1912 covenant obelisk planned for town centre
THOUSANDS are expected in Portadown on June 30 for the unveiling and dedication of a six-foot Mourne Granite obelisk marking the centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant.
With planning permission granted for the monument - planned by the town’s Ulster Covenant Committee - the timetable for the event has been worked out. It will be in the main square of the town - in front of the War Memorial and the Colonel Saunderson statue, and descendants of Lord Craigavon, Northern Ireland’s first Prime Minister, will perform the ceremonies.
The covenant committee is led by joint chairman Darryl Hewitt and Robert Wallace, District Masters of the town’s Orange and Black Institutions, with secretary Garfield Gracey and treasurer Keith Scott.
The June 30 event will begin with members of the two Orders marching into the centre of Portadown from points at Carrickblacker Road and from Brownstown Park. Bands and members of the Orange and Black Institutions have been invited from all over Northern Ireland, with around 12 bands on parade.
Said Mr Hewitt, “We expect around 10,000 people in the town centre that night, with Portadown having paid such a prominent role in the signing of the Ulster Covenant.”
There were various rallies in the town, with Lord Craigavon paying a personal visit. And, of course, there was Colonel Saunderson’s famous speech in the House of Commons that - “Home Rule may pass this House but it will never pass the bridge at Portadown.”
That speech will be engraved on one side of the obelisk, with the entire wording of the Ulster Covenant on the front. And it will carry an inscription, ‘Erected by the People of Portadown’.
The cost of the monument and expenses on the night will come to around £10,000 and supporters are asked to donate at four points - John Hoy’s of Bridge Street, Van Scoy’s of Market Street, Partridge’s of West Street and the DUP Office in Thomas Street.
The two parades will converge on the town centre at 7.20pm for the ceremony to start at 7.30pm.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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