A DROMORE Orange Lodge recently sent one of its members to deliver a donation to the Buddy Bear Trust Conductive Education School.
Alastair McCracken of Magherabeg LOL 838 visited the school to bring a donation from the members of the lodge to support the Trust’s work helping children with cerebral palsy.
Alastair was given a warm welcome by parents, staff, the principal and artist Brendan McConville, Chairman. He was shown the facilities available to the children to help them face the challenges they must overcome because of cerebral palsy.
Mr. McConville later presented lodge committee member Alastair with a signed canvas copy of ‘The Gathering’ to present to the Lodge.
The picturees a scene from the early days of the Orange Order, when members gathered at Dan Winters’ Cottage in Loughall.
Dan Winters founded the Orange Order, which now has over 1,300 lodges in Northern Ireland alone. Mr McConville next showed Alastair where Edward Stevenson, the Grand Master of the Orange Order of Ireland, had signed the oil painting, together with Mrs Olive Whitten of the Women’s branch of the Orange Order and Mrs Hilda Winters, who manages the museum at Dan Winters’ Cottage.
He said, “We are delighted that the members and friends of LOL 838 raised funds to help us keep the Buddy Bear Trust School open and to provide life changing opportunities for a small number of children.
“It is important for the community to know that the Buddy Bear Trust School is able to provide conductive education to some of the most vulnerable children in Northern Ireland.
“The Buddy Bear Trust School has had to rely on public donations and charity since it opened in 1993.
“The Orange lodges carry out great charitable work on a daily basis, which often goes unpublicised.
“The publicity of fundraising to support Buddy Bear children promotes the excellent work of the school and lets parents know that we are here to help.
“We hope that other lodges will join with Magherabeg and some of the other lodges who have already made donations, to help us keep the school open.
“Thanks to the publicity more children from all sections of our community now know about the school.”