To commemorate the heavy losses suffered by the 36th Ulster Division on the first day of the Battle of the Somme – the Grand Lodge of Ireland has launched an initiative called ‘Somme Orange Lily Project 2016’.
Appropriately the Grand Lodge of Ireland is importing 180,000 bulbs (30,000 packs) of Orange Lily Bulbs from Holland to be planted throughout Ulster - and Dervock is taking part in the scheme.
Frankie Cunningham, Secretary of Dervock LOL 534 explained: “As a member of an institution; whose core principles are civil and religious liberty for all.
“It is here, Dervock and District War Memorial Garden, that I take time to remember members of my own family who had journeyed to the Somme and other theatres of war. The orange lily is synonymous with the Orange Institution and twelfth of July.
“I’ve currently planted bulbs in the War Memorial Garden - a single Orange Lily has been planted for each of the 42 service men and women who made the supreme sacrifice. Individual members within Dervock LOL 534 have also purchased nearly 300 bulbs that will be planted in various locations in the village depending on each individuals story.
“I would encourage anyone who has a relative, or a friend who has made that journey to the Somme, or who maybe will be attending a pilgrimage to the Somme this year, to purchase some Orange Lilies to mark the centenary. Bulbs can still be purchased from members of Dervock LOL 534.
“This poignant initiative which not only marks the ‘Somme’ centenary also helps to create an occasion for personal reflection, which aims are to identify differences and similarities within and between communities and the sacrifices made by both traditions.
“The project aims to create understanding, education, tolerance, and mutual respect through two ‘shared space’ educational and resource centres which tell the story of the foundation of the Orange Institution as well as its traditions, development and place in British, Irish and World society. (Lest we Forget).”