Nordstjernan 1917

Page 1

The Swedish North Star, continuously published since 1872. Price per copy $3.50. Volume 147 No. 17, December 01, 2019.

THE VASA STAR pages 31-46

View over Skeppsholmen with the permanently anchored Af Chapman, now serving as a hostel, Hedvig Eleonora Church on Östermalm in the background.

Slöjd skills are life skills

Hosting a glögg party

“Necessity is the mother of invention” can surely be applied to much our practical and very skilled Scandinavian forefathers, not the least those who lived on farms – in Sweden and the U.S. alike – where even children had to work. But in 1878 when it was mandatory for kids to go to school, an innovative Swede recognized that life skills classes were still needed. / p15

Glühwein, gløgg, mulled wine–indeed many cultures have a variation on what Swedes know as glögg. But glögg is different, special, packed not only with unique spices, almonds and raisins, but also with tradition. Try these authentically Swedish and modern recipes for your own glögg party – with converted measurements for guaranteed success. / p 18

Healthy kids eat right

20 Page 30

The now sugar-free Swedish tomten named Sustainable Santa (AKA Skinny Santa after he started to eat healthfully and lost some weight), whose efforts have spread among farmers markets and families up and down the West Coast, continues to campaign with a special Christmas wish: that American children will eat healthfully and end childhood obesity. / p24

dashboard | december 01, 2019 SCANDINAVIAN QUIZ

what name could you find the first recording of Swedish tenor Jussi 1 Under Björling before he was known as the

6 What company was founded 70 years ago as Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget? A) SAS B) SAAB C) ABBA D) Anna’s Swedish Thins

2 At quality control, the weight of a wrapped polka gris (47-54 grams) is determined by what? A) Amalia’s 1895 scale B) the inspector’s eye C) a robot named Tomte D) the King

Queen Christina B) King Gustavus II Adolphus C) Elvis D) King Erik XIV

greatest operatic voice of the 20th cen- 7 December is a popular month for Swedish tury? A) Eric Odde B) Swedish Cakings’ birthdays, but it also marks the time ruso C) JJ Bjoerling D) Jussi Tivoli in 1626 when who abdicated the throne? A)

Born in Borlänge, Sweden in 1911 into a musical family, Jussi Björling made his debut at age 5 and sang with his father and brothers in Björlingkvartetten (the Björling Male Quartet) throughout Sweden and U.S. for more than a decade. There was a special quality to Jussi’s sound that set him apart: exquisite tonal beauty with unparalleled shimmering top notes, amazing breath control, rhythmic accuracy and spot-on intonation. His wasn’t a huge voice, but his emotional range was phenomenal with artistic sensibility and musical intelligence, and consistent tonal quality from the bottom of his range to the top. It was described as “a voice full of unshed tears,” and by those who sang with him as far more beautiful in person than on his recordings, if that can be possible. From whence this unique talent originated is often speculated, but whatever the reason, it had the power to move the listener like no other. This largely testifies to the enduring quality of his vocal legacy long after his untimely death at the age of 49. The Björling legacy is still actively preserved by the Scandinavian Jussi Björling Society, the UK’s Jussi Björling Appreciation Society, and the Jussi Björling Society-USA (www. For information on a new book about the singer’s family, see page 23. Name’s Days of the Swedish Calendar Namnsdagar i november

December 01 December 02 December 03 December 04 December 05 December 06 December 07 December 08 December 09 December 10 December 11 December 12 December 13 December 14 December 15 December 1

New York Chicago Stockholm Kiruna Lund Los Angeles 2 NORDSTJERNAN

Oskar/Ossian Beata/Beatrice Lydia Barbara/Barbro Sven Nikolaus/Niklas Angela/Angelika Virginia Anna Malin/Malena Daniel/Daniela Alexander/Alexis Lucia Sten/Sixten Gottfrid |

Sunrise & Sunset

7.00 am 4.29 pm 6.58 am 4.20 pm 8.16 am 2.56 pm 10.08 am 12.47 pm 8.11 am 3.40 pm 6.40 am 4.43 pm

3 Who was the first U.S. Ambassador to Sweden in 1782? A) Benjamin Franklin B) George Washington C) Abigail Adams D) Paul Revere

4 The official Christmas tree in London’s Trafalgar Square has come from what Nordic country every year since 1946? A) Sweden B) Finland C) Norway D) Iceland 5 Throughout the Nobel Prize’s 118-year history, how many would-be winners declined the prize? A) 0 B) 2 C) 4 D) 10 CULTURE


8 100 years after Carl Larsson’s death in 1919, what can we find at his home in Sundborn, Sweden? A) his Model T collection B) greatgrandchildren C) art D) giant straw julbock

9 What Swedish diplomat (posthumously) became an honorary American in 1981? A) Raoul Wallenberg B) Dag Hammarskjöld C) Folke Bernadotte 10 Sweden boasts 15 UNESCO World Heritage sites, but which country comes in second with nine? A) Norway B) Finland C) Iceland D) Denmark

Answers: 1:A, 2:B, 3:A, 4:C, 5:B, 6:B, 7:A, 8:C, 9:A, 10:D

The bust of Borlänge’s son, Jussi Björling, greets visitors outside the Jussi Björling Museum.


Sven - December 5 Sven is Old Norse for “young man” or “young warrior.” The original spelling in Old Norse was Sveinn. Over the centuries, many northern European rulers have carried the name including Sweyn I of Denmark (Sven Gabelbart), who established Danish rule over Norway and successfully invaded England in the year 1002. An old legend says the pagan king Blot-Sven ordered the execution of the Anglo-Saxon monk Saint Eskil. In medieval Swedish “sven” (or “sven av vapen” (sven of arms) is a term for squire. Daniel — December 11 Daniel is a masculine Hebrew name menaing “God is my judge.” The name Daniel has been used in Sweden since the 13th century but became common only after the Reformation. In 1992, it was the fifth most common name for boys. In 2005, there were 78,711 Daniels in Sweden.

founded in new york city in september 1872 Nordstjernan (ISSN 1059-7670), founded in New York City in September 1872, is published by Swedish News, Inc., 570 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022 • Readers services and editorial submissions: P.O. Box 1710, New Canaan, CT 06840 Periodicals Postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices., Nordstjernan is published semimonthly, except for the months of January, February, September when it is monthly and Augustwith no issue. POST MASTER: Please send address changes to Nordstjernan, P.O. Box 1710, New Canaan, CT 06840 Subscription rates: 1 yr. = $55, Two yr. = $99, outside US 1 yr. = $167.

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this week…

December TO DO 12.01 BERED EN VÄG FÖR HERRAN AND START THAT GLÖGG TO SIMMER: FÖRSTA ADVENT / It’s the first Sunday of Advent, the day Christians begin to prepare the way for Jesus - a cause for celebration, most appropriately with the season’s first glögg and pepparkakor. 12.02 FREEDOM OF THE PRESS: The first press law (“tryckfrihetsförordningen”) is adopted in Sweden, with rules regarding official documents and a ban on censorship. Year? 1766 and the first such law in the world. In 1949, this press law was adopted as one of Sweden’s “grundlagar” (the Swedish constitution). 12.06 LEAVE OUT A SHOE FOR ST. NICK: NIKLAS NAMNSDAG / Yes, it’s his namesday but it’s also when Christians in different regions of the world celebrate St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, who still brings coins to children (and maybe some brides in need of a dowry). 12.09 GUSTAV II ADOLF WAS BORN ON THIS DAY in 1594. Known more widely as Gustavus II Adolphus, “The Golden King” or “The Lion of the North,” he was king from 1611 to 1632 and is credited for the founding of Sweden as a great power. He only lived to age 37.

Hosting your own glögg party. /Page 18

Dashboard, p4-5

Digital service for pet owners / the Swedish book boat / Record in venture capital / Another win in Sweden / Record holiday sales? / New ambassador to Sweden / Making America Greta, one mural at a time / Highest satisfaction award for Chalmers.

Events calendar + Christmas in Swedish America, p6-13 Page 4

12.10 NOBEL DAY. More on Alfred Nobel, Awesome & Swedish, p16. 12.13 CELEBRATE SANKTA LUCIA: LUCIA DAGEN / Today is the day in Sweden, though in the U.S., Swedish Americans have their Lucia celebrations whenever they can, throughout the first half of December.

Not just another Swede holiday contest The most important time of the year is here, Thanksgiving and then Christmas, and once again our friends at Cloetta, the Swedish confectionery company founded in 1862, wanted to spread Swedish Christmas joy in the U.S. They’ve sent us samples of their 2019 limited edition holiday candy, the marshmallow gummy santas known as “Juleskum tomtar.” This year, the Juleskum special flavor is another Swedish original, the crowdpleasing, voter-favorite: polka (see more about that on p30 and yes, it looks like peppermint because it is). The Cloetta limited edition skumtomtar aren’t (yet?) available in the U.S., but here’s how you can win yours!

1. Scramble the letters of NORDSTJERNAN to come up with different English or Swedish words. 2. Your words should all have at least four (4) letters (extra consideration given for Swedish words with more than 4 letters). 3. Email your list to by Dec. 25, 2019. The first six (6) with the most words will be declared the winners and will be notified via email around Jan 1, 2020 (if you prefer to call, dial 1.800.827.9333). 4. Optional: While you’re at it, feel free to comment about anything you’d like us to know, any suggestions you have for future coverage or would like to share! Wherever you live in Scandinavian America, the likelihood of having a Swedish Lucia and/or Christmas celebration nearby is very high. Join your fellow Scandinavian Americans to make this season special and remember to patronize our hard working organizers of events and equally hard working specialty stores for all the things that belong to the season. Turn to our comprehensive listing of Christmas celebrations beginning on page 8 and let us know if we missed something in your area by emailing Wishing everyone safe and happy holiday preparations!

Coming soon near you: Digital services for your pets, made in Sweden. /Page 4

Art & Culture, p15

Slöjd skills are life skills. Slöjd, once a must for decent survival in rural Sweden later became a mandatory part of public school.

Swedish News, p26

Dorotea dads use paternity leave / Threats against politicians / The cost of alcohol / Fears about climate change determine behaviors / Early alcohol debut less common / M: reduce asylum seekers Page 24

Santa wants kids to eat healthy ... /Page 24 The Exchange Rate:

$1.00 = SEK 9.65 (11.15.2019)

DECEMBER 01, 2019 3

dashboard | december 01, 2019

Kalixlöjrom — a Swedish delicacy protected by Protected Geographical Status, defined in European Union law to protect the names of regional foods.

Löjrom loses ecolabelling The trawl fishery for whitefish bleak roe (Siklöja) in the Gulf of Bothnia loses its MSC mark for sustainable fishing, reports Sweden’s radio. The reason is that fishermen and authorities do not agree on how to manage the stock of whitefish. “You have to have a functioning model for oversight,” says Karin Stange, responsible for fisheries issues at MSC. This year’s fishing ended on October 31 and the certificate is not withdrawn until November 9, which means this year’s catch is not affected. The MSC, the Marine Stewardship Council, is an international non-profit organization that promotes sustainable fishing.

The stories, the traditions, the people behind the news. founded in new york city in september 1872 executive editor

& publisher:

Digital service for pet owners We wrote about online doctors in our previous issue. In recent years, digital veterinary visits through a mobile app have also become quite common, a concept similar to the services of online doctors. One of the animal apps is Firstvet, which is already available in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and the UK. Firstvet was launched in 2016 and offers pet owners veterinary visits through smartphones, tablets and computers. Through partnerships with insurance companies, the service is free for anyone with a valid insurance. Firstvet’s veterinarians offer advice, diagnosis, referral and to some extent also prescriptions. If a physical examination is needed, the company can refer sick or injured animals to the nearest and most suitable physical clinic. The company recently received a capital boost of SEK 200 million (roughly $20 million). The money will finance continued international expansion. Firstvet has set its sights on the U.S.,

Germany and France. An early investor, Creandum, also known as an early investor in Spotify had this to say already in 2018: “We knew from the beginning that Firstvet would do for digital animal care what Kry did for telemedicine. There are many similarities between the areas, but one advantage of the veterinarian side is that it is less regulated than human care, which allows Firstvet to expand abroad faster.” (Sanna Westman, Creandum’s blog) The veterinary app has 200,000 registered users and 150 veterinarians in its network. “Firstvet is the first neutral player in the world to coordinate animal care. This is a highly privatized industry, but our reliable services add value to the entire sector and we are growing extremely fast,” David Prien, CEO and co-founder recently said on tech. eu. In 2018, the company had sales of just under SEK 17 million ($1.7 million). For more info, see

Ulf Barslund Mårtensson ( editor:

Amanda Olson Robison ( managing editor & production: Everett Martin graphic design: Nadia Wojcik ( contributors:

Chipp Reid - Ted Olsson - Leif Rosqvist - Kitty Hughes Ulf Kirchdorfer - Valorie Arrowsmith Bo Zaunders - Göran Rygert - James Kaplan - Gunilla Blixt publications director:

nordstjernan p.o. box 1710 new canaan ct 06840 contact us at 1.800.827.9333 ext 10 for reader services, email:; ext 12 for advertising, email: Covering three worlds: Sweden, America and Swedish America. Order your own copy, $55.00 for a year (18 issues) Choose ‘subscribe’ at or call 1.800.827.9333, ext 10 4 NORDSTJERNAN

Bokbåten, the Swedish book boat has finished its second tour of the year. Every spring and fall, the Stockholm Library Service rents a boat to bring a floating library to people living on more remote islands in the Stockholm archipelago. The boat, which carries over 3,000 books, docks at 23 inhabited islands, and residents climb on board, return books from the last visit and check out the latest titles. Sweden also has library buses and pop-up libraries to bring books to people in rural communities. And you wonder why Sweden has among the highest literacy rates in the world.…


Mette Barslund Mårtensson (; 800.827.9333, ext 12)

dashboard | december 01, 2019 The financial newspaper Dagens Industri reports that record sums of venture capital were invested in Swedish startups in 2019. A review of statistics from the Nordic Tech List shows that the total amount invested at the beginning of November was about SEK 22 billion. The corresponding figures for the full year 2017 and 2018 were SEK 11 billion and just under SEK 14 billion. It is mainly the industries Fintech (Klarna, Bynk), energy (Northvolt) and transportation (Northvolt) that have collected the most money.

Ambassador Kenneth Alan Howery is received by H.M. the King Carl XVI Gustaf to hand over his letter of credence from the President of the United States. The Milles statue of Poseidon in Göteborg.

Another win in Sweden

Gothenburg, Sweden has been named 2019’s world’s most sustainable destination by The Global Destination Sustainability Index—again. Sweden’s second city, which lies on the west coast halfway between Copenhagen and Oslo, is the world’s most sustainable destination, a rank its had every year since 2016. Gothenburg is a green city, in part thanks to its closeness to forests and parks but also because of its compact layout and plentiful public transportation, 65 percent of which runs on renewable energy. But that’s just part of the story. “To us, sustainability is very much about making a livable and a lovable city. If the people of Gothenburg like living here, then other people will probably like to come here, too,” says Katarina Thorstensson, head of sustainability at Göteborg & Co. tourism board.

Record holiday sales?

Despite an uncertain economic climate, the analysis company HUI Research estimates Swedish Christmas sales will set a record again. The forecast is that growth in December will be 3 percent, corresponding to sales of SEK 79.8 billion ($8 billion). Adjusted for price developments, this is an increase of 2 percent over last year. According to HUI, the explanation is “negative interest rates, population growth and an eceonomy that has not yet cooled down completely.” Last year’s December sales were down from previous years, mainly due to a period of record high sales in November. Holiday retail sales in the U.S. for 2019 are forecast to increase 4.5-5 percent, exceeding $1.1 trillion, according to an annual survey by Deloitte.

New ambassador to Sweden After a formal swearing-in for his new role as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden, American entrepreneur Kenneth Alan Howery went to Sweden and met His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf to offer his credentials on November 7, marking his official tenure as US Ambassador to Sweden. After 28 months without anyone in the position, both nations look forward to continuing the 236-and-counting prosperous years as global partners. Howery,

44, graduated from Stanford University in 1998 with a B.A. in economics and is an accomplished venture capitalist and entrepreneur who has specialized in creating and funding technology companies, among them PayPal and Founders Fund. As the United States Ambassador to Sweden, Howery serves as the official diplomatic representative of the American president and government of the United States of America to the King and the government of the Kingdom of Sweden.

Making America Greta, one mural at a time Artist Andrés Petreselli has painted a huge mural in San Francisco: of Swedish teenage climate activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Greta Thunberg. Near Union Square, the mural is designed to draw attention to climate change, with Thunberg’s concerned gaze making anyone stop and consider their own environmental impact - which is exactly the point of the project,

sponsored by “She sets examples for the whole world,” said Petreselli, who is donating his time and talent for the cause. Greta herself set sail again and is reportedly on her way to Spain, sailing with an Australian couple in a 48-foot catamaran. The decision to leave the Americas prematurely was made after the climate talks were relocated from Santiago de Chile to Madrid in Spain.

Highest satisfaction award for Chalmers

Earlier this year ​C halmers University of Technology (covered in Nordstjernan 19/14) beat 250 other universities from 46 different countries in the category “highest overall satisfaction” in the newly launched Global Student Satisfaction Awards. Jens Hansson, International Liaison Officer​at Chalmers, was in Washington, DC to receive the award. For more info, see www.studyportals. com, DECEMBER 01, 2019 5

Photo: Lisa Raihle Rehbäck/Kungl. Hovstaterna

Record in venture capital

local events

Local Events Florida Clearwater 12.06, 11:45 AM - 2:45 PM Suncoast Scandinavian Club: Our December luncheon meeting with entertainment by Swedish-American accordionist Bruce Ralg and annual bake sale. $17/visitor. RSVP required to Cherstin Peterson, 732.546.7756 or sunscanclub1965@gmail. com /

Illinois Chicago 12.03, 5-7 PM Candle Making & Christmas Crafts: Make your own hand-dipped candle and other Swedish decorations. Swedish American Museum, 773.728.8111 / museum@samac. org/ 12.13, 10 M – 4 PM Bonader Wall Hangings Exhibit Opening: One of the most remarkable examples of Scandinavian folk art is the painted picture indigenous to the Swedish peasant home. These peasant paintings, CALLED “bonader,” decorated the walls and ceilings of the homes at Christmas time and on feast days, adding a note of color and gaiety to the otherwise dark interiors. Through Jan. 12, 2020 at the Swedish American Museum, 917.495.8396 / www.

12.15, 4 PM Gingerbread House Decoration: Learn how to make the gingerbread house of your dreams with Ann Cutler, lead cookie decorator at Bittersweet Pastry Shop in Chicago. $25 includes everything you need /ages 12+. Prepaid reservations required, Swedish American Museum, 773.728.8111 /

Minnesota Duluth 12.08, 1-3 PM SunFUNday—Pepperkakebyen Prints: Make gingerbread greeting cards and wrapping paper for your holiday use. $5. Nordic Center, 218-390-8426 / www. Through 12.15, 1-5 PM Pepperkakebyen: The 8th Annual Gingerbread City exhibit is hosted by the Nordic Center, the Sons of Norway Norton Lodge, and the UMD art education student, and made by community members of all ages. Nordic Center, 218390-8426 / / www. Minneapolis 12.01-12.22 Making Traditions—Music & Family Craft: Drop in during designated weekend times for music, dance, handcraft and more —a joyous chance for all ages to build memories and new holiday traditions. Free. American Swedish Institute, 612.871.4907 /

SAN FRANCISCO Söndag 8 december kl 11.00

ADVENTSGUDSTJÄNST i Norska Sjömanskyrkan på Hyde Street. Församlingspräst Mary Philipson predikar och Zaida Singers sjunger in julen.

Söndag 15 december kl 15.00


i Norska Sjömanskyrkan. Traditionellt luciatåg och julbön. Efteråt serveras kaffe, lussekatter och pepparkakor.

Lördag 21 december kl 15.00

ADVENTSGUDSTJÄNST i Los Altos Lutheran Church med församlingspräst Mary Philipson. Efteråt serveras Kyrkkaffe och saft

Tisdag 24 december kl 11.00

SAMLING KRING KRUBBAN och julbön med församlingspräst Mary Philipson och pianist Therese Brewitz. Se Facebook för mer info!

SVENSKA KYRKAN SAN FRANCISCO Norska Sjömanskyrkan, 2454 Hyde Street, San Francisco Tel: 415-632-8504 Epost: Hemsida: 6 NORDSTJERNAN

12.5-12.19, 7-8:30 PM Glogg Tours: Take a step back in time with comedy tinged tours to explore the decorations and stories of Scandinavian holiday traditions and ASI itself over the past 90 years —with curated cocktails and specialty appetizers. American Swedish Institute, 612.871.4907 / 12.18, 6:30-8 PM Åh Snaps! In this workshop, participants will learn several popular snapsvisor and how to skål properly in order to celebrate like a true Swede – just in time for the julbord season! Water provided to skål with, or participants can purchase a drink from FIKA. American Swedish Institute, 612.871.4907 /

12.04-12.12, 6:30 PM Celebrating Liv Ullmann— a film festival: In celebration of Liv Ullmann, recipient of the 2019 American-Scandinavian Foundation Gold Medal, Scandinavia House presents a retrospective of the acclaimed Norwegian actress, director and humanitarian’s roles and work with leading auteurs. Scandinavia House, 212.847.9729 / Shelter Island Ongoing Helena Hernmarck exhibit: Shadow and Light is showing at Shelter Island Historical Society, Nov 23-May 2020 , 631.749.0025 /

Scandia 12.07, 10 AM Annie’s Swedish Coffee Party: Annie, Gammelgården’s oldest resident, is the inspiration behind our traditional Swedish 3-course coffee party. A perfect way to celebrate the holidays with a special Jul program. Also 12.21 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. RSVP, $15. Gammelgarden Museum, 651.433.5053 / 12.14, 10 AM & ! PM Girls & Dolls Tea Parties: Girls ages 6-96 are invited to a fancy tea party with your doll, games, dances, crafts, music and stories about the legend and celebration of Sankta Lucia. RSVP, $20. Gammelgarden Museum, 651.433.5053 /

New York 12.04, 6:30 PM Nordic movie screening: Jan Troell Zandy’s Bride (1974), 116 min. in English. When the hardboiled late 19th-century rancher Zandy (Gene Hackman) decides to take a mail-order bride, he wants a woman who can bear his child and aid him in the daily struggles of country living. But his new bride Hannah (Liv Ullmann) is anything but compliant. Scandinavia House, 212.847.9729 / chelsea@amscan. org / 12.05, 5-7 PM Nordic movie screening: Out Stealing Horses, filmed in the breathtaking landscape of mountains and rivers between Norway and Sweden, is a tale of Trond Sander’s (Stellan Skarsgård) chance run-in with someone, evoking memories from a long-ago, fateful summer. Directed by Hans Petter Moland (2019), who will be present for a Q&A following the movie. Scandinavia House, 212.847.9729 / chelsea@amscan. org / 12.07, 2-3:30 PM Nordic Christmas Children’s Workshop: Children (ages 5–10) and their grownups experience how Scandinavians prepare for Christmas in this special day, which includes a brief candlelit St. Lucia procession, woven hearts and yarn tomtar. Scandinavia House, 212.847.9729 / /

For more info on Hernmarck and her work, see “Awesome & Swedish” p16 Oregon Portland 12.15, 7:30 PM Portland Scandinavian Chorus Concert: Celebrating holiday music in Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish and English. Nordia House, 503.977.0275 /

Pennsylvania Philadelphia 12.17, 10:30-11:30 AM Toddler Time—Warm holiday traditions: Learn about fun Swedish holiday traditions such as St. Lucia Day, pepparkakor and Jultomte. We will read Lucia Morning in Sweden by Ewa Rydåker and dance to seasonal music! Now is the perfect time to join the museum and receive double discounts in the gift shop, too. $5/child or free/members and accompanying caregivers. American Swedish Historical Museum, 215.389.1776 / www. 12.26, 3:30-8 PM Museum & Glögg Tour: Enjoy our general gallery tour, with a few extra items on Scandinavian drinking traditions, as well as a glögg tasting at 5 p.m. between the tours at 3:30 or 6 p.m. Space is limited, register in advance to reserve your spot. American Swedish Historical Museum, 215.389.1776 /

local events Christmas Concert: Celebrate an early Christmas with instrumental music and choral singing by Scandinavian Women’s Chorus of Rhode Island. At Emanuel Lutheran Church, 401.450.9217 /

Texas 12.07, 1-5 PM Cooky Party: This annual event shows how much cookies mean in our culture, it isn’t a cookie exchange but an exchange of sugar and fellowship: Please bring a tray of homemade treats to add to ours, and we will also be demonstrating how to make rosettes, krumkaker, goro and kringle. Wooden Spoon, 972.424.6867 / t w o n o r d i c @ a o l . c o m / w w w.


An Old World Christmas At Old World Wisconsin, in the southeast corner of the state, “An Old World Christmas” welcomes you on December 7-8 and 14-15 to enjoy interactive experiences inspired by holiday customs brought to Wisconsin by immigrants who shaped the traditions still practiced today—including a special claim to fame known well in Sweden: one of the world’s largest straw yule goats. The OWW Yule Goat is inspired by Gävle, Sweden's giant straw julbock, Gävlebocken, and the immigrant Swedes who brought with them and made small straw goats. (A tradition the Swedes didn’t bring with them? Trying to torch the giant julbock in record time before Christmas.) More than 100 hours of labor, 250 sheaves of rye and 50 yards of red ribbon go into building the 12-foot-tall OWW julbock, who is a prime selfie spot for many families—and at least one marriage proposal in the last couple years. Come see for yourself at Old World Wisconsin in Eagle, 262.594.6301 / Ongoing The Finnish Cause is Ours: 2019 marks 80 years since the first of three wars fought by Finland to defend its territory. During the devastating war years, Finland’s government worked with neighboring Nordic countries to evacuate 70,000 Finnish children. This exhibit explores the experiences of these children and their

difficulties during transportation, moving to Sweden, and for some, returning to Finland. Through January at American Swedish Historical Museum, 215.389.1776 /

Rhode Island West Warwick 12.01, 3-4 PM

Seattle 12.05, 10-11 AM Nordic Stories: The Polar Bear Wish by Lori Evert and Per Breiehagen, features children’s tales along with a fun craft project. Free. Nordic National Museum, 206.789.5707 / 12.05, 6:30-8 PM Weaving Christmas Hearts: Learn how to make this old Scandinavian tradition without ripping the paper and losing your patience or your Christmas spirit! Ingela Wänerstrand teaches how to make the basic hearts as well as more complex ones. Nordic National Museum, 206.789.5707 / 12.07, 10-11:30 AM Gingerbread House Family Program: Decorate a gingerbread house with candy and other goodies to make your home festive for the holidays. The café is open for refreshments during this program. $20-$30 family/one house per family, reservations are required: Nordic National Museum, 206.789.5707 / www. 12.10, 12-3 PM Soup and Cinema: A Christmas Story (Finland): Celebrate the season with this

Finnish story of the altruistic giver St. Nicholas, the man who became Santa Claus in myth and legend—and whose life, shown here from childhood on, radiates with messages of selflessness and friendship. Freya will serve hot soup, with fresh bread, coffee and cookies. Nordic National Museum, 206.789.5707 / 12.12, 5:30-8 PM Glögg & Meatballs: Celebrate Christmas early at Skål Beer Hall in Ballard! Join fellow Scandinavians in celebrating Christmas properly—with meatballs, herring and salmon. We look forward to seeing you there. SACC-Seattle / info@sacc-seattle. org /

Wisconsin Hales Corners 12.07, 12-2 PM Winter Gnomes: Build a Scandinavian winter gnome, nisse or tomte out of fresh evergreens. This easy floral craft makes an excellent holiday decoration or gift, and is great for families to build together! All supplies provided, though we recommend bringing a pair of hand pruners and gardening gloves. $25 members/$30 non-members, Boerner Botanical Gardens, 414.525.5653 / www.

For more local events in Swedish America see our online calendar at www. or download the free app Nordic in America-Events from App Store or Google Play

Lucia Nights

December 13 and 14

DECEMBER 01, 2019 7

local events

Christmas in Swedish America California

Kingsburg 12.07, 11 AM - 7 PM Santa Lucia Celebration, 559.897.1111 / Los Angeles 12.01, 11 AM 1 Adventmässa. Svenska Kyrkan LA. www. Los Angeles 12.08, 10 AM - 5 PM 41st annual Christmas Fair: Swedish crafts, culture, baked goods, Lucia pageant and Santa’s Workshop, glögg. At Torrance Cultural Arts Center, 626.710.2371 / www. Petaluma 12.15, 1-4 PM Lucia Pageant: Traditional Lucia Pageant and fika, singing and dancing around the tree, Santa. / San Diego - Balboa Park 12.13, 5-8 PM Christmas Dinner and Lucia: Procession, Swedish food and drinks. RSVP www. San Francisco 11.29 - 12.01, 9:30 AM - 5 PM Open House with Scandinavian Christmas carols at Nordic House, 800.854.6435 / 12.06, 12- 3 PM Christmas Luncheon: Lucia procession, glögg, herring and gingersnaps, silent auction and Secret Santa gifts. At House of Filoli, 415.942.4722 /

12.07, 9 AM-4PM SWEA San Francisco Christmas Fair: Lucia at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., traditional crafts, imported gifts, Swedish folk music and dancing. At St Mary’s Cathedral, 650.291.4191 / www.sanfrancisco.swea. org/christmas-fair

Santa Cruz 12.07, 4PM Lucia: Lucia, the Zaida Singers, Jultomten, cookies, crafts and dancing. At Peace United Church of Christ, 831.425.9725 /

12.08, 11 AM-12 PM Swedish Advent Service: 2nd Advent service with coffee afterward. Swedish Church San Francisco, 925.357.7145 /


12.15, 4:30 PM Santa Lucia Celebration: Lucia procession, lussekatter, glögg, and Scandinavian treats at Swedish American Hall. The Young Scandinavians Club, / 12.15, 3-4 PM Lucia Celebration: Lucia procession, choir, coffee, gingerbread cookies and saffron buns. Swedish Church San Francisco, 925.357.7145 / sanfrancisco 12.21, 3-5 PM Swedish Advent Service: 3rd Advent service with coffee afterward. Swedish Church San Francisco, 925.357.7145 / 12.24, 11 AM- 12 PM Christmas Prayer/Julkrubba Christmas prayer (“julkrubba”) on Christmas Eve. Children welcome to participate. Swedish Church San Francisco, 925.357.7145 /

Denver 12.07, 10:30 AM - 3 PM Swedish Christmas Market: Traditional Swedish food and bake sale, glögg, Lucia and Santa. At Calvary Baptist Church, / www.denver.swea. org 12.14, 5:30 -9 PM Lucia Festival: Celebration with dinner and Lucia procession. Swedish Club of Denver, 303.933.1819 / www.swedishclubofdenver. org Longmont 12.08, 6 PM Swedish Candlelight Service: Lucia procession at the historic Ryssby Church, 303.960.7309 /


Fairfield 12.07, 10 AM -3 PM Scandinavian Club Holiday Fair: Artisan vendors, Nordic gifts, baked goods, Santa, holiday smorgåsbord: seatings @ 12 and 1 p.m. RSVP to / Westport 12.14, 5:15 PM Lucia Celebration: Lucia procession, glögg and Swedish delicacies. At Christ & Holy Trinity Church. Swedish School of Connecticut, /


Wilmington 12.08, 1:30 & 3 PM Santa Lucia Celebration: The Delaware Swedish Colonial Society and Old Swedes Historic Site at Old Swedes Church. / www.



Pancake Mix and

LINGONBERRIES • Fresh Frozen • Preserves 1-800-201-9650 8 NORDSTJERNAN

Davie 12.01, 4 PM Adventsgudstjänst. Svenska kyrkan in Florida, / www. Lake Worth 12.08, 2-4 PM Nordic Club’s Christmas Party: Glögg, sandwiches, desserts, music and raffle. Nordic Heritage Club,


Atlanta 12.07, 6:30 - 11:30 PM Lucia Gala 2019: Christmas smorgasbord, Lucia procession, cocktails, dancing. At Druid Hills Golf Club. david.hultgren@ /


Bishop Hill 11.29 - 12.01 Julmarknad (Christmas Market): Stores open with holiday music, food, folk art and gifts. Help the Vasa National Archives make paper mache snowmen for a community project. 309.927.3899 / bhha@mymctc. net / 12.13 - 12.14 Lucia Nights (Festival of Lights): Coffee and sweets in shops and museums by girls dressed as St. Lucia. Exhibit reception at the Vasa National Archives, 309.927.3898 / 12.25, 6-7:30 AM Julotta: Non-denominational church service in Swedish and English. Swedish fika afterward. At the Colony Church, 309.927.3345 / www.bishophillheritage. org Chicago 12.06, 11:15 AM - 3 PM Annual Lucia Luncheon: The 37th Annual Lucia Luncheon at Drake Hotel with candlelight, 312.257.3002 / 12.07, 4 PM Sankta Lucia Celebration with NPU Center for Scandinavian Studies. Pageant and smörgåsbord. At North Park University’s Anderson Chapel, 773.244.5615 / www. 12.07-12.08 Julmarknad: Christmas Bazaar with Scandinavian handicrafts for purchase. Crafts, games and a visit from Santa. Kaffestuga, Lucia and folk dancers. Swedish American Museum, 917.495.8396 / 12.13, 12-8 PM St. Lucia Day: Start at the Chicago Cultural Center with the crowning of Lucia. Then to the Swedish American Museum to Chicago Waldorf School for a program at 5 p.m., then 7 p.m. at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 917.495.8396 / www. 12.14-12.15, 9 AM- 12 PM Breakfast with Tomten: Swedish pancakes with traditional crafts, a special visit from Tomten, and more. Prepaid RSVP required. Swedish American Museum, 917.495.8396 /

Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebak.sweden

local events

Julmarknad in Gamla Stan. The Christmas market in Stockholm’s Old Town has been a tradition since the early 1900s and is held every weekend in December leading up to Christmas. Find your own local julmarknad in our listing and remember to patronize our hard working organizers of events and our equally hard working specialty stores for all the things that belong to the season.

12.21, 4-5 PM Julgudstjänst: Swedish Christmas service led (in Swedish) by a priest from the Swedish Church in New York. At Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 917.495.8396 / www. Geneva 12.06, 6-10 PM Geneva’s Christmas Walk: Lucia arrives and Santa opens his house. Carolers, Christmas tree lighting, Swedish cookies, candy cane pull and shopping. 630.232.6060 / www.

309.794.7204 / about-us/news/swenson-center-julborddinner Wheeling 12.08, 3 PM Swedish Glee Club’s Annual Christmas Dinner and Concert: Julbord and concert, cash bar. At Chevy Chase Country Club, RSVP, /

MINNEAPOLIS, MN P. 8 0 0 . 2 7 9 . 9 3 3 3 W W W. I N G E B R E T S E N S . C O M


Elk Horn 11.29 - 11.30 Julefest 2019: Celebrate the arrival of the Christmas Season in the Danish Villages. 800.451.7960, Iowa City 12.08, 5 - 9 PM Swedish Club Lucia Celebration with Lucia pageant and potluck. RSVP to / www.

Great coffee makes better people.

12.07, 9 AM- 1 PM Julmarknad: Market, breakfast with Tomte at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church at 10 a.m. Children help serve breakfast and perform at 10:30 a.m. RSVP by Dec. 5, 815.963.5559 /

Rock Island 12.03, 5-7:30 PM Julbord Dinner: Come and go as you are able to the traditional Swedish-American Christmas smörgåsbord. At Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center,



Rockford 12.06, 6-8:30 PM Lucia: Lucia concert at First Lutheran Church. Swedish Historical Society, 815.963.5559 / www.swedishhistorical. org/lucia--julmarknad.html

12.11, 5:30 -7:30 PM Glögg & Pepparkakor Party: Celebrate with glögg, saft, appetizers and music in the renovated Nordic Cultural Center, Swedish Historical Society, 815.963.5559 / www.

Your home for exploring Scandinavian culture


Ta med partner, vänner och bekanta! Vi bjuder på luciatåg. glögg, lussekatter, pepparkakor och andra godsaker.

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The family operated Dalahäst Roasting Co. is a craft coffee roastery in Jamestown NY based in Peterson Farm. We roast in small batches for a consistent product and keep Scandinavian traditions alive through our love of a great full-bodied cup of coffee.

Whole bean and ground. We ship anywhere in the U.S. All coffee Fair Trade Certified. 716.483.2202

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 59 East Putnam Ave Greenwich, CT Followed by coffee hour Hosted by:

DECEMBER 01, 2019 9

local events

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swedish dvd releases Order Swedish language movies on DVD. All videos are in the original language with English subtitles.

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Augusta’s Daughter

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Please send me:

Ever wonder what made so many emigrate from Sweden in the nineteenth century? Judit Martin’s novel, “Augusta’s Daughter,” about 19th century Swedish peasant life made such an impression on us, we decided to offer it to the Nordstjernan readership. call 1.800.827.9333 for your own copy ($24.90 incl. S&H to continental U.S.).

Total = _______

Incl. S&H (in continental U.S.)

Name ____________________________________ Address

PO Box 146 Oakland Nebraska 68045

Ann Johnson


City, State, Zip ______________________________ Telephone Number ___________________________ Check enclosed payable to Nordstjernan

Please charge my credit card:

Card # ________________________ Exp. Date: ___ Signature

/ ___ / ___

___________________________ scc Code: ______

Mail order form to:

NORDSTJERNAN P.O. Box 1710 New Canaan, CT 06840 or call 1.800.827.9333 Ext. 10


National archives and library for Swedish-American historical research Publishers of Swedish American Genealogist 639 38th Street Rock Island, IL | 61201-2296 309-794-7204 swenson


NORDSTJERNAN 1.800.827.9333 Ext 10

local events

Swedesburg 12.09, 6 PM Lucia Festival: Singing, music, cookies and a potluck. Swedish Heritage Society, 319.254.2317 /


Lindsborg 12.06, 4-6 PM Jultide at Bethany: The Bethany College Choir and Handbell Ensemble perform in Bethany College’s Presser Hall, 785.227.3380 / 12.14, 10 AM-5 PM Saint Lucia Festival: Live holiday music, folk dancers, Lucia procession to Bethany Lutheran Church. Stay for ginger cookies served by Lucia. 785.227.8687 / www. 12.25, 6 AM Julotta Service: Traditional Swedish Lutheran Christmas service at Bethany Lutheran Church, 785.227.2167 / 12.26, 10 AM Annandag Jul: “Another day of Christmas” service in Swedish at Bethany Lutheran Church, 785-785.227.2167 / travelinfo@


Boston 12.07, 10 AM – 4 PM Swedish Yuletide. Food, crafts, gifts, Swedish café, music, Lucia and activities for kids. swedishyuletide@sweaboston. org / East Longmeadow 12.15, 3-5 PM Lucia Fest: Singing, folk dancing and refreshments. Brage-Iduna Lodge #9,


Grand Rapids 12.07, 10:30 AM-12 PM 23rd Annual Swedish Lucia Celebration with saffron buns, cardamom bread and pepparkakor. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 616-458-0420 / /


Minneapolis 12.07-12.08, 10 AM-4 PM Julmarknad: Handmade artisan items, Nordic group performances, family activities, cardamom bread, cookies and other treats. American Swedish Institute, 612.871. 4907 / 12.14, 10 AM & 1 PM Lucia Celebration Concert: The 2019 ASI Lucia Choir performs traditional music. ASI, 612.871. 4907 / 12.21, 6:30 PM & 12.22, 1 PM Julbord: Traditional meatballs, herring, delectable desserts and more, cash bar. RSVP by Dec. 13, American Swedish Institute, 612.871. 4907 / Moorhead 12.15, 4-7 PM Sankta Lucia: Children of all ages participate, treats afterward. Swedish Cultural Heritage Society at Bethesda Lutheran Church, 701.306.6554 / Scandia 12.08, 6 AM-12 PM Lucia: Follow the candlelit pathway for a brief Swedish service then cross the street for a full Lucia Julfest Breakfast with special music. Lucia artifacts on display all month. Breakfast $5-$15/tickets at the door. Gammelgarden Museum, 651.383.7351 /

New Jersey

Budd Lake - Vasa Park 11.30, 5 PM Juldans - Dancing around the Christmas tree with traditional music. Scandinavian specialties, glögg, Sankta Lucia pageant, 973.691.8637 /

New York

Jamestown 12.07, 9AM - 1PM Julmarknad at Jamestown Community College. 716.665.0883 / www. New York 12.06, 6 -11:45 PM Annual Scandinavian Christmas Ball:

Dinner at the Metropolitan Club with open bar, hors d’oeuvres and 3-course dinner, Lucia procession and dancing. American Scandinavian Society, 212.751.0714 / ball2019 12.24, 1 PM Scandinavian Christmas Service: In Norwegian/English with a coffee hour, cakes and raffle afterward. Norwegian Seamen’s Church, 212.319.0370 / www. West Hempstead 12.08, 3:30-6:30 PM Lucia & Folkdancing Program: Music by Smörgåsbandet, raffles, glögg and gifts available for purchase. Barnklubben Elsa Rix #1, 516.565.2091 / Elainedance@aol. com

North Carolina

Raleigh 12.07, 10 AM-5 PM Scandinavian Christmas Fair: Crafts for sale, live Nordic entertainment, homemade Scandinavian food, pastries and candy, Santa’s workshop, Lucia procession @ 4 p.m. At state fairgrounds, 919.824.2335 /

North Dakota

Bismarck 12.08, 1 PM Three Crowns Lucia Festival: Music, mischievous tomtes, dancing around the Christmas tree, Lucia procession, kids’

crafts and Swedish treats. Free. At Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 701.663.4023 /


Cincinnati 12.15, 4 - 7 PM Annual Lucia Fest. Tickets: Scandinavian Society of Cincinnati, www. Cleveland Heights 12.14, 4:30- 5:30 PM Lucia Program: Swedish concert by the Vasa Voices mixed choir, Lucia Program and smörgåsbord at 6 p.m. At Peace Lutheran Church, RSVP to 216.371.5141 /


Portland 12.07-12.08 Scanfair: The annual two-day Nordic Christmas market is at the Veteren’s Memorial Colliseum, 503.977.0275 / www. 12.14, 6:30 PM Julbord: 4th annual Julbord Dinner with Broder Söder is inspired by Nordic traditions, music and delicious holiday food. Nordia House. RSVP, 503.977.0275 / Portland 12.14 Lucia Fest. Lucia pageant, Tomte, ring dances, Swedish baked treats, coffee and glögg at First Presbyterian Church. New

BARNKLUBBEN ELSA RIX #1 99th Annual Lucia Festival Lucia Bride – Hannah Marie Zabe

Sunday Dec. 8, 2019 at 3:30 pm

St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church 54 Nassau Blvd. West Hempstead, NY

Lucia pageant & folk dancing

$15/adult, $5/child5-12, Children under 5 free. Sandwiches, coffee & desserts included. Glögg and gifts available.

Music by Smögåsbandet

Directions: Southern State Pkwy. Exit 17N.

2nd light left onto Nassau Blvd. Cross Hempstead Tpk., right onto 8th St. and right onto Kilburn Rd. to parking lot.

Nordic Gift Store Food f Gifts f Decor And so much more

Reservations & Advance Payment Requested.

1.800.851.3466 1116 Commercial Street Astoria, Oregon

2nd store now open

at Nordia House

8800 SW Oleson Rd, Portland OR

Information/reservations: (516) 565-2091 • Send reservations & check payable to Barnklubben Elsa Rix: Elaine McGrath 252 Wellington Road South, Garden City, NY 11530 DECEMBER 01, 2019 11

local events Sweden Cultural Heritage Society, www.

267.726.0695 / christmas-party-tickets-77575585665


Rhode Island

Philadelphia 12.06, 6-10 PM Julbord: Christmas market, authentic Christmas smorgasbord for the whole family is followed by the Lucia procession. RSVP by Dec. 1. American Swedish Historical Museum, 215.389.1776 / www. 12.06, 6-8 PM 12.07-12.08, 2-5 PM Sankta Lucia and St. Eric’s Fair. Celebrating the 82nd year and Christmas bazaar with Scandinavian imports. At Gloria Dei Old Swedes Church, / 12.07, 11 AM-4 PM Lucia Fest and Christmas Market: Familyfriendly event with Lucia processions at 1 & 3:15 p.m. Favorite holiday deli items, decorations, baked goods and gifts. Advance tickets recommended. American Swedish Historical Museum, 215.389.1776 / 12.14, 6-10 PM Winter Holiday Party: A night with Scandinavian Christmas food, akvavit and snapsvisor (drinking songs) at Old Swedish Church. SACC and NACC Philadelphia,

East Greenwich 12.07, 4-6 PM Lucia: Live candles and songs in Swedish, gingerbread and Tomte skits performed by the kids, reception with Swedish refreshments. With RISHA at St. Luke’s Church, 401.450.9688 / astrid.m.drew@

South Dakota

Dalesburg 12.15, 2-5 PM 42nd celebration of St. Lucia in Dalesburg: Välkommen! Dalesburg Scandinavian Ass:n, 605.253.2575 /


Dallas 12.07, 10 AM – 2 PM JulBasar and Lucia Celebration: dallas@ /


Tacoma 12.06, 6-9 PM Sankta Lucia Celebration: More than 60 years of Sankta Lucia (PLU students can apply for the Lucia Scholarship). At Scandinavian Cultural Center of Pacific Lutheran University, 253.535.7322 / www.


Washington, DC

Salt Lake City 12.07, 4-8 PM Lucia Celebration: Celebrate with live candles, music, Swedish food, decorations, linens and more for sale. RSVP for Christmas dinner at Swedishheritage2@ Swedish Heritage Society of Utah at First Baptist Church, 801.268.2898 Seattle 12.08, 1-2:30 PM Children’s Christmas in Scandinavia: Lucia Pageant, Christmas crafts and a visit from Santa. Nordic National Museum, 206.789.5707 /

12.07, 10 AM - 5 PM Swedish Holiday Market: Nordic vendors and artists, books, glögg, Jultomte, face painting and more. Lucia procession at 5 p.m. / Eventbrite: Swedish Holiday Market 2019 House of Sweden

12.12, 5:30-8 PM Glögg & Meatballs: Join fellow Scandinavians in celebrating Christmas properly - with meatballs, herring and salmon at Skål Beer Hall in Ballard. info@ /

Houston 12.08, 5 PM Lucia Celebration/

European Sheepskins natural Rugs & Throws

Heritage Breed Sheepskins Icelandic, UK Varieties

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Ivory White, Natural Colors Singles and Big Rugs

Sunday, December 15, 2019, 5:00 pm

Bethesda Lutheran Church, 401 40th Av S, Moorhead, MN

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Bring the children and your favorite dish for a potluck after the ceremony. Contact Connie Swanson ( or 701.799.5043) for information.

Augusta’s Daughter Ever wonder what made so many emigrate from Sweden in the nineteenth century? Judit Martin’s novel, “Augusta’s Daughter,” about 19th century Swedish peasant life made such an impression on us, we decided to offer it to the Nordstjernan readership. call 1.800.827.9333 for your own copy ($24.90 incl. S&H to cont. U.S.). The sequel,


was just released. The story of 15-year-old Elsa-Carolina’s illegitimate daughter Kajsa,who was cast out into the world from a foster home at the age of 8.


The Swedish Cultural Heritage Society of the Red River Valley Please send me ____ book(s) “Augusta’s Daugheter” x $24.90 = _______ Please send me ____ book(s) “Kajsa” x $24.90 =

Incl. S&H (in continental U.S.)


Total: _________

Name Address City State Zip Tel. m Check enclosed payable to Nordstjernan m Please charge my credit card: Card# Signature

Exp. Date: SSC Code:

Mail to: Nordstjernan, P.O. Box 1710, New Canaan CT 06840


local events Wisconsin

Avery 12.13, 5:30-7:30 PM Jul fest: On Lucia Dagen itself. 715.222.0138, / www. Dodgeville 12.14, 3-8:30 PM Sankta Lucia at Folklore Village: Make heart baskets, color Swedish Dalahorses, shape the saffron buns (served later!) and learn traditional Lucia songs for the ceremony. Potluck at 5:30, followed by Lucia and the family-friendly evening dance. Folklore Village, 608.924.4000 / www. Madison 12.14, 4-8:30 PM Julfest Christmas Party: A Nordic Christmas evening with 3-course dinner buffet, St. Lucia procession, holiday crafts, dancing around the Christmas tree. At St. Mark’s Church, /

Milwaukee 12.08, 5-7 PM Lucia Celebration: The story and music of Lucia followed by dancing around the Christmas tree, Santa, coffee and treats. At Whitnall Park Lutheran Church in Hales Corners, 262.781.6113 /

For continuous info from all over the U.S., see events at Find your local SWEA chapter by going to - almost every SWEA organization has Lucia and Christmas fairs.

Sister Bay 12.06 & 12.07 Traditional Swedish Julbord: A multicourse Christmas smörgåsbord at Al Johnson’s. RSVP to 920.854.2626 / www. Waukesha 12.15, 3-6 PM Lucia: Svenska Skolans Luciafirande with Lucia, glögg, kaffe, lussekatter, pepparkakor och tomten at Retzer Nature Center. 414.915.9675 / tessiehawkins@


12.13 Traditional Swedish Julbord Buffet hosted by IKEA Food at IKEA restaurants with an all-you-can eat buffet! Contact your local IKEA store for tickets and more information.

LOS ANGELES Söndag 1 december kl 11.00

FÖRSTA ADVENTSMÄSSA i sjömanskyrkan i San Pedro med efterföljande jullunch: jultallrik, kaffe, pepparkakor.

Fredag 13 december kl 20.00


i Angelica Lutheran Church, 345 S Burlington Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90006. Konserten leds av Maria Isaacs, Mikael Sandgren och Marit Baldecchi. Tickets for the concert through eventbrite.

Onsdag 25 december kl 07.00


i sjömanskyrkan i San Pedro, 1035 S Beacon St. San Pedro, CA 90731. Följ oss på facebook och instagram! @svenskakyrkanlosangeles

SVENSKA KYRKAN LOS ANGELES 1035 South Beacon Street, San Pedro, CA 90731 Tel. (310) 292-7080 • Epost: Hemsida:

Royal Copenhagen Candle Holder

Exclusive for Nordstjernan readers: $14.50 Beautiful Royal Copenhagen Candle Holder, exclusive to Nordstjernan/Swedish News. Unglazed matte porcelain with gold print by Jette Frölich. Dimensions : 3” x 3” (Works equally well on the table for dry condiments, almonds ...)

Please send me ____ candle holder(s) x $14.50 = _______

Total: _________ Incl. S&H (in continental U.S.)

Name Address Tickets available online to Dec. 2, 2019 at and then at door


Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church Columbus Boulevard & Christian Street Philadelphia, PA 19147 (215) 389-1513


City State Zip Tel. m Check enclosed payable to Nordstjernan m Please charge my credit card: Card#


Exp. Date:


SSC Code:

Mail to: Nordstjernan, P.O. Box 1710, New Canaan CT 06840

DECEMBER 01, 2019 13

readers forum


The Stella Olson Cooky cookie Party

IIt works like this: A good Scandinavian woman makes seven kinds of cookies for Christmas. That’s me—I make seven kinds and place them in the Rosemaling Room at the Wooden Spoon store in Plano, Texas. You as a guest, bring a tray to add to what I made. Then I hire four or five people to make cookies in the main room: krumkake, rosettes, goro and kringla are made by them. Recipes are handed out and questions are asked along with many samples. Everyone who comes eats cookies. It’s not really a cookie exchange, but a day filled with fellowship and sugar—sweet treats, donuts, bars and cookies. We have been doing this for years, following in the footsteps of Stella Olson who had a party for over 35 years. She was one incredible lady so that is why we named it as we did. The Plano, Texas Cooky Party is on December 7 beginning at 1 p.m. For more info on the Cooky Party, see page 7 or Gwen Workman,TX Thanks Gwen. We’re too far away from your neighborhood for this time but as for those that aren’t, who can resist a Scandinavian cookie party? Happy munching all! /Ed. Editor, I don’t know if you remember me but I’m Andreas, the teenage boy who bought that book on 19th century Sweden at the Scandinavian Festival and said I would email when I was done. I finished the book almost three weeks ago but I’ve been too busy to sit down and compose an email, but its 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep because my stomach feels like I ate a tin of nails, so here I go! To start, you were right—I did “hate” the book, but it was only because it made me angry that anything like what happened could have happened anywhere on earth, let alone Sweden. In the States, at least in my experience, we look at Sweden like they are on another plane. Where they are just better at a lot of things to the point it’s unnatural and we just chalk it up to Sweden being Sweden. I still did love the story overall, though, and was impressed with how many scenarios the author could put into one person’s life but still make it feel natural and believable. I actually even forgot it was fiction until I was reading about the author later. I’d be happy to go on further as well as hear your thoughts on it and maybe other aspects of Swedish culture. Until then I hope things are going well and we can talk again soon.

Dear Nordstjernan, Really appreciated your inclusion of a series of crossword puzzles in the paper last year at my request. If you get another chance to include more of the same it would be much appreciated. I do understand that this wish must have more support from others as well. Thank you again, Elisabet Poston, CA Hello Nordstjernan, I especially enjoy your tour around the provinces sections. Tack Jeff Wawter, OH Little did I know when I first received the paper as a gift two years ago that I would turn into such a “Swede” enthusiast. Love your sections on food, recipes and culture. Keep up the good work. Lillian Swanson, UT Thank you all, we’ll do our very best, as usual, to accommodate wishes and requests—should be able to include another Swedish crossword soon and will definitely keep up covering regions, traditions, food and culture. /Ed

Andreas Hoeverman, NJ

Photo: Anna Drvnik

I do remember you Andreas, and I’m glad you liked the book. “Augusta’s Daughter” by Judith Martin paints a likely realistic view of Sweden in the 19th century and gives us a brief glimpse of what made over one million Swedes leave their country for greener pastures (they hoped) in the U.S. Much of today’s and the 20th century political and social changes in Sweden were forced to an extent—definitely inspired—by the transformation from the early agrarian and industrialization society. That goes for voting rights, equality, social services … everything. To begin with, in the early 20th century, politicians realized the nation could not sustain the continuous loss of the young, industrious and hard working people who left and started movements to mirror what the perception of America was. The later expansion of social services was also possible because Sweden was able to stay out of two world wars. To me, the book allows a glimpse of a different dimension of today’s global migration issues, albeit in a very different world. Great to hear from you, /Ed. Linda Zachrison, Sveriges kulturråd i USA, skrev senast i KulturSverige i USA om aktuell svensk kultur i USA under hösten, och bl a om Unga Klaras gästspel i Washington, DC, Houston och New York. Man gästspelade sammanlagt två veckor på House of Sweden och runt om på skolor i Washington, DC under Kids Euro Festival samt på Alley Theatre och kringliggande skolor i Houston, Texas. I december återkommer Unga Klara till USA med föreställningen Because I Say So (“För att jag säger det,” i regi av Farnaz Arbabi), som kommer att spela under två veckor på The New Victory Theater i New York, 209 W 42nd St., NYC. 14 NORDSTJERNAN

“It is fun to be Swedish” says Karen Johnson who took a DNA test and found out she is 94% Swedish (6% British)

Unga Klaras VD Stefan Hansen kommenterade nyligen mottagandet i USA så långt: “Det tycktes vara en chock för den amerikanska vuxenheten att vi inte vill lära vår publik, utan istället låta teatern vara en plattform för intellektuella och konstnärliga möten. För många amerikaner i publiken, och för vuxna runt om i världen, verkar den idén radikal. Som om barn och unga alltid är i en ständig process av tillblivelse och lärande, alltid i positionen som elev i relation till den vuxne läraren. Tvärtom vill Unga Klara att barnet – publiken – på teatern skall ges ögonblick i att vara i nuet och få uppleva förnimmelser av skönhet, provokation, konst och det stora i att vara levande. Att som barn få uppleva att få vara människa, snarare än att vara i process att bli människa.” Missa inte chansen att uppleva Sveriges Nationalscen för barn och unga om du befinner dig i New York mellan December 12 - 22:

Image from Nusnäs Dala horse production. Photo: Kola Productions

art and culture

If you take up slöjd during the dark winter months, don’t expect to create perfect Dala horses from the start. It’s all about patience; think about it as meditation.

Slöjd skills are life skills

A recent episode of the PBS series, “The Woodwright’s Shop” caught my attention. The host, Roy Underhill, told of a Swede named Otto Salamon who in 1891 wrote “The Teacher’s Handbook of Slöjd, an instructional book on how to teach woodworking.” I learned slöjd is the Swedish word for hand craft.

Most people in Sweden during the 1800s lived on farms. Farm life was very labor intensive, requiring even the children to do their part. This often meant parents did not send their children to school. The Swedish government realized this lack of education was bad for the future of the country and passed a law in 1878 that mandated all children had to attend six years of public school.

Today’s teachers must take a minimum of five years college training plus several years of workshops giving them techniques to help their students learn. But in those early years teachers did not have a professional background. Instead, they would lecture, even to primary grades, and expect their students to memorize and be tested. It was no wonder that students got bored, daydreamed and wanted to skip school. About this time, a wealthy merchant named August Abrahamson gave some thought to the future of Sweden. He admired how the old Swedish farmers would sit around the fireplace in the winter after the sun had gone down and carve useful household items while they told stories to their families. Abrahamson saw that times were changing and many of the younger generation were moving away for jobs in logging and mining. He was concerned that many of their parents’

skills were not being passed down to the next generation. Abrahamson believed woodworking should be taught in the schools, so he contacted his nephew Otto Salamon to come up with a plan to teach woodworking skills. The more Otto thought about organizing the lessons, the more he realized he could incorporate some important life skills the students weren’t being taught elsewhere.

A Swedish history

In 1873, Abrahamson paid to have a slöjd room built outside a school in Gothenburg and furnished it with workbenches and tools. Otto began with boys ages 10-14 and taught them four hours of school per week. You can imagine how excited these boys were to get out of their boring classrooms to make something they could take home. Continues on page 17 DECEMBER 01, 2019 15

art and culture

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11:07 AM

Dimensions of light. Of the artists working in tapestry today, Swedish born Helena Hernmarck stands without peer. Her work, selected for scores of fine public spaces, is seen each year by millions of viewers all over the world. Her specialties are large woven tapestries for display in banks and public buildings with pieces varying from enormous nature images, often several feet wide, to reproductions of documents with text as small as a pen stroke. In New York City her works can for instance be admired in semi-public spaces at the Warner Center and the new developments at 35 Hudson Yards. Her next exhibition opens on Nov. 23, 2019 on Shelter Island, NY. For more info, see Noble cause. Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) was only 29 years old when he patented a detonating cap for nitroglycerine and nitric acid, but nitroglycerine was still likely to explode on the slightest impact. In 1866 Nobel discovered that nitroglycerine flowing out of a broken bottle was absorbed by kieselguhr—a porous diatomite—which protected the container from blows. He noticed the mixture was very stable and easy to handle but retained its explosive characteristics. This marked the birth of dynamite. Nobel companies expanded throughout Europe, and dynamite production climbed from 11 metric tons in 1867 to 66,000 tons in 1895. His will created the Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine/ physiology, literature and peace, first awarded in 1901 and for those who had “conferred the greatest benefit on mankind” the preceding year. The prizes are awarded on the anniversary of Nobel’s death, on December 10. Early adaptor. Already in 1885 Stockholm was the city with the highest telephone density in the world, both per capita and in absolute numbers. The development was mostly thanks to Telefonaktiebolaget L.M. Ericsson, founded in 1876, today abbreviated Ericsson.

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WARNING: This product can cause mouth cancer. 16 NORDSTJERNAN

art and culture Continued from page 15 The first lesson was how to safely use a carving knife. Before these fourth grade students were given their knives, they had to learn to pay full attention to the teacher’s demonstration of how to whittle long strokes with the grain. Each student was then given a slöjd knife and some wood to practice with. Subsequent lessons taught how to use a saw and a drill. He taught them how to stand at their workbench and how to shift their weight. Then he showed them some of the items they could choose for their first project. Step by step, new techniques were taught. As they learned these skills, new projects with increasing difficulty were added to their choices. Skills included edge planing, filing, working with hard wood, gluing, nailing and dove tailing. Projects like chopping boards, drawing boards, bowls, drinking ladles, canisters, a snuff box, footstools, weaving shuttles, bootjacks, coat hangers and baseball bats were added to their choices.

Engaged, successful students

A major principle of the slöjd method was that the teacher taught the woodworking skills and gave the students guidance but never touched the students’ projects. The student was to learn by doing. He was to independently create his own project. Students feel more satisfied if they know they did the project 100 percent by themselves. The first item Nels wanted to make was a thread winder to give his mother. He was given an instruction card with step-by-step instructions to complete this project. The directions call for W.B. (white birch). Other woods were abbreviated C for cherry, R.O. for red oak, and W.W. for white wood. Nels’ first challenge was going to be to accurately draw the thread winder onto the piece of white birch based on written dimensions. While Nels was captivated by making something with his own hands, he was unaware of how he was also learning to do exact work, and to practice habits of orderliness, cleanliness and neatness. He and other students learned to persevere and have patience. They developed independence and self-reliance. Nels’ mother loved her new thread winder so much that for Christmas she bought Nels his own saw. It was important that students were never graded on their projects but asked to critique their own projects and state what they had learned. Sven skillfully made a knife box and when asked what he had learned, he said he should have sharpened his tools before starting his project. It was a lesson he wouldn’t forget. After graduating, Sven came back to visit his teacher to brag that he was working as a carpenter apprentice thanks to everything he learned in class. After completing his first project, another student said, “I didn’t think I was capable. Now I feel more confident about myself and everything I do.”

Start small. You’re seeing the humble beginnings of the makings of a small butter spreading knife.

The growth of success

By 1883 the Swedish government realized slöjd classes were a huge success. They voted to make slöjd classes mandatory for all 4th-6th graders throughout Sweden. They could see the classes were building character as well as skills. Students grew up with a respect for physical labor and the upper class learned to Roy Underhill, host of “The Woodwright’s Shop” holding up the 1891 value the worth of “Teacher’s Handbook of Slöjd, an instructional book on how to teach woodworking” by Otto Salamon. artisans. In 1883 Salamon opened a school in Nääs to enough, I found the instructions for making this train teachers in the slöjd method. He recruited board in the teachers’ handbook. I wonder how future vocational teaching candidates throughout many of you have a family treasure passed down Europe. Teaching slöjd was catching on. Between to you that may have been made in a slöjd class. 1875-1917 he graduated 6,441 teachers from 41 Are you interested in learning Nordic craft? countries in slöjd methods. Watch the PBS episode here By 1888 Gustaf Larsson, who had trained under who-wrote-the-book-of-sloyd-fggvvq and check Otto Salamon, moved to Boston to start the first out these websites for current and future exhibits slöjd school in America. It was located on the third and classes as varied as woodcarving, rosemaling floor of the North Bennet St. School with classes and weaving. Nordic Craft Workshop at American for 7th-8th-9th grade students. Swedish Institute in Minneapolis: www.asimn. org; American Swedish Historical Museum in Yesterday, today and tomorrow Philadelphia:; Nordic On a trip to Sweden, my aunt gave me a draw- Museum in Seattle:; ing board made by my father in 6th grade. I’ve Vävstuga Weaving School in Shelburne Falls, MA: treasured using this board as my connection to; and Nääs Castle and School my father. With what I have learned about slöjd of Crafts in Nääs, Sweden: being taught in Swedish schools, I began to think of the origins of my father’s drawing board. Sure by Nancy Kingston DECEMBER 01, 2019 17


y t r a p g g ö l g a g n i host It’s December. The days are short and the air is chilly and damp. We need something cheerful and warm to counteract the cold and lift our spirits. Why not invite friends over for a cozy afternoon of Swedish glögg (spiced mulled wine) and some tasty Scandinavian treats? Hosting a glögg party is very common during the month of December in Sweden. So common, in fact, that you may need to make appearances at several parties on any given Saturday or Sunday. Perhaps this is why glögg is best served in small cups. I’ve developed an easy and delicious menu for your next glögg party. Just add some festive music, candles, a few evergreen boughs and a handful of good friends. There is perhaps no better way to spend a blustery December afternoon. Kristi Bissell


glögg party menu Swedish Glögg Smörgås with Blue Cheese, Roasted Pe ar Compote and Hazelnu ts Potato Pickled Herri Bites with Remoula ng de Pepparkakor


Makes 4-6 servings Ingredients 1 orange 1 bottle dry red wine (full-bodied but not expensive) 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar 2-inch piece of ginger, sliced into thin rounds 10 whole cloves 10 cardamom pods, crushed (include both pods and seeds) 3 cinnamon sticks 1/2 cup aquavit, such as the Linie brand (rum, brandy or vodka will also work) For serving: golden raisins, blanched almonds and thin orange or clementine slices

Instructions - Remove peel from orange using a vegetable peeler and transfer peel strips to a medium saucepan. Cut orange in half and squeeze juice into the saucepan with the peel. - Add all remaining ingredients to the saucepan and heat until mixture just comes to a simmer. Cover and remove from heat. Let steep for two to four hours at room temperature. Strain into a clean container. (Mixture can be prepared to this point up to a week ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.) - When you are ready to serve, return mixture to a saucepan. Add aquavit and a handful of golden raisins. Heat but do not boil (boiling will remove the alcohol). Serve immediately garnished with raisins, blanched almonds and orange slices.

Swedish Limpa Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients 1 cup buttermilk 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons molasses zest of 1 orange 1 teaspoon anise seed, toasted briefly in a dry skillet and then ground (or 1 teaspoon ground anise seed) 1 teaspoon fine salt 2 teaspoons instant yeast 1 cup dark rye flour 2 cups bread flour

Instructions - Combine buttermilk and baking soda in a liquid measuring cup. - Combine butter, water, molasses and orange zest in a small saucepan and heat to a simmer. Remove from heat and cool slightly. - Add buttermilk mixture and molasses mixture to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. - Add ground anise seed, salt, yeast and rye flour to the bowl. - Using the dough hook attachment, mix on medium low until ingredients are just combined. - Add bread flour and continue to mix on medium low until the dough is fully combined. Increase speed to medium and knead dough for approximately 4 minutes. If you are mixing and kneading the dough by hand, the process will take longer. - Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for approximately 2 hours. - Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove the dough from the bowl and pat into an oval shape that is about 1-1/2 inches thick. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 45 minutes to an hour. - Remove plastic wrap and decoratively score dough with a razor blade or a sharp knife. Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 30-35 minutes. The internal temperature of the dough should be at least 198° when it is done. Allow bread to cool before slicing. DECEMBER 01, 2019 19


Smörgås with blue cheese, roasted pear compote and hazelnuts Makes 32 small open sandwiches

For the smörgås: 8 thin slices toasted rye bread such as limpa (rye crispbread also works well) Danish blue cheese Roasted pear compote (recipe follows) 1/2 cup hazelnuts For the roasted pear compote: 5-6 small to medium-sized Bartlett pears, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes 2 tablespoons honey seeds from 2 cardamom pods, crushed in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle 4–5 thin slices of fresh ginger (no need to peel) pinch of coarse salt 1/2 vanilla bean 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1. Make the roasted pear compote - Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients except vanilla bean and lemon juice in an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish. - With a small sharp knife, split vanilla bean down one side of the pod. Open the pod and lay it flat on your cutting board. Using the back of your knife, remove the black seeds from the interior of the pod by scraping from one end of the open pod to

Potato and pickled herring bites with remoulade Makes about 40 small appetizers

For the potato bites: 8-10 small yellow waxy potatoes 1 8-ounce jar pickled herring, drained Danish remoulade (recipe follows) Fresh dill for garnish For the Danish remoulade: 1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise 2 tablespoons skyr or greek yogurt 1 heaping teaspoon dijon mustard 1 tablespoon capers, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons dill pickles, finely chopped 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 3/4 teaspoon curry powder - Place potatoes in cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Smaller potatoes will cook more quickly than larger potatoes; check doneness by piercing a potato or two with the tip of a sharp knife. It should slide in and out easily without much resistance. 20 NORDSTJERNAN

- Drain potatoes and rinse with cold water. Set aside to cool. Potatoes can be prepared up to two days in advance. Store in the refrigerator. - Make the Danish remoulade: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use. - Assemble the bites: Cut each potato into 1/4-inch slices, discarding the ends. Place a dollop of Danish remoulade on top of the potato, followed by a small piece of herring and a dill sprig. Serve. (Can be prepared up to 4 hours in advance. Chill until ready to serve). Adapted from Eating Well magazine

the other. Place seeds and empty pod in the baking dish along with the other ingredients. - Bake for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until pears have softened considerably. - Remove the pan from the oven. Using a spoon, remove and discard the vanilla bean pod and ginger slices. Mash pears with a potato masher or the back of a fork until they create a chunky, rustic mash. Add lemon juice. Taste the mixture and season with additional lemon juice, salt or honey to taste. - Set aside to cool (compote can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks). 2. Meanwhile, toast the hazelnuts. Place nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes or until fragrant and golden brown. Transfer nuts to a clean kitchen towel and wrap them inside allowing them to steam for a minute or so. Rub the nuts between the kitchen towel to remove the skins (don’t worry if all the skins come off). Chop nuts coarsely. 3. To assemble the smörgås: Transfer toasted slices of bread to a clean work surface. Cut each slice into 4 triangles. Top with blue cheese, a dollop of the roasted pear compote and a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts. Serve.

Swedish gingersnaps (pepparkakor) Makes 80-90 small cookies

For the dough: 2 cups pastry flour OR 1-¾ cups all-purpose flour and ¼ cup cornstarch 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 3/4 cup butter 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup molasses 1 egg 1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling out the cookies - Whisk together pastry flour or all-purpose flour and cornstarch, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a medium bowl. Set aside. - Combine butter, sugar and molasses in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. This will take longer if you are mixing by hand. Reduce speed to low and add the egg. Mix until fully combined. - Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix on low speed until just combined. Using a spatula, transfer dough to a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to one day, or place dough in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. The dough will be easier to work with if it is well chilled. - Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet

with parchment paper. Place 1/2 cup of sugar in a small bowl and find a drinking glass with a flat bottom. - Remove dough from the refrigerator. Tear off one small piece at a time (about the size of your thumbnail), roll dough between your palms into a small ball about 3/4-inch in diameter. Dough will be sticky. Place dough ball in the bowl of sugar and roll it around until it is completely coated. Place ball on prepared baking sheet. - Continue with remaining dough until baking sheet is filled, leaving at least 1 inch of space between each dough ball on the baking sheet. Dip the bottom of the drinking glass into the bowl of sugar and press down on each ball flattening it into a disc approximately 1/4-inch thick. Be sure to dip the glass in the sugar before flattening each cookie. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are just set. Do not over bake if you want the center of the cookie to remain slightly chewy. Let cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough, rechilling the dough as necessary to make it easier to work with.

New and traditional Scandinavian design.

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All the food you need for your Christmas table! 349 Main Avenue Norwalk, CT 06851 Phone: 203-529-3244 Email: DECEMBER 01, 2019 21


Hawaiian glögg for the ages Hawaiian shirts, white beaches, tall palm trees and glögg for Christmas? If you travel to the Nordic region before Christmas you’ll be able to find out. Every year since 2003, Blossa, one of the Swedish brands known for the classic Christmas drink glögg, launches a vintage glögg with an entirely new flavor. At first it was about flavors inspired by the Nordic winter. But more recently the annual Blossa has turned to other parts of the world. Last year, Italy and limoncello were the centerpiece, and previously inspiration has been drawn from India, Japan, England and South America. The label this year in pink and florals was created with influences from the hibiscus flower, coral and the Hawaiian shirt. The blue numbers symbolize the sea while the cork extracted color and texture from the coconut. The inspiration comes from the Hawaiian island of Oahu, in the middle of the Pacific’s tropical zone. The production of the limited edition Blossa glögg requires precise and long-range team work. The planning of 2019’s glögg, for example, began 18 months ago, according to a spokesperson for the owner of the brand, Finnish government owned Altia Group. The hibiscus (hibiscus sabdariffa) used in this white wine based glögg is common in Hawaii,

and is used as a decorative plant in addition to being made into tea. “The tropical sweetness in the vegan Blossa 19 Aloha derives from passion fruit, and is balanced by the fruity acidity of the hibiscus flower. The flavors of coffee and coconut are a good match, and they introduce slightly chocolatey vanilla flavors into the glögg’s aftertaste. The glögg’s range of aromas is refreshingly fruity and pairs nicely with Blossa’s traditional glögg spices, such as clove,” says Åsa Orsvärn, Blossa’s Chief Blender. And no, the spiced heated wine is not part of the usual Hawaiian diet. According to some historical accounts, spiced and mulled wine dates far back, to

3000 BCE, in ancient Egypt, where it was considered an elixir in the afterlife. This medicinal wine with almost supernatural powers was spiced with herbs like balm, cilantro, mint and sage along with pine resin and figs. Herb-enhanced wine was also documented by Pliny the Elder, famed Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher, at the peak of the Roman Empire around 50 CE. Fast-forward some 1960-odd years and spiced wine has matured, traveled north and become a steady staple in Nordic traditions of keeping warm and celebrating the season as ice and snow take over and sunlight migrates far away. The spices of a traditional red wine based glögg are ginger, cloves and cinnamon. One SwedishAmerican producer offers a bottled red wine based glögg, Sjöblom Winery in Napa Valley. It’s not as good as mine for sure but definitely a decent and much quicker substitute (my own version is best after 7-8 days or more on the stove). For more info on Sjöblom Winery, see

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Paulina also carries the following Swedish items: meatballs and homemade sauce, mustards, brown beans, yellow peas, lingonberries, pancake mix porridge rice, pearl sugar, Belgian sugar Abba and Noonhour herring, limpa bread bondost cheese, Wasa crisp bread gingersnaps, crispy onions, and much more!

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art and culture

Family of singers through four generations A new book from Förlags AB Björnen sheds a bit more light on how a boy from central Sweden rose to vocal heights as the arguably greatest operatic voice of the 20th century. “David Björling and His Sons in America” stands out for a variety of reasons. It’s bilingual and allows you to follow technical terms and the story in English and Swedish side by side and makes for an excellent practice in either language. It has been thoroughly researched and written by the Jussi Björling Museum’s founding curator Harald Henrysson and lovingly translated by Sue Flaster, herself a secretary of the U.S. Jussi Björling Society. The book offers some insight into the strict regime that must have accompanied the world renowned tenor Jussi Björling in his earliest years. David Björling and His Sons in America can be ordered Published in the centenary year through the Jussi Björling Society-USA of an amazing musical voyage through ( the U.S. by the Björling siblings Olle, for $25 postpaid. Jussi and Gösta, and their father David Hard cover, 158 pages in 1919-1921, the book is as much a ISBN 978-91-984806-0-3 tribute to Swedish singing in America, an accessible encyclopedia if you will, as it is a tale to the Björlings. No, I never met them. Neither was I of the immigrant experience and the harsh condi- alive to hear Jussi in concert although I did use every tions of the Nordic homelands at the time. opportunity I had close to 30 years after his death It begins with David Björling’s first arrival to in the late 1980s to get standing tickets at the Met. New York in 1899 with $10 left in his pocket after But, I encountered them through the historic paying the $25 landing fee. Nordstjernan at the time pages of Nordstjernan in a variety of ways. And offered a timetable of him with Swedish singing reading the book, which has ample references to societies and the Metropolitan Opera School prior Nordstjernan coverage, became a revisit of sorts. to his 1907 return to Europe for continued educa- Also, our friend and editing colleague, the late Lars tion and subsequent marriage. His wife Ester died H. Ottoson whose memoirs I adapted to English in 1917 after giving birth to the couple’s fourth son. (A Heck of a Life) tells of his first visit to America Jussi, 6, sang with his two oldest brothers at the in the 1950s. He had boarded a DC4 at Bromma funeral. Two years later, David left Sweden with Sweden and on the same flight were Jussi with his three oldest sons for a tour of the U.S., which accompanist and conductor Sixten Ehrling on their at the time was home to 625,000 born Swedes way to a concert in New York City. At Gander, and over 800,000 second generation Swedes. The Newfoundland the plane had to be de-iced before tour would last for close to two years and covered continuing to La Guardia in New York, and “… the entire mainland America. We get to follow Ehrling walked over to a piano in the waiting room the family from NYC, New England, to Chicago, and asked Jussi, ‘Do you want to clean your pipes?’ Moline, Galva, Rockford, Rock Island, Minnesota, There we were, about 50 passengers getting a free Kansas, Colorado, California and other locations Jussi Björling concert.” you continuously read about in this newspaper. I highly recommend this book. It’s an easy and And did so then, too. interesting read, it takes you back to a different era and includes a multitude of unique illustrations and Reflections maps of the Björlings’ tour. I had just finished the book when I realized why I deUBM voured it during one night. I feel a special connection


DECEMBER 01, 2019 23


Santa’s wish list includes healthy kids Santa is teaming with farmers markets and interest groups who share the same vision: eat real food, live a sustainable lifestyle, and believe through collaboration to make the changes needed in order to usher in a wellness focused lifestyle which yields a new generation of healthy kids. In the process, America can dramatically reduce the enormous costs of the chronic diet-driven illnesses which will disappear the same way we obtained them, one spoonful at a time.

Sustainable Santa® and Lady Santa run Kids Art Smart classes from September through November.

A member of the Real Santas United reviews the five color groups into which all fruit and veggies fall with 4-year-old Sofia at a farmers market. If she chooses two colors of veggies to help her mom prepare and eat this week, and a different two next week, etc., she will soon be “eating the rainbow” of healthy real foods yielding a lifetime of good nutrition and health.

In the chasm of our polarized nation has emerged the Real Santas United for Healthy Kids, who over the past six years have settled into a two-pronged set of activities which should be embraceable by everyone and yet help “make America healthy again.”

to eat candy and snacks just for something to do and do it pretty much constantly. In the California farmers markets, where these activist santas - both men and women - are deployed, they team with the farmers to introduce kids to Santa’s Garden Bites. They’re tastes of “real foods” like raw bell pepper, cauliflower and broccoli, microgreens, kombucha plus other fermented items and natural flavors which kids may not be familiar with. Through their garden bites and Eat the Rainbow program, they turn eating a variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables into an adventure … one that is sure to get the kids on Santa’s Nice List.

Eat real food

The first prong of the Real Santas United’s goal is to help American parents transition their kids off the now existing SAD (Standard American Diet) of fast, junk and processed “food” which has led to the current state of unhealthfulness in American youth. The santas partner with parents and farmers to promote ignoring the SAD industry’s marketing, instead learning the joy of eating real food, through activities they conduct in Farmers Markets. The second prong includes a host of programs and classes that help kids live a more sustainable lifestyle. Their “Eat Real Food” agenda has been well documented over the past five years in articles in Nordstjernan’s holiday issues. Their their food rules designed to help ween the kids off the fast and junk foods, includes promoting lördagsgodis, the Swedish practice of giving children a treat on Saturday if they have completed their weekly chores and done well in school. All three of Santa’s Food Rules are intended to break the cycle where American kids have learned 24 NORDSTJERNAN

Nature’s candy

Distributing “nature’s candy” instead of the sugarloaded commercial confections for trick-or-treat at Halloween has dramatically gained in popularity. This includes a wide range of natural treats such as nuts-in-the-shell of all kinds, and “Mother Nature wrapped items” such as pomegranates, apples, oranges, dates, plus a host of dehydrated fruits, right down to distributing baby carrots. “Its carrots instead of candy canes,” say the santas, who encourage giving nature’s candy gifts as the best gift choice throughout the Christmas season, too. It’s probably useless to get angry at all the promotions of unhealthy fare the sugar and fast food

industry aims at children’s eyes, says Sustainable Santa® who founded the Real Santas United effort in 2013. You walk into a big box store or any grocery store and you are confronted with a wall of “holiday candies” no Swedish parent would ever pass out to their children or their friends. Here in the USA, however, the SAD food commercial interests have no compunction about promoting and distributing this unhealthy stuff. And when anyone gets sick from that diet, America’s healthcare system and the television ads for prescription medications (which are not allowed on TV in virtually any other country), convince people they can abuse their bodies and then ”take a pill to fix it,” says the natural health advocating Santas. Within just one generation America has seen heavily processed, sugary, low nutrient content food cause diet-related diseases at all-time high rates.

Sweden leads by example

“I believe Swedes are happy to share their healthy lifestyle with our fellow Americans,” says Malin Jonsson, operations manager of the Swedish Club in Seattle, whose community holiday celebration is ranked among the best in the Pacific Northwest. It is not just the practices of eliminating bad sweets and bad habits in our eating culture, says Jonsson, but the fact that the balance of work and lifestyle has earned the citizens in our Scandinavian coun-

tries the highest rankings in the Annual United Nations Worldwide Happiness Report. (The USA now ranks at 19.) Our culture also honors female Christmas icons, says Jonsson, like Sankta Lucia, who, like the emerging American Corps of Lady Santas (CLaS) brings joy, light and good health to the holiday celebration. Wolfram Alderson, CEO of the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation (HSF) is another who understands the importance of the work of the santas. Focused on metabolic health and nutrition, the HSF understands the connection between how fluctuating low blood sugar levels are the harbinger of tomorrow’s metabolic health problems - which if acted on could save individuals years of pain and suffering and thousands of dollars in medical expenses. With over half the U.S. population either prediabetic or diabetic, the santas help communicate this reality and promote healthy eating remedies to the parents and kids, says Alderson. Some accomplishments they share may seem small, but they establish benchmarks for the rest of the country to follow, says Alderson. One such achievement, at Swedish Medical Center Hospital in Seattle, is that they are the first hospital in the nation to no longer serve juice to their young patients. “Eat that orange, don’t drink it,” says Dr. Uma Pisharody, a pediatric gastroenterologist who got juice off of the Swedish Hospital pediatric menu. “Building local support is key,” says Matt Hall, mayor of Carlsbad, CA, hometown for the Sustainable Santa Foundation. “We are proud to be part of the leadership team making a difference in how kids approach their food choices and lifestyle. We understand the proven relationship between what kids eat and being healthy and their academic achievement. That means our collective efforts are facilitating development of a generation of kids whose achievements and creativity both serve them well and will continue to help build our village’s economy,” says Mayor Hall, who

Top: Collette and Noelle, both 7, members of Carlsbad Girl Scout Troop 1506, concentrate on making gifts for family and friends / Inset: Sisters Piper, 4, and Taylor, 7, show off their holiday creations after a Kids Art Smart Class / Right: Mayor Matt Hall snacks on dehydrated persimmons, one of “nature’s candies” he can obtain at farmers markets.

declared: December 7 is Real Santas United for Healthy Kids Day.

Titanic Sailing Again A new book by Lilly Setterdahl

The passengers dress in period clothing, dance, flirt and fall in love on the maiden voyage of the newly-built Titanic Princess sailing from Jiangsu, China to Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2018. But will the ship reach Southampton, England and New York without serious threats? True to her tradition, the author creates Scandinavian characters and fits them into the story. Whether or not you are a Titanic fan, you will love reading about the surprise onboard meeting of the grandsons of two Titanic survivors, the lady’s maid Anna and her rescuer, Roberto, both featured in Setterdahl’s previous Titanic novels.

Helen Nielsen

Please send me ____ book(s) “Titanic Sailing Again” x $15.95 = _______

6” x 9” soft cover, 319 pages

S&H (in the continental U.S.) +


Total: _________

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Exp. Date:


SSC Code:

Mail to: Nordstjernan, P.O. Box 1710, New Canaan CT 06840

DECEMBER 01, 2019 25

news in brief

Swedish News Dorotea dads use paternity leave

Fathers in Dorotea in the province of Lapland use the most parental leave days in the country: 37.8 percent of the total, versus the average of 29.3, according to Försäkringskassan, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. Further north, Haparanda has the least uses by dads. There, only 21.6 percent of parents’ days are used by fathers. Alexandra Wallin, head of children and families at the Försäkringskassan, says the trend will likely be around 60:40 in 20 years. In Sweden parents of both sexes are entitled to a total combined 480 days (16 months) of paid parental leave. Swedish dads must take at least 90 days of those 16 months. The days don’t expire until the child is 8 years old.

Threats against politicians

Almost one in three elected representatives say they were subjected to harassment, violence or threats during the 2018 election year, according to new data from Brottsförebyggande Rådet (Brå), the Crime Prevention Council. The exposure was higher in 2018 than in any previous year the survey was conducted. Eighty-four percent of those exposed in 2018 reported it happened more than once. This is often done via social media but also via direct contact, telephone and email. Women and men are generally affected equally. Physical attacks are unusual, according to Brå.

The cost of alcohol

A new study, commissioned by Swedish government owned distributor Systembolaget, shows how the costs of alcohol consumption are spread in society. The analysis company Ramboll has investigated the costs for, among other things, health care services and employers, and alcohol consumption cost society SEK 103 billion ($10 billion) last year. Health care providers received 660,000 alcohol-related visits in 2017, and nearly half of them were for alcohol-related mental illness. Other problems include workplace accidents and production losses, according to the study.

Fears about climate change determine behaviors How do Swedish households relate to climate change and to sustainable investments? This is examined in the research report “Knowledge, Fears and Beliefs: Understanding Household Demand for Green Investments” written by Anders Anderson, Swedish House of Finance and David Robinson, Duke University. The research report is based on a spring 2018 survey of 20,000 randomly selected Swedish households aged 18 to 65. More than 4,000 of these responded. “We found that most households overestimate their financial and environmental knowledge. The increased interest in engaging in environmental issues and the willingness to pay higher fees for green financial products can be explained by an overconfidence in their own environmental knowledge and fears rather than facts. In a follow-up of the project we also found that fears explain the tendency to invest in ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) funds in the retirment savings,” says Anderson. If you have experienced extreme weather, temperature records or heat warnings, it is more likely that you are a “green investor.” Thus, your own experiences largely drive household attitudes and investment decisions, according to Anderson. “There is previous research that shows the same mechanism. For example, a U.S. study shows generations that have experienced deep recessions in the world economy are less likely to invest in stocks compared to generations that have grown up during periods of strong growth. It is an example of what psychologists call availability or recency bias,” he says.

Early alcohol debut less common

The proportion of young people who have tested alcohol, tobacco or cannabis before the age of 14 has dropped sharply in 20 years, from 63 percent in 1999 to 18 percent in 2019, according to a new report. The decline in drinking and smoking among Swedish youth is part of an international trend, a reason for which is unknown. One theory: Young people spend more time “away from home” via social media.

Difficult decisions

Since it is not only knowledge that explains the environmental commitment, it is difficult for the consumer to make informed decisions. One of the questions that Anderson and Robinson asked in the survey was why polar bears do not eat penguins. “Nearly half did not answer correctly. A quarter did not know, 11 percent indicated that polar bears have been driven from their natural habitat, and two percent stated that polar bears are vegetarians. If you do not know that polar bears and penguins live on different continents, it is probably difficult to assess how some of the most vulnerable animal species are affected by global warming,” says Anderson. A surprising result according to Anderson was that so many Swedes are “green.” “As many as 65 percent of Swedes believe that a green planet is more important than financial welfare. That view is mainly expressed by younger, welleducated women in big cities,” says Anderson.

M: reduce asylum seekers

The Moderate Party wants Sweden to receive significantly fewer asylum seekers, according to a debate article in Svenska Dagbladet. In the article, the party’s group leader in parliament, Tobias Billström, says Sweden should be at about the same level as Norway, Denmark and Finland. That is 5,000-8,000 asylum seekers per year, instead of 21,000 people annually, as at present.

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Var (was, were) Preteritum/the Preterite: “Yesterday I watched a film”

Ordlista i slutet av varje övning/Vocabulary at the end of each exercise Sammanfattning/Conclusion: Was and were have only one word in Swedish that covers both. That is var. Simple, eh? This will be another step on your road to Sweden. Silly use of words: A Swede may very well write “I am a little horse today.” (You find the key on the next page) Övningar / Exercises on next page.


“Var är han? “Var? I Varberg. “Var är Varberg? “I Halland. “Var i Halland? “77 kilometer söder om Göteborg. “Var är Göteborg? “77 kilometer norr om Varberg. Ordförråd/Vocabulary var: 1) where, 2) was, were / Varberg: a town in the province of Halland / söder om: south of / norr om: north of




Continues on page 28


Discover Swedish is not a regular language course. Teachers and other professionals in the language field may object to the fact that it leaves out bits and pieces, and simplifies language learning. That is a calculated move: These lessons are for regular readers, maybe even beginners, trying to get a grip on another language. Discover Swedish concentrates on grammar, hopefully in a playful way, but serious at the same time. The playfulness is illustrated in the examples and exercises. It aims at pointing out similarities but also differences between the two languages. Apart from grammar and the overall structure of Swedish, these lessons also teach how to use your own experience with vocabulary. Discover Swedish demonstrates shortcuts, mainly based on the influences of Latin and Greek—languages that are the foundation of English, Swedish and the Germanic languages. The lessons will include crosswords, fill-in sections, personal questions, Odd Man Out, word groups (like family, colors, animals), jokes, silly translations, short texts in Swedish, all in a kind of Swedish atmosphere. By partaking in Discover Swedish you will no doubt get a grip on Swedish

jag var: I was du var: you were (singular, one person) han var: he was hon var: she was det var: it was (There are two words for it) den var: it was vi var: we were ni var: you were (formal, one person, also more than one) de/dom var: they were (de: formal, dom: informal and in speech)





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1. Kungar och presidenter/Kings and presidents Rätt eller fel/Right or wrong?:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Gustav Vasa var kung. R W Jerry Wiliams var rockartist 1930. R W Vi var hungriga i går. R W De var presidenter i USA mellan 1612 – 1657. R W Finland och Sverige var ett land till 1809. R W Kristina var en svensk drottning. R W Jag var vid det kungliga slottet i Göteborg. R W Sverige var en stormakt på 1600 - 1700-talet. R W Delaware var en svensk koloni. R W Olof Palme var svensk statsminister. R W

Ordförråd/Vocabulary hungrig: hungry / mellan: between / till: until / drottning: queen / vid: at kunglig: royal / slott: castle / 1700-talet: 18th century / statsminister: prime minister 2. Borg och Ove/Borg and Ove Fyll i/Fill in the Swedish word for was, were: 1. Björn Borg ______________ tennisspelare. 2. Sverige ______________ världsmästare i ishockey (2018). 3. En man som heter Ove ______________ en svensk film. 4. Svenskarna ______________ fattiga på 1800-talet. 5. Buzz Aldrins förfäder ______________ svenskar från Värmland. Ordförråd/Vocabulary världsmästare: world champion / fattig: poor / förfader: ancestor 3. Mest historia/Mostly history Stryk under det rätta svaret/Underline the correct answer: 1. Kristina artist – drottning – kung – president 2. Gustav Vasa kung – drottning – artist – statsminister 3. Sweden/Finland one country until 1709 – 1809 – 1909 – 2009 4. Swedish colony Maine – Utah – Texas – Delaware 5. the Royal castle in Malmö – Stockholm – Göteborg – Grishult 6. Olof Palme president – prime minister – king – governor Välkommen till nästa övning. Welcome to the next exercise, on VARIT in issue 18. KEY to silly use of words from previous page: “I am a little horse today” doesn’t refer to the speaker being a fan of My Little Pony. The Swede saying this has a sore throat and “is a little hoarse (has a hoarse voice) today”. “Jag är lite hes i dag” is the correct phrase in Swedish. Horse and hoarse are pretty close when it comes to spelling!!


Continued from page 27 4. Löpande text/Running text Testing ... Karl XII var en svensk kung. Han levde 1682 – 1718. Kungen krigade i Östeuropa. I slaget vid Poltava 1709 vann den ryska armén. Kungen flydde. Efter 5 år i det Osmanska riket kom han till Sverige. 1718 blev han skjuten vid slaget i Halden, Norge. Detta var slutet på den svenska Stormaktstiden. Ordförråd/Vocabulary kriga: make war / gick bra: went well / slag: battle / flydde: fled, escaped / blev skjuten: got shot / slag: battle / slutet: the end / Stormaktstiden: the Era of Great Power


KEY 1. 1R, 2W, 3R/W, 4W, 5R, 6R, 7W, 8R, 9R, 10R KEY 2. Var in all gaps. As simple as that. KEY 3. 1. Drottning, 2. Kung, 3. 1809, 4. Delaware, 5. Stockholm, 6. Prime minister KEY 4. Testing, testing Karl (Charles) XII was a Swedish king. He lived between 1682 – 1718. The king made war in Eastern Europe. The Russian army won in the Battle of Poltava in 1709. The king fled. After five years in the Ottoman Empire he returned to Sweden. At the battle of Halden, Norway, in 1718 the king was shot. This was the end of the Swedish Era of Great Power.

news in brief

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news in brief

Something special Six generations ago in Gränna in Småland, Sweden, Amalia Eriksson was widowed just weeks after her daughter Ida was born. It was 1859, a time when it was quite extraordinary for a young woman to go into business for herself, but Amalia started making “funeral sweets” and received permission from Gränna’s mayor to increase her business and produce “polkagrisar.” The reason behind the name of the now legendary candy isn’t entirely clear, but in 1859, the polka was a popular dance. The word “gris” is Swedish for pig, but it also means “something special”— perhaps a Christmas treat. Amalia used only natural ingredients (still true today): sugar, vinegar, peppermint oil, butter and cream. Originally, she stored the red- and whitestriped candy sticks with a taste of peppermint in a chest of drawers in her home. She was the sole producer of the candy until her death in 1924; Ida continued her mother’s business and eventually shared the secrets of the polkagris recipe. For many years, Grenna Polkagriskokeri was the only

place to buy a polkagris, quite possibly the oldest souvenir in Sweden. By the early 1970s, a blue- and yellow-striped polkagris gained interest. Though they were the colors of the Swedish flag and still had the polkapeppermint taste, some critics thought it was scandalous. The colors ultimately proved popular, though, and now there are more than 15 different colors and many flavors, though only the red and white with peppermint keep the name polkagris; the others are candy sticks. Today—160 years after its inception—Grenna Polkagriskokeri maintains the same traditions for making polkagrisar as Amalia did. All the

production is still done by hand—there are no machines—from the mixing in the kettle to the wrapping in paper. Around 700,000 people visit Gränna every year, and about 10 million candy sticks are produced each year. The jury is still out on whether polkagrisar are the same as what Americans know as candy canes, but if you’re lucky, you might find the Swedish candy at a specialty store or World Market in the U.S. In the meantime, participate in our special holiday context (page 3) to win another special Swedish candy—that’s polka flavored.

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Dear Vasa members, Winter is upon us and the final issue for 2019 is before you. In it you will find Christmas greetings from districts and lodges. / continued on p34

archive news » p33 grand lodge news » p34 say on visit in växjö » p35 gl scholarships info » p36 district lodge news » p37 local lodge news » p39 swedish news » p45

National Archive News

So much progress has been made on digitizing the historical records of our Swedish American forefathers. / p33

Grand Lodge News

Hard and digital copies of the “White Book” of the Vasa Order of America are now available. / p34

Swedish American 2019 Another great American with Swedish heritage gets celebrated - in Swedish glass country. / p35

archive news » p33 grand lodge news » p34 book review » p36 scholarships » p36 district lodge news » p37

Local Lodges

There are so many things going on at this time of year, including the founding of a new local lodge. / p39 in memoriam » p44 swedish news » p45

THE VASA STAR / Fall 2019

EDITOR’S MESSAGE Glögg, pepparkakor, Sankta Lucia, tomte, julbock and julbord — these may be funny words to people who aren’t familiar with the details so important in the traditions of us Swedish Americans at this time of year. As we celebrate the season that’s especially full of the world our forefathers brought with them from Sweden a generation or two (or more) ago, we are so proud of our Swedish heritage. In this issue of the Vasa Star, our interest – and need – in keeping present the culture of our past is clear. With so much news from recent district and local lodge meetings, and even the founding of a brand new local lodge (page 7), it’s clear our pride for and desire in keeping up these traditions is evident. While the fall has been full of festivals and conventions and activities, plans for many holiday celebrations abound. I hope you find those that are happening near you and can attend as

issue highlights

many as possible! You are all doing each other the favor of remembering to include your upcoming events in the local lodge updates on these pages, which encourages everyone to visit each other. And when so many people travel at holiday time, it’s nice to know where the Swedish events are happening in the places we visit. Especially in this age of technology, the holiday season still brings joy in sending and receiving special greetings with each other — which you can find from your brothers and sisters of our international Vasa community on pages 38 and 40 and throughout this issue. I, too, wish you all en Glad Jul och Gott Nytt År!

Linde No. 492 visits Swedish American Museum, Chicago. /p41

Norden No. 684. Corky and Mike Peterson serving pizza. Next on the menu? Lutefisk. /p42

in truth and unity, amanda olson robison

P.S. Don’t forget to take photos at your events, then send the best ones along with your written contributions for next year. Many thanks to all of you who are already doing that! Correspondence is best directed to, and we still have our snail mail address at: The Vasa Star / P.O. Box 13331 / Milwaukee, WI 53213-0331

Cover image: Simon Paulin/ imagebank.sweden. During the time of Advent, this year beginning with the First of Advent on Dec. 1, many windows in Sweden are hung with an “Adventsstjärna” (Advent star).

Submit Material to

Vasa Star PO Box 13331 Milwaukee WI 53213-0331

Initial reaction as 23 brave souls of North Star No. 145 tried surströmming. /p39

the vasa star Fall 2019 Vol. 111, No. 4, Serial 851 Published by The Vasa Order of America

40-årsmärket tilldelas Gun-Britt och Jan Hassleryd vid Höganäs No. 634 högtidsmöte i oktober. / p45

For our next issue:

By January 15

HEADQUARTERS Grand Secretary / Joan Graham 5838 San Jose Avenue Richmond, CA 94804 (510) 526-5512 Grand Master / Art Bjorkner 31 Vasa Drive, Hackettstown NJ 07840-5314 Phone: (973) 426-0776 Editor / Amanda Olson Robison

Remember the Vasa Archives

Family Tree Släktutredningar

when you are making a memorial donation

I am a member of the Vasa Order in Sweden and an expert in Swedish genealogy. Over the years I have helped many Vasa members to find their roots in Sweden.

Send your donations to: Vasa National Archives PO Box 101, Bishop Hill, IL 61419

If you want my help to find your Swedish ancestors, please email me for further information:

DONATE to the Education & Scholarship Funds Send your donations to: Vasa Order of America, Joan Graham, Grand Secretary 5838 San Jose Ave., Richmond, CA 94804

Managing Editor / Liza Ekstrand Send articles, photos & memorials to: The Vasa Star PO Box 13331 Milwaukee WI 53213-0331 Circulation Manager / Joan Graham 5838 San Jose Avenue Richmond, CA 94804 (510) 526-5512 Send address changes and bottom section of application for new members to Joan Graham. Membership Chairman / Ed Netzel 2576 Old Kemare Rd, Lincoln, CA 95648 Advertising Call 1.800.827.9333, ask for Vasa Star rates Layout & production: Nordstjernan, Swedish News, Inc.

page 32


Fall 2019 / THE VASA STAR

ARCHIVES NEWS A message from the president of Vasa National Archives seek grant funding. I will continue to try to spur your interest and request In this issue, Archivist Kathy Cuff your support of various programs and gives an update on the projects that projects that will help the VNA meet are nearing completion at the Vasa the goals of providing the best access National Archives. The good work to the history of the Vasa Order as Kathy has been able to accomplish at well as the history of the thousands the VNA was made possible through of immigrants who are or have been your generosity and commitment to members of the Vasa Order. programs and projects such as the You have recently received a mailimportant Microfilm Digitization ing requesting support for the annual Project. Thank you all very much. Vasa National Archives Julgran FunAs Kathy explains, there is still much draiser. The holiday season gets very to be done, and she will continue to busy so I urge you to consider this dear fellow vasa members and friends of vasa,

Greetings from the Vasa National Archives

We have received our first snow and hope you are staying warm. With the chilly weather coming on too fast for our liking, the urge to curl up with a book at home or in a library is strengthening. Fortunately for us, the Vasa National Archive’s library cataloguing is about half complete and it is becoming easier to find books within the collection. About 1,000 books remain to be catalogued, then we’ll need to physically organize the books. We have learned so much about the library resources here. The first step in converting the microfilm to digital is almost completed. Sixty-two of the 700+ rolls have been digitalized and in the coming weeks they will be available online at the Upper Mississippi Digital Image Archive ( These microfilms contain minutes, application forms, membership books, histories, anniversaries, District Lodge #1 records, District Lodge #2 PDM records and DL #2 Ladies Auxiliary club. The records come from the following lodges: #1-#3, #7-#10, #12-#14, #16, #19, #21-#26, #29, #30, #32, #38, #40, #43, #55, #58, #73, #83, #103, #260, #361, #621 and #706. The microfilms were originally created by Lilly and Lennart Setterdahl. A matching grant from the Illinois Historic Records Advisory Board and generous donations from lodges and members made this possible. We will be looking for additional grants to finish the project in coming years. We’re gearing up for local holiday WWW.VASAORDER.COM

activities, baking cookies and chocolate goodies and decorating the Galva Arts Council. We’ll be hosting a Community Snowman paper mache project and a make-and-take Dala Horse activity. The snowman will be displayed in the gallery during December; the Dala activity is thanks to a donation of Dala horses from Charlotte Börjesson. Kids will be allowed to paint the horses during the Dec. 7 Julmarknad. Horses are limited, so plan to come early. Our next Vasa exhibit will open in April and feature how Vasa members remember our Swedish heritage and keep Swedish traditions alive. Please let us know if you are willing to loan us any stories, pictures or costumes for the next couple of years. i n tr u th an d u n i ty ,

kath y c u f f , m a na g er - a r c h i v i s t

important fundraising effort today if you haven’t yet responded. Please include the names of those you would like memorialized on the enclosed “ornaments” which will be displayed on the julgran at the Archives over the Christmas holiday. The VNA will be its best when we all do our part, therefore donations of any amount will be deeply appreciated. May all the blessings of the holiday be yours as you celebrate with family and friends and may the good times and treasures of the present become

the golden memories of tomorrow. Wishing you lots of love, joy and happiness. Merry Christmas, in truth and unity,

bill lundquist

pgm and president vna

Gold Seal of

Transparency Guide-Star is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. Congratulations to the Vasa National Archives, Inc. and the Vasa Order of America Grand Lodge. The Vasa National Archives Inc. and the Vasa Order of America Grand Lodge have each recently earned the Guide-Star 2019 GOLD SEAL of Transparency. Guide-Star provides in depth information to donors and other nonprofits as they make decision about charitable giving. By sharing information about our goals, strategies, capabilities and vision, we are highlighting the difference we help to make in the world. Both the Archives and the Grand Lodge are very proud to have achieved this high status among nonprofit organizations.

va s a nati o nal ar c h i v es

God Jul och Gott Nytt År Vasa Order of America Grand Lodge Executive Board Grand Master Art Bjorkner Vice Grand Master Jack Hanright Grand Secretary Joanie Graham Grand Treasurer Keith Hanlon Vice Grand Secretary Marlene Patient

MEB-Eastern Region Deborah Larsson MEB-Midwest Region Tom Cleveland MEB-Western Region Ed Netzel MEB-Sweden Connie Grön MEB-Canada Donna Englund

page 33

THE VASA STAR / Fall 2019

GRAND LODGE NEWS The Grand Master’s Message (continued from page 31)

was instituted in 1906 and purchased I know all of you the lodge hall building in 1916, one are busy preparing block from the historic New England for Lucia celebrations port. Wow, a beautiful location and in your community. I thumbs up to members of Spiran for am thankful for the maintaining their wonderful piece of Swedish heritage that history. Moving on to Berlin, CT (DL provides meaningful CT #1), instituted in 1896, and Unioncultural experiences like Lucia. dale, NY (DL NY #4) where at the Nancy and I have been busy con- banquet we were entertained by the tinuing to visit our Vasa districts. world famous Barnklubben Elsa Rix, What a wonderful time we had in the oldest children’s club in the Order, September when our travel took us to and Smörgåsbandet, the well-known Mt. Vernon, WA (DL Pacific North- North American Vasa music group. west #13) and a visit to the Seattle Many times in meetings I am asked area Vasa Park, very nice. Then on to questions, which I encourage, and one Rockport, MA (DL MA #2), hosted question that is often asked is: “Why by Lodge Spiran # 98. Spiran Lodge don’t you change (fill in the blank)?”

My reply is that the GL Executive tory Book update. Board does not make up the rules. Exciting news: We have just opened The Constitution can only be changed a new lodge! Brage No. 764 Peoria, by the MEMBERSHIP. The GL IL District No. 8 Lake Michigan. We Executive Board institutes what the have also received news From Swemembers vote to change during the den that they have had great results GL Convention. Therefore, I encour- encouraging new members! age all members who feel Vasa needs Be sure to purchase the Grand changes to please submit a motion to Lodge Viking Pin to release the inner the GL Secretary prior to March 1, Viking in you! The pins are available 2022. Your motion will then be on the from your Grand Lodge Deputy, a agenda for GL Convention Delegates member of the Grand Lodge Executo review, discuss and vote. tive Board or me. They make great I would like to emphasize that Dis- little gifts! trict Historians please send year-end Remember the Order needs a VIreports, including the name of the cur- BRANT, ENTHUSIASTIC MEMrent District Master, to Alice Iverson BERSHIP – GET THE WORD GL Historian, 285 23rd St., Astoria, OUT! TV TV TV (Talk Vasa) with OR 97103. The year-end reports help ENTHUSIASM! put together what’s happening in the in truth and unity, districts and we can pull out important art bjorkner,grand master information for the 25 Year Vasa His-

NEWS FROM THE GRAND LODGE Copies of the Constitution approved at the 2018 Grand Lodge Convention are now available to place in the Vasa Handbook, the “white book.” Lodges may order multiple copies to distribute to their officers or to all their members, and individual members may order their own copy for their “white book.” Copies are available for $3.00 each (postage included).

Send your order together with a check payable to Vasa Order of America to: Marlene Patient, Vice Grand Secretary, 337 River St., Leicester, MA 01524 Complete Vasa Handbooks (“white books”) may be ordered for $14 (postage included). Electronic copies of the updated Constitution were

sent out by email in December 2018. Many people prefer to have copies to view on computers or smartphones. If you didn’t receive a copy at that time and would like to receive an electronic copy, email Grand Secretary Joanie Graham at to receive a PDF copy as an email attachment.

God Jul Och Gott Nytt År VASA National Archives

Bill Lundquist, President • Bruce Elfvin, Vice President Karen Snowberg, Secretary • Keith Hanlon, Treasurer Tore Kellgren, Board Member • Art Björkner, Board Member Tom Cleveland, Board Member • Jack Hanright, Board Member Charlotte Börjesson, Board Member Sten Hult, Board Member Emeritus Kathy Cuff, Archivist

page 34

Vasa Questions? Most questions can be answered by your district or regional officers. You’re also welcome to send your questions about anything Vasa-related to and then watch for the FAQ Column in The Vasa Star.


Fall 2019 / THE VASA STAR

Swedish American of the Year Eric Nelson on visit in Växjö Crystal, emigrant history and world renowned Swedish influencers Eric Nelson, CEO and executive director of the National Nordic Museum in Seattle, was named Swedish American of the Year by the Vasa Order of America in August. Since he joined the museum in January 2008, he has overseen its expansion into a nationally and internationally recognized center for sharing Nordic culture, values and innovation – officially recognizing it as our National Nordic Museum. During the summer, the SAY celebrations took place in Sweden, as usual starting in Värmland, where the mayor of Växjö welcomed Nelson along with the SAY Committee representatives. The warm welcome included Eric’s mother and sister, who traveled with him. This area of Sweden has a long tradition of glassblowing. The region is named the Kingdom of Crystal (Glasriket), and the Swedish Glass Museum is in Växjö. Consequently the theme of glass had to be on the agenda for our American guests. It is easy to be enchanted by the oldest Swedish glass from the 1500s, royal cups and the bourgeois crystal, side by side with farmers’ pressed glass of the 19th century and the contemporary Swedish glass, often recognized as world-famous design. The glass theme was also featured in a tour of Växjö Cathedral, and we visited the Emigrant Institute and the House of Emigrants, to see the exhibition The Dream of America. Coming in 2020 is an exhibition on all Swedish Americans of the Year, 60 of them by now. Our American guests learned about the local celebrity, Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), who was born in Råshult. His father was a vicar and passionately interested in plants, and exhorted his son Carl to remember the names of plants. That became the beginning of a career as a professor of medicine and botany and a most acclaimed scientist. Considered one of the founders of modern ecology, Linnaeus’ gift to mankind is his excellent classification of plants, animals and minerals published in WWW.VASAORDER.COM

L-R: John W. Robbins, Inga-Britt Andersson, coordinator Ljuder, Eric Nelson, Catherine Bringselius Nilsson SAYcom, Göran Nilsson SAY-com.

The group including Eric Nelson’s sister and mother at Linné’s Råshult.

several volumes of Systema Naturae. After a 15-minute drive we were back to modern times. Our destination was the IKEA Museum in Älmhult, near the hometown of IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad (1926-2018). The idea of this creative entrepreneur from Småland was to create a better everyday life for people: He started IKEA in 1943, and the first department store opened in 1958 - right where the museum is. On Sunday, the last day in Småland, was a visit in Ljuder, considered

the heart of the emigration land by Vilhelm Moberg in his praised novel, The Emigrants. There was a Swedish American service at Ljuder Church, then luncheon at an idyllic manor house with typical Swedish food from ancient times - smoked pork sausage (isterband) with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam (lingonsylt). Afterward there was a

public program with speeches by the Swedish American of the Year and the Vice Consul US Embassy, and a presentation by Catherine Bringselius Nilsson of the Vasa Order. The last night in Växjö was a great finale to our wonderful days together with our honorable guests from the USA, and Governor Ingrid Burman hosted a magnificent dinner at her residence.

submitted by catherine bringselius nilsson, the vasa order, say committee

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THE VASA STAR / Fall 2019

Titanic Sailing Again a book review Anyone who has been following author and Vasa member Lilly Setterdahl may know she released a new “Titanic” book this year. Titled “Titanic Sailing Again,” the novel portrays many of the passengers as offspring of the survivors of the original Titanic, the ship that so devastatingly sank on its maiden voyage in 1912.

As the original passenger list included many Swedes or Scandinavians, so did the list for this voyage as well. It is a great read, easy to follow, and interesting as it took generation after generation to form connections in their lives and as current passengers. The passenger list included several generations of the same families, intertwining and enjoying

the trip together. It takes you back to the timeframe of 1912 on the first leg of the trip, then a bit more relaxed, but still with passengers in classes I, II or III. There is romance aboard, and young couples and not-so-young couples find love with partners that had ancestors surviving the tragedy. There were also some interesting surprises along the trip - the courtesy

The Grand Lodge 2020 Scholarship and Essay Contest The Grand Lodge of the Vasa Order of America offers scholarships to member students attending or planning to attend institutions of higher education.

Applicants for the above scholarships must have become a Vasa member prior to February 15, 2019.

To be eligible, the following items must be postmarked no later than February 15, 2020 to be considered. 1. Completed application with enclosures MUST be postmarked no later than 15 February 2020. 2. Complete “OFFICIAL” transcripts of grades through the first half of the senior year for high school students or fall semester of current academic year for college students. 3. Current passport style photo headshot (at least 4”x6”) or email a digital headshot photo to 4. A letter of recommendation from applicant’s Local Lodge with date of initiation. 5. Letters of recommendation from two personal references dated within last six months. 6. A letter of reference from your Dean, Principal, Teacher or Counselor, dated within last six months. 7. An original, typed essay, not to exceed 1,000 words. Cannot have been submitted in prior years.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.


AWARDS ARE PAYABLE TO the institution in which the student is enrolled or accepted for enrollment. To qualify for the College or Vocational School Scholarship, a student needs to be enrolled in an accredited vocational school or institution of higher learning, taking no less than six (6) credits per semester or eight (8) credits per quarter in the academic year immediately following the award. In extraordinary circumstances, on petition to the Grand Lodge Scholarship Committee, payment may be postponed for a period not to exceed two years.

and good manners, fancy dances, elaborate meals, as well as storms or other threats. In true Setterdahl fashion, the characters and their surroundings are described in a way that make you feel you know the people and can relate to them, or have been to their hometowns. I found this book so well written that I had to google to see if in fact it was a true story. I had heard there was a Titanic II to be built but didn’t think it was ready yet, and yes, in fact it won’t be ready to sail until 2022. So, while it’s a fictional story at this point, it’s still a possible reality in a few years. I’m wondering if Lilly is planning on being a passenger on the maiden voyage of Titanic II ... reviewed by liza ekstrand

Applications are available at the Vasa website until January 15, 2020.

Please put in one envelope if possible

Choose an essay subject from the following list: What do you consider to be a role youth can and should play in Vasa? If you have visited a Nordic Country, what was the most impressive element of your visit and why? How has traditional Swedish music and folkdance influenced your involvement with the Vasa Order? How would you describe how social programs differ from each other in the Nordic countries? Describe the various economies of the Nordic countries and compare their success. Within the Nordic countries, choose what is a most popular tourist attraction, and provide your thoughts on its appeal. What Nordic invention appeals to you as being most important to mankind and why?

John Hanright, Vice Grand Master 47 Scandia Rd Hackettstown, NJ 07840 Phone: (973) 262-2412 E-mail:

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Titanic Sailing again 6” x 9” softcover Available at Amazon or through Nordstjernan

TWO PRIME CEMETERY LOTS FOR SALE Restland Memorial Park East Hanover, New Jersey Sale Price: $1,250 each Please call or email David G Johnson 865-803-8995


Fall 2019 / THE VASA STAR


Good News

oid but expressed a desire to leave that organization and become associOn October 6 a special event took ated with the Vasa Order. Thus began place in Peoria, Illinois: A new lodge contact with District Master Smith was instituted into the Vasa Order of and members of the lodge. There are America and District Lodge Lake over 30 charter members of Brage Lodge whose names will appear on Michigan No. 8! The name of the new lodge is Brage the charter which was issued by the No. 764. The ceremony took place in Grand Lodge of the Vasa Order. The key officers of Brage Lodge Peoria, and present for the wonderful occasion were members of the lodge are Chairman Nadine Willems; Vice and Grand Lodge Deputy Sheila Chairman Alan Puttcamp; Secretary Lundquist, District Master Lynda Mary Luan Borquist; Treasurer New chairman Nadine Willems, Brage No. 764, Peoria, IL, escorted by PGM William Lundquist. Smith, several Executive Board Yvonne (Bonnie) Swanson; Financial and we wish them good luck in members as well as a few Past Dis- Secretary and Cultural Leader Joan of institution. All the members in District Lodge the future as they look forward to trict Masters from the District Lodge. Creager; Chaplain Stanley Rush. A Brage Lodge had been affiliated good time was had by everyone dur- Lake Michigan No. 8 wish to wel- increasing their membership. with the Independent Order of Svith- ing the buffet dinner and ceremony come Brage No. 764 into our district, submitted by pdm nancy hult

DL (Alberta) No. 18 - Canada District Lodge (Alberta) No. 18 held its 44th biennial convention in Edmonton in early June. We were honored to have Grand Master Art Bjorkner and Nancy and our Vice Grand Master John Hanright and Inger attend the convention. Past Grand Master Tore Kellgren and Birgitta also attended. Art, Nancy, Tore, and Birgitta had the opportunity to visit our Vasa Park—unfortunately, it was pouring rain. Saturday’s banquet was held in conjunction with the 90th anniversary of Skandia Lodge 549. Following the banquet, the Chairman

of Skandia presented Cultural Award for members with milestone years of membership. Sonia Sund received the 65-year pin, and a member Linnea Lodge, who couldn’t be present, was announced for having received an 80-year pin! The convention highlight was a special tribute made by our long time member Bert Johnson, who made a very generous donation to the VOA National Archives in memory of his parents Bror and Ester Johnson and his wife Hilda. Bert has been a dedicated member of the district, serving as District Master and Treasurer, and

Skandia Lodge No. 549’s 90th anniversary at the banquet


District 18 Alberta and Grand Lodge Officers.

in his lodge Branting No. 417 in Calgary serving as Chairman and Treasurer. He also served on the Grand Lodge and Archives boards for many years. It was during a recent trip to Bishop Hill that he was very moved to see his name on a plaque at the Archives. At the convention, a Grand Lodge Scholarship was awarded to Doryn Nyroos and a District Scholarship Certificate was given to Ryan de Haan. Garen Samuelson was unable to be present to accept his scholarship. After the banquet, 103 Skandia members grouped together for a photo, followed by fun and dancing. submitted by carol banks dm dl 18, and scandia lodge no. 549 historian

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THE VASA STAR / Fall 2019

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS GOD JUL OCH GOTT NYTT ÅR to all our Vasa friends from Linde Lodge No. 492 Milwaukee, WI

Logen Kärnan # 608 Helsingborg önskar GOD JUL OCH GOTT NYTT ÅR

Norden Lodge No.1 District Connecticut No. 1

Season Greetings

Distriktslogen Södra Sverige Nr 20

tillönskar alla Vasasyskon

God Jul och Gott Nytt År Executive Board Members: Olle Wickström • Mats Holmberg Bo Västerstjärna • Bengt Åberg Claes Johansson Hans-Åke Rytterdahl Sandra Eriksson • Ulf Alderlöv Eva Newin • Maureen Bengtsson Karl-Axel Bengtsson

From all of us to all of you. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2020. LL751 Bråviken/Norrköping

page 38

May the special warmth of Christmas be with you always. God Jul och Gott Nytt År önskar Ulf & Ingegerd Alderlöv SLD/FÖM DL 20 LL Ronneby # 630

GOD JUL OCH GOTT NYTT ÅR Hans & Ingrid Rytterdahl MDER DL 20 LL Ronneby # 630

God Jul och Gott Nytt År önskar Maureen & Göte Bengtsson SLKL Sverige O LL Småland # 618

God Jul och Gott Nytt År önskar Agneta & Bo Västerstjärna DS DL 20 LL Skåne # 570

Logen Carl von Linné # 678 önskar sina Vasasyskon och vänloger En God Vasa Jul och ett Gott Nytt Vasa År

God Jul och Gott Nytt Vasaår tillönskas alla vasavänner Olle & Marie Wickström DM DL 20 O LL Skåne # 570

God Jul och Gott Nytt År önskar Claes & Karin Johansson VDS DL 20 PS LL Nybyggarna # 698

GOD JUL OCH GOTT NYTT ÅR Tillönskas alla vasasyskon Berit och Hans Bogren LL Höganäs # 634

Logen Ronneby # 630

önskar sina Vasasyskon och vänloger En God Vasa Jul och ett Gott Nytt Vasa År

God Jul och Gott Nytt År önskar Catherine & Göran Bringselius Nilsson DHM DL 20/O


Fall 2019 / THE VASA STAR


Thule members recognized for many years of membership, standing: Jean Olson (42), Donna Johnson (45), Charlotte Johnson (34), Dorothy Peterson (42), Lillian Chapman (40), Karen Johnson (41), Vice Chairman Susan Sipos (35) and David “Skip” Axelson (15). Seated are: Historian John Sipos (19), Fanchon Fuller (39), Robert Truver (55) and Irving Burgeson (32). Other honored members were Carol Mattison (36), Karen Bjorkholm Leeper (34), Diane Shaw (18), Honorable Willard Cass (23), Gene Johnson (36), Donald Peterson (38) and Steven Peterson (36).

Thule No. 127 jamestown/bemus point, ny / Thule Lodge is nearing the end of its 112th year and recently held a Harvest Dinner with a full turkey dinner and all the trimmings. Cultural Leader MaryAnn Eva Ingrao gave the blessing in Swedish. Following the

dinner, members with longevity were recognized and presented a small token: Each woman was presented a bouquet of flowers and each gentleman received a box of candy. The next major event will be the Dopp i Gryta in December. Thule Lodge wishes everyone a happy new year. submitted by john sipos

ABBA evening with all the glamour.

Drott No. 168

potomac, md / This has been a successful year for Drott Lodge. Midyear, members dusted off their bell bottoms and sequined costumes for an unforgettable evening of ABBA: singing and of course dancing! Our Mama Mia Sing-along, “ABBApaloooza 2: Here we Go Again” was a disco triumph! This fall, members of Drott’s most dedicated volunteers kicked off the holiday season with our 40th Swedish Bazaar. A

The 40th Swedish Bazaar.

Washington, DC favorite, the bazaar includes folk musicians, imported foods, Swedish gifts, a smörgåsbord food line and home-made baked goods. submitted by julie olson

North Star No. 145

Inspecting the surströmming ... edible?

Eighteen of the 23 brave souls who ate the surströmming.


spokane, wa / Forty-five members and guests gathered September 21st for our annual BBQ. We feasted on delicious pulled pork … then the Swedish delicacy known as surströmming (sour herring/stinkyfish) was prepared. This lightly salted fermented Baltic Sea herring has been traditional to Swedish cuisine since the 16th century. Production lasts at least six months and salt is added to prevent the raw herring from rotting and allowing it to ferment, giving the fish its characteristic strong smell and acidic taste. Twenty-three people gathered around the table and recoiled (as if hit in the nose by Thor’s hammer) when the bulging can of surströmming was opened. Despite the stench, each of them ate a sandwich of flat bread, boiled potatoes, surströmming, red onions, chives and crème fraiche. Fortunately the taste wasn’t as bad as the smell. The consensus was that while they were glad they tried it, only a few would do it again. There were still two cans of surströmming remaining that we could use next year. Nej tack!! Chairman Per Flygare presented a certificate of achievement to everyone who had bravely eaten this much maligned delicacy! .

submitted by steve matthews

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THE VASA STAR / Fall 2019

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS Nobel Lodge No. 184, Portland OR God Jul och Gott Nytt År! To our Friends from the former Mälardrottningen Loge

En riktigt God Jul och Ett Gott Nytt År

till alla våra bröder och systrar i Vasa Diana Birger Jarl No. 3


GOTT NYTT ÅR to all our VASA friends from District Lodge PA No. 9

Julie Lynn Olson - District Master Darlene Nelson - Vice District Master Pat Bellingham - District Secretary Dick Erickson - District Treasurer Arne Dunhem - Executive Board Bo Carlsson - Executive Board Marit Knollmueller - District Cultural Leader Karen Chilcote - District Historian & Nobel Monitor Lodge #130 - Ohio Drott Lodge #168 - DC/Maryland Svea Lodge #296 - Pennsylvania


Golden Gate DL No. 12 God Jul och Gott Nytt År! to all our Vasa friends from Golden Gate DL No. 12

God Jul och Gott Nytt År

& Gott Nytt År Wishes to all Vasa Friends from


District Lodge Lake Michigan No. 8

Celebrating 98 Years And wishing all our Vasa Friends God Jul och Gott Nytt År from Framåt Lodge No. 405 El Cerrito, California

DCL Annelise Nelson • DLYS Michael Pearson Jr.

DM Lynda Smith • VDM Gene Kiesel

DS Lois Klubens • DT Linda Christensen ADS Janet Nelson • HFS Linda Tylk

EBM’s Timothy Ogrentz • Katie Westlund PDM Nancy Hult

Linnéa Lodge No. 504, Petaluma, CA God Jul och Gott Nytt År! To all our Vasa friends from Linnéa Lodge No. 504 Petaluma, CA God Jul och Gott Nytt År! To all our friends in Vasa-land Sweden, Canada & USA Liza & Rolf Ekstrand & Family

God Jul och Gott Nytt År! Till våra vänner i DL 19 och DL 20 Önskar Anne Shams och Jeff Klein, GLD DL 13

MEMBERSHIP - WWW.VASAORDER.COM Membership has its privileges: First and foremost, as a member of Vasa you become an instant member of an extended family— wherever you go, where there’s a lodge, there are friends, regular meetings and a multitude of events and activities to join, share in and carry over to other members of your immediate family. page 40

Inquire about membership and your local district through vasajlg@ (Joanie Graham, GL Secretary) or membership@vasaorder. com (Ed Netzel, Membership Chairman) - Subject: Membership. Or, write Grand Lodge Membership Chairman Ed Netzel 2576 Old Kemare Rd, Lincoln, CA 95648 / WWW.VASAORDER.COM


Brahe No. 245

rockford , il / We had a quiet summer then met on September 22 for brunch at our beautiful Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford. The weather did not cooperate, so

Fall 2019 / THE VASA STAR

a garden tour was not possible. But we made plans to visit a German restaurant in October, elect officers in November, and have our annual Christmas potluck in December. submitted by carol johnson

Emigranternas Hus in the harbor of Gothenburg.

Austin No. 466

Front row: members Stan and Kris Steinke, Jean Berggren, Gunnel Stewart, Karen Ylitalo, Dennis Eksten. Back row: Carol Johnson, Joyce Anderson, Gary Johnson, Roy Ylitalo.

at the time) and large cherry orchards started appearing. After the 1871 Chicachicago, il / Our lodge received an go fire, the Swedish population moved invitation to attend VOA Göteborg Nr. outside the city’s northern limits; new 452’s 95th anniversary celebration in immigrants continued arriving at the September, and that led the historian start of the 20th century, even though to reminisce about the great immigra- Swedes began to leave for the suburbs tion, and in particular the information during the Depression and the end of that Emigranternas Hus in Göteborg WWII. Today, second and third generaprovides of immigration to Chicago. tion Swedes remain in Andersonville. In the 19th century, immigrant SwedBy the way - Happy Anniversary ish farmers started moving into Ander- Göteborg! sonville (a distant suburb of Chicago submitted by frank bennett rowder

Frihet No. 401

seattle , wa / Chairman Brenda Bard lined up many Swedish cultural events, including a 98th anniversary celebration (formed on October 1, 1921). Lucille Lundstrom, a lifetime Vasa member, turned 98 on October 4. She peeled many a potato for Skogsblomen’s annual meatball dinner. Our Christmas julbord is coming up soon, and we are inviting our neighboring lodges to join us for the holiday events. We have many new members and hope they will be involved in sharing the Vasa spirit. Vasa Park has new management and we are looking forward to a 2020 season of new ideas, especially, Midsommer. We love our Grand Master’s password: ENTHUSIASM - don’t you?!

Kräftskiva with so much good food to select from. Elaine Johnson, Marge Jothen (who, at age 100, won’t miss a good kräftskiva) and Ashley LeBlanc.

submitted by karen riston

Scandinavian Festival with Miss New Berlin Jamie Watkins, Alderwoman Lori Doyle, Liza Ekstrand and SmörgåsBandet with Jeanne, Wayne and Chad.

Linde No. 492

milwaukee, wi / Fall is always a busy time for our lodge, and this year it was kicked off as usual with a kraftskiva in August, the annual “roadtrip” in September (this year a two-day event at the Swedish American Museum, Andersonville and Scandinavian Day in S. Elgin), and our very successful


fundraiser as participants in our area Scandinavian Festival in October - this year including the famous Vasa band SmörgåsBandet! November included nominations of the 2020 lodge officers and a presentation of Liza Ekstrand’s summer trip to Sweden. In December

we’ll elect our officers, enjoy a Christ- take a break in February, and then we mas luncheon at noon on December 7 at return with new programs in March. As the New Berlin Ale House, and a Lucia always, everyone in Vasa-land is always and Christmas program together with welcome to our events, just contact us Swedish-American Historical Society for details. Enjoy the holidays! on December 8. The 2020 season kicks off with a meeting on January 18. We submitted by liza ekstrand page 41


THE VASA STAR / Fall 2019

Joe Harbor No. 534 st joseph, mi / Ten lodge members traveled from Michigan to Chicago for a fantastic cultural trip that began in Andersonville with morning fika at Lost Larson Bakery (excellent coffee, tea and cinnamon rolls). Then we had a tour of the Swedish American Museum ( where we learned about immigrants who traveled to America, the Swedish history of Chicago, the Brunk Children’s Museum, we viewed the art in the gallery, and shopped the museum store. Then we had lunch at Svea Restaurant across from the museum. After time at the beautiful Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL, we experienced the Troll Hunt, viewing giant trolls created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo (www.mortonarb. org/events/troll-hunt). The day ended with dinner at IKEA in Bolingbrook, then after a stay in St. Charles, we contributed to the local economy in Geneva, IL by shopping at The Gift Box, ate a scrumptious lunch at Stockholm’s Brew Pub, and ended our trip with a tour at the Friends of the Viking Ship at Good Templar Park ( Thank you to Lake Michigan District 8 for cultural funds supporting a large portion of our trip!

submitted by dennis lundgren

Enjoying the Troll Hunt in front of the Niels Braccer’s arm (l-r) are Eva Andersson Carrio, Mary Andersson, Cultural Leader Nancy Wenstrand, Suzie Tjernland. Behind the troll’s hand are (l-r) Chair Alan Wenstrand, Colleen Lundgren, Doug Tjernland, Vice Chair Linda Tjernland, and Auditor/Historian Dennis Lundgren.

Linnea No. 504

/ After enjoying another lovely Midsummer held at the Koagedals’ home in Petaluma, the lodge gathered together for our annual “BBQ on the Patio” in August and initiated our newest member, Beverly Rathbun. We celebrated our 92nd anniversary at our October meeting with a local musican playing the fiddle and nyckelharpa, and lunch came from a local Swedish restaurant. We are gearing up for our 48th Annual St. Lucia Festival on December 15 complete with pageant, tomtenissarna, Santa Claus and dancing around the Christmas tree.

Phoenix No. 677

petaluma, ca

submitted by mary wahlberg

Välkommen to our new lodge member, Beverly Rathbun, initiated by Chair Rick Wahlberg in August. Beverly was born in Massachusetts and lives in San Rafael with her husband Ted. She enjoys painting and Swedish culture.

phoenix, az / Our October meeting held a sad note in that the Charter was draped in honor of two of our members who passed away; Chuck Elston and Kiki Swanson. Family members of both Chuck and Kiki were able to attend. They will be missed. To get us into the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, we had an excellent program on the Jul Bock Christmas tradition. With well-researched and interesting facts, it was an enjoyable presentation. We also duly elected our new board for the 2020 Lodge

year. Now our energies are directed to our Jul Bazaar taking place on the 9th of November, and not too far behind, our Lucia Fest, scheduled for December 14, 2019. The bazaar hours are from 10 am to 2 pm at Burns Hall, at Shepherd of the Valley church, 15th Avenue and Maryland in Phoenix which is the same location for our Lucia Fest on December 14th from noon to 4 pm. Future plans are being made to host the biennial convention of District 21 by Phoenix Lodge 677 in April of next year. Details and location will be announced at a later date. submitted by romy solomonson

Norden No. 684 fresno, ca / The October meeting began with the “Svenska Musik Club” dancers - we had 18 dancers this year, the youngest one being under 2 years old. Many families stayed to enjoy pizza, salad and dessert. The childrens’ group will also be dancing for us at the Lucia and Lutfisk Dinner on December 14 - please save the date and come to enjoy the program and friendship.

submitted by clyda dehn

page 42

Svenska Musik Club dancers entertaining at Norden’s October meeting.



Nordic No. 611

Entertainment at District Convention: pianist Gary Lundgren

Fall 2019 / THE VASA STAR

worcester, ma / Our first meeting after summer break was well attended with two new members initiated. Discussed was the bylaw changes to be voted on at the District Convention. Entertainment by honky tonk pianist extraordinaire Gary Lundgren. The convention was hosted by Spiran Lodge of Rockport, MA and was well run and attended by many dignitaries, including Grand Master Art Bjorkner and his wife Nancy. The entertainment and food was spectacular and a good time was had by all. Tusen Tack Herman Lilja and Spiran Lodge. A 90th birthday party was held at Scandinavian Athletic Club for Marian Grundburg with about 100 people in attendence. Javisst ska hon leva uti hundrade år! October’s meeting featured Wayne Tuiskala, auctioneer and appraiser of Scandinavian items, similar to the “Antique Road Show.” The November meeting included an election of officers and a regifting party.

Vinland No. 703 cape cod, ma / Members and friends surprised Past Chairman Russell Peterson with an 80th birthday party at our September meeting that included a luncheon with Russell’s favorite foods. In October we heard an enlightening illustrated program on Iceland. The Election of Officers was on November 16 and we made Scandinavian ornaments. Our Luciafest is at 2:00 on December 8 with Victoria Peterson as Lucia. Refreshments and music will follow the Lucia Procession.

Congratulations PC Russell Peterson on his 80th birthday! Here enjoying his favorite food and cake.

submitted by dorothy ann ellner kean

submitted by åke jansson

Glenn T Seaborg No. 719

laguna woods, ca / We held a gala Nobel Banquet in November. Everyone was dressed to the nines, and member Wayne Pages played the violin during the reception and dinner. The evening started with appetizers and a champagne toast in Orrofors flutes, then Laura Cornwell’s dinner of salmon, steak and roasted potatoes was delicious. We learned that during the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm on Dec. 10, 1,240 waiters descend a staircase carrying silver trays of desserts with sparklers lighting up the darkened room; we duplicated this effect and served princess cake, green chocolate cookies (AKA vacuum

cleaners) and chocolate balls with gold candles. After dinner, Nancy Kingston gave a presentation on Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Museum, Nobel medallions and highlights of laureates over the years. She mentioned a book by Anita Laughlin (wife of 1998 Nobel Laureate in physics), called “Reindeer with King Gustaf” and “What to Expect When Your Spouse Wins a Nobel Prize.” Everyone loved learning how hectic laureates’ lives were from the moment they receive their phone calls in October through their visit in Sweden in December. submitted by nancy kingston

Busy waiters Rory and Erik Below: Nobel dinner table with light, black table cloths and gold Nobel medallion decor.

Fancy Nobel desserts.

Moving? Be sure to send address changes to:


page 43


THE VASA STAR / Fall 2019

Tre vackra flickor Ava Tomky, Aubrey Chelich, Kristine Pearson

Fyra stiliga Vikingar Fred Raddatz, DLYS Mike Pearson, Herb Smith, Winfield Smith.

Nordik Folk No. 761

munster, in / Together with NordikKids No. 208, we held a Viking potluck dinner in November. Coming up: the NordikKids’ Luciafest is December 8, at noon in Highland, Indiana. Dinner is followed by a choir program and Lucia Pageant including 20+ young people ages 4 through 18. Reservations are required, please call Lynda Smith 219.741.8875.

DL 8 First Couple Herb Smith and DM Lynda Smith.

submitted by lynda smith

IN MEMORIAM Stenland No. 727 Memorial Notices should be mailed with check or money order to The Vasa Star, PO Box 13331, Milwaukee, WI 53213-0331. Email: The fee is $10 - max. 40-45 words, and $25 for longer obituaries - 50-120 words. All notices must be typed and in a format similar to what you see here. NO newspaper clippings If you submitted an obituary and it is not listed here, please resubmit to be included in the following issue.

rockland county, ny / In October we had the pleasure of initiating and welcoming a new member, Mary Manning. We discussed the convention to be held in November on Long Island.

After the meeting, George Langberg showed paintings and illustrations by Jenny Nystrom, who is mainly known for her Swedish images of the jultomte on Christmas cards. Our Lucia Program

and Christmas Party is on Dec.7 at 2:00 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Pearl River, NY. Doors open at 1:30. After the Lucia program we will have refreshments and a fabulous raffle. All are welcome! submitted by ingrid allison

a daughter. WISCONSIN RAY SHOBERG, 92, died in October 2019, a Linde No. 492 member for 36 years and active to the end. He was a lodge chairman for five years and was always involved in helping with ideas and fundraising items - you may have a shoehorn he made or a Dalahast pin. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Anne. He will be greatly missed by family, friends, and Swedish and Finnish lodge friends. page 44

Bob and Beatrice Rasmussen’s 61st wedding anniversary.

Members at the meeting. WWW.VASAORDER.COM


Fall 2019 / THE VASA STAR


Göteborg No. 452 Board members from left: Marie Andersson, Ingvar Winmalm, UllaBritt Essgren, Karin Wall Benesch, Eleonor Aspwing, Inger Drottz, Eva Westin, Charlotte Börjesson, Monica Olsson, Torsten Olsson.

Göteborg No. 452

/ Sweden’s first and oldest Vasa lodge, Göteborg No. 452, celebrated its 95th anniversary on September 7 with more than 100 members and guests. Chairwoman Eleonor Aspwing welcomed everyone in the beautifully decorated lodge room. A well exercised parade of flags followed with national anthems and the Vasa song. Irene Hagalm and Kerstin Toft received their ribbon for 55 years and 65 years of membership, sweden

respectively. Lodge Secretary Karin Wall Benesch shared many warm greetings and well wishes especially from GM Art Bjorkner. Our banquet started with shellfish toast followed by delicious halibut. The white wine came from Carlifornia! The Grand Finale of the day was orchestrated by Storbandsbolaget, a local jazzband with 18 members playing Glenn Miller-type music. An unforgettable anniversary!

Alexander Västerstjärna hälsar på tomten vid tre års ålder.

Skåne No. 570

/ Julen närmar sig och vi i Logen Skåne Nr 570 sänder här en julhälsning till alla våra Vasavänner! På novembermötet hade vi besök av Lillemor Darinder som kåserade om bin. De kan stickas om man har otur, submitted by torsten olsson men de gör så mycket gott också, som pollinering och honung. Den 1:a advent kommer vi att återuppta många igenkännande leenden. Festliga en gammal tradition och samlas i höganäs, sweden / I augusti inledde logen höstterminen med en lyckad bord och traditionell kalkon med tillbe- Uppåkra kyrka för en stunds andakt. bussutfärd. Första stopp var vid rast- hör och äpplekaka med vaniljsås. Salen Därefter blir det en gemensam lunch platsen Lars Dufva i Osby; kaffe och dukades för kaffe och kaka, husbandet på något trevligt ställe. Håll utkik på goda frallor dukades fram. Färden gick spelade och golvet fylldes snabbt med vår hemsida för mer uppgifter. Vårt vidare till Älmhult och Ikea-museet dansglada Vasasyskon. Nästa möte, julmöte blir lördagen den 7 december och ett par timmar med minnen från den 16 november är Brödernas afton. och då ska vi nominera tjänstemännen för nästa termin. Sedan väntar Ingvar Kamprads välkända produkter. Den 14 december är årets julfest. ett stort julbord på oss och William Därefter i restaurangen för en jät- submitted by berit och hans tegod räk- och laxsallad. Färden gick bogren vidare till Toftaholms Herrgård och Afternoon Tea med en massa godsaker. Efter promenad i den vackra parken tog bussen oss till Margretetorps Gästgivaregård för en härlig två-rätters meny. En minnesrik utfärd i glada Vasavänners sällskap! Vid Kulturmötet i september berättade naturfotografen Ingmar Skogar om ”Skåne i mitt hjärta” och visade ett otroligt vackert bildspel. Vid Högtidsmötet i oktober kunde Ordförande Inger Bengtsson överlämna märke för 40-års medlemskap till GunBritt och Jan Hassleryd. Under Kontakt Amerika berättade KL Hans Bogren om lägergården Sjölunden i Minnesota, och LH Evy Lindstrand fortsatte sin berättelse om ”Arnbergs töser” med Vasautflykt 2019-IKEA.

Höganäs No. 634



Marshall ska berätta om Nobelmiddagen. Fredagen den 10 januari 2020 blir det årsmötesförhandlingar och val av tjänstemän. Till efterkapitlet kommer Anders Reisnert och berättar om Baltiska spelen. Vi har fått en ny vänloge, nämligen Oak Leaf Lodge No. 685 och det tackar vi för. Besök Logen Skånes egen hemsida för att ta del av bilder, reportage, nyhetsbrev med mera. Googla på vasaorden LL570 eller klicka på länken på Under fliken nyhetsbrev finns vår senaste Skåneglimten, samt senaste nyhetsbreven från några vänner i USA. Under fliken reportage läggs fortlöpande in bildalbum och texter från våra träffar. GOD JUL från LOGEN SKÅNE submitted by bo västerstjärna

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THE VASA STAR / Fall 2019

SWEDISH NEWS Nybyggarna No. 698 Efter ett tidigt logemöte i September startade vi årets utflykt med 45 logesyskon samt 2 gäster från Logen Kärnan 608, Ulf Peder och Eva Eklund. Arrangörsgruppen hälsade oss välkomna. Vädret var regn och sol om vartannat och färden gick till Ausås, där BKL br Hans-Åke berättade lite om den gamla Prästgården. Därefter kom vi till Bygdegården där den medhavda frukosten intogs. Därefter mot Citadellet i Landskrona och på vägen hade KL br Karl-Erik Asp en aptitretare angående ett av krigen mellan Sverige och Danmark 1675-1676. Vid Citadellet fick vi guidad visning av ”Jörgen Brahe”. Citadellet byggdes från början som en krigsfästning av Kristian III av Danmark (1549-1559). Sedan även att användas som fängelse under många år. De som ville fick test ligga i en säng i de gamla fängelsecellerna, ingen blev inlåst. Färden gick vidare till Stiftsgården Åkersberg i Höör, för söndagslunch. Efter en välsmakande

Logen Nybyggarnas årsutflykt.

söndagsmiddag åkte vi till Minnenas museum. Där fick vi återse allt gammalt som vi samlat på eller skänkt till loppmarknad. Därefter gick färden vidare till Billinge och Trumpetarbostället. Där serverades kaffe med tilltugg hos Hönsakadorrans Paug. Vi åkte vidare mot Ängelholm efter en härlig dag avlöpt i sann Vasaanda. submitted by claes johansson


Citadellet i Landskrona - byggt som krigsfästning senare använts som fängelse.

kära vasasyskon, Sedan vidare till Berlin i Connecticut nuvarande Distriktsmästare till Alice Vintern och därmed (DL CT #1) som grundades 1896 och Iversen, storlogens historiker, 285 23rd årets sista utgåva av Uniondale, New York (DL NY #4) St., Astoria, OR 97103. Årsrapporten är Vasa Star har anlänt. där vi underhölls under banketten en stor hjälp när vi summerar vad som I den finner ni julav den världsberömda Barnklubben händer i distrikten och vi kan också hälsningar från loger Elsa Rix, den äldsta barnklubben i vår dra ut viktig information till boken om och distrikt från när orden och Smörgåsbandet, den kända Vasa 125 år. och fjärran. Alla är nordamerikanska gruppen med enbart En spännande nyhet är att vi just öppnu upptagna med förberedelser inför Vasamedlemmar. nat en ny loge, Brage No. 764 i Peoria, Luciafiranden i den egna logen liksom Jag får många gånger frågor vid Illinois, Distrikt No. 8 i Michigan. Jag i andra grupper. Jag känner själv stor möten, något som jag gärna tar emot, har också fått nyheter från Sverige tacksamhet över våra svenska tradi- och en av de vanligaste är “varför än- om att man haft stor framgång med att tioner som ger oss så meningsfyllda drar ni inte på ...?” Mitt svar är alltid rekrytera nya medlemmar! upplevelser som till exempel Lucia. att Storlogens exekutiva styrelse inte Beställ storlogens vikinganål för att Nancy och jag har varit upptagna sätter regler. Våra föreningsstadgar kan släppa loss din inre Viking! med att besöka våra olika distrikt. Vi bara ändras av MEDLEMMARNA. Knappnålarna finns att köpa genom hade en härlig tid i september när vårt Storlogens exekutiva styrelse genom- din storloge-deputerade, medlemmar resande tog oss till Mt Vernon i Wash- för de förändringar som röstats igenom av storlogens exekutiva styrelse eller ington (DL Pacific Northwest #13) under Storlogemötet. Därför uppmanar av mig. De är mycket uppskattade och ett besök på Vasaparken i Seattle. jag alla medlemmar, som känner att som gåva. Sedan vidare till Rockport, Massachu- Vasa behöver förändras, att skicka sina Kom ihåg, vår orden behöver LIVsetts (DL MA #2) med Spiran #98 som förslag till storlogens sekreterare före LIGA OCH ENTUSIASTISKA värdar för mötet. Logen Spiran grun- den 1 mars, 2022. Ditt förslag kommer MEDLEMMAR - SPRID ORDET! dades 1906 och köpte loge-byggnaden då att finnas med på dagordningen som PV PV PV (Prata om Vasa) och gör det 1916 som ligger bara ett kvarter från storlogens delegater kommer att se ENTUSIASTISKT! den historiska hamnen i New England. över, diskutera och rösta om. God Jul och Gott Nytt År! Oj, vilket vackert läge och tummen Jag vill påminna våra historiker i upp för Spirans medlemmar som så väl de olika distrikten om att sända in i sanning och enighet, Anders Sjölin (för dagen utklädd till underhåller sin historiska mötesplats. sina årsrapporter, inklusive namn på art bjorkner, stormästare slottsherre Jörgen Brahe)

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