A local fraternal and charitable group with an exclusive and exotic-sounding name recently hosted their brothers from across Western Canada.
Guided by elected Grand Primo Ian Howes of Langford, the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes gathered for “Grand Lodge” meetings at their hall in a residential section of the city to go over common business, compare notes about fundraising events and generally hobnob with members from Medicine Hat, Alta., Nanaimo and the Lower Mainland.
“First and foremost we’re a fraternal order,” said Howes.
He pointed out, however, the local lodge regularly donates to such groups as the Royal Canadian Legion, supports local ball teams and contributes to Santas Anonymous.
While relatively small in numbers, the West Shore “Buffs” meet every other week and help maintain the hall, the use of which is shared with the Langford 50-Up Club.
Langford resident Roy Tennant, the longest-serving Buffalo in the room at 64 years – he turns 94 soon – proudly listed some of the local group’s previous works. They include funding a playground on Carlow Road, securing truckloads of sand and hauling it down for the original beach at Langford Lake and of course, cooking up their famous buffalo burgers at the Luxton fairs as a charity fundraiser.
The Buffaloes convene their Grand Lodge, a regional gathering of local lodges, every six months and rotate its location between the primary lodges in B.C. and Alberta.
The largest and most active of those is in Medicine Hat. Senior members from that group, including Deputy Grand Primo Leslie Shepard and Grand Chamberlain Peter Allibone, were on hand last week to help guide the meetings and share in some social good times. Next April it’ll be their turn to host.
The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, which has local lodges all over the world, originated in England in 1822 and still has its overarching Grand Lodge there.