The London and Middlesex Historian
At one time in the mid-to-late 1800s, there were as many as 11 temp- erance lodges in London, Ontario along with a local chapter of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). The majority of the lodges, which typically met on a weekly basis, represented three of the major national temperance organizations in North America: Sons of Temperance, Independent Order of Good Templars, and the British American Order of Good Templars which was founded here in London. The aim of this report is to outline the nature and accomplishments of these lodges and their national affiliates along with the WCTU.
The first part of the report will review the need for such organizations while the second part will focus on the lodges and their membership requirements, rituals, etc. The third part will deal with the WCTU and a petition approved during their fourth provincial convention, held in London in 1881, which had a significant impact on the Ontario school curriculum. The final sections will consider the outreach program of the lodges and the overall impact of the temperance movement itself in promoting two provincially endorsed prohibition eras in London and the surrounding community, the first around 1885 and the second in 1916.