Oct 302013

Webmaster’s Note: State Masters are asked to make a report to National Conference… below is Master Vicki’s report for this year.

Greetings from The Pine Tree State and welcome to the Northeast!

Maine is honored to be one of the States hosting the 147th National Grange Convention. We have just completed our 140th Annual Session and were very pleased to have Linda and Cal Chase as our National Representatives. Thirty-five candidates received the Degree of Flora during our session and delegates debated eleven resolutions. We also had presentations from the FFA, the Veterans Association and Tim Caverly, author of Allagash Tails & Tales.

Our year has been event-filled and exciting. For example, in January our state hosted the Northeast Leadership Conference in Portland. There were several workshops and one was from National Master, Ed Luttrell. These conferences generate enthusiasm and allow us time to plan our Youth/Junior and Lecturer’s regional conferences.

Local Granges have conducted a number of degree days. In just two of those, more than twenty new members completed their degree instruction. Many of our members are looking forward to receiving their seventh degree this year. Being the host region for National Convention has given many the incentive to continue their degree work to the highest level.

Maine has had the distinct honor of organizing a new Grange—West Bath Seaside Grange #592—in an existing Grange Hall. Their charter members are all new to the Grange and since organizing they have added a few members that belonged to the previous Grange. They are full of Grange spirit. Another Grange with exciting news is Union Harvest #591, which was organized last year, in the town of Montville. The town recently voted to give a building that had previously been a Grange Hall to the Grange.

While we still had a net membership loss for the year, we believe we are poised for a brighter and exciting future. We are beginning to feel a sense of energy and potential. In fact, one of our major television stations in the state is currently preparing a feature program describing some of our “thriving Granges,” a positive step in the right direction.

Our membership keeps very busy. We had a booth at the Agriculture Trade Show in Augusta. We hosted the legislative luncheon on Ag Day for the 34th year. Our legislators enjoy this event and look forward to it each year. We again hosted the annual meeting for Agriculture in the Classroom. We participated at the Northeast Youth Conference in Vermont. Several members traveled to New Haven, Connecticut to participate in the Northeast Lecturers’ Conference. The New England Grange Building at the Big E celebrated its 75th anniversary and several members traveled to work in the store and be a greeter in the Maine Room on Grange Day. Our Granges continue to exhibit at the many agricultural fairs across the state. There is a huge support for the Dictionary Project as well as many other Community Service projects. Many have worked on items for the ditty bags that will be handed out to those registered for National Convention.

Our website shows continued improvement and our webmaster has initiated a new idea. It is called “Exciting Grangers and Granges“. Whenever anyone feels that a Grange or Granger should receive this distinction they submit an article to the website and it is our chance to “toot our own horns”.

As a host state, we welcome you to the region! We look forward to sharing our energy with you throughout the conference, but especially on Friday when Maine will be your host.

Fraternally submitted,

Victoria S. Huff, Master

Oct 292013

video_cameraperson_400_clr_5858Submitted by Walter Boomsma

I’ve been receiving “tips” and messages regarding a news story… scheduled to be on the air in the Bangor area… with varying dates and details. Here are the facts:

There is a “feature” story coming regarding Granges that are thriving… it’s being written by Joy Hollowell of WABI TV-5. Both I and State Master Vicki have been assisting with the story by providing information and arranging interviews as well as attendance at State Conference by Ms. Hollowell and “Cameraman Ken.” The resulting program is scheduled to air in two parts. Part one will air on Thursday (October 31) between  5 and 6 PM. Part two will air between 6 and 7 PM. We believe both parts will also air again on Friday morning,  November 1st.

Once the program has aired, it will be possible to watch it on the WABI TV-5 website. As soon as I have that link (probably on Friday) I will post it on the Maine State Grange site for all to see. We are thrilled that Ms. Hollowell and WABI have decided to tell this story because it shows that in spite of our challenges, there are Granges and Grangers that are exciting and growing.

A question to consider… whether or not your Grange is mentioned in the program… is it one of the ones that’s thriving?

Oct 282013

Congratulations to Union Harvest Grange for creating a website! Check it out at http://unionharvestgrange.wordpress.com. And remember, there’s a list of Community Grange websites and Facebook pages in the sidebar… at least the ones we know about!

Oct 232013
submitted by Master Vicki

Sister Karin Gower, Past Junior Deputy, member of Cape Elizabeth Grange and mother to Elmira Collins our State LAS passed away Monday morning. Sister Karin was in her mid 90’s and was living at The Gorham House.

Condolences can be sent to Clayton and Elmira Collins, 75 Dolloff Road Standish, Me 04084.

Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, Oct. 24, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m., with a Grange service at 7 p.m., at Blais & Hay Funeral Home, 35 Church St., Westbrook. A funeral service will be held on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Prides Corner Congregational Church, Westbrook, with a reception to follow in the church hall. Interment will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Round Pond Cemetery in Charlotte.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

The Prides Corner
Congregational Church
235 Pride St.
Westbrook, Maine 04092

 The obituary is quite lengthy so I am putting the link below.


Oct 222013

National Conference has announced a number of workshops in conjunction with the Idea Fair. A list of planned workshops has been added to the information under the  “Conferences” tab… or you can download it directly: National Convention Workshops.

Please note that information regarding state conference that is no longer needed will be removed in the near future. If you need any of it for your files, download a copy soon!

Oct 212013

You’ll recall the request went out a while back for help making State of Maine Christmas Ornaments for ditty bags to be distributed at National Conference…  Well. here’s the report following State Conference:

I’m excited to say thanks to all the plastic canvas workers who assisted with making the Maine ornaments for Worthy State Master Vicki  to take to the National Session. I had hoped for upwards to 200.  When the MSG convention closed on Saturday I had collected over 300!


Ann Burns,

Maple Grove Grange #148

Oct 212013

Parkman Grange 305 is doing exciting things.  Since our re-organization in 2010, we have added new members and new projects while still carrying on with traditional events.

Some of our new projects include the Minnie Bridge Scholarship Fund, that is now in it’s third year, and has given out four $500.00 scholarships.  Last year our Books for Young Readers Program gave all of the MSAD 4 pre-k children four new books.  Both projects are funded yearly by the Bridge family in memory of two loves ones, Minnie Bridge and Paul Bridge.   We will be providing books again to the pre-k children in the next coming month.  We also coordinate the Penquis Santa Project for the MSAD 4 district, with Amanda Kain as the coordinator.  We will be hosting a Halloween party on October 26 for children ages 2-10, with $3 admission.  All monies earned will go to multiple sclerosis.  We also host a Christmas party that is free to the public.  We have Mr. and Mrs. Clause at the Grange with an elf or two. Each child gets to go home with a picture on Santa’s lap, play games and eat yummy treats all for free. How exciting is that? But it doesn’t stop there. We also hosted our first Daddy Daughter Dance that was sold out, but the little girls had so much fun!

Our oldest event is our Mother’s Day Tea.  Twelve years and running we have done this event.  Each year we dedicate the tea to an individual, and then that individual decides on where the proceeds should go. This year we dedicated the Tea to Elizabeth Morin who is one of the founders of the Mother’s day Tea.  At her request all profits were given to her Church.

We also do lots of dinners, the last one we did was in September, and it was our Military Appreciation Dinner.  The dinner was free to all active and non active military personnel.  Others could eat by donation.  All the funds profited went to the Beals House in Augusta. The Beals House, houses family members of military personnel that are in need of an overnight hospital stay.  Coming up we have our Hunters Supper, this is our largest supper.  We also will be drawing seven winners for our Gun Raffle.  The Gun Raffle is our largest fundraiser. We have 1000 tickets that we sell and then raffle off seven guns at our hunters supper.  Outside of our scheduled events we have also done four memorials for members of our town that have passed.  We come together, not only the Grange members, but also members of our community, and provide a place with food and comfort for loved ones to reminisce.

We have several projects that go on each year and as active members we find each of them exciting. We have several friends of the grange that are excited to help cook provide food for our events. Our grange keeps growing for the better and we keep growing as individuals.  So you see, the Parkman Grange is exciting and so are all of it members.

Oct 212013

submitted by Chaplain Clyde Berry

Many of you at State Session realized that Sister Lillian Leighton of Schoodic Grange left Friday morning after having been called home by the illness of her brother-in-law Phillip French.  Mr. French died on Friday. I am sure that Sister Lillian would appreciate cards letting her know that we are thinking of her and express to her and her sisters family our deepest sympathy.

Her address is:

Lillian Leighton
9 Eastbrook Rd
Franklin, ME 04634
Oct 212013
Let's hope the cute pig wasn't the one roasted!

Let’s hope the cute pig wasn’t the one roasted!

Just being exciting is great… but even more important is letting the world know you’re exciting! Heather Retberg, secretary of Halcyon Grange in Bluehill, couldn’t wait to share their “cute pig” and poster for their recent event… the event is, unfortunately, passed, but the pig lives on!

Kinda makes me wonder what would happen if Granges started adopting mascots…? Could Halcyon have a “name the pig” contest?

Thanks for sharing, Heather!

(By the way, whenever you have a photo to share, just attach it to an email addressed to webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg.)

Heather adds:

We ARE awfully excited by all that is going on at our grange and the growing community support for our project.  We had a great pig roast and auction evening (I’ll have to leave the numbers reporting to our treasurer and/or capital campaign director), but we had an absolutely full house, and folks singing around a bonfire outdoors near where the pig was roasting, beanhole beans that always draw attention and curiosity, a full hall for author David Gumpert’s presentation with great discussion with him afterwards.  He referenced several times a book from 1873 called The History of the Grange Movement or The Farmers’ War Against Monopolies to show that the grange’s own history has lessons to teach us about how to handle our obstacles now, and the Grangers led the way in the 1880’s and have the structure and growing support to help unify and preserve small-scale, diversified family farms again.  AND then came the most fun…the live auction.  The businesses, farms and individuals in our community were so generous and supportive in their donations, and so were the attendees.  The band, MacLir Ceilidh, had donated their musical performance for our supper, then came up during dessert time and offered ANOTHER performance to our auction which went for $175.  Another painted a large painting of a cow just for the auction.  It was wonderful.   We were really boosted and astonished and plum pleased at the kindness and support for the Halcyon Grange by our community.

Thanks for featuring as an example of an exciting grange.  Looking forward to seeing your fun in the process, too.  I’ll try to keep sending updates as we go.  For now, the walls are up and the roof is on the new kitchen.

Oct 212013
WWW - Webmaster Walter Writes!

WWW – Webmaster Walter Writes!

Those who attended State Session on Friday are certainly aware that Joy Hollowell and Ken from WABI TV-5 were present–interviewing and filming. I’ve since had several questions regarding “when the news story about State Conference will air,” so let me clarify.

Joy and Ken were NOT there to cover State Conference. For nearly a month now Joy has been working on a “special” story regarding “Granges that are thriving” in a time when we seem to mostly hear about “Granges that are dying.”  Their presence at State Conference was actually incidental to the special story she is preparing and less about State Conference itself. (I was one of the initial contacts based on the long-standing great relationship between WABI and Valley Grange. WABI regularly covers our programs and Joy said she immediately thought of Valley Grange as a thriving Grange! I’ve since served as a liaison, providing resource and contact information.)

As I currently understand from Joy, the final story will be in two parts. The debut will happen on Thursday, October 31 with part one airing between five and six pm. Part two will air between six and seven pm and both parts will air again on Friday morning, November 1st. I’m also assured that once both parts have aired, the entire program will be available to view on the WABI website–I will make a link to it available here on the Maine State Grange website as soon as practical.

Those who’ve been involved are certainly excited–not just about being on television, but over the fact that it looks like the Grange is going to get some very positive publicity. So now we have some exciting and excited Grangers and Granges! Stand by for news!