At its 1 p.m. meeting on Sept.10, the Eagle Point grange commemorated longevity of members celebrating 25 to 80 continuous years of participation. Oregon State Grange Master Phyllis Wilson drove here from Salem to present the awards.
Commendations went to Bertha Clayton for 25 years of loyal service;
sisters Doris Grosch, and Arlene Hoffman, marking 55 years; Roberta
Hill, Chloe Palm, and Ruth Carrol completing 60 years; and Lorane
Zimmerman, 70 years. Wilson then read a letter conveying special
recognition from William A. Steele, National Grange Master in
Washington, D. C. to Eva Wilson, (no relation.) Crowning her
extraordinary achievement-eighty years of steadfast patronage–Eva
Wilson also celebrates her 94th birthday on September 14, 2007.
joined Sams Valley’s grange in 1927 when I was fourteen," the honoree
said. She transferred to Eagle Point in 1958, serving as treasurer
during her first 25 years there. In that quarter century she missed
just two meetings. With an impish grin, she blamed those lapses on one
Hawaiian vacation, and the unforeseen delivery of one new car.
State’s grange memorialized the occasion with a souvenir card for Eva
Wilson. Eagle Point grange master Virginia Kula presented a lovely
bouquet of mixed flowers and a birthday cake from fellow lodge members.
They also shared chocolate and carrot cakes bearing congratulations to
all award recipients.
Asked about changes she’d observed over
eight decades, Eva Wilson noted originally the grange was about farms,
but the emphasis gradually shifted away from farming.
long-time members echoed the same sentiment. Eagle Point native and
sixty-six year member Barbara Hickman, said the grange was once "the
hub of the community."
"I joined the grange because my mother did." Grosch commented. "But it’s shrinking."
and raised locally, Helen Wolgamott said her folks were charter
members. Wolgamott rejoined the Eagle Point grange forty years ago
after having been a junior member.
Grange Master since 1996, Kula
agrees with the logic of recruiting newer, younger members to replace
those who’ll eventually age out. She defended some of the changes in
the organization’s activities. "We celebrate ground hog day in
February; hold July 4 breakfasts; bazaars in May and December; a
community Thanksgiving dinner in November. We filled 10 boxes last year
with turkey fixings and ham for families whose budgets were squeezed
tight." Junior Grangers can be as young as five, Kula says. Like Eva
Wilson, you can be in the adult grange as young as fourteen.
By F.C. Blake
Of the Independent