Members of the Orange Institution from around the world will meet in Scotland next week to discuss matters of mutual interest.
Up to 170 delegates – including the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, and other local senior Orangemen – will attend the Imperial Orange Council, held in Edinburgh from July 1-6.
The triennial meeting will be attended by representatives of Grand Lodges from four continents – including Ireland, Scotland, England, Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada. Members of the institution in Ghana and Togo have also indicated they will be present.
The six-day conference – held at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel – includes a full programme of events for attendees, including business meetings, educational visits, gospel evenings and Scottish cultural after-dinner entertainment.
The council meeting will formally close with a farewell banquet, hosted by the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland.
Writing in the Imperial programme, Jim McHarg, grand master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, said: “The week ahead will provide various challenges for all attendees to take on board in the hope of improving our order’s understanding of our Christian beliefs, our place in society and how others view us.
“The Loyal Orange Institution has a proud history and we are committed to standing strong on our heritage and culture. I am sure that, after our week together, the leaders of world Orangeism will be richer in knowledge and enthusiasm as we continue to spread the message of our Protestant Reformed Faith and wonderful fraternity throughout four continents of the world.”
The council meeting will take place following Orange parades in Johnstone and Cowdenbeath (June 30), and before the annual celebrations in Glasgow (July 7).
The County Grand Lodge of Central Scotland demonstration will be held in Shotts on the same day.
Speaking ahead of the regular gathering, Mr Stevenson said: “The latest meeting of the Imperial Orange Council in Edinburgh underlines the worldwide nature and appeal of Orangeism which exists today.
“Wherever we meet, friendships are renewed, and new ones are made as we enjoy fellowship within our institution.”
Mr Stevenson confirmed the next scheduled council meeting will take place in Northern Ireland in the summer of 2021.
Following the Edinburgh conference, many of the delegates from across the UK and overseas are expected to travel to the Province to enjoy and partake in next month’s Twelfth celebrations.
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