SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF TEMPERANCE.
The Helpmate Division, No. 16, Ashburton, of the above Society, held a teameeting and entertainment at the Templar Hall last evening. The festivities were given in honor of the first visit to. Ashburton of the Grand Division of New' Zealand, and also the anniversary of the Local Division. The Hall was prettily decorated for the occasion with flags and evergreens. The tea was on the tables—of which there were four—at six o’clock, and the following ladies superintended the arrangements : Mesdames Hayman, Cook, Manhire and Ellen, and Misses L. Davis, Houston (2) r an<L Andrews (2). Over one hundred people sat down-to tea, and the appetites of the visitors, combined with the excellence of the viands, kept the ladies busily employed up to nearly 8 o’clock. Tea over the visitors arranged themselves comfortably on the benches to listen to the addresses and songs. On the platform were seated Bro. Efford, of Christchurch (presiding), Bro. Price, Bro. T. Williams, and Bro. Adams, P.G.W.T., of Dunedin. Miss Gates opened the proceedings with a pianoforte solo, after which Bro. Wil - liams in a few brief sentences introduced ' Bro. Efford, G.W.D., of Christchurch to the meeting. Bro. Efford apologised for the unavoidable absence of - Brothers Jago and - Cameron, who at the last - minute were unable to attend that night on account of urgent private affairs. This would no doubt cause disappointment,, but he hoped that Bro. Adams, P.G. W. T., of Dunedin, would make up for it in - some measure. The speaker then went on to expatiate on the great benefits derived by members of the Sons of Tem- . perance. They, in that society were abstainers from intoxicants for life, and they were satisfied that they were doing good to themselves and to the world at large, for the Society was at work not only in New Zealand but in Australia* England, and America, as well. In the latter country they numbered about 30,000 strong, and had been the means of effecting important changes in the liqnor laws. Here in New Zealand they must
—V work on until the sale of liquor was prohibited by the Legislature and the custom of drinking was banished from the land. (Applause.) Bro. Price, G.S., of Dunedin, then addressed the meeting, reading a number of interesting statistics, with the object of proving that the Sons of Temperance was one of the best, if not the very best, Temperance Society which any person could join. It was more important in his opinion for a man to join a benefit society than it was for him to insure his life. Had he (the speaker) not joined
the Sons of Temperance he felt assured that he would have been in his grave years ago. Bro. Carr, G.W.T., being called upon by the Chairman to address those present, made a very short speech, in which he regretted that he was entirely unprepared to say anything ; he had not expected that he would be called upon. He could only tell them how glad he was to see so many present that night, and to see the interest which they seemed to manifest in the pro-
ceedings. Mrs Nixon now sang “ Don’t go near the bar-room, brother,” very sweetly, and in response to an imperative recall sang again. Bro. Patten, of Christchurch, now briefly addressed the audience on the benefits derivable from the Sons of Temperance Society. A duet, “Come O’er the Moonlight Sea,” by the Misses Gates, followed, and
then Mr Stephenson sang a topical song dealing with the native difficulty, and as an encore gave “ Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pepper,” inviting the audience to “join in the chorus,” and their efforts to do so caused great amusement, as to give the chorus of this song with anything like proficiency a few weeks’ practice would probably be necessary on the part of the singer. Bro. J. A. D. Adams, of Dunedin, was
then called upon by the Chairman to say a few works. Bro. Adams said that he had once before addressed an Ashburton audience, and on that occasion he had done what he hoped he would not do that night—hehad broken down. (Laughter.) Well, he would like to say just a few words to them on the liquor traffic. They were on the eve of a general election, and it
behoved them at such a time to consider this drink question in connection with the Legislature. The Englishman was very fond of talking of the liberty of the subject, and this liberty was a dear, a priceless thing, and prized by everyone of them as it ought to be, but in the sense that it was often used, there was no such a
thing as the liberty of the subject. He would give them an illustration of whathe meant. Before the repeal of the com laws in England, there was a famine in the land, and people were starving for bread, and why? In order that certain rich monopolists should become richer, should pile up wealth while the poor man was starving. At length the legislature saw the evil and determined
to suppress it. The result was that in the 1837 the corn laws were repealed, and immediate relief was obtained. Before those laws were repealed no corn or breadstuffs could be brought into Great Britain from abroad, and as Great Britain did not „ r ow sufficient breadstuff's herself to feed her population, the result was a famine in the land. But with the repeal of those laws came in supplies from abroad, and then the interests of the monopolists the monied few—were sacrificed: to the liberty of the subject. As another illustration of his meaning let them lookat the infamous slave trade in America, which, had been put a stop to by Britain. The slaves were freed—freed at the expense of their masters, and thus the emancipation of these slaves interfered with the liberty of the subject. Then again, let them remember what Plimsoll had done. It was to the interest of great firms at Home, merchant princes many of them, to send out “coffin ships” across the ocean freighted with human lives and n uman hopes, but too often never destined to reach the port to which they were bound. These vessels were heavily insured, and their loss was the owner’s gain. But the noble Plimsoll took the matter up on account of the poor seamen, their wives and children, and through his instrumentality “ coffin ships ” were no longer allowed to sail away to destruction. The merchant princes suffered, and the stoppage of the system was therefore an interference with the liberty of the subject. Wherever the liberty of the subject led him to do right let every man enjoy it to I the fullest possible extent, but where such, liberty led the possessor to do wrong in the sight of God, and in the sight of man,
th«r» let Mm by all means be deprived of that liberty, for it was no longer expedient that he should hold it. (Applause.) They bad a corporation and by-laws egainst the storage in their houses of kerosene and gunpowder? Well, why oould they not stow these things in any housethey chose—some of the houses and other buildings were big enough? Well, they could not so stow them, and that was all aboUtit. Their liberty was therefore curtailed, and a fortunate thing that it wee i so. That absolute freedom which they thought they had, they really had not, and it wafl, he repeated, just as well. They must see that such a thing was In fact impossible. Laws and regulations must.be framed not for the individual but for the general good, and they all had to make some concessions, in order that the greatest, good to the~ greatest number might’"be attained. Now they had in thefr midst a fearful thing in this liquor traffio,and one argument urged against the interference of the Legislature in the matter was “because it would interfere with' the liberty of the subject.” Well, if mien were prohibited by law from storing gunpowder and kerosene in their houSCs j why should not the law prohibit them from selling liquor ? The position was illogical. By all means let them make thin the test question at the hustings: ** Will you try to give us pjwer to put down this horrid traffic in drink ?” After some further remarks of a similar kind, the speaker sat down amidst considerable applause. Mr Higgins then sang—“ Let me like a soldier fall,” and Miss G. Gates followed with a song. Mr Simmonds then sang “ One story is good till another is told,” Mr Gates then sang, “ I don’t think I’m very far out,” and, as an encore, “ They all belong to Mary,” two comic songs, which were highly appreciated. A vote of thanks to the Chairman for presiding, and another to the ladies and gentlemen who had assisted at the tea and entertainment, followed by the singing of a hymn, terminated an evening which everyone present seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed.
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SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF TEMPERANCE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 496, 8 November 1881
SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF TEMPERANCE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 496, 8 November 1881
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