Valiant Lodge – The History of the Valiant Lodge
The Valiant Lodge 8806 is one of many Lodges worldwide who are part of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (R.A.O.B.). As with all other Lodges of the R.A.O.B., our aims are to look after the well-being of its members and dependants, to help with good charitable causes, locally as well as nationally, and having a good time doing so, in the process.
The Valiant Lodge 8806 was formed on the 15th of December 1955 at the Cecil Club, RAF Wittering, Peterborough, Cambs., but was not officially opened until the 20th of January 1956, due to bad weather at the time preventing the Provincial Grand Lodge from actually undertaking the ceremony. The Provincial Grand Primo conducting the opening ceremony was Bro. J.W. Wright RoH, and the Lodge came under the jurisdiction of Peterborough and District Province, which it has remained so to this day.
The naming of the Lodge was quite straight-forward. The Valiant B1 bomber was stationed at RAF Wittering at the time the Lodge was formed, and most of the Lodge members were service personnel at the station. Therefore, the Lodge naturally became the Valiant Lodge 8806.
The Valiant B1 Bomber was one of the ‘ V’ Bombers which made up the ‘V’ Force of the Cold War era. The Valiant was first to come into service, with the Victor and Vulcan following soon after. Sadly the Valiant was the lesser known of the ‘V’ bombers, but was the only one, surprisingly, to be used for atomic weapons testing, which it was designed for. The aircraft had seen action conventionally, but after only a few years in production, it was sadly withdrawn from service. So the Valiant Lodge was formed and named during the short time this aircraft was in service, and had any other aircraft been stationed at RAF Wittering then, it could have been a different story! So The Valiant Lodge it became, and as it was proved, a very apt name for a very hardy and resilient Lodge.
Over the years the Lodge has seen its numbers rise and fall in line with certain situations around the globe, and as most of the Lodge members were service personnel, postings-in and out and detachments were not uncommon. Nowadays, not many of the Lodge members are ex-service, with the majority being civilians having no service background at all. This being said, all the members of the Lodge are extremely proud of its past and its achievements, and are eager to see the Lodge go from strength to strength in the future.
The Lodge has seen fluctuations in its membership, going down to single figures at times, but we now meet with around 15-20 members each meeting, and a good proportion are younger brethren, which thankfully ensures the future of the Lodge. It is safe to presume that there are past members of the Valiant Lodge 8806 still active in other Lodges in the R.A.O.B., either by way of Initiation or Affiliation, and the Lodge welcomes any past members to pop in and visit the Lodge one day to see how we are doing!
There are numerous charities which have been supported by the Lodge. Some are national ones, but mostly these are local charities, groups or individuals who we feel are deserving of our support, and we do this each year, and are proud to do so. One such achievement was for a local blind person who was in need of a guide dog, and although the Lodge had intentions of assisting towards the funding of the guide dog, the Valiant Lodge members became so enthusiastic that they managed not only to raise enough funds for the guide dog, but also for its training. The guide dog, when presented to its new owner, was named ‘Valiant’ in honour of the Lodge’s achievements. Our Local Air Ambulance were also well supported, with a cheque for £1200 being presented to this good cause. This, however, is only the tip of the iceberg, with various wards in the Peterborough Health Care Trust, Talking Newspapers, assistance towards a new War Memorial by the Royal British Legion, local skate park group, Scouts, disadvantaged children, and the like, also getting our assistance. All this by the Lodge’s members past and present, who have worked tirelessly for the good work of the R.A.O.B.
Several members are active at Provincial Grand Lodge, some of which hold or have held, senior offices, or are currently officers at PGL. We are even fortunate enough to have a member in its ranks as a Grand Lodge Officer, which Peterborough Province has not had in 60 years!
The Valiant Lodge 8806 is in its 60th year, and recently had its 3000th meeting, and like all other Lodges, has had its ups and downs, and several re-locations, but the spirit of buffaloism lives on in this Lodge, and we enjoy what we do, helping others along the way.
If you are a member of the Order,or past member of the Lodge and happen to be passing through the Peterborough Province, do find the time to pop in and see us, you would be made most welcome.
If you are considering joining the Royal Antediluvian Order Of Buffaloes, look them up locally, or on the internet for your area, and go along and have a chat with the Lodge members. We are sure you would be made most welcome, and find that they are keen to talk about the Order, and your interest in it.
The Valiant Lodge 8806 meets every Tuesday at 8pm at the Stamford Indoor Bowls Centre, Exeter Gardens, Stamford, Lincolnshire, in the Committee Room, and are within the Peterborough and District Province.