Kirkistown True Blues LOL 1412
Prior to the formation of Kirkistown LOL 1412 on 1st July 1840 a number of Orangemen from the Kirkistown area were granted dispensation on an annual basis to parade on the 12th July. Family names dating back to the earliest days included Ennis, Polley, Thompson, Moore, Lawther, Young, Adair, Kyle, Keag and Blackmore. William Ennis senior and junior were both active but it is William Ennis junior whose name appears on the Warrant.
The Lodge still holds its first bannerette, which is made of linen, with the signs, numbers and a mural of King William III all made up of and sewn in linen thread. Although there is no record of when this bannerette was made, the late Brother David Ennis insisted that it was used in the very early years of the lodge. It is possible that it was carried on the 12th July 1866 when our late Brother William Johnston of Ballykilbeg marched at the head of a procession of thousands of Orangemen and friends from Newtownards to Bangor.
LOL 1412 first met in the home of Brother William Ennis in Kirkistown. The house was the usual one storey dwelling of that time, with the kitchen in the centre and two or three small rooms opening off this. It stood on a small holding of 16 or 17 acres, and now is part of the lands of Ballycranmore House a 200 acre farm.
Eventually the lodge moved to the other end of the Kirkistown townland. The next meeting place was at the home of Brother Robert Polley at Islandreagh. By the 1900's the members of LOL 1412 decided that as most of the neighbouring lodges had a hall to meet in, it was time that Kirkistown should build a hall. Finally a site on the Quarter Road was agreed to. The lease was granted by the landlord General Hugh E. Montgomery, Rosemount, Greyabbey, at the nominal rate of five shillings per year. In the spring of 1903 a contract for the erection of the hall was given to Mr. Samuel Cully, a builder from Portavogie. It was satisfactorily completed and opened on the 12th July 1903 for the approximate cost of £300.
The second Lodge banner unfurling date is not on record, but it is believed to be around 1914 just before World War 1, banner number three was unfurled in June 1938 by Mrs. Beveridge, wife of the late Rev. William Beveridge who was a member of the Lodge when he was Rector of Ardkeen Parish Church. A fourth banner was unfurled in the June of 1958, and banner number five unfurled on the Saturday afternoon of 25th June 1983. It was Brother the Rev. Canon T.H. Frizelle also a former rector of Ardkeen Parish Church and a member of LOL 1412, who conducted the ceremony of the unfurling. This present banner has a portrait of King William crossing the Boyne on one side, with the Holy Bible and Crown on the other, and is inscribed: For The Throne Is Established In Righteousness.
The 100th Anniversary of the constitution of Kirkistown LOL 1412 was celebrated in the Orange Hall on Saturday 29th June 1940. Present at the celebration were Worshipful Brother the Right Honourable Lord Craigavon, Wor. Bro. The Right Honourable John M. Andrews, The Wor. District Master Wor. Bro. William Ferguson, Deputy District Master Wor. Bro. Jim Lawson, the District Sec. Wor. Bro. James Crockard, District Tres. Wor. Bro. Sam McMillen with Officers and Brethren from neighbouring Lodges. A photograph taken on that day was framed and hung in the hall for over 25 years. During a time of painting and decorating it was taken down but could not be found when the pictures were being put back on the walls.
The 50th Anniversary of the completion of the Hall celebrations were held on the 23rd November 1953 in the Orange Hall. Wor. Bro. Ferguson took the chair for the proceedings after tea, and enjoyed hearing a history of LOL 1412 which was prepared by Bro. Stavely O'Brien with the assistance of Bro. David Ennis, so much that he requested permission to take the work with him with a view to having it printed in booklet form. It was unfortunate that Bro. Ferguson was unable to have this done, due to an illness from which he never recovered. The copy of the lodge history could not be found after Bro. Ferguson's death.
In retrospect Kirkistown True Blues LOL 1412 has kept going steadily through the years, and can look forward with pride and hope to see the cherished tradition of doing things, decently and in order is maintained.
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