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The following history is just an extract of one compiled by the late Bro. Samuel McLawrence P.M. J.P. for our centenary in 2004.
The first meeting of LOL 781 was held on 2nd July 1904 after the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland had issued warrant number 781 for the fee of £1.00. Brother John Tipping was elected as the first Worshipful Master. Sadly only a few months later on 30th May 1905 Brother Tipping sadly passed away and the duty of Worshipful Master was taken up by his own Brother Andrew Tipping who filled the role for some years later.
During the early years the Lodge met in the Orange Hall in Manor Street, Donaghadee but on the 13th July 1912 the foundation stone was laid by the Right Honourable R.J. Kennedy CMG for their own Orange Hall on the corner of Moat Street and Union Street. There was also a time capsule placed under the foundation stone which contained documents and newspaper articles relating to the Hall. The Orange Hall was formally opened in November of the same year by Bro. Col. Wallace C.B. Grand Master of Belfast County with Bro. Rev. Canon Pooler leading the devotional scripture and prayers. The cost of building the Orange Hall was £1000.
In 1914 World War 1 broke out and 48 members of LOL 781 answered the call to serve King and Country, sadly the following 9 members were to lose their lives during the conflict.

Oldest Photo

The oldest photo of LOL 781 ( Circa 1910 )

Bro. William Melville
Bro. Thomas Bailie
Bro. William Semple
Bro. Joseph McConnell
Bro. Robert Stewart
Bro. James Campbell
Bro. James Robinson
Bro. Samuel Gatensby
Bro. Samuel Keith

A memorial was erected in the hall in memory of the fallen Brethren and the Lodge lay a wreath of poppies in remembrance of them every July.
During World War 2 Bro Abel Angus, Bro. Carson Boyd, Bro. James Burns and Bro. William Woods all served in His Majesties Forces thankfully they all returned safely after the war.

Over the years the Lodge have purchased six banners the first of which was made by Bridgetts in Belfast and cost just £14.00. The banner depicted Queen Victoria on one side and King William III on the other. The second was purchased during the 1920's and depicted King William III on one side and the Protestant Martyrs Ridley and Latimer on the other. The banners purchased in 1956 and 1974 also portrayed the same scenes. The banner purchased in 2000 at a cost of £1600 broke with this tradition and featured as always King William III on one side and the local landmark known as the Moat on the other and also the tower of the local Parish Church. This banner was originally designed by the late Bro. Alexander Ferris and was produced by John Smith of Belfast.
On 29th September 2006 the Orange Hall was destroyed by a malicious fire and nearly all the banners, artifacts, regalia, standards and a lot of other historical mementos were lost along with everything else the Lodge owned. Luckily the second banner the Lodge had purchased was saved from the fire although it was badly scorched and water damaged. Two other things to survive the blaze were the War Memorial erected to remember those killed during World War 1 which had fell from the wall and amazingly covered the Lodge Warrant which also emerged from the ashes.
The Lodge were distraught at the loss of the Orange Hall but were determined to rebuild to ensure an Orange presence was maintained on Moat Street and plans were drawn up for a new Orange & Protestant Hall. The hall was officially opened in October 2008 and a new banner was also unfurled that day featuring once again the martyr's Ridley and Latimer on one side and King William III on the other with a small inset panel showing the original Orange Hall before and after the fire. The banner was painted by the prize winning banner painter William Magowan and cost in the region of £2,000 with the cost of the new Orange Hall in the region of £180,000. The lodge appreciate all those people from far and wide who helped their efforts to rebuild by donations, organising fund raising events and also donating old photos and artefacts connected to the Lodge most of which are on display in the new hall.

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