The 11 Orange Order districts in Co Armagh have this year donated £54,000 to the Drew Nelson Legacy set up by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland to advance educational and cultural projects within the institution.
This year’s amount surpasses the £41,000 donated by the Armagh lodges in 2018 to a fund which is being generously supported by lodges across Northern Ireland and in the Irish Republic.
Representatives from the 11 Co Armagh districts - Portadown, Richhill, Loughgall, Tandragee, Armagh, Lurgan, Killylea, Keady, Newtownhamilton, Markethill and Bessbrook - gathered at Sloan’s House heritage centre in Loughgall to hand over their cheques.
The generosity of the lodges was praised by the Co Armagh Grand Master Denis Watson and by the Deputy Assistant Grand Master of Ireland Harold Henning and Lewis Singleton, a trustee for the Drew Nelson Legacy.
The late Drew Nelson was secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland for more than a decade and his sterling work in advancing the institution to greater and meaningful potential across its ranks has been the inspiration for the legacy in his memory.
The 160 Co Armagh lodges, with a membership of 5,000, raised their money for the legacy fund through fund-raising events and from personal donations by individual brethren.