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.
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
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.