Independent Order of Rechabites (IOR) is a Friendly Society which provides a range of services to its members. The IOR began in Salford, England in 1835. It was named after Rechab, a leader in the Old Testament, who instructed his tribe to refrain from drinking alcohol. During the Industrial Revolution the idea of temperance became popular as damage was caused to families by alcohol.
In Australia the IOR was first established in Tasmania in the mid 1800s. In 1847 a branch was created in Victoria, and it then spread to other States. Members of the IOR were provided with assistance during times of sickness, death and hardship.
In 1991, IOR Victoria combined with the IOR in other states to form a National Health Fund. Members wishing to join IOR's Health Fund were no longer required to sign a pledge of abstinence from alcohol. In 2002 the IOR Health Fund was sold to HCF Health Insurance.
The principles which drew the early Rechabites together in times of illness have evolved into a modern and successful Health Benefits Organisation.