Jan 222017

I started my Grange Journey at the age of five as a Junior Granger. At the age of 14, I joined Mousam Lake Grange, working my way up thru the offices to Master, prior to attending Casco Bay College.

Upon graduation from college, I held several office jobs, including Getty Petroleum, Konica Photo, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. I am currently working at Maine Medical Center as a Payment Poster.

I am currently Master of Mousam Lake Grange and Steward for York Pomona. I am looking forward to serving many years as a Deputy and living up to the standards set by my parents (Joe and Lorraine Goodness) while they were Deputies.

Welcome, Melissa! Note that contact information for Melissa (and all Officers, Deputies and Directors is available  in the “ODD Directory” published by the Communications Department. Get your copy here: ODD Directory!

Nov 122016
Communication Bullets are short but big news!

Communication Bullets are short but big news!

by Walter Boomsma, Communications Director

This is exciting! I’m pleased to advise that a new, up-to-date ODD (Officers, Directors, Deputies) is now available! The directory reflects elections at our recent State Convention, realignment of Pomona Granges, and appointments of deputies and others. It all fits on one page (two sides) so print some copies–there’s even a line showing how to fold it into thirds so it fits in a pocket or purse. You can visit the “Program Books and Information Page” or click this link for direct access: ODD-Directory.  In the unlikely event you find an email address or phone number that doesn’t work, please let me know   (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  and I’ll try to get it taken care of quickly!

But wait, there’s more!

I’ve also recently uploaded A Guide To Lecturer Basics 2016. Thanks to Master Rick and some recently technology I’ve acquired , this is a partial reprint of a booklet Master Rick assembled while he was State Lecturer a few years ago. It’s filled with some of the basics regarding a lecturer’s responsibilities, where to find program ideas, etc. This will be especially helpful to recently elected lecturers, but may also be useful to experienced lecturers looking for ideas and information. Enjoy and benefit!

And even more!

Just as an FYI, I’ve posted the dates (January 10 – 12)  and a clickable link for the Ag Trade Show on the Conferences Page.

Nov 062016

By Rick Grotton, Master

I would like to introduce the new Deputy of Hancock Pomona, Thomas Cooper.

Tom is a member of Arbutus Grange #450 in Surry, where he has served as Master for the fourth year. Since he has been Master, after a steady decline in attendance and members, the Grange has been turned around, meets weekly and has good attendance.

He took all four degrees at Rosier Grange #558 on December 1, 1971 (one day before his 14th Birthday ) He joined Hancock Pomona#13 the next week at East Bluehill Grange and his sixth degree in 1972. From 1973 thru !977 he was Steward in the Subordinate and Pomona Degree teams. Tom joined the army in 1978 spending four years in Germany, returning in 1983 all the while keeping his dues paid up. In 1984 he left Rosier Grange and joined Rainbow Grange #203. In July, 1989 he became a single parent and guided his son through Grange life. In 1994 as Master, he consolidated Rainbow and Rosier Granges, becoming Rosier-Rainbow #203.  In 2007 he joined Arbutus.

In his 45 years in Grange. he has served 26 years in the Master’s chair. He also has been Gatekeeper, Steward, Overseer, Lecturer, Chaplain and Executive Committee member.

Please assist me in giving him a warm welcome.  He has been assisting State Grange by organizing a team to clean out the closed Rosier-Rainbow Grange and showing the property to prospective buyers. With his Grange leadership skills and passion for the Grange, I believe he will be a great leader in his area and am looking forward to working with him.

Sep 092015
Back Row Standing left to right, Don Verrill, Wayne Sherman, Louise Roberts, Millie Parsons, Shirley Hatch, Maynard Chapman, Gladys Chapman & Kim Verrill.  Seated left to right, Betty Young, Cynthia Maxwell, Norma Meserve, Kathy Lorrain, Steven Haycock, Linda Sherman, Sue Verrill & Glenys Ryder

Back Row Standing left to right, Don Verrill, Wayne Sherman, Louise Roberts, Millie Parsons, Shirley Hatch, Maynard Chapman, Gladys Chapman & Kim Verrill. Seated left to right, Betty Young, Cynthia Maxwell, Norma Meserve, Kathy Lorrain, Steven Haycock, Linda Sherman, Sue Verrill & Glenys Ryder

Poland, Maine – At the most recent meeting of Androscoggin Pomona Grange #1 the new Officers for the year were installed.  The installing officer was Deputy Master of the Maine State Grange: Robert Smith of Farmington Grange and his team.

Officers installed for 2015-2016 were:

  • Master (President): Steven Haycock of Danville Junction
  • Lecturer: Kathy Lorrain
  • Steward: Norma Meserve
  • Assistant Steward: Maynard Chapman
  • Lady Assistant Steward: Gladys Chapman
  • Chaplain: Betty Young
  • Treasurer: Shirley Hatch
  • Secretary: Sue Verrill
  • Gatekeeper: Kim Verrill
  • Ceres: Linda Sherman
  • Pomona: Cynthia Maxwell
  • Flora: Glenys Ryder
  • Executive Committee: Millie Parsons
  • Executive Committee: Wayne Sherman
  • Pianist: Louise Roberts

Overseer (Vice-President) Sharon Castonguay was unable to be with us this evening and will be installed in October.  Don Verrill, Chairman of the Executive Committee was installed at the beginning of his term two years ago.  The other members of the installing team were: Melissa Knowles, Jim & Karen Locke of Chesterville Grange, Mavis Lane of North Jay Grange, and Vincent Nelson of Farmington.  Pomona Pianist Louise Roberts also assisted with the installation.  Following the installation, Master Steven Haycock presented immediate Past Master Betty Young with her Past Pomona Master pin and thanked her for her four years of service to the Pomona.  Master Haycock also announced to the members his goal for the next year was to assist the Subordinate (Community) Granges in the area.  As part of this goal members voted to visit Androscoggin Grange in Greene on September 17 for a Green Sash night.

The next meeting of Androscoggin Pomona Grange will be on Wednesday October 7 at West Minot Grange.  There will be a 6:30 pm paid supper with a 7:30 meeting.  The Officers will confer the fifth Degree.

The Grange is America’s oldest agriculturally orientated family fraternal organization.  The Pomona Grange is the county level and consists of the members of the local Granges in their jurisdiction.  Androscoggin Pomona consists of Androscoggin, Danville Junction, Excelsior, New Norland, Turner, Wales & West Minot Granges.  For more information please visit www.mainestategrange.org or find us on Facebook.

Aug 122015
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

If you have not already, you will soon be receiving credentials and information regarding sending delegates to State Grange Conference in October. This is a very important part of our Grange work. There are plans in the works to have some guest speakers, including David Neal, the publisher of Maine Seniors Magazine. He will be speaking on “Senior Power” and how important this generation is.

There are lots of reasons to attend Conference this year. This is also an election year for State Officers. As usual, we will be discussing resolutions–those submitted will be sent to Granges in September. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the resolutions, see if there is something important to you and share that with your delegates. Delegates always take this task seriously and offer thoughtful discussion. Ask your delegates for a report on what took place after Conference.

Back home, planning meetings are important and keep us future focused. When you make these plans, stick to them as much as possible. Share them with your fellow Grangers, especially those who may not be able to attend meetings but will contribute in other ways. There is a place in our organization for every member.

I have had the pleasure to attend a couple of mini-golf outings. If you or Grange decides to participate in one, please send in your scorecards to State Headquarters. This can be a fun activity for your Grange. You can invite a prospective Granger or two to join in the fun. Sometimes we need to get them participating in events before trying to convince them to join.

I know of at least two degree days coming up. One on September 20 at Danville Junction starting at 4:00 PM. The other at Harraseeket on October 3 starting at 4:00 PM. This is a great opportunity for folks to observe and participate. This is also the time of year when the Fifth Degree is being offered by many Pomonas. Check with your local Pomona and also check the website calendar. The Fifth Degree will NOT be offered at State session this year.

I hope many of you are participating in or attending the agricultural fairs. Wear your Grange t-shirt or hat if you have one! It is a great way to promote our organization. Whenever you represent the Grange, be sure to “let it shine, let it shine, let it shine”!

Together Each Accomplishes More and we shine, shine, shine!

Aug 112015
Piscataquis Pomona recently conferred the fifth degree and added two new members to the Pomona Roster: Jaqueline Brammer from Dover Foxcroft (l) and Violet Noyes from Garland (r), both of Garland Grange. Special guest Clyde Berry represented Maine State Grange at the evening of fellowship and fun.

Piscataquis Pomona recently conferred the fifth degree and added two new members to the Pomona Roster: Jaqueline Brammer from Dover Foxcroft (l) and Violet Noyes from Garland (r), both of Garland Grange. Special guest Clyde Berry represented Maine State Grange at the evening of fellowship and fun.

Jun 262015

thermometer_blank_banner_400_clr_6651By Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

Thought you’d like to know we are currently up to three Degree Days scheduled in July! Details for each of these is available on the MSG Website Events Calendar.

July 7 at Huntoon Hill Grange conducted by Lincoln Pomona. Lincoln is seeking some help: Master for the First, Second, and Fourth Degrees and a Steward for all four. If you are interested or know of anyone who would like to help, please contact Rick Grotton at 582-5915 or rictiataoldotcom.

July 12 at Bangor Grange conducted by Bangor Grange. Contact Rolf Staples at 973-3976.

July 26 at Union Harvest Grange conducted by Union Harvest. Contact Lois Zezima at 382 3315. Lois is looking for some Harvest Marchers.

As state session approaches so does the demand for Fifth Degree opportunities. (You will need Fifth Degree credentials prior to receiving Sixth Degree instruction during state session.) Conferral of the Fifth Degree is currently scheduled on August 6 at Garland Grange conducted by Piscataquis Pomona. Contact Bill Bemis at 934-5357 for more information.

Degree conferrals are an important part of our rich heritage, in part because they are traditionally shared events and an opportunity to celebrate Grange growth. If you are an obligated member who has not received your degree instruction, by all means consider attending one of these events. Subordinate Granges who have obligated members should consider organizing a “field trip” to participate in one of these events. Let’s increase the degrees!

Apr 152015

A Degree Day will be held on Sunday, April 19, at Danville Junction Grange #65, Old Danville Road and Grange Street in Auburn, at 4 p.m.  The degrees will be conferred by members of Androscoggin Pomona Grange #1.  A light luncheon for a small fee will be served between the second and third degrees.  Any Grange having candidates is welcome to bring them.  They should be there by 3:45.  All Grange members are welcome to attend.

Sagadahoc Pomona Grange will be instructing the Fifth Degree on Wednesday evening, April 29. We begin with a pot luck supper at 6 p.m., and the meeting and degree beginning at 7 p.m. The meeting is at Enterprise Grange in Richmond that evening. If your Grange has candidates for the degree, we would be happy to have them join us. Please be sure they have proper credentials to take the degree. Several guest officers will assist on the degree team, with Sister Laurie McBurnie acting as Master. Those on the degree team are reminded that there will be a rehearsal on Sunday, April 26.

Androscoggin Pomona Grange #1 will meet at West Minot Grange on Wednesday May 6.  There will be a 6:30pm paid supper with a 7:30pm meeting. The Officer’s will be conferring the Fifth Degree or the Degree of Pomona.  There will also be a 50/50 raffle and an attendance drawing.  Any Grange members who would like to take the degree should contact or for more information please contact Pomona Lecturer Steven Haycock at href="granger04071ataoldotcom">granger04071ataoldotcom or call 998-2586.

Apr 102015
A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

Abbot Village Press is going to be the publisher of the Piscataquis Community Elementary School Yearbook for 2014-2015. Frankly, it’s not so much a commercial venture. My rewards for being the publisher include an opportunity to work with the kids, in part because a requirement for this year is “more student involvement” in the process.

In an effort to achieve that, we assembled a “yearbook team” of interested fifth and sixth graders to “help with the yearbook.” These kids were willing to sacrifice their lunch recess to do just that.

But after the first couple of meetings, we realized there was a lot of wheel-spinning (or treading water-chose your idiom) happening. I’ll take credit for the all too common mistake we’d made.

And I should know better. I’d recently sent some colleagues a cartoon that showed some folks sitting around a conference table. The caption was, “We will keep having meetings until we figure out why we’re not getting anything done.” Most laugh because they recognize the truth. A recent survey showed that company CEO’s spend an average of one third of their working time in meetings. Of that, it’s estimated 50% is wasted.

Since I’ve been busy preparing for our Leadership Conference on Sunday, I find myself wondering how this might apply to Grange Leadership. I don’t have any data, just questions. How much time does the average Grange Master spend “working” at the job? Of that time, how much is spent in meetings? Of that meeting time, how much is wasted? (Note this doesn’t just apply to masters, anyone who has leadership responsibility could go through the exercise.)

Most organizations love meetings. The Grange is certainly no exception. But our founding leaders didn’t create an organization so there would be meetings to attend.

I’m hinting at the error I’d made with the Yearbook Team. Simply stated, we hadn’t established clear-cut outcomes. We were just getting together to work on the yearbook—as long as everybody looked busy it didn’t matter what they were doing. We needed some outcomes—a reason to work! Once we established “deliverables,” (for example specific pages that needed designing) the kids really got focused and started working. I’m not surprised that we are producing more than we planned. The kids now have specific goals and are coming up with ideas and plans that I certainly hadn’t thought of!

As Pomona Overseer, I have answered the Worthy Master’s question countless times. “Worthy Overseer, are the labors of the day complete?” The answer is always the same. I rise, and reply with enthusiasm, “They are, Worthy Master!” I’m now asking myself whether or not I’m telling the truth! Why did we meet? What did we plan to accomplish? Did we make any progress toward the outcomes we are trying to achieve? How do we know if we’re finished?

I suppose it wouldn’t be good form, but maybe the next time I’m asked, “Worthy Overseer, are the labors of the day complete?” I could answer, “I’m not sure! What did we hope to accomplish tonight!?” My tongue is only slightly in my cheek.

  “Let’s make some news, take some photos of it, and share it!”

Mar 282015

jump_around_and_celebrate_300_clr_11856 (1)April is Grange Month across the nation! Founded in 1867, the Grange was the first fraternal farm organization in the country.  Today it is also recognized as America’s number one rural family organization.  There are nearly 300,000 members in 3,400 local or “Subordinate” Granges across 37 states.  Grange month includes a number of opportunities for visiting a Grange near you. Here’s a sampling of Grange events in the Piscataquis area.

On Thursday, April 2, Piscataquis Pomona Grange members visit Parkman Grange for a potluck supper at 6:00 p.m. followed by their monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. Pomona Grange is the regional association of local Granges and anyone may attend. Piscataquis Pomona Grange includes East and South Sangerville Grange, Parkman Grange, Garland Grange, Dexter Grange, and Valley Grange in Guilford. This is a great opportunity to learn about the Grange closest to you. For additional information about this meeting or Granges in the Piscataquis Area, contact Bill Bemis at 924-3537.


Several Grangers visit with State Community Service Director Christine Corliss and husband Dan following a recent Pomona meeting. Granges in our area are proud to serve our communities.

On Friday, April 10, Garland Grange will serve up a Baked Beans and Pasta Public Supper from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. The menu includes baked beans, mac and cheese, homemade bread and desserts. All you can eat for $7.00 for adults, $3.00 for children age 5 – 12, under age 5 eat free. Takeout is available and proceeds benefit the Garland Grange Building Fund. For more information call 924-6954.

Also on Friday, April 10, Garland Grange hosts a Family Contra Dance from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.—a great family friendly program with live music. All dances are taught. Admission is $7 per person or $12.00 per family. Caller is John McIntire and music by Some Reel People. For more information call 924-3925 or 277-3961. Garland Grange Hall is located on Oliver Hill Road in the center of Garland.

On Saturday, April 11 East Sangerville Grange will host their annual  “Cultivating Community” program from 10:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  Conducted in partnership with the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District, this free program “Healthy Soil Matters” will be of interest to commercial farmers and home gardeners. A complimentary lunch will be served by the PRYMCA Healthy Community Initiative. For more information and a reservation contact Erin Callaway at eecallawayatgmaildotcom  (eecallawayatgmaildotcom)   or 343-0171. East Sangerville Grange is located on East Sangerville Road.

On Saturday, April 11 Parkman Grange will host their third Daddy Daughter Dance at the Parkman Grange Hall. Any girl thirteen and under may bring that “special man” in life. Tickets are $5 per person, available at the door. A DJ will be spinning tunes and running dance contests. Light refreshments will be served and door prizes give. Keepsake photos will also be taken. The dance will be held from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. For more information contact Sue Manchester at 277-3942. Parkman Grange is also taking reservations for their Fifteenth Annual Mothers Day Tea on Saturday, May 9. Tickets are $5 and reservations can be made by calling Sue  at 277-3942. Parkman Grange is located at the four corners in Parkman.

On Friday, April 17 Valley Grange Bookworms and friends will attend the Bikes for Books Assembly starting at 8:00 a.m. at Piscataquis Elementary School. The Bikes for Books Program is sponsored by the Mount Kineo Masons Lodge to support literacy and Bookworms who visit school to listen to kids read love it!

On Friday, April 17, Valley Grange hosts a potluck supper at 6:00 p.m. followed by a CWA Program starting at 7:00 p.m. The CWA committee of the Grange celebrates domestic skills such as crafts, sewing, woodworking and all are invited. For more information visit http://valleygrange.com or contact Jim Annis at 564-0820. Valley Grange is located at 172 Guilford Center Road.