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Gene Amondson as the Grim Reaper picketing in front of a winery

Gene Amondson's Grim Reaper Anti-alcohol Message

Gene Amondson - the Grim Reaper

The Grim Reaper Spreads Message

The grim reaper, or more correctly American's Gene Amondson, preaching the anti-alcohol message.

Death to the demon drink!

That's the message from American, Gene Amondson, who was in Timaru recently spreading his message about the dangers of alcohol.

For the last two decades he has preached the dangers of the bottle in the guise of the reaper with empty whisky bottle in one hand and a scythe in the other.

An enthusiastic communicator of many statistics about what alcohol has done in the United States, Mr Amondson spoke recently to a public meeting at the Salvation Army Fortress on Wai-iti Road. His trip to New Zealand was sponsored by the Womens Christian Temperance Union.

New Zealand, he says, spends $17 sorting out the problems alcohol causes for every dollar raised in taxes from the liquor industry.

He supports prohibition and points to the halving of cirrhosis of the liver cases during the prohibition period between 1920 and 1933 in America.

From Seattle, Washington, Mr. Amondson started protesting in the grim reaper garb outside a winery near his house. He used to stand outside the winery for about four or five hours every six months.

He says New Zealand has the same problems as the United States with alcohol and New Zealand had an attitude that "we're the frontier" and that it was all right to drink.

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