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Sons of Norway- Elvesvingen Lodge

                               October 2009 Newsletterun Newsletter 2009

October Lodge Meeting:  Saturday October 10th , 2009 at 5:30 pm, Lower Level Dining Hall at Bethlehem Lutheran      Program: “Psalmodikon quartet”

October serving committee: Illene Blume, Peggy Harstad, Lynnell Pemble and  Jan Flowers

Hilsen fra Presidenten Paul Olson: We had a wonderful time at our Sept. 12th Lodge meeting – it was good to see our membership again after a long summer break. A number of guests were in attendance and we welcomed new members William and Betty Kjarum and Bob Heller. Mange takk to the Serving Committee for coordinating a wonderful evening meal and to those who contributed food or made a donation: Co-chairs – Dorothy and Owen Viker / Kris and Dick Norland. Committee members: Lyllah Mae Norland, Liz and Doug Wallen, Helen and Jerry Hansen, Becky and Mark DeGarmeaux, Jean Sorensen, Jean Peterson, Lois Otto, Roger and Millicent Hanson, Doug Johnson and Phyllis Olson. Our guest speaker for the evening was introduced by Karen Abbott – Michael Echers, dressed in a Union uniform, presented a fascinating program entitled “Norwegians in the Civil War”. He was accompanied by Jeff Bruessel dressed as a Confederate soldier. His extensive research was made available in a book titled: “Northern Colors”. Our annual Membership Banquet will be October 10th, 5:30 p.m. in the dining hall at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. The meal will be catered by the Minnesota State University Catering Service. The evening’s program will be a “Psalmodikon quartet” – a one-stringed instrument played with a bow used in early Scandinavian churches and by itinerant preachers as they traveled from parish to parish. Our new 2009-10 Lodge Yearbook will be distributed to all members at the Membership Banquet. We want to keep our membership growing – please bring friends or family members who may have an interest in finding out more about Sons of Norway. The cost is $10 per member without a guest - $5 per member with a guest & the guest is free. If you know someone that needs transportation to our Lodge meetings, please take the initiative and offer them a ride. A number of people would likely be very appreciative of the offer but don’t want to inconvenience others by asking for assistance. Just a reminder that we will continue our 11:00 a.m. brunch format during the months of January, February and March, 2010. Meetings will be held in the Heritage Room at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

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Important Message on the Membership Banquet

If you are planning on attending the Membership Banquet and have not sent in your registration, please call Paul Olson at 625-3705 or Linda Stelter at 388-7139 before Oct 5, 2005 and let them know how many will be attending.  Payment can be made the evening of the Banquet. We need to provide the number of people attending to the caterer by Oct 5.  Call now, pay at the Door.

October Membership Banquet

Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 10th, and join us for our Membership Banquet held in the lower level dining hall at Bethlehem Lutheran Church from 5:30 – 8:30. The meal will be catered by “Minnesota State University Mankato Catering Service” and the program will feature the Psalmodikon group. The Psalmodikon is a one-stringed instrument played with a bow. It was used for teaching songs and hymns in rural Scandinavian churches too poor to afford organs. Please clip and mail the reservation form to reserve your place. The cost is $10 per person. Any current member who brings a prospective new member will pay only $5 and the prospective new member is free. The deadline for reservations is Thursday, October 1st.

Clip & Mail


Elvesvingen Lodge Membership Banquet Reservation Form

Saturday, October 10, 2009 (5:30 – 8:30)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Program by the Psalmodikon group

Catered by “Minnesota State University Mankato Catering Service”

Current Elvesvingen Lodge Member – Name, Address, Phone #, E-mail

Current Elvesvingen Lodge Member – Name, Address, Phone #, E-mail

Interested Prospective New Member – Name, Address, Phone #, E-mail

Interested Prospective New Member – Name, Address, Phone #, E-mail

Current member attending without a prospective new member: $10 per person

Current member bringing prospective new member: $5 per member

Interested prospective new member: No charge!

                                                                                                       Total amount due: $____________

Please complete this registration form and mail with a check payable to:

Elvesvingen Lodge / Sons of Norway; P.O. Box 1091; Mankato, MN 56002

DEADLINE: Thursday, October 1st

For more information, please contact Paul Olson at: 507-625-3705

             Michael Echers with President Paul                                        Michael Echers

                      Chatting with members                                         Michael explaining his rifle

          Michael Echers explaining his pistol                                                  The Sword                                                    


  “Pretty Much 100% Scandinavian”: A FREE Film about Scandinavian America

     Roland Thorstensson, Chair of Scandinavian Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, has issued an invitation to any of our Sons of Norway members who may be interested, to attend a FREE film about the Nordic presence in the Upper Midwest.

     After bringing Swedish and Norwegian horse-and-sled drivers, Kodiak bears, and Aleutian-Scandinavian Americans to the Midwest in the past, award-winning Swedish filmmaker Stefan Quinth returns with a movie about things much closer to home. ”Pretty Much 100% Scandinavian” is a light-hearted exploration of contemporary Scandinavian America. Quinth has teamed up with William Beyer, former education, collections, and programs director for the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, to create this ramble through Scandinavian Minnesota and a bit into neighboring states. The film samples over 100 hours of footage so rich that Swedish TV has shown interest. After circling around the Twin Cities, the pair has followed Scandinavian American trails from St. Peter to Grand Marais, Moorhead to Grand Rapids, eastern North Dakota to western Wisconsin. Immigration, language, food, celebration, jokes, a tear or two—it’s a rich journey, fueled by gallons of coffee.   

     Quinth first visited the Midwest in 2004 with his film about the 1,000-year-old winter trade route by horse and sled between Sweden and Norway. Swedish television has presented that film several times as a holiday special. In 2006, Quinth returned to première his movie about new-born bear cubs, filmed inside a winter den, and to show a sampling of his films about wildlife and interesting people, including “My Dear Elsa,” one of Swedish television’s most requested films.

     Quinth’s CameraQ films have won awards at film festivals in the U.S., Estonia, Russia, and Mexico while one is currently a festival finalist in Japan. Quinth has been making films professionally since 1976 in some forty countries. Married to a Swedish-Danish American, he calls both Västergötland, Sweden, and Kodiak, Alaska, home.

Time:  Monday, October 12, beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Place: Confer Hall, Room 127.    Confer is located at south end of  Campus.

         The film is sponsored by the Department of  Scandinavian Studies and is FREE OF CHARGE.

Heritage Stories

The “Heritage Stories” first edition proved to be very popular at our September Lodge meeting. To cover the cost of printing, the booklets are being sold for $5 each and will be available at each Lodge meeting. The Board hopes that this first edition will generate additional interest for more stories from our membership in the future and an all-new second edition could be developed and printed.


A Beginners Woodcarving Class will be offered in the fall of  2009.  The class will consist of six sessions on Tuesday Evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 pm and will run from October 6 to November 10.  Both men and women are welcome in the class and need not be members of Sons of Norway.  The class will meet in the Woodshop Room at the Lincoln Community Center, 110 Fulton Street, Mankato, Minnesota.  A bench knife, safety items, and carving-blanks will be provided.  Emphasis will be  on basic techniques and safetyCost $66.00.  Maximum class size 12.  Instructor Oren Quist.  Questions – 382-0122 or  Call 387-5501 to sign-up or on-line at.w (go to “Online Registration and then do a Search” for woodcarving).

November Bake and Craft Sale

Elvesvingen Lodge will once again be represented at the annual November Bake and Craft Sale, November 21st, at the Madison East Mall in the hilltop area of Mankato. Details will follow in a later newsletter

Fall Recruitment Blitz

Help your lodge win big! Starting on September 15th, lodges have three months to recruit new members to win a $500 prize. How does it work? Simple. Lodges will be divided into two categories based on size. All dues-paying, new members* that lodge members recruit between September 15 and December 15 will count toward this contest. Two lodges—one from the small category and one from the large category—that have the greatest percentage of growth will each receive $500, to be spent as the lodge wishes. This is a great time of the year to work on recruitment. As your lodge gears up for the fall, there are numerous events you can plan, such as bazaars and Halloween and Christmas parties, that offer great opportunities for welcoming people to Sons of Norway. If your lodge needs help or ideas to prepare for the Fall Recruitment Blitz, contact the Membership Coordinator at (800) 945-8851. Another source to help in your recruiting efforts is the Financial Benefits Counselor assigned to your lodge. They can help you plan and hold a membership recruitment breakfast, lunch or dinner.

*Applications must be from new, dues-paying members and must be received at Sons of Norway Headquarters by December 15th. For complete details, please visit

How will you know if a Lodge meeting has been cancelled due to bad weather?

We have been very fortunate recently to not have to cancel a Lodge meeting due to bad weather. However, to be well-prepared, your Board of Directors has approved the following procedure to notify members and the serving committee, in the event a Lodge meeting does need to be cancelled.

- A cancellation decision will be made as follows:

> for a 5:30 p.m. evening meeting: Decision by 8:00 a.m. the morning of the meeting

            > for a 11:00 a.m. brunch meeting: Decision by 7:00 p.m. the night prior to the meeting       

- Members will have several methods by which they can find out about a cancellation

            1) if you have an internet connection:

- log on to the KEYC Web-site       

            *a message will scroll across top of the web page OR

                        *click on “School Closings” in the left sidebar

- we will also plan to send out a notification via your e-mail address.

                        2) listen to any of the following radio stations

- KTOE  AM 1420      - KDOG FM 96.7       - KATO  FM 93.1

- KXLP  FM 94.1       - KXAC  FM 100.5    - KRRW (St. James)  FM 101.5

- KYSM  FM 103.5    - Z-99  FM 99.1          - Blaze FM 95.7

- Buzzard FM 105.5    - KHRS (New Ulm) FM 105.9                      

- Serving committee chair persons will be notified right away by phone – they are asked to call

  the other serving committee members.

- Program presenters will be notified by telephone.

Do you go “South” for the winter?

Those members who “go south” during the colder months and who want their newsletter paper copy mailed to their new (temporary) address, or e-mailed to a new internet address, please let Linda Stelter know before you leave

Sons_of_Norway_Finance_Corner                 Contact_Ralph_Carpenter_507-451-3450                                      

Because of the state of our economy and financial institutions, we receive questions about the stability of Sons of Norway. We asked Leonard Carlson, Director of Agencies, to comment: “With the financial world changing daily, we, at Sons of Norway Headquarters, want to remind you of our financial strength and stability. Since our inception more than a century ago, Sons of Norway has been committed to the idea of financial protection for its members. We are very proud to tell you that in the 114-years of our existence, we have never defaulted on an obligation. Protecting and growing the financial interests of our members has always been as important to us as the promotion of Norwegian heritage and culture. Because of this, we see many of our members turning to Sons of Norway during these economically challenging times to help them attain a proper diversification of risk in their portfolio. They are looking for the safety and stability that is becoming increasingly absent from the financial arena. That’s why we are happy to report that the current troubles affecting most of the financial world have had no major impact on our business. Thanks to our quality life insurance and annuity products, as well as our conservative investment philosophy, we are as strong as ever.

Halloween in Norway

Celebrating Halloween is a new tradition in Norway. As recently as the 1990s the holiday was almost unheard of. When “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” was translated to Norwegian the Great Pumpkin became the Old Man of Olsok. There are many theories as to how Halloween came to the country. Some believe that American candy companies marketed it, while others believe that it had something to do with American comic books. Nevertheless it looks like Halloween is here to stay. The celebration in Norway resembles that in the US with a few exceptions. Children say “knask eller knep” or “dig eller deng” and both phrases have about the same meaning as “trick or treat.” Sometimes the “trick” part is taken a little too seriously. It’s not unusual to read about vandalism or egging after the holiday and many Norwegians find it annoying to have so many people coming to their doors. Because the holiday is relatively new, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten printed a few tips on how to celebrate properly, among them:

*      Only October 31st is Halloween. (evidently there’s been a problem with people trick-or-treating for days afterwards)

*      Adults should accompany the smallest children.

*      Only visit neighbors and friends to avoid making people angry.


October 2009

Oct 1 -   “Day trip” to Norskedalen – Nature and Heritage Center 7:30 a.m.

Oct 10 – Lodge meeting at Bethlehem Lutheran Church Basement-5:30 p.m.

Nov 14 - Lodge meeting at Bethlehem Lutheran Church Basement-5:30p.m. Program

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