Vasa Order of America
Grand Master's Message

Winter 2017 -  click to HERE to View in Swedish

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“God Fortsättning,” a Swedish greeting meaning Good Continuation, is commonly used in the first few weeks of the New Year. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We sure did, with the “kids” and grandkids coming for the “Julbord” (Swedish Christmas Smörgåsbord) lunch on Christmas Eve as they traditionally do. Following the cleanup, it was time for presents. Well, there was a bit of a wait of course, to the (mild) annoyance of the grandkids. As I write this, we have just had “Tjugondag Knut” (sometimes also called “Tjugondedag Knut”), January 13, the 20th day of Christmas, the day Christmas traditionally ends in Sweden.

Our five-year drought has ended here in northern California. Hurray! Many of our water reservoirs are spilling over. We have had more rain in the last two months than I can remember ever seeing before. Many places have had serious flooding with trees toppling over, destroying houses and crushing cars. This doesn’t mean we can turn complacent, as we will likely be back in no-rain-mode next year again.

As you are reading this issue of Vasa Star (and with that of course also Nordstjernan), I’m sure you have noticed that this issue has a new format. I find it to be a nice change, making it easier to hold and to read. What do you think? This also brings me to the issue of contributions to Vasa Star. In the past, most of what I have read has been a recap of what you did at the last few meetings and nothing else. I am sure you only read the one article from you own Lodge and maybe from some other Lodge that you had been visiting. I recommend that you change your approach and talk about upcoming events in your articles. Think three to six months out. This then becomes an advertisement for you and gives readers across Vasa Land ideas for their future programs. Pictures that you send in will of course be from your past events. Make sure you include a short caption for each picture identifying who’s in the picture and what kind of event it was. In this issue (and, as usual, only in this issue) we publish your Lucia pictures.

In the previous issue of Vasa Star, I requested that all secretaries send me information about your members who will be celebrating their 75th, 80th etc. birthdays in 2017, including everyone celebrating a birthday in excess of 100 years. Thank you to all who have sent me this information and if you haven’t yet, it’s not too late. This information will allow me to recognize your members with a birthday greeting on their special days.

The next Grand Lodge Convention is now about 1½ years away, and it’s time to elect your Grand Lodge Delegate at your next convention. Information about your delegate must be submitted to Grand Secretary Joan no later than four months prior to the convention. That is by the end of February 2018. It is critical that you elect a delegate who is willing and able to run for a Grand Lodge position. All GL positions are filled by delegates and current officers. A delegate may run for and be elected to any GLEB position except Grand Master or Vice Grand Master, where prior service on the GLEB is needed or strongly recommended. Some appointed positions, including Grand Lodge Deputy, are frequently filled by Delegates as well. While this is not mandated, the incoming Grand Master, who makes these appointments, will get to know the delegates pretty well during the convention.

MEMBERSHIP CONTINUES TO BE OUR NUMBER ONE CHALLENGE. Your Lodge should have a Membership Chairman, though this is not the only person in charge of membership retention and recruitment – YOU ALL ARE! By retaining your members and getting new members, your Lodge can grow and thrive. For this to happen, an interesting Lodge meeting is essential. Make your meetings worth attending! The competition for your current and prospective members’ time is stiff. You need to have food at your meetings and have programs that your members don’t want to miss. Cultural Leaders, work with your Lodge members. It is every member’s job to make the meetings attractive to current and future members. ONE new member is all I ask from each one of you. Keep your current members!

Don’t be boring!
In Truth and Unity,
Tore Kellgren,
Grand Master

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