A meat-cute at Redmen Hall

Mar 4, 2024

The meat raffles held monthly by the Wareham Council of the Order of Redmen offer participants a chance to win big. Pork chops, roast beef, linguica, eggs, bacon, hot dogs and a whole chicken were among the many options available at the raffle held Friday, March 1. 

But the event isn't just about meat. 

"It gets to be social," said Julio Johnson, one of the participants at the event. 

Steve Curry, a member of the Order of Redmen, said the Order only holds the event in the winter months, to help get the community out. 

Approximately 60 people turned out that Friday, wagering their dollars for the meat on offer or in cash raffles. 

The noise of the crowded room only died down when the ticket numbers were called, and roared back to full volume immediately after, with those who lost lamenting their luck and those who won cheering theirs. 

Participants paid $20 for one raffle ticket or $25 for two, and had their tickets placed in a communal pot. That pot was used for nine different drawings throughout the night, each ticket drawn entitling its owner to a lot of meat and its fixings — such as eggs and orange juice with bacon, or potatoes, onions and carrots with pot roast. 

Johnson attended the event along with his extended family — some members came in from as far as Salem. 

"Somebody's going to get lucky, and then there are going to be a bunch of losers," he said. However, he added, in the meantime, people can "have a beer and tell stories."

Ginny Barnett, another of the evening's participants, said she attended the event "to be with all my friends."

Two of her table-mates, Leisha and Lisa, said it had been 43 years since they had seen each other. 

The Redmen will have other events once the raffling-season dies down. Curry said each year, the order runs a clam bake in the fall serving hundreds of people, and that it will hold a smaller-scale clam boil in the spring.  

They all take place under the auspices of the Order of the Redmen's fraternity — the oldest in the country, and the only one chartered by Congress, according to members.