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President's Message
President's Message: New Members

By Noel Miller, CT State Grange President

  May 5, 2016 --

In the John Wayne film, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” Captain Kiddle’s catch phrase was “never apologize, it shows a sign of weakness.”

We have all been taught this lesson as being weak, but I have learned it takes strength to admit that you are wrong. As your State Master I find the buck ends on my desk. So I wish to correct the wrongs many of our members have given.  I apologize to all the members who have been hurt by fellow Grange members.  I apologize to all new members who have joined and then were forgotten by not having a mentor to assist them in our Grange family.  I apologize to all members who have heard “This is the way it’s always been done.”  I apologize to all whose ideas and suggestions were laughed at or rejected without discussion. I apologize to all members who have been rejected from an office/committee or event because they were not part of the gang or group. I apologize for those Granges that have closed or will close because those in charge have not asked for help, to gain new members. I have taken the burden off of every Granger’s shoulders by taking on your guilt, failures, weaknesses, insecurities, evil, and meanness.  I was once told that keeping things in was like holding a house on your shoulders. You can’t move or walk because of this heavy object you carry. If you release what has been built up, the house will disappear and the weight on our shoulders will be gone. You can move and walk again. So let us hit the restart button, refresh ourselves and let’s have a do-over. Let us all renew the Obligation of the Degrees and start fresh. And let’s work together to move forward.

Degrees and inspections have begun. The Inspections are for my benefit to see where our Granges are, as in attendance, conduct of meetings, and financial strength. Degrees are for everyone and new members to learn the valuable lessons that explain the working of the Grange. Members who have received the Welcome Ceremony need to witness the degrees so they can visually see what they missed from the Welcome Ceremony and everyone else can renew their commitment to our organization that we love so deeply.

The Big E is some time away but if you plan on working in the store let me know as I have a list started. If you want to sit in the room on the weekend, let me know, and if you wish to walk in the Grange Day Parade, contact me. I will need names and phone numbers by June 1, 2016.  The tickets are becoming harder to get so if you need them let me know. If a Grange Hall needs a piano, the one in the New England Grange Building is available for free, contact me. This is for a hall only (no resale) and is offered as-is.

Our Social Connection Committee is holding their Teamwork Event on May 21 at Cheshire Grange at a cost of $5.00 per person. Come join us and work on our teamwork skills.  Fun for all!!

The National Grange Master has made a ruling on teleconferencing of meetings or committee meetings. We would like to have regular meetings in the halls and in person but there are times when members are out of area or confined and can have access to a Grange meeting via Skype, Zoom or other means. National Master Betsy Huber will allow this approach, but I, as your State Master, have some concerns and fears regarding the misuse of this meeting format. So if you plan to utilize this technology, please advertise it so outsiders can have access and participate in your meeting. I will take a wait and see attitude at this time.

As springtime is around us it is time for graduations, weddings, family activities, and community events. Enjoy them and be proud of everything that we stand for as Americans, Grangers and God bless us all. Take the time and smell freshly cut hay, the smell of newly plowed ground, the birth of new babies on the farm or in our homes, and the revived freshness of the fruitful fields, vineyards and orchards. See the beauty that He has given us.


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