After attending a few installations so far this year, I paid particular attention to the description of the office by the Installing Officer. It appears that the descriptions very clearly define the office and all members, especially newer members and those who are new to the office should pay close attention. These words were written to define our roots and although the duties of some officers have slightly taken on a different meaning in present time, the written word is our backbone. This means that those taking each office respect the written words and perform the duties of their office to the utmost of their abilities. Remember, Grange is like a perennial plant in most respects. Both started from a seed, grew roots, flowered and produced fruit. When the plant grows it need the food and water to grow (meaning it’s members that keep it alive) and every once in a while we have to alter or replace the dead leaves so the plant will continue to flourish (as we do in the Grange). The plant survives another year, somewhat altered but its roots remain. Once you remove the plant from the ground, the roots are removed and unless transplanted, the roots die. Really think about this with respect to the Grange. With resolutions throughout the years altering our “plant”, our roots have remained intact. One we start changing rituals, taking away or doing away with our written code, it changes our “plant” and it becomes something altogether different after several alterations. Feed our “plant” keep it growing, making changes as necessary for the good of our “plant”, however, leave the roots intact. Whenever the Grange begins to “wilt” or if some of its “leaves” die and need to be removed, the overall “plant” still has its roots and will again flourish. But that part is up to us. Yes, we have closed some Granges (dead leaves) and have had loss of membership (wilting) but our “plant” remains strong and healthy. Due to lack of food and water (the members) the Grange “plant” will die and possibly our roots. Pay attention to the written words of our founders; those who planted the seed and do the best we can to ensure our Grange survives for many years to come. It is up to every one of us (not just the leadership) to feed and water our Grange and to keep it alive. We are 150 years old and proud of our organization and its membership.
There are a few who believe State Grange should hire a professional group to come and restructure our organization. We have been around for 150 years, why do we need professionals to restructure our organization? These may be professionals in their field, however, they know nothing about our Order and would treat it as a generic fix with no meaning to the Order. It does not fix our problems or add any personal effects. Only the membership knows how to operate our organization as we have done for many years. It seems cold and uncaring (and embarrassing) to have strangers take over and alter our “plant”. Only we know how to care for our “plant” since it requires our love and caring to keep it going.
If you have new members who need to see the first four degrees before State Grange, there are two dates of interest. The first is Sunday, September 24 at West Minot Grange and the other is on Sunday, October 7 at Harraseeket Grange on Elm Street in Freeport. Both begin at 4 pm with a break after the first two degrees are completed. Remember, in order to take your 5th Degree, you must have observed the first four degrees. The Sixth Degree will be done during State Session on Friday evening, October 20 at 7 pm at the Community Center in Skowhegan.
Has everyone sent in their new officer list? If there are any changes to your membership since you did, make sure you let our State Secretary know. Thank you for those who did submit their lists!
By now you all should have received the resolutions and the information for State Grange. Please carefully go over the resolutions at your next meetings so that your delegates will know how to vote.
I have received a few inquiries concerning the location of this year’s Lecturer’s Conference. The meeting was scheduled for Topsham Grange for September 30 since the availability of Headquarters at the time was unknown at the time. Sorry for the inconvenience, however it was better to change locations then instead of waiting.
Remember that there will be an Ag Luncheon Thursday noon at State Session this year. The price is $14 and pork will be served with a speaker, Ms. Amber Lambke, CEO and President of the Maine Grain Alliance following. Capacity is 100 people so reserve early!
The schedule is as follows: 1:00-2:00 pm, Lunch; 2:00 pm, Open to the Public; 2:15 pm, Entertainment – Maine Humorist Gary Crocker; 2:45-3:00 pm, Ceremony. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Stephanie Daggett-Nichols at 207-623-3436. She has discussed the plans with me and it appears to be a well-planned event. Your presence will make it even better!!
Surroundings and changes are happening all around. Those changes affect us also. There has been a rise in the number of young farmers operating in Maine. Some Granges are identifying and working with them. These Granges are growing. Community awareness is important. What is happening in your community? Do you know? Find out how the Grange can be part of the community growth or assist with changes. Establish contacts with community leaders and communicate often. Why do we exist? This is a rhetorical question which we do not stop and think about as often as we should.
Our Northeast region is hosting National Grange in Stowe, Vermont in 2018 and all states within that region have certain duties and obligations in order to make the session successful. One fundraising item is tee shirts (long and short sleeved) that are for sale. These tee shirts are a bright blue with the logo “Unique as a Snowflake” and come in various sizes. Prices are 10.00 (short sleeve) and 15.00 (long sleeve). They will also be available for sale at State Session. Sales of these items will help contribute to our share of the financial obligation to host.
On Sunday, October 8 beginning at 1:00 pm, Manchester Grange will be hosting a spectacular 150th Grange birthday party at their Hall with ALL Grange members throughout the State invited. If there is anyone receiving their 50-year certificate this year, this may be of special interest to you. The highlights of the afternoon include presenting 50-year certificates, Maine humorist Gary Crocker, and a 150th birthday cake. I can envision how spectacular this could be having Masters or representatives of various Granges presenting the certificates to their own members. I have seen Mr. Crocker perform. He is very entertaining. Please mark your calendar. The schedule is as follows: 1:00 – 2:00 pm, Lunch; 2:00 pm, Open to the Public; 2:15 pm, Entertainment – Maine Humorist Gary Crocker; 2:45-3 pm, Ceremony.
For more information or to RSVP, please contact Stephanie Daggett-Nichols at 207-623-3436. She has discussed the plans with me and it appears to be a well-planned event. Your presence will make it even better!!