Saturday, December 02, 2023
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President's Message
President / Master:
Robert Buck
115 N. Georges Hill Rd.,
Southbury, CT 06488
Phone: 203-267-6796

CT State Grange Office:
P.O. Box 3
100 Newfield Road
Winchester Center, CT 06094
Office: 860-909-1101

Bethlehem Grange #121
2023 Honor Grange Information
Coming Soon

Presidentís Message: Big-E & National Grange
  NOVEMBER 1, 2023 --

As I write this, I reflect back on the Big E and our presence in the New England Grange Building (NEGB). I was able to contribute for five days. Thanks to all the dedicated volunteers who put in time working in the building. Special thanks go to Noel Miller, Ted Powell, and Dawn Percoski. The former two for constructing a platform for the National Grange sponsored(in conjunction with USAging and American Society of Consulting Pharmacists) vaccination tent wherein over the course of the 17 day event, 3337 vaccinations were administered and included those for COVID, RSV, and influenza. Yours truly received the COVID and flu vaccines. While Noel is the building manager, Dawn is the Grange sales manager and thanks to her for overseeing the sales department and keeping order there. Thanks also go to anyone else who came and worked sales, the quilt raffle table (a beautiful quilt from Maine was up for raffle to benefit the House in the Woods, a veterans camp, and Maine Children’s Home), or the Connecticut room. Judging by the amount of crafts for sale in the NEGB, I know our Grangers have been busy producing quality items for sale. People come back year after year to the Big E for these products and our jams and jellies.

While the push for rural broadband  (internet)  service  by the Grange continues rightfully so due to the importance of access to rural areas, the NEGB had issues with the ACP program as supported by National Grange. The representatives including National Master Betsy Huber came to the Big E and we had a table of promotional items in the NEGB. However, the ideas for promotion of the program as seen by the ACP promoting National Grange partner, the Oregon Institute for a Better Way and Big E management diverged.

The ACP promoters left the event early.  There also seemed to be a rather complicated application process and confusion over the distinction between who would qualify for free internet versus reduced price service. This could be a great community service project. A few things need clarification though. There will be a table for ACP at National Convention.

While writing, I am reflecting on leading my first State Grange Session, the 139th. I understand we have candidates for the sixth degree. Twenty four resolutions on a variety of interesting topics have been submitted. Hopefully we will have (have had when you read this) good attendance.

After State Session, I will be heading off to National Grange Convention in Niagara Falls. As it is some 325 miles from Southbury, I am hoping for good weather. Your Vice President Ted Powell will be the second delegate for our State Grange. While Maggie cannot serve as a delegate due to farm obligations, hopefully she will join me at National for part of the convention. These are always exciting with the assigned committee work on resolutions. I will be on the Grange Law Committee with Phil Prelli, and Ted will serve on Labor, Judiciary, and Transportation. Maureen Prelli will be on Grange Growth. There is always much to see and do at a National Convention. Each state in the Northeast Region will be donating a basket of its state’s products to be raffled off to help offset the cost of the Region for hosting National. It is always great to catch up with Granger friends from other states. Next year, we are off to Iowa.

By now, Grange fairs are over and I have heard some great things about their successes. These are always good for promoting Grange and its activities in their respective communities.

As I travel, I hear of Granges putting on a variety of events for their fundraising and promotion in their communities. Please consider tuning into National Grange Membership Director Amanda Brozana-Rios monthly Membership Matters program or Communications director Phil Vonada’s program, all on Zoom. They can be accessed from the National Grange website and are excellent for obtaining ideas and sharing your own. Take advantage of these benefits from National.

We all know of the plethora of Grange items for sale on eBay. A few months ago, there was a set of officer’s staves for sale for over $3000 asking price. Recently, I bought the 1924 charter for Hookset Grange #329 in New Hampshire (at about $125, much less than those staves). It caught my eye because as a kid, we used to vacation in Epsom, NH, not far from Hookset and always visited the Indian Cliff Gift Shop (which I loved) in Hookset. At National, I will be returning that charter to Tricia Taylor, the NH State Grange President.

As we go toward colder weather and winter, it makes me think of the 4th degree and the season to come. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got yard and garden work to do before winter and the snow that may fly. I’ll get to that after all these Grange conventions. As I write, I am planning to attend my Grange Law Committee meeting for National tonight. It should be interesting.



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