The fourth annual Orange Heritage Week takes place from 21st – 28th of September.
Traditionally this is one of the highlights in the annual calendar of outreach events, however Covid-19 restrictions have had a serious impact on what can take place this year.
Much of this year’s event will move online, with a dedicated page being added to the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland website bringing the Orange Institution’s history, tradition and identity to a digital audience.
The web page, which includes audio and video presentations as well as information on artefacts and exhibitions which feature in the museum, can be accessed by logging on to www.orangeheritage.co.uk/orangeheritageweek
The recent reopening of the Museum of Orange Heritage at Schomberg House comes as a major boost, with the Museum at Sloan’s House, Loughgall, also welcoming visitors.
As part of Orange Heritage Week, the Friends of Sloan’s House are holding their Annual Diamond Day Lecture on Monday evening, 21st of September 2020, in the Museum of Orange Heritage, Loughgall.
The Friends is the support group for Sloan’s House and was formed 11 years ago and has over 250 members, mainly in Northern Ireland, but also spread over the United Kingdom and even in the United States of America and New Zealand.
The lecture is held on or near to the anniversary date of the Battle of the Diamond and over the years a variety of speakers have delivered the annual presentation.
This year, Wor. Bro. Richard Edgar will speak on the ‘50th Anniversary of the Formation of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR)’. Richard is a renowned historian from Tandragee and a member of Teemore Golden Springs LOL No. 61.
This is not the first time that Richard has delivered the annual lecture, and such is his popularity due to his extensive research that the Friends were keen to have him back again.
The lecture is open to all members of the Friends group to attend, but due to the current Covid-19 pandemic restrictions on the number meeting inside, the total may have to be restricted accordingly. The Museum Meeting Room will be the venue, with social distancing measures strictly adhered to.
The timing of Orange heritage week has historical and cultural relevance, commencing on the anniversary of the formation of the Institution in 1795. It will culminate on Ulster Day, marking the anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant by unionists in opposition to Home Rule in 1912.