding collection of artefacts and documents which tell that story and for the first time they will be displayed in museum conditions.

“The outreach which will accompany the new interpretive centres has already begun and our museum officer has visited a number of schools.”

He added: “We welcome the opportunity to bring the details of this unique project to opinion formers in London and are very grateful to MP Jeffrey Donaldson who has sponsored this exhibition in the House of Commons.”

Orange Museum visit for Stormont Ministers

Grand Master Edward Stevenson today (MON) welcomed Northern Ireland Executive ministers Simon Hamilton and Mervyn Storey to the headquarters of the Orange Institution to view progress on the development of a new interpretative centre.

The Orange museum at Schomberg House is part of the REACH Project (Reaching out through Education and Cultural Heritage), which received £3.6 million from the EU’s PEACE III programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.

Part-funding for the project, which includes the construction of a second interpretative centre in Co Armagh, was also provided by the Department for Social Development and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, in the Republic of Ireland.

The interpretative centres, in Belfast and Loughgall, are expected to open in May 2015 and will provide a unique showcase of Orange history and culture.

Mr Stevenson said: “I was delighted to welcome both Minister Hamilton and Minister Storey to Schomberg House and let them see for themselves the tremendous progress that is being made regarding the development of this transformational Orange outreach project.

“The construction of two world class interpretative centres, at our headquarters and Sloan’s House, represents one of the most significant initiatives ever undertaken by the Institution.

“Both state-of-the-art facilities will allow us to preserve and present the impressive historical collections of the Orange Order, as well as promote understanding and mutual respect through interpretation and creation of shared space.”

He added: “We are indebted to our funding partners and look forward with great anticipation to the completion of improvement works next spring.”

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