New Johnstonville Grange holds its first meeting
Officers of the new Johnstonville Grange include Barbara White, president/master; Joel Bond, overseer/vice president; Ruth Dike, secretary; and Joe Comino, treasurer.
Executive committee members include Jack Haslem, Lloyd Keefer and Mo Suarez.
White said the group has enough members to move forward, but more members are still needed.
A copy of the Grange’s bylaws will be mailed to each new member for review and discussion at the group’s next meeting. The group also will form new committees and appoint new committee chairs to lead community projects forward.
The old Grange’s standing committees — agriculture, conservation, education, good of the order, Grange women’s activities, legislative, membership, publicity, relief, taxation and youth — remain in the bylaws, but the members may elect to form different committees once the bylaws have been reviewed and possibly revised.
After briefly visiting the Grange’s history, Orr said Grange’s are making a comeback and rebounding statewide. She said the state Grange has taken over nine county fairs in California, and many smaller Granges in rural areas are consolidating to form stronger organizations.
She suggested the new Johnstonville Grange “find a common project and move forward with it.”
Orr said the project should be one the members and the community can rally around. She said a Grange-sponsored community garden in McCloud was well received.
She also stressed the importance of involving young people and “make them part of the group.”
She said the Grange offers many opportunities for young people.
Member Betty Swafford provided information about a pro-posed project at Toad Park on five acres of county property on Diane Drive, including an amphitheatre and playground facilities for children, but no action was taken.
The members also reviewed a listing of a wide variety of repairs needed at the old historic building, including repairs to the attic and roof, ceiling insulation, doors, weather stripping, the foundation, plumbing heating, electrical and the pump house.
The executive committee may seek estimates for some of the repairs and apply for a low-interest loan from the state organization.
The time and date of the Grange’s next meeting has not been announced by deadline.
The members also discussed the possibility of removing some sagebrush from one portion of the property and creating a park and picnic area there.
The National Grange is the nation's oldest national agricultural organization, with grassroots units established in 3,600 local communities in 37 states. Its 300,000 members provide service to agriculture and rural areas on a wide variety of issues, including economic development, education, family endeavors, and legislation designed to assure a strong and viable Rural America.
The membership application fee is $3 and the $26 annual dues will be collected sometime in the next few months.
For more information on the Grange or to join, call 257-6771.
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