Mexborough & Swinton Times, April 15, 1887
Good Templary Demonstration at Conisborough.
The members of the Conisborough “Morning Star” Lodge of the I.O.G.T propose building a Templar’s hall, and in order to raise money for that object a public tea and meeting was held in the Wesleyan schoolroom Conisborough, on good Friday.
Speeches were delivered in the castle grounds by Mr W. Wilson, of Conisborough, and other gentlemen, after which a procession was formed, and the following streets paraded: – Church Street, Post Office St, New Hill, and Low Road, the members numbering about 100, walking in regalia according to their degrees, and headed by the Blue-Ribbon Army Band.
On arriving at the Wesleyan schoolroom, an excellent repast was served up by the members. The following ladies presided at the tables: – Mesdames’s Senior and Handley, and Misses Meggitt, Maxfield, Lawson, Jones, Richardson, Nornabell, and Basingdale.
Afterwards a public meeting was held, and in the absence of Mr G. Appleyard, through illness, Mr J. Maxfield was called upon to take the chair. He said he was always delighted to assist in the Temperance cause (here, here). The Temperance work was a noble work and he was determined to spend the remainder of his days in trying to help them. He then apologised for the absence of Mr J. Brown, of Dewsbury, and after a few more remarks, called upon Mr J. H. Firth, of Huddersfield, to address the meeting.
Mr Firth said his time with them on that occasion was very limited, but he would just say a few words. When he had been in the good Templar’s Lodge 12 months he had proposed a 100 members. (Here here) he felt it was a happy life to lead. All the comfort he (Mr Firth) had had in his life had been since he joined the society (here here). They might truly say, “Old things have passed away, and behold all things have become new.” He concluded by relating some interesting and amusing events which had occurred in his lifetime.
Mr W. Wilson (Conisborough), next addressed the meeting and said it would be a curious fact if he had not something to say for the Temperance cause. They were sometimes accused of putting Temperance before religion. He did not think that was the case. Temperance was a good thing, and prevented them from getting into trouble, which they would otherwise have to endure; but with out the religion of Lord Jesus Christ no man could enter the kingdom of heaven. Temperance came before religion, just to lift them up as it were. He hoped they would not make a God of Good Templary.
Temperance had done a great deal in the past and would do a great deal more in the future if they only persevered. In getting the drunkard to reform they were accomplishing a great work. They made men happy in many ways. If they could only get a man to sign the pledge and live a sober life it was a godly action. But they could do a far greater work by preventing the young from falling into that sin. He hoped they would go on and prosper. The way in which good templary was being worked seemed to him the best system he had ever seen. He hoped they would not forget that intoxicating drink was in the way and wanted abolishing. It was a shame to see the enormous amount of money that was spent in intoxicating drink; the misery which it produced in the country. While they were advocating the cause of Temperance he hoped they would not forget their souls or the soles of their neighbours. (Cheers)
Mr J. Mullins then addressed the meeting, and said it gave him great pleasure to speak a word or two for the cause of Temperance. He could get on better with Temperance on his side, and with a still great friend, Jesus. He could ask the Lord to help him, and he did so. He (the speaker) never had a greater desire to teach the children to move in the right direction than he did that day – (here here) – and the old ones too. Many had become drunkard’s because their fathers took it, and their mothers liked a drop. It was a very foolish thing for any person to spend their money in that which did them more harm than that. It was from the example set by his parents that he (the speaker) had taken to drinking intoxicants, and he could feel the sting of it yet. It was drink that had made him suffer on many occasions. It was not the drunkard who had to suffer most it was his wife and family. He hoped the Lord would help them to go on and prosper in the good work
Mr Lawton also addressed the hearing. He said total abstinence was good for everybody. Total absence alone could not get a person to heaven. The religion of Christ could only do that. He (the speaker) wanted the two combined, so that the Lord would meet them with a smile. If he was not allowed to speak a word for Jesus at their meetings he won’t hat once have his name struck off the book. People were crying out that trade was bad. It was their own fault, they had been making money and forgetting God, and thus God had seen fit really his hand upon trade. The player of his heart was that they should go to prosper in this glorious work. He concluded by urging them to give the right hand of following to the drunkard, and remember the words of the Lord.