Victorian fairling, Good Templars, free of any damages. 3 3/4" X 3 1/4". Interesting piece of the IOGT (international order of good templars) history below.
The IOGT originated as one of a number of fraternal organizations for temperance or total abstinence founded in the 19th century and with a structure modeled on Freemasonry, using similar ritual and regalia. Unlike many, however, it admitted men and women equally, and also made no distinction by race.
In 1850, in Utica, New York, Daniel Cody founded one such organization, the Knights of Jericho. In 1851, a lodge of it in Oriskany Falls (then known as Castor Hollow), a village near Utica, was visited by 13 members of another Utica group. Under the leadership of Wesley Bailey, it was decided that these two lodges form the Order of Good Templars. The motto of the renamed organization was "Friendship, Hope and Charity".
Over the next year, 14 additional lodges were established. By the summer of 1852, a convention was called in Utica to establish a Grand Lodge. During this, a dispute broke out between Wesley Bailey and Leverett Coon, who had established a lodge, Excelsior, in Syracuse. Coon left the meeting and his lodge supported his actions by seceding as the Independent Order of Good Templars, with the motto altered to "Faith, Hope and Charity". They shortly merged back, the resulting group continuing under the name Independent Order of Good Templars.
Small assembly building of the IOGT lodge in Vågå, Norway. Built 1908.
The Order first grew rapidly in the United States and in Canada. In 1868, Joseph Malins returned to his native England and established a Birmingham lodge, from which IOGT spread to Europe and the rest of the world. Within three years the Order spread to Ireland, Wales, Australia, Malta, New Zealand, France, Portugal, South Africa, Bermuda, Belgium and East India. By 1876, it had established itself in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Madras, British Honduras, British Guyana, Jamaica, Malacca, China, Japan, Sierra Leone, St. Helena, Argentina, Trinidad, Grenada and the Bahamas. This was followed by lodges in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Germany and Jerusalem.
From 1900 and onwards, further groups were set up in the Netherlands, Burma, Nigeria and Panama.
In an attempt to modernize its image the IOGT changes some of its titles and ritualistic features in the 1970s. Use of regalia and rituals began to diminish or were eliminated. Instead of "Order", the group became the International Organisation of Good Templars. The title of "Chief Templar" was changed to "President" and local units were given the option of calling themselves "Chapters" rather than "Lodges". Instead of three degrees, only one, the Justice degree, was worked by 1979, and the ritual is no longer secret.
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