Temperance Lodges

Temperance Lodges were formed to promote abstinence and membership required an oath of total abstinence from alcohol. Most meetings included Temperance lectures and singing of hymns, followed by a "tea party". Among these Lodges were the Independent Order of Good Templars and The Independent Order of Rechabites, which had Lodges in Weston, Maitland and Newcastle. Temperance Lodges began in 1851 in New York and the movement arrived in Australia in 1872. In 1878 a public celebration of the birthday of the Prince of Wales was held in Newcastle, representatives from thirteen Sydney Lodges of the Independent Order of Good Templars joined the festivities (James 103-4). In 1880 the Temperance Lodges pushed for the Licensing Suspensory Bill which prohibited the granting of Licenses in Sydney and the County of Cumberland for twelve months.

Mrs Edgeworth David, wife of Sir T. W. Edgeworth David was the leader of "The Women's National Movement for the stoppage of the sale of intoxicants at 6pm"; she spoke publicly for the Movement advocating early closing of Public Houses (Vale; Cantrell). In 1917, during the First World War, the Australian Alliance Prohibition Council was formed, "it had as its objective the prohibition of the liquor traffic throughout the Commonwealth". Posters announced:

"Drink" helps the enemy!
In the great Tug of War.
Help Britain by Abstaining from Drink (Vale).

Some of the early Independent Order of Good Templars Lodges of the Hunter Valley included:

Firth in Singleton
Australia's Hope in West Maitland
Eureka in Greta
Multum in Parvo in Hinton
Star of England in Newcastle
Snowdrop in East Maitland
Mariner's Welcome in Onebygamba (Carrington)
Hope of Morpeth 
Pride of Hexham
Welcome All in Wickam
Raspberry in Raspberry Gully (Charlestown)
Undaunted in East Maitland
Right Hand of Friendship in Hamilton
Phoenix in Wallsend
Lily of the Lake in Belmont

There were also many Sons of Temperance and Daughters of Temperance divisions in the Hunter Valley. 

W. Conn Grocers & Temperance and Public Lecture Hall, [Elder and Morehead Streets, Lambton]. Ralph Snowball. Norm Barney Collection, Cultural Collections

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 W Wells residence and Temperance Hotel, Perkins Street, Newcastle, 1892-1893. Ralph Snowball. Norm Barney Collection, Cultural Collections.

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Cantrell, Carol. David, Caroline Martha (Cara) (1856-1951). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Web. 27 May 2013.

James, Bob. They call each other brother. James, Secret Societies and the Strange Slow Death of Mateship in Australia 1788-2010. Tighes Hill, NSW: B. James, 2010. Print.

Vale, John. Australian Prohibition Yearbook 1917, Wiser through War. Australian Alliance Prohibition Council, 1917. Print.

Text © M. Sherwin, 2013. 

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