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President's Message
President's Message: A Time of Uncertainty

By George Russell, CT State Grange President

  April 1, 2020 --

March has come in like a lamb this year as this article is being written. In the middle of March, we had warmer than normal weather; not much snow but plenty of rainy days. The lion part of March is that we are dealing with the Coronavirus which seems to be spreading across the country. Here in Connecticut, schools are being closed for at least two weeks. Churches and places of worship are also closed with no Sunday mass and many of our Granges have canceled events such as dinners, chili cook-offs and Grange meetings. The Northeast Leadership Conference, which was scheduled for March 27-29 has been rescheduled for June 5-7 in Albany, New York. Ag Day at the State Capitol (which the State Grange has participated in for many years) has been canceled for this year.

This statement was issued by National Master Betsy E. Huber and I quote: “With the elderly at heightened risk, Granges may want to consider postponing or canceling meetings if they feel it advisable in their communities. In the face of such an emerging health crisis, the By-Law (6.12.1) that requires Subordinate Granges to meet monthly will not be enforced.”

Let’s hope this will be over in a couple of weeks so we can get back to our normal routine.

I have sent out a letter concerning alcohol at Grange functions. As Grangers are planning for the spring and summer dinners and Grange fairs, we’ve had some questions about wine-tasting or beer tasting at fairs and events. Whereas the Connecticut State Grange does not have an alcohol policy, we will abide by the National Grange By-Laws on their alcohol policy. Alcohol will not be served at Grange functions, including BYOB.

National Grange By-Laws:

10.11.1 All Granges are prohibited from having alcoholic beverages either in the Grange Hall or on any Grange Property during any Grange meeting, except as provided in Sections 10.11.3. Granges meeting in buildings or on property not owned by the Grange may not allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages during any Grange meeting.

10.11.3 All Granges may have sealed containers of alcoholic beverages at Grange meetings and activities for use as demonstration aids, gifts, or fundraisers.   Such containers shall remain sealed at such Grange meeting or activity.

Your Connecticut State Grange does not have a policy on alcoholic beverages. We will abide by the National Grange By-Laws stated above.

The Connecticut State Grange Board of Directors has decided to hire a paid, full-time Membership Director. As there has been a decline in membership over the last two years, we thought it was time to hire a full-time Director. Faith Quinlan, our current Membership Director, will fill this position. Being a full- time person, she will have more time to work with Granges, set-up workshops and form new Granges in our State. Faith will be starting this position on March 15. I am looking forward to working with Faith in her new position.

I’d like to end this article by wishing all our members to be safe and stay well.



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