The story of a famous member...
Dr. Thomas Barnardo
Dr. Thomas Barnardo was born in Dublin on July 4th 1845 and was brought up in an evangelical Protestant family. He worked as a clerk and was involved with church and Sunday School activities. He also joined the Orange Institution.
Thomas moved to London, initially planning to become a medical missionary with the China Inland Mission. While a student at the London Hospital, he discovered the plight of homeless children in the city. After a speech he made about the problem at a Missionary Conference in 1867, Lord Shaftesbury, who was in the audience, was among those who offered to help establish homes for the children.
By 1868 Barnardo had enough money to open his first home for destitute children. Ten years later there were 50 orphanages in London including a Village Home for Girls with a population of over 1,000 children. It also had its own school, a laundry and a church. In 1870 he bought a public house named the Edinburgh Castle and converted it into a coffee palace and a mission church, where he ministered for nine years. Orange Lodges for men, women, boys and girls were connected to the Edinburgh Castle Mission.
When Barnardo died on September 19th 1905 there were nearly 8,000 children in his residential homes, and 18,000 had participated in a scheme involving emigration to Canada. In his Will he stated: “I hope to die as I have lived in the humble, but assured faith of Jesus Christ…” It was this faith which drove him on to become the ‘father of nobody’s children’ and to be founder of what became one of the largest charitable organisations in the United Kingdom.
An Orange lodge was formed in his memory in London; Dr. Barnardo Memorial Total Abstinence LOL 819. It met at the Edinburgh Castle Mission as part of London District Lodge No. 63. There was also a Dr. Barnardo Junior LOL 49, which formed an Orange Boy’s Brigade Company with 29 members in 1908.