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New head of Orange Order James Anderson in parades body vow

By Cate McCurry

Published 11/01/2016

Mervyn Storey
Mervyn Storey

The new Imperial Grand Master of the Independent Orange Institution has vowed to reignite the campaign to abolish the "undemocratic" Parades Commission.

James Anderson spoke out after he was selected as the new Imperial Grand Master, replacing Alan McLean, who is standing down after five years.

Mr Anderson - from Ahoghill, and a member of Garryduff ILOL - said he was humbled to follow in the footsteps of George Dawson, James McClure, Cyril Glass, Bertie Johnston and Alan McLean.

The Co Antrim man is the 30th Imperial Grand Master of the Institution, which was formed in 1903.

He said: "This will be an historic year for our province as we join together to commemorate the Battle of the Somme, and this institution will play its full part in those events.

"As well as a number of new initiatives that we plan to develop further in the coming weeks, I will continue to promote the principles and objectives of this institution as we go forward.

"This will include a renewed push to abolish the undemocratic parades commission and the promotion of Protestant biblical principles throughout our society."

Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey MLA, a member of Mullans ILOL, was elected Deputy Imperial Grand Master.

The DUP MLA said: "As we enter into a period of commemorations in our province, beginning with the Battle of the Somme this year and ending in the centenary of Northern Ireland in 2021, I want to ensure that this institution plays a prominent role as we reflect and remember our history.

"This institution has always punched above its weight, and I'm confident our best days lay ahead."

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