by Rick Grotton, State Master
Thank you to the delegates and attendees at State Session for your input as this was a crucial session. The fifteen resolutions required discussion and hard choices needed to be made. These decisions affect all of us and our Grange future. Every Granger has a right to be involved in making these decisions. That is why every operating Grange should send a delegate to State Session. The delegates will report to their Granges the results of the resolutions.
The biggest decision involved whether to sell the State Headquarters building. It was approved by the delegates. Just a note that this process is not going to happen overnight as much research needs to be done in order to get the best deal. Should the building sell before the next State Session, we will find a temporary place to operate until a permanent place is decided upon.
Thanks to all of you who helped me get through my first State Session as Master. Thank you to our chief deputy, Maynard Chapman and to all deputies for their hard work. Thank you to the Directors and their committees. Their displays and raffles at State Session were enjoyed and visited by many. Also to fellow State Officers for their hard work, support, and encouragement and to Sister Ruby Bryant for filling in as Lecturer. Thank you to Sister Yvonne Johnson for leading the Rose Drill. Thanks to our pianist, Merton Ricker. Thanks to Sister Christine Hebert and the Junior Committee for running the kitchen. Thanks to our retiring Ag Directors, Agnes and Robert Nelson for their work the last five years. This could go on and on so thank you to all who participated in any way.
Congratulations to our new Sixth Degree members. I am happy to announce that one of them, Sister Carolyn Van Horn of Manchester Grange #172 is our new Soloist, replacing Sister Margaret Morse who is now Lecturer. Another, Sister Linda Cobb, also from Manchester Grange #172, will be our backup pianist at State Session.
Welcome to Sister Karen Gagne of Danville Junction #65 our new Agriculture Director and new Deputies Tom Cooper in Hancock and Missy Baldwin in York. New leaders mean new ideas. Many changes have been happening inside and outside of Grange. Let’s walk down this path into the forest of changes together, as a family, without fear, resistance or negativity. Instead take advantage of the opportunities available, embrace the new ideas and the benefits that await for the GOTO. There are many areas in which today’s Granges can be of help or to develop their own ideas. Be alert, plan, plan , plan and most of all have FUN.
A draft of the new roster has been completed from information returned by Granges this year. The format of the roster will go back to booklet form as discussed as State Session. There are 35 Granges and 3 Pomonas who have not sent in their roster information. Based on the high number, this confirms why last year’s roster was inaccurate. Whether changes were made or not, it is every Grange’s responsibility to send the correct information to the State Secretary as soon as possible after elections. The contact information for the Master, Lecturer, Secretary and CWA Chair is needed. This includes the name, address, telephone number and email address. The deadline is really July 15 but this year it was extended to November 1. In the past, last year’s information was used if none was submitted. This next roster will NOT include any contact information, just the name, location directions and meeting times. If your meeting times have changed, please let us know. Instead of erroneous information based on assumption, none will be published. The following Granges need to get their roster info in ASAP (November 30) in order to have their information published. The deadline to have the roster available is February 1 so the choice is yours!
Benton, Branch Mills, Manchester, Harraseeket, Aurora, Greenwood, Schoodic, Trenton, Castine, Halcyon, Verona, Oceanview, Penobscot View, Pleasant River, Minerva, Old Town-Riverside, Garland, St Albans, Wayside, Merriconeag, West Bath-Seaside, Woolwich, Fernwood, Mt Philip, Somerset #18, Seven Star, Tranquility, Alexander, Perry, Indian River, Jacksonville, Osceola, Bauneg Beg, Mousam Lake, Saco and the following Pomonas: Green Mountain, Sagadahoc and West Washington.
I will report to you next with news about the 150th National Grange Session. Sherry Harriman and I, as your delegates, are certainly proud to represent Maine and will certainly work hard to make the best decisions for the benefit of our members and the GOTO.
On behalf of the Maine State Grange, we wish all a safe and Happy Holiday season.