A young Orangeman from Lisburn was among the winners at the 2017 Orange Community Awards, which were held at Lagan Valley Island last week.
Adam Smyth, a member of St Thomas Temperance LOL 410, was joint winner of the Sporting Achievement Award in recognition of his success in badminton at the Special Olympics European Championships.
It was a full house at the Island Arts Centre on Friday, March 31 as Orange Order brethren from across Northern Ireland gathered for the 12th annual awards ceremony.
Entertainment at this year’s event was provided by Ballylone Flute Band, Markethill Highland Dancers and gospel choir, Men in Black.
Barry Williamson, from Tandragee, was the recipient of the Grand Master’s Award in recognition of his charity fundraising work.
The 33-year-old electrician has raised nearly £60,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI since his wife, Alison, died last year after a battle with a rare form of blood cancer.
The father-of-two has committed himself to various fundraising initiatives, including climbing the four highest mountains in the UK in the space of 48 hours last autumn.
There was a double success for Kinallen Purple Star LOL 247 as it picked up the Lodge Community Involvement Award and member Geoffrey Dickson, a talented flautist and accordion player, won the Individual Musician’s Award.
The full list of 2017 award winners was: Grand Master’s Award - Barry Williamson, Carricklongfield LOL 748; Best New Banner - Ballyrea LOL 309; Sporting Achievement (joint winners) - Russell White, Sterritt Memorial LOL 257, Zak Hanna, Upper Crossgare LOL 1608, Adam Smyth, St Thomas Temperance LOL 410; Individual Community Involvement (joint winners) - James Donaldson, Orangefield LOL 564, Raymond Spiers, Cregagh Defenders LOL 1588; Lodge Community Involvement - Kinallen Purple Star LOL 247; Lodge Membership Increase - Ballyvea LOL 343A; Youth Development - Matthew Gray, Ulster Covenant Memorial LOL 1984; Band of the Year (joint winners) - Drumderg Flute Band, Ballylone Concert Flute Band; Individual Musician’s Award - Geoffrey Dickson, Kinallen Purple Star LOL 247.
Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, paid tribute to the winners and nominees in each of the respective categories.
“I would like to personally congratulate all those shortlisted for being role models within the Institution, as well as in their own communities,” he said.
“The aim of the awards is to recognise and reward excellence, and we are delighted to showcase the tremendous community work undertaken by individuals, lodges and bands across the Province.”