In the weeks leading up to the Twelfth of July in Northern Ireland, numerous parades took place all over the Province. Tens of thousands of people joined the parades that mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne when William III – the Dutch-born Protestant better known as William of Orange – defeated the Catholic King James II in July 1690.

The parades are a celebration of the Protestant religion, heritage and culture. Together with the volunteers from St John Ambulance, Gunter Schmidt from Johanniter Germany supported two of the major parades, the first in Belfast on 12July and secondly at Scarva, near Belfast, on 13July.

The volunteers provided first aid service to the marchers and the spectators. Read the testimony from Gunter Schmidt below.

“We had a lot of activities on the plan on my Northern Ireland visit on 9-14 July.

I and my colleagues from St John Ambulance secured a rally in Rathfriland on the 11th, where the locals did funny competitions.

Our Team supported the Rathfriland Orange parade on the 12th and the Scarver black parade on the 13th. I felt fully integrated into the team and could use my skills; I even had a radio. Thank you to Pamela, Kare, Cecilia, Bernadette, Adam, Andrew, Alicen, Dorothy, Chris and my Team members Foxtrot 3 -Deal and Nicole.

I guess because of my higher visibility (uniform and height) we got identified easier than the other ‘invisible teams’ and were asked to help more often.

To see how SJA is working is always very interesting and I think some of their practices could be used in Germany as well.

Liz Hudson hosted me again, she is a such a warm person and she, her dogs and her sons are like a second family for me. I enjoyed the hospitality.”