Vasa Order of America

Grand Master's Message

Grand Master Art Bjorkner's Summer Message for 2021

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Message from the Grand Master

Dear Vasa members,

I hope everyone has enjoyed the summer months with long, summer days and warm sun! To be truthful, I could have done without those months having had COVID-19, two knee replacements and physical therapy for them, plus two COVID vaccinations. What a summer! My style has been royally cramped and my personal enthusiasm temporarily took a bit of a hit.

In this Vasa Star you should be excited to see how many of our youth have won scholarships. Just wonderful!  We are enthusiastic for each student’s academic success – and are hopeful they will contribute to the strength of the Vasa Order in the future!

Another exciting development in the last few months, we have had a member give a sizeable donation to the Archives. The donors of that gift wish to remain anonymous. We are very thankful to them for their generous donation to support the future of the Archives.

It has been very nice to see local lodges having meetings again, both indoors and outside, depending on location. I feel bad that so many Districts have been unable to have official meetings but will of course be attending the few scheduled to take place before the new year. Hopefully, 2022 will return to normal for everyone both personally and in Vasa.

The Grand Lodge Convention scheduled for 1-8 July of 2022. It has a web page of its own and is up on the page. Please review the hotel information and make your reservations as soon as possible.  Owing to COVID-19, Marriott has managed to offer excellent room rates for the Philadelphia area.   

I am sorry to have to report that we have lost a great Vasa leader, a good friend and mentor, PGM Bill Lundquist. Bill’s passing leaves us speechless. He will be sorely missed. Bill’s excellent management and leadership helped us through the terrible financial crisis; his years as our Grand Master were so very difficult for him but he was successful in his endeavors. Our prayers and condolences go out to his wife, PDM Sheila Lundquist. Bill served as president of the Archives at the time of his passing; Bruce Elfvin, VP, has stepped up to preside over necessary business. We thank Bruce for his service to the Order and the Archives.

A very important date is coming up for Vasa members. Our organization will celebrate 125 years of existence on September 18th, 2021! Along with that it will be the 100th anniversary of our oldest children’s club, Barnklubbens Elsa Rix #1, organized in 1921.  New York District #4 is planning to celebrate both special anniversaries at their District Convention in November this year. If you would like to join the celebration, contact Jeanne Andersen for information. Please also congratulate Lodge Frihet #401, District #13 on reaching their 100th anniversary on October first, 2021 – and Lodge Framåt #405, District #12 on reaching their 100th on 14 October 2021! We are honored to have so much to celebrate during this year and are so proud of such longevity in the Order!

In closing, a few words of encouragement about the future of COVID. Many scientific experts tell us the virus will increase in winter, but the big change between this and last winter is vaccinations. Fortunately, the number of vaccinations amongst the most vulnerable populations has been so extensive that hopefully we won’t see lockdowns as in past. We all want and need to get back to normal where we can enjoy cultural events and social experiences together again with our usual Vasa enthusiasm!

In Generosity, Truth and Unity,

Art Bjorkner, GM