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Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Arlene Foster during an interview with the Belfast Telegraph at Stormont Castle on October 27th 2016, Northern Ireland (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Orange Order has played a crucial role during crisis

Arlene Foster


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We are now entering the recovery phase and exiting the Covid-19 restrictions, but the Orange Order also has an important part to play

We are now entering the recovery phase and exiting the Covid-19 restrictions, but the Orange Order also has an important part to play

We are now entering the recovery phase and exiting the Covid-19 restrictions, but the Orange Order also has an important part to play

The year 2020 will be remembered as the year when the best-laid plans were set to one side to help contain Covid-19.

While today is July 13, for as long as I can remember, the Twelfth parade has taken place. Many of the most memorable photos of my childhood and family were taken at the Twelfth; this year should be no different for our children and young people.

The children may not be holding the banner strings, or daddy's hand, in the parade, but let's work together as families to create lasting memories of the year the Twelfth was at home.

I commend the Orange Order membership, not only for their leadership in discouraging mass gatherings, but also in the support role that the Orange family have played in the community.

As an organisation grounded in the scriptures, the institution has certainly matched their prayers with actions to support frontline workers and help the vulnerable by delivering meals, or placing a friendly phone call to people who were shielding. People of all faiths and none were given vital support.

We are now entering the recovery phase and exiting the Covid-19 restrictions, but the Orange Order also has an important part to play.

Just the way local lodges were able to make the institution relevant to the lives of everyone in their community, that should be a goal even as, God willing, we look at Covid-19 in the rear-view mirror.

To each and every member, I say thank you for your patience and leadership. I urge you to work with us as we plot our way out of this pandemic. There will be clusters of the virus as we relax the restrictions, but by working together we can manage our way through it.

Have a Glorious Twelfth with your family, wherever you celebrate across the world.

Arlene Foster is First Minister

Belfast Telegraph