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Around The Grange
Do You Remember: Arthur & Helen Pearl
 

By Betty Jane Gardiner

  SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 --

We take great pride in saying we are a family organization and that seems to become more apparent as we compile the “Do You Remember?” feature.  Arthur and Helen Deming Pearl (parents of our State Legislative Director Alma Graham) came from strong Grange family backgrounds and met through the Grange.

Arthur was Master of the Little River Grange as was his father and grandfather before him.  He held many offices, but was remembered for the number of years he served as Gatekeeper (funny how many men like that outside job).  Known for his carpentry skills he made ever so many items over the years.  When his daughter was Junior Director and when Helen was on the State CWA he was helpful in every way- many a table was decorated with handmade items to go along with each even or theme.

In 1952 Arthur and a group from Quinebaug Pomona built their cabin at Camp Berger in one day.  Who said it couldn’t be done?  Arthur worked at the Camp for years- and served on the Camp Berger Committee.

He made staff holders for Grange officers and for two installation teams.  He and Helen were members of Austin Emmons’ team.

We should remind you that Arthur and Austin Emmons and Bill Pearl were first cousins.

In addition to working hard for our Fraternity, he was involved with the American Legion, a founding member of the Hampton Ambulance Corp. and a 50 year member of the Hampton Volunteer Fire Dept..  He was active in the bowling league up until a few months before his death.

Helen, too, came from a Grange background- her Dad and grandfather were Past Masters.

She served in many offices over the years but is most remembered for her work with the Committee on Women’s Activities at the Subordinate, Pomona and State levels.  She was part of the group which was instrumental in helping at the American School for the Deaf building in fundraising for the renovation for their auditorium.

She was Pomona of Quinebaug Pomona and not only set up her court but made hundreds of cupcakes for the Fifth Degree.  She served as State Pomona for four years.

Community involvement was the name of the game- president for years of the Ladies Aid Society, organizing the Congregational Church’s annual Holiday Bazaar and the Hampton Antique Show, working with the Tuberculosis Association (now the American Lung Association), active in the Windham Community Hospital Auxiliary johnny’s and bed pads, collecting doantions of clothing and furniture when the town was hit by storms, flooding, fires, etc.

All year long Helen’s needles were flying and her sewing machine humming as she made stuffed toys, pot holders, aprons, Christmas ornaments and countless other items to be sold at the events or given away to those in need.  When did she ever have time to sleep?

She chaired many dinners at the Grange - the most memorable was the chicken barbecue held on Memorial Day for over 40 years- Arthur was in charge of the “pit”- Helen in charge of the kitchen.

If there was a cause or a need they were there to answer the call- can you imagine the good “Community Service” work being done now in the Grange Grange Above?

Do remember the Pearls!

 
 
 
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