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Millar Memorial Flute Band was formed in 1911 as Milltown Flute Band. It met, as it still does to this day, in its hall near Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast.
Shortly after its formation the conductor James Millar died. He had gained so much respect from his colleagues that the band decided to change its name to the Millar Memorial Flute Band.
Since then the band has gone from strength to strength, except for interruption during the two world wars, when many of its members answered the call to serve their country.
In 1967 the band entered the N.I.B.A. Melody Flute Championship in the Ulster Hall for the first time, and won the championship. There was an entry of seven bands.
In June 1968 the band won the All Ireland Open Championship in Monaghan. The band had to play for a minimum of 15 minutes. The bands score on this occasion was 2 marches and a selection of Irish jigs and melodies.
In 1976 the County Grand Lodge of Belfast engaged the Millar Memorial to lead the 12th July procession and have been doing so ever since.
Also on that 12th July, 1976, a special presentation was made to the band by the then Deputy County Grand Master Wors Bro William Murdie of a ceremonial sword in memory of his father who had fought at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. This sword, in its sabre, has since been an essential part of the uniform of the band’s Drum Major.
The Millar Memorial are proud to be the first winners of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Shield, an award which is open to all groups of bands for the best overall band in the Belfast 12th July parade. The band has won the shield for a record of ten times and currently holds the shield.
Unfortunately, the band has within the last couple of years lost two members that have made it what it is today. James Green had conducted the band for a great many years and has brought the band to their high level of deportment and musical ability that they display today. Noel McGrath was also a highly esteemed band member and vice-president, who was greatly respected within the band for his wisdom and ability to get things done. These two men, with over a century of service to the band between them will forever be “Millar men”.
The Millar Memorial are now conducted by Kenny Green, who is greatly respected by his colleagues and who has worked hard to keep the highest level of deportment and musical ability within the band over the last few years.
Over the last 5 years the band has won the Best Musical Performance award in the 12th July parade in Belfast on 4 occasions, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004. Our Drum Major won the Best Drum Major on parade in the 2005 12th July celebrations.
In July 2003 the band won the Best Visiting Band award in the Glasgow ‘Orange Walk’.
These achievements are a result of the ongoing dedication and hard work of all our members.
Millar Memorial tries where possible to support all loyal institutions, and is engaged throughout the year all over Northern Ireland and in Scotland, where they parade with the Lights of Glasgow L.O.L. 440 in the Glasgow District parade.