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Around The Grange
Ekonk Grange Members Honored

By Sarah L. Hamby, Reminder News (8/13/10)

  AUGUST 19, 2010 --

Since 1888, Ekonk Grange No. 89 has promoted agriculture and family in the town of Sterling - "the greatest Grange on earth" growing to accept members from other local communities and celebrating when a member reaches a milestone.

On July 19, an "Appreciation Supper" was held at the Grange; a filling meal followed by the recognition of two high school graduates who received small scholarships from the Grange, and the presentation of membership awards to several individuals who have served the organization for 50 yearsor more.

Anecdotal history lessons accompanied the presentation of member awards to Manivald Kurisoo and Barbara Olsterling (50 years), Edwin Benjamin (55 years) and Alton Exley (60 years). Exley joined the Plainfield Grange in 1950, coming to Ekonk with his family when Plainfield and Canterbury turned in their charter . A proud great-grandfather, he joined the Grange community when he was just 14 years old. "I joined the Grange when there wasn't TV, like there is now," he said with a laugh.

Arline Gray Boucher, who joined the Norwich Grange in 1940 and demitted to join Ekonk in 1967, could not be present due to illness.

Grange Master/President J Allen Cameron is a recent graduate of Killingly High School. With a 3.28 GPA and plans to "operate and manage a hopefully rather large, successful dairy farm," Cameron will attend UConn in the fall, where he plans to study dairy management.

Joining Cameron in receiving a check from the Grange was 18-year-old Brianna R. Davis of Voluntown. Davis plans to attend Johnson and Wales University, majoring in baking, pastry arts and food service management.

Russell M. Gray, Sterling's first selectman, is also a long-standing member of the Grange, along with his wife, Sue, who now serves as Grange secretary. "The Grange has been a part of a lot of people's lives, including mine, for a long time," he said.



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