Orange lodges followed in the footsteps of King William as they paraded through the historic and quaint village of Hillsborough on the Twelfth.
Lagan Valley has special significance on the Williamite trail, given King William stopped at the nearby fort on route to the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
A total of seven districts totaling more than 68 individual lodges took part in the parade led by Hillsborough District LOL No 19 and followed by members from Aghalee LOL No 2, Ballinderry LOL No 3, Glenavy LOL No 4, Lisburn LOL No 6, Magheragall LOL No 9 and Derriaghy LOL No 11.
Orangemen, women and juniors were accompanied by approximately 50 bands for the colourful occasion, which attracted a large number of spectators. The parade assembled at Sloan’s field and moved off at 11.30am via Culcavy Road, Lisburn Road, Lisburn Street, Ballynahinch Street, Ballynahinch Road to the demonstration field on the Carnreagh Road. The procession passed under the notable Orange arch which is erected every summer in the village.
The platform proceedings were chaired by Wor Bro Philip Nelson, Worshipful District Master of Hillsborough District LOL No 19. The speaker was Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson (Past Assistant Grand Master); prayers were led by Bro Rev David McCarthy, the Scripture lesson was read by Charlie Campbell (District Chaplain) and the religious address was given by the Rt Wor Bro Rev Dr Stanley Gamble (Grand Chaplain, Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland). Resolutions were proposed by Wor Bro Wilfred Brown (DDM of Aghalee District LOL No 2), Wor Bro Laurence Davidson (WDM of Magheragall District LOL No 9) and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson (Past Assistant Grand Master). The hymns, ‘Abide with me’ and ‘When I survey the wondrous cross’ were led by Pride of Glenavy Accordion Band conducted by Avril Givin.