Orangemen and women in East Tyrone and South Londonderry are preparing to celebrate the 328th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne with demonstrations at Stewartstown and Garvagh.
Brethren from seven districts will step out in Stewartstown, representing the host district as well as Killyman, Cookstown, Castlecaulfield, Pomeroy, Coagh and Benburb.
Upwards of 70 lodges and approximately 50 bands – silver, accordion, pipe and flute – will participate in the annual gathering.
Stewartstown District Lodge will have on public display a special bannerette, recently dedicated to commemorate Orangemen from the locality who served in the First World War. Later in the year, it will be ‘laid-up’ in one of the local halls as a reminder to future generations of the sacrifice that the brethren from the District made.
Members of Syerla LOL 509, from neighbouring Benburb District, will also have their new banner on parade.
The main parade will commence at 12.15pm from the assembly field on the Coagh Road. From there, it will proceed via North Street, The Square, Hillhead and on to the demonstration field on the Coalisland Road.
The religious service will incorporate a drumhead service where the proceedings will be conducted by the District Chaplain, Rev Robert Boyd. The resolutions will be proposed by Deputy County Grand Master, Robert Abernethy.
Large crowds are expected to converge on the village of Garvagh.
There will be a total of eight districts on parade – Garvagh, Castledawson, Magherafelt, Kilrea, Ballyronan, Tamlaght O’Crilly, Moneymore and Tobermore.
Up to 60 bands will join with 2,000 Orangemen in the main parade, which moves off at 12 noon. All districts will assemble at Ballynameen Avenue and parade through the village via Kuirn Road, Upper Main Street, Lower Main Street and Coleraine Road to the demonstration field.
The day will have a special significance for one local Orangeman and flautist, David McAleese, who will be playing with Caheney Flute Band for the 75th consecutive year – having never missed a Twelfth!
Platform proceedings are due to get underway at 2pm and will be chaired by County Londonderry Deputy Grand Master, James Evans. The religious service will be led by Rev Joseph Andrews, County Chaplain.
Derek Reaney, an Assistant Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, will be the guest speaker.