The Orange lodges in Co Armagh have raised £41,000 in a year for the Drew Nelson Legacy, a project aimed at revitalising Orangeism for the future, particularly among young people.
The impressive amount of money was handed over by representatives of the 11 Orange districts in Co Armagh at an evening at Sloan’s House Orange Heritage Centre in Loughgall.
The Drew Nelson Legacy is in memory of and, as a tribute, to the work the late Orange Order Grand Secretary and Dromore solicitor Drew Nelson, who died several years ago.
The 11 Co Armagh district lodges, consisting of 160 private lodges and 5,000 members, have embarked on a three-year fund-raising effort to supplement the Drew Nelson Legacy.
The 2018 figure of £41,000 was described by County Grand Master Denis Watson as “truly magnificent”.He praised the generosity of lodge members, who raised the money through a series of fund-raising events at grassroots level.
The districts contributing were Portadown, Richhill, Loughgall, Tandragee, Armagh, Lurgan, Killylea, Keady, Newtownhamilton, Markethill and Bessbrook.
Harold Henning, the Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, said the inspirational lead taken by the Co Armagh Orangemen confirmed the spirit of generosity that is still very apparent in the birthplace of Orangeism.
The Drew Nelson Legacy is being supported by Orange lodges in other counties in Northern Ireland, and in the Republic’s border counties.