Ladies Orange Association of Scotland
As the Orange Order spread throughout Scotland women naturally become associated with the Order through their fathers’, spouses or siblings, membership of the Lodge. They were ardent supporters of the “Orange Cause”, the liberties it sought to maintain, and its fundamental principles. Indeed, since covenanting times, women have played their part in the fight for an open bible and the freedom to worship God as the Bible teaches us to do.
Following the success and growth of the Orange Order throughout Scotland it was only natural that those women who supported the Orange cause would feel that they too should be a part of the organistation. Female Lodges had operated during the time of some of the earlier known Orange and Protestant Bodies. Many women from Scotland even travelled to England and Ireland to join Orange Lodges there.
At the Grand Lodge meeting in November 1909, the first female warrants, working under the auspice of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland were granted. The coveted warrant FLOL No 1 was issued to “Scotland’s First” Ladies Orange Lodge. This Lodge, along with five other Lodges who were also issued warrants at that meeting in 1909, still exist today. These being Ladies Lodge No 2, 3, 6, 7 & 8.
Throughout its illustrious existence, the “Ladies” have been best renowned for their tremendous charitable work. Throughout both World Wars, Ladies Lodges supported our servicemen and women by providing items of clothing and other much needed items for their personal comfort as well as Christmas Gift Boxes, a practice that continues even today.
The Association and its constituent Lodges continue to provide faithful and valuable support to many of our Services Charities. Hospitals, schools, Churches, care homes, youth groups, community activities, local charities and more recently many, national charities have all benefited from the fundraising and good work of the Ladies Orange Association of Scotland. Over the years, the Sisters have raised many hundreds of thousands (possibly in today’s terms millions) of pounds.
Whilst working together as an Association, Orangewomen have made a significant contribution to the success of Orangeism in Scotland. Working alongside their male counterparts they have served on several of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland’s Committees such as the Youth Section, the Public Awareness Committee and the Order’s own Charity, The Scottish Orange Home Fund.
The “Ladies” also take an active role and feature prominently in their local churches and communities.
Women remain ever keen and willing to play their part in supporting and promoting the principles of the Loyal Orange Institution today, just as they were when they were founded.