Tuesday 30 October 2007

On this day

It was 89 years ago today, in 1918, a massive alcohol prohibition petition was presented to the New Zealand Parliament with more than 240,000 signatures.

It demanded an end to the manufacture and sale of alcohol in New Zealand.

In 1930, the Rev. J Cocker a staunch advocate for abstention wrote:-

  • For many years a considerable amount of temperance work on moral suasion lines had been done in the colony, before the Prohibition campaign was commenced.

    In the year 1890 a flame of great enthusiasm swept through the land from North Cape to Bluff.

    A breath of God moved the people. In every part of the country godly and patriotic men and women were touched by the finger of Divine Love and they came forward as leaders in the new movement. National distinctions were swept aside. Church differences were forgotten.
    Men of all shades of political opinion found a common meeting place in the ranks of the Prohibition party.
    Opposition only increased their zeal. They gladly suffered for their principles. They gave of their time, energies, and possessions. Buoyed up by the deep conviction that their cause was of God, they bravely fought and sang through the fight. Prohibition became the burning question of the day. Great was the enthusiasm.

    The blood of the reformers was hot. In every part of the land they were found standing by the flag. It was the time of New Zealand's awakening.
    Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven.

    While there were many gifted leaders, the Rev. L. M. Isitt was the Apostle of the movement. His travels through the country were triumphal tours. For some years the largest halls in towns and cities were packed to hear him.
    Equally popular was T. E. Taylor, a prince of orators and the admired hero of the crowds.
    A great brotherhood was formed of virile men possessing strong, clean characters, and actuated by high ideals.

Results of No-License and Prohibition Polls from 1894 to 1928

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