MISSION: To support a resilient community of growers, makers, and keepers, to foster social and political engagement, and to maintain our Hall as a home for celebrations and programs.
As one year ends and another begins, we take stock of our accomplishments, and state our hopes and dreams for the future. For me 2013 was the year of the Keeper. Most of our accomplishments were geared toward keeping the Grange organization running, keeping our beloved Grange Hall open and filled with celebrations and programs, and building the foundation for social and political engagement. We created the above Mission Statement, reconstructed our By-Laws, updated our membership fee structure, and set a tone at meetings that gets our work done in an efficient yet pleasurable way.
The Grange Hall has never been so beautiful, with its newly refinished floor, and its new tables and chairs. And the new sound system, screen, projector, and blackout curtains make it a terrific venue for programs like the Friday Harbor Film Festival which had a very successful run in 2013.
The long process of stock-taking, goal-setting and fence-mending started with a planning session in January and continued with the completion of “San Juan Island Grange #966 Property: History and Options for the Future” in October. We argued our own resolution before the Washington State Grange Convention in June, and publicly stated our support for labeling of GMO’s in food for the fall election.
Our community is more resilient thanks to an emergency shelter agreement with the local chapter of the American Red Cross, who remodeled a corner of our basement as a storage room for their supplies.
With the dawning of 2014, it is my hope that we turn our hard-won foundation-building into increased membership and real benefits for members. Last year’s Bulk Seed Order will be repeated in support of the Grower in all of us, and for the Maker, we have something special coming up: an influx of new members to organize and establish a program in support of the tool-users of our island. The Maker in us has been neglected for too long. Our tools have been misplaced, our skills have languished, and we seldom now feel the thrill of a well-made and beautiful object of our own making. San Juan Island Grange has been asked to take in the fledgling Island Makers Guild, and accept as our own their goal of creating a public tool lending library. If Grange members accept the offer at the January regular meeting, I am confident that it will soon be seen as an important milestone in our mission to support a resilient community of Growers, Makers and Keepers.
Resiliency takes commitment. I am happy to announce that our Chaplain for 2014, Katy Nollman, intends to use her good office to offer genuine help to members who are sick or in distress. I am confident that she will receive good ideas and assistance from many of you to create this valuable program.
Now is the time to invite friends and neighbors to get off that fence and join our Grange. Many islanders have been waiting for us to get back on our feet. I will tell you now that the state of our Grange is strong and growing! We are on our feet and moving forward. Here’s to a successful 2014!