SEPTEMBER 2007 --
One of the best ways to describe the Grange is by saying that it is a Community organization. When we are looking for new members, we should be promoting the fact that the Grange by its service in the community helps build a better community. I had two interesting incidents this weekend, one was at our Subordinate Grange summer picnic the other was at my next door neighbors.
We had two long term members ask for demits, but even though we granted them we still wanted them to come back. Various members at different times asked if they would come to the picnic and they eventually said they would come. At the picnic it was like family. When members of a Grange are close they naturally connect and if the connection is broken they miss it. The missing members made a point of thanking me for inviting them. The next step will be to bring them back in as members.
The second incident began when my neighbors across the street called me up on the spur of the moment and asked me to come over for dinner. Being a lonely widower I jumped at the chance.
During dinner conversation went to the tragedy in Cheshire. We all agreed that we were busy-body neighbors, not in the sense of gossip, just in the sense of being watchful and aware of what is happening in our neighborhood. We look out for one another. People caring for other people is what builds a community.
We all recognize that the agricultural roots of the Grange don’t go as deep into Connecticut soil as they may have in the past. When I imagine what the Grange might do in Connecticut, I see fertile fields that are not necessarily considered by many people. I would like to suggest that all Grange members promote the Grange as an active community presence.
I think that each member should promote the Grange to their friends using that idea as a way to encourage them to join. In the past, with neighbors so far apart the Grange became a forum for people to meet.
Today, people live in packed communities where most of them just close their doors and lock themselves away from the world. Let us as Grange members open the doors of our neighbors and let us get them involved in our communities. If we are more aware of our neighbors and more involved with them perhaps we would have a better chance for avoiding an event like the one that occured in Cheshire.
The Grange can be an answer to building better and safer communities. When we have more people in the Grange, the Grange will have more influence in the community.
Ask your friends to join. Let’s let everyone know that the time for the Grange is now!