Christopher D. Johnston
6241 Grand River Road
Bancroft, MI 48414
(989)634-9350 (H) (989)666-6648 (C)

404 S. Oak Street
Durand, MI 48429


Convention Recap
We just wrapped up the 146th Annual Session of the Michigan State Grange where many resolutions were presented, discussed and either passed or rejected. We will even be sending one to National Session this year. We are getting fewer and fewer resolutions brought to session. Remember that we are a grassroots organization and resolutions are your voice!! This is your chance to make a change, not only in our great organization local up to National, but to also help change legislation in the state or the nation. Change starts with one person and grows from there to your local Grange, to the State Grange and on up to National Grange.

I would like to extend my thanks to the members of the host region for a job well done. I think everyone enjoyed their time there and a lot of work was accomplished. Thanks to the Fifth Degree Team for a great degree presentation.

During the banquet the Juniors sold 50/50 raffle tickets. It was suggested that the funds go towards the “Wreaths across America” program. If you attended session, you would have seen an information presentation regarding the program. This program started at Arlington National Cemetery but has expanded nationwide to National Cemeteries where their goal is to place a wreath at every veteran’s grave marker. The total amount raised was $372.00 with the winner receiving $186.00. The winning ticket drawn was Marc Johnston’s. Marc had used his department contest winnings to purchase tickets. Without any prompting that I’m aware of, Marc then donated his winnings back to Wreaths across America! So with a total of $375.00 (with a small added donation), the Michigan State Grange will be sponsoring 25 wreaths that will be placed at cemeteries on December 14th.

National Session
In a few short days, Connie and I will be off heading to the National Grange Convention in Bloomington, Minnesota. We are part of the region hosting the National Session. We are excited to continue representing Michigan as your delegates.

State Grange Trailer
If you were at the session, you would have seen the progression pictures of the updates being made on the State Grange trailer. Unfortunately the final part of the process wasn’t complete before the session. We are hoping to have the trailer completed and back by the end of this week as we need to haul items to the national session. Watch for the pictures of the updated trailer in the next issue and on the website.

Michigan Grange Pin
We are still selling pins!! Sold a few more at the session, but still have plenty available! Remember the proceeds are going towards our 150th celebration. The cost of the pin will be $5.00 per pin, and will be available through the State Secretary. All efforts will be made to hand deliver the pins if someone will be in the area. However, if the pins are to be shipped there will be a small charge for shipping.

I would like to personally congratulate Athol Hazen, Jr. on being selected as the Michigan State Grange VIP! It is a fitting recognition for a well deserving person! Congratulations Athol!

Christmas and New Year
And finally as we are headed into the Holiday season, let us be mindful of the shut-ins that would love to hear from you. We should also remember those who are less fortunate; so, make some time for those who could use just a little bit more. Also, let’s take some time to slow down and think about what we need to be planning so as to make next year a Great Grange year.

Burns Grange #160


Y2K to 2020
Happy New Year!  It's hard to believe that just twenty years ago around this time of year, people were clearing the store shelves and packing food away awaiting the coming apocalypse when 1999 came to a close and the computers were gonna crash at 12 midnight December 31. Yet here we are, 20 years later the apocalypse has not yet happened, the world did not come to an end, the computers didn’t all crash, and many people still have the same can goods stashed away. While we don’t have that particular worry these days, there are still so many other kinds of threats that we should be prepared for. From natural disasters to mankind nastiness, the start of the new year would be a good time to make sure you have the necessary provisions in any event.

National Grange Session 2019
Our trip to National started out on the wrong foot. We hadn’t even made it out of the county yet when we had a flat tire on the Grange trailer, thanks to a buddy of mine, we were able to get the tire fixed and back on our way. We drove mostly through the night and arrived at the session on Saturday morning around 11:30 am. The session went off without too many hitches.

We should all be proud of our State Grange Overseer Sharon Popler who did an excellent job presenting the flag of the Great State of Michigan, during the opening of the National Session. She also along with Dale Moore represented Michigan in the Sixth degree.

I would also like to thank Peggy Johnston, Luanna Swainston, Arnette Welsh, Dale Moore, and Sharon Popler for their assistance with the hosting duties. There were many compliments on the hospitality room when it was Michigan’s day to take care of.

During each day of session the National Master Betsy Huber recognized members as heroes of the Grange, on Friday Connie and I were recognized, Connie for her work on putting together the delegate folders in a short amount of time and I was recognized for transporting and storing the Seventh Degree supplies and equipment.

All the hard work on the trailer was a success. We heard many compliments on the re-designed trailer. It was said that those traveling by car the same route we were on, could see the trailer from quite a distance. One Granger posted a video on her Facebook page as they passed us on the way to session. We heard the youth were also impressed when they saw the trailer in the parking lot on their way to their tour. Several states even inquired about the process and cost as they may now look into doing their own state trailer the same as ours.

At the banquet they announced the community service awards. We were pleasantly surprised when Michigan’s entry for Teacher of the Year was announced. Vicki Bocek of Durand High School was selected as the National Grange Teacher of the Year. Burns Grange was the nominating Grange and had the honor to present the plaque to Vicki at their Christmas dinner a few weeks ago.

MSD Christmas Party
While I wasn’t able to attend, I heard the Christmas Party for the Michigan School for the Deaf Adopt-a-Child program went very well. This is such a great program and there were many smiles that day from the excited students. If you or your Grange is interested in adopting a child, be sure to get with Luanna Swainston our Deaf Awareness Director.

Until next time……