Community Spirit

December 21st, 2011

The John Williams Cambrian Lodge

Here at the Oakeley Arms, we’re lucky to be the meeting point for several community groups and organisations, and this week we’d like to pay a big blog tribute to one of our favourite local community groups, the John Williams Cambrian Lodge RAOB.

The John Williams Cambrian Lodge are the local arm of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB) or Buffs, as they are sometimes fondly known.

The charitable organisation was founded at the turn of the nineteenth century. Its intruigning name comes from the fact that tradtionally at every meeting, the popular song of the time “Hunt the Buffalo” was sang, and so the Buffs were born!

The organisation’s origins are believed to have been on the stages and in the theatres of London, when a group of theatre hands and technicians formed their own brotherhood after being denied membership to an order for actors and artists. The earliest known meeting of the RAOB took place in 1822 in London, but as the theatre workers travelled all over the country, and indeed the commonwealth, for their work, RAOB groups, or lodges as they are known, popped up all over the world. They now have branches as far afield as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India.

The Buffs are a non political, non religious and benevolant organisation, which is open to men over 18.  Groups meet every week to discuss issues, converse and raise money for many different charitable causes, both within and outside the organisation. The RAOB very much believe that all men are equal; and in the power of charity, caring for others and helping those that are less fortunate or less able.

At a recent meeting, the John Williams Cambrian Lodge made donations to several local good causes, such as Portmadoc Scouts, St Twrog’s Church, Macmillan Nurses and the Glaslyn Mountain Rescue Team.

Photo of the WP John Wall R.O.H of the John Williams Cambrian Lodge 10505 presenting a cheque of £100.00 to the Porthmadoc scout treasurer Mr M. Vellacott. Picture by Geraint Jones

The lodge is active every Thursday evening at 8.00pm at the Oakeley Arms, and anyone interested in enrolling with the RAOB please call in, you’d be most welcome.

For more details about the work of the RAOB, see