Aug 142017

The installation season has arrived and most of us are getting ready to have our new officers installed and ready for another year. Thanks to the Installation teams that are planning their busy schedules.  Thank you to the Subordinate Granges and Pomonas who are having joint installations due to the small amount of Installation teams. It is always a fun time to meet with our Brothers and Sisters from different Granges who we sometimes do not see or meet with very often. Make the event a celebration of a new year, with new leadership and hope to build your Grange. Set new goals, starting off with short term goals then onto more long-term ones. Get excited. Masters, set up your committees and have planning meetings. Plan events for fundraising, community, etc. Work with non-members and other Granges. Be active.

Select a Committee Chair. Each Committee is expected to give a report at every business meeting. This is where all members know what is happening with your Committee. Each member should be respectful to each other as we all have different opinions and ideas.  Handle disagreements with tact and compromise; DO NOT make hasty judgments without facts. Work together.  So your idea wasn’t considered at this time (don’t sulk, stay away or threaten to quit); work with the current plan and try to make it work for the GOTO. That is our common denominator.

One member happened to ask a visiting State Officer “How come the State Master is not here helping our Grange get members?”  First, I do recruit members for all Granges, not individual ones. Upon meeting the public and non-members, I always talk about the Grange, what area they are from and recommend area Granges. Many inquiries go to the website. They are given names and contacts of area Granges. Second, it is up to you and your Grange members to recruit new members. It is not up to me or State Grange to provide you with members. What would we tell them? We can’t answer many questions about how your Grange operates. Every Grange is different. That is why there is supposed to be a membership committee in each Grange for that very purpose. If I did get you members, how would I know they would stay? Would you obligate them and do degree work? Would you accept them and make them feel welcome? Is the atmosphere at your Grange relaxed and inviting? Certainly, no new members would be recruited or suggested if your Grange is unstable, not active or having tensions within. Third, State Grange does provide resources and offer training on how to get new members.

Many Granges throughout the State of Maine are doing wonderful things. I have read about many on the website and in newspapers. I have attended many fun and eventful gatherings. Thanks to all of you for doing a great job!

We as Grangers need to be aware of our surroundings and changes happening all around. Those changes affect us also. There has been a rise in the amount 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 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: 1-2pm, Lunch; 2 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!!

Aug 142017

Who can believe that State Grange Session is only two months away?  The fundraising committee has many plans and ideas for State Grange including; a convention pin, Grange promotional t-shirt, basket raffle, cookbooks, pens, seat cushions (perhaps), and copper tool box mystery raffle and probably more.  These are just some of the projects were going to work on.  This is a long list and I’m hoping to get most of it accomplished. I have lots to do so, sorry for the brief column this month, I hope to have many updates of these projects for everyone next month!

Aug 092017


Where has time gone? The 2017 Northeast Lecturers Conference is over and I am now looking ahead to all that needs to be done before October. I would like to thank all those who traveled from Maine to Castleton, Vermont to support me and take part in Maine’s program. I would also like to thank all those who contributed to the gift that was presented to me during Spirit Night it is most graciously appreciated.

Just a reminder, the Subordinate and Pomona Lecturer’s reports are due by September 1. They should be sent to my home address: 850 Main St., Eliot Maine 03903. The report form can be found in the information that was sent to all Granges last fall or on this website in the lecturers section under the program tab.

The state lecturer’s conference will be held September 30 at the Topsham Grange Hall beginning at 9:30 a.m. The agenda for that day will include reviewing the new program guide, suggestions for building programs, awards for the three creative writing contests and will end with the talent contest. I hope you all will set aside time to attend this conference.


Aug 032017

Christine Hebert1Contest Winners

Make a Boat that Floats, Ages 5-7

  • First place-Reagan Crockett

Make a Boat that Floats, Ages 8-11

  • First place-Carter Pike
  • Second place-William Stinson-Barone
  • Third place-Cameron Rae
  • Participant-Hailey Pike

Stick Frame with Picture,  Ages 8-11

  • First place–Rowen O’Hanlon
  • Second place–Hailey Pike
  • Third place–Carter Pike

Ag Stick Frame with Picture, Ages 12-14

  • First place–Isaac Benn
  • Participants–Elijah Benn, William Stinson-Barone

Creative Writing, Ages 8-11

  • First place–Hailey Pike
  • Second place–Rowen O’Hanlon
  • Third place–Carter Pike

Creative Writing, Ages 12-14

  • First place–Jillian Frechette

Birdseed Mobile, Ages 8-11

  • First place–William Stinson-Barone
  • Second place–Elijah Benn
  • Third place–Rowen O’Hanlon

Birdseed Mobile, Ages12-14

  • First place–Jillian Frechette
  • Second place–Isaac Benn
  • Participants: Hailey Pike, Carter Pike

Smore’s Bars, Ages 8-11

  • First place–Carter Pike
  • Second place–William Stinson-Barone
  • Third place–Hailey Pike

Smore’s Bars, Ages 12-14

  • First place–Jillian Frechette
  • Second place–Isaac Benn
  • Participants: Rowen O’Hanlon, Elijah Benn

Congratulations to all our winners and participants. Nice work kids!!!

Contest reminders:

Because of our friendly pest at Junior Camp our Bread Dough Ornament Contest will be judged at Maine State Convention in October along with the Fall Place Mats and Decorated Squash. Check the Juniors Program for rules and regulations. Decorated Squash is open to all Grange members.

All entries need to be at the Junior’s table by 10:00 am on Thursday, October 19, 2017.


Aug 022017

Short messages from your Communications Department

I posted the schedule of Officer Installations for Vicki Huff’s team this morning… they are up to twelve planned installations and Vicki says they should be considered “fully booked.” Any scheduled installations I have been told about are listed on the “sticky” post on the site. You may wish to contact the host Grange and see if you might participate! You might even join a neighboring Pomona–it doesn’t matter where your officers are installed.

Also, in honor of summer and all that is good, I will be working reduced hours for the first two weeks in August. I will still post events, columns, and news–and reply to email. Things just may be a little slower than usual! Your patience (and advanced planning) is appreciated. The Bulletin Deadline is still August 15, 2017, and I fully intend to meet that deadline, so regular contributors should submit their columns on time–or better yet, early!

I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in.

Bill Gates


Jul 252017

It is that time of year again when the seven Northeast states are finalizing plans before the Eastern Exposition Fair in W Springfield, MA opens on September 15, 2017. As most of you know, Maine has trustees for the New England Grange Building located on the fairgrounds. Each year we are required to send helpers to work in the building during the fair. The helpers work in the store and sell tickets for the annual quilt raffle with the proceeds divided among the states. We are asking for people who would like to work either for a couple days or even for a day. I need to know by July 30 so I can report to the Building Manager who is in charge of the schedule. For those who wish to work, you will receive tickets for the fair and for parking. This year, Maine is scheduled to have workers on the first weekend, Friday, September 16 through Monday morning, September 19, 2017. There are only five of us scheduled at the moment to cover the weekend shifts, however, more are needed to fulfill our requirements. We are looking for someone to cover the Sunday afternoon through Monday morning shift. More help is needed. I will be there from Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning. Maine Day is the 16th and Grange Day is on September 24. Attendees are needed that day also to walk in the parade. Please try to attend and show the public that we are proud of our organization!

I wish to thank all Grangers who made items for sale at the fair and to Karen Flagg, CWA Director for asking for donations. A number of boxes full of sale items was taken to the fair this past Saturday.  A new Building Manager for the Grange Building is needed for next year so if you are interested, let me know.

Remember that resolutions are due by August 15, 2017. Few have been received with the deadline three weeks away!

I wish for those who will be attending the Northeast Lecturer’s Conference July 31-August 2, 2017 in Castleton, VT to have a great time and safe traveling. I am sure that our State Lecturer, Margaret Morse and the Maine attendees will have a great time as usual!!!

Jul 242017

Porter Grange #569 got a well-deserved face lift this summer. The outside of the building was painted and a new porch light was added in memory of Dottie Locke who we lost last year. On Saturday, July 22, we had an open house with refreshments to celebrate the National Grange 150th birthday. Porter Grange was delighted to pass out four applications to interested visitors. They were in impressed with our Words for Thirds Program and our local School Scholarships.

Our Grange was able also to put up flags in Porter Village with special donations from Jana Mayotte and Gary Nickerson in memory of Francis Mills and Ron and Marie Nickerson respectively.

Porter Grange will be holding a Bean Supper, Friday, September 22 from 5:00 pm. until 6:30 pm. We have also scheduled a Free to Veterans and their families breakfast on November 11 at 7:00 am.

For more information on any event or just to say, “Hi!” contact portergrang569atgmaildotcom  (portergrang569atgmaildotcom)  

Porter Grange Hall Before

Porter Grange After!

Front Porch Light

Front porch plaque

Jul 232017

This article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119.

Maine has some of the best agricultural fairs in New England.  If you want to know more about Maine’s great agricultural fairs, go to the Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs Web site for the latest news and information.

For a listing of upcoming fairs, or if you wish to receive State fair news, click here.

Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website!

Jul 232017

Short messages from your Communications Department

Just a short message to point out and explain a few things…

Geek Alert! Some of this is a bit technical–you may skip any portion when your eyes start to glaze over.

  • A recent change to post formatting has been made to accommodate post previews in the new subscription service.  Secondary headlines will be minimized and the contributor’s name will appear in their place.
  • I’ve added some software that will allow the creation of “buttons” for some links. This should increase the user-friendliness of the site by making resources more readily available.
  • We have a new “logo” for Communications Bullets–short messages from your Communications Department.
  • There are currently over 1,800 posts on the site, dating back to 2010 when I assumed responsibility. I plan to begin deleting some of those old posts and any that “no longer apply” to save server space and make the site more manageable.
  • There are currently over 1,200 photos and documents on the site, also dating back to 2010. I plan to begin deleting some of the older photos and outdated documents.

I’m pleased to report that the new website subscription service seems to be working great! Our subscriber numbers are increasing–slower than we’d like, but steadily! If you haven’t, please subscribe–and encourage others to do the same!

Thanks to those Grangers who send feedback (compliments, corrections, and criticisms) on the site! It’s been particularly nice to hear how the website has helped you and, in several cases, created connections between Granges.  We can learn much from each other! It’s always fun to report what works in Granges. With your help, I’d like to continue to develop and expand that aspect of the website. Please send your stories and photos… you can use the “Submit Information” tab on the site or simply send an email to webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg. (I think I’ll create a button for that!)

As always, if you have suggestions and ideas for the site, I want to hear them! It’s almost time for annual reports to be submitted and that triggers setting some goals and priorities for next year. How can I help you!?

Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website! Email the Maine State Grange Webmaster

Jul 222017

Flagg (640x640)First of all, I salute all of you ladies and your many talents as I recently found out that I can’t even use a lawn mower or bush cutters without being wounded so with that being said let’s get going on needed information.

This year’s conference is scheduled for August 26th, starting time is by 10:00 A.M.If at all possible this year I would like everyone to get their entries to State headquarters a week before the conference so there will be more time to check the items in, for those that have issues with items sitting at state that long, you can be assured they will be locked in the office or if necessary I will keep them at my home.

Baking and Dress-A-Doll will be due by 9:00 A.M. on the day of the conference.We will not be having a paid lunch as we will be taking a short break but we should still finish up by 1:00 P.M. (something new to try).

I would appreciate it if you would put a note on your report sheets as to whether or not you use the Grange iron on labels when you donate quilts, pillowcases, etc.

A thank you goes out to Cynthia Maxwell as there are errors on the annual report sheet: Class O – should be Decorated Item, Class P – should be the Decorated Wooden Chest and Class Q – Should be Juniors. Baby Quilts are listed in the quilt categories and they are added in with the method of how they were put together. I hope that will clear up some of the confusion. As always check with Headquarters to make sure someone will be there when you want to drop off items.

As you all know, please call if you have any questions (524-2011) and on that note, I am going to try and put up a blind using a step stool and a drill. Look forward to seeing many of you next month.

Recently, Cynthia Maxwell of Excelsior Grange hosted a pillow case workshop and she showed several ladies on how to do the “hotdog method” and they were all fascinated on how little time it took but they also learned how to do French Seaming for a very nice finish. Ladies in the picture are Cynthia Maxwell, Barbara Strout, Catherine Farrell, Carolyn Bennet, Louise Roberts. Picture by Patricia Hall. Good job, ladies.