SON Valhall Lodge celebrates 100 years
The Sons of Norway, Valhall Lodge 5-168 celebrated its 100-year anniversary on October 3, 2015. The event was held at Giovanni’s restaurant in Rockford, Illinois, and featured a number of prominent speakers including the Norwegian Honorary Consul General, Paul Anderson, and Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey. The festivities included a fine dinner, a raffle, and a silent auction. The highlight of the evening was a performance by the Leikarringen Heimhug Folk Dancers of Chicago.
Valhall President Vicki Rudh-Jones accepted a 100 year plaque from Sons of Norway International Director Jon Grinde, a 100 year certificate from Sons of Norway District Five President Owen Christainson, and a proclamation from Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey. The lodge also received a proclamation from the Governor of the State of Illinois and a letter of congratulations from the Royal Court of Norway.
Valhall Lodge is the oldest Norwegian lodge in the Rockford area. Its mandate is to preserve and promote Norwegian culture and heritage in the community.
Valhall members have supported numerous programs over the years including Adopt-A-School programs. It has also directly supported an 1836 Norwegian pioneer cabin and heirloom vegetable garden located at the Boone County Conservation District in Belvidere, Illinois.
Other lodge activities include sponsoring Norwegian cultural music programs, working with the Girl Scouts on badge projects, donating books about Norway to public libraries and schools, supporting sporting events like the Arnie Johnson Run benefiting Habitat for Humanity of Rockford, and Norge Ski Club’s ski jumping tournaments in Fox River Grove, Illinois.
Over the last 20 years, the lodge has consistently supported District Five’s Masse Moro Norwegian Heritage Camp by sending volunteers and sponsoring campers. The lodge also sends volunteers and cookies to the Barnebirkie ski event in Hayward, Wisconsin.
This article originally appeared in the Dec. 25, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.