Orange Order in Togo
Imperial Germany came late to the “Scramble for Africa”, wherein european powers took control of most of the African continent. Germany’s great statesman Otto von Bismarck saw Germany’s future as being that of a major force in europe, and he was sceptical about the value of acquiring overseas territories. As German power grew following the victory over France in the Franco-Prussian War, popular opinion demanded that Germany acquire colonies to show that the nation was now on a par with the other european countries. Reluctantly, Bismarck began to sanction the acquisition of colonies.
In 1884, Germany acquired the coastal region of Togo and declared a protectorate, that of Togoland. The Germans began to extend their power further inland and developed the country’s economy and infrastructure. On the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the Germans had a very powerful radio station at Kamina, which was part of the German Empire’s worldwide communications network. The Germans had approximately 300 European and 1,200 local troops. The Acting-Governor, Major Hans-Georg von Döring, understood the weakness of his position and proposed that the europeans declare West Africa a neutral zone, but this was emphatically rejected by the Allies.
On the outbreak of war both the Governor of the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and the Commanding Officer of the Gold Coast Regiment were both on leave in the United Kingdom. Their understudies were a Mr W C F Robinson as Acting-Governor and Captain Frederick Carkeet Bryant, RA. These two, acting largely on their own initiative, immediately went into action. On 6th August 1914 Captain Barker went to Lome, the capital of Togoland, to demand that the colony surrender within 24 hours. In the meantime Bryant was assembling columns at Ada, near the coast, British-Krachi, and Gambaga, in the north-west. The Colonial Office in London at first gave orders not to proceed but, after intercepting German communications saying that von Döring was preparing to fall back into the interior, they immediately changed their minds and ordered Bryant to invade Togoland, capture Lome, and advance on the radio station at Kamina.
By 7th August the French had 28 officers, 450 African Tirailleurs, and two artillery pieces ready to invade eastern Togoland from Cheti, and 500 irregular cavalry with some infantry gathering at Ouagadougou ready to invade north-west Togoland.
Another French force was gathered at Grand Popo on the coast and, in the evening of 7th August, they crossed the frontier and moved on Anecho. When Captain Barker returned to Lome he received the surrender of a 120-mile coastal belt. Bryant went to Lome and gathered a force of 23 British troops and 537 Africans, accompanied by 2,000 porters and 34 “civilian experts”.
On 12th August RSM Alhaji Grunshi fired on a retreating German rearguard, and these shots are believed to be the first fired by an Empire soldier in the First World War. The next day Bryant’s force set off north, heading for Kamina. The column at British Krachi crossed the frontier, led by Captain P E L Elgee, to approach Kamina from another direction. The Germans sent two trains of troops southward to oppose Bryant, but they were defeated at the Battle of Agbeluvhoe where the German commander, Captain Georg Pfähler, was killed.
Bryant’s column reached Nuatja, and was reinforced by 158 Tirailleurs at Abilafoe.
On 21st August Bryant reached the Khra River, where he found the bridge blown and the Germans in a strongly fortified position with machine-gun support. Bryant reconnoitred the position and on the next day he sent in his attack.
At 1130 hours he sent a column of two companies to mount a frontal attack, simultaneously moving around the German left flank, while another force of one and a half companies with three light guns held the front while attempting to work around the German right. The German machine-guns were very active all day and, as dusk fell, fighting died down. The Allies had made no progress and had suffered 21 killed and 54 other casualties.
The Germans, however, were aware of the approach of the French column from Cheti, commanded by Maroix, towards their left rear, and they withdrew north. Bryant took two days to regroup his force, and he brought Elgee’s column in from the west before setting off in pursuit. On 25th August the Germans blew up the radio station at Kamina and asked for terms of surrender. They were told that only unconditional surrender would be accepted and to this they agreed on the 26th. Bryant sent a signal to the Colonial Office, “I have the honour to inform you that Togoland surrendered unconditionally to me today. I occupy Kamina at 0800 tomorrow.”
French troops led by Maroix and British troops led by Captain Elgee occupied Kamina. They took 260 German prisoners and much war material, including three Maxim guns, 1,000 rifles and 320,000 rounds of ammunition.
One of the casualties at the Battle of the Khra was Lieutenant George Masterman Thompson of the Royal Scots. He was the first British officer to be killed in the First World War. At the time of his death he was leading a mixed force from the Gold Coast Regiment and Captain Castaing’s Senegalese in an attack on the German east flank. Lieutenant Guillemart of the French Colonial Infantry was killed with him, along with thirteen of the African troops, mostly Senegalese. This was why, on 20th October 1914, a Special French Army Order was published commending his gallantry and the fine example he set for the men under his command. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palms. He is buried in the Commonwealth War Cemetery at Wahala near Atakpame, where his grave is the only one in Togo to be cared for by the CWGC.
In the Grand Lodge Report for 1915 the Grand Secretary, Rev Louis Ewart, wrote, -
I have arranged to form a lodge in Togo Land, that part of the world which, until recently, was known as the German Protectorate, West Africa; but now, Germany having been driven out and the British flag planted, it is known as British West Africa. Our lodge will be opened at Lome on the Gold Coast. It is extraordinary that, immediately the British flag is unfurled on the Slave Coast, the natives should ask for a Warrant from the Orange Institution. This Grand Lodge wishes them God speed and every success.
The first Orange Lodge in Togo was LOL 867, “Defenders of Lome”, which first appeared in the Lodge Directory of 1915 and, in 1916, was shown as meeting at Charity House, 28 Adjale Street, Lome, which was its meeting place for the first years of its existence.
For some years the provenance of the Togo lodges was uncertain. Some guessed that they had been founded by soldiers, others thought that missionaries had been the originators. Detailed research on this subject by Dr Rachel Naylor has gone a long way towards answering these questions. Dr Naylor has established that Lome Defenders of the Truth LOL 867 was founded largely by the efforts of one man, John Amate Atayi, who was a member of Lagos Fine Blues LOL 801. In the Grand Lodge of England’s Report Book for 1910 this lodge was shown as meeting in the Oddfellows Hall in Lagos. Brother Atayi is said to have received much help and encouragement from Brother A T Faro Williams of LOL 801.
Dr Naylor says that Brother Atayi first learned about the Orange Order from British newspapers and wrote to the Grand Orange Lodge of England to ask how to set up a lodge. They referred him to the lodge in Lagos, where he was initiated, which suggests that LOL 801 must have been active by that time. Speculating on what attracted Brother Atayi to the Orange Order, Dr Naylor says -
Atayi was a member of a well-educated, Christian, English-speaking and Anglophile class involved in overseas trade, including with British companies, and proactive about making international connections and participating in many aspects of bourgeois British culture, from debating and literary societies to fraternities. This class tended to send their children to school in the Gold Coast (the colonial name for the southern part of Ghana) and even within the British Isles.
Dr Naylor then describes the Anglophile social milieu of men like Brother Atayi, -
What, then, might have been the attraction of Orangeism to early Togolese members, aside from its association with British society and culture? Apart from the religious elements of Orangeism, which are likely to have proved attractive to Togolese members of Protestant mission churches, economic and political advantages may have been foreseen in membership. As well as providing a local network for mutual support, international fraternal links may have been seen as a route to improving or cementing overseas trading relationships.
Today the default view of Britain is the one propagated by the self-loathing bien pensants of the left-liberal media. In 1915 things were very different. Then, the British were an outgoing and confidant people convinced of the values of the civilization they had developed over many centuries. British values seemed to work, and were adopted by many other people all over the world, and not only those who had settled in the Dominions. John Atayi was only one amongst millions who appreciated the advantages to be obtained from the progressive and enlightened values of Britain, and were eager to avail themselves of the opportunities afforded by the great project that was the British Empire.
The Orange Order, in its several jurisdictions, was almost the incarnation of these values, operated by a constitutional monarchy in a parliamentary democracy, with a commitment to the freedoms won at the Glorious Revolution and enshrined in the Bill of Rights, underpinned by the possession of the Bible in the common tongue with the right of interpreting it for oneself. It is, therefore, no wonder that men like John Atayi were eager to identify with this great civilization, but that so many of our fellow-countrymen of recent years have been prepared to let it go.
LOL 867 was founded on 3rd September 1915. John Atayi was the first Worshipful Master of the lodge, and his address is also 28 Adjale Street, Lome. The Secretary in 1915 is R G De Lima, but the following year W A Atayi is Secretary and living at 28 Adjale Street. In the 1919 Lodge Directory the Secretary is W Quartey, living at Kingsway, Lome. The lodge keeps the same meeting place, with John Atayi as Master and W Quartey as Secretary until 1923. In that year the Worshipful Master is Christian C Tamakloe, living at Sangers Street, Lome, and the Secretary is Charles B Adawleagbe, living on Amutive Street, Lome. No place of meeting is identified.
In the Directory for 1919 a second lodge, LOL 884, “Palime Heroes” appears. The Palime lodge consisted of Africans from the professional classes, and 14 candidates initiated at the first lodge meeting in 1918. The Worshipful Master is given as Augustus G de Souza and the Secretary as Clemence A Lumor, both of Palime. These brethren are the only officers shown for this lodge.
At the conclusion of the War the Togolese were anxious about the possibility that their land would be handed back to their former German masters. The Grand Orange Lodge of England passed a formal resolution at the Grand Lodge sessions of 1918 that this should not be so, and forwarded this to the Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour.
In the Grand Lodge Report for 1919 Ewart made reference to the disposition of former German colonies, - In connection with the final settlement of the former German Colonies, I am glad to be able to report that the Foreign Secretary, to whom we sent a Resolution, passed at Grand Lodge last July, stated in the House of Commons on 8th August that he was opposed to giving the German Colonies in Africa back to Germany, and to handing back to Turkey the Arab regions wrested from her without the consent of the populations of those countries. Our Brethren in Togoland, West Africa, will be glad to know that our efforts on their behalf, in answer to their touching appeal to their Brethren in Great Britain, have been successful.
The Treaty of Versailles, which was ratified on 20th July 1922, classed Togoland as a League of Nations Class B Mandate. The former German colony had already been divided into a French sphere and a British sphere, and this division became formalised, with the respective territories becoming known as French Togoland and British Togoland.
The Grand Orange Lodge of England, being a resolutely Protestant body, was concerned that the Roman Catholic Church would exercise an undue influence in the affairs of French Togoland, and received assurances from the League of Nations that Class B Mandates were arranged on the basis that the Mandatory Power “… must be responsible for the administration of the territory under conditions which will guarantee freedom of conscience and religion.”
Nevertheless, the Grand Orange Lodge of England kept a watching brief on events in French Togoland and in 1922 approached the League of Nations again to report cruelty and abuse by the French authorities. The French government investigated, some of the French administrators were recalled to metropolitan France, and conditions improved.
The tribal chiefs of French Togoland had formed their own Vigilance Committee to make representations on their own behalf, and this was recognised by the League of Nations. This Committee elected Reverend Louis A Ewart, the Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of England, as its President, naming him Chief Gbefa (meaning “Freedom of Life”), to represent Togoland at all international conferences of The League of Nations. The Chiefs included a Chief Atayi, who was almost certainly the John Atayi who had first raised the Orange banner in Togo years before. Does this indicate that Brother Atayi was Togolese in origin, or was his membership of the Committee on an honorary basis, as was that of Ewart ?
By the end of the 1920’s both LOL 867 and 884 cease to be returned. Either the lodges went dormant or communication was lost. LOL 891 “Pride of Keta” may have begun its existence as a Togo lodge, but with the redrawing of the national boundaries Keta became part of Ghana both in a political and an Orange sense. It was LOL 891 that carried the Orange flame for many years and, being on the boundary between Ghana and Togo, it was a place where brethren from both countries could attend lodge meetings.
LOL 891 begins to appear again in Grand Lodge Directories about 1952. For that year and 1953 the Worshipful Master and Secretary of this Ghana lodge are respectively Bro T K Bossman and F A Amenyah, both shown as residing in Togo. In December 1959 “Defenders of Truth” LOL 867 was revived, meeting at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Hall in Lome. A A Acolatse is Worshipful Master and his Secretary is Bro C A Cole of 55 Odunfa Street, Lagos. This may indicate that the revival of the Orange Order in Togo was helped along by neighbouring jurisdictions. The following year, F A Amenyah is Worshipful Master, living at 16 Rue de la Gare, Lome, and his Secretary is Brother E Essien. Brother Essien was to go on to become one of the best-known of Togolese Orangemen.
In 1963 a ladies lodge is shown in Togo. This is “Morning Star” LLOL 161, meeting at the Evangelical Presbyterian Mission Hall, with Sister Ametewee as Worshipful Mistress and Sister P Sarwee as Secretary.
The process of de-colonisation began in the 1950’s and Ghana gained independence from Britain while Togo gained independence from France. Togo has retained close
political and cultural ties with France, so that Roman Catholicism is the largest Christian denomination in the country, but Dr Naylor said that, “The only surviving lodge minute book that I have come across from the period (from Atakpamé) is written entirely in English. Some of the lodges began to conduct their meetings in French and others, particularly the ladies’ lodges, used the Ewe language. The Ewe are an ethnic group numbering several millions who are spread along the coast of west Africa from Ghana in the west, through Togo and Benin, and into the western part of Nigeria. Ewe is also the language of these peoples, but the dialects can vary to a large extent. The Orange men and women of West Africa are very largely drawn from the Ewe.
The lodges in West Africa began to thrive. From their inception these lodges were under the Grand Orange Lodge of England. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s they were under the oversight of the City of London District but were transferred to the Wirral District in the late 50’s. Soon after, Ghana got its own District Lodge, Number 52, and the Togo lodges came under this. In 1963 the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Africa (number 15) was established and District 52 was included in this. By 1966 Ghana was granted a Provincial Grand Lodge of its own (number 16). By 1976, Togo was judged to be able to support its own District Lodge, number 72, within the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ghana. District Lodge Number 72 included Defenders of Lome LOL 867, LLOL 161, Paix et Harmonie LOL1023, and La Paix de Dieu JLOL519. On Saturday 2nd July 1977 a new Ladies Lodge named La Cite de Dieu (The City of God) LLOL was inaugurated in the Presbyterian School Hall, 33 Rue Aniko Palako, Lome. Eventually there were a dozen lodges in Togo.
The Orange brethren and sisters in Togo raised their profile by holding a thanksgiving service and parade at the opening of new lodges. The participation of brass bands was a notable feature and, in 1979, Rev Pasteur Y S Ahluivi Lawson preached at one such service. Not only was he President and Superintendent-General of the District of Togo, Eglise Methodiste du Togo, but he was also Provincial Grand Chaplain of the Togo Provincial Grand Lodge.
Togo got its own Grand Lodge in 1983, and Brother Rev Martin Smyth visited the country to help set it up. He wrote an account of his visit which appeared in the April 1983 edition of the Orange Standard of Ireland. He travelled over much of the southern part of the country but was unable to get to the north. He spoke at two churches in Lome – Salem Methodist and Afegamey Evangelical Presbyterian – and also addressed the Evangelical Synod meeting at Badou. He visited lodges where French and Ewe were both used, and he found that lodge meetings were enlivened by the singing of hymns of praise and devotion.
The Grand Lodge of Togo held its second annual meeting on the 14th July 1984 at the Orange House in Victoria Hall, Lome and submitted a report to the Orange Standard of Ireland which identified the newly elected and re-elected officers as –
GRAND LODGE OFFICERS 1984-1985
Grand Master MW Bro E K Aboki Essien
Deputy Grand Master RW Bro E K T Odonkor
Grand Chaplain RW Bro K K O Rhodes
Grand Treasurer RW Bro G A d’Almeida
Grand Secretary RW Bro F K Fiase
Grand Superintendent of Juveniles RW Bro Dr M K Attoh-Mensah
Grand Lecturer RW Bro G K Agbenu
Grand Director of Ceremonies RW Bro D D Barrigah
Grand Legal Advisor RW Bro F S Gaba
Grand Auditor RW Bro D D Barrigah
LADIES GRAND COUNCIL
Grand Mistress VW Sis Emily Odonkor
Deputy Grand Mistress RW Sis Vincentia Anthony
Grand Chaplain RW Sis Augusta Gaba
Grand Treasurer RW Sis Isabelle Attoh-Mensah
Grand Secretary RW Sis Peace Sanvee
Grand Superintendent of Juveniles RW Sis Henriette Lawson
Grand Lecturer RW Sis Ellen Ametewee
Grand Director of Ceremonies RW Sis Ellen Fabre
Grand Inner Guard RW Sis Yohana Fumey
Grand Outer Guard RW Sis Rita Fiawoo
HONORARY GRAND OFFICERS
Honorary Grand Officers were appointed from other Orange Jurisdictions. The names will be communicated later.
The Grand Lodge also gave the following outline of its activities -
The Grand Lodge endorses the plans for the Executive regarding the spread of the Protestant Faith in various regions. These include assistance to people who need our aid.
The Ladies Grand Committee was requested to contact all the parents of the youth during this vacation season and to plan free distribution of school materials to members.
The Grand Lodge urge the Executive to draw up a three year development plan to include a membership drive and the opening of new lodges.
The Grand Secretary was appointed to chair a committee responsible for arranging the delegation to Belfast and drafting at the proper time the report to the Imperial Grand Secretary.
FINANCIAL AND MORAL SUPPORT
The financial and moral support from MW Bro Martin Smyth and the Grand Lodge of Victoria were noted with gratitude.
ORANGE ASSOCIATION OF WEST AFRICA
Since the Grand Lodge of Ghana is not yet operative, the idea of Federation of Grand Lodges of Ghana and Togo is still in suspense.
The border being now open, the Grand Lodge recommends that regular lodge co-operation be established with Ghana as soon as restrictions on Lodges are lifted and full lodge activities are resumed there.
Many other important decisions were taken at the meeting which will be implemented after due contacts with the interested quarters.
The Togo members were indeed active in their communities. In April 1984 they had visited a village which had suffered from bush fires and distributed clothing and other articles to 302 people. This was followed up in September by a similar exercise in another village. They had distributed copies of the Ewe New Testament, and two brothers organised a small congregation at Baguida. They had also observed the Martin Luther Anniversary.
In August 1985 an Ulster Orangeman, Brother Kenneth Liggett of Poyntzpass, a member of Acton LOL 254, travelled to Togo with his wife, Helen, on a business trip. He attended a meeting in Lome of Lome Defenders of the Truth LOL 1. The business was conducted in English, French, and Ewe. Bro Liggett was greatly impressed. The members wore dinner jackets and the ladies wore white frocks. This led to a plan to raise £7,500 in Ireland to donate to Togo to purchase a bus.
Brother Liggett returned to Togo in January and February 1986. This time he was accompanied by W.Bro W C Moody, MBE, JP, a Deputy Grand Master of Ireland. Bro Moody was a very experienced Orangeman, having travelled to many parts of the world and attended Orange meetings. He attended meetings of Male, Female and Juvenile Lodges and also religious services – 15 meetings in all, and was very impressed by what he saw in Togo, particularly by the calibre of the membership, which included judges, university professors, tribal chiefs and businessmen.
The celebration of the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne was held in Lome on Saturday, 12th July 1986, in the House of Orange in Victoria Hall, immediately after the close of the Grand Lodge of Togo sessions for that year. The ceremony was conducted by RW Bro Dr Attoh-Mensah, the Grand Chaplain, assisted by RW Bro F K Fiase, the Deputy Grand Master. MW Bro Aboki Essien, the Grand Master of Togo, recounted chronologically the important events which ended with the Battle of the Boyne, and stressed that the battle was a symbol of the confirmation of the Protestant faith. Later in the proceedings, special prayers were said for the progress of the Imperial Orange Council; for the advancement of the Protestant religion in the world; for the security, peace and stability of Ulster, and for the Orange Association
of Togo. At the close of the ceremonies the members retired for light refreshments, after which photographs of the officers were taken by the various groups in attendance.
Orange activities continued to be well covered in the pages of the Orange Standard of Ireland. Pictures of a parade and church service which had been held on 6th November 1988 were included, as were pictures of a visit by 40 Lome Juveniles/Juniors to Aneho, where they visited the Methodist Church and were welcomed by Chief Lawson VII, Paramount Chief of Aneho. In the April 1992 edition a photograph showed members of “Esperance et Charite” LOL 4, Grand Mistress Sister E Odonkor, and Grand Lodge Officers with Chief Fio Assiakole IV.
The fund-raising efforts of the Orangemen of Ireland bore rich fruit when, on 10th July 1989 the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland took delivery of a Mercedes Benz bus to be donated to Togo. At the annual sessions of the Grand Lodge of Togo on Saturday, July 14th, the “Togo Ulster Orange bus” was suitably dedicated. The part played in this by W.Bro W C Moody was duly remembered when, at a Thanksgiving Service at the Methodist Temple on Sunday, July 15th, tribute was paid to this recently-departed brother.
At the 1994 sessions of the Imperial Orange Council, Brother Emanuel Aboki Essien was elected Imperial Grand President. He was born in Koenu in Togo and was a Manager of Mobile Oil in Togo. He had 6 daughters, 1 son, 16 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. He had joined LOL 891 in Ghana on 18th July 1953 and later became a member of LOL 867. He was associated with both the Methodist and Evangelical Presbyterian churches for a number of years, and in 1985 he was elected Vice-Chairman of the Evangelism Committee of the Togo Presbyterian Church and was Choirmaster of his church. Attaining the office of Imperial Grand President was an honour not only for the Brother concerned but also for the jurisdiction he represented with such distinction. Brother Essien died on Saturday 28th September 2004 at the age of 87.
In 2006 the Grand Lodge of Ireland commenced a project to raise £30,000 for a replacement minibus for Togo. Amongst other contributions, the County Grand Lodge of Antrim donated £5,000 and the County Grand Lodge of Armagh £2,500. The Grand Master of Ireland, MW Bro Robert Saulters, organised a pageant at the Ballymena Showgrounds which included a re-enactment; massed bands; Gospel singing; Highland dancers; and children’s entertainment. Eventually the Irish brethren raised £45,000 and were able to despatch the bus in September 2007. They also sent computers, wheelchairs and medical supplies.
The following year the Standard carried an account from a Mr Frank Spears, of Augusta Georgia, who was working in a medical and eyeglass team in conjunction with Kipuke Ministries in Lome.
We travelled from the capital to Kara, where we worked in small villages. Over two thousand very needy people were treated by our team of three physicians or received eyeglasses from our vision
team, but none of that would have been possible without the use of your vehicle. After seeing your plaque on the inside of the van we
just wanted to thank you and let you know what a valuable tool you have made available for mission teams to Togo.
In 2007, Dr Andre Kodja Tagayi was elected the new Grand Master. He had joined the Orange Order in 1994 and was a Past Master of LOL 2. He was appointed Grand Chaplain in 2000 and Grand Lecturer in 2002, and in 2005 he became Deputy Grand Master. He is a surgeon and was described as enjoying reading, music and sport, his favourite being table tennis. The following year he was re-elected unanimously, and Brother William Anthony, a former Grand Secretary, was re-elected as Deputy Grand Master. Brother Foli Bruce was re-elected Grand Secretary. Brother Bruce was born in 1970 in Aneho and was educated at the University of Benin. He joined Wisdom and Intelligence Lodge No 7 in Lome.
In recent years the political and economic situation in Togo has been difficult, and the brothers and sisters in that country have been affected just like everyone else. As early as 1995 the Grand Lodge of Togo had sent out an appeal for assistance, explaining that a deteriorating political situation since 1990 had meant that the Grand Lodge of Togo could not meet all the demands on its humanitarian assistance without the support of other jurisdictions. The members in Togo remain undaunted, however, and a recent writer told of witnessing an Orange Parade eighty strong by the local lodge in Atakpame.
The situation even forced Brother Foli Bruce to leave Togo and seek asylum in England. A sovereign God, however, will often overrule in situations such as this. Brother Foli has remained an active Orangeman even though removed from his native land, and he will prove to be an asset to our Order in whatever country he resides.
In conclusion, I would like to add a personal note. During my time as Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of England I attended several tri-jurisdictional meetings of the three Grand Lodges of Ireland, England, and Scotland. At one of these I brought up the subject of West Africa. At that time the state of Liberia had collapsed into anarchy and its neighbour Sierra Leone was suffering from the overspill effect of this war and seemed to be heading the same way. Other countries in the region, hitherto seen as stable, such as the Cote d’Ivoire, were also threatened. It seemed to be only a matter of time before Ghana and Togo, countries where our brothers and sisters were living, would be similarly threatened.
I put it to the meeting that the three Grand Lodges should write jointly to the British Government to ask that every means be used to stop this disintegration, not excluding the use of military force. The meeting asked me to write the letter, which I did, and I sent it to the British Government as requested. Shortly after the British Army did indeed intervene in the conflict in Sierra Leone, and to excellent effect. In a very short time the rebels were defeated and the rot was not only stopped but reversed. I do not claim that this action was taken as a result of our letter, but I can say that the one followed the other.
Lastly, I would like to pay tribute to Doctor Rachel Naylor, who has done such valuable work on the Orange Order in West Africa. Anyone who approaches this subject in future will be following the trail that she first struck. I certainly have.
Historian, Grand Orange Lodge of England
31st March 2014