Orillia's oldest Fraternity
It seems very fitting that we set out a chair of honour, not only for
those who laid down their lives for us in conflicts of the past, but
also for those serving today as well. Orange Lodges, especially here in
Canada, have deep military roots. Many Canadian Orangemen have served
their Monarch, fighting in famous battles such as Vimy Ridge, and others
in lesser known conflicts and some fighting here on Canadian soil to
keep our Country Canadian.
We have placed our Empty chair in our Lodge, between the Worshipful Master and the altar. Our reasoning behind this, stems from the fact that since some of our soldiers have paid the supreme sacrifice for our defence and freedom, that we should honour them by setting the chair, in their memory, where no one else is allowed to be during an open meeting.
We have intentionally adorned our Empty Chair with the 1957 version of the Dominion Red Ensign. Our reason for doing this is explained below.
The Empty Chair Explained
First of all, other than the Union Flag of Great Britain, the Dominion Red Ensign has served as our Country’s flag, (at times both officially and un-officially) since 1868 and the vast majority of Canadian Soldiers have fought under it’s protective folds. Secondly, the 1957 Dominion Red Ensign also incorporates the Red Maple leaf in it’s design and so ties itself very adequately to our Soldiers who are protecting us today.
The drawn sword is representative of a Soldier both past and present. In days of old, it was one of a Soldiers primary weapons, used in offence and defence. Today it is used for the most part, in Military services or ceremonies. By it’s brightness it is an emblem of Faith, by its point it is an emblem of Hope and by its guard, it is an emblem of Charity.
Lastly, the chair is adorned with Orange regalia, for we know that in all Canadian conflicts of the past, tens of thousands of Orangemen have fought to protect our Freedom and Country. Many of them, were killed in action, never to return home again. We are very proud to have had such brave men in our Organization.
Beside our Empty Chair proudly stands a service record of Orange Lodge members, of Orillia and surrounding area, who served for King and Country during WWII.
The following list, gives one the bigger picture, as to just how involved Canadian Orangemen have been in our Country’s Military History.
The War of 1812
The Upper Canada Rebellion
The Battle of the Windmill
Repelling of American Hunter Lodges (to learn about the Patriot Hunters, visit
our Support our Soldiers page and read the Upper Canada Rebellion section).
The American Fenian Raids
The Northwest Rebellion
The Boer War
World War I
World War II
Orangemen have also been in active Military Service and have taken part in several Canadian United Nations Peace Keeping Missions that are not included in this list. Orangemen also fought in the Crimean War, but our Lodge here personally have not been able to link any Canadian Orangemen to this conflict. If proof becomes available that there was Canadian Orangemen in the Crimean War, we will gladly add it to our list.
Please visit our "Support
our Soldiers" page.