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President's Message
President's Message: State Session is Completed

By George Russell, CT State Grange President

  November 1, 2019 --

The Connecticut State Grange has just completed its 135th Annual Session at the Holiday Inn Norwich. The session ran from Oct. 17-19. We welcomed Dwight and Kathy Baldwin of Iowa as our National Representatives. Brother Baldwin serves as Master of the Iowa State Grange and Treasurer of the National Grange. Sharon and I enjoyed their fellowship for the three days they were in Connecticut. A thank you goes out to Brother and Sister Baldwin for being a part of the Connecticut State Grange Annual Session.

On Thursday evening, after opening the Grange, I gave my first Annual State Master’s Address. It was hard to believe that one year has passed since I was installed as your Master. During this past year we have hosted the Northeast Leaders’ Conference and the Northeast Youth Conference. The Leaders’ Conference was well attended and had four excellent speakers both Friday night and Saturday. The Youth Conference attendance was lower than we expected but everyone seemed to have a good weekend. It was held at the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

The membership, once again this year, has declined. We have, as of the second quarter in 2019, 1745 members. This is down 134 from last year. Along with the decline, four Granges have turned in their Charters.  Every time a Grange closes a percentage of that membership does not join another Grange. So we lose in two ways; we lose the Grange plus the membership. Our Membership Director, Faith Quinlan, is working on some programs to help get our numbers back up where they should be. We did have several Granges that had a net gain this year but unfortunately we had many that did not. We have to try to build up our membership! This year make it your goal to have an increase in membership.

My complete Annual Address can be found on the CT State Grange website (www.CTStateGrange. org). Congratulations to the Honor Granges for 2019! Gold: Ekonk Community #89.  Silver:  Cheshire #23. Bronze: Beacon Valley #103, Taghhannuck #100 and Bethlehem #121. Pomona: Mountain Laurel #15 and Nutmeg #16.  Congratulations to our Honor Granges and Pomona Granges.

On Saturday afternoon the officers of the Connecticut State Grange conferred the Sixth Degree in full form. I would like to congratulate our new members and wish them well.

Sharon and I will be attending the 153rd National Convention which will be held in Minneapolis, MN. We will be leaving for Minnesota on Sunday, Nov. 3 and return on Sun., Nov. 10. They are having a tour of the Kelley Farm on Monday the fourth. Sharon and I will be going on the tour. I’ve always heard about the Kelley Farm and this will be my first opportunity to visit the farm.

I would like to thank all the CT State Grange members who made our annual session a success! Without all your hard work, it would not have been possible!



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