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Temperance and Prohibition in New Zealand

(3) Sons and Daughters of Temperance

(3) Sons and Daughters of Temperance

Fifty-Seven years ago an ardent band of temperance enthusiasts considered that the time was ripe to form a Temperance Benefit Society. On the evening of February 8, 1871, a meeting was held in Murray's private hotel in Rattray Street, Dunedin, the charter being granted from Australia, page 198 the first Sons and Daughters of Temperance Lodge in New Zealand, and the first Temperance Benefit Society in Otago, came into being. Those present on that memorable occasion were Messrs. W. D. McBride, Alexander Rennie, Thomas Sinclair, William Henderson, Robert Bacon, Henry Spears, John Adams. From the small beginning, stout hearts pressed steadily on until the society had gained a firm footing and, at the end of the year, some thirty new members were initiated, becoming helpful workers in the cause of temperance in general and their Lodge in particular.

The past worthy patriarchs and officers of the early days, by their energy and zeal for the best interests of the division, laid the foundations of the splendid work now being carried on by its present officers, whose united efforts have placed this Lodge second to none in New Zealand, the accumulated funds amounting to £12,000. Since the inception of the society, there have been but four secretaries, Bros. C. J. Thorn, R. Slater, Wm. Crawford and Geo. Stratton. Secretary Bro. Wm. Crawford for thirty-five years carefully watched the finances of the division, and to him we are indebted for the sound position we are in to-day. His name will go down in the history of the Lodge as one who never ceased to promote the objects for which we are associated.