When carers spoke to 90-year-old Mary Dickie, she told them she had a particular wish for her birthday.
With almost 73 years as a valued member of Drumaheagles WLOL 68, Mary was delighted when her Birthday wish was granted on Saturday (November 21), when Drumaheagles Young Defenders FB, Ballymoney and District Daughters of Ulster WLOL 68, Drumaheagles Junior LOL 99 and Drumaheagles LOL 1099 met at the home.
Mary had told her carers that all she wanted for her birthday was Drumaheagles Flute Band to play her some tunes, a bag of Tandragee’s finest crisps and a Fish Supper from ‘Flash in the Pan’ for her tea.
One of Mary’s carers happened to be Lynn, wife of Drumaheagles LOL 1099’s Secretary. So, a plan for a surprise Birthday Bash for Mary was set in motion involving WLOL 68, Drumaheagles Band, LOL 1099 and Junior LOL 99 to make this a birthday to remember.
Mary had joined Drumaheagles WLOL 68 in 1948. The WM of WLOL 68 at the time was Sister Lady Mary McCleery, wife of MW Bro Sir WV McCleery MP (who would later become Grand Master of Ireland and the World).
While pregnant Mary was riding her bicycle to lodge meetings, however, Lady McCleery concerned for her welfare arranged to collect and return her by car for the monthly lodge meetings. Sadly WLOL 68 went dormant in the late 60s after the death of Lady McCleery. Drumaheagles LOL 1099 paid to retain the warrant, however, a group of ladies wanted to form a New Lodge in Ballymoney Orange Hall and in September 1970 the warrant was re-installed as Ballymoney and District Daughters of Ulster WLOL 68, a number of the remaining Drumaheagles sisters transferred to Ballymoney including Mary.
Mrs Dickie was a regular attendee of her Lodge and District and served as Worshipful Mistress, until lately as due to ill health she cannot attend as often as she would like. Mary received her 50 years of service badge, and also 70 years of service badge – she now has almost 73 years of service in the Orange Institution.
On Saturday 21st November WLOL 68 represented by RW Sis Joyce Henry (Chaplain), WDM Antrim DLOL1 and Asst CG Trea; Sis Margaret Taylor (DM) and Sister Hessie Forsythe (1st Committee and Founder Member). WLOL 68 presented Mary with a card and gifts for her forthcoming 90th birthday.
Other gifts and cards were presented by Drumaheagles LOL 1099, Drumaheagles Young Defenders FB and Drumaheagles Junior LOL 99. The highlight for Mary was to hear the band play a selection of tunes for her entertainment.