Jul 302011

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

At last years conference, I was charged with submitting three resolutions to the Maine State Legislature which I did. Sadly, not one of the resolutions was developed into a law of the State of Maine.

I will try to explain the disposition of each bill. Each bill was of good intention, but had various reasons for ultimate failure.

The Excessive/Unnecessary Packaging resolution put forth by York Pomona No. 14 was presented to the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. I was the only proponent of the bill. There were several opponents to the bill such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association and toy manufacturers. The bill died in the House and Senate.

The Awarding of Construction Contracts resolution put forth by Green Mountain Pomona No. 26 was never presented to the Legislature as a bill. This was at the suggestion of State Senator Doug Thomas. His explanation was that this bill has been seen before by the Legislature and the consensus, at that time, was that if the State of Maine restricted construction contracts to Maine businesses only, there would be retaliations from neighboring states resulting in Maine contractors restricted from working in those neighboring states.

The Blood Type – Maine Drivers Licenses resolution put forth by Green Mountain Pomona No. 26 died because of a fiscal note to the bill. The State of Maine Appropriations Committee denied the bill because the cost to implement this resolution would cost the state $72,800.

In Faith, Hope and Charity

Jim Annis,

State Legislative Director

Jul 292011

Master Maynard Chapman, Scot Warner and son Scot of L & S Windows

In recent months members of Danville Junction Grange 65 have been raising money to replace windows in the hall, which is over a hundred years old. In that short amount of time they have been able to replace ten of the drafty old windows with new vinyl replacement windows from L & S Windows of Lewiston, who gave them a free window with their first order. Since then, ten more windows have been ordered, which leaves only eight more to be replaced.

After all the windows have been replaced, the next project will be to insulate the building and install new siding. This also needs to be done as during the last heating season, although the hall was only opened three times a month, over twelve hundred gallons of heating oil was consumed.

The replacement windows each cost $200 installed. If any person or organization would like to help the Grange preserve their building, please call Master Maynard Chapman at 998-5331 or write him at 64 Forest Drive, Poland, ME 04274.


Jul 292011

Submitted by Sue Hackett

I am sorry to announce that there will be no camp for the youth or junior camp this year. It is cancelled because I am ill and do not have the strength to hold camp or to plan it. I’m very sorry that this has to happen, and sincerely hope that it will be available next year.

Webmaster Note: Let’s remember Sue in our thoughts and prayers… and hope she feels better soon!

Jul 272011

Submitted by Walter Boomsma

At Valley Grange, we like to “think outside the box.” On Friday, August 19th, we’re hosting the annual officer installation for Piscataquis Pomona Granges… of course that in and of itself is pretty cool! But like many other Granges, we struggled with how to handle the somewhat obligatory pre-meeting supper. An idea emerged that is so obvious we found ourselves slapping our heads and saying “Why didn’t we think of this before!!?”

We’re maximizing our ability to collaborate and produce synergy by scheduling a public supper to preceed the installation… but hang on, this gets even better… because everybody wins! What follows is a press release emphasizing the supper. We’ve already had several people ask if they can stay after the supper to watch the Installation…

Guilford/Dover Foxcroft—Valley Grange and Penquis are teaming up to raise funds for the Penquis Smart Starts for Students Project Fund in a way that’s smart for both organizations, according to Sheree Brown, Project Coordinator. “Valley Grange has been a supporter for several years, but this year we found an even smarter way to help our kids by informally partnering to offer folks in the area another way to help. In what may be our final fundraiser for this year, we’ll be offering an Italian Buffet with a build your own salad bar in exchange for a donation to the project.”

Walter Boomsma, program director for Valley Grange notes that this is just another example of the collaborative spirit that exists in the Guilford-based Grange. “We’ve had a focus on kids for some time now,” he observed. “We’re probably best known for our Words for Thirds initiative which takes us into three school districts, providing personal dictionaries to third graders throughout the area. So it does make sense for us to work with Penquis on an initiative that provides kids with school supplies.”

"Glad I didn't make a big mistake! This is a really small eraser!"

Boomsma explains that “the best programs we do are the ones that give us contact with the kids.” Volunteer Bookworms from Valley Grange visit Piscataquis Community Elementary School to read with second and third graders during the school year. Boomsma says he developed a real appreciation of the need for the Smart Starts Program a few years ago while in a second grade classroom. “The kids were working on drafts of a report and I bounced from desk to desk to share ideas, do a little editing and correct spelling. I confess it took a while to stop reaching for my pen as I worked. Second Graders work in pencil for a reason. While finding a pencil wasn’t too difficult, finding one with some eraser left was! I asked no one in particular ‘Where do we find a pencil with an eraser?’ The kids are usually great at helping a guest find his way around the room, but there was a notable lack of response to my question. Eventually one little guy dug into the back of his desk and Continue reading »

Jul 252011

National Grange now offers a new “RX SavingsPlus” prescription drug discount program card that “can save an average of 22% on retail prescription drugs and up to 50% on mail service prescriptions.” You can actually print your card right online! For more information visit:



Jul 252011

Good Grange Laughter was featured in spite of the heat!

Submitted by Ann Burns

On the hottest day of the summer the annual barbecue for Mount Etna and Maple Grove members and guests was held near the shores of Sebago Lake at the home of Ellen Heigham with an evening of surprises. A total of 25 arrived with a weird variety of items,of course the usual delicious salads, chip and dips, relishes, drinks,were expected but a Sears catalog, red hats, wrapped gifts, a shotgun, a keyboard and plain brown envelopes were not.

After sharing a bountiful buffet, a program of entertainment began with music and song. For those non members we had to include our favorite”It’s A Good Thing to Be a Granger” followed by a “C-H-I-C-K-E-N” song for the member who has a pet hen?living in the cellar with a heated floor. Don’t believe that one will be invited to dinner.

Esther Kilborn, June Allen, Ann and Robert Burns, with MSG Flora Vicki Huff

Sister Vicki Huff represented the Maine State Grange then requested that Brother Scott Gavett escort Robert and Ann Burns to the front of the group where she presented them with certificates honoring 40 years of Grange membership. In their 40 years they have held every office except LAS and Pomona ?between them. Sister June Allen was the next honored for 60 years of service. She is a third generation Grange family member with her grandparents joining in 1906. The most prestigious presentation was to Esther Kilborn who joined South Bridgton Grange at 14. When that Grange closed, she transferred to Maple Grove. Her award was a Diamond Certificate for 75 years of membership. She has continually held an office, was a Maine State Junior Deputy when the Burns joined and presently is also a?CWA chairman.

During the next “sing-a long ” session, several attendees disappeared only to reappear shortly after in various costumes for a Hillbilly Shotgun Wedding with “red hatters” for wedding guests.

This skit announced the biggest surprise of the evening, a wedding shower for member Donelle Allen (daughter of June and 4th generation) and her fiancee, Carl Dolloff. After the gifts were opened and a cake served, many of the group trooped to Sebago Lake for a cooling off swim.

The next combined meeting for Maple Grove and Mount Etna will be of a more serious nature, the installation of officers on August 22nd at Mount Etna Grange. This might be your chance to watch a “changing of the guards” you wouldn’t believe as all but two members of the installing team also have to be installed in at least one office and many will be installed in both granges.

Jul 242011

Karen Flagg, CWA Chair

Submitted by Karen Flag via the MSG Bulletin

Hello Everyone, I hope you are all coping with this ever changing weather. I do want to thank all the Granges that have been generously sending in their donations for our CWA projects. I try and send the Certificates out the next day after receiving the checks. In August when we have our conference, I hope many of you will try to attend as we will be going over next year’s program, announcing and presenting awards for this year’s needlecraft entries plus we are going to try something new – ”make and take home a craft item. ”You do not need to know how to knit, sew, crochet, etc.

I did announce at the Dress Revue “that if we do not have more participation next year, then I will omit the May date and have everything due at the August conference.”

The winners for this year’s Dress Revue are as follows: Class A (adults), 1st Helen Clifford, 2nd Mary Goss and Jeanne Burnham received 3rd. Class C (children’s garments), 1st went to Sally Downing, 2nd Ann Burns and 3rd to Jeanne Burnham. Class D (wearable arts) 1st went to Ann Burns and 2nd to Jeanne Burnham. Class n (non-member) went to Mary Parker.

For the Dress-A-Doll Contest, 1st went to Tim Wilson, 2nd to Lois Zezima and 3rd to Kathy Gowen. Men winning the Scones Baking entries were 1st Adrian Griffin, 2nd Michael Flagg and 3rd went to Rolf Staples. Winning ladies were 1st Diane Newcomb, 2nd Debra Ivers and 3rd was Barbara Hatch and the winning Junior member was Savannah Hallowell. Enjoy each and every day and look forward to seeing many of you throughout the summer as I visit your Granges.

Jul 242011
NE Grange Building at Eastern States

Submitted by Dawn Percoski via the Bulletin

Do you have a talent you would like to share? Do you wood work, do chair caning, play a musical instrument, quilt, spin or make and paint bird houses? Whatever your talent, have I got the place for you! I am looking for Grangers to come to the Eastern States Exposition and put on a demonstration during the Big E. You can display your wares or perform on our stage. If you are accepted, I will send you all the details upon receiving your contact information and a brief description of your program. I would like to schedule a full program during the entire fair to let the public know who the Grange is and promote the diverse talents we have. Please contact Dawn R. Percoski, The Grange Experience Director. Phone 860-749-1328 or email dawnrose4atcoxdotnet  (dawnrose4atcoxdotnet)   by September 1st, 2011.

Jul 242011

WM Jim Owens

I have started to receive applications for the Grange of the Year Award. Please send yours in now as they must be received at the State Grange office prior to September 1st in order to enter the contest.

Remember that all resolutions that your Subordinate or Pomona Grange wishes to have considered at the annual State Grange session at the Community Center in Skowhegan must be received at State Grange headquarters by September 15th. The session and banquet will be held from Oct. 19 – 22, 2011. Some of the motels in Skowhegan are as follows: Kyes Motel (rt. 2) 474-3384, Belmont (Madison Ave. – Rt. 201 N) 474-8315, Towne Motel (Madison Ave. – Rt. 201N) 474-5151, Whispering Pines (Waterville Rd. – Rt. 201S) 474-2287, Breezy Acres (Waterville Rd. – Rt. 201S) 474-2703

Our State Grange session in 2012 will be held in Rockland. This will be a change for everyone as we haven’t met in that area since 1978.

Jul 172011

Well, there were just too many degrees (temperature) at the Degree Day recently conducted by Piscataquis Pomona. But we did have a good time and a meaningful afternoon. The event was really a collaboration of area granges… while the “degree team” was made up primarily of folks from Piscataquis Pomona, the lines between Pomona’s can be blurry up this way and there were a number of helpers from Penobscot Pomona.

Scott Bowden, Brac Swackhammer, Karen Hudgens, Mike Ouelette, Helen Winchell, and Amanda Caruso

Six new members received degree instruction: Scott Bowden, Karen Hudgen, Helen Winchell and Amanda Caruso are now fourth degree members of Bangor Grange, Brac Swackhammer–South Sangerville, and Mike Ouelette Queen City. Welcome, Brothers and Sisters!

Andrea Rollins, Garland Lecturer, represented everyone’s feelings when she said, “Garland Grange and Piscataquis Pomona would like to thank all who came to our degree day. It was a great collaboration of many people planning, taking parts (sometimes at the last minute), bringing food, music, helping cook, clean up, etc. We couldn’t possibly list all the ways that people helped!”

To understand the amount of collaboration, consider this. For each degree there are at least twelve “chairs” (jobs) that must be filled. With four degrees, that makes a total of nearly fifty jobs and that doesn’t include things like getting the hall ready, preparing the meal, etc. It’s a lot of work, but it’s “happy work!”

The Pomona appointed a committee some months ago to organize those jobs and create a “Pomona Team” effort. Special thanks go to Ernest and Andrea Rollins (Garland), Tim Wilson (Queen City), Terry Peale (Golden Harvest), and Sally Downing (South Sangerville). In spite of the work involved, some folks are already talking about doing this again–but on a cooler day! Thanks also go to honored guests Steve Call of the MSG Executive Committee, Philip Parsons–MSG Deputy, and Emily Parsons–MSG Junior Deputy. Pomona Publicity Director notes that “Andrea’s right about all the help,” citing the fact that “Yvette Herbert (Old Towne/Riverside) helped and she doesn’t even know it! We used something Yvette wrote a few years ago as a feature in our printed program.” (You can download a copy of the?Piscataquis Pomona Degree Day Program and steal some of our ideas when you do a degree day!)

Jean Rollins (Garland) prepares a popular feature of all grange events--the dessert table!

The day was certainly filled with things that will be remembered… how hot it was… the shower Janice Boomsma (Valley) took in the kitchen during clean up… the boston creme pie cupcakes… and, hopefully, many of the lessons of the degrees. Perhaps one of the best things about the day was reflected in Everett Amazeen’s comment, “I wouldn’t come to Grange if I couldn’t laugh.”

Events like this should strive for a balance of laughter and fun as well as a reminder of the lessons of our order. At Piscataquis Pomona, we believe we achieved that and we look forward to continuing our work together.