New Orange hall aims to promote outreach
A state-of-the-art Orange hall has opened in Co Armagh, heralding the late Grand Secretary Drew Nelson's desire to shift the Order towards greater community outreach.
Kilcluney LOL 132's purpose-built modern facility in Markethill incorporates sports changing facilities as well as a lodge room, function hall, conference room and kitchen.
The £670,000 development, supported by the Executive Office's Social Investment Fund, complements an existing 3G pitch, used by local sports clubs, young people and other organisations within the area.
The contemporary new build was formally opened by Grand Master Edward Stevenson on Saturday, and incorporated the symbolic relocation to the premises of the lodge's warrant, mallets and banner from the nearby old hall.
Mr Stevenson described the Kilcluney building as one of the 'premier' Orange halls in Northern Ireland, offering facilities to the wider community.
He said: "A development of this magnitude shows great strategic vision, but is also a structural manifestation of what can be achieved when lodge members as local volunteers are prepared to commit time, effort and skills to benefit themselves and others."
Speaking after the launch on Friday evening of the Drew Nelson legacy project, he added: "The completion of this project is in many ways itself another timely tribute to Drew's endeavours and foresight, providing a lasting benefit to our institution and the wider community which it is part of."