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RAOB Parade in Hereford 1951

More than 2000 members of the RAOB, from many parts of England and Wales, attended a Service in Hereford Cathedral on Sunday, 24th June 1951, when the DPGP Bro HS Newill, Vicar of Ocle Pychard, preached and the Dean of Hereford, the Very Reverend Bro HR Burrows, led the prayers.

Having formed up outside the Town Hall, the parade moved off in two contingents between crowd-lined pavements, through the High Town and along Broad Street to the Cathedral. The first contingent was headed by the trumpets and drums of the Royal Air Force, Credenhill, and the second by the Hereford City Prize Silver Band.

At the Cathedral, members of the Order having entered by the West Door to fill the seats of the centre and side aisle, their wives, friends and relations entered by the North Porch. The huge congregation then rose to its feet as the Dean, accompanied by the PGP, Bro AK Lock, went down the centre aisle to welcome at the West Door the Mayor of Hereford (Alderman GFC Higginbotham), the Deputy Mayor (Preb Bro LJB Snell MBE) and the aldermen, councillors and officials of the Corporation, to escort them to their seats in the choir.

Preb Bro Snell opened the service from the pulpit, with the congregation singing first the National Anthem, and then the hymn “Jesau, Lover of My Soul.” General confession and the Absolution were followed by the Lord’s Prayer, and the psalm “I was glad when they said unto me” was sung by the congregation before the lesson, which was read by the Rev Bro AS Hutchinson.

“Nunc Dimittis” sung by the congregation preceded the Creed led by the Dean, in which all joined.

The Dean then announced from the pulpit that there was present one of the greatest gatherings of men in the country at a church service in this Festival Year. On behalf of the Chapter and himself he thanked the organisers for devoting the afternoon’s collection to the Cathedral.



He then introduced the Rev Bro HS Newill, who, before beginning his sermon, said the congregation was by far the biggest before which he had ever preached.

The fundamental purposes of their Order, he said, were to practise some of the principal teachings of Christianity. Their chief purposes were: philanthropy and good fellowship. By carrying out the precepts of the Order it was possible to live part of the Gospel, and it appeared that many people were leading Christian lives without being aware of the fact. While this was, of course, a very good thing, it could be done far better. No-one ever became a master craftsman unawares; therefore, to attain the best in a Christian life, it was necessary to look to God. By doing this, members could make the Order a living Order, serving a living God.

A common failing is to be satisfied with the second best. But progress is essential. You cannot stand still, if you try you will slip back, said the preacher.

Referring to the Festival of Britain, he said, that although it showed the material achievements of this country, its greatest purpose was to show the British way of life. The Order of Buffaloes typified this way which was unique in the world, and was something for which they should thank God, and be intensely proud.

After the address the hymns “Abide with Me” and “O worship the King” were sung while the collection was taken by brothers of the Order, which was received by Preb Bro RDR Greene. The Dean then pronounced the Blessing and the service ended with the singing of “Absent Brethren” (Toast) Hymn, whose cadences, from 2,000 throats, surged and rolled with tremendous solemnity.

Members then paraded in Broad Street and marched in two contingents back to the Town Hall, where the ceremony ended.

There were about 73 Lodges taking part, from as far apart as St Ives, Hunts, Bristol, Llanelli, Warwickshire, Banbury, Shrewsbury, Aberdare, Abertillery, Ebbw Vale, Merthyr, Neath, Monmouth, Central Wales, and Upper Wye Valley, Gloucestershire and SW, Wrekin, Salop, Forest of Dean, Cardiff and Hereford.