Jessie Lloyd (1883 – 1960) temperance campaigner
Jessie Lloyd was not a single-issue campaigner and did not see alcohol as the only scourge of humanity: at the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union convention of 1960 she stated that the greatest problem of the day was inadequate food for the world’s people.
Jessie Lloyd had joined the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union as a young woman. Her activities focussed particularly on educating children about the importance of teetotalism for the health and the welfare of society. One important W.C.T.U. programme for children was the elocution contest, in which they would recite poems or prose on the subject of temperance.
Mrs Lloyd (most often known as Griffiths Lloyd) was the Australasian superintendent of this department in 1921-30 and served on W.C.T.U. education committees that aimed to teach children teetotalism through the schools and W.C.T.U.-endorsed literature. She wrote regular articles for the Victorian White Ribbon Signal and contributed often to its home hints page, believing that the best way to produce a generation of teetotallers was by reaching out to the mothers.
In addition, Lloyd served as recording secretary to the Victorian W.C.T.U. in 1913-15 and in 1920-23. She was vice-president (1929) and in 1930-33 president. By then, the organization had a membership of almost 10,000 and it held the ambitious aim of procuring the prohibition of alcohol in Australia.
A State poll taken in 1930, at which forty-three per cent of electors had voted for a dry Victoria, gave hope that this would eventually be possible. In 1933 she was elected vice-president of the Australasian (later the National) W.C.T.U. and was president from 1936.
After stepping down as president in 1945, Lloyd continued her work of promoting alcohol awareness in mothers’ groups, especially in working-class areas. As superintendent of the Victorian W.C.T.U.’s peace and arbitration department, she co-operated with other peace and church organizations in petitioning the government for progressive disarmament.
The W.C.T.U. delegate at the 1957 convention for the Australian Association for Peace, on her return she persuaded the executive to protest to the British government against atomic testing on Australian territory. In her later years she campaigned for regulations for food and hygiene. Lloyd was not a single-issue campaigner and did not see alcohol as the only scourge of humanity: at the National W.C.T.U. convention of 1960 she stated that the greatest problem of the day was inadequate food for the world’s people.
Complete article : http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/AS10291b.htm
National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union of Australia : https://atributetoaustralianchristians.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/national-womans-christian-temperance-union-of-australia/
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