Donemana Branch Murray Club held a Wreath Laying ceremony at the War Memorial in the grounds of Donemana Orange Hall to mark the 331st anniversary of the Relief of Derry.
Saturday 8th August was like no other in living memory, as pandemic regulations limited celebrations for the end of the historic siege of Londonderry. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the local Branch club were in the same situation as others across the Province, unable to parade in the city of Londonderry.
A number of the Branch club members attended the Wreath Laying ceremony, where the Branch President, Worthy Bro Ian Gordon left a Wreath at the at the War memorial to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Two members of Barron Accordion Band, David Buchanan and Mrs Sylvia Rankin, played the appropriate hymn “Abide with me” prior to the Laying of the Wreath as part of a short service. Prayers were said by the Branch Chaplin. Bro Ian Donnell and at the end of the ceremony Bro Colin Campbell ( Piper) played a “Lament”. Bro Ivan Buchanan (Branch Treasurer) gave a short talk on the history of the famous siege and especially the vital part played by the “Gallant Thirteen” young Apprentice Boys who shut the gates of the city against the advancing Redshank Troops who were to secure the City for King James.
Prior to the start of the Wreath Laying ceremony, a special guest of the Branch club, Mrs Mary Hamilton, wife of the late Bro Ernest who had been a faithful and loyal member of the Branch club for well over 50 yrs, presented the Branch club with a number of gifts, including a Replica of one of the famous cannons used in the defence of the city during the 105 day siege, and a framed photograph of her late husband. Mrs Hamilton spoke briefly and very emotionally about her late husbands love, dedication, loyalty and great respect he had for the Branch club and its members. Mrs Hamiltons three daughters accompanied her on the day to give her their fullest support, namely Eleanor, Heather and Miriam.
At the end of the day, Bro Tommy Allen presented Mrs Daisy Watt with flowers on behalf of the Club in recognition of all the work she undertakes with organisations who use the Orange Hall, not least in the added role of preparing the Hall for use within Covid Regulations.