May 312019
Reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, Maine State Representative for District 119.

AUGUSTA, Maine – Annual reports are due on Monday, June 3, 2019, for all business and nonprofit entities on file with the Secretary of State’s office as of December 31, 2018.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is reminding those who must file that they can do so quickly and easily using the Secretary of State’s online filing system. To file online, go to Payment can be made by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, electronic check or with a subscriber account.

The annual report fee is $85 for domestic business entities, $150 for foreign business entities and $35 for domestic or foreign nonprofit corporations. Entities that filed online in a previous year will be able to review the information provided at that time, and will simply need to update that information as necessary prior to filing this year’s report. For account subscribers, the online filing service includes additional functionality to assist with managing multiple annual report filings.

Another online service allows noncommercial clerks or noncommercial registered agents to change their addresses. Additionally, this service allows an authorized individual of a foreign entity (organized outside of the State of Maine) to change the principal or home office address. Anyone wishing to make these address changes separately from the online annual report filing service should visit

For those who prefer to file a paper annual report, a preprinted form can be downloaded at:

A substantial late-filing penalty will be assessed, and may not be waived, on all reports received after the June 3, 2019 filing deadline.

Webmaster’s Note: Apologies for just posting this–it literally just came to my attention today. For questions regarding filing requirements, please contact Sharon Morton  (mainestategrangeatmyfairpointdotnet)  , Maine State Grange Secretary or Sherry Harriman  (sherryharriman53atgmaildotcom)  , Maine State Grange Master.

May 272019
The Long Gray Line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses thundering those magic words – Duty – Honor – Country. ” (From General Douglas MacArthur’s Farewell Speech to West Point Cadets)
May 262019

By Terry LaCombe, MSG Youth Director

We received the registration form for the? NEYC. The conference is July 12, 13, and 14 2019, and will be at the University of Connecticut, Storrs CT. Dawn Anstett, CT Youth Director is asking that you register before June 10th, that is just a couple of weeks away. The cost to attend the Full Conference is?$160?Dbl room or $210?for a single room.

The registration form and it also can be found on the Maine State Grange Web site: 2019 NEYC Registration Form.

May 212019

By Terry LaCombe, MSG Youth Director

The Youth Contest was held in Topsham on April 28, 2019, at the Topsham Grange. We had a low turnout, but a good time was had by all who attended. First, I would like to thank Master Sherry Harriman and Secretary Sharon Horton for agreeing to judge.

Prepared Speech ….First Place Terry LaCombe.

Improv Speech………First PlaceSteve Hancock, Tie Second Place Terry Wilson and Terry LaCombe-Stevens, Third Place was Tim Wilson.

After watching the Talent Show, which followed a short time after the Youth Contest, I found several Grangers who should have competed.

The Northeast Youth Conference will be held in Connecticut this July . If you are interested in attending, please contact me for details. I will be sharing details about the NEYC next month.

May 192019

On May 18, members of Highland Lake Grange No. 87 placed flags at Highland Lake Cemetery in Westbrook. Stephen Manchester American Legion Post 62 had asked for assistance, and the Grangers stepped up. Quite a few Grangers who were members of Highland Lake are buried at this cemetery, including several who were veterans. The black flies were waiting, but the crew persevered and made short work of the task!

May 172019
Reprinted from an e-newsletter published by Paul Davis, Maine Senator for District 4.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has announced the Maine Farms for the Future Program grant program that is currently open for Phase 1 (business plan development) and Phase 2 (investment support grant and low-interest rate loan) applications. The grant program, which accepts applicants each spring and fall, was developed to assist farms with planning assistance and investment support. Application submissions are due via email to Proposalsatmainedotgov  (Proposalsatmainedotgov)   by 4:00 pm on Monday, June 24. For more information, click here.?????

May 162019

Short but important items posted for your use.

By Walter Boomsma, MSG Communications Director

BJ’s Club

There appears to be some confusion around the status of BJ Club Membership as a member benefit. National Grange does not offer this as a benefit and it is my understanding it is no longer being offered by Maine State Grange.

May Bulletin Posted

You can download and print a copy here.

Communication Tip

There’s an old joke about the Russians and Americans having a contest which the Americans won. The Russian news outlets ran the headline “Russia Wins Second Place in International Contest.” We can debate whether or not that qualifies as “fake news,” but it definitely qualifies as a “positive spin.” We need more positivity!

Bulletin Deadline

As a reminder, columns and news items for the monthly printed Bulletin are due by the fifteenth of the month. Columns and news items for the website can be submitted at any time.

May 162019

By Marilyn Stinson and Kathy Gowen, Co-directors

This report is due on the fifteenth and Junior Grange Camp is the fourteenth through the sixteenth, so I can’t really report about it except to say that by the time they got to sleep on Friday night, they had been having a wonderful time.

Firefighter Roberge took a truck to the hall and opened up all kinds of compartments and asked the kids if they knew what the different equipment was for plus general fire safety questions. They were quick with their answers and enjoyed the fire pit to toast marshmallows for s’mores. One just wanted to toast them, not eat them. They played outside games, board games and Carolyn Young-Coffin had her guitar for a sing-a-long before bed.

Tomorrow we will induct two or three into Junior Grange, visit a local goat/chicken farm, decorate cupcakes and deliver them to the local Elder Care Home for their community service and then work on crafts and projects.

A good program is P.R.I.M.E. and we’ve had great Participation, Recreation, Inspiration (some of the music) with more to come with a little lesson about all the religions that practice the “Golden Rule,” music, and education with the firefighter. Is it nap time, yet??

Remember to save the date of September 14, 2019 for any Junior age kids to meet in Bangor, please.

Also, The Junior Department is in desperate of some committee members. PLEASE consider joining us!!

Nest year’s camp will be after Father’s Day and after school is out.

May 152019

Meandering Around the Grange Way of Life with Walter Boomsma

During the earliest stages of the first degree, the Assistant Steward explains who has approached the gate. “Men and women seeking employment, who desire to assist in our work.” It might be interesting that he does not suggest the alarm comes from “Men and women who wish to join our order.” I suspect this distinction was not accidental when the ritual was first being written.

In a true sense, the earliest Granges didn’t conduct membership drives, they sought people who desired “to assist in our work.” It is significant that “work” and “labor” are words that appear frequently in our ritual. In the opening of the Grange, “The hour of labor has arrived and the work of another day demands our attention…” During the closing of the Grange, the Master inquires of the Overseer, “Are the labors of the day complete?” When the overseer declares “They are…” the Master continues, “As is there is no more work for us today, the steward will see that the implements are properly secured for the night.” Those implements are symbolic of the work. There might be a pattern here.

Returning to the first degree, note the Steward isn’t fully satisfied with the Assistant Steward’s answer that these strangers are seeking employment and desire to assist in our work. He further asks, “Are they unconstrained and willing?” and “Have they been tried and found worthy?” These questions are asked and answered quickly and it’s easy to miss the point. There are some standards and expectations of those who wish to be called “Granger.” Without much detail regarding what those expectations are, the Steward explains “None but those worthy and well-qualified can enter here…”

For those who have been members for some time, the degree lessons can be an important reminder that while the Grange is a great fraternity, the work is supposed to come first. Read slowly and deliberately the Overseer’s explanation to the candidates.

“Friends, the Grange is a great fraternity, and the lessons of its ritual are expressed by the use of symbols drawn from the field, the farm, and the farm home. The first four degrees of our Order are based upon the seasons of the year, each conveying its appropriate lesson. You are about to enter the mysteries of the First Degree, symbolic of springtime on the farm, when all Nature is bursting into newness of life. The wild flowers are making the woods and the hills glorious with their beauty; orchards are in bloom, and the air is redolent with their perfume; plowing the fields has begun and soon the sower will go forth to sow.”

Additional laborers and maids are needed for work in field and household, and we accept you as willing workers, now in waiting for the tasks to which you will be assigned: For in our fraternity there is work for all, and the idler has no place among Patrons of Husbandry.” (Bold print for emphasis.)

Valley Grange is not, I suspect, the only Grange that has a significant number of “Grange Friends” – people who for various reasons have not become members but are willing workers when it comes to specific programs and efforts. They are people who are seeking employment and desire to assist us in our work. They will commit to the work but are unwilling to commit to membership. The reasons are many but we might well summarize that they are willing but not “unrestrained.” We admire and respect them for their honesty.

If we’re going to be equally honest, being a Granger is not so easy. It requires commitments that can be difficult to keep, particularly in today’s busy and fast-paced society. It might be fair to say that you can do the work without being a member but you cannot be a member without doing the work. For a time in my life, I was affiliated with an organization that included attendance requirements and a monthly report of community service hours. from every member. Most members did not find this a hardship–the requirements were the reasons we joined.

Let us not forget that the Grange Way of Life has some significant rewards. As the Chaplain explains to the first degree candidates, “Happy is the man that getteth understanding; for the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.”

I encourage you to borrow a manual and review the lessons of the first degree so that you “getteth understanding.” The Overseer asks what wages the candidates expect and the Assistant Steward reinforces the Chaplain’s words by replying, “Wisdom not silver, Knowledge, rather than fine gold.” Candidates should be hearing the call to work and wisdom long before they experience the first degree. This is not an organization where you pay your dues and attend an occasional meeting. “There is work for all, and the idler has no place among the Patrons of Husbandry.”

Any degree or ritual quotations are from the forty-sixth edition of the 2013 Subordinate Grange Manual or the most recent edition of the Pomona Grange Manual. The views and opinions expressed in “Exploring Traditions” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official doctrine and policy of the Grange. Information about the book “Exploring Traditions—Celebrating the Grange Way of Life” can be found at Abbot Village Press, on Amazon, or by contacting the author  (walteratboomsmaonlinedotcom)  .