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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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President's Message
President / Master:
Robert Buck
115 N. Georges Hill Rd.,
Southbury, CT 06488
Phone: 203-267-6796
president@ctstategrange.org

CT State Grange Office:
P.O. Box 3
100 Newfield Road
Winchester Center, CT 06094
Office: 860-909-1101


Grange:
Bethlehem Grange #121
2023 Honor Grange Information
Coming Soon

Presidentís Message: Meet Our New President
  November 3, 2022 --

Many Grangers around Connecticut know me, but some do not, so I want to introduce myself and recount my Grange journey here. I am a third generation Granger going back to my mother’s family who were active in Washington Grange #11. I grew up in Hamden in the 1970s and knew well the Wetmore family including Past State President Duane Wetmore who was President when I took the sixth degree in 1991.

In 1988, Fran and Bob Whitehead of Washington invited my parents and me to join the Washington Grange.  We took our subordinate degrees in Wichita Grange in Warren that spring, then the fifth degree, but waited until 1991 to take the sixth in Meriden and the seventh in Burlington, VT. I was lecturer of Washington #11 for many years until we merged with Bethlehem Grange in 2004 and remain in that office. I met my wife through a combination of work and Grange, and we married in 1998 after which I affiliated with Oxford Grange #194 to which she belonged. I was Master there for some years and now serve as Secretary.

Russell Gray gave me my first pink sash on Conservation and Ecology, Phil Prelli appointed me

Deputy of Excelsior Pomona and I was General Deputy under Bob Sendewicz. I served in several offices in Excelsior Pomona and now am Master of Mountain Laurel Pomona #15.

I was elected Gatekeeper of the State Grange in 2010 and now serve as your President in 2022. I must thank Brother Phil as I feel he really started me on this path to where I am. I must acknowledge all the positive support I have received from Brothers Bob, Jody, and George as well. Thank you all.

I would also point out that I will continue to work full time as an optometrist in Waterbury. Hours are M/F 8:30-5:00, and T-Thurs. 8:30-6:00. If you need to contact me, please take this into consideration, as I wish to be as accessible to people as I can.

As I write this, I am preparing to attend National Session in November in Sparks, NV along with Jody Cameron as delegates. It will be a new experience and I look forward to representing the Connecticut State Grange for all of you.

There is much work to be done. Good things are happening with reorganizations of Redding, Cannon, and Wallingford Granges. Harmony and Greenfield Hill Granges have taken in significant numbers of new members. It is possible to attract new members, but it takes one on one contact and requires connecting with the community and its needs. Elizabeth Jensen, re-organizer and President of Redding Grange has shown us what can be done, and she was appointed to the Membership Committee to be able to share her methods with us all. However, overall, membership is declining, and the Connecticut State Grange is operating at a loss.

Folks hear how much the State Grange is worth in dollars and while it may sound like a lot, we need to realize that the lion’s share of these assets are tied up in funds and escrow accounts and are not liquid assets. We need to think out of the box in terms of fundraising beyond sales of items as in the past to make the money we need. For that purpose, a Fundraising Committee will be appointed to explore and establish new ways to raise needed funds for operation of the State Grange. There will be a modest dues increase, but keep in mind that our dues are far below that of other fraternal organizations.

I have tasked the committees of the Connecticut State Grange to start sharing themes to get some common directions among Committee projects and contests. This endeavor may take some time to coordinate, but I would love to see coordination between committees. With declining numbers of members and dropping numbers of contest entries, I see the need for simplification of the diversity in their work. I have also asked directors to re-examine their projects and contests in order to make changes and try new things to see what might boost participation. Some of our contests haven’t changed for a while.

After reading the community service reports as Community Service chairman, I know the things of which our Granges are capable. We all know what must be done. Please join me as we move forward together to do it. To our Grange: Esto Perpetua!

 



 
 
 

 
     
 
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