EARLIER this month saw another first for Ballymoney.
Local group Friends of the 36th (North Antrim) dedicated their new bannerette in honour of the men of the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles which was kindly donated by club member Margaret Hanna in Dunaghy LOL 791 Orange Hall.
Canon A A Johns officiated at the ceremony which was opened by club President Allister Mulholland who welcomed all to the service and gave visitors a brief outline into the work the group does and plans to do.
Canon Johns then led the group in prayer before giving a short talk on the history of the 36th Ulster Division and their part in the 1st World War. A prayer of dedication was then offered before Margaret officially unfurled the bannerette carried by Aaron Hargy.
David Hargy then read a tribute to local Ballymoney men who died on the 1st July at the Battle of the Somme fighting with the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and how their personalities can all too often be forgotten when they become mere statistics in the Roll of Honour of all War dead. All attending then stood for the Last Post and a minutes silence was observed followed by Reveille. Canon Johns ended
proceedings with a closing prayer and Benediction. Refreshments were then served which gave visitors a chance to see the bannerette close up and really appreciate the detail captured in the embroidery.
The officers and members of Friends of the 36th (North Antrim) would like to say a special word of thanks to Canon A A Johns for his support once again in leading the wonderful service, also thanks to Johnny Stewart from Belfast who spent so many hours perfecting the design for the fine embroidery and ultimately to Margaret Hanna for her most generous donation to what we know is something close to her heart as she lost two uncles and a close family friend in the Great War. It will always take pride of place anywhere we go and all members will walk behind it with pride and honour.
The bannerette was on show on Thursday at the annual Twelfth of July celebrations at Cloughmills where it was proudly carried in front of Dunaghy LOL 791.
Anyone interested in the work we do and would like to join or are able to assist us in any way can contact us on 07775 444266 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or check us out at www.36th-ulster.com.