Three distinct organizations, Vasa Lodges in the west, have recently celebrated milestones.

Monitor Lodge 100!
Monitor Lodge 218, Sacramento, recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary titled Ett Hundre Års Jubileum. The celebration was held in conjunction with District 12’s 97th Convention April 27-29, 2012. After several months of preparation by the “2012 Committee,” chaired by Gail Nemy of Monitor Lodge 218 and co-chaired by Raye Brown of Sierra Kronan Lodge 737 in Roseville, the weekend was a huge success enjoyed by many.
According to Monitor member Arlie Veis, Monitor Lodge 218 was established April 6, 1912, organized by Bernard Anderson of Fylgia Lodge 119, San Francisco. Monitor Lodge was named after Swedish inventor John Ericsson who built the Monitor Ironclad ship of Civil War Fame! Our namesake also helped design the Göta Kanal that traverses Sweden from East to West.
The highlight of Monitor’s celebration took place Saturday evening at a gala banquet attended by convention-goers and Delegates, Grand Lodge Officers and spouses as well as District Officers and spouses. Master of Ceremonies for the evening, PDM Kurt Pfannkuch, skillfully led us through introductions and the Aquavit Toast as we enjoyed Monitor’s own Brännvin and a rousing rendition of Helan Går led by Yvonne Magneheim.
Milestone awards were presented by Grand Master Bill Lundquist to Lillian Stafford, 65 years, and Arlie Veis, 50 years.
Dancing to the Big Band sounds of “The Rotary Rooters” rounded out a very memorable evening.
Contributed by Jack Larson


Sveaborg Lodge 88
Sveaborg Lodge (Concord, CA) held it’s 88th Anniversary Dinner this summer, attended by many members and honored guests.
High point of the event was the “Viking of the Year” award, given annually to a member for outstanding service and dedication to the lodge. Chosen this year was Rosemary Fassl (right), a member since 1997 and very active ever since. She has been leader of the Vasablad Children’s club. The club performs songs and dances at meetings, especially at the Julfest. Additionally, the group has performed at convalescent and retirement homes and for the Sveadal Midsummer. Contributed by Bob Burman

Lindbergh Lodge 85
Lindbergh Lodge #494 (Los Altos, Ca) Celebrates 85th Anniversary
It may have been Friday the 13, but it was not unlucky! September 13, 2012, was the 85th anniversary celebration of VASA District 17’s Lindbergh Lodge #494. Rumor had it that there were more people present to celebrate than at previous anniversaries, and it was easy to believe! Members and guests crowded the lower “green” room and enjoyed mingling with old friends, and welcoming visitors. There were family members, younger members who returned from college for the summer, and guests from other VASA lodges. Our very own Dave Jansson, who is also the current District Master for District 17 of Northern California, presided over the evening. His welcome speech recognized the visitors who traveled to be with us:
Tore Kellgren, Vice Grand Master; Keith Hanlon, Grand Treasurer and his wife Emma Hanlon, Executive Board Member & District 12 Scholarship Chairwoman; Marie Ann Hill, District 12 Cultural Leader and Chairwoman, Tegner Lodge; Robb Laaback, Executive Board Member and Sveaborg Lodge Chairman and his wife, Gay; Anita Peterson, District 12 Historian. From Svea Lodge: Mona Clements and her husband Jerry, Gunnar Lillquist and Jane and Kiki & Jan Nordin. Nancy Wierenga was Doug Anderson’s guest, Kristopher Heinrich is Kerstin Jansson’s grandson, Gloria Germo came as the guest of Tom Rossing, and Muriel Beroza brought her son Paul, daughter Anne Marie & husband Allen Spirytus. From Sweden(!) we were joined by Gunilla Björkegren, Charlotte Fors’ mother.
Dave then read anniversary cards received from the following lodges: Tegner #149, Balder #343, Skogen #700, Linnea #504, Framåt #405 and from Victoria Fedor Thurman, Jr. Past District Master. (credit to the Lindbergh Lodge newsletter for this excerpt).
As the cheerful celebration continued, many folks quietly slipped away from their groups of friends and disappeared upstairs to the dining hall to claim their seats before the usual rush and scramble, when dinner is formally announced. How nice it was to find a spot with your name tag, right next to your friends!
The delicious dinner was catered, and for once the “kitchen crew” was able to sit and enjoy the lovely fare with the rest of us. So often the hard-working ladies who serve us, month after month, for decades on end, neither mingle nor sit with their families, but instead dedicate their energies to the lodge, as a whole, making sure there is enough food for all, that it is served hot, and that when all is said and done at the end of the evening, the kitchen is returned to its pristine condition. It was a pleasure to have these generous, hard-working gals join us at our tables.
Many lively snippets of discussions floated around the room… “I’m going to Sweden at the end of the month, have you been yet this summer?” was heard more than once. Descriptions of parts of the Grand Lodge Convention were given by Vice Grand Master Tore Kellgren and his wife Birgitta, who drove back east for the event earlier this year. Another member was heard sharing exciting results from the genealogy search he was conducting, which turned up some intriguing and unusual information about his ancestors. The younger members (students) sat at one table and their conversation centered on their studies and social activities, plus what they planned on doing this summer. And of course many conversations revolved around the fantastic midsommar celebration held at Sveadal in June.
One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the “Lindbergh Laureat” award. This is a newly-created award to recognize those who have dedicated an outstanding and remarkable amount of time, energy, and resources to the lodge. Past Lindbergh Chairman and current District Master, Dave Jansson created this award, and the first recipients were called up front to receive it. Ken and Ana Johnson made their way up to humbly receive the plaque with their names engraved upon it, while a brief history of their involvement and contributions to Lindbergh Lodge were recounted.
Another highlight was the welcoming of eight new members to the lodge! They are: Annie Pulse, Rosalie Person, Anna Naim, Matts Larsson, Hua Shu, Jim Smith, and Bob and Carol Taggart.
Next, those with September birthdays were honored with a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday” and “Ja må han leva”, and a beautiful cake was served. The floor was cleared and dancing commenced.
This celebration was a perfect illustration of the VASA spirit; rejoicing in the Scandinavian heritage that is alive here in America, and the melding of these two rich cultures.
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Contributed by Ann Marie Richardson