The Queensland District of The Independent Order of Rechabites Friendly Society was formed by the separation of two Tents operating in Queensland under the dispensation of Victoria District No. 82. Financial separation occurred from December 25 1871 although the Queensland District (No. 87) was not formally established until May 24 1872.
The two tents which formed the District were Pioneer Tent No. 109 and Hope of Ipswich Tent No. 110, both having been first established in 1869. Hope of Ipswich Tent (now No. 2) still operates, meeting monthly in Ipswich.
Following the formal institution of the Queensland Rechabites, a monster temperance demonstration was held in the Brisbane botanical gardens following a procession of Rechabites, Good Templars and Band of Hope brigades which were headed by their respective banners. A contingent of over 200 journeyed from Ipswich at 6.00am aboard the steamer ”Francis Cadell” which reached Gardens Point in the Brisbane River at 10.00am.
The Queensland Rechabites provided welfare in the form of funeral and sickness benefits under the Friendly Societies Act from an office in the Canberra Temperance Hotel. In the early 1950’s, the society registered under the National Health Act as a health fund to cover medical and hospital services.
Social events and junior member activities played a big role in the years up to the seventies but then the pressures of modern living and the availability of alternative social norms saw these eventually cease.
In 1961 premises were purchased in Edward Street Brisbane which became known as Rechabite House and this was to be the home of the Queensland Rechabites until 1990 when the premises were sold, fortunately at the height of an inner-city property boom.
The substantial profit made on the sale of the building enabled the Queensland Rechabites to embark on a long held ambition of providing some form of aged care with the construction of Salford Waters Retirement Estate at Victoria Point. Located right on the shore of Moreton Bay, it opened in 1991 and was completed in 2005.The Estate comprises 184 units and a substantial community centre.
The friendly society continued to operate as a separate legal entity in Queensland until 2001 when it joined by amalgamation with the Rechabite Districts in other Australian states to form IOR Group Limited.
Following the demutualisation of IOR group Ltd in 2007, which event saw funds provided to the states to continue with the fraternal and social activities, Independent Order of Rechabites Queensland District No. 87 Inc. was incorporated on 1 February 2008 (Incorporation Number IA36039) under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981.
In its heyday, the Queensland District of The Independent Order of Rechabites boasted 101 Tents the length and breadth of Queensland and in each biennial year, could have almost 70 Tent representatives at the Council meetings. The Association now has four active Tents and two social committees and is administered by a seven person executive committee. All positions are honorary.
While the total abstinence focus stays strong, in recent years the use of habit forming substances was included. The Association achieves its objectives through the financial support of Drug Arm and other agencies working in the fields of alcohol and drug education and support.
The Queensland association is a member of The National Alliance for Action on Alcohol.
The Queensland District of The Independent Order of Rechabites Friendly Society was formed by the separation of two Tents operating in Queensland under the dispensation of Victoria District No. 82.