DUP tourism minister Arlene Foster and social development minister Nelson McCausland were among delegates at a meeting of the Unionist Centenary Committee which met at the historic Craigavon House on Saturday morning.
The committee aims to draw representatives from all strands of unionism. On Saturday the Presbyterian Church, Orange Order, Apprentice Boys, UUP and PUP sent delegates as well as the DUP.
Some of the key centenaries to be marked next year include the Balmoral Review in April with a family fun day at Windsor Park and the signing by almost half a million men and women of the covenant on September 28, 1912 which has since become known as Ulster Day.
Carson’s trail was a series of massive rallies held in Enniskillen, Lisburn, Coleraine, Londonderry, Ballymena and Dromore gaining momentum before Ulster Day at the Ulster Hall in Belfast.
The centenary committee aims to recreate this series of events in a modern way by facilitating local communities across Northern Ireland holding events to mark the 100th anniversary in the lead up to Ulster Day 2012 on September 28.
David Hume, from the Orange Order, said a parade is one of the events being planned to mark that anniversary.
The parade proposal will be put to the Grand Lodge at a meeting this coming week for approval.
Craigavon House – the east Belfast home of Northern Ireland’s first prime minister, James Craig – is in need of major restoration.
Mr McCausland suggested to the committee that raising the funds for this be an overarching theme of the year’s celebrations with fundraisers held at many of the centenary events.
He said that way a result of the celebrations could be the legacy of Craigavon House for future generations but warned that it would be key to make it self-sustaining.
Ian Adamson, of the Somme Association, which owns Craigavon House, said the building is now secured through a new roof but said more funding was required to restore the house for use.
There is a popular support for the idea to turn it into a museum.
DUP MLAs Stephen Moutray and Michelle McIlveen were also present.
Mr Moutray informed the group that a Craigavon-based centenary group had been formed and would be meeting in Brownlow House this week also to plan ways of celebrating the forthcoming centenaries in 2012.