We are the “Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes“ aka ‘the Buffs’ and we are not a secret order, we are an order with secrets. Our greatest secret is our “doing good by stealth”.
We began in hard times, long before the Welfare State when a man and his family could starve for the want of a few shillings. Today, the members of the Order, collectively may part with a million pounds in a year for good causes.
A bishop, two Prime Ministers and Lord Chief Justice have belonged to the Order. The Lord Chief Justice said once: “I can go into this vast crowd and know the moment I shake hands with a man he will tell me he is a brother, and I shall know that we are bound together by a bond of union – a desire to promote the best principles of Buffaloism”. Someone once asked why on earth he was a Buffalo. The answer was: Because he is a good judge.
Our Order is not sectarian. Talk of politics, religion and gambling is strictly forbidden. There is no colour bar or racism. Only Communists are excluded, because a member of the Order must declare his allegiance to Constitutional authority of his country. The Buffaloes’ creed is summed up in a number of homely maxims. ‘Justice, Truth and Philanthropy’. ‘In things doubtful, Liberty, and in all things, Charity, and in things essential, Unity’. And, most significantly, ‘No Man Is At All Times Wise’.
We have been called the ‘Poor Man’s Freemasons’ – a title we really don’t care for. We have also been called ‘Boozy Buffs,’ and we don’t much care for that title, either; especially as there are teetotal Lodges, and teetotal members of Lodges. Yet it is easy to see how the nickname came about, for their meeting place has traditionally been the pub, since the Order began.
Many people say that all secret societies are bad, but Buffaloism, at its highest, enables its members to give direction to their benevolence, and at its lowest, allows them to dress up, and amuse themselves with exotic formalities. The only privilege of a Buffalo is to give, and the only obligations are to adhere to the common decencies of life.
Our basic desire is to defend the weak, help the unfortunate and render assistance to those in difficulty or need. These are the honourable principles that our order is founded upon, in that respect our order may indeed be regarded as “antient” or “antediluvian”.
See wikipedia article for more details of the order …
Higher orders within the RAOB are …
Knights of the Golden Horn
Guild Companions of the Ark
The remainder of this page is an accumulation of individual jewels …