On Tuesday, 3rd January the Hiking for Little Heroes group made their own little bit of Orange history by holding a Lodge meeting on Mount Kilimanjaro.
However, the group of Orangemen hadn’t gone to the trouble of climbing the highest mountain in Africa – the highest single free-standing mountain above sea
level in the world – for a meeting.
No. This was all done in the name of charity.
After a journey of 70km and climbing 5,895 metres, the 24-strong group made it to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and in the process raised more than £279,000 for Angel Wishes, The Children’s Cancer Unit, Cancer Fund for Children and B Positive.
The news of their successful climb was announced on Facebook. Indeed, the social media platform was used regularly by the group to update those back home eager to keep an eye on progress.
Bro. Stuart Magill, pictured top right, a member of LOL 20 in Banbridge who played a central role in planning the climb, said: “It was tough. From the start to the top of Kilimanjaro you went through about five different climates from rain forest to ice and snow at the top. I’m just proud that all 24 of us made it to the top. “How ever tough it was it’s nothing compared to the kids who have to go through treatments like chemotherapy.”
Bro. Magill described the entire trip as “emotional” with all those taking part remembering young Adam Watson whose battle with Leukaemia had inspired their fund raising efforts. He reflected: “It’s been a turbulent year with losing Adam and it was certainly emotional when we set off with Adam very much in our hearts.”
Indeed it was an inspirational message from Adam’s mum, Sara, read to the Brethren before the final leg of the journey which helped give everyone a boost.
The Grand Master Most Wor. Bro Edward Stevenson congratulated all of the brethren who completed the climb. He said: “On behalf of myself, the senior officers and all members of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland I offer our congratulations to the brethren who successfully completed their climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. “I, along with a great many others, followed their progress and I am delighted all their hard work has paid off.”
The climb had been delayed by 12 months due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Ahead of the group leaving, a special warrant was issued by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland permitting ‘No Surrender’ LOL 20 to hold a Lodge meeting at Barafu Camp, Mount Kilimanjaro in the United Republic of Tanzania.
The lodge meeting is believed to be a record breaker given the height above see level that it took place.
Furthermore, it was the firstLodge meeting held in Africa with a Warrant issued under thejurisdiction of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.
If you would like to support the Brethren’s fundraising work you can do so at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kilimanjaroni
Source: The Orange Standard Feb 2023