Tuesday, August 20, 2013



Yesterday I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this wonderful photo of William McClellan ( first time seeing him)  with Elizabeth Lennie and her children John, David,Catherine, Lizzie and Letitia ( who appears to change her name to Louisa later).

The McClellans 1876a

The photo has been dated 1876 and this seems accurate though I would hazard a guess it is late 1876.

Leitita was born in October 1875 and the child here appears to be around a year old. Additionally we know that Elizabeths husband John Lennie died some time before March 1876.  

If indeed this photo was taken in 1876 then William and Elizabeth are not yet married yet he looks very comfortably ensconced in the family which is interesting in itself.


The regalia worn by the family appears to be that of the Independent Order of Good Templars which I knew that William was a member of from articles in Papers Past .

I still have no confirmed date that William arrived in New Zealand  and one would expect that being of a Nautical Occupation, he would have been one to have had occasion to drink, but it appears at least as early as 1876  he was a follower of the Temperance movement and in particular the Masonic type organisations who preached the evils of Alcohol.




The Independent Order of Good Templars was a temperance society for either sex . It was founded in 1851 in Utica New York but its membership spread quickly world wide. It was introduced to New Zealand by the Rev. B.J.Westbrooke, who was a minister of the Primitive Methodist Church. The first Lodge Charter in NZ was in Invercargill in 1872. It became headlines news in the newspapers and this added to the popularity of the cause and in a short time the I.O.G.T became one of the most popular organisations in this country. By 1876 when this photo was taken there were over 7000 members in New Zealand .
The great mission of Good Templary as set out in its Platform, may be summed up in very few words. It is simply:
1.—To take the people from the drink by means of the Total Abstinence Pledge and the protective associations of the Lodge Room.
2.—To take the drink from the people by the process of legislative enactment and the faithful enforcement of liquor prohibition
William McClellan and Betsy Lennie, with her children John David,Catherine, Lizzie and Letitia all dressed in the regalia of the I.O.G.T.
The family later joined the Salvation Army which was also based on Methodism and preached Temperance.


It appears the Lodge name in Pleasant Point was the Anchor of Hope Lodge as per this article regarding a meeting of the lodge



W stands for Worthy in these titles and based on reading I have done on Titles and Officers of the Lodges it appears William was the Worthy Inner Guardian which was a Ceremonial officer


The family were still part of the Good Templars in 1883 when son John Lennie died .



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