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Around The Grange
Do You Remember: 100th Anniversary Plate

By Betty Jane Gardiner

  APRIL 16, 2014 --

Plates are a very popular collector’s item. Many folks have at least a few, others have large displays in their homes.

When our State Grange celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 1985, Bill and I were appointed as co-chairpersons of the event.  At an early planning meeting somebody asked if we were going to have an anniversary plate as many of the states had done for their special times.  It sounded like a good idea.  A message went out to the Granges and also articles ran in the Connecticut Granger inviting anyone who desired to submit a design for the plate.  We thought we would have a committee to select the design and we looked forward to what it would be.  To our surprise and dismay not one single entry was received.  A second month of requesting participation took place with still no response.  I told the committee it looked as if I would have to give it a try myself and that was what happened.

Many states had put out plates which was very ornate- crowded with pictures of state historical sites and tourist attractions.  I guess we wanted something a bit more simple.  Our design was a white plate with a narrow blue border and blue letters which said “Connecticut State Grange 100th Anniversary.”  Those words surround the Grange emblem and the outline of the State of Connecticut with a pink rose across the state and “1885-1985” on the state.  I took the design to a meeting and the group voted to use it (as if they had any other choices).

State Secretary Marion Beecher thought we should have a message on the back of the plate, she did that- it reads…

“Connecticut State Grange, June 24, 1885, One hundred years of dedicated service to our fellowman.  Faith, Hope, Charity and Fidelity- the words on which the Grange is based- the words which form the “tie that binds” all Grange members with a common goal of a better world.”

I can’t remember who on the committee took care of having the plate made- where we had it done- how many we ordered- or what price was charged (Does anybody remember any of that?).  I do know we sold a lot of them!!!  Some can be seen in many Grange halls today- and every once in a while someone will mention that they have a plate at home tucked away in a drawer or cupboard.

A while ago Edith Schoell was cleaning around the office and found about six or seven plates.  She called me- and I ended up taking them off her hands and because I got them at such a good price I gave them to a couple of new members or to somebody who could use one as a replacement.

Now, of course, we have a story to tell about our plates.  I’m a little fuzzy with some of the details, but I remember we were helping Bud MacLaurin get the Connecticut Room ready in the Grange Building for a “Big E.”  Bud mentioned he thought it would be nice to have one of our anniversary plates in our room.  The next day we went up to the room and I took one up there.  Bud had purchased a nice spring form to hang the plate on a wall.l  He put the springs onto the plate then held it up for the rest of us to see- he must have touched one of the springs because all of a sudden the plate flew out of the hangar and shot across the room like a missile landing on the floor in a million pieces.  Bud was beside himself!!!  Not to worry- I had another when I went up a few days later!  It was hung on the wall- NOT by Bud.  It still is there in the room- a reminder of the good laugh we had at that time.

Do remember our 100th Anniversary and the Connecticut State Grange plate.

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