The Orange Lodge is an Irish Protestant secret organization started by William III of Orange-Nassau , “Good King Billy” – defender of the Protestant faith. It was founded in Ulster Ireland in 1798. To be a member, recruits were required to be members of the Church of Ireland and had to swear to maintain Protestant ascendancy in Ireland. After the Battle of the Boyne, July 12, 1690, various privileges had been conferred on Protestants by William III of Orange.

The Pontiac region of the Outaouais became the biggest rural centre of the Quebec Grand Lodge. The first lodge in the area was in Shawville in 1843. In the 1870’s the glorious 12th would start at 9:30 am. Marching bands would lead a procession led by “King Billy” on a white horse.

Lloyd Armstrong in Clarendon and Shawville describes the event as follows:

They would march to McDowell’s Tavern and get drunk on liquor ladled out of tin pails into shanty dishes. The procession would march back and listen to roaring speeches by the town’s Protestant clergy, who were generally, shall we say, somewhat slanted against those things and people they considered alien and foreign. The procession would reform to march around until the official closing ceremonies. Then everybody would go back to the tavern and get even drunker and settle scores. It is said that the amount of liquor consumed and the ensuing violence of the Glorious 12th led to the establishment of the Temperance Movement in the area.

There is more information on the history of the Orange Lodge in Shawville on the munipality website here.

Related Post

The LibraryThe Library

The Pontiac Archives purchased “Echoes of the Forest – Canada’s Lumbering Story” by Alan Soucie.   Alan Soucie was born in Fort Coulonge.  Lots of stories about the lumbering in the