The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes.
Grand Lodge of England.
The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes is a Philanthropic Organisation which is active, not only in the local community, but, at all levels of Society. It is non-political, nor does it look to religion to inspire participation. It does, however, inspire members to commit to a peaceful and meaningful way of life. It is often described as an extended family, a social organisation or a mutually supportive group of like minded people; each true in its own way, they do not adequately decribe the true picture; that is painted on a much larger canvas.
There are a number of sections or "banners" of the R.A.O.B. and whilst they differ in numerical strength and procedures, all have the same purpose, freely and aptly described as "the pursuit of Brotherhood".
We are the Grand Lodge of England.
This is not a litery composition on the origin and development of the R.A.O.B., however to be able to understand the Order we must first look at how it has progressed in the time it has been in existence.
The origins of the Order were in the theatrical fraternity of the 1820's. It was, it seems, born out of the need for social activity. As time went on the Order grew and spread becoming active in philanthropic works. It opened orphanages, readily took its place in the community and accepted its responsibilities towards the needs of its members. All the fascinating history of the Order is freely available to anyone who is interested.
The advent of the National Health Service and cradle to grave care, ended the need for the orphanages, and the Order underwent a fundamental change to become the organisation it is today. The combination of providing support and care for our members and taking part in the wider life of the community at large has evolved throughout the Order.
There are three main levels within the Order.
The Minor Lodge.
The Minor Lodge is the cornerstone around which the Order is built. First and foremost we are all members of our own Minor Lodge. Brothers can, if they wish, belong to more than one Lodge; all Brothers must be part of a Lodge. The majority of Lodges meet weekly, though some meet fortnightly or monthly if needs dictate. Each Minor Lodge supports its members and the community at a local level.
Provincial Grand Lodge.
A Provincial Grand Lodge collectively administers a group of Lodges known as a Province. Members who have chosen to be active at this level and have proven their knowledge of the rules and procedures attend the P.G.L. to carry this out. P.G.L. meets once a month.
The Grand Lodge.
Grand Lodge is made up of delegates from Provincial Grand Lodges and administers the Order nationally. Grand Lodge runs and maintains the Convalescent Homes owned by the Order and supports the community as a whole.
The degree of participation at any level is entirely voluntary and at the discretion of each individual Brother. Many do confine their activities to their own Minor Lodge and do not seek advancement. There is no stigma attached to anyone who does not wish to become active at Provincial Grand Lodge or Grand Lodge.
The provision of care and support for our members works hand in glove with our support for local, regional and national charities.
The image we would like to present is of a group, who, by their works, encourage members of the community to lead satisfying and enjoyable lives and who provide our members with a sense of belonging. Tangible assistance is provided when needed. Importantly this support is not dependent on what an individual puts in rather by what is needed.
The R.A.O.B. at all levels supports its community and, through its charitable works, raises many millions of pounds for most worthwhile causes, far to many to list, all chosen by the membership locally, regionally or nationally.
The range of charities we support is very wide as are the internal funds we have for use for our members in time of difficulty or need.
The support we provide for our own Lodge members and their families is augmented by a comprehensive range of benevolent funds administered by Grand Lodge and includes educational grants. Aged members and widows of deceased brethren benefit from our annuities or special grants. We are particularly proud of the system which has been established to provide care for widows with young children. Funded entirely by voluntary contributions they receive birthday and Christmas gifts, family holidays, pocket money and savings. In short we do our best to fill the material gap left by the husband and father they have lost. As long as the need exists our assistance continues.
We are not a secret organisation, our rules and ceremonies are in the public domain. Our Order is steeped in history, much more information is available but to go in any deeper here would only serve to confuse.
Membership is for life and members can be as active as they wish at which ever level they choose. All that is required is that you are a member of a Lodge, further progress is in the hands of the individual as is the frequency of his attendance in his Lodge.
For further information on the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes under the Grand Lodge of England (G.L.E.) see Conceptions and Misconceptions, an article written by Brother W.A.C. Hartman, Past Grand Secretary (1978-2003) & the 2009 Grand Primo of the G.L.E.
LINK TO THE G.L.E. WEBSITE
Do you want to learn more about how we, 'The Buffs', are involved in the Peterborough, March, Stamford, Bourne, Whittlesey, Oundle and Deepings areas? Then why not make contact with the PGL Secretary, Bro. Tony Hallam at firstname.lastname@example.org
Link to the Eastgate No 6393 Website, (A Lodge in the centre of Peterborough)