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Temperance and Prohibition in New Zealand

(2) International Order of Good Templars

(2) International Order of Good Templars

The Independent Order of Good Templars (since changed to International) originated in Central New York in 1852. The honour of introducing the Order into New Zealand is due to Brother the Rev. B. J. Westbrooke, a minister of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, who, on his emigration from England obtained a commission from Bro. J. Malins, G.W.C.T. of England, to act as deputy for New Zealand. Upon his arrival in Invercargill he set about the work of organizing a lodge of Good Templars. He succeeded in securing a sufficient number of signatures to an application for a lodge charter, and on September 9, 1872, sixteen gentlemen assembled for the purpose of being constituted the ‘Southern Cross’ Lodge No. 1, I.O.G.T., New Zealand. Sister Mrs. Westbrooke was also present and assisted in the ceremony. Those who thus took upon themselves the Templars' vows were—Bros. Gibson, Nicholson, McMillan, Hay, J. R. McKay, Ribston, McEwan, McIntosh, Crack, Bonthorn, Ross, Gramson, A. McKay, Green, Wood and McLean. Brother McLean was chosen the first W.C.T., and Brother D. Bonthorn first W. secretary. Their organization was noticed in the
Rev. W. Gittos,Early and devoted worker amongst the Maori

Rev. W. Gittos,
Early and devoted worker amongst the Maori

Rev. R. T. Haddon,Maori Chief, Methodist Missioner and eloquent prohibition advocate

Rev. R. T. Haddon,
Maori Chief, Methodist Missioner and eloquent prohibition advocate

The Maori Viewpoint

The Maori Viewpoint

It is said that in the early days of settlement in New Zealand, a Maori who had become intoxicated was placed in the stocks. A notable citizen passing inquired the cause of his being there. The Maori replied, ‘You put me here for being drunk, but you let the man who sold me the stuff that made me drunk go free. Why?’ The incident is depicted in the above illustration. The question asked by the Maori still remains with us—Why do we arrest the drunkard and punish him, and license the sellers of intoxicating liquor that makes men drunk?

page 193 local newspapers and thus heralded through the Colony, which, together with the frequent notices of the Order's progress in Britain, read in the various Home papers, caused interest to be taken in the Movement. There were already a few in the Colony who had joined the Order before they left their native land for New Zealand, and the news that a Lodge had been started in Invercargill revived their love for the Order. In Dunedin two Brothers, Robert Greig and David Wilson, got up an application for a charter, which was rapidly signed and granted by Bro. Westbrooke. On receipt of the charter a meeting was called for October 30, 1872, and attended by seventeen persons, male and female, who were initiated members of the Order by Brothers Greig and Wilson. Bro. J. W. Jago, who had for many years been a devoted advocate of the temperance cause, was chosen Worthy Chief Templar of Lodge Pioneer of Dunedin, No. 2, and Bro. J. James, W. secretary. Bro. Greig was recommended as Lodge Deputy, and to the credit of its members, Dunedin has never permitted the Lodge to close its doors.

From that date the cause went forward with surprising success. Lodges were constantly springing into being in the smaller towns and country places, until in a very short time the I.O. G.T. became one of the most popular organizations in the province.

The North Island. In the North Island the first movement in favour of the Order was made in Wellington. Brother Mackune had arrived and almost immediately issued the first Charter. On May 30, 1873, he instituted ‘Lodge Pioneer.’ Bro. F. H. Fraser was the first W.C.T., and Bro. Henry page 194 Budden, secretary. On the same night he also instituted the ‘Star of Wellington’ Lodge. The ‘Pioneer’ members decided on Monday for their night of meeting, and the ‘Star of Wellington’ fixed Thursday for their meetings to be held. All down the years these two Lodges have never closed their doors, on Monday and Thursday a Lodge session being held. The Order caught on and in a very short time there were in Wellington more Lodges than nights in the week. On one occasion the writer took part in the initiation of one hundred and four members at one session, the result of a short week's mission.

The origin of the first Lodge in the City of Auckland was the result of a visit to that place of Bro. Hobbs, of H.M.S. Dido. This brother had been commissioned by Brother Westbrooke to organize Lodges where opportunity offered. He succeeded in inducing some of the temperance men of the city to combine for the formation of a Lodge of the I.O.G.T., and Pioneer Lodge was instituted under promising circumstances on July 23, 1873. In this way the Order was well established from south to north in less than a year from its introduction. The membership soon ran up to several thousands. There was no lack of ardour on the part of our good Brothers on whom fell the responsibility of directing affairs. There was no shrinking from severe and self-sacrificing duties. There were no railways in those days and steam communication a poor foretaste of what we now possess, yet the work went on in spite of difficulties and received all the supervision primitive conditions would allow.

The want of a Grand Lodge as a centre of action and direction was soon felt. Provincial page 195 Grand Lodges were formed at Dunedin, Auckland and Nelson. These were superseded by the opening of a Grand Lodge for New Zealand, which was constituted on September 29, 1874, in the Forrester's Hall, Christchurch. Brother B. J. Westbrooke, S.D.R.W.G.T., took the chair, forty-six representatives of subordinate Lodges being present. After the Grand Lodge degree had been conferred on these, the election of officers was then proceeded with:—

G.W.C.T., Bro. S. P. Andrews, Christchurch. G.W.C.T., Bro. J. A. D. Adams, Dunedin. G.W.V.T., Bro. D. C. Cameron, Dunedin. G. W. secretary, Bro. W. T. C. Mills, Christchurch. G.W. treasurer, Bro. John Caygill, Christchurch. Assistant secretary, Bro. W. Smith, Christchurch. G.W. Chaplain, Bro. S. McFarlane, Christchurch. G.W. Marshal, Bro. W. Carr, Dunedin. G. W. Guard, Bro. J. Donaldson, Timaru. G.W. Sentinel, Bro. W. Kerr, Avonside. G.W. Messenger, Bro. J. W. Carter, Christchurch.

The following is a list of the Grand Chief Templars. The same year appears twice in some cases during the period of the two Grand Lodges.

Bro. S. P. Andrews, Christchurch (1874). Bro. J. A. D. Adams, Dunedin (1875). Bro. John W. Jago, Dunedin (1876-7-8). Bro. Rev. Samuel Edgar, Auckland (1878). Bro. Sir William Fox, Wellington (1879). Bro. the Rev. Thomas Roseby, LL.D., Dunedin (1879-80). Bro. William Johnson, Wellington (1880). Bro. John Harding, Waipukurau (1881-2). Bro. J. T. Smith, Christchurch (1882). Bro. John Jenkins, Auckland (1883). Bro. J. A. Efford, Christchurch (1883). Bro. J. Edwards, Wellington (1884-5).Bro. Chas, page 196 G. Hill, Auckland (1885). Bro. T. W. Glover, Auckland (1888-9-90). Bro. R. N. Adams, Dunedin (1891-2-3-4). Bro. the Rev. E. H. Taylor, Thames (1896-1906). Bro. D. C. Cameron, Dunedin (1907-8-9-10). Br. G. W. Andrews, Ashburton (1911-12). Bro. A. B. Thompson, Wellington (1913-1914). Bro. T. H. Dalton, Dunedin (1915– present G.C.T.).

The Order continued to grow, and in 1876 there were over 7,000 members in New Zealand. A few years later came a division in the Order over what was known as the Colour Question, and there were two Grand Lodges working in New Zealand for several years. The question was, however, happily settled, and on January 19, 1888, in Wellington, the Lodges became united. At this Session, Bro. T. W. Glover was elected Grand Chief Templar, and Bro. D. C. Cameron, Grand Secretary, a position he held in the Order for a period of thirty years. Unfortunately, about 1900 there came a falling off in the membership, and the coming of the Great War made great inroads in our ranks. Over fifty per cent. of our Brothers went on active service, a record possibly held by no other Order in the Dominion. However, it is pleasing to be able to record that the Lodges have taken a new lease of life; old Lodges are being re-opened and new ones being formed. The Order is looking with great hope for the future.

Juvenile Work. The I.O.G.T. makes a special effort to secure for the children a proper training of the more elementary principles of total abstinence. The Juvenile Department has been and still is the means of doing a good work. Every Lodge is supposed to have its Juvenile Temple. The difficulty is to find suitable superintendents who have page 197 the time at their disposal. Still, those who give their services are amply rewarded.

Personal. This brief outline of the Order in New Zealand would be incomplete did we omit reference to the great service rendered the Order and cause in the years that are passed, by such veterans as Sir William Fox, our first representative to the I.S. Lodge, J. W. Jago, J. A. D. Adams, P.G.C.T.'s—R. N. Adams, E. H. Taylor, T. W. Glover, G. W. Andrews, J.P., W. Johnston, W. T. Bond, J.P., Sister Mrs. C. Cameron, Sister Mrs. M. A. Gunnell. Also Bro. George Petherick, J.P., for about twenty years secretary of the Grand Lodge.

The great mission of Good Templary as set out in its Platform, may be summed up in very few words. It is simply:

1.—To take the people from the drink by means of the Total Abstinence Pledge and the protective associations of the Lodge Room.

2.—To take the drink from the people by the process of legislative enactment and the faithful enforcement of liquor prohibition.