Maine Granger Pens Book on Order

BY LORETTA NIETO
Communication Fellow at National Grange Convention

Signing

Photo by Karie Blasingame

There are many current Grangers who do not have a full understanding of why the Grange participates and carries on the many traditions that it does, therefore, Walter Boomsma wrote the book titled, “Exploring Traditions–Celebrating the Grange Way of Life.”

This book is not a manual expressing how people can become Grangers. However, it is an explanation of the many traditions and rituals that Grangers have practiced for 150 years.

A Granger of 16 years and a communication director of the state of Maine, Boomsma had been writing monthly columns about exploring traditions in the Grange for three years. Then he was presented with the idea of gathering all of the columns he had written and publishing them as a book. In agreement to the idea, Boomsma felt that it was important to revive the understanding of the many rituals and traditions that Grangers participate in because many individuals have lost their understanding within the 150 years of why they do what they do.

“My main example is the ritual of being mindful of when to cross and not cross between the altar and the Graces. Many Grangers do not know why this is a ritual and they follow it because that’s all they have ever known. The reason it is important is because it is a form of respect for women” Boomsma said.

So he decided to expand on what the mission of Grange is, the purposes that Grange was built on and showing readers that the Grange is more than a historical organization. The Grange teaches ways of life and how working through communities makes the world a more efficient place.

In Stowe, Vermont at the National Convention on Wednesday morning Boomsma will be holding a book signing. “The message that I want people to take away after reading my book is that the Grange has a huge opportunity to become more relevant through its rituals” and in order to fulfill becoming more relevant Grangers have to learn that middle ground, consisting of keeping rituals but being comfortable with  transitioning into modern-day styles, Boomsma said. Letting go of the phrase, “that’s the way we have always done it,” is the primary step of moving forward to letting the Grange flourish as an organization.

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