I've been a Grange Member for a long time. 
Member since Apr 3, 2017



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Re: “The State of the Grange

I started attending meetings, around 1985, at my local grange. We had pancake breakfast, cards every Thursday, and meetings where we honored the traditions that accumulated in the organization since the 1800's. The grange has dwindled through the years, there are no more pancake breakfasts, no one to play cards on Thursday, and the meetings are a former shadow of what they used to be.
I was at the Grange State Convention when Bob McFarland was elected. I think a large group of people expected the prior president to be re-elected, he was very well liked.
I remember the first thing Bob did after he took the podium was to raise his voice at Katie Squire. Katie was the secretary and was one of the hardest working people at the convention, for many years. It was very awkward and uncomfortable. After convention, Bob wanted to restructure the Grange. He did not want the traditions of Grange in the meetings, because, he said, "it alienated new members."
After that, he wanted to succeed from the Grange Charter, so, a new non-profit could be established. They were touting, Grange membership was up, but, also, there was a lot of talk about falsification of membership records.
The bickering continued, until the charter was pulled. Litigation ensued, ending with a court decision that Bob McFarland was not allowed to use the name "Grange". The Grange Halls are still being fought over by the two groups, the non-Grange sanctioned "Guild" and the nationally sanctioned newly chartered "California State Grange".
Just so we're clear. It is the goal of Bob McFarland to gather as many members and property as he can, but, under supreme court law, he is not allowed to associate himself as a Grange member, or use the Grange name in any form. If you are in support of the Guild you are supporting a hostile takeover aiming to have a community organization without the traditions that built the organization.
I am saddened that this would be the case. I believe in tradition. I believe in the Grange. I believe in the United States. So many of us lost whats worth fighting for just because its difficult to set out the instruments of day. We choose satisfaction without effort, comfort without clarity, and reprisal without cause.
The Grange needs your support. It needs you to learn the history. If there is no one that seeks the truth, it will be lost forever.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by I've been a Grange Member for a long time. on 04/03/2017 at 7:35 PM

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