Upper Ards District LOL 11

LOL 1051

Above : Orange Arch at Main Street, Carrowdore, July 1951

Carrowdore True Blues LOL 1051

Carrowdore, strange as it may seem has strong links with the old town of Donaghadee and those links were never stronger than in the 1700s through until the present day. This is because of the charitable generosity of the De-Lacherois-Crommelins, a family well thought of in both places because of the extensive property they held. Residing in Carrowdore Castle was the nephew of the late Thomas and Marie Angelique De-Lacherois Crommelin, Nicholas De-Lacherois Crommelin who was a strong Orange Society member; this was before the founding of the Orange Order became really strong throughout Ireland, especially in the many rural areas. This was so in the Ards area. Nicholas was at this time Grand Master of Down as at that time one did not have to be a member of a private lodge to hold high office. The Crommelin family encouraged Orangeism and being strong Episcopalians, as were most of his workers and people of the district. In 1823 he encouraged them to form an Orange Lodge in the village.

At that time very few, if any lodges had a hall, so they met in the houses of members and so it was that in 1823 that the first lodge in Carrowdore came into being. It applied to Ards for membership and was granted a warrant for the number 1051 to become the third oldest lodge in the Ards.
The first Worshipful Master was James Burch, a name that has continued down all those years to the present day as members of L0L 1051. James Burch continued as master until 1836 and saw the lodge through the many troubled times of the period. It was a time when the then government put many restrictions on the Orange Order, the main thing being the banning of parades. Parades were allowed from 1836 and it was the last year that James Burch acted as Worshipful Master and it was fitting that this parade took place in Donaghadee. Nicholas Crommelin had now become a member of the lodge and in 1837 he became Worshipful Master and still County Grand Master to hold high office now one had to be a member of a private lodge. Brother Crommelin remained in office until, 1849 and because of his influence steered them through a period that saw the Grand Lodge dissolved. It was to be a trying time for the order as a whole. Although meetings were still held and the membership was good it was not until 1845 that Orangemen were allowed to parade the roads. Catholic agitation against the Act of the Union resulted in a big revival in the ranks of the Orange Order for with it came the repeal of the Party Processions Act. There was a-big turnout for the 1845 Demonstration held in Newtownards. At the head was Bro. Nicholas Crommelin. The Orangemen were back on the march. Things went well for 4 years until 1849 when again Catholic agitation culminated with the infamous Dolly's Brea skirmish at Castlewellan when an Orange parade was attacked, the Orangemen defended themselves too well. The ban was reimposed and was to last this time for 18 years. After 18 years of calm, in spite of repeated pleas for the parades to be continued, this was denied by the government of the day. It was inevitable that it would not be long before the ban would be breached. In 1867 Bro. William Johnston decided, enough was enough and organised a 'token' protest march to go from Newtownards to Bangor. Hundreds turned out to support Bro. Johnston, amongst them L0L 1051.
About 1840 some members of L0L 1051 decided to break away from the lodge and formed a new lodge L0L 1058. Why the split came has now been lost in the passing of time but today both lodges work side by side as they have always done. After the ban was broken membership was again on the increase. Grand Orange Lodge was back working again but the Districts were to be reorganised to make the working more streamlined. This happened in the Ards. The Upper Ards district was small because many lodges belonged to the Ards district. In the 1875 change and the new zoning L0L 1051 and L0L 1058 became members of Upper Ards No. 11. District the new District Warrant being issued to Bro. Alexander Palmer who was now the W. Master on the retirement of Nicholas Crommelin. Both Carrowdore Lodges flourished during this period L0L 1051 having more than 40 members on its books. Led by the redoubtable Alex Palmer, also in their favour was the son of Nicholas, Fredrick Armand, who had become a member and later he was to have a big influence on the lodge as we know it today.
With the issue of the new Warrant in 1875 it was decided that it was time to have a hall of their own. They still met in a house of a member but owned by the Crommelins, this house had a good piece of land at the rear. The Brethren were given permission by Fredrick to be allowed to build a hall on the site. Work was started in 1876 and the following year the new hall was completed. The Brethren sat in the hall for 13 years but did not own the hall so in 1890, 200 years after the Battle of the Boyne, the lodge negotiated with Fredrick Crommelin for the ownership of the hall to go to the Orangemen. Fredrick concurred with this request, being the true Orangeman he was and in the true fashion of his forefathers. In 1890 signing as trustees of the hall for the Orangemen were, W. Master, Alexander Palmer; Bro. Edward McBrier; Bro. John McGivern and Bro. William Yeaman and the lease was for 999 years at 1 shilling per diam (5p). the date August the 16th 1890. Sadly, like all the Orangemen of the day lived for the day and were not to know that 82 years later the land where the hall stood would be vested for new housing. Nothing of the hall exists today except where it stood. Bro. Fredrick became W. Master in 1891 and was to lead the lodge for the next ten years. In 1885 Carrowdore were hosts to the 12th celebrations and Bro. Fredrick granted the use of the Castle ground for the 'Field' and no prouder man led the parade. Associated with any organisation are myths and stories, L0L 1051 was no exception. In the days before their own hall, the Orangemen met in the house of Mattie Mulholland, the house on the land where later the hall was built. Now it seems that Mattie, after cleaning up would go to the house of a neighbour whilst the Orangemen held their meeting, for some unknown reason on this night Mattie was left in the kitchen. The W.Master at this time was a Bro. William Corr, on learning that Mattie had been in the house whilst they held their meeting, William Corr and the assembled Brethren decided that just in case Mattie had heard the ritual they would have to make her a member which according to legend they did. Be it true or not it makes a grand story and is still related today. One thing is sure Mattie had a son, Thomas and Thomas was no myth for he was to become an Orangeman at the age of 16, in 1878 and was still a member when he died in 1947 in his 86th year. Thomas was master for 20 years and he was also district master for a number of years. His brother was also a long time member as was his son William Mulholland who died a few years ago in 1979. Thomas was also a lecturer both for district and for the lodge. A raconteur with many fine stories to tell and many were the entertaining evenings he gave the Brethren in those days before radio and television. The lodges were now on a standard footing and all seemed to be going well with the now traditional 12th of July parade the main event of the year. The halls had now become the social centre of the community. Social functions of all kinds took place for the entertainment of all. Sadly that spirit is lost today, as the song says 'Times they' are a changing.'
There have been many associated with L0L 1051 who have risen to great heights. Nicholas-De-Lachorois Crommelin became the Sherrif of Down and the Lieutenant of the County. Fredrick became Deputy Lieutenant. Major Workman of shipyard fame was a member for many years. A one Captain Henry was a member. Samual David Ennis who went to win the Military Medal for bravery in World War II was also a member. Another bit of history attached to 1051 was that of Bro. Stephen Hale, Past Master who is a distant relative of Sir Isaac Wilson one of the original founders of the Orange Order. Another distant relative was Gen. Sir Henry Wilson, murdered by the IRA in the 1920's. Stephen followed the tradition of his forefathers. He became an Orangeman at 17, Lecturer at 18, Worshipful Master at 19 and became Worshipful Master of his Black Preceptory at the age of 20.

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Parades & Events

Tuesday 23rd June 2015, 7.00pm - LOL 781 Charity Concert - Donaghadee
Friday 26th June 2015, 7.00pm - Upper Ards District Mini 12th - Ballywalter
Wednesday 1st July, 7.30pm - Annual Somme Commemoration Service - Donaghadee
Sunday 5th July, 2.30pm - Annual Divine Service - Donaghadee
Monday 13th July 2015 - Annual Boyne Anniversary Celebrations - Holywood