Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Presentation of band pole recalls memories of Ballygowan Flute Band

A reminder of bygone days of Ballygowan Flute Band, a pre-war band pole, was presented to 85-year-old Bro Hugh Wilkinson at a meeting of Rising Sons of William LOL 422 in Ballygowan Orange Hall on Tuesday 2nd September.  The pole was used by the late Bro Jack Wilkinson to lead the band, which broke up in 1939 due to the outbreak of war and regrettably never re-formed.  The band pole had ended up being kept at the home of Jack’s son, the late Bro David Wilkinson, a Past Worshipful Master of the lodge, who was well known around Dromore due to his job as bread salesman.  David donated the pole to his son-in-law Lower Iveagh No 1 Worshipful District Master Bro Eric Jess who had the pole restored to its original condition and in turn passed it on to the lodge members in order to maintain a lasting memory of the band’s heyday. 

‘Old but beautiful’ the sash my GRANDfather woreBallygowan Flute Band’s pre-war band pole is presented to LOL 422 lodge members at Ballygowan Orange Hall on Tuesday 2nd September.  L to R: (seated) Bro Ian Walker (Worshipful Master), Bro Eric Jess (Worshipful District Master), Bro Hugh Wilkinson and Bro Tom Wilkinson (Deputy Master).   (standing) Bro Albert McKeown, Bro David Walker, Bro David Wilkinson, Bro Bertie Wilkinson, Bro Neil Wilkinson, Bro Rodney Quigg and Bro Lionel Poots.

The presentation of the pre-war band pole at Ballygowan Orange Hall on Tuesday 2nd September re-kindled many happy memories for Bro Hugh Wilkinson.  At the meeting, 85-year-old Hugh proudly donned the ‘old but beautiful’ - not the ‘sash his father wore’ - but rather, the ‘sash his GRANDfather wore’ many years ago.  The sash bears the initials WJM and records that Hugh’s grandfather, William John Wilkinson, held the office of Worshipful Master and Past Master of Rose of Truth RBP 172 and Deputy District Master of Largymore No 9 District.

Ulster Star