Thousands of people poured into Banbridge on Monday (July 13) to watch the South West Down Area Conference ‘Twelfth’ flagship demonstration as it made its way through the town to the demonstration field at Huntly Road. The host district Banbridge No 7 led the seven other districts - Lower Iveagh No 1, Rathfriland No 3, Lower Iveagh West No 8, Newry No 9, Loughbrickland No 10, Gilford No 13 and Bann Valley No 20. The Banbridge District officers and standard bearers were followed by Banbridge No Surrender LOL No 20 and Seapatrick Flute Band. The band, formed in 1873, it is one of the oldest bands in Northern Ireland.
Worshipful Bro Chris Irwin (Worshipful District Master - No 7 District Banbridge) chaired the platform proceedings. Bro Rev Norman Hutton (Deputy Grand Chaplain of Down) conducted a short service and gave the address. Bro Pastor Roy Graham (Deputy Grand Chaplain of Down) led prayers and read a portion of Scripture. Seapatrick Flute Band conducted by David Hewitt, led the praise; the hymns were ‘The Lord’s my shepherd’ and ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus’. The Rev Martin Smyth (Past Grand Master G.O.L.O.I.) and Worshipful Bro Dr Jonathan Mattison (Worshipful District Master, No 1 District Lower Iveagh) proposed resolutions, which were seconded by Worshipful Bro Sam Walker (Deputy Grand Master, Co Down) and Worshipful Brother Kenneth Poots (Worshipful District Master, No 8 District Lower Iveagh West).
Drumlough Pipe Band (Rathfriland) and Closkelt Highland Dancers entertained the crowd in the demonstration field; other attractions included a bouncy castle and face painting for the younger spectators. A demonstration by Lambeg drummers had to be cancelled at the last moment due to the outbreak of rain that continued during most of the return walk.