Now that the weather is improving and heating oil is less of a concern, here’s an idea for bringing folks to your Grange Hall:
The following letter appeared in the Village Soup and the Courier-Gazette
To the editor:
I have been involved with several fund raising events in St George and feel compelled to let it be known that the people of St George are among the most generous and giving of Americans. Whether it is to help with bills for a family with a sick, injured or deceased relative, neighbor or friend or to provide food or clothes for the needy or, as we see now, providing funds for heating assistance, the people of St George always come through. The Ocean View Grange in Martinsville, has been collecting donations and paying fuel bills for several years. This year is no different. Many of those who help with donations are certainly not wealthy and give whatever they can. When you hear from someone that Americans don’t care about each other or are not willing to help those who need it, tell them they must not have heard of the little town of St George, Maine.
Thanks to all of you who have stepped up and helped over the years.Larry Bailey Port Clyde, Maine
Believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about entries in some of the Junior Grange contests! Any Junior wishing to enter the Public Speaking, Sign-A-Song or Manual Alphabet contests should let me know by April 15. The date and location of these contests have not yet been set. The State Lecturer’s Grange Book Reading Club runs all year – keep track of the title, author and number of pages for each book you read. This information will need to be sent to the State Lecturer by Sept. 1.
Check out the National Jr. Grange program (www.NationalJuniorGrange.org) – there may be pieces that tie into activities you are doing in school. I continue to receive inquiries about children and grandchildren becoming members of the Maine State Junior Grange. This is exciting as these children are our future. Remember that there is no requirement that the parents or grandparents of Jr. Grangers have to be granger members. So friends are more than welcome to join.
Communication! We all know this is important in our lives. Without it we feel isolated, unknowing, and unsure. We must ensure that communication is not one sided. Many times we initiate communication but get nothing in return. Don’t give up! Ask the person in question form such as “Do you know what Grange is about?” or “What do you know about Grange?” as an opening line. It open the lines of communication and like a spark, a conversation is ignited. The person to whom you are speaking will answer and you can take control of the conversation. Just asking “Will you join? “ requires a yes or no answer and if the answer is no then the conversation is lost and you have lost control. Listen to what the non member is asking you such as “So what have you been up to lately?” or I haven’t seen much of you. Have you been busy?” then take control of the situation. Tell them with a smile that “I have been having fun. A few grangers got together to play cards or went to dinner or planning a community event or planning a program.” Show enthusiasm. Many of us do not like to ask others to join or to solicit activities. Let them ask you and go from there. It is that simple because you are not putting pressure on them; they make their own assumptions and being of human nature have curiosity. That is how I joined. I was asked to participate in a Fourth of July parade. There I met some people who were having a great time preparing and having fun. So I joined in and decided I wanted to be part of this group. It was one of the best decisions and most life changing decision I ever made. Little did I know or think where it would lead. It has changed me for the better.
Tell stories why you joined to your friends and family with enthusiasm . Accentuate the positive; people will listen. The Grange has much to offer to us all at any age. Keep out the negativity, remember why you joined, how you have grown, the friends you have made, the smiles you have put on the faces of others. Remember you are why the grange has survived. Your involvements, your ties, your ideas have benefited the Grange more than you have realized. As I think back , I smile to think of what I have accomplished thanks to the Grange. Whatever you give to the order, you get back much more. Now go out there and get some members!
On behalf of the Agriculture Committee we would like to thank David and Jeanne Burnham past Agriculture Directors for the work they did during their time as Directors. We are honored to accept the position of Directors and are looking forward to be working with the Agriculture Committee members and the State Master. We have had a fast and furious beginning. We want to especially thank all of the Ag. Committee members and other Grangers who helped during the Agriculture Trade Show. We held a busy and productive Ag. Committee meeting on January 22nd.
We are now working on the Legislative Luncheon on March 14th . It sounds like it will be a very busy year for all of us. A little bit about us. Bob is a retired Maintenance Machinist. Agnes is a retired School Food Service Director. We own a small family farm. When our four sons were home we raised Suffolk sheep and Polled Hereford cattle. We no longer have any animals. We are now into vegetable gardening as a hobby and helping with our grandchildren. Bob has been a granger for 36 years. He is Steward at Knox Station Grange and on the Executive Committee at Waldo Pomona. Agnes has been a granger for 54 years. She is Master of Knox Station Grange and Master of Waldo Pomona .We look forward to getting out and meeting grangers this year. We would be happy to come to Agriculture Night at your grange if we are available. We are looking forward to being your Agriculture Directors.
I have completed all 990-N e-postcards for Subordinate and Pomona Granges. I f you have had trouble in completing your filing please contact me and I will see that it is completed for you. If you would like a copy for your records I will be glad to furnish you with one. Quarterly Dues will once again be due March 30, 2012. Mailing of your quarterly report forms along with a list of your membership will be sent to you shortly. Please update the list of members and return to me to update our records.
Fundraising has begun for the 2013 National Grange Convention to be held in Keene, NH. As Maine is part of the North East Division of the National Grange we must help in fundraising. The North East Connection Committee State Coordinator, Vicki Huff, and I are the contact people for purchase of our fundraising items. The items that are available for sale are as follows:
- Teal T-shirts: 1-S, 1-M, 1-L, 5-XL 3-2XL
- Brick T-shirts: 2-S, 3-M, 3-L, 3-XL
- Sandstone crew neck sweatshirts: 5-S, 6-M, 6-L, 5-XL, 1-2XL, 1-3XL
- Forest zip sweatshirts: 2-S
- Black polo shirts: 1-S, 2-L, 1-2XL
- Burgundy polo shirts: 3-M, 1-L, 1-XL
T-Shirts S – XL are $14, XXL is $16, XXXL is $18
Crew Neck Sweatshirts all sizes are $22
Zip Sweatshirts all sizes are $28
Polo Shirts S – XL are $25, XXL – XXXL $27
Check is made payable to “The North East Connection” and mailed to State Headquarters.
Helping the Fatherless and Widows, and keeping ourselves unspotted from the world, does that sound familiar? It is in the Masters, closing charge in the Closing of the Grange. It is taken from James1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this. To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction. And to keep himself unspotted from the world.” How much better this world would be if we thought of others more than self. And to keep oneself unspotted from the world, is surely a great goal. We in the Grange are like one great family and must be sure to watch over those less fortunate than we are. I hear of all the good things that the Grange does for their communities and I believe that we do watch over others very well. Let us keep our eyes and ears open to opportunities to serve. Peace.
I will be mailing the updated Lecturer Contest material with the changes I have made sometime very soon. It will be sent to the Subordinate and Pomona Lecturers, to all other Granges who do not have a Lectuer and to the additional folks I have on my mailing list. If you would like to have a copy please call my home phone number and leave a message with your name and address.
I just want to remind everyone again April is Grange Month. Please order your certificates early. The big award plaques MUST be ordered from National Grange. I ONLY have the 8X10 beige cardstock “Certificates of Appreciation” for $1.00 each. These may be given to any person or member for any reason, at any time. PLEASE, remember, I spend a lot of time away from home on my job, so the more notice you can give me to send your certificates to you the better. It is impossible to get something mailed to you in two days. A message on my home phone is the quickest way for me to get your request. I check home everyday and Richard is there most of the time to let me know of a message or mail coming in. I usually check e-mails once a week, sometimes less so I may miss your request. The State Office has a supply on hand, also.
Hello again to the officers and members of the Maine State Grange. I hope your Valentine’s and President’s Days were pleasant. A few weeks back I received a call from a possible relative in South Carolina. This gentleman was doing genealogy with the same surname as mine. This got me to thinking… how many of my ancestors were Grange members?? We all know of someone who has family members who belonged, but what about when the Grange first organized? Now granted the Grange organized in December of 1867, so only my great, great grandfather and his wife and offspring could have been the earliest possible Grange Members in my family, but it is still a thought-provoking feeling.
By most if not all Granges have received the new password and rosters. As a new State Master, I made changes as I saw fit. My changes were NOT intended to offend or sting anyone but to help the Grange grow as I saw it. Please do not badger your fellow Grange members about these changes. Badger me. I made the changes, so feel free to call me, your State Master, personally on my cell phone. My cell number is at the top of this bulletin.
This Organization is a GREAT organization. We need to remind ourselves why we joined the Grange and to remember our By-laws, by re-reading them if need be. We are all struggling in one way or another, but we don’t need to. We have each other and together we can STRIVE to do better.
This time next month, I will have returned from State Masters conference, with hopefully some refreshing ideas to help us grow. We will also be winding up with the Legislative luncheon and the State Committees will have had their first meeting of the year. Come heck or high water, we will survive. Happy Easter (I know, I’m a little early) and St. Patrick’s Day everyone!!
Let’s see… this is the time of year cabin fever kicks in… and we start looking for a hint of spring. This year it seems like we’ve been mostly waiting for winter! Cautious folks are reminding us… we could get it yet! The optimists are looking for daffodil sprouts. Since my crystal ball is fogged up, I’m just enjoying the adventure of the unknown!
This is also the time of year when Bangor Savings Bank runs their annual “Community Matters More” program that allows folks to vote for their favorite charities to receive a grant of up to $5,000. There’s been a lot of interest this year and a number of campaigns have sprung up encouraging “write in” votes. Please note that the guidelines for the program include a requirement that the organization be a registered 501(3)(c). Don’t “waste” your vote on an organization that will not qualify! Deadline for voting is March 5th.
Special thanks goes to Tom Roberts of Snakeroot Farm in Pittsfield this month–Tom’s a regular visitor to our site and he’s always great about reporting things like broken links or pages that don’t work they way they should. He was very helpful with identifying a broken link that I just couldn’t find. Thanks, Tom! It’s found and fixed!
Speaking of friends, it’s no secret that “Words for Thirds” is one of my passions. I’ve had the good fortune of getting to know some of the folks at the Dictionary Project and to develop a deep appreciation for the energy and commitment they bring to the project. Mary and Arno French founded the organization in 1995 and have grown the project into a national organization with a a global reach. Sadly, co-founder Arno French recently passed away after a battle with cancer. It would seem in good grange spirit and more than appropriate to remember his wife Mary with a card of sympathy and support.Mary French The Dictionary Project PO Box 1845 Charleston SC 29402
We have several busy months coming up… March of course includes a focus on agriculture and that’s followed by Grange Month in April. Remember to send a notice of your event for listing on the site… and take photos while it’s happening so we can see what’s going on around the state! You can send your news (webmastermainestategrangeorg) as a simple email and include photos as an attachment or use the submission form on the site.
Please be sensitive regarding copyright laws. When it comes to news, we cannot re-publish stories from other publications, but often can link to those original publications. If, however, you write a press release and send it to a number of outlets (including the MSG website), we can publish that since it does not “belong” to any one publication.
Thanks to those who support the site with submissions and encouraging words! If you have ideas or requests, don’t hesitate to send them!