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Hope of Eglinton, Orange Lodge LOL

Hope of Eglinton,  Orange Lodge LOL 764 - Supports Buddy Bear


Eglinton LOL and Buddy Bear TrustEe

Hope of Eglinton Orange Lodge held a successful and well attended Beatle Drive to give hope and help to the Buddy Bear Trust , a Northern Charity that has been providing Conductive Education to children with cerebral palsy since it was founded 25 years ago.

Mr George Wylie, MBE, TD Worshipful Master and Mr George McElhatton, Superintendent of Eglinton Juniors < LOL 245 who presented Brendan McConville, Chair  a cheque for £250 were given a unique canvas hand embellished oil painting signed by Mr Edward Stevenson, Grand Master of the Orange Order of Ireland and Mrs Olive Whitten of the Women’s Orange Order of Ireland and Mrs Hilden Winters from the museum at Dan Winters Cottage.

The members present saw a brief video of the life changing  work of the Buddy Bear Trust in transforming the lives of children who were given little hope when it was determined that they had severe cerebral palsy.  Members noted that Daniel Murphy from Newry who was one of the first children to benefit from attending the only Conductive Education school of its kind in Ireland was awarded a gold medal for representing Ireland in swimming and had received a silver medal in the last special Olympics and had kindly apologised from not attending a function with the President of Ireland as he was awarded his certificate in Computer Studies.

EARLY SUPPORTERS  Dr Paisley, john Hume John Taylor    25 years ago

Brendan McConville, Chair and retired Education Officer told the members how Dr Ian Paisley, John Hume and John Taylor and the leaders of the four main churches had become involved in establishing the school which relied on charitable donation for 25 years with no paid fund raisers.  The members were surprised to learn that the Triangle of Hope photograph taken in Dungannon during the worst period in our troubled history was not only singed by the above three supporters by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, First Minister Peter Robinson, David Cameron PM and many others including the late Holy Father John Paul 11.


We received a good inspection report from the Head of Special Education in the  Education and Training Inspectorate.  we are delighted that the Report recognised that the pastoral care of the school is “outstanding” and that it recommends that the fived Education and Library Boards and the Department of Education works in partnership with our school in the interest of children with cerebral palsy.  This is a great endorsement and hopefully officers from Education Boards will now inform parents that our school exists and work with us in helping parents instead of disempowering them by red tape.

We hope that the Education Minister, John O’Dowd will help us find a way of meeting the needs of disabled children and distressed parents who wish to have the option of Conductive Education.


Barbara McCann, expert film maker and TV reporter is helping the Trust to finalise an information video which we should like to present to our Assembly, David Cameron PM and President Obama as we wish to show the generosity of our people  and cross community support for our campaign to help  children severely disabled by motor disorders..



Mr Peter Robinson, First Minister has recently added his  comments of support to those of many others which may be seen on Youtube,

We are hoping that  Mr Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister who know our work will find the time from his busy schedule  to add his comments to enable us to finalise the video which we hope will help us raise funds from some of the US/Irish Foundations

Brendan McConville Chairman of the Trust thanked the members for not only raising the funds but for publicising their efforts as it in turn informed other parents that hope is available in Northern Ireland for children suffering from cerebral palsy.



Brendan praised the Lodge and its members for their Christian act of helping some of the most vulnerable children in Northern Ireland.  “I know that Orange Lodges work quietly to help those in need and tends to shy away from publicity but the generosity shown to the Buddy Bear Trust from many lodges who have raised funds to secure my oil painting of the Gathering at Dan Winters Cottage is something which should be publicised as it shows the other side of Orangism that is usually portrayed in the media.”



Brendan paid a special thanks to the members of  Eglinton Juniors LOL 245 for their help in raising funds to help other boys and girls they don’t know and may never meet.  It is the true measure of a good person, Christian or otherwise  to offer the hand of support and friendship to someone in need regardless of their religion or background.  Please pass on the tradition of caring  given to you by your parents example to others.


I look forward to attending one of the Orange Lodge Concerts to show the video to the community.


Lodges are encouraged to contact the Buddy Bear Trust to obtain their painting. They may also contact the Headquaters of the Orange Lodge in BelfastFurther information may be found

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