Lodge Jubileum No.755
Vasa Order of America

 
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About Lodge Jubileum No.755

The Vasa Order of America began more than a century ago as a benefit fraternal Society for Swedish immigrants to the United States.

The Vasa order today welcomes all men and women over 14 years of age who are interested in promoting the Swedish culture and keeping Swedish heritage alive.

Vasa Jubileum Lodge 755 was organized November 17, 1996. We hold monthly meetings which include lectures, music programs, Scandinavian arts and crafts, dances, and audiovisual programs covering a wide range of Scandinavian experiences, and fellowship. Annual dues are $30 per member. Here is a brief history of our lodge: Bengt Johnson was a Vasa member in Chicago. He moved to Madison and started looking for fellow Swedes. One contact he made was a Mrs. Wilson, who was living in a nursing home. Bengt had called the Vasa Order and asked how to start a lodge. Mrs. Wilson passed away and the momentum faded. Melanie Healds parents, Lester and Frances Johnson moved from Chicago. They were interested in their Swedish heritage, and had even spent a week at Sjolunden, the Swedish language camp near Bemidji, MN. They met with Bengt, and the Burlings (Allan, Maj-Britt, and Kajsa) may have been part of these meetings too. Bengt was a good old Swede whose primary interest was meeting with other Swedes, socially. Melanie Heald was a firecracker and was instrumental in building ties to the Scandinavian Studies program at the University, which gave the group a broader perspective and was a source of some of the early programs, while Melanie served as program coordinator. Melanie was interested in the lodge as an intellectual venture, and to satisfy her parents, Lester and Frances Johnson. Lillemor and Richard Horngren, together with Marion Anderson, were part of a meeting at Oakwood Village. Richard was from Linde Lodge in Milwaukee, and later went to Bishop Hill as the Vasa Archivist. Linde Lodge was the group that held it all together. Bengt put an ad in the Madison paper. Lester and Frances Johnson were active in beginning the lodge. When Lowell became involved, there were already about 20 people. Lowell already had a Vasa connection though, because his grand-daughter sang with a group called the Forget-Me-Nots as part of a childrens club in Chicago. David Tollin was the District Master at the time Jubileum was chartered (1996). The name Jubileum was proposed by Maj-Britt Burling, 1996 being the centennial year of the Vasa Order. By coincidence, Gunnard Swansons home town of New Britain, CT, is the birthplace of the Vasa Order as well.

Our regular meeting date is the second Sunday of every month at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 5701 Raymond Road, Madison, Wisconsin at 1:30 p.m. May, June, and December meetings are different. Please look at the website for changes in time and/or place. Jubileum #755 does not meet in July or August.

Contact Us

If you are interested in more information about our organization or wish to join us please call:

Robert Merrill, Chairperson (608) 238-4981

Marshall Berg, Membership Secretary (608) 437-0321

Kajsa Buring, Recording Secretary (608) 222-1361

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