Patronage to support Drew Nelson's legacy

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Members and friends of the institution are being encouraged to show their support for a new initiative marking the life and legacy of the late Orangeman, Drew Nelson.

Grand Lodge are now pleased to offer the opportunity to become a patron of the Drew Nelson Legacy Project. In return, supporters of the scheme will receive a limited-edition, boxed silk tie and unique patronage certificate.

Proceeds from the scheme will go directly towards the legacy appeal set up in honour of the former grand secretary and Dromore solicitor.

Last year, the institution publicly announced a £1 million initiative to permanently recognise the contribution of one of its most high-profile members, whilst benefiting the next generation of community leaders.

The Loyal Order intends to significantly expand its current student provision in the university area of Belfast. It has also recently employed a youth development officer to provide career advice and guidance to young people across Northern Ireland and the border counties.

Commenting on the new patronage project, deputy grand master Harold Henning said: “We are delighted to launch our latest initiative for the Drew Nelson legacy appeal and I have no doubt that the opportunity to be recognised as a patron of the Drew Nelson Legacy Project will be popular across the Orange family. Indeed, a gift of patronage and the accompanying limited-edition tie would make an ideal Christmas present.

“I would encourage all those in the Orange fraternity to pledge their support for our legacy appeal, and in so doing, permanently recognise one of the institution’s finest advocates.”

A series and range of fundraising events have been hosted by individual lodges, districts, and other community groups, over the past 12 months.

Last month, a major gala event was hosted by Grand Lodge at Titanic Belfast.

Recently, Mr Henning received a donation towards the legacy appeal of over £40,000 from the 11 districts of Co Armagh Grand Orange Lodge.

The deputy grand master hailed the “inspirational lead” taken by Orangemen in the county, saying it underlined the “spirit of generosity” which is still very apparent in the birthplace of Orangeism.

County grand master Denis Watson described the fundraising endeavours as "truly magnificent".

Meanwhile, a fundraising cycle from Rossnowlagh to Kilkeel has raised £4,200 for the legacy appeal. In June, members of Aughintober cycling club participated in the intrepid 125-mile journey from Co Donegal to Co Down.

For more information on the Drew Nelson patronage project, contact Grand Lodge on 028 9070 1122 or email