Before Victory in Europe in 1945, the Orangemen and Orangewomen of Portadown could return to Carleton Street Orange Hall. The Hall had been under military control to both the British and American Troops at different periods of time during the 2nd World War.
To mark the occasion a function was held in the Town Hall in 1944.
“The large and enthusiastic representative audience spoke volumes for the virility of the Order in the Portadown District and augurs well for its future progress here”.
The assembly room in the Town Hall was ‘attractively decorated’ with bunting, greenery and flowers. This added a ‘welcome touch of warmth’.
“Everyone was in good spirits and keen to resume the good work of the order”.
Dr Dougan and the Orange Influence
In his opening address, District Master Dr George Dougan said that ‘they had a great deal for which to be thankful for. They were grateful to get back again and it would make a great difference to the Order in the District’.
In his speech conclusion, Dr Dougan conveyed to the meeting a message of good wishes from sister Louisa Shillington, widow of the former District Master, Major David Graham Shillington.
Parkmount Flute Band led the music entertainment, their conductor was Brother Albert Wilson. Songs were performed by Brother Harold McAfee, Brother Leslie Hurst and Brother Jack Menaul.
Secretary of the Orange Hall Committee, Brother Herbert Whitten, who had been at the forefront of all negotiations with the British and American Military authorities regarding the Hall, gave an interesting survey of matters concerning the hall since its requisition by the military.
A number of speeches followed.
There was a short interval in the service and tea was served. This was provided by two of the Women’s Orange Lodges, WLOL 62 and WLOL85. The District Mistress, Sister Dougan, organised the refreshments ‘with an efficiency that earned the praise of all present’.
With the interval over, Parkmount Flute Band once again took to the stage to provide musical entertainment.
One surprise item came at the end of the evening. Mr Callender Bullock made a presentation (on behalf of his wife) from the members of Portadown Women’s Unionist Association, to Dr George Dougan. It was a ‘beautiful paper knife’.
The evening Concluded with the National Anthem.