Independents return to sun-drenched Armoy

THE Independent Loyal Orange Institution made its eagerly anticipated return to Armoy on Monday for its County Antrim demonstration and received a fantastic reception from locals basking in the glorious sunshine.

Residents lined the streets to watch the local lodges parade through the village from 1pm and into the field at Gracehill Road.

The Chair was taken by County Grand Master Wor Bro James Anderson and a devotional service conducted by Rev Thomas Murray followed by a scripture reading and prayer.

The resolutions were then read by County Antrim Grand Secretary Wor Bro David Johnston.

The first resolution reaffirmed the Institution's loyalty to the British Throne, Constitution, Protestant religion, laws and legislative union.

The second expressed concern over the Sabbath not being kept and called on Bible believing Protestants to 'give due attention to the Word of God'.

The third resolution was a reaffirmation of the Reformation Protestant principles and fourth an expression of the determination of the Institution to continue the work of the pioneers of the movement from 1903 onwards.

These were proposed by Wor Bro WJ McClure and seconded by Wor Bro Sammy Henry.

Imperial Grand Master Wor Bro Cyril Glass then delivered an address.

He told the crowd: "On this the 107th anniversary of the foundation of the Independent Loyal Orange Institution, it is timely to reflect on the origins, objectives and outcomes of those years.

"Any organisation which forgets its past soon loses its way.

"Over the past 107 years since our foundation there has been many changes, changes in travel, changes in technology, changes in communication - we can speak to someone on the other side of the world with the touch of a few buttons.

"But something that has not changed in 107 years, has been the evil and sexual abuses within the Church of Rome.

"It was a defining feature of the Church of Rome, and one our founders sought to expose and stop in 1903.

"Today we still hear of the clerical abuse within the Church, of young boys and girls, and the cover up by the Church of Rome. I pose one question - why are these clerics allowed to continue to offend and not brought before the courts of the land?"

He added: "We are disappointed to learn that the Pope will be given full state honours and be welcomed by Her Majesty the Queen and UK ministers on his proposed visit to the UK mainland.

"As an institution that exists to promote and defend the ideals of the Reformed Faith, we feel duty bound to call on Protestant Church leaders to stand up for the truth of the Christian gospel, by not involving themselves with this visit."

The address also touched on new legislation being drawn up on parades:

"This Institution has been consistent in relation to the issues regarding parades.

"We uphold the view that when on parade we are expressing first and foremost our Protestant faith, any opposition to such a parade is a denial of our civil and religious liberty.

"We would share concerns regarding the new legislation being proposed.

"Many of the issues in it do not favour our parading tradition.

"We see political football being played with the proposed legislation."

The return parade left the field at 4pm.

Use of the Armoy field was kindly granted by Mr Boyd Wilson.