Welcome to the web site of Blue Banner Total Abstinence LOL 781.
This aim of the web site is to promote our own private Lodge as well as the Orange Institution as a whole. It is hoped that those interested in the Orange traditions will visit and enjoy our web site. Equally we hope that those not familiar with the Orange traditions will take the time to browse our site and perhaps given a little insight will learn a little of what our Lodge represent and hopefully have a better understanding of our cultural traditions.
Blue Banner Total Abstinence Loyal Orange Lodge 781 are from Donaghadee in County Down, Northern Ireland. They are are one of 15 Lodges that make up Upper Ards District LOL 11 which is made up from Lodges on the Ards Peninsula in County Down.
The Orange Institution is an organisation whose members come from the Protestant faith and which was founded after the Battle of the Diamond, a battle fought near the village of Loughall in County Armagh in 1795. There had been Orange groups in existence as early as 1688 but the Institution we know today can be dated back to those events in Loughall. The reason for the orange connection is that we value the memory of King William III Prince of Orange who became King of Great Britain and Ireland in 1688 and won a great victory over his father in law King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland on the 1st of July 1690. King Williams victory ensured civil and religious liberty for all faiths and that is why his victory is celebrated by us on the 12th of July every year. The celebrations are held on the 12th rather than the 1st of July because of the introduction of the Gregorian calendar. More information about the Institution can be found by visiting the Grand Orange Lodge of Irelands Web site.
There are memorial services held across the country by Orange Lodges on the 1st of July each year including Donaghadee to commemorate the Battle of the Somme which started on the 1st July 1916 and in which many men from Ulster lost their lives while serving with the 36th ( Ulster ) Division along with many other allied soldiers who fell that day from across the entire globe. The four local Lodges which include ourselves, LOL 241, LOL 836 and Junior LOL 781 and local bands parade to the Cenotaph where a religious service is conducted by the local clergy to give thanks to God for the men's sacrifice not only at Somme but throughout the two World Wars and other conflicts.
There are more parades throughout the year mainly during the summer months which we participate in including annual Sunday Services in which members parade to Church and also Mini Twelfths which move from town to town throughout the district. There will be reports of all these parades on our Lodge News page.
This is just a little bit of information about our organisation and we hope through browsing our other pages and visiting the various links contained in our site that you will find out more about our history and cultural heritage.
God Save The Queen.