Granger celebrates 80 years of membership
“That’s a lot of years,” Basil Clements said when he received his certificate from Maine State Grange Communications Director Walter Boomsma in a “sort of” Grange Meeting held at Emilio Estates in Corinth. While distance has prevented active involvement, Basil speaks of his Grange membership daily, and his room is decorated with certificates and Grange memorabilia.
The “sort of” meeting was attended by a support team from Valley Grange of Guilford, several of Basil’s nurses and Emilio staff, a niece and her husband, and at least one resident of Emilio Estates. Boomsma explained that since circumstances have put some distance between Basil and his home Grange in Castine, Valley Grange has adopted him. “But we aren’t charging you dues.” Basil proudly noted that, as a Golden Sheaf (50-year) member, he hasn’t paid dues for some years but recalled when he did pay them, the charge was $1.25 per year. He also wasn’t sure when he last attended a meeting.
“We brought a meeting to you,” Boomsma explained, conducting some of the opening and closing ritual, including the familiar Grange Salutation. During the meeting Basil’s nurse, Breanna Bowman, was also presented with a special Certificate of Appreciation for her assistance with the meeting preparations and support. “You demonstrate Grange values, and we are now considering you an ‘almost’ Granger.”
In good Grange fashion, the event included some socializing. When the event ended, Boomsma noted, “We’re Grangers. This is what we do. We take care of our communities, and we take care of each other.”
Those who would like to send Basil a card of congratulations may do so by addressing it to Basil Clements, Emilio Estates, 65 W Corinth Road, Corinth, ME 04427. He first joined the Grange on March 20, 1943 and will begin his 81st year soon!