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1911: Grand Lodge provide the 'old folk' with a 'jolly evening' and 'excellent dinner'

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 28 February 1911


The old folk of Cuckfield have every reason to wish prosperity to the Cuckfield Lodge of the R.A.O.B., for the members are instrumental once a year in enabling them to spend together a very jolly evening. This year the Buffs’ appeal for financial aid was generously responded to, and on Tuesday evening last the Lodge welcomed to dinner at the King’s Head Hotel about fifty old men and women. Some arrived in conveyances and others walked. Mrs. Izzard, of Ansty Lane, was the oldest person present, her age being 89. That she preferred to walk to the Hotel rather than drive there speaks well for her vitality. And the lantern she brought with her was an indication that she intended to walk back to her home at the close of the festive gathering; but the high wind and rain checked her intention, and she accepted the offer of “a lift”.

Royal Ancient Order of Buffaloes Grand Lodge Cuckfield 1911

Mrs. Izzard sat on the right of Cuckfield’s Vicar (the Rev. Robert Fisher), who occupied the chair, and to the left of the rev. gentleman was the Parish Clerk—Mr. J. Murrell. Others present were Mrs. Attree, Mrs. Penfold, Mrs. Pattenden, Mrs. Murrell, Mrs. Barnett, Mrs. Leney, Mrs. Brigden, Mrs. Packham, Mrs. Parker, Mrs. A. Mitchell, Mrs. F. Smith, Mrs. Longhurst, Mrs. Etherton, Mrs. Chatfield, Mrs. Hall, Mrs. J. Ede, Mrs. Brookshaw, Mrs. Fox, Miss Packham, Mr. Attree, Mr. Penfold, Mr. Streeter, Mr. Pattenden, Mr. N. Murrell, Mr. Brigden, Mr. Pelling, Mr. Stoner, Mr. J. Mitchell, Mr. Godsmark, Mr. Hayward, Mr. B. Packham, Mr. Bourne, Mr. H. Rhodes, Mr. J. Freeman, Mr. A. Upton, Mr. F. Smith, Mr. F. Cooper, Mr. J. Gasson, Mr. Etherton, Mr. Hall, Mr. A. Miles, Mr. Clark, Mr. J. Jenner, Mr. I. Croucher, Mr. Brookshaw, Mr. Patching and Mr. Hawkes. The dinner was served in the billiard room, which had been


with Japanese and Chinese lanterns, plants and flowers by Primo Underhill, Primo E. Morfee, Bro. E. Cooper and Mrs. Morfee. The motto 'Welcome Ye Old Folk' was prominently displayed, and the Buffs right through the evening did not spare themselves to make their guests feel it was a real joy for them to wait upon them. The repast could not have been better cooked, and the good things set before the old folk speedily caused them "to lose their appetites.” After dinner the Chairman—whose presence was hailed with delight by all—was joined at the head table by Knight H. Searle (Grand President of Sussex) and Knight G. Bolton (Grand Secretary). The loyal toast having been honoured, the Chairman gave the toast of “The Old Folk.” He referred to the great kindness of the Buffs on that occasion, to the beautiful decorations and to the still more beautiful faces of the old folk around the tables. Since their last festive gathering many before him had received an old age pension, and he sincerely wished them long possession of—and much enjoyment with—it. (Musical honours).

Mr. Murrell feelingly responded. It gave him great pleasure to again accept the hospitality of the Cuckfield Lodge of Buffaloes. He missed a few faces that night whom he had met at previous dinners, but they could not stay the hand of Father Time when he worked his scythe. It was most kind of the Buffs to bring the old folk together and give them such a pleasant evening, and he hoped that it would be possible for them to continue to do so for several years to come. (Applause). The Chairman next submitted the toast of “The R.A.O.B.,” and commended the good work of the Order on behalf of the poor at Cuckfield and more populous places. Knight Seahle responded. Several Brothers from Brighton would have accompanied him to that gathering, he said, but for illness or business pressure. Proceeding, the speaker 


on the heartiness of their welcome to the old folk. He had attended several such functions, but had never seen a more successful one. Neither had he seen before such beautiful decorations. The amicable way in which everybody worked together was another noticeable feature, and entitled the Lodge to hearty congratulations.

Philanthropy—the helping of those who could not help themselves—that was the keynote of Buffaloism. (Applause). He had had the honour and pleasure of attending the Haywards Heath and Lindfield Lodges as well as the one at Cuckfield, and he felt compelled to say that the work of those three Lodges was an example to all Lodges. (Applause).

He hoped he should again have the pleasure of meeting the happy faces before him. The speaker also proposed “The Health of the Chairman,” and remarked that it showed a true philanthropic spirit in the Vicar that came there and presided over that gathering. (Applause). The rev. gentleman had carried out his duties in a most genial and happy manner, and he richly deserved a vote of thanks. (The toast was drunk with musical honours).

The Chairman acknowledged the compliment and then, having to leave, his place was taken by Knight Searle. The latter gave the toast “ The Host and Hostess,” deservedly praising Primo and Mrs. Morfee for having


to make everyone happy and comfortable. At half-past eight the proceedings closed. But before the call for time the Buffs lined up and sang the “Buffalo Chorus’’ (containing excellent sentiments) and finally all clasped hands and joined in "Auld Lang Syne.”

The entertainment was enjoyed immensely. The programme included instrumental and vocal items, selections on the handbells, reading and recitation, the performers being the Cuckfield Town Band (conductor, Mr. J. Gasson), the Rev. R. H. C. Mertens, Primo G. Bunting, Miss Ida Ross, Master Bowley, Miss Florence Fisher, Miss Ethel May, Miss May Bunting, Miss Chettle, Mr. H. Streeter, Primo Quaife, Bro. E. Cooper, Mr. Pix, Primo J. Driver, Messrs. A. Robinson, F. Attwater, E. Attwater, A. Rapley, F. Hounsell and A. Miles (handbell ringers), Bro. Higgins, Mr. A. Batchelor, Primo and Miss Leach, and Miss L. Ross. Primes Bunting and A. E. Tester ami Miss Joyner were the accompanists. The Committee organizing the dinner were Primos Stone, Fisher, Quaife, Underhill and Morfee, Bro. Higgins, “Sir” F. Cooper, and Primo Creswell, with Primo F. Hooper as Hon. Secretary (which work he well performed). The attendants upon the old folk in addition to the members of the Lodge were Primo and Mrs. Creswell (Lindfield), and the musical arrangements were under the direction of Primes Quaife and Stone. Presents of tea and tobacco were given to the guests. For kindly lending plants


to Mrs. Wrightson, Mr. H. Stevens and Primo Humphrey (Haywards Heath). A friend has also to be thanked for sending tobacco and Primo Bunting for providing rolls. To the subscribers the Committee are deeply grateful, for it was their assistance which was mainly responsible for the old folk of Cuckfield having such a rare good treat. 

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