The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB) is one of the largest fraternal organisations in the United Kingdom and around many parts of the world, including Australia.
The order started in 1822, and is known as "The Buffs" to members. Our Order provides aid to its members, their families, dependents of former members, and other charitable organisations.
Our Order's motto is Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit ("No Man Is at All Hours Wise"), and has the maxim of "Justice, Truth and Philanthropy". Our Order has a Rule Book, a Manual of Instruction and Ceremony Lectures.
The Grand Lodge of England is based at Harrogate in England. The Grand Lodge of South Australia is a separately registered organisation, however is still linked to the Grand Lodge of England. There are many Buffalo Lodges throughout South Australia, and many more throughout the rest of Australia.
Our Order is not sectarian. Talk of politics, religion and gambling is strictly forbidden. There is no colour bar or racism.
The creed of the Buffaloes 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"
- "No Man Is at All Hours Wise"
We have been called the "Poor Man’s Freemasons" — a title we don’t really care for. We have also been called "Boozy Buffs," and we don’t much care for that title either — especially as there are many teetotal Lodges, and teetotal members of Lodges. Yet it is easy to see how the nickname came about, for our 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 amuse themselves with exotic formalities.
What We Do
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, and in that respect our order may indeed be regarded as "ancient" or "antediluvian".
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.