Feedback from readers
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I HAVE to
say that this issue of The Twelfth is another success. It’s very
informative both for members and non-members of the Order.
distribute them at our next Lodge meeting and also encourage members of the
Rangers Supporters clubs that I'm associated with to buy a copy.
permission I would also like to use some extracts from The Twelfth
so that I can write into the local papers and put across to the English what the
Order & the marching season is really about.
I also want
to let them know how the Protestant cause changed the course of European history
and gave us our freedom, which we all enjoy today. There are so many
ill-informed people who view the Orange Order and Protestants in general as
sectarians and bigots. It's publications like The Twelfth that
can put across a simple message of truth instead of the hate filled propaganda
produced by the republicans which most people seem to readily accept.
BY – Images and impressions of the Twelfth in Ulster
the copy of Walk On By. I found it very interesting and I hope
you can keep up the good work. I am not actually in the Orange Order myself, so
don't think I can add much to what has been written.
(who wrote the Preface) and Dave Thomas (who wrote the Introduction) are right
in saying that we must win this PR battle. For far too long we have been out-PR'd
by the Catholics. For some reason, we let ourselves get painted as dangerous
buffoons who are living in the past. I think the problem today is that the UK
Government is so desperate to get out of NI, that they will agree to anything
and just walk away and leave the Northern Irish Protestants in the lurch.
the first edition of Walk On By. The article by the Dutch
loyalist (Niklas van Tran) was very interesting and helped dispel many of the
misconceptions and stereotypes the Twelfth and loyalists are labelled with. I
appreciated that he took the time to find out for himself the truth. The
returning Ulster marcher (Garry Mills) summed up the ‘pull’ that Ulster and the
Twelfth has to people throughout Britain and beyond.
I asked a
mate for some feedback on Walk On By. He also said he enjoyed the
article by the Dutch loyalist and found it very interesting. It gave him a
sense of pride that a Dutchman could understand, appreciate and adopt the
THANKS very much for your
positive comments. WALK ON BY – Images and impressions of
the Twelfth in Ulster is the first in a series of booklets – relating to
the Twelfth and other Loyal Order and Band parades – that we intend producing.
Walk On By
is a 20-page A5 booklet. It features two written articles and a photo-essay.
The first article is by Mr Garry
Mills is entitled The Twelfth – what it means to me. Originally
from Newtownards in Co. Down, he is now the Provincial Grand Master of the
Metropolitan Province of the Loyal Orange Institution of England. Mr
Mills has been a member of the Orange Institution for 32 years. His devotion to
the Orange almost takes the form of a religious ‘calling’. Indeed, on one
occasion he travelled all the way from Cyprus to attend the Ards mini-Twelfth
The Twelfth – what it means to me
is a fascinating look at folk and family traditions associated with the Twelfth.
The second article is by Mr
Niklas van Tran. It is entitled The Twelfth –
important day. Mr van Tran hails from Rotterdam in Holland. He
is studying in Vienna, Austria, where he is also a well-known member of the
Vienna True Blues RSC. He became fascinated by the 12th
celebrations through his interest in Rangers FC. He lived in Glasgow for a
while to be closer to Rangers. His article illustrates the interaction between
sport, identity, religion and politics.
The photo-essay features bands,
Orangemen and supporters from Ulster and Scotland. Those bands pictured
Pride of Govan FB, South Belfast
Young Conquerors FB, Parkinson Accordion Band (East Belfast), Cambusland
Volunteers FB, The Sandyhills FB (Glasgow),
Sons of Ulster FB (Glasgow), Millar Memorial FB (Belfast), Pride of Ardoyne FB
(North Belfast) and
Star of David Accordion Band, Portadown. Is your picture in it? Get a
copy and see!
All profits from the sales of
Walk On By will go towards producing King Billy’s Colouring
Book. This ground breaking book is intended to introduce very young
children to a unique aspect of their heritage, history and culture.
The Twelfth 2003 DVD
Have just flicked through
the 2003 12th July DVD. The parades are typical second generation video - worth
the price just for that. But there are also excellent 'extras' with a history
section, a brilliant Jukebox and lots more. If you want a decent all round
loyalist entertainment DVD - this is it!
One little mistake - the
Wirral (as opposed the 'Worral' on the DVD) is where William III left
en route to Carrickfergus.
The Jukebox is perhaps something that could be enhanced in the future.
A really good idea. I'll have the first copy with 2,000 loyalist songs!
WE ARE PASSING all
feedback to the young producer of the 12th July DVD and Video.
He hopes to incorporate any ideas and suggestions in next year’s
version. We understand that he wants
to provide commentary for next year’s 12th and that he intends to
cover next year’s Sham Fight in Scarva on the 13th July as well.
are an exciting new educational and cultural tool.
We can use them in the PR war to put across the truth about the Twelfth.
You won’t see the hatchet-faced marauders of republican mythology.
This is no ‘hatefest’. We
show people enjoying a great day out with lots of colour, music and – at least
this year – bright sunshine! See
the bands! See the crowds!
See the bright sunshine! Maybe
even see yourself! Get a copy of
this DVD today! Relive the memories.
Now every day can be the twelfth of July.
For those interested in purchasing a copy of this DVD,
We realise that not everyone has a DVD player.
VHS video may be on its way out in the long term but it’s still very
popular. For this reason, if you
prefer, you can relive the Twelfth 2003 on VHS video.
There’s no music jukebox on the video, though, but it is still well
Truth on our Side
FéIN are good at propaganda because they’ve had years of practice.
We’ve sat on the fence and have done nothing.
We are now light years behind.
The one thing that we have got on our side is the Truth.
If we use it wisely we can win the PR battle.
But we must start sooner, rather than later.
Also, in some situations
I think we’ve only ourselves to blame. Look
situation. If the UFF
hadn’t killed those Roman Catholics in the bookies, the Orange
would probably be still walking down the
However, after years of
planning on how to discredit loyalist communities and institutions (and using
the media to do it) Sinn Fein are wining hands down.
But there are ways to
discredit SF propaganda. For
instance, how can the Orange
institution be racist when it is a world-wide
organisation with members in Togo
and Native Americans?
The question has to be
asked: Why is it down to people like us to fight the Orange Order’s corner?
To deflect a lot of criticism, all they (the Orange) have to do is do what the Lord Mayor of
does, which is to collect money for different
charities during each and every parade. Then
publish in all the relevant paper how much went where.
It really is so simple
that even a fool could do it! Let’s
be honest, how hard would it be to choose
a baby unit or an old people’s home that needs money?
Baby units and old people’s homes help the whole community.
How could the Orange Order then be described as ‘racist’,
‘sectarian’ or ‘triumphalist’ (a belief that a particular set of dogma
is universal and eternal)? Indeed,
if only we believed that we were eternal!
I think if the
supported such worthy causes, we could stand
back and watch republican propaganda go into free fall.
WE AGREE with your analysis regarding Public Relations.
Pan-Irish national chauvinists are way ahead of us in PR terms.
That is because unionist and
leaders have never sought to explain their
position. Their attitude is that if
someone doesn’t know what’s going on then it’s that person’s fault.
This is wrong! We need to be
pro-active in all of our educational and cultural outreach programmes.
The blockade of the
(which stopped Ballynafeigh Orangemen walking
their traditional route into
centre) was part of a wider Orangeophobic campaign waged by pan-Irish
national chauvinists. However we
agree that the shooting of Roman Catholic civilians in Sean Graham’s handed
the 'moral high ground' to republican front groups. The Orange Order
were also badly let down by a few supporters and some of their own members
whilst walking past the bookies. Whilst
these individual Orangemen and women were later disciplined, the whole affair
turned out to be yet another PR disaster for the Orange. (For
more information about the Ormeau blockade click here.
For an interview with a Ballynafeigh Orangeman click
more information about the Ormeau blockade click here.
For an interview with a Ballynafeigh Orangeman click
The Orange Order supports
both its own charities as well as ‘external’ ones.
The best known Orange
charity is the Lord Enniskillen Memorial Orange Orphan Society.
Additionally, every year a specific cause is nominated for the Grand
Master’s Charity Appeal. In 2003,
Cancer Research NI (part of Cancer Research UK) was nominated.
We agree that the Orange
don’t get the recognition they deserve for
supporting such charities. Again, we
think that part of the problem is down to bad – or non-existent – Public
LAST YEAR I distributed
your broadsheet amongst a variety of colleagues and the reaction was favourable.
In particular amongst some lapsed/ill informed loyalists.
It certainly relaxed a few unfounded concerns some friends of mine had,
and dispelled a number of myths.
I certainly enjoyed last year’s edition of The Twelfth and enjoyed the positive promotion of a pivotal
moment in our shared history.
Congratulations on an excellent publication and I wish you continued
success in the future.
THANK S for your help in
distributing The Twelfth. Last
year, issue 3 (2002) sold out in record time. This year we extended our print
run – and had it available from mid-June.
It still sold out way before the big day itself!
Next year we’ll extend the print run again and hopefully have it on the
streets for the first week of June.
The income generated by
sales of The Twelfth will help produce two new publications.
On By will look at the parade’s issue.
It will feature two articles about the loyal Orders and a photo-essay on
the 12th July Celebrations. The
other publication will be a colouring book for children.
It’s being produced in an effort to promote interest in heritage,
history and culture for our younger generation.
Thanks also for kind comments regarding the positive nature of The
Twelfth. As well as
promoting a proud, rich and vibrant culture, there’s a great need to
accentuate the positive and to ‘sell’ the 12th July Celebrations.
To do this effectively, we need to build a media-sensitive and tactically
astute PR machine.
Roll on next Twelfth
HAVE just received my copy of The
Twelfth and really enjoyed reading the publication.
This is the first year (2002) I have read this and I’m looking forward
to next year's!
very much for your brief comments. We appreciate any feedback our readers can
provide – good, bad or indifferent. We’re
glad you liked The
Twelfth. Issue 3 (2002) sold out in record time.
In 2003 we will have to extend our print run to cater for the extra
demand. In case you’re wondering
where your money goes, no-one associated with The
Twelfth is paid a penny in wages or expenses. Therefore, all profits are ploughed back into the paper.
This year, all profits were used to completely upgrade our computer
equipment and to launch this website.
Gets the message across
YEAR (2002) I saw The Twelfth for the first time and I must say it does get the
message across. I think the
description of the 12th celebrations as the ‘Triumph
of the underdog’ is a very apt interpretation of the victory that came out
of the events of 1690.
I liked the two interviews with the
I also found the short article ‘You’ll
never walk alone’ very
interesting. The Apprentice Boys of
Derry were given the ok (to walk the Ormeau Road) while foot and mouth disease
was about, but then a while later in the year the Orange Order are refused the
same route. And this year the AboD
are refused! What’s going on
here? Conspiracy – it stinks to
high heaven of it! And finally,
name and shame Gerard Rice. Nice
I was struck by the contrast between the way The
Twelfth and the media in England reports the ‘marching season’.
Why does the media report any parade as a ‘Triumph by Protestants over
Catholics’? I can’t understand
the media’s one-sidedness and inaccuracies.
Who actually tells them what to say and how to say it?
Why do they let themselves be used in such a bigoted way?
What do they expect to gain from telling the world half-truths and lies?
I think the biggest hurdle is going to be convincing the English that
they have benefited from what was achieved at the Boyne.
Here in England I'd be really hard pushed to find anyone I know to be an
active church-goer and possibly even a believer.
And as far as culture and heritage goes that all started to die out when
WWII ended. First it was the Teddy
Boys, then the Mods and Rockers, then the Hippies, Punks, Skinheads, Break
Dancing, Grunge and Brit Pop. Now
it’s Big Brother ‘culture’
that has got everybody preoccupied with meaningless drivel instead of what is
actually happening around them. That
is England’s cultural changes since the war and the vast majority of people
are quite happy to live with it and let it continue.
To talk about ‘The Good
Old Days’ in England means to bore your audience to death.
It doesn’t come much plainer than that I’m afraid.
When my Grandparents have gone who’s going to tell my children about
the past? Not my Mum and Dad – and that’s a fact!
I must say I was surprised to read that there are people defecting from
the church. I’ve always seen
Ulster as the ‘religious capital’ of the UK, inhabited by ‘Staunch
Prods’. I thought that this
religiousness was due to the work of the Orange Institution and ‘Big’ Ian
However, Ulster can, in my opinion, pride itself with being the most
British corner of the UK, where culture, heritage and history mean something.
In Ulster, the vast majority of the people are proud to be British and
proud of the Union. If only I could say that about the majority of English people!
If this was true, maybe Ulster could have been saved many years of agony
– instead of being abandoned by those who should have helped protect it.
West Midlands Loyalist.
TWELFTH is a special
educational and cultural eight-page mini-broadsheet. It seeks to present a positive side of the Twelfth
celebrations and counter the lies and misrepresentations told about this
extremely popular cultural festival.
Since the Drumcree crisis first erupted in 1995, Sinn Fein and a variety
of associated front groups have engineered at atmosphere of confrontation around
the annual Twelfth demonstrations. The
Twelfth views the 12th July celebrations as Ulster’s Mardi Gras and
seeks to rescue the holiday from its negative connotations of religious bigotry
One of the main aims of issue 3 of The
Twelfth was to expose the pan-Irish national chauvinist myth that Ulster
Protestants form one intolerant monolithic block.
The description of the 12th July celebrations being the ‘Triumph
of the underdog’ came from a look at a rural Twelfth. Here a Co. Tyrone “country
Twelfth” is looked upon as a “social,
communal and commemorative” event. The
article which mentioned ‘defections’ from the church was written from an
urban cultural Protestant perspective.
The article about the Ormeau Road - Let
the Ballynafeigh Orangemen walk! - exposed the way Sinn Fein exploits the
‘marching season’ for its own ends. Here
SF have successfully twisted the English language (so that peaceful and
traditional Orange walks are now viewed as ‘sectarian coat trailing
exercises’) and have convinced the world that there is a ‘Lower’ Ormeau
Road – a Catholic road in its own right!
ARE just like wee laddies playing in a gang.
For humanities sake grow up! Try
to loose your inbuilt inbred hatred and build a better future for Northern
Ireland and your children.
THANK YOU for taking the
trouble to express an opinion on our Twelfth website. We do appreciate your feedback.
Our aims are to promote a
better understanding and a positive view of the traditions surrounding the
annual Twelfth celebrations and to wean folk away from inbuilt, inbred hatred.
Please try to tolerate it, even if you don't like it, or disagree with