Whitewell Defenders; Thomas McDonald Memorial Parade - 16/09/06

Whiteabbey Protestant BoysPride of the ShoreMonkstownBUA BandThe band travelled across the city to support and take part in this memorial parade for young Thomas McDonald. This young lad was murdered by local scum whilst out riding on his push bike.

This parade was well turned out and this should be expected as this parade is widely appreciated and well respected within the loyalist community.

This was indeed the first parade for the newly formed British Ulster Alliance band; it was great to see another band from the mainland parading on Ulster soil.

Today we where graced with fantastic weather and this brought out a good crowd out into this tight loyalist estate which is always under siege from SF/IRA mobs.

CloughmillsCYCShankill StarRising SonsIt was great to see bands like Dervock, Ballysillian, Sons of Ulster from the Shankill Road, Ulster Grenadiers, Downshire, Lower Woodstock, Monkstown, Fairhill, Cloughfern Young Conquers, Shankill Star to name but a few of the many bands who participated in the memorial parade.

This route is short but it enables all the residents to see the bands pass their doorsteps as all the estate is covered by the bandsmen and women.

The parade route passes onto the Whitewell Road to where young Thomas tragically died; as a mark of respect all bands pass this without playing and have a short prayer for the young lad whose life was still ahead of him.

It was good to see the Upper Falls Protestant Boys attend this parade as the people of their small estate can relate to the problems of the Whitecity area both communities under attack daily from our so called Nationalist friends whom constantly do not get any bad propaganda from the local media circles of our country.

Below are a selection of photographs of the band in action.

Colour Party & Members of the East Belfast Historical & Cultural Society Drum Corps Bass Drummer Flute Corps Band at the Memorial Garden Salute to Thomas McDonald

Ulster First FluteSons of UlsterFairhillPride of the HillI am sure that the people of the Whitecity estate love to see the bands take over their area for at least one day a year and I must say I really enjoyed this parade and the people of Whitecity made our stay very much welcomed.

Scene of the Murder Memeorial Plauqe

Good luck to the Whitewell band and our thoughts and prayers lie with the McDonald family. Thomas McDonald rest in peace.

John Keenan
East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band Chairman

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