Letters on GOLI & UUP Relations

Belfast News Letter

Letters

21st July 2007

Dear Sir,

I read with interest the article in today’s Newsletter which is misleading both in terms of the headline and the content.

May I respectively point out that the headline ‘Orangemen praised for breaking UUP link’ is incorrect as it is not within the competence of Bangor District Lodge, so to do.

As your informed readers ought to know, the relationship is between the Ulster Unionist Council and seven of the County Grand Lodges.  It is entirely up to each County Grand Lodge whether or not they should send delegates!  Bangor District did not ‘end its links with the Ulster Unionist Party’, nor did they ‘effectively end its ties with the UUP’.  They merely declined to nominate a person for County Down Grand Orange Lodge, to send as a delegate to the Ulster Unionist Council.  Bangor District is not the only Orange District to have made such a decision.

The media interest in this story would appear to be based on the fact that David Trimble’s Lodge is a member of Bangor District.  It would be no surprise to me if David Trimble actually agreed with that decision.

It would appear from the content of the article that the two MLAs Jeffrey Donaldson and Peter Weir, also fail to understand the nature of the relationship between the UUC and the Orange Institution, unless of course they are attempting to make political capital out of it.

The real reason behind the decision of Bangor District may well be financial.  The nominated delegate must be accompanied by a fee!

Yours sincerely,

 

Rev. Brian Kennaway

Former Convener,

Education Committee, GOLI.

Member of the Liaison Committee.

Belfast Telegraph

Letters

9th September 2004

Dear Sir,

I read with interest the letter of Christopher Salford (5/3/04), and the comments of Political Correspondent, Noel McAdam (9/3/04).  While I would strongly disagree with the analysis which Mr Salford makes, I do agree with his opening and closing sentiments – that the Orange Institution should “end the marriage”.

As one who is a member of the Committee, established on 6th October 1995, to liaise with the Ulster Unionist Council concerning these matters, I can assure Mr Salford that it is not the fault of the Ulster Unionist Council that this has not been resolved.

This was made clear in an article in the Belfast Telegraph on Friday 28th April 2000, by another member of that Liaison Committee, the Rev. Dr. Warren Porter, when he made reference to, “this foot dragging on the part of the Orange element. . . ”

As Mr Salford ought to know, the relationship is between the Ulster Unionist Council and seven of the County Grand Lodges.  It is entirely up to each County Grand Lodge whether they should send delegates or not!  Noel McAdam said that a discussion document is to be presented to the next meeting of the Grand Lodge, therefore suggesting that the relationship is between the Grand Lodge and the Ulster Unionist Council.   On 5th February 1999 one of the County Grand Lodges, Antrim, called for the Institution to disaffiliate.  They lacked the courage of their convictions and continued to send delegates to the Ulster Unionist Council.

Perhaps Christopher Salford will have the courage of his convictions, and make sure that his County Lodge “ends the marriage”.

Yours sincerely,

 

Rev. Brian Kennaway

Former Convener,

Education Committee, GOLI.

Member of the Liaison Committee.

 

23rd September 2004

Dear Sir,

Noel McAdam is not correct when he says (B.T. 22/7/04) that ‘Bangor District Orange leaders have voted to cut links with the UUP’.

It is not within the competence of Bangor District Lodge, either to ‘cut links with the UUP’, or to send delegates to the UUC meetings.

As your informed readers ought to know, the relationship is between the Ulster Unionist Council and seven of the eight County Grand Orange Lodges.  It is entirely up to each County Grand Lodge whether or not they should send delegates!  Bangor District merely declined to nominate a person for County Down Grand Orange Lodge, to send as a delegate to the Ulster Unionist Council.  Bangor District is not the only Orange District to have made such a decision.

The media interest in this story would appear to be based on the fact that David Trimble’s Lodge is a member of Bangor District.  It would be no surprise to me if David Trimble actually agreed with that decision.

I am surprised at Jeffrey Donaldson’s comments.  As an Orangeman he should know the nature of the relationship between the UUC and the Orange Institution, unless of course he is attempting to make political capital out of it.

The real reason behind the decision of Bangor District may well be financial.  The nominated delegate must be accompanied by a fee!

Yours sincerely,

 

Rev. Brian Kennaway

Former Convener,

Education Committee, GOLI.

Member of the Liaison Committee.

 

20th March 2005

Dear Sir,

I read with interest the letter by Samuel Cole (Writeback 18/3/05)   May I point out that he is somewhat mistaken.

The relationship between the Orange Order and the Ulster Unionist Party is in effect between seven of the eight County Grand Lodges, in Northern Ireland, and the Ulster Unionist Council.  This matter therefore was not the business of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, and as the “resolution” was not to change the Constitution Laws and Ordinances, it did not require three reading at successive Grand Lodge meetings.

It is entirely a matter for the County Lodges as to whether or not they send delegates to the UUC.  In recent years many of the Counties have not taken up their full quota and some have not sent any delegates at all.  This decision of the GOLI therefore may be seen as “leading from behind”.

It is worth noting that historically the resolutions of the GOLI have not always been implemented throughout the Institution. This is seen from the resolution in 1800 not to discuss the Act of Union, not taking money from the National Lottery, to not talking to the Parades Commission.  It will be interesting to see if all the County Grand Lodges implement this particular resolution.

Yours sincerely,

Brian Kennaway (Rev.)

Crumlin, Co. Antrim.

Former Convenor,

Education Committee,

GOLI.

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