The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

January 30, 2008

Wed. January 30, 2008 – Cadets of Temperance

On Mar. 29, 1877 the Headlight Section, No. 12, Cadets of Temperance of Springhill was formed. The section consisted of young boys between the age of 12 and 18. The following were at the first meeting: Charles Fraser, Daniel Murray, Angus McKinnon, John Reese, John Murray, William Murray, Robert Murray, James Hall, William McDonald, Elijah Boran, Robert Cuddie, John R. Coon, William Townsend, John Cuddie, Andrew Paul, William Wilson, Alex Dick, David Foster and Alfred Wilson.

Their motto was “Virtue, Truth and Temperance”.

The Headlight Section met on Saturday evenings at 7:30 in Hall’s Hall. The time and day would change from time to time. The initiation fee was 25 cents and the dues were 2 cents a week, paid weekly.

The slate of officers elected I June of 1877 were Worthy Archon- Alexander Dick; Vice Archon – Alfred Wilson; Worthy Secretary – Daniel Murray; Assistant Secretary – James Hall; Financial Secretary – John Cuddie; Treasurer – Robert Cuddie; Guide – John McKinnon; Usher – William Murray; Inside Watchman – Robert Bigney, Outside Watchman – Robert Murray.

New officers were elected every quarter and the books were audited then also.

There were visiting committees, entertainment committees

In order for a person to join the Cadets of Temperance his name had to be brought before the members as a suitable candidate and the members would vote for or against the person. If he was a favourable candidate and was waiting outside he would be ushered in and initiated into the group.

At the start of each meeting the Worthy Archon would ask the question if all present maintained the pledge and each member was to rise, give the signal and respond “I Have”. A member who violated the rules could be fined, suspended or expelled. If a member was accused of a violation an investigating committee was formed and they would go into the anteroom and decide if he was guilty or not. Some of the reasons a member could be fine were: if a member made a noise to disturb the Section he was fined 5 cents for each disturbance, if he called another member a fool he was fined 5 cents, if he did not address the chair when he was speaking he was fined 2 cents and if he was caught chewing tobacco or spitting he was fined 5 cents. If the member was expelled for any violation he could be reinstated if he acknowledged his violation. One reason for being expelled was the non payment of dues.

Often after the general business was over some members would sing a song, give a recitation or a speech. They often had entertainment nights, had picnics, held teas and torch light parades. Sometimes they had spelling bees and at the one held on Dec. 26, 1878 Daniel Murray won first place, Bliss McNutt second and Charles McKinnon was third. They also held debates with members choosing sides. Some of the topics for the debates included – What will a man do the most for the fear of punishment or the hope of reward; another was – Which does the most for civilization, the sword or the pen ; another was – Which was the most destructive agent fire or water. Some members would attend meetings at different sections such as Clairmont, Windsor or the Grand Lodge in Halifax.

By Oct. 11, 1877 there were 25 members.

They wanted to start a flute club so some of the members went out to the pit to take up a collection raising $38.45. The flute club met at Hall’s Hall to practice and played at different events. However, after a year or two there was little interest in the flutes and they were eventually sold.

The Headlight Section No. 12, Cadets of Temperance was still in existence November 1882.