Thursday, 31 May 2012

Orange Banner Unfurling - Loughrie True Blues LOL 1948

Some months ago I placed a few historical items on the blog - some of which are connected to Loughries True Blues LOL 1948's New Orange Banner.

On Saturday 9th June at 3pm in Newtownards Orange Hall, Loughries will unfurl this new banner. Best plans have been laid, invitations sent out, forms completed, food ordered, band, dancers, musicians and guests poised to attend. It is anticipated the following will take place: -

Welcome to the unfurling ceremony by Bro. Bobby Magreechan (Master of the Lodge) followed by 'welcome to the Borough Of Ards', by Mayor Cllr. Hamilton Gregory - then opening Hymn. The banner will be unfurled by Bro. Drew Nelson (Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland) and dedicated by Bro. Robert McCormick (LOL 481). Explanation of the banner design by Bro Stephen Rodgers (Lodge Member) followed by our second Hymn, vote of thanks by Roy McCartney (Lodge Chaplain) Seconded by myself (Lodge Secretary) concluding with the the National Anthem. Pianist for the ceremony will by Mrs. Lesley Greenald.

At 3.45pm the Lodge will parade through Newtownards town centre - carrying our new banner - accompanied by William Strain William Lightbody Memorial Flute Band and visiting Brethren and Sisters from other Orange Lodges.

At 4.45pm on return to the Orange Hall a buffet meal will be served - followed by some entertainment - Greyabbey Highland / Scottish Country Dancers - Piper Stephen Rodgers - Ballyrobert fife & lambeg drum club - music from WSWLMFB.

Hope to see you there!

Report and photo's to follow.


Monday, 28 May 2012

Stirring Stuff !

I'm feeling rather patriotic this week - on the tun up to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Here is some stirring music and a great video - containing many excellent images!!

Thanks to Yvonne Johnston !!


Letter to Queen Elizabeth II - Part 2

Back on 11th March 2012 I posted a blog entry - click link here - Queen's Letter - on a letter that we at Loughries, had sent through the office of Rt. Hon. Sir Christopher Geidt, KCVO OBE, at Buckingham Palace in London - congratulating HM Queen Elizabeth II on her Diamond Jubilee.

Well, we are delighted to say that we received a communication back from Buckingham Palace a few weeks ago and it would be fair to say that we are very, very pleased indeed.

Ulster folk are renowned for their loyalty to the Monarch and particularly to HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Long To Reign Over Us ............


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Lambeg Drum - John Cully Memorial Drum

The lambeg drum community/fraternity is a close knit group of folk, dedicated to their chosen musical tradition, yes, they do have their arguments, fallouts and disagreements, however when a tradegy strikes we are all united in grief.

John Cully, son of my very great friends Eric + Jean Cully - was tragically killed in a road traffic collision, in Portavogie back in April 2009 - a very sad event indeed, which still carries a great deal of pain today.

Eric + Jean after long debate and deliberation, showed great strength of charachter and decided to have John painted on a lambeg drum - in a poignent way to remember their beloved son.

I visited Eric a few months back and with his permission photographed the drum - its a beauty! 

The shell was made by Mr. Denis Morrow Belfast, on a specially imported figured oak board with the shell painted by Mr. Brian Jamison Newtownards. Many, many hours were spent making this beautiful drum and I hope you agree it is a wonderful drum - but a tragic story.

I sincerely wish Eric well with this drum and hope he is long spared to win a few trophies with it and has many hours playing this magnificent lambeg drum - good luck Eric !!

'John Cully Memorial Drum'

The top painting is the fisherman's memorial which is situated at Portavogie harbour - the name John Cully with John's portrait - with the inscription below 'Gone but not Forgotten'


Desert Island Discs

Thanks to Richard Hargy for this!

I have heard of Desert Island Discs before - but never listened to the programme. I do listen to Radio 4 on ocassions, news, current affairs or the odd play, sadly never Desert Island Discs.

With Richard's advice I tuned in this morning to sample the programme - well I was amazed - its is fantastic. I do enjoy listening to 'other peoples lives' - not in a nosey way as we would say in Ulster, but to listen to what things in life have shaped / moulded people into who or what they are.

I began with Brian Moore the ex England rugby international - what a story - and he chose a few of songs / tunes I enjoy!

Anyway, if you get a chance please drop into the Desert Island Homepage - you won't be disappointed. (link below)

There is a vast archive of previous desert-islanders - I am looking forward to a daily dose of this wonderful radio programme.

Wonder if anyone would be interested in my life story............... naw, too boring I'm afraid!!


Junior Orange in Bangor 2 - Saturday 26th May 2012

I received a few messages from Ulster folk who appear to be a little homesick, asking me to post a few more photo's of the Jnr. Orange Parade from Saturday.

Here you are, enjoy!!


Fae Tha Pen O An Aul Han

Congratulations to Darren Gibson - teacher at Lisneal College in Londonderry. Darren is a Low Country Lad hailing from Ballyfrennis - which is situated in the Ards Peninsula.

Darren has a blog running Fae tha Han o a Low Country Lad and has been penning a weekly Ulster Scots Language column in the local Newtownards Chronicle. His talents have been picked up by The Newsletter - a daily paper in Ulster, and each Saturday Darren will be supplying an interesting article in his local tongue!

Congratulations Darren and very well done!

Look who Darren is sharing the papers with, now that he is Famous


Junior Orange in Bangor - Saturday 26th May 2012

On Saturday afternoon I slipped down to Bangor - to watch the Junior Orange Order Parade.

It was a beautiful sunny and warm afternoon and a great parade. A number of students that I teach in Portadown, Tandragee, Donaghadee and Newtownards were on parade, both as Junior Orange and Band Members - so I thought I would go along and support them and say hello!

Here are a few snaps of the Parade.


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Rangers v Linfield May Day 2012

Catching up on a few bits n pieces after a busy build up to the family holiday and a lot of work!

On May Day I was invited to watch Linfield v Rangers at Windsor Park, Belfast with Matthew, Christopher and friends, Ian Kurtis and Jake. It was a cold late winter type day, however over 8,000 folk braved the weather to watch an excellend game of football.

Rangers won the game 2 - 0 but it was not about the result - it was about support for the Famous Glasgow Rangers - who through no fault of their own, find themselves in a difficult situation.

'We will follow follow on!'

Did you spot the famous celebrity in the crowd?


Peace Bridge Londonderry

Just before I departed on holiday a few weeks back, I was asked my Michael McCullough (Director Ulster Scots Agency) to provide a workshop on the fife and lambeg drum musical tradition, along with Matthew Warwick - (bagpipe & language) for a group of international students on the theme of Ulster Scots.

The event took place at the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall situated on Derry's Walls, Londonderry - the event itself went very, very well indeed - another excellent project by Michael !

Anyway - I had a few hours down time and used this to visit the 'Peace Bridge' that was recently constructed across the river Foyle in Londonderry City. It is a beautiful bridge with great views of the city and over to the hills of Donegal.

The bridge is supposed to be a symbol of peace and reconciliation between the two main communities in the city, linking the mainly catholic city side and the non catholic waterside area!

The jury is out as to weather there is peace in the city - as I do note a degree of hostilities still lingering in the Republican Community in Londonderry!! 


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Ecklinville - Ulster Scots Cooking Apple 2

Just back from my mid-summer holidays - great to see the Ecklinville apple tree, that we planted over the winter, starting to come to life.

Beautiful pink / red buds appearing, looking forward to further groth!


Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit (Grace Slick, Woodstock, aug 17 1969)

Sorry, last indulgence - here is another tune that really stuck in my mind.

I played this a lot on holidays, I am not into the drug culture - and never was, however, this song is very powerful.

I do have strange taste in music - sometimes!


Linda Ronstadt (with the Stone Poneys) - Different Drum

Whilst away on my holidays I did get the opportunity to listen to quite a bit of my music - here is one I played quite a bit - Different Drum, by Linda Ronstadt.

I was born in the 60's, but too young to listen to music way back then! - I was more a 70's music fan, however this tune stuck in my head and I really love the melody, considering my employment the title is quite apt!


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Holiday Time!

Well folks, thanks to you all - for continuing to look in to my blog. 

Sadly I have particularly busy over recent times and have not been able to blog as much as I would like.

I am off on holidays tomorrow Friday and won't be home again until Saturday 19th May - Mrs A, the Boy's and myself are off to Tenerife for a mid summer break (much needed). We have not had a summer holiday to 'the sun' since Mrs A and I were courtin.......... so looking forward to getting away.

I have chosen 3 x books to keep me entertained whilst away......... time to unwind !

Catch up soon.


Thursday, 3 May 2012

Summer Concert at Lisneal College L'Derry

Each Wednesday I travel to Londonderry City - where I visit 2 x schools, 1 being Lisneal College.

This is a great school and one of my favourites, there is a vibrant music department ably managed by Mrs. Karin Flanagan. I take 6 classes 2 x fife and 4 x lambeg drumming - around 28 students. 

On Wednesday night 5 of my pupils were performing at the summer concert, to a well attended and appreciative audience - there were around 30 performances!

First up was Dillon, who played a drum solo, this was followed by Jordan, drumming to fifes, played by Calvin and Mark, completing the fife and lambeg drum showcase Connor - on another rousing drum solo.

I was very, very proud of these young students, who with on a little experience, were able to perform magnificently well - so very well done. Also congratulations to the staff at Lisneal for putting so much effort into the night, it was terrific.

Another plus for the fife and lambeg drum tradition!!

Thanks also goes to Mr. Gibson and family for their hospitality between rehearsals and performance!