Skip to content

The Independent Order of Rechabites

  • by
The Rechabites

When I was a boy – well, much younger than I am now, in the nineteenth century – my family were Rechabites.

A poster on our farmhouse wall pictured Jesus with sheep, a family and mountains of produce.

Rechabite poster
Firm but fair – tough as nails but kind to each other. The fiercely, friendly society known as the Independent Order of Rechabites ran insurance and housing schemes for members

The Rechabites are Temperance Association, we burned down the tents of sly grog sellers and ran them out of town. My great grandmother cross stitched a poem about smashing the bottles of the sly gypsy who came to town with a dray loaded with grappa.

What a fire it made, that Demon Drink.
The flames of hell, and what a stink.
We ran the devil out of town,
in the clothes he wore, without a crown.

Palimpset of cross stitched poem at the Sebire historical house, Wandin, Victoria

Ewwwwww Grandma

Of course, in those days “without a Crown”, meant broke, not a penny to his name, skint, not a brazz razoo, penniless, … a Crown was an ounce of silver, worth five shillings, not that it was traded much in day to day transactions by the time Vicky was on the throne – when the “Grogger” was run out of town.

An 1890 Crown
The crown was an ounce of silver

I think the Chapman family kept the horse and the Sebieres, the dray. The Flemings salvaged a couple of boxes of grog that changed hands in very dark places on moonless nights. But I should not talk about that in case the reputation of their descendants are smeared and besmirched by the truth.

Fiery days, indeed.

Leave a Reply