Lattery Purple Heroes is the “town” Lodge within Markethill District, meeting in the Orange Hall at Main Street, Markethill.
The warrant was operating in the year 1798, being held by the Armagh Regiment, with the Worshipful Master a Sergeant McDowell, and a membership of 107. In 1823, it was renewed to Markethill District, the Worshipful Master being Robert Black.
The Register of 1856 shows that the Lodge was meeting in the townland of Lattery, about one and a half miles from Markethill, the Worshipful Master now being Matthew Black. In 1875, the WM was James Black, and this is confirmed in the 1891 Register.
The first banner was purchased on 22 June 1907 from William Bridgett of Great Victoria Street, Belfast, at a cost of 17 7s 0d; incidentally, Bro Bridgett was a native of the Markethill area.
Lattrey Lodge moved around quite a lot; from its original place of meeting at Lattery it moved to the town of Markethill, holding meetings for a period in the District Hall, then moving to Kilcluney Orange Hall during the war years of 1938 to 1946, moving again to the late Bro John Clark’s rooms at Main Street, Markethill.
During this period the W.M. was the late Bro Robert Millar, who was a leading figure in Markethill Royal Black District Chapter No 3, also County Grand Treasurer of County Armagh Grand Black Chapter. He was also a member of Tandragee Rural District Council, a Justice of the Peace and a very staunch Presbyterian, worshipping regularly at the local church.
The late Bro Millar passed on during 1943 and in his will he bequeathed to the Lodge a dwelling at Mallagh’s Terrace for use as an Orange Hall. This was used for a few years then sold off, the Lodge moving back to the District Hall at Main Street. In 1961, the District Lodge proposed disposing of their Hall and Lattery Lodge purchased the same, on the provision that the District Lodge hold their quarterly meetings in the said premises.
The second banner was purchased by the Lodge in June 1931 at a cost of 27 15s 0d, and it remained in use until June 1958 when the next one was obtained, showing the Landing of William at Carrickfergus and on the reverse, the Martyrdom of Latimer and Ridley.
The current banner was unfurled on 8 July 1993 by the late Bro Alfred Lockhart, the most senior member of the Lodge, and dedicated by Wor Bro Rev William Bingham, District Chaplain. It depicts the scenes as on previous banners.
For several years, LOL 222 was accompanied by Lambeg Drums and indeed on a number of occasions by a fifer. The Lodge has had the services of Markethill Pipe Band since the late 1930s on the ’12th‘ and other parades.
The Lodge has a number of Brethren who have over 50 years service and a number of young Brethren, giving a blend of youth and experience.
The Lodge has not escaped the ravages of Republican terrorism, having sustained the murder by the IRA of Bro Mervyn Robinson, who was a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, on 2 May 1981, and this brief account of the Lodge history is dedicated by the members to his memory.