Orange Standard

‘Educating Ourselves’ A Phenomenal Success In Co. Fermanagh
Article 4 ~ April 2010

Enniskillen District Hall was packed on the evening of Tuesday 16th March for the presentation of certificates to the participants of a very successful Educating Ourselves programme, devised by Schomberg House.

The Grand Master, Robert Saulters and Deputy Grand Master, Edward Stevenson both journeyed down to make the presentations to a long line of 175 people who all took part in the programme. The programme was run in conjunction with Fermanagh District Council and was held in four venues across the County which were Brookeborough, Enniskillen, Irvinestown and Lisnaskea. The course consisted of four weekly modules made up of historical talks, quizzes, roleplays, musical sections and discussions. Participants were taught about the Williamite Wars, the formation and growth of the Orange Order, turbulent times in the 19th century and its role in modern society.

As well as being educational, the course proved to be very entertaining for both the tutors and participants. The audience in the District Hall were treated to some of the entertaining roleplays on the night.

As well as being presented with their certificates, the participants were also able to meet the staff of Schomberg House who had all travelled down for the occasion. Our archivist Dr Jonathan Mattison, was on hand to examine artefacts which people had brought along and give advice on other historical matters. He was very excited to see a teapot from 1688, believed to have been rescued from the time of the Siege of Londonderry, which was brought along by Mrs Valerie Johnston.

Also on hand was our Director of Services, Dr David Hume, who gave information on the Sir George Clark Memorial Bursary Fund and also gave the participants an insight on how the Orange Standard newspaper is put together each month. Mrs Linda Maye advised on Orange Standard accounts and the Lord Enniskillen Memorial Orange Orphan Society and Elaine Huddleston brought the Schomberg Shop which proved a big hit with the Fermanagh Folk.

The Community Education Officer, David Scott acted as compere for the evening and ensured everything went smoothly. He thanked Fermanagh District Council for their financial help in getting the programme off the ground and also praised the efforts of their Good Relations Officer, Tommy McLaughlin for his hard work throughout. He also thanked the County Fermanagh Grand Lodge Officers for their support and praised the three tutors who gave up their time to successfully deliver the programme – John Orr, Joe Graham and Barrett Rennick. He thanked his assistant Claire Acheson for the administrative support provided throughout the programme and his other colleagues down in Schomberg House for the roles they played in making the night a success.

The Education Officer said that he hoped that other councils would come on board so this very successful programme can be repeated throughout Northern Ireland.