In 1908, a lodge was formed in Northeast Ohio as part of the Vasa Organization - a Swedish fraternal organization. There are VASA organizations in Sweden, Canada, United States, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway.
In 2008, Nobel-Monitor Lodge #130 celebrated their 100th anniversary. The Lodge has approximately 300 members and in addition to preserving the Swedish heritage and culture, they are quite active in doing works for the good and welfare of the other members.
A ceremony based on century old tradition and rituals takes place to accept new members. The members take an oath to, among other things, tend to the needs of the other members.
There was a dinner dance in April to commemorate this event.
The Vasa Order of America began as an opportunity for Swedish immigrants to meet other Swedes when they came to this country. Initially only Swedish men were allowed to join.
Rolf Bergman, Grand Master of entire District
The Order helped the immigrants learn English and acquainted them with the ways of Americans. The organization is named for Gustav Vasa, the first King of Sweden who liberated Sweden in the 16th century.
Through the years, the Vasa Order changed in many ways, including the inclusion of all Scandinavian countries and of course, women are now welcome. The Order is still rich with traditions and rites form "the old country".
Leonard and Carol Leonard Ullman - married 46 years
One of the ways Vasa attempts to keep in touch with the ways of their ancestors is by the celebrations they observe. At the Nobel-Monitor Lodge Midsummer is celebrated with a May pole, not unlike the ones you would find in Sweden.
Leif Erickson Day is celebrated on October. It is a day of remembrance of all of the contributions Nordics people have made to the United States.
And of course, in December Santa Lucia is observed. The young lady chosen to represent Lucia in the festival is quite honored.
Kristina Johnson (age 14) this year's Lucia and her sister Julie, a previous Lucia
The day is marked with singing and Swedish music as well as a procession, led by children carrying candles, marking the way for Lucia.
Nobel-Monitor also offers scholarships and language lessons.
Marty Bergman with the 100 Year Cake
Maria and Emil Arvidson
Cultural Chairman Bo Carlsson and wife Glenda
Robert Dennis and Joanne Gerhart
Mary Schoeniger and Sharen Swanson Tizzano
Marty Bergman and Karen Arvidson Chilcote
Bo Carlsson at the piano
Marilyn Johnson, daughters Kristina and Julie, family friend Anna Rietsch and father Ken Johnson
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