Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes
First Degree Ceremony
This ritual is from 1958
To introduce a Gentleman who desires to become a member of our Ancient and
His Name ?
His correct Age?
Admit him, Brethren be upstanding.
City Warden meets the Introducer
Conduct the Candidate to the Worthy City Marshal.
Mr. ..., are you a Loyal supporter
of the Queen and Constitution?
Candidate: I am.
Do you enter this Lodge of your own free will and consent ?
Candidate: I do.
Take the Candidate to the Royal Making Chair in centre
Brethren to your Seats.
Most unenlightened individual, you are about to become a Member of a Society, the
principles of which are calculated not only to relieve the wants of the indigent
and the sufferings of the distressed, but to promote Peace, Harmony and
Good-fellowship throughout the World.
From the ancient records of History we learn that
the principles of the Order of Buffaloes are of great antiquity, and were
adopted soon after the creation of Man. The darkness of ignorance, and the
prejudices emanating therefrom, caused them at times to be comparatively hidden
from the World. But I am happy to inform you that darkness has to a great extent
been dispelled, and those prejudices removed, by the formation of Missionary
For the present high and greatly extended position
of our Order we are indebted to the indefatigable exertions of Primo George
Cooper Murray, who, having received a Dispensation to extend the Order,
fulfilled his Mission with astounding Zeal and Wisdom; and to his labours we may
attribute, not only the extension of Lodges to various parts of the Globe, and a
rapid increase in the number at home, but also a great improvement in our Ritual
The two great principles of our Order, to which I
most earnestly direct your attention, are Philanthropy and Harmony.
By the exercise of Philanthropy we develop the most
noble attributes of civilised Man which distinguish him from the
“Unenlightened child of Nature,” and by the practice of Harmony we seek to
relieve our minds from the cares and troubles of the outer World, and unite
ourselves in the bonds of Friendship and Brotherly Love.
I may here inform you that the practice of
blindfolding an unenlightened is of the most remote origin. ft is typical of the
state of Darkness in which your mind has hitherto been enveloped concerning the
mysteries of our Order; it serves to free you from the influence of surrounding attractions; and it
tests your possession of three noble virtues which are required of him who
desires to become a Good, True, and Loyal Buffalo, namely: Patience, Resignation
Having thus far made you acquainted with the
principles upon which our Order is based, are you still desirous of proceeding,
and becoming more fully Enlightened as to its mysteries.
Candidate: I am.
the Candidate to the Royal Presence.
I am now about to ask you to take an oath or obligation which we as Buffaloes
consider lust as binding as any oath taken in a Court of Law, but it does not
interfere with your Religious or Political Creeds, as these subjects are not
allowed to be discussed in our Order. Are you prepared to take this obligation.
Candidate: I am.
City Warden then prepares the
Initiate to receive the Obligation or Oath of Secrecy.
R.K. on C., R.H. on L.B.
Brethren be upstanding.
I, ..., do hereby solemnly declare that I will never divulge the Secrets, Signs, and Passwords which may be given to me in this or
any other Lodge of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes; I will not write
them or cause them to be written, or communicate them in any way, unless it be
to him or them who are lawfully and justly entitled to same. I will at all times
act in Strict conformity with the Laws and Customs of the Order I will also, to the extent of my power
succour and defend a brother, under any LAWFUL circumstances, but especially those
of difficulty or need.
All these promises I sincerely make, and with the
same solemnity that attaches to an oath.
So Help Me M... G... N....
S.P.: We now ask you to bind the Oath
you have just taken by kissing the bowl of this Common Pipe which is typical of
what you have been and to what you will ultimately return, namely, Clay
Candidate kisses the Clay.
S.P.: Inasmuch as we have observed
your Patience in attending our Lecture, your Resignation to the forms imposed on
you, and your fortitude in desiring to be still further enlightened, I will
proceed to inform you that the records of our Order, from the days of Noah to
the present time, contain a roll of illustrious Knights, Primos and Brethren,
many of whom have filled high positions in the Unenlightened World.
In the Sixteenth Century, Elizabeth, Queen of
England, being satisfied that the principles of our Order were of great benefit
to the Community, as well as a strong support to any well-regulated Government,
presented us with a Banner, bearing the Motto, “Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis
Sapit,” which being freely interpreted means, “Mortals are not wise at all
That great Dramatic Luminary, Shakespeare; also Sir
Walter Raleigh, Smith, Lisle, Kean, Cook, Grimaldi and a host of other
distinguished Personages were Brother Buffs.
But here I will again remind you that the principal
motives of our Order are Philanthropy and Harmony; and let me impress upon your
mind that you will best promote your own happiness by mitigating the sufferings
and sorrows of your less fortunate fellow creatures; and, whenever a poor
Brother crosses your path, give him what you can afford with a free and generous
heart, saying, “Take this, and fare better elsewhere.” And now having
enumerated so many good Buffs, I hope soon to take you by the hand and rank you
amongst our number.
In your present condition what would you most like
Let him behold it!
Chant: “Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, and
The glories of our Mystic Ring;
Rejoice, rejoice, and do not mar,
The Glory of our Mystic Star.”
S.P.: I wish you to observe that this
flame is symbolical of the Fire of Justice, the Light of Truth and the Warmth of
1. Great and Mighty Spirit of Brotherly Love assist
2. Feather-Heel’d Mercury lend us Thine aid.
3. Spirit of True Buffaloism hover around us.
Chant: It’s crossed, it’s crossed,
It’s crossed, it
s crossed, it’s crossed,
It’s crossed, it’s crossed, the charm is
It’s broke, it’s broke, it’s broke,
It’s broke, it’s broke, it’s broke,
It’s broke, it’s broke, the charm is broke.
S.P.: Brethren assist me to form the
Initiate stands in the centre.
S.P.: City Marshal are all the
Brethren properly linked.
C.M.: All properly linked, Sitting
S.P.: Newly Initiated Brother (or
Brethren). I call your attention to what is known as the Buffalo
Link. You will observe it is an endless chain, formed by passing the Right Hand
over the Left, thus bringing the right hand nearest the heart, which is
symbolical of the good feeling which should exist amongst all brethren of the
Order. It is in this manner all Lodges are opened and closed throughout the
world. I shall shortly ask you to join this link which I may inform you can only
be broken by death, and we all sincerely trust that you may be spared for many
years to become a useful member of our unbroken link.
S.P.: Brethren number.
S P.: I hereby declare Bro. ... duly
and legally initiated into the mysteries and privileges of our Ancient and
Honourable Order. This I declare by the powers vested in me by the Grand Council,
and, in the name of Her Majesty the Queen and in the presence of ...
good and true hearted members of our Order.
S.P. asks the A.B.
to give the Address.
A.B.: Bro. ..., since you entered this
Lodge of your own free will and consent you have solemnly promised the Brethren
standing round, that the means necessary for the well-being of our Order, which
have or may be entrusted to you shall remain secret, and that nothing shall
force them from you. Now think well of the promise you have made, and of the
wound it would give to the principles of our Order were the same betrayed. Of
all the virtues of social life, that of Faithfulness is the greatest. He who
betrays his friend commits a grievous crime, but he who intrudes himself into
our Order, to destroy the peace and break the bonds, which render it social and
happy, is a being whom all good men despise. No matter in what position of life
you may be placed, from the Prince to the Peasant, if you fullfil your relative
duty, you are a Good, True and Loyal Buffalo
S.P. invites Initiate to join the link.
National Anthem is sung.
S.P.: Bro. ..., I will now instruct
you in the Signs and Passwords of the First Degree.
These should always be given inside the Lodge. Done.
S.P.: Bro. ..., you will now retire with the C. Warden and seek
admission in due form.
Presentation of Rule Book and Members Card
On behalf of the Lodge I present you with your
membership card which is a replica of the Certificate in the centre of your
Emblem that you will receive later. This requires your signature to complete and
make it you own conclusive property. If at any time you are challenged at the
Tyle and your membership card demanded also a specimen of your signature for
comparison it will then prove beyond all doubt your real identity. The flyleaf
is for affiliation to other Lodges under Grand Council. If you affiliate see
that the City Secretary fills in all details.
This is your Rule Book containing the laws of the
Order and duties of all Officers. You will find guidance should you take up any
office in Minor Lodge and it will teach you your responsibility to the Order in
general. I call your attention to the incorporated schedule of Fines and
Offences which shows you for what you can procure a charge against any Brother,
please read it for enlightenment. Our funds are raised by these methods.
Lecture for Presentation of Emblem
Bro. ..., on behalf of the Lodge I now present you
with the Emblem of our Order appertaining to the First Degree. To you it appears
as an etching in black and white with little or no significance at all. However,
I assure you that there is a meaning to everything portrayed thereon.
You will observe that it is an archway supported by
two Corinthian pillars. The base or foundation of those two pillars is built
upon the words Philanthropy and Harmony, these being the basic principles of our
Order. By Philanthropy we mitigate the suffering and distress of our Brother
member, assist widows and orphans. In Harm we seek relief from our cares and
troubles, instill the feeling of friendship, create generosity and beauty in
life, thus bringing the spirit of Brotherly love.
The Pillars are representative of Lodge Officers,
and from time to time you will be asked to fill one of these Collars, thus
becoming part of the pillars which support the centre arch.
The centre portion of the arch is held together by a keystone which bears
the letters S.P. thus representing the Sitting Primo of
the Lodge. Take away the keystone from the arch and it will collapse, take away
your Sitting Primo and the Lodge cannot function. By your zeal and efforts as
part of those pillars you in turn may become the S.P. or Keystone of the Arch
which is your Lodge.
I would remind you that your passwords are embodied
on the Emblem. At the base of he pillar to your left you see portrayed the bust
of that dramatic luminary Shakespeare. Over the arch in the centre you see the
God Atlas bearing the world and its cares. On the right at the base of the
pillar you see a portrait of a medieval King. Hence your passwords which as you
know are split into syllables.
You will notice the figure of Justice reclining
at ease with a pair of balanced scales.
She is blindfold as you were when entering Lodge.
In your state of darkness you received Justice and no practical jokes were
played upon you. Now that you are enlightened as to the principles of our, Order
I ask you to remember that Justice should be granted to all, The other reclining
figure represents Truth. You will observe that the face of Truth cannot be seen,
however, it is reflected in the mirror she is holding. A mirror will reflect
nothing except the truth or what is real. Once again I ask you to reflect the
truth at all times and on looking into a mirror you will be able to see the
reflection of either a good or indifferent brother.
May I direct your attention to the portraits of
Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh. The former presented us with a banner
bearing the inscription “Nemo Mortalium Ommbus Horis Sapit” which as you now
know means “Mortals are not wise at all hours.” It is possible for everyone
to make mistakes, therefore, have fortitude and remember our motto.
Sir Walter was a member of our Order and was
responsible for our noble standing, having convinced the Queen we were loyal
subjects and supporters of the Constitution.
You will observe that at the summit of the
Corinthian pillars there are two Knights of old, one bearing the letters “K.O M.” and the other “R.O.H.” Having passed
through the archway and rendered noble service you may be raised to the high
honour of Knight of Merit. it is through further endeavours and consistent
ardour that you may be rewarded and have your name inscribed on the Roll of
Honour attaining the highest award possible.
The blank space in the centre of the Emblem at the
bottom is for your signature which I hope you will sign before leaving Lodge and
thus complete it. The Certificate proving that you are a bonafide member of the
Order bears your name and is signed by the Officers who initiated you.
It is customary for Brethren to have this Emblem
framed and placed in a conspicuous place in their home. I would advise you to do
likewise. Should you adopt this suggestion see that the person framing it leaves
the seal of Grand Council showing which proves to all it is a genuine Emblem of
You have now been a member of the Lodge and Order
for four weeks and more or less completed your probationary period. We all hope
and trust that you will continue to show interest in the Lodge and work to
foster the true spirit of Brotherly love. Maybe at some time in the future you
will be regarded as a stalwart of the Order and earn the everlasting respect of
the brethren you may come in contact with.
In conclusion may I congratulate you on your
initiation and trust you will be spared for many years as a true and faithful
member of our Order.