The Star of the East Lodge, No. 62, 1.0.G.T., celebrated its eighth anniversary, at the Templar Hall, last evening, by a tea and entertainment. The hall was prettily decorated for the occasion with evergreens, etc., and for this work the lady members are entitled to all praise. The efiect was decidedly prettj. Tea was on the tables abou(|half-past five, and a remarkably nice tea it was. Mr Thiele was the caterer. The following ladies superintended the arrangements: — Mesdames Cook, Miller and Manhire, and the Misses Turton, Taylor, Lewis, and Raymond (2). Over a hundred sat down to the meal, which all agreed was excellent.
Tea over the tables were cleared away, and preparations made for the entertainment. The little hall was packed to its utmost capacity, many visitors standing at the back. Mr R. Alcorn occupied the chair.
The Rev. John Nixon in a felicitous speech assured his hearers of the deep interest taken in the cause of temperance by both Mrs Nison and himself; they worked hand in hand. Since he had last addressed them from that platform his dear brother Keall had been called away to another sphere of labor, but he was glad to think that in his successor they had a staunch worker in the cause, and the same might be said of the Rev. Mr Scott. Some might ask why he did not seek a wider field than Ashburton, but God had called him here, and he hoped to be able to do some little good where he was. He would not be justified in running away from his work. The moral elevation of the drunkard was a great work. They should strive to raise up the fallen, and awaken the better nature within them. Take the case of the drunkard lying in the gutter. If that man could only be roused to a sense of his own degradation, and be made to know he was capable of better things, there was no saying what he might do. The rev. speaker interlarded his brief address with several anecdotes, amusing and instructive, which were highly relished by his auditors.
Several songs followed, which were heartily applauded.
The Rev. Mr Scott then addressed a few earnest words to his hearers on moral courage, and reminded them that the cause of temperance needed that particular kind of courage. The rev. gentleman then referred to the new Licensing Act, which provided that if any individual was known to be drinking to excess and wasting his money and health on strong liquor, his friends or any persons interested might apply to a magistrate for an order compelling publicans to refuse to supply the drunkard with drink. Now, he thought that this work might well be undertaken by total abstainers. It was an unpleasant task to have to perform, but it would test their moral courage and it seemed to him that it was a very good and proper work for them to take up, and work for which they were peculiarly fitted. Another point he would like to impress npon them was the necessity for moral courage under temptation. They should not take shelter behind the Order to which they belonged, bat take higher ground than that. Mr R. Alcorn endorsed the remarks of the last speaker, and suggested that the temperance bodies should organise committees to report habitual drunkards to the magistrates and prevent them being supplied with liquor.
Mr Isaac Scott twice addressed the audience, exhorting them to renewed efforts in the good cause. Various songs and recitations were rendered ihrought the evening by Meadames Nixon, Rands, Harrison, and Manhire, the Misses Fergusson and Kidd presiding alternately at the piano. Mr T. R. Hodder, who mounted the platform at the invitation of the chairman, said that he was not at all “backward in coming forward” on an occasion like that, because he most heartily sympathised with the cause of temperance. He thought the songs sung by Mrs Nixon ought, if anything could do it,to keepthem up to the mark. (Applause.) He regarded such songs as very valuable aids to the cause. Perhaps he had hardly a right to address them, seeing that he was so
newly pledged. He had never been an intemperate man, and had never been a public-house man. He shunned publichouses as he would shun the devil. (Applause.) These places were very attractive, and often the attractions at them were the fascinating young ladies who wore placed behind the bars. For one public-house that was well and properly conducted, there were twenty, thirty, or perhaps fifty that were not so. He was glad to see that temperance hotels were springing up ; some of the ordinary hotels ho regarded as dens of iniquity. At some houses he had been at you could get plenty to drink but nothing to eat. He had drunk porter and wine at one time by his doctor’s orders, but dear Mrs Hampson had caused him to view the matter in a new light, and had taught him the duty of self-denial. He was willing and anxious to do anything he could to reform drunkenness. He understood there were 200 total abstainers in Ashburton, and thought that if each individual of that number did his duty and worked as hard as he could in the good cause, that much good might result. But there was some apathy in this as in other matters.
Mr F. Vaughan pointed out in forcible language the dangers attendant on “moderate drinking,” which, unhappily, so frequently led to excess. The Rev. Mr Standage was unable to be present, owing to his being obliged to attend a Wesleyan Temperance meeting. The lady members as well as the officers of the Lodge worked hard to make the affair a success, and we are glad to think that they thoroughly succeeded. At the suggestion of the L.D. Bro. Cook, a special Lodge meeting was held immediately after the entertainment, at which two new members were initiated, and several otbers were promised for nest Friday. This idea of Bro. Cook's was undoubtedly a happy one. He is a most energetic worker in the cause. We must not omit to say that the entertainment was held under the personal direction of Bro. Isaac Scott.
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I.O.G.T., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 645, 25 May 1882
I.O.G.T. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 645, 25 May 1882
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