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History: Looking Back

Looking Back history feature: The Domain stump orator

Looking Back

A children’s temperance demonstration at Circular Quay, Sydney 1894 A children’s temperance demonstration at Circular Quay, Sydney 1894

By MICK ROBERTS ©

THEY travelled the country preaching the evils of drink; colourful characters with the gift of the gab and often with a tale of their remarkable transformation from drunkard to teetotaller – they were the temperance lecturers.
Larger temperance societies, like the Independent Order of Good Templars and the Sons of Temperance, employed men and women to tour colonial settlements, recruiting members, preaching their message of the demon drink, and persuading tipplers to sign a pledge to denounce alcohol.
The teetotalling orators’ efforts resulted in the reformation of many drunkards, with some becoming missionaries, and joining the lecturing circuits, touring colonial Australia and New Zealand.
The two most successful temperance organisations in colonial Australia were The Sons and Daughters of Temperance, and the Independent Order of Good Templars.
The Sons and Daughters of Temperance embraced three distinct branches:…

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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