Church Ministers in the Cape introduced the Temperance Organization in South Africa to fight against wine, which was used as part of Colonialism – 19th Century. There was resistance from Black Kings in South Africa against the taking or consumption of wine viz King Cetshwayo of the Zulus and Sir Seretse Khama of Botswana, who were active members during Colonial Times – in fighting against the use of liquor.

John Fox Smith came from Britain to South Africa to introduce Independent Order of Good Templars (IOGT). Their team led to the formation of the Right Worthy Temple (RWT). The Right Worthy Temple was seen as an organ that would represent the national structure involved in policy formation.

Rev Henry Keyser and John Geard who were working among the indigenous people of South Africa, decided to open up branches based on the strengths of numbers of people in South Africa, separate from IOGT in 1875. Since most of the people were not that well educated, language difficulties posed a problem of communication.  Today there are various languages predominantly used in the different jurisdictions of the IOTT.

As mentioned above, Brother Henry and Brother Geard, the chief leaders, decided in 1875 to name this movement in South Africa, the Independent Order of True Templars.

In the year 1889, the Templar work had developed to such an extent that three Grand Temples were formed, namely:

  1. The African Pioneer Grand Temple which had its base in Grahamstown, formed by Bro DJ Frazer in 1875 December.
  2. The Ark of Refuge Grand Temple had its base in Port Elizabeth and was established by Bro J Oscard and Bro H L Splinder on teh 13th of February 1876.
  3. Western Cape Grand Temple which was based in Cape Town

It was as a result of this rapid growth that the three Grand Temples formed the Legislative Body of the Order in 1889 and called it Right Worthy True Temple. The Right Worthy began to meed triennially in January or in February. Tremendous development occurred and in this Millennium, the IOTT exist in the nine provinces of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and in Swaziland.

The first Right Worthy Session was held in 1889, the main tasks to be dealt with were the official inauguration of the Right Worthy Session, the adoption of the Constitution and preparations for the future plans and direction. the venue was Cape Town. Three Grand Temples were represented. Elections took place. the following were the first Right Worthy Officers:

  1. Right Worthy Templar : Bro Rev Henry Kayser
  2. Right Worthy Counselor : Bro Rev T Marrington
  3. Right Worthy Vice Templar : Bro Rev Pan van Roopen
  4. Right Worthy Chaplain : Bro Rev WJ Morris
  5. Right Worthy Secretary : Bro BP Borne
  6. Right Worthy Treasurer : Bro B Kitchenman
  7. Right Worthy Superintendent of Juvenile Work : Sr KH Stewart
  8. Past Right Worthy Templar : Bro BBL Splinder

IOTT would have an independent governing power based from Government, Church or Juristic Institution. The main objective of the Order was to do well instead of deriving any benefits. The Order would operate as a non-profit making organization. IOTT was supposed to be wide and inclusive and not narrow and exclusive.

The letters IOTT are briefly explained thus: INDEPENDENT – not dependent or supported by another body or institution; ORDER – class of persons united by some common purpose; TRUE – void of lies, errors and all that goes with corruption; TEMPLARS – persons or members who observe and preserve the temperance spirit, observe and keep the vows made and live a pure life like Christ’s.

The IOTT is  “wide and inclusive, not narrow and exclusive.” Although the Order is inter-denominational, it is striven to work in the closest possible conjunction with the churches.

The future and the success of the IOTT depend for the 21 millennium on the 24 Grand Temples and to a large extent to the Youth and Bands of Hope Departments in fighting the Monster posing as Drugs, Alcohol, HIV & Aids.

STRONG DRINK is man’s making for leisure, pleasure, sinning and purposely knowingly or unknowingly, for driving man away from Almighty God who is Holy.

STRONG DRINK defrocks and makes man naked, lose dignity and godliness. Language and character become evil and very destructive, and mane becomes a violent wild animal. Almighty God warns man lovingly and calls him to be wise and to avoid this deadly pestilence. Man is called upon to heed these words:

  1. “Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may follow intoxicating drink; who continue until night, till wine inflames them.” (Isaiah 5:11)
  2. “Wine is a mocker, intoxicating drink arouses brawling and whatsoever is led astray by it is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)
  3. “Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper.” (Proverbs 23: 29-32)
  4. “Now, the work of the flesh are evident, which are; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfishness, dissension, heresies, envy, drunkenness, revelries and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who practice such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Galatians 5: 19-21)
  5. “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and indecently, not in quarrelling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:14)

IOTT says that intoxicating drink and drug abuse are a deadly suicidal prison. These breed carelessness, loss of discipline, and many other destructive sinful activities and the children who are a wonderful and beautiful gift from God are easily destroyed. Further, IOTT says it is better to abstain totally from these. Even those who use intoxicating wine in their Holy Communion or Eucharist services need to engage themselves in profound introspection.

IOTT calls for TOTAL ABSTINENCE and declares: Do not make or buy; do not touch; do not drink; do not sell; do not cause to touch, drink or sell this deadly stuff.

Karen Kingsbury in her book entitled “DIVINE” wrote: “ABSTINENCE is worth fighting for. It is the only way we can look our kids in the eyes and tell them they’ll be safe, safe in body, mind and soul”


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