Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes 
First Degree Ceremony

This ritual is from 1958

S.P.: Who Knocks?
C.Ty. answers.
S.P.: His Business?
C.Ty.: To introduce a Gentleman who desires to become a member of our Ancient and Honourable Order
S.P.: His Name ?
C.Ty.: Mr. ....
S.P.: His correct Age?
C.Ty. answers.
S.P.: Admit him, Brethren be upstanding.
City Warden meets the Introducer and Unenlightened.
S.P.: Conduct the Candidate to the Worthy City Marshal.
C.M.: Mr. ..., are you a Loyal supporter of the Queen and Constitution?
Candidate: I am.
C.M.: Do you enter this Lodge of your own free will and consent ?
Candidate: I do.
C.M.: Take the Candidate to the Royal Making Chair in centre of lodge.
S.P.: 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 Lodges.
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 and Laws.
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 and Fortitude.
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.
S.P.: Lead the Candidate to the Royal Presence.
S.P.: 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.
S.P.: 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 hours.”
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 to see?
Candidate: Light.
Let him behold it! Only censor.
Chant: “Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, and sing
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 Philanthropy.
1. Great and Mighty Spirit of Brotherly Love assist us.
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, it’s crossed, the charm is crossed.
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 link.
Initiate stands in the centre.
S.P.: City Marshal are all the Brethren properly linked.
C.M.: All properly linked, Sitting Primo
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.: Brethren be seated.
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 Grand Council
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.