THIS weekend, on the one hundredth anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking, members of Drumlough LOL 153 and the local Rural Development Association will commemmorate Thomas Rowan Morrow’s memory.
A new bannerette will be dedicated at a special Service of Remembrance in Drumlough Orange Hall on Saturday night April 14, to remember Thomas, a Past Master of Drumlough LOL.
The Orangeman, who was baptised in First Presbyterian Church Rathfriland in July 1880, is believed to have been the only Orangeman to have perished on Titanic.
Thomas left his home at Drumlough, outside Rathfriland, on a journey which he believed would be life-changing - he was heading to Canada to meet up with his brother Waddell who left home three years earlier.
The current Worshipful Master of the lodge, Derek McDowell, said it is vital to keep Thomas’ memory alive.
“It’s important for the lodge to remember the late Thomas Morrow,” said Derek. “While most people of the lodge knew of Thomas and his tragic end aboard the world famous ship, there were still some who had no knowledge of who the man was.
“The members of the lodge believe that the time is now right to remember Thomas, particularly in this, the centenary year of the ship’s sinking. We are dedicating a new bannerette, which will not only be used at our Orange events, but more importantly will be on display in our hall to remind locals and users of our facilities of our local history. We would love to see this new bannerette be used by local schools, community groups as well as local and national museums as a centre piece display for discussion.”
Derek said the Lodge is delighted to have a special guest lined up for Saturday to discuss the legacy of Titanic.
“The lodge was pleased to work with the local Drumlough and Ballygorian Rural Development Association, who have engaged Mr Terry Madill to give a talk on the Titanic and the role of the shipyard in Belfast.
“Terry is from the Titanic Schools Project (TSP), which is a cross-community organisation founded by a number of former shipyard workers in 2007. The aim of TSP is to promote the Engineering achievements of ‘Titanic’ to children and young people from all over the world. Students from age seven to undergraduate level undertake project work and attend various events organized each year to celebrate Belfast’s unique shipbuilding heritage.”
Derek said everyone is welcome on Saturday to remember one of the area’s sons.
“We have been very encouraged lately how people have shown an interest in this local Titanic story,” he said. “We’re pleased that local schools have been participating in an Art Competition, details of which will be released soon. The lodge is also delighted with the effort of other locals to have Thomas Morrow remembered in his home town of Rathfriland.”
Plans are still underway to erect a permanent memorial to Thomas in his home town.