Oct 062017

Bangor Grange presented Lt. Tim Cotton his Community Citizen Award at our meeting Tuesday. The following is his write-up the next day that he posted on Facebook:

“Sliding my thumb up and down the smudged and scratched glass of my Samsung phone allows a glimpse into the thoughts of my Facebook friends.

Most of my “Facebook friends” are actually my friends. Sure, there are one or two I don’t know very well, but for the most part they are my friends and I would not have added them to my motley crew if I didn’t believe we could talk for twenty minutes or so over a cup of coffee.

Today, one of my friends posted a simple statement; a question actually. “Where have all the good people gone?” I think it’s a question we all have, especially in times like these.

When the news-cycle bores it’s way into our lives like a Black and Decker hammer-drill, it is fairly easy to believe that the world has gone mad. I cannot deny that I believe the exact same thing sometimes. I certainly can’t promise you that tomorrow won’t bring us something worse than our country has experienced this week.

I can tell you that the good people are still here. On Tuesday night I met about 15 of them at the Bangor Grange Hall (#372).

Kindly, the group awarded me with a Community Service honor and plaque. I should note that I have done nothing to deserve such an honor from the Grange members. I should have been there sooner-thanking them. I am such a slacker.

Ann Staples (82 years young) organized a fundraiser for a man who was soon to die. He wanted to make sure his wife had a little something after he passed. The spaghetti dinner at their humble Grange raised over $5000 dollars in one evening. The man died on the night of the fundraiser, but he knew of it’s success before he passed.

Ann was not bragging about pulling it all together, she was telling me about it because she and her fellow Grange members were looking to do a project for our police department causes.

We talked over lasagna, homemade biscuits, beef pie, scalloped potatoes and freshly pressed Maine apple cider. Yes, I had seconds, on simple paper plates and mismatched silverware. Ann also organizes their weekly farmers market and helped local disadvantaged kids plant and care for a garden so they could have fresh vegetables. She has done this for years.

Ann was asking me what I needed while stuffing me with food to prepare me to receive MY award. Are you kidding me?

Grange Master Rolf Staples Sr. told me about the Christmas breakfast Grange #372 puts on for local kids. He told me some of the kids find the thought of a homemade breakfast with sausage, eggs, bacon, and pancakes far more appealing than the gifts they receive. He noted that some of the kids know nothing more than a Pop Tart and can of soda for typical morning nourishment. Who makes the breakfast? The ladies and gents of Grange #372, not me.

94-year old Mary Hunter knits tiny caps for premature infants. She also reminded me that she was at my wedding but that she didn’t dance.

She told me that she recalls my son has the same name as her dear departed husband and that she clearly remembers me changing my son’s name on his birth certificate two days after he was born. It’s true, I did. Purely to make his name roll off my tongue more easily. It’s a long story. Mary remembers. She is a member of Grange #372.

For years Mary and her husband visited area nursing homes with homemade crafts, provided gifts for the kids on the parade route at Hampden Children’s Day and did a myriad of other things for community causes.

There were many others. Some who had been members for a long time and one who had held leadership positions at Grange #372 since the early 1960s. He had cut some firewood that day and told me he loved the fall. I think the gentleman could have made quick work of me in an arm wrestling match, but it was his 82nd birthday so I would expect nothing less.

We stood for the Star Spangled Banner, posted Old Glory, and I was escorted to the podium for the reading of a very nice proclamation.

Each step across the sole-smoothed hardwood floor echoed the footsteps of the benevolent members who danced, wedded, and died here since 1904.

I was humbled with their kindness, uplifted by their hardscrabble homestead farm-raised ghosts. I envisioned the men and wives cleaning their nails and washing behind the kid’s ears for the Saturday night supper and dance.

Where have all the good people gone? I think they are still here.

If you have trouble finding them, put down the phone, lay off the rants, turn off the television, and become one of them. If you need to find an example of such goodness, check your local Grange Hall.

Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone, and be kind to one another.

We will be here.”


Webmaster Note: “TC” maintains a Facebook Page for the Bangor Maine Police Department with that has “gone viral” and has thousands of followers around the country. You can read TC’s original post on Facebook.

Jul 032017

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world…

Read the entire document!

Jun 202017

Imagine Valley Grange’s Community Service Director Mary Annis’s surprise when she arrived at Will’s Shop ‘n Save in Dover-Foxcroft to see two large banners hanging from the ceiling! One proudly proclaims what Mary and other Grangers knew… Melissa and Will Wedge, owners of Will’s Shop ‘n Save, were named Valley Grange Community Citizens of the Year, 2017.  The second announces that Will’s Shop ‘n Save was the Small Business Administration’s Business of the Year in 2016.

The store and its owners are well-known throughout the area for their support of the community in part because they are truly part of the community. How many grocery stores do you know that actually have a small food cupboard run by two young kids?! (Check out the cover photo on their Facebook Page.) Melissa and Will are two very thoughtful people and great examples of the fact that pride and humility are not in opposition to each other. We’ll congratulate them again–and says “thanks” for acknowledging Valley Grange’s award!

Jun 122017

Jefferson firefighter Don Hastings was presented with a Spirit of America Award on Thursday, June 8 at Willow Grange in Jefferson. Hastings was recognized for his service to the town of Jefferson.

Hastings grew up in Tallman, N.Y., where he was a junior fireman until he moved to Spring Valley, N.Y., where he served as deputy chief from 1960-1962 and chief from 1962-1964.
Then he was hired as the Rockland County fire coordinator and managed the fire mutual aid system, the fire dispatch system, and operations at the Rockland County Fire Training Center.

He retired in 1991 and moved to Jefferson, Maine. He immediately signed on with Jefferson Fire and Rescue. After discovering that firefighters in Lincoln County did not have advanced training available to them, Hastings began to arrange training at Rockland County’s large training facility. He worked with the Lincoln County Fire Chiefs Association and Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency Director Gerry Silva to arrange bus transportation to New York so hundreds of Lincoln County firefighters could receive training.

Lincoln County firefighters formed a bond with firefighters from Rockland County, which led to the donation of used fire equipment, including trucks, to departments in Lincoln County.
Hastings was a “very vivid supporter of the formation” of the Lincoln County Fire Academy, Lincoln County Fire Academy President Dave Pratt said. The first class to graduate from the Lincoln County Fire Academy was in 2007, and the Academy recognized Hastings’ work by presenting an award in his name to one of the graduates, John Roberts, a member of Willow Grange.
Hastings thoroughly enjoyed the evening, often interrupting to tell a story or recognize a fellow firefighter. Roll call was by fire department: Jefferson, 17; Waldoboro, 2; Damariscotta, 2; Bremen, 2; and Thomaston, 1. There were also 14 Grangers from Willow (3 are firefighters), one member of Chelsea Grange and ten guests.

Have you subscribed to the Maine State Grange Website? Click here to receive posts by email!

May 262017

On May 16, Mill Stream Grange members (l to r) Pat Rawson, Jill Sampson, Lisa Goucher and Carole O’Connell helped Gordon Webber (far right) place flags on veteran’s graves at the Franklin Cemetery in Vienna as a community service project. Note: If any family member or friend notices that their loved one who served was missed, please contact Gordon at 293-2275 or Jill 293-4960 and they will place the flag and add the name to the list for the future

Nov 132016

By Larry Bailey, Master

Friday, November 11, 2016 was the delivery day of $800 worth of food and supplies to the Pope Memorial Humane Society (Knox County). The funds to purchase the items came from our last bean supper which was well attended and the guests were very generous. The bean supper was so well attended that we actually ran out of food well before the scheduled end of the dinner. Our standard bean supper program is that all Veterans eat free. Thanks to all of our Grange members who helped and to the community which never fails to help when help is needed.

Diane Bailey (Treasurer), Larry Bailey and three very important FOG's (Friends of the Grange), Karan Cushman and her children Ella and Mason. They were very helpful in shopping and hauling the donated items into the shelter.  One FOG not pictured is Rob Sloat.  Rob is the husband of our Secretary, Gillian and has always provided assistance whenever we need it.

Diane Bailey (Treasurer), Larry Bailey and three very important FOG’s (Friends of the Grange), Karan Cushman and her children Ella and Mason. They were very helpful in shopping and hauling the donated items into the shelter. One FOG not pictured is Rob Sloat. Rob is the husband of our Secretary, Gillian and has always provided assistance whenever we need it.

Nov 122016

volunteer-1326758_1280By Christine Corliss, Community Service/FHH Director

CS/FHH had another great state session.  Raffles were successful and raise over $150.00 and $50.00 towards a Breast Cancer Research Donation.  Thank you to everyone who donated something to the table.  All the efforts of our Grange Family make a difference.

Community Service Book Contest was a pleasure this year (not for the judges–only a total five points separated the top seven books.

Winners were:

  1. Maple Grove Grange #148
  2. Riverside Grange #475
  3. Saco Grange #53
  4. Bangor Grange #372

Congratulations to all the winners and Maple Grove Grange’s book will be heading to National again this year.Family, Health & Hearing Contest took off this year and went from 2 entries to 13 entries.  This year’s winner was Oxford Pomona #2.  They received a check for $50.00.

Community Service Person of the Year Awards were also a success this year and produced several entries.  The following individuals were presented awards and checks to a charity of their choice during the Annual Banquet at State Session and their entries have gone on to Northeast Region of Granges and National Grange for consideration.

  • Officer of the Year – Elgin Physic nominated by Danville Junction Grange #65
  • Fire Fighter of the Year – Troy Lare nominated by Bangor Grange #372
  • Educator of the Year – Andrew Elwell nominated by Riverside Grange #475

Thank you to everyone who spends each year doing community service and recognizing those that give back to the community.  Let’s strive to make a difference one project at a time.

Sep 202016
Mill Stream

On August 29, 2016, Mill Stream Grange members (l-r) Paul Lavender, Judy Wyman, Linda Stanton and Pat Stanton presented a check to Travis Mills (c) for the Travis Mills Foundation. The donation of $1,000.00 was made in memory of Mill Stream Grange member, and veteran, Mahlon Moore.

Sep 112016

By Amanda Leigh Brozana, National Lecturer

All leaders of the Grange should be familiar with Roberts Rules in order to run meetings effectively and make sure action is taken appropriately. With this in mind, the fourth in the series of Lecturer’s Programs in a Box is available. This program, prepared by Elizabethtown Grange #2076, PA, Grange member and 2014-15 National Youth Ambassador Cassidy Cheddar, a SAEP Accredited Parliamentarian.

The program includes a basic look at Parliamentary Procedure (Robert’s Rules) and its use in the Grange. There are several useful handouts about Parliamentary Procedure included as well as links to further resources.

If you have suggestions for a new Lecturer’s Program in a Box, please contact Amanda Leigh Brozana, National Lecturer, at lectureratnationalgrangedotorg. Don’t forget to fill out the Lecturer’s Program in a Box form if you present this or any of the other programs at your Grange so you can receive a certificate.

Keys to Parliamentary Procedure Handout

Keys to Parliamentary PowerPoint Presentation

Keys to Parliamentary Procedure Document

Don’t forget, if you put on a Lecturer’s Program in a Box program, you can apply for a certificate of recognition. Go to the National Grange website www.nationalgrange.org/lecturers-programming/ to download the form!