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From The Lecturer's Desk
From the Lecturer’s Desk: Celebrate & Promote Grange

By David Roberts, CT State Grange Lecturer

  February 1, 2022 --

As Lecturers, one  of  our  goals is to provide relevant and timely programs for our members and guests. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you how my home Grange, Riverton Grange, recently celebrated our 114th Anniversary.

Each January, the Anniversary celebration at  our Grange is coordinated by our Lecturer, Raine Pedersen, and our Family Activities Committee. Due to the weather and on-going pandemic, all our planning had to be thrown out of the window and our celebration this year turned out to be virtual.

Nevertheless, our event had some lessons learned that might help other Granges which I thought I would share with you.

First, we tried to reach out to members that normally don’t come to Grange meetings. I personally had the opportunity to talk with two of our members who are now in their 80s, living out of state, but still proud members of our local Grange. Over the course of two conversations, I learned that this couple (both members of our Grange for over 50 years) had actually lived in an apartment over the Riverton General Store which formerly had been Rowley Hall where Riverton Grange met  from 1908  to  1940. Without talking to this couple, this history might have been lost forever. In 1940, Riverton Grange purchased Munson Gristmill and converted it into our current Grange Hall.

Second, we tried to  recognize our Past Masters/Presidents and Lecturers. It was great to reminisce about many of these folks and their service. It was interesting to note that when Past Master Shirley Moore was born in 1924, our Grange was only 16 years old (or as my kids would say, 15 ½ years old)!  Shirley is still active in our Grange, whether in-person or virtually on Zoom, and she still serves actively on the Family Activities Committee which she chaired for many years. Our current Grange Steward, Bob  O’Connor, was born in 1930 when our Grange was just 22 years old. We also remembered Past President Peggy Prelli and her husband Past State Master Frank Prelli. Their children recently helped our Grange dedicate the Peggy & Frank Prelli Memorial Walkway providing handicapped accessibility into our  Grange  Hall so that all can partake in our well-known Grange hospitality.

Third, we tried to involve the local press and social media to publicize our anniversary. We were pleased to receive two nice articles with photos.

Finally, we discussed our Grange’s impactful community service projects over the years and our current focus on veterans, environment, and  community leaders’ recognition.

Anniversary celebrations are a fun time for Granges to remember the past, honor the present, and look forward to the  future.  It  is also a great time to share updates with others to help grow your local Grange presence. Riverton Grange Lecturer Raine Pedersen said she “truly enjoyed the meeting and remembering so many Grangers that helped make our Grange what it is today.” Looking for an impactful Grange program? How about a Grange Anniversary/Birthday celebration!  And remember, Connecticut State Grange has a contest to recognize successful celebrations.



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