Story: Women’s movement

Temperance tearooms

The Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) ran tearooms at A & P (agricultural and pastoral) shows – including these ones at the Christchurch show in 1910. An example of temperance in action, they gave men visiting a show an alternative to beer or wine, and women (who were far less likely to drink in public anyway) the chance to sit down with a cup of tea. Substantial lunches were available.

Tearooms were also an important fundraiser. The WCTU had very little money, and most of it came from tearooms, bazaars, the sale of paper sewing patterns, and small donations. In 1890, at the height of the suffrage campaign, the WCTU's departments each received 10 shillings ($89 in 2009 terms) to fund their work for the year. Lack of money was the reason The White Ribbon (the WCTU newspaper) was not started until 1895, two years after the suffrage campaign was successful.

Using this item

Canterbury Museum, Bishop Collection
Reference: Weekly Press, 16 November 1910 (1923.53.679)

Permission of Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch, New Zealand must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Women’s movement - Women’s Christian Temperance Union', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 December 2021)

Story by Megan Cook, published 5 May 2011