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Apprentice Boys promise 'bigger and better' events in the future as organisation faces Easter without parade

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Apprentice Boys Governor Graeme Stenhouse

Apprentice Boys Governor Graeme Stenhouse

Apprentice Boys Governor Graeme Stenhouse

The Apprentice Boys Association has pledged to hold "a bigger and better" traditional commemoration for its members in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ongoing Covid-19 threat has forced the organisation to call off its annual Easter Monday parade, which this year was due to be held in Cookstown.

Over 20 clubs normally take part in the parade, with bands from across Northern Ireland turning out each year for the occasion.

In a statement yesterday, governor of the Apprentice Boys, Graeme Stenhouse, and William Moore, general secretary said: "Under normal circumstances, many Apprentice Boys Clubs, band members and friends would be eagerly preparing for the first major outing of the year on parade.

"It is regrettable that our annual Easter Monday parade, one of the largest processions in our calendar, is cancelled this year.

"Like all responsible organisations, we at General Committee completely accept the importance of abiding by the instructions of the Public Health Authority in the safety interests of our members and friends, and of all in our communities.

"We look forward to the recovery phase, when together we can work in partnership to ensure our traditional commemorations are bigger and better for everyone.

"Despite the disappointment that there will be no parade on Easter Monday, we trust our members will have a lovely Easter holiday and reflect on, and celebrate, the true religious meaning of this Christian period.

"Most of all, we hope and pray that all members will continue to stay home, stay safe, and look forward to the days when we meet and march again," they added.

Belfast Telegraph