Orange Brethren and flute bands from across the borough took part in the annual Mini 12th parade in Glengormley on Monday, June 20.
This year’s event had added significance as the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme approaches, with the Orange lodges gathering to pay their respects to the fallen from the district who had lost their lives in the Great War.
Servicemen and women from across the borough played a very active role in the First World War, with hundreds of people from region perishing during battles throughout the conflict.
A poignant ceremony was held at the Cenotaph in Lilian Bland Park, with eight wreathes being laid during the period of reflection.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Councillor John Scott laid a wreath on behalf of the council. A wreath was laid on behalf of the district, while representatives from five other lodges laid wreathes. A member of Pride of the Hill Flute Band also placed a wreath at the war memorial.
Prayers were said at the short service in the park by the District Chaplain, Robert Thompson.
The event, which is organised annually by Carnmoney District, was also attended by brethren from Cloughfern, Six Mile Water and Carrick Districts.
The lodges were accompanied by a number of flute bands including the UVF Regimental Band from East Belfast, Monkstown YCV FB and Pride of the Hill Carnmoney.
The footpaths along the Ballyclare Road and the centre of Glengormley were lined with hundreds of spectators who were enjoying the festive atmosphere and fine weather.
The crowds were entertained by men dressed in authentic amy fatigues from World War One, while a group of women were dressed in nurses uniforms from the period. There were also two cars from the 1900s taking part in the procession.
Commenting after the parade, District Master, Albert Steele said: “It was very poignant to gather for the Mini 12th parade as we remember all of those who have lost their lives during the First World War.
“As the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme approaches, we conducted a very dignified parade and act of remembrance in Glengormley. I would encourage everyone to continue in this fashion throughout the summer at the various mini twelfth parades, church parades and the Twelfth.
“On the Twelfth Morning, my own lodge, Carntall Mossley 134, will be laying a wreath at the World War One bunker at Mossley Mill. We will be joined by Blackskull Fife and Drum band from Glasgow, who will also be laying a wreath. We will commemorate all of those who lost their lives in the First World War.”
An Orange Widows service will be taking place this Sunday (June 26) at 7pm in Newtownabbey Free Presbyterian Church. The service will be a joint service with the church’s evening service. There will be a short parade from Glenvarna Drive to the Ballyclare Road church. The service will be followed by a return parade from the church to Glenvarna Drive.
A number of other mini 12th parades will be taking place across the region in the coming weeks.
The Cloughfern Mini 12th will take place this evening.
The Six Mile Water District will stage its annual parade in Ballyclare on Monday, June 27, while members of local lodges will be taking part in the Larne Mini 12th on Wednesday, June 29.