New Ballytober banner

THE scissors that were used to officially cut the tape on a new banner for Ballytober LOL 1500 more than half a century ago, were used again to unfurl the latest banner for the Bushmills Lodge.

On that occasion in 1962 the honour fell to Mrs Mary Sharpe and at the latest ceremony, the task was given to Mrs Edna Sharpe, wife of the W.M. Bro. Samuel Sharpe.

Visiting brethren and bandsmen joined Ballytober Lodge members for the unfurling which was attended by the Grand Master of Ireland, Bro. Edward Stevenson.

Bro. Brian Sweeney, the WDM of Bushmills district, chaired the proceedings and revealed that the last banner was unfurled in 1996 and lasted some 17 years.

“New technology suggests that new banners have a possible life span of about 30 years,” he told the gathering.

Bringing forward the youth into the Orange Order was the recurring theme during speeches with the Grand Master saying it was gratifying to note that two four-year-olds Jake Carson and Ryan Sharpe had taken part in the proceedings.

He said the banner was a good sign for Orangeism in the district and spoke of the proud culture of the Order which had 100,000 members across the globe.

Painted by William Magowan, the banner was paraded (unfortunately for those taking part in pouring rain) before the public in a short march, led by Ballintoy Accordion band, to the main road and back.

Canon A.A. Johns, District Chaplain and Canon George Graham, Dunluce Church Rector, took part in the service along with Bros. Trevor Thompson and Alastair Getty.