Dec 292011

Story by Laurie McBurney, Photo by Jim Meserve

Meenahga Grange in Waldoboro met Dec. 19 for its traditional Christmas program. This year members brought many gifts to help the Waldoboro Toys for Tots program.

Following the business meeting and program, a surprise reception was held to honor member Clyde Berry who was elected Chaplain of the Maine State Grange at the annual meeting in October. Berry, who was surprised, commented that he now understood the presence of several present and past state officers from various parts of the state. Several members, including Ron Dolloff, Kathy Brewer and Rick Grotton, recalled some moments they had shared with Berry. Guests Jimmy Owens, Priest Annalist of the Assembly of Demeter (a national office); Sharon Manley, Maine State Grange Secretary; and Dot Brown, past Maine State Grange Treasurer, also shared memories of adventures with Clyde. In the true grange fashion, the evening ended with refreshments including a beautifully decorated cake.

Dec 292011

The photo is back from the framer… and closer examination reveals enough new information to justify a new post.

Maine Lecturers

The year was actually 1929… and the event was a Lecturer’s Conference. The original photo is a bit the worse for wear (we all should look this good when we’re this age), but Debbie took some photos making it possible for us to share… Debbie also tells us, “…the woman in the last row, upper left is my great grandmother Gladys Ridley from the Mousam Lake Grange in Shapleigh.”

 I’ve included a small copy of the complete photo… remember that it’s 31 inches wide–quite a feat both technically and practically. As one who “dabbles” in photography I have quite an appreciation for what the photographer must have gone through getting all these people positioned–and holding a pose long enough to take the shot.
The caption on the photo reads, “New England Grange Lecturers’ Conference, Amherst, Massachusetts, August 12 – 15, 1929.” Even if you don’t stand a chance of identifying someone, it’s great fun to check out the hair and clothing styles as well as some of the facial expressions.
If you should recognize someone… post a comment here or send an email to Debbie Petersen  (infoatactonshapleighdotcom)  .
Dec 212011

Do you know who might have attended The 1931 National Grange Conference held in Amherst, Massachusetts? Debbie Petersen of the Acton Shapleigh Historical Society has a photo… I asked her to scan it and she tells me she would except it’s three feet long!

The photo shows members from MA, ME, NH, CT, RI and VT and Debbie is fairly sure she’s identified one–that’s a start! She’s looking for a list of delegates… any ideas or suggestions? Post a comment here or email her  (infoatactonshapleighdotcom)  .

This is one of those fun projects that will challenge grange detective skills!

Dec 212011
Patrick J. Brewer, State Master
207-458-9234 (cell)
Email: rightgrangeratmyfairpointdotnet  (rightgrangeratmyfairpointdotnet)  

Happy Holidays! Brothers and Sisters of the Maine State Grange,

Another Christmas season is upon us and another calendar year is about to close. Some new Deputies are among our ranks and some changes have been made in the Committees’ as well. I hope for the benefit of all. We had a successful State Officers meeting and an interesting Deputy School of instruction. The complete list of Deputies will be on the Maine State Grange website until the roster gets published. The Deputies are here to help all of the Granges in our state. Please ask them for any, and all help you may need and definitely contact myself on any pressing matters. This is a great organization and we want to keep it that way.

Enjoy your Holiday season and may your wishes come true and your New Year be full of Hope, Laughter and Love

Dec 212011

Copied from Monthly Bulletin


Now that the holidays are over we look forward to the new year. Take time to thank the Lord for this new beginning. You may think that it is just another day but everyday is a chance for a new beginning. Set your goals and strive to accomplish them, remember all things are possible for those who love the Lord, place your trust in him. When adversity strikes look for the good things that are happening around you and be thankful. There should never be a day, no matter how difficult, that at the end of it, we can not find at least one good thing that happened.

Praise those around you, remembering that when we give someone a compliment, it not only pleases them but the blessing come back, the Bible says a hundred fold. Look for the good in others, yes, I know sometime it seems difficult to find something good to say, but try it, there is always something good about everyone.

We have just finished the giving season but don’t think that just because the holidays are over that there is no need to give, for there are still those with no food, clothes, heat and sometimes no friends, don’t desert them, care for them.

Peace my friends.

Dec 212011

Copied from Monthly Bulletin

Sherry Harriman, Lecturer  280 Kennebunk Road   Sanford, ME  04073-5515
207-490-1029    Fax: 207-490-0111     E-mail: href="sherryatgwidotnet">sherryhatgwidotnet

Happy New Year everyone!  I am making some changes to the dates and contests for my department and want you to be aware of them.  Please be sure to pass the changes along to your members.  No Lect. contests Talent, Skit or Stories on April 21,   moved to Sept.

NOTE: You should check with the Junior and Youth Directors about other contests, manual alphabet, sign-a-song, public speaking, etc., listed for April 21. 

SKIT WRITING CONTEST     Deadline:  March 31 sent/e-mailed/faxed to me at my home address above.    Open to All Subordinate members. Categories:  Original and Not Original / Internet.  Profanity or inappropriate items will not be accepted.   Length of play or skit must not exceed 10 minutes. LABEL: AT THE TOP OF EACH SKIT.  Include all the following information: NAME;  ADDRESS;  GRANGE & NUMBER; PHONE;  TITLE; CATEGORY.

            NOTE:   All non-original material must have an author’s name on the item and must be checked & have copyright information!! 

ORIGINAL_STORY WRITING CONTEST “With Pen In Hand”   Deadline:  March 31 sent/e-mailed/faxed to my home address above. Open to All Subordinate members.  Categories: Fact and/or Fiction  (Original stories only)      Profanity or inappropriate items will not be accepted.  Length of story must not exceed 10 minutes — 500 word maximum. Enter as many stories as you wish.   LABEL: AT THE TOP OF EACH STORY.  Include all the following information:  NAME;  ADDRESS;  GRANGE & NUMBER; PHONE;  TITLE; AND CATEGORY.  Judging of skits & stories will be done in April and winners announced.  If you wish to perform your Skits and Stories this will be done at the Lecturers Conference held in Sept., in Augusta.  Let me know so I can plan. (This is a change from the original program books sent out and previous years.)

Dec 192011

Bangor Grange, under the direction of Pam Martin, performs a very low budget version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” This performance capped off a full day that included breakfast with Santa to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.


If you are unable to view the video within this post, go to:


Dec 152011

Words from Walter...

Annual maintenance of the site continues… one of the more time consuming tasks is deleting all the old events. You might be interested to know that there were slightly over 200 event posts during the first full year the site’s been operating in this manner. For those who love statistics, I also deleted nearly 2ooo emails accumulated relative to the site!

Other recent events include another significant upgrade to the WordPress software–you won’t notice much change on the surface, but this upgrade made some significant improvements into how I maintain the site.  I’m constantly amazed at the speed of technology–it seems like by the time I’ve mastered a technique, it changes! Some recent difficulties also made it apparent it is time to upgrade my entire computer system after just about three years. I’m told thats about the average life of a computer.  (I’ll be running dual systems for a while, so there should be no significant downtime for the site.)

At the risk of engaging in blatant self-promotion, I’m working with the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative on a series of courses next spring. The series is designed for “Solopreneurs” and will include an introductory class for those who are interested in building their own very basic (and free!) WordPress Website. Information will be posted on my “Brain Leaks and Musings” website soon.

Thanks to those who support the site by visiting and submitting information and events. It’s nice to see the site “working” and there are many examples of it. Valley Grange members were, for example, pleasantly surprised to have State Chaplain Clyde Berry join us at the service for our recently departed member Laura Pratt. He learned the news through our site. We also have recently been able to provide some help to Enterprise Grange’s grant-writing challenge as several folks replied to the call.

When I visit school children as part of our dictionary presentation, I tell the kids that patrons of husbandry are about “providing generous support” and “the wise use of resources.” Those  are also the guiding principles for this site. Please send your information, news, events, and ideas and encourage others to do the same. Provide some resources–get and give some support!

Thanks also  to those who “purchased” a Christmas Greeting… While we weren’t overwhelmed by the response, it was a fun project. Special thanks to Vicki Huff for chasing the idea and all her help setting up the mechanisms and collecting the donations!

Someone has wisely said “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day of your life.” While that’s a bit idealistic, there’s a lot of truth in it. When the labors of the day are complete, it’s nice to say “boy, that was fun!” My Christmas and New Year’s wish for you is that you’ll find fun in the labors of your day–whether you are working for your grange, your employer, or yourself! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Dec 152011

We hope everyone is having a great holiday season! A lot of talk about membership came about at Deputy School as well as some problems that need to be addressed. So the topic this month is “ Is the Grange the real focus within your Grange?”

It seems that there are some organizations that are joining our Granges with intents that do not focus on Grange traditions and rituals. Their primary focus is to establish their own intents and Grange meetings and traditions are being put off to the side. It is great to have other agricultural organizations blend in with the grange as we are an agricultural organization. When anyone from joins the Grange, then they become a Grange member and the work of the Grange is to be the main focus within the walls of the Grange not running a farmers market or co-op. These activities are great but they do not take the place of any Grange activity. There are some that want grants to change the grange halls into stores and markets. It is in conflict with many members who feel they are losing control of what the Grange stands for.

Grange meetings must be held and traditions and rituals honored. The Granges are not social clubs and coffee shops that do not hold meetings or deal with Grange business. If this is the case then it cannot be called a Grange and the problem will be addressed at the Executive Committee meetings. We need the help of every Grange member to ensure that Grange is the primary focus and should other things be going on in lieu of a Grange meeting then it should be reported and addressed.

We have a new State Membership core this year. Chris Roger, Gloria Ross, yours truly, and Yvonne Johnson are the Directors with each focusing on different areas of membership but working together with other committees to strengthen our Granges. The complete committee has not yet been established but some from last year have been asked to stay on.

We would like to thank those who filled out membership surveys at State Grange session. Many issues were addressed and it helps direct our focus onto areas that need attention.

We are trying to initiate new ideas and projects for membership building. Many Granges have welcomed the idea of working together, with other organizations and other Granges. Our Pomona granges have been encouraged to help the Subordinates.

Building membership does not have to be a difficult task. While keeping membership is our biggest concern, we must look within to prepare ourselves to receive and keep the new members. Every Grange, no matter how small, is encouraged to have a working membership committee. Every granger affects membership.


Rick Grotton , Co-Membership Committee Director.