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President's Message
President's Message: Welcome springtime on the farm and in the home

By Noel Miller, CT State Grange President

  APRIL 5, 2016 --

Oh welcome springtime on the farm and in the home.  Blooms are all around us as nature’s beauty awakens from her long sleep of winter.  This past winter was way milder than predicted, which is fine by me.  I only had two plow-able storms.  April is time for Grange Month where it is time for our Granges to shine with open houses, awards nights, plant sales, dinners and Grange awareness activities.  The National Grange has printable material on PDF, by going to the National Grange website and downloading material for you to print up with fliers, posters and handouts.  [Editor:  Connecticut customized versions of the materials are also available by contacting Terri Fassio].  This is a cost savings option from our National Grange.  Check it out!

This week I obtained the leather case used by the First State Master in the 1870’s, in the pocket was small book entitled “Patrons Pocket Companion.”  The little book contains all information, ritual, description, and terms for organizing new Granges.  Its first chapter explains the layout of the halls, required offices, and 138 rules for new Grangers to follow as to how a Grange is organized.  The 138 rules are enjoyable to read for the requirements at this time were quite strict.  The feeling I received is that they were looking for good people to become members, hardworking, loyal, honest, trustworthy, friendly people.  These are the same people we seek today.  So we have not wandered far from the path of our founding fathers.

On February 28, 2016 we held our meeting at Cheshire Grange to discuss the future of Pomona Granges, I thank all that attended and participated in this meeting.  At the end of the day no answer was present, but many suggestions were noted for further discussion.  But back to our Patron Pocket Companion- the suggestion for Pomona Granges were that the Masters and Spouses of Subordinate Granges, Past Masters and Spouses of Subordinate Granges and three Subordinate Grangers who would be Masters elected by the Subordinate Granges were the Pomona Grange.  How far we have come from this.  I feel that there is a need for a Pomona Grange, and hope that a solution can be worked out before it is forced upon the State Executive Committee.  We know we have strong and weak Pomonas in Connecticut, but it is up to all Fourth Degree members to take the challenge and join and support your Pomona Grange.

Inspections and Degrees have started so there is no excuse for not witnessing the four degrees, not joining a Pomona Grange, if you plan on taking the Sixth Degree at State Session you need the Fifth Degree, do it now, don’t wait until fall as some Pomonas don’t confer the degree in the fall.  Do it now… join us… help us.

This year we have lost one Community Grange.  North Haven Grange #35 surrendered their Charter after State Session.  I have thanked their members for holding on for the roll call at State Session.  They have joined Cheshire Grange and I hope they are welcomed and put to work in that Grange.  This is a reminder that if a Grange is planning to surrender their Charter there is a path you need to follow, this is spelled out in the Digest, or call the State Master for how it is properly done.  One important item is that NO MONEY can be donated without the permission of the State Grange.  All money and property of your Grange will go to the Dorman Grange Fund for seven years.  This is in the event that a Grange is re-organized in that community.  If there are any questions about property and money, please contact me.

Springtime is that time to look at our halls and clean up and spruce up the grounds and buildings.  The State Grange does offer small improvement loans to Granges for repairs or updates, see what we have to offer.  To all, Happy Grange Month!


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