Monmouthshire Provincial Grand Lodge

Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes

Grand Lodge of England

Meets last Wednesday Monthly 7.15pm  (Except December 1st Wednesday)

Usk Conservative Club

Maryport Street, Usk

Monmouthshire NP15 1AE

 


 

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Welcome to the new pages of the Monmouthshire Provincial Grand Lodge of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes under the Grand Lodge of England. The R.A.O.B has many branches as well as different sections, the history of the G.L.E can be found on the Grand Lodge of England web site, along with the history of Grove House (our head office). If you are not a member of the R.A.O.B G.L.E, you may wish to read the Introduction to Buffaloes

Monmouthshire is a county on the borders of England and Wales, both the Severn crossings land in the county, over the years the county of Monmouthshire has grown and shrunk, with the borders changing, it now covers the area from the city of Newport, along the river to Chepstow, along the river Wye to Monmouth, then along to Abergavenny, following the river Usk to the market town of Usk and back into Newport. There are still lodges meeting in the old county of Monmouthshire.

We are currently looking for old photographs of lodges, members and PGL,  any member having such items please contact the PG Secretary.

History

The Province of Monmouthshire was granted it's dispensation in 1898, then the province stretched from the town of Newport, up the valley through Cross Keys, Risca, Crumlin and up to Abertillery, Abergavenny, Brymawr, Pontypool, Monmouth, Down the Wye valley to Chepstow.

Though the county of Monmouthshire has changed it's name on several occasions and indeed it's borders the Province of Monmouthshire never changed it's name, parts of the old county are now called Gwent or Blaina Gwent.

As the province grew so did it's needs and the Knights chapter No 50 was created, along with the Roll of Honour Assembly No 40. The province owned a club on Stow hill, Newport, where the PGL met, sadly due to the committee being taken over by non buffs, the province lost control of the club and were forced out, they then moved to the RBL in Rogerstone, this club was controlled by a minor lodge, and had rules stopping the lodge being evicted, sadly it closed it's doors finally in December 2011.

 

The new PG Secretary appointed in 1963 was bro M T J Gale ROH a well known member of the South Wales Provinces and the chairman for many years of the SW committee, a  Grand Lodge office from 1959, and since this time records have been kept, the minutes for all PGL meetings since 1963 are still available. Bro Gale went on to serve the province for a number of years after his retirement from the position of secretary. He carried on as PG Treasurer until his retirement in 1992.

Bro R W Jones ROH took over as PG Secretary in 1973, he served as secretary for 5 years before stepping down and the position being filled by bro G M Roberts ROH, who served until 1982, Bro C W Watkins ROH then took over serving until 1987, the position was then taken by bro R J Reid KOM, who served until 1993, Bro B Alcock ROH then took over the position but served only one year, again bro R W Jones stepped into the breach, filling the position until 1999,  when bro M Baiton KOM was elected, sadly bro Martin passed away whilst in office in 2002, bro R J Reid ROH was re-installed into the position and at this time still holds the office.

1998 saw the centenary of the Province, and the centenary dinner was held in Cwmbran, where all the members had a very enjoyable night.

It is recorded that bro M T J Gale was the president of the South Wales Provinces for many years leading up to the annual election for the chairman, the president then took a back seat in the runnning of the area, since the annual elections the province have seen many of their members elected as not just committee members but chairman of the committee, with names like Bro L C Lewis ROH, Bro  R W Jones, Bro D Hollis, Bro T J Elliott and the latest chairman bro R J Reid ROH 2011, to name just some of the members who have represented the province.

At Grand Lodge level the province do not have many members to brag about who have achieved office at the top level, 1911 saw the the election of bro Kennedy KOM elected to the office of Grand Minstrel, 1928 bro Dalton CP elected to the office of Grand Alderman of Benevolence, the province then had to wait 31 years before bro M T J Gale ROH was elected Grand Alderman of Benevolence 1959, in 1976 the province had not one but 2 Grand Lodge officers in the province, Bro Leonard C Lewis ROH was elected Grand Alderman of Benevolence and Bro M T J Gale ROH the Deputy Grand Primo, and Grand Primo 1977, again the province had to wait some considerable time for their next officer in 2011 when bro Richard J Reid ROH was elected Grand Alderman of Juniper.

At the begining of 2011, there were 4 lodges still operating within the province, the Sir Herbert Kitchener No 504, Lion Lodge No 2316, Sir Douglas Haig No 2509 and the Swan Lodge No 9845. Though few in number strong in stature.

In September 2012 the Swan Lodge in recognition of the work done by a deceased member re-named the lodge the William John Mills lodge No 9845.

In December 2012, the province seen bro Richard J Reid ROH elected to the GLMC, the province had only one other member elected to the committee and that was bro Mostyn T J Gale ROH GP 1977.

In 2013 the province put forward the name of bro Anthony C Moise ROH as their candidate for a Grand lodge minor collar, we are happy to report that he was elected as the Grand Registrar 2014.

In 2014 the province seen a very successful annual dinner at the Masonic hall Chepstow, with many GL officers and their ladies enjoying the evening. The investiture of the Grand Registrar followed in July, this time at Rodney Parade, Newport, where another great night was held.

The dinner in 2015 again at the Masonic Hall in Chepstow, was well attended with the Grand Primo bro David Jerman ROH being the guest of honour along with his lady Jan Lee MBE. Bro A Moise as the registrar had a very successful year visiting many provinces and lodges from Scotland to Cyprus, from Norfolk to Wales, the country was well traveled.

 

 

 

 

Lodges that have operated in the Monmouthshire Province.

Lodge number Lodge Name Lodge location if known/other information
234 Newbridge Newbridge
238 Lord Nelson
277 Pride of Monmouth Monmouth
288 R W Kennard
292 Duke of Marlborough Closed as a GLE lodge 2009, re-opened as a GLE Ltd Lodge
299 Cambrian
339 Duke of York
397 Diamond Jubilee
398 Tynewydd
504 Sir Herbert Kitchener Usk
514 Loyal Empire
565 Henry V
604 Newport Lion Newport
628 Jubilee
735 Chepstow Castle Chepstow, later to amalgamate with Gate, then Swan
810 Rutherford
857 King Edward VII
1179 Progress
1324 Lord Alverstone
1475 Excelsior
1703 North Celynen
1887 Diamond Jubilee presuming the original lodge closed
2130 Cwmdows
2316 Lion Newport, closed December 2008, re-opened June 2009
2336 Dewstow Portskewett, Chepstow
2342 Lord Raglan Raglan
2343 Cross Closed 2009, Newport, re-opened as GLE Ltd in Newport
2344 Loyal George
2345 Crown
2346 Forestier Walker
2347 Newbridge
2348 Hand of Friendship
2353 Belvior
2422 Roman City Caerleon
2509 Sir Douglas Haig Rogerstone, closed June 30th 2016
2566 Somerton Newport
2567 John Hall
2636 Victory
2657 Vicount Chetwynd
2756 Queen Alexandra
2859 Jubilee
2860 Ken Wellyn Pontypool, closed 2009
3005 Magnor Castle
3083 Duke of Wellington Pontypool, amalgamated with Ken Wellyn
3097 Beaufort
3140 St Tecla Chepstow
3174 Imperial
3272 Sir Leonard Llewellyn
3273 David Ross
3547 Sir John Thomas
3548 B J Nicholas
3592 Hafod
3803 Sir J W Jones
3830 Flower of Gwent Amalgamated with Ken Wellyn, Pontypool
3831 Philanthropic
3954 Tintern Abbey Llandogo
3979 Pen Moel
4052 City of Newport Newport
4127 Trinity Temperance Newport
4128 Blaendare
4257 Thomas George Jones
4761 Earl Brassey
4762 Master Lascelles
5377 W J Barret
5754 Clytha Pontypool
6096 Britannia Pontypool
7129 Horseshoe
8147 Chepstow Gate Amalgamated with Chepstow Castle, later to join the Swan
8354 Dewstow
8743                    
Kimberley Park                      
Newport, Malpas Road, closed 1990's
8808 
Nulli Secundus Beachley, Chepstow
9526 Red Dragon Machen
9845        
Swan Caldicot, Severn View club, Caldicot, re-named William John Mills September 2012
9846 Crompton         
Monmouth
9927 Prince Albert
Sid Griffiths Talywain, amalgamated with Ken Wellyn
10525 St David Caldicot, closed
Opus Newport, closed 2009

Any member having any information on any of the above lodges, please tell us, we can then add it to these pages.

2011 should have been a great year for the province, the PG Secretary bro Richard J Reid ROH was elected to Grand Lodge office, achieving the office of Grand Alderman of Juniper, sadly January saw the passing of the PGP's wife, very quickly followed by the the PGP Bro Wyne Lewis being taken ill and passing away on 27th May, and if that was not enough 2 weeks later the province lost another long time member with bro William J Mills ROH passing away.

2012: The Swan lodge No 9845 decided to honor two members who passed away in 2011, the lodge have set up a memorial fund in the name of Bro Wyne Lewis, the donations of which will be used for matters that were close to bro Wynne. Secondly the lodge decided to honor the founding member by changing its name to the William John Mills lodge, having been granted by Grand Lodge as from September 2012, it is now known as the William John Mills Lodge No 9845.


Provincial Grand Primo Appeals

Our Chairman ( Provincial Grand primo) each year has an appeal where we help various charities in our area, in 2008 the appeal was for "Heart & Stroke" at the Royal Gwent.The appeal raised almost £3500. The PGP for 2009 bro Dave Jeffery's ROH collected funds for LATCH, bro Jerry Allen KOM the PGP for 2010 decided his appeal would be for St Annes hospice in Newport, 2011 the PGP bro W Lewis ROH stated he was keeping the appeal within the order and so decided upon the "OURS" fund, sadly he passed away mid year, but still over £1500 was sent to Grand Lodge through his appeal.

2016

Budden Crescent Establishment

 

 

Over the years we have seen many fine appeals from the Provincial Grand Primo's, St Davids foundation, Chepstow Hospitals, Gwent Deaf Childrens society, Guide dogs for the blind, Cancer research ( Wales) to name but a few, many thousands of pounds have been raised over the years, for these worthwhile causes. Hopefully many more thousands over the years to come.

Previous Appeals

2014 Stroke Appeal

2013         McMillan Nurses

Presentaion of 2013 PGP appeal

Bro G M Roberts ROH PGP 2013 presenting his appeal, at the Caldicot Choir hall with the lodge secretary bro Jim French KOM, PG Secretary Bro Richard J Reid ROH Grand Alderman of Juniper 2011, bro Dave Jeffery's ROH, and Bro Anthony Moise ROH Grand Registrar

The presenation of the 2013 PGP Appeal by bro G M Roberts ROH, assisted by Bro J French KOM Lodge secretary, Bro D Jeffery's ROH Trustee, Bro R J Reid ROH GAJ 2011, Bro A C Moise ROH GReg

 

PGL Officers 2017

Provincial Grand Primo Bro Richard J Reid ROH
Deputy Provincial Grand Primo Bro Michael A Mason ROH
Provincial Grand Chamberlain Bro Anthony C Moise ROH Grand Registrar 2014
Provincial Grand Tyler Bro G M Roberts ROH
Provincial Grand Registrar Bro Andrew Davies CP
Provincial Grand Constable Bro Stanley Price ROH
Provincial Grand Alderman of Juniper Bro J Evans ROH
Provincial Grand Alderman of Benevolence Bro S Manley ROH
Provincial Grand Minstrel Bro 
Provincial Grand Waiter Bro 
Provincial Grand Secretary Bro R J Reid ROH Grand Alderman of Juniper 2011
Provincial Grand Treasurer Bro D Jeffery's ROH
Provincial Grand Trustee

Bro A C Moise ROH, Grand Registrar 2014

Bro J Evans ROH

Contact Details:

PG Secretary                                Telephone: Day (01291) 422843   Night: (01291) 424790    Mobile: +44 7792 832840

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PG Trustee's                                                                                                        This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

 

Provincial Grand Primo's of past years

 


2015 Bro D A Jeffery's ROH
2014 Bro R A Waller ROH
2013 Bro G M Roberts ROH
2012 Bro J Evans ROH
2011 Bro W Lewis ROH
2010 Bro J Allen KOM
2009 Bro D Jeffery's ROH
2008 Bro M Mason KOM
2007 Bro A Moise ROH Grand Registrar 2014
2006 Bro M Peake ROH
2005 Bro M Tucker KOM
2004 deliberately blank
2003 Bro L D Jones CP
2002 Bro Richard A Waller ROH
2001 Bro V Edwards ROH
2000 Bro V Edwards ROH
1999 Bro Jack Warren ROH
1998 Bro R Scott ROH
1997 Bro P Murrell ROH
1996 Bro A W J Rideout ROH
1995 Bro Peter R Seabrook ROH Grand Alderman of Juniper 2008
1994 Bro Richard J Reid ROH Grand Alderman of Juniper 2011
1993 Bro Robert Carnegie ROH
1992 Bro D M Hollis KOM
1991 Bro D L Hanmer ROH
1990 Bro D G Maddox KOM
1989 Bro W Lewis ROH
1988 Bro A C Moise ROH
1987 Bro T G Elliott ROH
1986 Bro N T Taylor ROH
1985 Bro R Benson ROH
1984 Bro George M Roberts ROH
1983 Bro Ronald W Beer KOM
1982 Bro R W Jones ROH
1981 Bro E G Harris ROH
1980 Bro R Galletley ROH
1979 Bro Raymond Johns ROH
1978 Bro C Watkins ROH
1977 Bro A E Pearson ROH
1976 Bro W R Warmsley ROH
1975 Bro A Hunt ROH
1974 Bro D H R Charles ROH
1973 Bro R I Pugh ROH
1972 Bro L C Lewis ROH Grand Alderman of Benevolence 1976
1971 Bro G A Barnes ROH
1970 Bro N Balsdon KOM
1969 Bro W J Ingram KOM
1968 Bro P Dallimore KOM
1967 Bro E H Weale KOM
1966 Bro P Vers ROH
1965
1964
1963
1962
1961
1960
1959
1958
1957
1956

There are gaps at the moment, we will complete as soon as possible, if you see any errors or have any further info, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

History An abridged history of Grove House

By Bro WACJ Hartmann Grand Primo 2009


The building currently known as Grove House dates from three identifiable periods, the earliest of which is 1752/4 and can be seen in the “square block” at the centre of the building as viewed from the outside. From the inside, at ground floor level, it is bounded by the four stone arches.

 

The premises were originally built at the time when Harrogate was developing as a spa town because of the health giving properties of the water found in a large number of springs and wells. Grove House was built as a small hostelry or guest house and was originally called “The World’s End.” There is some evidence to show that for a while it served as a staging post for passengers and mail from London to York.

 

Around 1805 it was acquired and used as a boarding school by a Mrs. Holland. Barbara Hoole, a well-known Yorkshire authoress of the time, later purchased it. She used it as a Ladies Finishing School, and perhaps was a forerunner to what is now the Harrogate College.

 

In 1822 (the year the Order is reputed to have been founded), the Reverend T.T. Wildsmith obtained ownership and used the premises as a School for boys. Much later it was unoccupied for a number of years and it is alleged to have been haunted, although this was proven to be a trick of light, when a Captain Heneby purchased the building. In 1850 Mr. Sam-son Fox, a Civil Engineer from Leeds bought the property and is responsible for much of the splendid building we have today.

 

Mr. Fox, a direct ancestor of Edward Fox, the actor, and his brother was a great Victorian industrialist and benefactor to the nation and the local community. In 1870 he donated sufficient monies to build the present Royal College of Music in London. He provided Harrogate with its first Fire Service, public street lighting and built Grove Road School, almost opposite our front gates. Eventually he became Mayor of Harrogate for three successive years, a feat never equalled since.

 

Samson Fox built the extensions to Grove House, being the present east and west wings, together with the Royal Stables with ornate clock which can been seen from the small rose garden at the side of the house. By purchasing small or tiny portions of land in the immediate locality, the estate eventually increased to some forty acres. For example the land that accommodated the gatehouse at the entrance to the estate, where the present bungalow is situated cost a mere £160. It is amusing to note that the patch of grass outside the gate was intended to allow the farmers on their way to Knaresborough market to graze their sheep. The grounds accommodated a private gas works, science laboratory and observatory.

 

Most of the stained glass and oak paneling came from the old Dragon Hotel on the opposite side of Skipton Road, and just over the bridge. The clock tower for the stables, together with most of the stone used in building the east wing, tower and stables also came from the Dragon Hotel. If you examine, closely, the glass screen by the present dining room, you will find dragons encompassed in the design of the glasswork.

 

The house was the first in Yorkshire to be equipped with gas lighting and central heating, generated from gas plant within the grounds. The stables are thought to have been the first in the country to provide Turkish Baths for horses. At a time when they were not too well known for humans. (Can this really have been the 1870?s?).

 

The west wing which currently provides bedrooms 3, 4, 5, and 6, the first floor TV lounge and the Grand Secretary’s office and Lodge room was originally built to provide a suite of rooms for the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and his entourage when visiting Yorkshire, dates from 1880, and included a library, billiard room and small gallery.

 

The east wing, on the site of the former Grove House Winter Gardens was built to provide a music and ballroom (at present bedrooms 1, 2, the annex and library) together with an art gallery on the first floor (now bedrooms 7 to 16) and dates from 1898/02.

 

A special souvenir Christmas card of 1902 from Mr. Samson Fox, CE., JP measuring almost four feet across depicting the picture gallery is held in the custody of the Grand Secretary as is a photograph album showing Grove House as a residence before the east wing was built. It was discovered in a dustbin by a refuse collector who was a member of the Order. Both may be seen by anybody requesting to do so. They are not on permanent display, simply to retain and preserve their current state of preservation.

 

Fox died in 1903 at Walsall and so for a number of years the house lay empty, although staff were retained to administer the estate and keep the house clean. During the Great War (1914-1918) Grove House, along with a number of houses in the area, was used as a Hospital for troops from the Somme and Flanders.

 

The Order purchased the premises in 1926 for £10,000 for use as an orphanage, because of the prolonged arguments at Grand Lodge over the question of the legal ownership of the R.A.O.B. Orphanage at Aldridge (Walsall). These latter premises being paid for, but not owned by the Order. Grove House Orphanage was opened at Easter 1927 and the parade of members took three hours to march from Harrogate Railway Station with four brass bands. To raise funds for the purchase of Grove House, and more importantly to furnish the Orphanage, members were urged to “buy” a brick or yard of turf at a cost of One shilling 1/- (or 5p) and were presented with a certificate, which was not intended as a deed of ownership. Since Grove House is built of stone and not bricks.

 

Occasionally these certificates are produced by descendants of members in the hope that there may be of some monetary value to the estate of the member.

 

The Grand Lodges offices moved to Grove House in 1926, having previously occupied the living room of Wilson-Marsh in Sheffield. At first they were accommodated in a room which now provides bedroom 3, a filing room and the room where the typist to the Grand Secretary is employed

 

Grove House Orphanage operated from 1926 until Christmas 1947 even though some army units were stationed here during World War II (1939-1945). With the introduction of the new “welfare state” that would look after the population from the ‘cradle to the grave’, widows and other guardians were, understandably, reluctant to be parted from their children. The Order changed its policy by returning the children to their families and provided cash benefits to enable the children to be looked after at their home.

 

The Harrogate Convalescent Home in Valley Gardens was sold and Grove House was converted to become a Convalescent Home to provide rest, recuperation and a change of air. In 1966 to mark the centenary of the Grand Lodge of England, Grove House was adapted to provide permanent residential care for aged members without family or dependants. In 1980 female dependants of members were admitted as convalescent patients.

 

In 1988 joint husband and wife convalescent patients were admitted for rest and recuperation. Later that year fee paying holiday guests were admitted to help offset the huge costs of maintaining the premises.

 

During major repair work to the roof on the east wing in 1998/9 it became necessary to remove a considerable amount of weight from the roof and to re-build much of the parapet wall. When the roof void was opened a number of ornate plaster panels in deep relief were discovered from the ceiling of the former art gallery. Rather than be destroyed, they were carefully removed and re-sited in the Lesser Hall, the Grand Staircase and first floor landing.

 

Closer examination of the four oblong panels in the Lesser Hall reveals the form of further dragons, not too different from the glass screen at the east entrance.. It is possible, even remotely, that these panels also came from the Dragon Hotel? And therefore much older than 1890 when the east wing was built?

 

The Harrogate Museum has put a conservative value on these panels of £40,000 in their present condition.

 

The most recent alterations have been to convert the ten single rooms in the east wing to twin bedded “en suite” at a cost of around a £180,000 and it now means that every room apart from three are twin bedded and “en suite.”

 

Future plans are to increase the size of the dining room, so that everyone can dine at one sitting.

 

Grove House is a building which is part of the country’s heritage, as well as that of the Order, and can confidently meet all of our requirements of our members and dependants well into the 21st. Century.

 

In a period of less than 247 years the role of Grove House has come full circle.- an establishment for the sick and infirm to rest and recuperate, to an establishment for the needs of children. As an Army Hospital, to an Orphanage, to a Convalescent Home, a holiday centre and a place for our aged members or widows with no family or other connections can live out their final years.

 

Benevolence and true joy, ever attend us.

Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes Grand Lodge of England

Conceptions and Misconceptions

by Brother W.A.C. Hartmann

Past Grand Secretary, R.A.O.B., G.L.E.

In so far as surviving records can prove, the earliest known traceable date of a Lodge of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes is 1822 at the Harp Tavern, Great Russell Street near Drury Lane Theatre and was created by stage hands and theatre technicians who had been denied a long held privilege extended to them by the actors and artists of the day.

An Order known as the City of Lushington existed in the late 1700?s to the 1800?s which consisted almost exclusively of actors or variety artists and held its meetings, mostly for entertainment and social recreation in the Inns and Taverns close to the well populated theatres of the day. In order to be members of the Lushington’s one was required to be either an actor or artist who actually earned their living ‘treading the boards’. Selected guests of members were invited to attend these gatherings, and many stage hands obviously availed themselves of this privilege for a number of years. At some point in time not easily identified the Lushington’s became a ‘closed shop’ presumably because meeting rooms in the Inn or Tavern were not big enough to accommodate everyone (member and visitor alike). Whatever the reason the Lushington’s would only allow members to attend their meetings.

The meeting room was organised in the form of a City with four or more wards and so the Master or chief officer was referred to as Mayor, and the senior officers were Aldermen. Lesser officers carried the prefix ‘City’ in their title, for example City Taster, City Barber, City Physician. The City Taster had a most important roll in the evening’s proceedings. It was his duty before the Lodge opened to ceremoniously taste the ale on sale at the Inn. If it was found to be ‘wanting’ the host or landlord was ‘fined’ two gallons of ale which was consumed by all in attendance at the meeting without payment You can imagine(?) that there would be few occasions when the ale was not found wanting.

Being prevented from attending meetings of the Lushington’s after a number of years enjoyment of that privilege, the stage hands and theatre staff starting holding their own exclusive meetings that had ’nuffin to do wit them acter fellas’.

As the theatre staff moved around the country in pursuance of their profession, Lodges would have been founded in the various cities, towns and villages.

Pearce Egan, a well known London Theatre critic of the period attributes the founders as being Joseph Lisle, a well known eccentric and William Sinnett. In his book ‘The History of Tom and Jerry’ he cites one of the aims as being the promotion of an hitherto neglected ballad ‘We’ll chase the Buffalo’.

It is a matter of pure conjecture as to what remarks may have been made by patrons in the public rooms of the Tavern upon hearing the song being sung by members in the club or concert room. Certainly the ballad was sung with a considerable amount of enthusiasm at R.A.O.B Lodge meetings as recently as the mid 1950?s by many of our more long serving members.

Why Antediluvian? The Order was founded in 1822, which certainly was not before the flood, and no satisfactory answer can be found in the records that have survived the ravages of time. We must remember that the bulk of our members at that time were involved in one of the theatre professions, and skilled orators would have written their own ceremonies, often designed to impress the unenlightened with the great antiquity of the Order. Similarities were deduced to the rights of bull worship at the time of the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt. The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, and other nations of Christendom, Peter the Hermit and the Saracenic wars were also quoted.

The desires of mankind to relieve the poverty of ones fellow have been around since the earliest ages, and if that is not antediluvian, what is? Certainly the word has a better ring to it than ‘ancient’. So! Antediluvian we became!

As in Masonry the Seditious and Riotous Assembly Acts of the late 1800?s had a profound effect on Buffalo meetings, as it will have done on many clubs, societies and other bodies of the day.

In order to show to the authorities that the Buffaloes were not subversive to the interest of the state, the Order decided to describe itself as the Loyal Order of Buffaloes. It only needs a slip of the tongue for ‘loyal’ to become ‘royal’ and in a very short time Joe Public accepted that the Order was indeed Royal.

A Royal Charter has never been issued to the Buffaloes. Indeed, under the current regulations it is unlikely that one will. Over the years there have been a number of internal differences of opinion leading to break away formations operating under the same principles and still using the name of the Buffaloes. These groups or ‘constitutions’ are generally referred to as Banners. The Royal Warrants Act requires the applicant to be the one and only representative body.

The introduction of the Royal Warrant Act, in the early 1900?s, required anyone using the ‘Royal’ prefix to register with the Lord Chancellors Office and to stop using the title if permission to continue doing so was not granted. Since the Buffaloes had been using the title from the 1840?s the Lord Chancellor agreed that no objection would be raised on the our continued use of the title on the grounds of long usage, provided no act by the Order arose which would disgrace its use.

In the early days, the first lodge to be opened in an area became known as the Mother Lodge, from which subsequent Lodges would be opened. Advice was frequently sought from the ‘Mother’ Lodge in the interpretation of rule or other matters, although it would continue to be a private or Minor Lodge in its own right. From these Mother Lodges the concept was developed for a body responsible for administration and organisation, alone. Thus we acquired Governing Authorities which became District Grand Lodges and latter Provincial Grand Lodges.

1n April 1866 the then known Lodges formulated a Grand Primo Lodge to control the movement, to set laws, to establish procedures and administration. This body later became known as the Grand Lodge of England.

The Order, today, is structured on similar Lodge to all Masonic Orders in that it is a three tiered system of Minor (Private) Lodges, Provincial Grand Lodges and Grand Lodge.

The R.A.O.B. has four degrees of membership = First Degree, known as a Kangaroo (don’t ask why), Second Degree or Certified Primo, Third Degree or Knight Order of Merit and Fourth Degree or Roll of Honour. The Second Degree is awarded as result of a mixture of time, attendance and an examination on the ability to take the chair of a Lodge while third and fourth degrees based on length of membership and a proven attendance record. Provincial and Grand Lodge honours are not the gift of the Chief Officer of the Province or Grand Lodge. To gain such honour the member must have represented his Lodge as delegate to P.G.L. or represented his Province as a delegate to Grand Lodge, and again after length of service and attendance qualifications, he must have been elected by popular vote to the Office.

In the early days of the R.A.O.B. it is clear that there must have been members who were also members of the various Masonic Orders since there is much in R.A.O.B. ritual and regalia which can be identified as being Masonic in origin as well as from other societies.

Today there are many who enjoy membership both as a Mason and as a Buffalo. Some holding quite senior and important positions of Office in both Orders

The R.A.O.B. is a Philanthropic and Charitable body, Lodges and Provinces are at liberty to undertake whatever activity they consider appropriate for the needs of the community in which they work and live.

Charitable funds exist at Lodge, Province and Grand Lodge levels to assist members of the Order and/or their dependants who are in necessitous circumstances.

Grand Lodge owns and operates two convalescent homes to provide rest and recuperation facilities for members, their wives or widows recovering from illness or medical treatment

The costs of running these two properties, as well as the benevolent grants for our aged and necessitous members or widows, and the education grants for dependant children are all funded from the Grand Lodge portion of the membership fees, voluntary donations and the proceeds from the investment portfolio.

Much more can be said of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes as operated by the Grand Lodge of England, but the foregoing is considered sufficient at this stage to give some insight into our activities. In doing so we hope to create a better under-standing of our Order.

Our basic desire – Is to defend the weak, to help the unfortunate and render assistance to those in difficulty or need’. These honorable principles have existed in man since the earliest ages and in this respect our Order may be regarded as “ancient – or Antediluvian.”