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President's Message
Presidentís Message: Net Gain in Membership

By Robert Buck, CT State Grange President

  December 6, 2022 --

I was told the first Granger article would be the easiest to write, but I have to disagree. After a week of associating with Grangers from across the country at our 156th Annual National Grange Convention in Sparks, NV, Brothers and Sisters, let me tell you that there is a new energy and enthusiasm sweeping our Order. Flying across the nation was an experience and it was valuable as I got to see two states for the first time (NV and CA). Jody Cameron was your second delegate (and a great mentor) as Maggie was unable to get away from the farm. My official mentor is Gary Wardle from Colorado. The convention was a great experience because as a delegate, there is a lot of involvement in the legislative aspect of the Grange. I served on the Conservation Committee with Washington State Grange President Tom Gwin as chair and we considered resolutions covering a variety of topics such as WOTUS (Waters of the US), electric vehicle impact on the electric grid, among others.

The Assembly of Demeter under High Priest of Demeter Roger Bostwick of Kansas made a change to the sign of the Sixth Degree due to some concerns that it might be interpreted as resembling a salute with negative connotations when done improperly. I know we all know it doesn’t have any connection to that but non-Grangers don’t know so it is in my opinion a wise decision.  I also received the new words from National President Betsy Huber in an impressive ceremony just as it is laid out in the unwritten work I learned years ago from Mildred Bell. Now, I have no excuse for not knowing the word(s)!

Connecticut State Grange was named an Honor State Grange for 2021-2022 due to gains in membership. This is primarily from the reorganization of Redding Grange #15. We are working on similar projects with Wallingford Grange #33, Granby #5 and others in our sights. I am proud of this accomplishment  and  can  only achieve success with involvement of you all.

This brings me to my next topic and that is my theme for the next two years. It all starts with an idea brought about when Washington

#11 President Ernie Finch tasked member Ray Pilewski to head up a membership drive in the early to middle 1990s.   Back then, as now, many were waiting for the State and even National Grange to bring us out of our declining membership doldrums with the proverbial silver bullet. Ray was an extremely outgoing fellow who was both spiritual and highly reflective in nature, a great guy and good friend. He came up with a logo: “I am responsible for my Grange.” He had buttons made for everyone to pass out and fliers printed for distribution.  There you have it Brothers and Sisters of Connecticut. The State and National Granges are there and ready and willing to help. We have a great Membership Committee and I may sic them on you if you don’t start asking for their help. No silver bullet (or maybe it is one), but “I (and by extension YOU) am/are responsible for my/your Grange.” Quit waiting for a silver bullet and get out there and by responsible for your Granges. Thank you.



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