Bro. Howard Passes CP has been our Media and Press Secretary for last couple of years and during this time he has written a number of published articles in the local press and Daxi Magazine a monthly free publication reporting the activities of ‘the Buffs’ on the Island. This area of the Web site includes a number of these article’s to show you what we are about.
Spirit of the Buffs – Always Undiminished. With Holiday of a Life Time in mind
We all accept, through no fault of our own, we have endured a relatively long period of visible inactivity. Let’s not be shy about it, this pandemic has caused havoc, it has ruined many carefully laid plans, hopes and aspirations of so many people.
However, thanks to the resilience of mankind coupled together with the
wonders of modern medicine, a pathway has been found that has enabled us to live our lives in as near as normal a way as possible. We all accept the
wearing of face masks and keeping a distance from each other, which seems to be the legacy by which we will now have to live.
Although most of the year saw us continuing with our internet assisted
meetings, which at least enabled us to communicate, there was a sudden flurry of activity at the beginning of June. Without any warning we were informed that we had a function booking at the LeBay Hotel in Oroklini. This was our Summer Ball in aid of ‘Holiday of a Life Time’ (H.O.A.LT.) which had been on the back burner for two years. Scheduled for 2 nd of July we had less than four weeks to put it together.
The H.O.A.L.T. committee was immediately convened, each member receiving his duties and instructions. The first question was ‘how to have a ball when dancing is not allowed’. The answer lay in the quality of the entertainment. We were fortunate, there were not many functions on the scale and size of ours, we had the pick of the available talent. So it was done, within the space of 24 hours, the live entertainment was booked and confirmed.
There were some fears and feelings of apprehension amongst us, this cannot be denied, after all it had been 2 years since our last summer fund raiser, and then we had had plenty of time to organise, and there were no Covid-19 restrictions in evidence. Can we pull this off? Can we make a success of this function? Well aware that there was a lot to do, with the ‘SPIRIT of the BUFFS’ upper most in our minds, and in no particular order we set about deciding on the menu, marketing, printing tickets, gathering and organising the raffle prizes, oh I nearly forgot, making sure that the bar had sufficient stock and would not run dry.
Suffice it to say we made it, with just under 150 people this turned out to be one of our most successful functions both for enjoyment and financially
Well done HOLIDAY of a LIFE TIME committee
Sorry August is holiday month, it’s so quiet!
Spirit of the Buffs. A new beginning.
Happy New Year. It’s a new day, a new dawn, the sun is shining and as I look out of my window all the physical signs are looking good. What you can see and what you can’t see and what is reality are all totally different. We had planned for this day, Friday January 1st 2021 with meticulous detail.
Many hours of hard background work had been undertaken by a number of our brothers in preparation for today. It was to be the day when we, with a sense of euphoria, were to celebrate and welcome our new beginning. The GRAND LODGE of CYPRUS was at long last going to see the light of day.
A celebratory party had been planned, with guests and friends invited from not only this Island, but the UK and other countries. However, as the saying goes about the carefully laid plans of mice and men, none of this was about to happen, we were in lock-down, unable to meet, travel or congregate. The Grand Lodge of Cyprus however, did see it’s launch, but not in the way we had hoped. Thank goodness for the telephone, internet and most of all Skype. It certainly was not as we had planned. For the time being this wretched pandemic known as CORONERVIRUS (COVID-19) had gained the upper hand. We could do no more than contact each other from the comfort of our homes via the afore mentioned electronic methods.
Although the writer of this columndid not actually witness the private merrymaking that was taking place across this island, it wasn’t long before news filtered back that several brethren had adopted the viewpoint that almost anything is a good reason for a party, albeit in their own homes. Quite a few decided to have a drink or two, some even made it three or four, but the brothers who had at least five or six drinks are the ones we applaud the most. Oh yes you know who you are. I understand you woke up the following morning without any signs of a hang-over, well done guys.
We continued throughout January having our ‘virtual meetings’ something we had practiced during the first lock-down of April and May of last year. As a result, there was very little accomplished, so January failed to produce anything to write about, except to say, as Buffs we remain confident about the future and our new beginning!
Why don’t you join us, find out what makes us tick and the fun we have. Let’s also not forget to mention the comradeship that is forged between members.
By Howard Passes CP
p.p. the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (Buffs) Grand Lodge of Cyprus.
Spirit of the Buffs (Still optimistic against the odds)
After the success of our Celebration Dinner last month, which was held at Moments Hall in Larnaca, the same venue we had used for our Valentines dinner in February, knew as we entered December, The Holiday of a Life time committee had pressed ahead, determined to bring some of that feel-good factor to life, whilst it seemed others were cancelling functions because of the announcements regarding restrictions that were being put in place to try and counteract the effect of the Covid-19 virus. We were only permitted to have 80 people, a number easily attained. The timing of the function had to be earlier that we would have liked, because of the nationwide curfew, nobody out after 10pm. In order to keep our guests occupied, because dancing was not allowed, we played bingo,had a quiz plus we were entertained by two great singers, Lorraine (Rainy) and Leo Romero. We also had our raffle draw with a top prize of €500. The function raised in excess of €1400. Altogether a great success.
With December progressing and in the knowledge that January 1st would see the launch of the Grand Lodge of Cyprus (GLC), the final meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge (PGL) rescheduled its timing. This was done to enable those of us who had to travel to Limassol, sufficient time get to home before the curfew came into force. PGL can best be described as the area manager lodge, the lodge that had direct responsibility to the Grand Lodge, in our case The Grand Lodge of England. As we were about to form our own Grand Lodge and become our own masters there were many things to tie up.
During the first half of this month we had continued to hold or meetings but at an earlier time. Then came another set of curtailments. So we reverted back to our internet meetings, via Skype, that we had done during the previous lock-down earlier in the year. We were forced to cancel our annual Christmas lunch, usually held on the last Sunday before the big day. This is coupled together with the hamper draw. Let me explain. Throughout the year on a monthly basis, we hold a raffle. Yes. we buy tickets with the hope of winning a fresh chicken with a joint of Ham, Lamb, beef or pork. Each time a brother buys a ticket he receives another ticket which is entered into the Hamper Draw. Each hamper is worth at least €150, well worth wining. Getting around the rules regarding gatherings was easy. We split into two groups. Two of us went to the lodge where the hampers were stored to supervise collection, whilst the other group of three went to a member’s house to do the draw, all linked by Skype.
It was a difficult month, it is now thankfully behind us. Now we shall look forward, to the months ahead, the launch of our own Grand Lodge, with many of us taking on new and exciting responsibilities, and a year that will allow us to fulfil many of our aims. January is already looking promising with two raising ceremonies, that is elevating a brother from one degree to a higher one. More on this in next month’s article.
We are optimistic about the future, whatever the past!
By Howard Passes CP on behalf of the RAOB (Buffs)
Spirit of the Buffs. Something good
Without a doubt this is the quietest month of the year, andperhaps the hottest, the days are long and the humidity hangs heavy in the air not only during the day but all night as well.
At last, amidst the turbulence and uncertainty of the last few months, members of the James Mercury Lodge had something to Celebrate. The last week of the month had brought cause for the celebration, as one of it’s members was about to be raised from the second to the third degree. This Lodge meets on a Tuesday evening, from 7:30 to 9:30, and any major event like a raising requires that we have a drink and a meal afterwards to celebrate. To allow us to give our brother the celebration he deservedthe Lodge meeting was somewhat extended.It opened as normal on Tuesday evening and then, not closed but suspended at the usual closing time and then reconvened on the following Sunday. This allowed the invited guests from all over the island to attend.
With the formalities of the ceremony over the Lodge was finally closed, we all set off in convoy to the ALKI Bar in Oroklini for our feast and celebratory party. Oh yes, we did have a raffle in aid of our Grand Primo’s Mini-Bus appeal, we raised just over €500. Well done James Mercury!
Spirit of the Buffs. Something good must happen
Philanthropy is a by-word of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes. It manifested itself by the actions of last year’s Grand Primo, Bro Mike Humphrey. The Grand Primo is in effect our leader or Prime Minister, elected on an annual basis. One of the first tasks of the incoming Grand Primo is to nominate the charitable cause that he is primarily going to support during his tenure in office.
It takes time to collate and close all the activities associated with raising money, for a good cause, that has taken place over the period of a year. That is why it has taken up till now for our 2019 Grand Primo’s fund raising efforts to be concluded. The chosen cause was the charity PASYKAF. For those who do not know what PASYKAF does, it sends our home helpers and trained nurses to visit, comfort and tend to the needs of mainly terminally ill cancer patients.
Bro Mike’s appeal raised the magnificent sum of €3,685. He will be handing over the cheque to PASYKAF very shortly. This year our Grand Primo, Bro Gary Dickinson, has chosen to support HOLIDAY of a LIFE TIME, our own charitable enterprise, and raise funds to purchase a mini-bus for this worthy cause. We wish him the best of luck with this undertaking.
Howard Passes CP for the RAOB
Spirit of the Buffs – Press on there’s a light
at the end of every tunnel
The summer had started early, not only had we just endured one of the worst months of the year, May, a combination of Covid-19 curfew and restrictions being placed upon us, but also an early heat wave, with temperatures in the high 30s centigrade.
June heralded the relaxation of some of the draconian rules under which we had to live, but certainly not all of them. At least we could now get together and hold meetings. By tradition every mid-summer we held our largest fund-raising BBQ Dinner and Disco Ball in aid of Holiday of a Lifetime
Organising an activity like this on the scale we wanted, was becoming more and more difficult. We were still governed rules and regulations that laid down quoters for the number of people that were allowed to gather together for functions.
At the beginning of the year there was very little reason to think that this year should be any different. One thing we did not have was a crystal ball, so we did not know what the summer months would hold. Initially the venue for our function had been booked, The Le Bay Hotel, on the beach at Oroklini, a great line-up of entertainment had been engaged and we had managed to sell over 100 tickets out of the expected 180.
As I have said some of the restrictions were lifted however, some still remained in place. Among some new decrees, was a directive stating the maximum number of people who could sit at a table, this was set at 6. A meeting of the HOALT Committee was called to discuss the situation. The result was not to our liking. The function could not go ahead, and so it was cancelled. The mammoth task of refunding money to those who had bought tickets was set in motion. This was another evening cancelled, still we will bounce back, we will somehow make up for this setback, we always do, with the ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it was not all gloom and doom.
Howard Passes CP For The Buffs and Holiday of a life Time
March, April & May 2020
Spirit of the Buffs – Don’t be beaten
For the first couple of weeks we battled on however, to be perfectly honest we were more than a little despondent after receiving the news that both groups of children for our 2020 Holiday of a life Time event had cancelled due to Coronavirus. Our delegates to Grand Lodge had left for what was for us a very important meeting, as the subject of our application to form our own Grand Lodge was being debated.
Having kept abreast of the news and in particular the situation in northern Italy, where a total lock-down had been imposed, it seemed that our little island, stuck at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, had escaped the worst of this pandemic. How wrong we were. A handful of cases, reported at the beginning of the month suddenly accelerated in a matter of days. So in the middle of the month of March the authorities acted swiftly and decisively and placed the whole island under lock-down.
This coupled together with the 9pm curfew gave people no room for manoeuvre. We were only allowed out of our homes for a couple of hours and then only for essentials. The retailers of non-essential goods were ordered to shut. The only businesses that could open were supermarkets & food shops, chemists and corner shops (kiosks). Petrol stations were also open. A short outing for exercise and visiting the elderly or infirm was permitted, as was taking the dog for a walk, anything else was off limits.
If it became necessary to go out, permission had to be obtained. This was done by sending an SMS message to a government office,and then receiving a reply giving the permission. I tell you now, the police were out in force carrying out spot checks on people’s movements, and if you did not have the phone with the text message with you, there was a hefty fine. This lock-down went on untilmid-May when the authorities, day by day, relaxed the imposed regulations.
Not being able to hold our meetings was to us devastating. What can we do, then somebody said, “you’ve heard of conference calls, so let’s do the same thing” .After the initial trial internet link-up, the audio visual meeting was given the go-ahead, so with our new found companion whose name was Skype we all knew that communication was not a problem. The fact is that two or three of our brothers who had not been to lodge for some time were so impressed by our 21stcentury methods of counteracting adversity joined the skype meetings, thus swelling the number of active members.
I am sure it is still fresh in your minds that, as I mentioned earlier in this narrative, it was not until the middle of May, that the government started to relax some of the restrictions that had been in force for several weeks. This meant that as we look forward we are happy in the knowledge that when June arrives we can get back to some sort on normality.
Howard Passes CP on behalf of the Buffs.
Spirit of the Buffs: Keep going
It had rained all night, massive puddles everywhere, but as the sun rose in the sky on this the 4th of February, it was a bright , clear and crisp morning. Now, skip forward to the early evening, this is our first meeting since January 28th.when we decided to celebrate BURNS NIGHT, which actually fell on the 25thof January. We decided to hold our party on that date because we were all at the lodge, we could hold a shorter meeting and then go into party mode. During our meeting our wives had been arriving. On the stroke of 8:30pm the lodge was closed and our lodge room was transformed into a dining hall. In the blink of an eye tables and chairs had been rearranged, and set with either check or tartan table cloths. The ‘Bain Maries’ appeared and we were ready to get under way.
On this night there is a traditional custom, that is, the Haggis is brought into the dining room to the sound of Bag-Pipes whilst “The Ode To The Haggis” is recited. This year, as you can imagine, the honour of reciting this verse was given to one of our Scottish Brethren, Bro. Paul McLachlan. Our catering department, consisting of three of our members, affectionally known as the “Dinner Ladies”, served a feast of Haggis with Tatties and Neeps, all washed down with your favourite tipple. Oh, and for those who for some unknown reason could not eat Haggis, Shepherds Pie was provided. That evening raised the modest sum of €300 for our HOALT programme.
February is the first month when we notice we are heading towards spring and summer. It is best known for, not the cold, wet and windy weather, but the day of romance, I mean the 14th Valentine’s Day. As it had been some time since we had had a dinner function we had decided back in December of last year to run a Valentines Dinner and Ball, an euphemism for “that’s a good idea for a party, let’s go for it” and so we did. We chose a venue called Moments, a relatively intimate, moderately sized hall, for this event. The hall had a reputation for good food, just what we needed, the rest was up to us. We employed the services of Nick Garvey, a very versatile singing entertainer. He captured the atmosphere easily singing tracks from the crooners, good old Frank, Dean Martin and the rest of that ilk, to Motown, rock & roll and some of the latest popular music. With over 100 people attending we raised just under €1100 for Holiday of a Lifetime. This was achieved through ticket sales and the raffle with a €500 cash first prize. At the end of the evening we made our way home in high spirits, totally unaware of what was to come – Covid-19 with all its ramifications.
A couple of days later we received the news that both of our expected groups had cancelled. Nothing more to add at this time. We tried to KEEP GOING!
By Howard Passes CP for the Buffs and Holiday of a Lifetime.
Spirit of the Buffs. Hope for the future
With the celebrations of the last few days, Christmas and New Year, still fresh in our minds, the new year started in good fashion. The sun shone and these early January mornings were fairly warm.
After 15 years of membership, one of our most active and progressive members was about to leave because of business reasons. He assured us that it was necessary for him to leave the island of Cyprus and move to the Philippines.
Our Brother Neil Tunstall ROH had joined the James Mercury Lodge in February 2005. Immediately he was an enthusiastic and keen supporter of the Order, and so it was not long before he progressed through the ranks, rising from one degree to another which he did in the shortest permissible time frame. After 1 year he was made a Certified Primo (CP), three years later he became Knight Order of Merit (KOM) and five years after that he joined the fourth degree known as the Roll of Honour (ROH). For many years he took on many of the most arduous tasks of running the lodge and being the representative for the Cyprus Province to the Grand Lodge of England.
During his time with us he also took a great interest in our Holiday of a Life Timeproject, taking on the helm of the HOALT Committee for some time. He was an innovator often coming up with ideas some adopted, many rejected. Now he is moving on, we will miss him. As a reward for his service over the years the James Mercury and Dhekelia Garrison Lodges together with the Knights Chapter presented him with an Honorary Membership.
And now we have reached the 19th of the month. Our Brother Kypros Kypri (CP), one of our more vocal members, is to be raised to the third degree, in the Dhekelia Garrison Lodge becoming Knight Order of Merit (KOM),after 3 years as a CP.He could not wait for the raising ceremony, reminding us all at every possible opportunity that he was nearly a Knight. As the visiting brethren took their seats in the lodge brother Kypros made a discrete inspection to see how many of the invited people had arrived. He was very pleasantly surprised, not only had members of the order travelled from the other side of the island but there was a representation from England. With the ceremony concluded and Brother Kypros now a KOMwe travelled to the ALKI Bar in Oroklini for a celebratory meal.
Th future looks bright for these two, but the undertones of things to come in the shape of Coronavirus (Covid-19) did not bode well.
Howard Passes CP on behalf of the Buffs.
Spirit of the Buffs (RAOB) December 2019
It seemed almost impossible. It was the last Tuesday of October and nothing had been organised for our annual GUY FAWKES night celebrations. So, in our usual cool, calm and collected manner we put our heads together to formulate a plan. The firework display at the Dhekelia base was scheduled for the following Saturday, November 2nd. A few phone calls later everything was set.
Our BBQ produced over 200 Hamburgers, Hot-Dogs and Sausages together with over 10 kilos of chips.Our disco played and the strobe lights set the atmosphere. In the end over 100 people turned up. We raised on this evening well in excess of €1000 for our HOALT charitable enterprise.
We, the BUFFS, wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
By Howard Passes CP on behalf of the RAOB
Spirit of the Buffs (R.A.O.B.) November 2019
Our meetings carry on as usual on a weekly basis preceded by a visit to the fish and chip shop in Dhekelia. Oh, how we look forward to that once a week.We have had two new recruits enrol into our order, a time for celebration, notwithstanding the second donation we made to the Royal British Legion for a sum in excess of over €700.
I am sure that by now you are aware of our primary charitable activity, so in anticipation of our 2020 programme for our HOLIDAY of a LIFE TIME activities, we have started our fund-raising by holding a dinner with entertainment, Cypriot and English music, in Oroklini at the Corfu Tavern. This little event raised over €500 for this worthy cause.
Because of the success of this year’s performance by the Holiday of a Life Time Committee, we have decided to undertake to bring two groups of children here next year. The first group of underprivileged children will come from the Oxford area and will arrive with their carers towards the end of May. The second group that will come will be from the Scarborough area, and are expected towards the end of September. Although the final dates have still to be confirmed, the numbers in each group, 10children accompanied by 5 adult carers, remain the same.
The most interesting discovery of all is the history of the building we use as our meeting hall. Built in the late 1950s it was originally a Methodist Church, known as St. Georges. However, it was also used by the Lutherans, Presbyterians and Baptists. At some time towards the end of the 1960s the building was used as a Military Hospital. For how long we don’t know as there seems to be no recorded documentary history of the building.
What we do know is that the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes has leased the building from the MOD. Next door to us is the old SBA (Sovereign Base Area) Customs building which is occupied by the Royal British Legion. The RAOB leased our building for the benefit of the James Mercury Lodge which was founded on the 9th July 1953. As time progressed it was realised that another lodge was needed. So, ten years ago this month, the DHEKELIA GARRISON LODGE was founded. As we celebrate this milestone, we are of the opinion that yet another Lodge may be needed.
By Howard Passes CP
On behalf of the RAOB.
Spirit of the Buffs with Holiday of a Life Time September 2019
Bringing underprivileged children from the UK to Cyprus for Holidays
It was July 19th, the temperature was registering in the mid-30s, the air was still and the humidity hanging thick in the air. The HOLIDAY of a LIFE TIME Summer BBQ Dinner Dance was about to get under way. The location, the “LE BAY BEACH HOTEL” in Oroklini.
The tables were set, crisp white table linen, highly polished cutlery and sparkling crystal glasses. The guests, approximately 150 were beginning to take their seats at this fantastic location for our annual fund-raising spectacular. The atmosphere began to buzz as the drinks flowed, the BBQ buffet was served with the addition of a lamb carvery. As people finished eating, and day light turned to dusk the DJ/disco took over. Entertainment was provided by a BOB MARLEY tribute singer who had the whole place rocking. Then came the Adele tribute act, great singing interjected with clever bits of conversation, and then back to the disco.
The night took on a whole new aura, yes disco fever erupted, and so that was the way it was until late into the night. The only interruption to these feverish activities was our raffle draw. Seventeen people were fortunate winners of prizes, with of course somebody won our top advertised prize of €1000 cash.
A great night was enjoyed by all, we also raised well over €2000: the spirit of the Buffs goes on!
By Howard Passes CP on behalf of Holiday of a Life Time.
Spirit of the Buffs. August 2019
Well after last month and all the excitement of HOLIDAY OF A LIFE TIME you might be thinking that I am lost for words, well not quite. The Holiday of a Life Time experience made me realise how fortunate and lucky we are, and that we shouldn’t take anything for granted. Remember,this group of children were not only disadvantaged but also suffered with sight and hearing difficulties to varying degrees.
I think I can say with some confidence, that most of us, certainly not all, that are living here out of choice, are in the autumn of our years. We’ve worked hard throughout our lives, and saved, so that we can enjoy the fruits of our labours. Let’s pause for a moment, and think how lucky we are. We are fortunate enough to live in a climate that is warm, if not hot, for most of the year. Yes, in a nutshell we are living the dream. So live every day to the fullest and enjoy every second.
Never knowing what is around the corner, the ever-philanthropic BUFFS are always on the look out for a good cause to support. This month we turned our attention to assisting the Royal British Legion with their POPPY APPEAL. The last Saturday in June, British Forces Day, was the day. The sun was shining relentlessly, tables and chairs with sunshade umbrellas were out, and an abundance of flags and bunting hung almost lifeless in the still air.
A colourful sight, however, our job was to do the catering and make sure people were happy. So we lit the BBQs and Donna Kebab, cooked the Bratwurst sausages and hamburgers, laid out the salads and sauces then took a quick 5 minutes for a drink and then waited. It wasn’t long before we had a queue. Low and behold the afternoon flew by and then it ended,
The Royal British Legion raised in excess of €900 on that afternoon with a very large percentage of these funds being provided by our activities.
By Howard Passes CP
On behalf of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes.
Spirit of the BUFFS: July 2019
All those months of planning, finally the day had arrived. It had crept up on us slowly and quietly,without any fanfare, giving each one of us that feeling of slight nervousness as to what challenges the next two weeks would reveal.HOLIDAY of a LIFE TIME is designed specifically for underprivileged children from the UK. The aim is to give a holiday experience here in Cyprusthat they will never forget.In this case this is the first time that these children have left the town where they live.
The 10children arrived, together with their 5 carers late in the evening at Larnaca airport. As they emerged from the customs hall what a wonderfulsurprise, they were allwearing their HOLIDAY of aLIFE TIME T-shirts. I must point out that not only are these childrenseverely disadvantagedbutthey all have,to varying degrees, problems with sight and orhearing.
Diary of activity:
Day 1, after a much-needed breakfast,the initial meet, greet and introduction formalities,the programme of events went into full swing. First thing on the agenda a Scuba Diving/Snorkelling experience on the beach.Our two brothers, Howard Passes and Norman Spicer, who had volunteered to escort the first outing were more nervous than anybody, however with the help of Keith and his team Helen, Marian,Karolos, Tracey and Mike from BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club) and Easy Divers of Protaras who supplied most of the equipment, all went smoothly.For 2 ½ hrs these children enjoyed themselves like never before.Many had never seen or been on a beach before, they were fascinated by the feel of sand beneath their feet. 5 of the children tried scuba diving whilst the other 5 were quite happy to snorkel. I must mention that the person who got the most out of the activity was a young girl who is totally blind. She dived more than any other person and did not want to stop.
Day 2, All aboard the coach is leaving, a day trip to the Camel Park, it’s easy to tell that the children were excited. Gareth and the rest of the carers are trying to keep a sense of calm but to no avail. Even our brother Kyproswho was escorting the group, and normally has more front than Brighton (that’s a London expression) was left speechless, at the children’spent up excitement.None of these children had ever seen a camel, except for a picture in a book.A great day was had riding the camels.
Day 3. A well-deserved rest day spent in the hotel around the pool. That is until the evening.Brother Neil Tunstall ensured that a section of the Japanese restaurant Hokkaido had been reserved and a special menu prepared to cater for the children.Theyenjoyed the chef’s juggling with eggs and watching their food cooked in front of them. After a good meal a visit to the fun fair was the order of the day.
Day 4. After a hectic and exhausting nighta lazy morning was a blessing.But that was about to change, a BBQ lunch had been laid on at the Buffs meeting hall in Dhekelia. Just imagine the children’s faceswhen they realised that the supply of burgers, hot dogs and chips was endless. Not only that, they had an entertainer/magician and horse riding to help the afternoon fly by.
Day 5. Its Water World day,the management and staff had really laid on the red carpettreatment. After the introductions the group was shown to an area that had been specially designated for their sole use. Guess what it was right next to the catering site so the specially selected meals could be served easily. It can be said that everybody thoroughly enjoyed everything from the slides to the more gentle water rides, Even the carers were supervised by the waterpark staff.
Day 6. Nothing at hotel for rest
Day 7. Ship ahoy,all aboard me hearties, we’re going on the Black Pearl for a life on the ocean waves. Our group was given a VIP reception. Bother Roy and his buffess were taken aback at the way the crew attended totheir needs. A special area in the centre of all activities had been reserved for our group so they missed nothing.
Day 8.An early start, and a long journey to‘RAFAkrotiri’ The guard of honour was out in force to greet the visiting party. Even the wives of the service personnel had become involved. They had cooked and baked to make sure the children did not go hungry. The day began with a tour of some of the aircraft and helicopters that were in use today. The children were allowed to sit in the cockpits of some of the planes as well as in the body of a helicopter. However. the highlight for most of the children was when they were introduced to the emergency vehicles. Riding on and operating the water cannon trucks took first place followed by time spent on the go-kart track.
Day 9.Ocean Aquarium Protaras: Being in close contact with the creatures of the deep and then coming face to face with the more exotic such as the Siamensis Crocodiles caused great excitement. The look of the Penguins caused some amusement.
Day 10. Hotel all day, then the evening at Agrino.For the children – face painting, photo booth (magic mirror) and Karaoke.For theadults horse race videos. The children were then presented with certificates for their achievements during the holiday.
Day 11. Nothing but to relax at hotel.
Day 12. Down to the beach for water sports.
Day 13. By overwhelming demanda second Scuba Diving experience.
Day 14. Farewells we’re homeward bound.
Howard Passes CP on behalf of Holiday of a Life Time.
Spirit of the BUFFS: June 2019
(The Royal Antediluvian order of Buffaloes)
A buffs spirit is by its very nature one of optimism. So even in times of sadness and tragedy his spirit is dampened for only a short period as he is well aware that out of misfortune, goodness will prevail.
Last month we lost two of our members (brothers to us) to the ‘BIG C’. Nothing unusual some may say, people die of cancer every day destroying families and friendships without a second thought. However, at this time our thoughts turned to our brother’s family and ‘The Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients & Friends’ P.A.S.Y.K.A.F. who cared for our brother with much tenderness and dignity until his final breath.
Together with the wishes of our brother and his family we knew that we had to make a gesture of appreciation to this amazing organisation. We thought hard and fast, and went into gear. Our fund raising went into overdrive, within 7 days we accumulated €1500, with the assistance of another brother, Colin Sewell who contributed €190 by doing a sponsored cycle ride. We visited the Larnaca District Manager of P.A.S.Y.K.A.F. Mr Panicos Ioannou, and promised that these funds were ring fenced to supply much needed equipment. It’s done! Much needed equipment supplied and paid for (see photo). With the help of two brothers, Norman Spicer and Barry Hornblow I handed over the cheque.
By pure coincidence on the other side of the island (Pafos District) one of our brothers ran a sponsored ½ marathon from the Episkopi Barracks to RAF Akrotiri Gym in aid of PASYKAF. Out of 219 runners our brother Chris Green finished 46th in 1 hr 45mins and raised €850 for this good cause. Well done!
Holiday of a Life Time has started its 2019 season. A group of ten children together with 5 carers are enjoying themselves.
With a holiday they will never forget!!
Howard Passes CP on behalf of the RAOB: 99348419
Spirit of the Buffs: May 2019
Well what a month, the only thing to say is that the BUFFS are truly in HIGH SPIRITS! And with good reason we have reached new heights. 13000 feet or 3962 metres to be exact.
As you know we support many good causes and charities, however our main charity is HOLIDAY of a LIFE TIME. This charity brings groups of underprivileged children from the UK to here (Cyprus) for a holiday that we hope they will never forget.
This is a 100% funded by us and covers the cost of passports if necessary, flights, accommodation, food, entrance payments to attractions, in fact anythingthat is required by the children or their carers. Expensive,yes, it is, but it is for the children
That is why when the opportunity arises.to raise funds, we can’t say no.So, when Koulla Papadopoulos ofPyla offered to do a sponsored parachute jump for us we were very excited. On the sunny Sunday morning, the plane with the parachutists onboard took offand climbed to the prescribed jumping height. Out of nowhere there were 8 visible parachutes. I must admit no one could tell who was who.
They all glided down, and suddenly there was our Koulla. Walking towards me her first words were “That was great, but it is bloody cold up there, I could do that again!”
Koulla raised just over €1000 in sponsorship for Holiday of a Life Time. Well done and thank you Koulla.
We also did our annual sponsored cycle ride in aid of SSAFA, see photo on the left. Not only did we have our pedal cyclists, but we were joined by the Larnaca Harley Davidson Club who joined forces with us for this worthy cause. Again a great turn out with over €200 being raised.
A big thank you to all who took part.
At the end of the cycle ride a BBQ lunch was served and enjoyed by all.
Howard Passes CP on behalf of the RAOB – 99348419
Spirit of the Buffs – Philanthropy. April 2019
The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes is one of the largest fraternal and philanthropic organisations in the United Kingdom today. It has been established for 197 years.
It began life in 1822 in the centre of London. The name for the organisation ‘The Buffaloes’ was chosen because of a popular song, of red Indian origins, called “We’ll chase the Buffalo”. The Buffaloes were soon called “The Order of Buffaloes”. It must be said that the order was quite secretive about its activities, rules and rituals.
The Order of Buffaloes became more and more popular establishing lodges throughout the UK and British Commonwwealth and including the Middle East. An existing law ‘The Seditious Meetings Act of 1817’ was designed to prevent secretive from meeting. In order to overcome the stigma of being labelled seditious the order renamed itself ‘The Loyal Order of Buffaloes’ Due to constant mispronunciation the word LOYAL became ROYAL. Despite not having any royal connection or patronage, in the 1850s the Lord Chamberlain ruled that the BUFFS could continue to use the word Royal in its name, provided it caused no offence to the Royal family. The word ANTEDILUVIAN was added to give an impression of age. Antediluvian is a biblical word meaning ‘before the great flood’.
During the first world war the first real signs of philanthropy emerged as so many of the Buffs signed up for service, Those who remained in lodges raised funds to buy and operate countless new motor ambulances to help the war effort. When the war was over all these ambulances were used to form the first civilian ambulance service in England.
Last year S.S.A.F.A. (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) benefited from the Buffs philanthropy. We handed over a cheque for just under £9,000 to this organisation. We continue to raise funds for many good causes, whether it be for an individual or group needing just a few or several thousand Euros.
The Buffs lodge is in Dhekelia between Cessac (the fish & chip shop) and the British Legion building. We are open on Sundays between 12pm and 2pm and on Tuesdays from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.
By Howard Passes CP, on behalf of RAOB, Phone 99348419.