Loyal Orange Association
Orangemen's Day is July 12th, but it is observed in Newfoundland as a provincial holiday (but not statutory) on the nearest Monday. It commemorates the Battle of the Boyne, which took place in 1690 outside Drogheda, which today is located in the Republic of Ireland. Prince William of Orange (celebrated as King Billy) won the battle against King James VII of Scotland (James II of England & Ireland). He became King William III. All that being said, the Loyal Orange Association was one of several fraternal organizations that flourished on Bell Island during the mining years. It was formed in 1910 by members of the Protestant denominations. In the early years, live theatre performances took place in its "Happy Home Lodge." In 1925, The Prince's Theatre replaced live theatre with moving pictures, which ran there until 1942, when a new Prince's Theatre building opened across the street. The association performed such benevolent work as supplying Christmas dinners to 56 families and fruit and candy to 300 poor children in 1931 during the Great Depression. It is not known when the organization disbanded, but the "Orange Hall" was last listed in the telephone directory in 1978. The first mention of a Bell Island Orange Association parade was noted in the Daily News in 1911: "Happy Home Lodge of the Loyal Orange Association held a parade to St. Boniface Church [at The Front] on June 25 in honour of the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary. The parade lined up 500 strong at the Salvation Army Citadel on Scotia Ridge and paraded to The Front by way of Martin's Road." Many will remember the annual Orangemen's parade, which was led by "King Billy" riding a white horse. The two William Lindsay photos below are c. 1940s-50s, courtesy of A&SC, MUN Library.
The Loyal Orange Association was formed on Bell Island in 1910. Its hall, named the "Happy Home Lodge," was built on Main Street on land donated by Henry Skanes. This Lodge was also often referred to locally as "The Orange Lodge" or "The Orange Hall." (It was listed in the Telephone Directories as "Orange Hall.") On June 23, 1919, the Orange Young Britons (OYB) were organized. They called their lodge the Prince of Wales Lodge. It is not clear if the Prince of Wales Lodge was located in the Happy Home Lodge or if it was a separate building. On June 7, 1923, A.P. Cameron, former manager of the Wabana Nickel Theatre, opened a new theatre called "The People's Theatre" on the ground floor of the Orange Hall. (This was for live theatre performances.) Two years later, on October 15, 1925, The People's Theatre, which had been undergoing renovations, was reopened as The Prince's Theatre (movie theatre) under the management of members of the L.O.A. The little girls in the photo below are standing in front of the doors to the theatre which are to the right of the Hall's main entrance. The movie theatre was named for the Prince of Wales. In 1929, the Prince's Theatre, which was still located in the Orange Lodge and under the management of member W.J. Somerton, installed a second moving picture to give a continuous show. The theatre was closed on Nov. 28, 1931 in order to install talking pictures. It reopened on March 10, 1932 with sound pictures. A modern sound system was installed on January 21, 1939. The Prince's Theatre vacated the Happy Home Lodge c.1941/42 when its new building was erected across the street. The "Orange Hall" was last listed in the Telephone Directory for 1978. The building is still standing in 2019. In the 1928 photo of the Orange Hall below the Prince's Theatre was only about 3 years old. Photo courtesy of A&SC, MUN Library.
The photo below is of the same building c.1970s showing a remodelled roofline and facade, and displaying the lodge's name and branch number, courtesy of Gerald Purcell.
The photo below from 2013 shows the Town Square mural which was painted in 1991-92, courtesy of Bonnie Wellman.
The Prince's Theatre was owned by the Loyal Orange Association and was named for the Prince of Wales. A separate building for the Prince's Theatre was constructed c. 1941/42 opposite the Happy Home Lodge/Orange Hall. The plans for the building were drawn up by Reginald Taylor, DOSCO Engineer. The theatre ceased operation about 1966, the last year it is listed in the Telephone Directory. The building is still standing in 2019. The photo below is by Phonse Hawco, c.1963-64, courtesy of Helena Hawco-Highmore. (The poster in the office window is for the John Wayne movie "Donovan's Reef," which was released in June 1963.)
The photo below shows the boarded up Prince's Theatre building in June 2013. Bonnie Wellman photo.