Words and photo by Dave Barry
Scarborough publicans’ eyes light up when the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes comes to town.
The men-only meetings of the grand lodge always end up in the Hole in the Wall, Wetherspoons or some other local hostelry.
“We’ve been known to drink a place dry”, says Dave Wiseman, who rejoices in the title of grand waiter for 2008.
Not that the Buffs are a rowdy rabble. They are mostly men of a certain age, well past 50, and enjoy the social side of their charitable fraternity as much as the serious aspects.
For 2018, Mike Thompson is the provincial grand primo, or regional boss. He has chosen as his charity of the year Scarborough RNLI, for which he raised £2,000 when he lived in Cyprus in 2008.
There will be a fundraising walk to Whitby, a boat trip in June - that kind of thing.
Last year, when Graham Nicholson was PGP, they raised £1,800 for Macmillan nurses. The year before, when Dave was PGP, Yorkshire Air Ambulance was the beneficiary.
Graham and Dave are senior officers; Graham’s title is grand alderman of juniper for 2014. Members are known as brothers.
They were speaking at the first of the year’s quarterly meetings at the Spa; they will be back on the first Saturday of March, June and September.
The snow cut attendance in half. Although brothers from Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Gibraltar and Jersey made it, others from Scotland, Wales and Cornwall were no-shows.
Over 500 people were expected; only about 250 turned up.
The photo shows members of the Scarborough and East Yorkshire grand lodge, which hosted the meeting. The lodge is comprised of various minor lodges. Each raises money for charity.