Dear Belfast Newsletter,
By the time youse read this letter we will have drawn the curtain on that most hallowed time of the year - the marching season. At this stage only the Royal Black Preceptory's special day out - Black Saturday - remains, and as usual I have perused the pages of this fine newspaper to locate the various parades. I thus note that the Sir Knights (a bit of tautology there perhaps?) of Co Down are assembling in Banbridge, for what will surely be a most auspicious parade.
However I also note an event clash of epic proportions in that County for on the same day there is a Big Jessie event thing in Newry - namely their Gay Pride Festival.
"This cannot be right", thunk I. "What of the Sir Knight who plays for the other team and wishes to join in the festivities of Newry? And what of those folk at Newry Pride who accept that oranges are not the only fruit, and would like to enjoy the parade in Banbridge?"
This is clearly an oversight on the part of the organisers of each event, and a clash that should be avoided in future years. However it has a occurred to me that we should treat this as an opportunity rather than as a problem. For why shouldn't the two groups sit down and come up with a combined event in Newry City in 2014? The benefits for each side are manifold, as I shall detail below:
- The Loyal Orders get to hold a parade in Newry - by now a mainly Nationalist town full of the other surt.
- The Shinners and their puppet resident's groups can't object for they like to let on they're all into the Gays, and wouldn't want to be accused of being homophones.
- The Gays get a whole load of men in uniform to take part in their parade and lots of folk to look at them.
- By calling it "Black Pride" we might even get coloured folk to join in, and they could bring over some of those steel bands from thon big Twelfth type parade they have in Notting Hill.
- This is bound to be coming down with grants, for it has more communities in it than you can shake a stick at, so we'd all be quids in.
I, of course, am happy to make myself available to co-ordinate the efforts to combine these events, in return for a large fee.
Lots of Love
Professor Billy McWilliams