Vasa Order of America

Vice Grand Master's Message

Vice Grand Master John C (Jack) Hanright's Spring Message for 2021

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Message from the Vice Grand Master

Dear Vasa members,

I look back at our Grand Master’s Message from this same issue one year ago with hopes of the health pandemic subsiding shortly and I am reminded again that we are not through this thing just yet. Many members, friends, and family have suffered some hardship through this. Some with significant health issues, many with financial hardships and unfortunately those who have lost loved ones, friends, or family. We all share together in our most heartfelt condolences to those members. We also share in support and encouragement to all members and friends that have endured hardship of any kind. As our Grand Master said in his message one year ago “We cannot let it diminish our spirits”.

Our Grand Lodge Social Media Director Chad Widman has been a busy man this year. Members have kept in touch and followed happenings around our order on these platforms more than ever. Our Grand Lodge Cultural Directors, Jeanne Eriksson Widman Andersen and Kevin DeFeo have been posting interesting reports and folks have been sharing lots of nice photos and enlightening content. Now the days are getting longer, and the temperatures are rising so we can all start to shake off our cabin fever and get out and about. Some District Lodges have been able to reschedule their conventions for later this year and some Local Lodges are finding ways to begin meeting again. Overall, the outlook is improving and we all certainly look forward to in person interaction.

One of the items our Grand Lodge Officers would be bringing attention to at District Conventions is our educational scholarship program. I am pleased to inform you that our young Vasa Members have persevered through everything and furthered their academic goals. The Grand Lodge anticipates 28 college scholarships being awarded for 2021.  Unfortunately, Sjolunden Language Camp is still in an unresolved state due to the health crisis, and we have yet to determine how that will all work out. The Editors and I have spotlighted many of our scholars’ essays in The Vasa Star this year and it has been met with much praise for their hard work.  Our members who came before us developed an outstanding educational fund that has provided these scholarships since 1946!! Having worked as chairman of the scholarship committee I can tell you first hand that the resumes and letters of recommendation from these young men and ladies is beyond impressive. They are the future of our order. We will continue to publish their essays and bios in upcoming editions.

Our archivist in Bishop Hill has been doing a fantastic job navigating through all of the issues 2020 threw at her. Be certain to read our National Archives President’s message and if you can, please send a thank you to Kathy Cuff for all her hard work.

So now the days will be longer, and the trees and flowers will bloom. Hopefully, our sprits can be lifted, and I will make sure to get over to our Grand Master’s house and get him started on lawn cutting at Vasa Park asap. Best of everything to each and every one from all of us in the Grand Lodge Board.

In Generosity, Truth and Unity,

John C Hanright (Jack), Vice Grand Master