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President's Ponderings: The Reason for our Grange Structure

By Edward Luttrell - President's Ponderings Blog (12/21/10)

  DECEMBER 22, 2010 --

"To those who read aright, history proves that in all ages society is fragmentary, and successful results of general welfare can be secured only by general effort. Unity of action cannot be acquired without discipline, and discipline cannot be enforced without significant organization; hence we have a ceremony of initiation which binds us in mutual fraternity as with a band of iron; but although its influence is so powerful, its application is as gentle as that of the silken thread that binds a wreath of flowers."

This quote is from the Preamble of the Constitution of our Grange. In reading the rules of the Grange and the Degree work of our organization, discipline is seldom mentioned, but its presence is often taken for granted. 

I find our system to be an fascinating way to enforce discipline within our organization. Each member is a volunteer and has equal voice in their Community Grange and at the Pomona (County or District) level if they choose to participate there. Those local members select the delegates to represent their Grange at the State Session and thus have a say in those proceedings. The National Grange is made up of the State Grange leadership and is constantly reminded of our purposes by the resolutions and comments that emanate from our membership.

The strength of any organization is measured by the ability to put resources and/or manpower toward the accomplishment of its goals. Since 1867 the Grange has been doing so in the local community and furthering those goals in State Capitols and in Washington, D.C. No member is bound to support those things he doesn't believe in, but each is given the opportunity to attempt to sway their fellow members during the process of setting our policies. 

It is only when members forget those powerful lessons contained within our Degrees that we encounter problems that become destructive to our Grange. William Saunders wrote the preamble and must have clearly understood the importance of having a method to enforce discipline within our young organization to ensure a long and prosperous future.

Dissension and strife have been kept to a minimum by the knowledge and expectation that we will treat each other as Sisters and Brothers as we debate issues, plan for the future, and learn to work together to benefit our communities. We use the lessons of the Grange to create the discipline that empowers each member to be productive.


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