© Newtownards District No.4
RISING SONS OF WILLIAM LOL 240
The origin of LOL 240 in Newtownards is shrouded in a small mystery that has not been explained to this day.
The original roll book in the possession of the lodge for the year 1846 listed some forty members registered for LOL 568. The following year 1847 the number of members had dropped to around twenty and in 1848 the lodge number had changed to LOL 240 with most of the original members registered again. The reason for the change of number is not commented upon anywhere in lodge records or even in County or Grand Lodge reports.
The warrant No. 240 is a duplicate of a warrant that had been issued earlier to a lodge in the Cloughmills area of County Antrim and is still active at Tullygrawley on the outskirts of Ballymena. LOL 240 took the title “The Rising Sons of William” and has remained a constant and active part of Newtownards District since that date in 1848.
The lodge has never at any time in its history been numerically very strong; the numbers fluctuating between forty members in the good times and twenty in the lean years, but the quality of the membership has always been high.
The members of the lodge were originally drawn from the working class section of the town and they have been involved in all of the activities of the Orangemen of the District, including the huge protest demonstration organised by William Johnston on the 12th of July 1867.
Within its ranks have been men who have served the British Empire in many of its wars, some with distinction. Bro. Andrew Brown, a long time member of the lodge, wore a medal on his sash that he had won in the Zulu Wars of 1879. Rifleman Thomas Trueman, a member of LOL 240, was the first man in Newtownards to be honoured in the First World War: he won the DCM for his bravery in France in 1915.
The present day membership is drawn from a wide age group and also from a varied employment base. There have always been strong family ties within the lodge, with several fathers and sons, brothers and uncles and nephews being members. While the lodge has never attracted public figures into its ranks, members have been active at all levels of Orangeism, from District and County lodge to Grand Lodge office level.
The odge is now unique in the North Down area, it being the only lodge that retains the traditional Lambeg drums in the annual 12th of July demonstration. It is a matter of record that the lodge has always been headed on parade by the drums and there are members from other lodges who seek permission to walk with us on parade because of their interest in maintaining the old ways.
Charity has always been a part of the tradition of the Lodge. Old minute books reveal many instances of lodge funds being used to help members who had fallen on hard times. Support for Orange charities has always been strong but the giving did not end there, appeals for help from other sources are often responded to by the members. At the present time one of the main objects of our charitable donations is a school for disadvantaged children in India called Asha Kiran.
There are two social nights held in the year, one is in January after the Installation of Officers and one on the 12th of July on the return home from the demonstration. It is on these occasions that the wives and girlfriends of the members show their support by supplying and serving a meal. These events serve a long tradition in the life of the lodge, with the members supplying the entertainment by singing and playing instruments. Also at these events a charity collection is taken that goes into the charity fund for distribution at a later date.
LOL 240 is renowned for its informal and harmonious approach to all matters of lodge business and while current affairs are often discussed the introduction of party politics is frowned upon and summarily dealt with.
LOL 240 held a special meeting in May 2003 in Dan Winter's Cottage at the Diamond, Co Armagh, the birthplace of the Orange Institution in Ireland.
On that occasion the lodge had several distinguished guests, including the Grand Secretary, Right Worshipful Bro Denis Watson and the Grand Lecturer, Right Worshipful Bro Sydney McIldoon.
During the meeting the Worshipful Master of the lodge Wor. Bro David Forsyth presented a cheque for £386 to Bro Watson. This was the lodge's contribution to the Grand Master's Charity Appeal for Cancer Research NI. This money was the result of the lodge members running a fireside quiz and a subscription from the lodge's charity fund.
Also at that meeting the Grand Secretary presented Wor. Bro Alfie McKee, the lodge secretary, with a 50-year Service Medal. Bro McKee has been the lodge secretary for 29 years and has given outstanding service to the Orange Institution, in many offices, throughout his long membership.
After the meeting closed, Mrs Hilda Winter supplied a very acceptable tea and showed the lodge members around the many interesting exhibits on display. The Worshipful Master thanked Mrs Winter for supplying such a lovely tea and congratulated her on the good work she was doing in preserving our precious heritage.
Why not join us?
Newtownards District consists of twelve lodges making up a membership of over 300. Each lodge holds a monthly meeting, where issues affecting the lodge are discussed. Though much of the business is of a formal nature, there is much social gathering between the members as well. If you would like to talk to someone about joining, contact us