The opening session of this society took place in the Wesleyan Church on Monday evening. The proceedings were commenced by a public tea in the schoolroom, which was well attended, the following ladies having charge of the tables: - Mrs ARMSTRONG, Mrs Wallace HODGSON, Mrs D MILLAR, and Mrs KENYON. Mrs OLIVER and Miss HURST had charge of the bread-cutting, and Mrs OLIPHANT brewed the tea.
A public meeting was subsequently held in the church. It was well attended, and was presided over by Mrs W McGOWAN, Whitehaven, who was supported by Mrs Thomas LISTER (vise-president), Mrs WATKIN-THOMAS (president), Miss BOWNESS (secretary), and Mrs DONALDSON, Glasgow.
Miss BOWNESS, in reading the financial report, stated that the branch was opened with eleven members, which in a very short time had increased to 64. The income for the year was £2 6s rod; their expenditure amounted to 16s, leaving a balance in hand of £1 10s rod.
Mrs. McGOWAN said she was glad to hear that the branch at Flimby was making such rapid progress, and that they were securing a number of associated members. Their Association seemed to be encouraged when the Bill was passed relating to the drink traffic, but she was under the impression that a great many people who ought to have been black-listed seemed to go on as usual, and as yet it seemed as if there had been nothing done in the carrying out of the Bill. As temperance people they would have to fight their battles over again, and although they sometimes felt rather discouraged in their labours, they must press on, notwithstanding all opposition brought to bear against them (Applause.) It had often been said that the British workman was a long way behind the foreigner. As long as the British workman insisted on muddling his brains with strong drink, which also affected his fingers to such an extent that he could not do his work properly, there was a great danger of their bring left behind. It therefore behoved their Association to do all they could in aid of the cause, and it they insisted that total abstinence is the best thing, there was every hope for the country. (Applause).
Mrs. DONALDSON, Glasgow (who has spent a number of years with her husband in Queensland) delivered an excellent address, dealing with the temperance work among the natives. In dealing with the subject, Mrs. DONALDSON said that in Australia the Temperance Associations received much valuable help from the men. A very large number of men were banded together as associates, and their help in the cause was very acceptable. Although the British were looked upon as a Christian nation, they were a great stumbling block to the heathen of foreign lands by carrying out the most deadly foe to the natives and over throwing the work of Christ. Twenty-three years ago she went to Queensland with her husband, and they made their abode in the bush among the blacks. She gave an interesting description of her work amongst the people. Before they left two years ago, they had the satisfaction of knowing that 1,000 of those black people had taken the temperance pledge and accepted Christ and were praying for the day when this accursed drink should be swept from the land. (Applause.) In conclusion the speaker hoped that a band of men would rise up who would prove faithful unto death, and who would endeavour to get the public-house doors closed on Sundays. She urged up her hearers that they should let no man have their votes who would not stand up for sobriety and truth. Although women had no a vote, the best thing they could do was to get their husbands to vote for the right man. (Loud applause.)
A comprehensive vote of thanks was accorded to those who had taken part in the proceedings.
Mrs. DONALDSON sang, “That will be glory for me,” and the company sang the doxology.
Mr. J ARMSTRONG pronounced the benediction.