The Herald – 1878.07.13 - The Twelfth - #21
It is a matter for profound congratulation that the Orange society of this province has had the good sense not to obtrude its gaudy parade on the attention of those who, very justly, feel insulted at such a proceeding. The Orange body in this province is in itself insignificant, and if left severely to itself will rapidly wither and decay. The present real strength, not on paper, can easily be learned by any one curious in such matters by giving a little attention to the number, character and position of the lively gentlemen who attach half a dozen letters of the alphabet to their names and march displaying a large amount of orange or yellow ribbon, to their own delight and that of their lady friends who deck them out so brightly. These men, we repeat, can do little harm of themselves. It is only when they meet with opposition that there is real danger. If they are permitted to lay the role of martyrs, if they are attacked in public processions, or annoyed in their private lodges by their opponents then they may become really dangerous. It is, therefore, the plain duty of all well-disposed citizens to let the Orangemen alone, and in this way their power for evil will be considerably lessened. Two years ago when this society, under the leadership of the Ex-Hon. E. Willis, G. M., &c., &c., persisted in marching through a part of the city where their presence was particularly offensive, only the good sense and good humor of our citizens, and particularly of those residing in the quarter referred to, saved St. John from bloodshed and riot and all [uncharitableness]. Even when waited upon by a number of our most respected and respectable fellow-citizens, the Orangemen, who should be slow to give or to take offence, despised all warnings and petitions, and walked in defiance of public opinion, except that small portion of it represented by five or six hundred of the Orange hue. The experience of that day, the utter want of strength and importance manifested by the display has, no doubt, had a [marvellous] effect in keeping our Orange friends from making a show of themselves at St. Stephen this year. Our readers will remember that this procession should have taken place in St. Stephen last year, but was postponed on account of the great fire. It is this year “postponed” without a definite reason. Perhaps it will be delayed until the next local elections take place, although even as a political power Orangeism, as was proved in the last local contest, is dead. So little respect had the King-Kelly government for the Orange body that the Grand Master was obliged to step down and out, and this without bringing any very marked punishment on that Government, which afterwards pursued the even tenor of its course to the end. Such facts as those we refer to should be sufficient to convince our local statesmen that no great strength is to be gained politically by connexion with this body, and the sooner they leave it the better for themselves and the country. Why should any set of men bring into this free and prosperous country recollections of old-time feuds, souvenirs of deeds of shame for their common country and for themselves? Why will Irishmen in particular quarrel with his brother Irishmen over the outcome of battles and broils with which we in this Dominion have nothing to do? The sooner a different spirit is manifested by [partizans] of Orange and Green the better for the whole country and for the peace of the whole people. If anything should prevent Canadians from making for this Dominion a glorious place in the annals of the new world it certainly would be the growth and expansion of secret societies, of bodies bonded together for purposes which cannot be known to the whole people, and, which, as they cannot bear the light of day, must be looked upon with distrust and suspicion by all right-thinking men. We hope the day is not far distant when Orangeism and Freemasonary, twin omens of evil for this Canada of ours, will be forever banished from our midst.