The Royal Order of Idlers and Loafers
Perhaps it is not unusual for an informal group of men or women to make a point of getting together to share a meal on a regular basis. Such is the case in Waterville. What may be unusual is that this men’s group has met faithfully for over thirty years.
It’s difficult to say who initially came up with the idea for the Royal Order of Idlers and Loafers. Early members included Duane Rosendale, Paul Reid, Ruel Gruber, Chuck Lusch, Ward Miller, Jim Simpson, Don Aldrich and Homer Wittes. However, no one was more instrumental to the success of the group than Emery Noward.
Emery was born in Waterville on March 20, 1921. A veteran of World War II, he worked as a machinist at both Boice Crane and Toledo Mold, retiring in 1982. Emery seems to have served as secretary, treasurer, and reservation-maker for the group. Within the archives of the Waterville Historical Society we have a collection of twelve spiral notebooks in which he diligently recorded not only the date and location of every outing from 1985 through 2009, but also the names of all members in attendance. The collection also includes records of floral tributes for departed members and correspondence directed to the attention of Emery.
At the initial luncheon of the Idlers and Loafers of February 25, 1985, sixteen members travelled to The Café in North Baltimore, Ohio. Through 1990, they continued to meet once a month for lunch. From 1991 through 2005, they met twice monthly-- once for breakfast and once for lunch. The format was revised again in late 2005 to convening twice a month for breakfast. Wives were included for nice dinners out, often at Das Essen Haus in Pettisville, Ohio, in May and November from 1988 through 2000.
Emery’s passing on August 27, 2009 marked the end of an era. During his twenty-five years of leadership, a total of 190 different members enjoyed dining and comradery at 60 different restaurants. The spirit of fellowship lives on today as the Royal Order of Idlers and Loafers continues to thrive.