Defenders of Derry like the whole of the Orange order took part in the extremely successfull celebration of the 50th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and her accesion to the throne following the death of King George VI in 1952.
The focus of this years celebrations without doubt was the Grand Lodge Parade held in the London Province on June 15th the same day as the trooping of the colour, the event was planned to be the largest parade to be held in England for years and as predicted gave a 'pass by' time of two hours.
Not surprisingly the media decided to ignore the event and give that the parade passed an extremely lively post World Cup Trafalgar Square without incident I for one was disgusted at the lack of attention, one person throwing a missile however and the story could have been different. Our District as a result of this supports the idea of a tri-annual event until the City of London sees the unbiased spectre of a parade as colourfull as we can get. A personal view but there you have it
2002for the Queen must have contrasting emotions, the wait and build up for a year to be focussed on your achievements over 50 years and then within months of the main celebrations losing your sister and mother - ask yourself if the same were to happen to you, would you smile for the cameras and carry on as if nothing had happened? These are the qualities that have seen our Queen through good bad and worse over five decades. As I say the parade was massively attended with estimates of over 9000 on parade with bands and marchers from all over the globe. Not one news item across the UK covered the event - shame on them. No touble means no news and were getting very much used to it now.
The Lord of heaven and earth bless Your Majesty with many and happy days: that, as his heavenly hand had enriched Your Highness with many singular and extraordinary graces, so that you may be in the wonder of the world in this latter age for happiness and true felicity, to the honour of that great God, and the good of his church, through Jesus Christ our Lord and only Saviour.
God save the Queen