Victoria District Independent Order of Rechabites. Salford Unity.
M'Carron, Bird & Co., Printers, "Temperance News" Office, 37 Flinders Lane West.
Address to Total Abstainers.
It was always intended that man should mutually benefit his fellow-man. Mankind would soon cease to exist if mutual aid were discarded, and, because of the recognition of this fact by some who do think, not only for themselves, but also for others, there are now established in all English-speaking lands, societies for the express purpose of affording help just at the time when help is most needed. "A friend in need is a friend indeed," is fully illustrated practically by the blessings resulting from Assurance and Benefit Societies.
We desire to express a few mental convictions relating to the mutual dependence of society. First, we unhesitatingly aver, that it is the duty of every man to assure his life in accordance with his position and ability; and, secondly, that it is every man's duty to associate himself with what is termed a "Benefit Society." There are many objections urged against both these propositions, some because they are rich and have no personal need, others because they are poor, and hold the opinion that they can't afford to do so. Both of these notions are erroneous, and if the space of this paper permitted, arguments in proof of their falsity could be easily given. Then we advance a step further, and state that such association should be determined on only after a careful examination of the advantages given, or supposed to be given, by these Societies.
The chief point is to take into consideration the characters, the health, and the longevity of the various memberships, for whilst we cannot shut our eyes to the existence of what are known as "Natural Laws," whereby to a nicety almost the sick and death rate of a whole community is easily determined—yet individually man has it in his own power, to a very considerable extent, to promote his own health, ward off sickness and disease, by the observance of well-known sanitary laws, judicious diet, and the avoidance of contact or association with principles, habits, and systems, which in themselves are pernicious, health-destroying, and death-accelerating. "Against diseases here the strongest fence is the defensive virtue abstinence."page break
We believe it to be the duty of every person to abstain from! indulgence in anything which impairs either mind, body, or estate, and especially is it the duty of All to abstain from the use of Alcoholic Liquors. The use of them is productive to a higher extent than any other known cause, of the crime, sickness, ruin of health, waste of wealth, and the general troubles of the community, in proof of which we have no need to fall back merely upon the statements of the Teetotal platform, but take the records and statistics of the colony, collected at great cost by a most impartial hand, the Government Statist. By the perusal of the statistics of Friendly Societies, it will be seen that the Benefit Societies which are based upon Temperance principles generally show a much lower percentage of sickness than any other Society, and when it is remembered that, as a rule, the members of all these Societies are picked men, men of thought and care, to some extent, men who are required to pass a medical examination, and, as a rule, may be considered above the average in prudence of living, &c., Temperance Benefit Societies should strongly commend themselves to the commonsense of every well-wisher to; himself, his family, and his fellows. We do not hesitate to present the Society of the Independent Order of Rechabites to the community with a firm conviction of real and substantial benefit. One important feature is, no rent meeting can be held at a public-house. Drink, with all its evil associations and influences, is discountenanced. To young and old alike, the invitation can be given with good faith, "Come thou with us, and we will do thee good," as the moral influence of the Order is of no small importance. We regard true Temperance, which is inculcated and promoted in our Rechabite Order, as exercising an ennobling power, and worthy of general recognition.
Any Total Abstainer of good moral character, and between 15 and 50 years of age, may become a member of the Independent Order of Rechabites, and thus secure relief during sickness, payment of a sum at death, and medical attendance and medicines for self, wife, and family.
As an inducement to Youths, and other Total Abstainers in receipt Of small incomes, to become members, a system of half benefits and payments has been established.