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National Grange News
Tucker addresses convention
  JANUARY 2009 -- Woodrow Tucker, past High Priest of Demeter, spoke before a luncheon crowd during the 142nd annual National Grange convention discussing the importance of Grange ritualism. Brother Woody joined the Grange in 1939 and has served in many capacities for 69 years including Rhode Island State Grange Master and several National Grange offices.
Brother Tucker challenged the crowd to think about two words – structure and discipline. He said every organization needs structure and the Grange is no different. The Grange reaches out to many interests, and according to Tucker, ritualism is part of that outreach. “Ritualism does have a place in this organization, and your life,” Tucker stated. “Grange members want uniformity. In fact uniformity is the backbone and structure of the Grange.”
Brother Tucker believes ritualism is synonymous with discipline stating, “Some people resist ritualism because they think it takes away innovativeness.” He believes, on the other hand, that ritualism engenders enthusiasm and specifically builds character and leadership. To clarify his beliefs, Tucker described a Grange ceremony. “When Grange members expect to participate in a ritual ceremony, those performing strive to succeed and lead the group” Woody explained.
Since becoming an attorney in1950, Brother Tucker has seen many clients come into his office forgetting to live as a family and forgetting the generosity of a Christian spirit. This moral relapse, according to Tucker where people do not extend the hand of Christianity has eroded society. “Those moral qualities that people have forgotten lie within our Grange ritualism,” Tucker stated. “It is part of the package.”
Recognizing the Grange has evolved over the years, some people have taken a hard look at the Grange ritual noted Brother Tucker. “Sometimes people snipped that the ritual here, and snipped at it there. I have wondered if at some point people are going to sit at a National Grange convention and decide if the ritual is the way for the Grange to continue.” Brother Tucker hopes that those Grange members think long and hard before they remove ritual from the organization. “The Grange is respected because of its moral fiber,” Tucker said.
Brother Tucker ended his speech by stating, “I am so appreciative of the opportunity that the Grange has given to me. I will always be eternally thankful for it. When I think of the inter-relations of Mother Nature – the greatness of the earth and the greatness of the people – I think of its interaction with our fraternity. This is MY Grange and I hope it is Yours too.” 

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