HISTORY OF VALHALL LODGE 6-025
NOTE: The current webmaster (Steve Rawlinson writing this note on March 18, 2017) does not know who wrote this historical narrative. There are several places in this narrative in which a 1st person reference (i.e., “I”) is made. It is not known who the narrator was.
Chapter 1: The Early Years – 1912-1935
On May 24, 1912, twenty-seven men of Norwegian birth formed an organization which was designated as Valhall Lodge #25, District 2 in San Diego, California, preceded by its sponsor, Peer Gynt Lodge #2-022, Culver City, California. Conrad Thueland became the first president, and at that time no women were part of the organization anywhere in the United States. The Supreme Lodge in Minneapolis, as it was known then, admitted women around the time that women were extended the right to vote in the United States.
One requirement for membership was the ability to speak Norwegian, so that limited the number of members who could be induced to join. This requirement prevented the lodge from growing and, and in 1914, the lodge became inactive due to the difficulty of finding men who felt qualified to serve as officers. The lodge did not disband, however, but for the next ten years no formal organization met for other than social occasions.
In 1924, the lodge was reactivated with Hans Nansen as president. For most of the years between 1924 and 1934, lodge members met at the Plumbers Hall, located at 11th and Broadway, in San Diego. Hans Nansen was a relative of Fritjof Nansen, the well-known Norwegian humanitarian. By 1930, we had our first female president, Hilda Dypvik.
In the early years of the lodge, before the Sons of Norway developed an insurance program, members were assessed $1.00 per month in addition to their dues, which was placed in a Death/Sick Benefit Fund. This was true of all lodges in the order. This money built up in the fund until a member dies, when an allotted amount was given to the widow. This was later also used for an extended illness of a member should he/she not be able to return to work for some time. At one time, our lodge kept a ledger of the amount in the fund and how much was paid out each month to ill members. One had to be ill for at least 2-3 weeks to be eligible to draw from this fund. When the Sons of Norway began their Insurance Program, this fund was discontinued and any leftover money went into the lodge treasury. Valhall Lodge had a small book in which records kept by the Financial Secretary indicated when and how much was paid out to sick members and the spouse of deceased members. This book was passed on to the Historian, I believe, and should either be in the library or with some previous historian of the lodge. I have seen the book but do not know where it is at present. I remember that Carl Hanken received a small stipend, a couple of dollars, when he was ill for several weeks, and there was mention of some death benefits paid to widows. (If anyone knows the whereabouts of this small book, please return it to library or the current historian. It should be placed in the locked display case.)
In 1934, President John H. Johnson petitioned the Supreme Lodge to conduct meetings in English instead of Norwegian. Permission was granted and this became a turning point in helping the lodge grow in membership. John H. Johnson was president of Valhall in 1933 and 1934, and became the first president of the House of Norway in 1935. He was president of the lodge again in 1943 and 1944.
Voting in our lodge has changed over the years. When an individual wished to become a member, a system whereby black and white marble-size balls were passed out to members, and after the motion had been made to accept or reject the applicant, each members cast his vote in a container. If there was even one black ball in the container, the applicant was turned down for membership. This system was voted out of favor some years later, but the individual still had to be of Norwegian birth, descent, or in the case after women were admitted, affiliated by marriage. All applications subsequently had to be approved first by the District Board and then by the Supreme Lodge. A few non-Norwegians wished to become to become members and these had to receive prior approval from the District and the Supreme Lodge in Minneapolis before being voted in by the lodge.
When the insurance program began, rules had to be changed to comply with state and federal regulations so the lodges no longer had to have pre-approval before voting on prospective members. Valhall began to expand its membership by accepting all applicants on the assumption that they were really interested in our organization and would become enthusiastic members.
In 1935, when the city of San Diego revived the Pan-California Exposition (which originally the city had hosted in 1915) many ethnic groups were contacted and asked if they would be interested in presenting their culture and heritage in Balboa Park under the blanket of the larger organization, the House of Pacific Relations. Valhall was one of the ethnic groups contacted and accepted the challenge of opening the House of Norway, and it has been in existence since that date. Open every Sunday during the year from 12-4 p.m., and also open for cultural field trips and other events during the week by appointment, the House of Norway has been a focal point of the Norwegian community since its inception. Valhall has been part of this endeavor every year by assisting in supporting the 17th of May celebration and many other events with a public display of our culture and heritage. A good percentage of the members of the House of Norway are also members of Valhall and enthusiastically support both organizations.
A number of people have raised the question as to why the Sons of Norway does not also include Sons and Daughters of Norway in their title. The answer is that there is another organization composed of women of Norwegian birth or descent whose title is “Daughters of Norway.” The Daughters of Norway in the Midwest area decided to merge with the Sons of NOrway after women were accepted into membership. The West Coast branches of the Daughters of Norway, however, did not affiliate and presently there are a dozen or more chapters on the west coast from north of Seattle to the San Francisco/Oakland Bay area.
Although, undoubtedly, there were a number of obstacles that had to be overcome in the development of our lodge, it continued to grow in numbers and influence in the community over the years.
Chapter 2: Lodge Growth During 1936 to 1969
Although still meeting at the Plumbers Hall in 1936-37, from 1938 until 1943 the lodge met at Hawthorne Hall, which unfortunately burned down, destroying nearly all of our records. We have been able to reconstruct, through pictures and records kept at the House of Norway and remembrances of our members, some of the earlier presidents of the lodge, and other activities in which Valhall Lodge participated, for which we are very appreciative.
In 1946, an active group of women formed an auxiliary to the lodge. This lodge was named The Norge Womens Club. They were extremely instrumental in increasing the lodge treasury by holding rummage sales, raffles, craft projects and baked goods sales many times during these years, always with the goal of owning our own hall. Marie Johnson was its first president and later secretary of the club; Frances Johnson (no relation to Marie) became the Ways and Means Chairperson and was responsible for holding fund-raising events – anything to raise money for their club – which later would result in substantial donations to the lodge.
One of the other early members of Norge Womens Club was Anabel Knudsen who also served as Financial Secretary of the lodge. She was the wife of Paul Knudsen and he chaired the first biennial District 2 convention in 1948 held in San Diego. Frances Johnson served as co-Chair and I believe this was the first time that Valhall had hosted a District 2 convention. (This information was provided by Ola and Karin Brevig.)
In 1950, Paul Knudsen, President of Valhall in 1945-46 and again in 1956, became Vice President of District 2. In 1952 he became President of District 2 and assisted in instituting a new district in California, designated as District 6, which later encompassed Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Hawaii. He then was elected the first president of the new District 6.
Again in 1950, Valhall Lodge sponsored its first lodge outside the city of San Diego, which became NORGE LODGE 2-60, in Vista – later becoming one of the lodges in District 6. In 1954, Paul Knudsen was elected a Supreme Lodge Director. Sometime after this the Supreme Lodge changed its title to International Lodge, which it remains to this day.
In 1953, Valhall Lodge purchased its first property at 46th and El Cajon Blvd, next to present-day Hoover High School. Our membership was about 100 at that time and, through the fund-raising efforts of these members and the Norge Womens Club, we were able to buy this small piece of property. By 1957, since we had property now, we were required by the state to incorporate as Valhall Sons of Norway, Inc., and Paul Knudsen became the first president of the Corporation.
Our 50th Anniversary was celebrated in 1962 at the former Stardust Hotel in Mission Valley, with Frances Johnson as Chairperson.
Five years later in 1967 we sold our property on El Cajon Blvd., making the enormous profit of $250.00!!! Not to be discouraged, however, we bought property on Euclid Avenue not too far from El Cajon Blvd for $8500. that had several rental units. A year later (1968-69) we bought adjoining parcels for $12,500. The members of the lodge renovated the units and maintained the property, which brought in some extra revenue for the lodge. Olav Jangaard took on the responsibility of managing our property, and spent many hours renovating and maintaining it with the help of his brothers, Chris and Sverre, other members such as A.K. Andersen, Karl Larsen, Carl Hanken, Chris Lindebrekke and many others with expertise in carpentry, electricity and painting. (If any readers of this history know of others who assisted in maintaining this property please let me know and I will add their names.)
During these years, we met in many different meeting halls, among which were the Oneira Women’s Club, the La Mesa Women’s Club, and the Danish Brotherhood Hall on 6th and Ivy St., which was our last meeting place before we purchased Norway Hall on 43rd and University.
Chapter 3: Fun times in 1970-1999
The narrative in this chapter is disorganized and needs to be updated. We also need to cover the years following 1999. (This comment inserted by Steve Rawlinson, March 18, 2017.)
We had so many fun, wonderful, exciting times in our new hall, which we worked so hard to buy, renovate and maintain, that it’s hard to remember everything that we did to get members to participate and enjoy, but here are a few of them.
We held big dinners for up to 200 or more every month, Hawaiian parties, New Year’s parties, Gay 90’s parties, bazaars, rummage sales, raffles, Vegas nights (that resulted in the S.D. Vice Squadcoming in to check out if we were gambling but we persuaded them that there were only small prizes given with tickets which members got when they purchased their dinner tickets), dancing almost every month with Marvin Wills’ band with Mai and Erling Dahl pitching in from time to time, and our own Viking Band and Singing Group. The members of this group were Ellen Enlund, our lodge musician of many years, Art Olsen, Ted Fields, Robert (Bob) Orvick , Newman Nelson, Fred Froshaug, Birgit Otto, Emma Reinholdtsen, Gladys Hallock, Irene Smith, Doris Andersen and A.K. Andersen (no relation to Doris). Carrie Nordby, another talented lady who lived until her 102nd birthday, participated as well, and we celebrated her 100th birthday and A.K.’s 95th with a wonderful dinner and dance, hosted by the corporation. In one of our picture albums we have pictures of the two of them waltzing around the room, while an amused Borghild Andersen observed them.
We had quite a number of working (out of the home) women as well as men who spent lots of extra hours helping out at the hall, bringing their children, who danced with the grown-ups and put on programs. These workers included Ola & Karin Brevig with Sigurd, Sidsel, & Kennet, Ella and Russ Backous and Brit, Ray and Gloria Johnsen with Ray, Jr., Patricia, Monica, & Sylvia, the Horn boys (3 sons of Sharon Horn Adams), the Hankens with (granddaughter) Kim Hanken Bardin, A.K. and Borghild Andersen with (granddaughter) Aprell Waymire, Mary & John Rem and sometimes their two sons, Addie Svendsen and son, Carlos, Erling and Lydia Nyhammer with daughters, Kari and Katy, Jim & Jackie Adams with Elka and her sisters and brother, Helga & Jim Moore with Natalie and Siri, Ed and Lorraine Tucker with daughters (Karol, Gale, Susan occasionally and regularly, Laurel), and many others brought their children and, later, grandchildren on many occasions.
We had so many young people, it’s hard to remember them all. (Please let me know of others and I’ll list them in an addendum.) George and Alice Line, Patricia and Reg Becker, all the Lindebrekke’s, the Julian Eidsmoe’s, the McKinneys, the Monsons, Mary and John Rem, brought their children and grandchildren from time to time. All these people participated together with the retired members who worked long hours to keep the hall in good condition.(Much of this information was remembered and supplied by Ella Backous.)
Other good times were had when Lou Amundson was the keyboard and his wife, Virginia worked on many committees as well, when needed. Erling(accordianist) and Mai (popular Scandinavian pianist) Dahl, friends of the Norwegian/Swedish community, donated a piano to our dining hall and entertained us many times and now we have Kjell Holmes on the accordian when we need Norwegian music for our souls. Our baby grand piano in the meeting hall was purchased when Janice Huckins was our musician, and when we sold the hall, Ethelyn Sorenson bought it for her granddaughter.
Nineteen seventy-six was the year Adeline (Addie) Svendsen was elected District Secretary in Concord, CA., and served for 4 years. She has been an enthusiastic member of our lodge, having joined Sons of Norway in 1935. She was one of the founding members of Knute Rockne Lodge in Seattle, had been a member of Henrik Ibsen Lodge in San Francisco, and transferred to Valhall in 1968. In February, 2004, she celebrated her 90th birthday with many Valhall friends in attendance.
Also in 1976, Sigurd Brevig became District 6 Treasurer of Unge Venner, and in 1978 Kennet Brevig was elected District 6 Director of Unge Venner. Other young people who attended the International Convention that year in Minnesota were Susan Hansen (Luburic) from Valhall, and Morton, Kristin and Nora Gjerde (Stark) from Vista’s NORGE Lodge.
Nineteen seventy-seven (1977) marked the year we made the last repayment to the members for their loans to purchase Norway Hall and we held a celebration that fall to “burn the mortgage!” Our membership really felt elated over our ability to have our hall free and clear in so short a time (5 years). Then it became our greatest endeavor to make enough money to maintain our lodge hall in good condition. The corporation held many “fish dinners” to raise funds to be sure we pay the necessary expenses.
Numerous pancake/waffle breakfasts were held with Chris Lindebrekke and Art and Rose Olsen among others rotating chef jobs at various times. Opal and Ted Fields, Fred Froshaug, Tippy Steele, Ted and Harried Kaplan, Torfin and Ingrid Lindgren and Ed Tucker either helped in the kitchen or manned the bar on many occasions (Let me know if you remember others and I’ll add them to the addendum).
Barbara Olsen Kvigne (later Rostad) organized many cultural programs for the lodge during the years she was Cultural Director, and the Swedish Vasa Club presented their Santa Lucia Parade at Christmas time one year for us. Barbara also organized, with the help of Ola and Karin Brevig, the sponsorship of “Solvguttene,” an internationally known Norwegian Boys Choir presentation at the UCSD campus in La Jolla.
Valhall Lodge was awarded “LODGE OF THE YEAR” for District 6 at the Convention held in Colorado Springs, CO., in 1980. That same year we were awarded the “INTERNATIONAL LODGE OF THE YEAR” Trophy at the International Convention held at Universal City, in L.A. County. CA.
MORE RECENT YEARS – 2000-2005
Correction: When we moved into the Masonic Lodge Hall in 1991, Erling Nyhammer was our lodge president; however, in January 1992, he passed the gavel to Glenn Jerpseth who became our president through 1993. He, in turn, was followed by Reg Becker (1994-95), James Adams (1996-97), Sven Olsen (1998-99), Sigurd Stautland (2000-01), Don Lesney (2002-03), and Helga Moore (2004-05).
By the year 2000, we were well established in our new home, the Corporation had conservatively invested our funds from the sale of our hall on 43rd and we were assured of always having enough money to cover our rental and other expenses in the future. Sven Olsen had completed his term of office and Sigurd Stautland became our president for the next two years.
We began 2000 by hosting a luncheon for a speaking engagement for Jo Benkow and Gunnar Søensteby, (Benkow, former president of the Norwegian Parliament and chairman of the Conservative Party from 1980-82, and Søensteby, the most decorated Norwegian Resistance fighter from WWII who received the Norwegian War Medal and the British Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts during the war). These two men had extremely interesting stories to tell us about their experiences from their years in the war and parliament. We were privileged to have been a part of the presentation at San Diego State University(SDSU), which was co-hosted by our Valhall member Oddvar Høidal, Professor of History at SDSU, and the Lipinsky Institute for Judaic Studies.
In 2002, we also supported a S.D. State University and Norse Federation presentation by Thorvald Stoltenberg, one of Norway’s leading experts in international relations, who has held many positions with the Norwegian government including Ambassador to the U.N. and Denmark, and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
As has been our practice for many years, February is our month for presenting “lutefisk” to the Greater San Diego community! We always have a terrific turnout for this event, and, believe it or not, some converts to the delights of eating “lutefisk”! We also have a hugely popular Salmon Dinner, a terrific 17th of May Norwegian buffet and program, a fall Heritage Dinner ( special Norwegian cuisine), and an “ekte” (authentic) Christmas program for the children/grandchildren of Valhall members and friends. In this way, we present at least 5 Norwegian traditions each year.
With a few minor setbacks, we continue to have our rosemaling and cooking classes in the lower room at Masonic; rosemaling taught by Carmen Cleary, cooking classes coordinated by Dagmar Robinson and other ladies of the lodge, and woodcarving classes held at the House of Norway weekly, instructed by Lou Coover.
Our community efforts have included participating in the Susan B. Koman Cancer walk, the MS walk, the Lewis Middle School reading-to-the-students program, and donations to the Home of the Guiding Hands, Salvation Army, and St. Vincent DePaul on a regular yearly basis.
In 200l we again supported San Diego State University and Professor Høidal in presenting a joint lecture series by Magne Skodvin, Norwegian historian and recipient of the Order of St. Olav, and Gunnar Søensteby with whom we were very familiar from his previous lecture tour.
January and February 2002 found us on bus trips to the L.A. Natural History Museum to view the Smithsonian’s exhibition of “Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga”, a truly worthwhile adventure. Over 300 objects were assembled to exemplify Viking weapons, religion, economy, daily life, seamanship, law and art. Two full bus loads of Vikings, as well as individual carloads from the S.D. area, enjoyed this exhibit.
During Don Lesney’s term of office (1992-93) as President of the Lodge, we held our 90th anniversary at the Red Lion Hanalai in Mission Valley, chaired by Marlene Lesney, with S/N International President Penny Joseph attending; and also in 2002, we supported a joint concert of the San Diego Mannskor and the 45 Norwegian Chorus “Nordvesten” at the Veteran’s Memorial Museum in Balboa Park.
Our new editor, Arlene LaBree, continues our tradition of publishing great monthly newsletters. Many thanks are due to Ada and Ken Soberg for their years of service as editor and circulation editor respectively. Our new circulation editors have been Lou and LaVonne Coover and Jerry and Joyce Oen. Thank you to them, too. It takes many people to make sure that our members receive a newsletter each month listing our activities.
One of the highlights of 2003 was our sponsorship of a singing/instrumental group of five young ladies and l father (Terje Solheim) from Norway who gave us a lovely concert at the Veteran’s Memorial Museum. They stayed with local Valhall members and also enjoyed a tour of San Diego while here.
For the first time, our annual lodge picnic was held at the Admiral Baker Golf Course picnic area to great success. We have held 2 subsequent picnics there since 2003.
One of our most outstanding events during 2004 was the folk dancers from Stoughton, Wisconsin, who performed for Valhall and community members of San Diego three times. First at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, co-hosted by Valhall and the Swedish Vasa Clubs (who prepared a pea soup dinner and dessert prior to the program), again at Our Saviors Lutheran followed by a luncheon buffet provided by Valhall and church members, and then on-stage by the House of Norway with HON light refreshments afterward. Dancers and directors stayed with local Valhall and Swedish Vasa members, and a great time was had by all! These young people are phenomenal! It was a coordinated effort, spearheaded by Ola Brevig and others. It will be a long time before we experience such a performance again.
2005 completes the History of Valhall to date, and appropriately our lodge is involved with the “HUNDRED YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE FOR NORWAY” activities that are taking place in San Diego this year. Chaired by House of Norway, Valhall Lodge and Ladies of Valhall members Lizzie Riiber and Anne Høidal, the year has been filled with activities; ie, lectures, movies, concerts, ethnic presentations by the Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Finnish communities, Norsk Fest gala dinner, and culminated by the immense Norwegian artifacts display at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park, which begins October 22 and continues well into 2006.
In the future, I will try to continue to chronicle the activities of our lodge. Hopefully, when I leave office, someone else will continue updating our contributions to the community, lodge and the Sons of Norway.
_________________________________________________ #3 History of Valhall Lodge #25 – The Later Years – 1970-1999 In 1970, Chris Lindebrekke, who had been President in 1965-67, was elected a General Director of District 6. He also held office as our President in 1973-74. In 1971, the lodge had been meeting at the Oneira Women’s Club, but then moved to the La Mesa Women’s Club in 1972, and later to the Danish Brotherhood Hall on 6th and Ivy. We were meeting at the Danish Brotherhood Hall when we began to look in earnest for a lodge home of our own. A.K. Andersen was our President during the years 1971-72. Chris saw an ad in the paper about a Masonic Hall on 43rd & University that was up-for-sale, and he contacted the Board of the Corporation, Frances Johnson, Ways and Means Chairperson of the lodge and several others, which resulted in offering the Masonic Lodge a bid on the property. Our honorary Norwegian Consul, S. Falck Nielsen was very instrumental in helping to acquire this property, and we are very much indebted to him and his wife, Charlotte, for their support over many years. We were able to purchase the Masonic Hall for $48,000 and renamed it NORWAY HALL. All financing was made by the members with loans to the corporation, and the total amount was $63,000 (I believe) that the members loaned to Valhall. Renovations again were done by the members. We put in new tile flooring throughout, painted the entire lower hall (2 rooms), re-did the lower floor toilets and the powder room, re-paneled some of the walls, replaced the stair and upper floor carpeting, put up blinds in the recreation/pool table room, made and/or purchased drapes for the same room and the windows in the stairwell and the dining hall, painted the outside of the building and repaired the roof and air conditioning as needed. We also refurbished the kitchen with a large stainless steel refrigerator, restaurant-sized dishwasher, a freezer, and the Norge Women,s Club completely furnished the kitchen with china, flatware, glassware, coffee pots and cooking utensils. The members donated many extra items, such as the pool table (Gene Hanken), serving bowls, etc. for the kitchen and furniture in the ladies lounge. Dennis Andersen (son of A.K.) laid the new carpeting at cost, we purchased some table and chairs from the Masonic Order, and bought others to fill in as needed. One of the members(I believe it was Olav Jangaard) built a bar in the reception hall and a stage in the dining hall. The women’s club again came to the forefront with the purchase and gift of 24 card tables for the bar lounge area, which they bought by saving green stamps and redeeming them at the redemption center. To the best of my remembrance, I was given the information that the total cost of the hall with renovations amounted to around $100.000. Our dedication of NORWAY HALL was held on October 6th, 1972 with approximately 600 members and guests participating in a continuous-serving dinner and program, featuring Karol Hansen (Lorraine Tucker’s daughter), Lou Amundson, Erling Nyhammer, Janice Huckins and other talented individuals. Chris Lindebrekke became president for 1973-74 and Lorraine Tucker was the first Social Director in the new hall, and remained so for 3 years (1972-74). In 1974 Valhall hosted the District Convention and banquet at a hotel on the Embarcadero across from the Star of India, with the District Board holding some of their meetings and Presidents’ and members’ reception at our new hall the day and evening before the banquet. We were so proud to be able to sponsor this Convention and these events. In that same year we sold the Euclid property and were able to pay off, with interest, many of the members who had made loans to the corporation for the purchase of NORWAY HALL. Norge Womens Club had donated $1,000 toward needs for the kitchen, and in 1976 made another donation to Valhall of $1,000. An Unge Venner (Young Friends) group was formed in 1975, with Kevin DeNino as its first president. This group was composed of younger members of the lodge between the ages of 16-23. They began a folk dance group which they called “THE ROLLING TROLLS” with Karin Brevig as their teacher. The folk dancers stayed together for a number of years and danced at programs at Balboa Park, our lodge hall, the Seamen’s Church in San Pedro and at other lodges as well. As they got older, several continued their membership in Valhall and are still members: Kennet Brevig, Sidsel Brevig, Kevin DeNino and Mary Josoy Stedman. We also, for a time during the 70’s, had a younger group of dancers call “THE LITTLE LAPLANDERS” comprised of younger girls and boys, children of members. Their teacher was Lorraine Tucker, who taught them simple dances and songs which they performed at programs in the lodge hall. Aprell Waymire, Laurel Tucker and Brit Backous Montalbano of this group are still active members of the lodge. Brit also was our first Little Miss Valhall, followed by Laurel and then Sylvia Johnsen, Raymond & Gloria’s daughter. During the time we were at NORWAY HALL, we also had some young women under the age of 21, who were chosen to be our Queens and to represent our lodge at District Conventions and other occasions. These young women were: Tippy Steele’s daughter (Peggy), Susan Hansen Luburic, Laura Lindebrekke Sutton, Della Johanson Newman, Laurel Tucker, Kari Nyhammer Collins, and Sylvia Johnsen Williamson. Laura Sutton, Kari Collins, and Laurel Tucker have continued their membership in Valhall. We have had Norwegian language classes, taught by Erling Nyhammer since 1971, the year that he and his wife, Lydia, transferred to our lodge from Snowshoe Thompson Lodge in northern California. He had been president of that lodge, as well as teaching Norwegian there prior to moving to San Diego. Our Norwegian classes have been taught continuously by Erling at Hoover High, Horace Mann Jr. High, Norway Hall, Reg Becker’s office near present day Kaiser Hospital and now at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in North Park. Many of our members have attended these classes over the years. Lydia also worked hard for our lodge during the years we were at Norway Hall, and some of us think that although she is a full-blooded Italian-American she makes a great Norwegian! Before Erling began teaching, classes had been started by Alfhild Kunz which she taught for a number of years, and later, with the help of Hazel Hawkinson and Helen Johnson, she signed up as many as 40 participants for Erling’s class which resulted in two classes.(Information on the Norwegian classes provided by Erling and Lydia Nyhammer.) Alfhild had also been serving as Social/Cultural Director and was instrumental in presenting a number of musical programs for the lodge in which Erling Nyhammer and others performed. Janice Huckins was another talented pianist/singer who performed many time in the years between 1975 and 1990, in addition to having been our lodge musician, assistant Secretary, and assistant Social Director over the years. In 1975-76, during Ola Brevig’s term of office as President of our lodge, we adopted and sponsored programs at Leif Ericson Elementary School in Mira Mesa, and gave a number of gifts to the school library. Hubert and Mary Embertson personally gifted the school with an historic Norwegian wall plaque (replica of a Viking gate) which was hung in the front office, and posters of trolls for the library. The lodge also gave the school a framed lithographed copy of Christian Krogh’s famous painting of Leif Ericson’s discovery of north America, in addition to several books on Vikings, trolls, and the history of Norway. Ola and Karin Brevig, Barbara Kvigne Rostad, Laurel and Lorraine Tucker and others also gave a presentation on Norway, its costumes and heritage, as well. This outreach program was before the more recent pairing of organizations and schools, in which the San Diego Unified School District and our lodge are involved in at Lewis Middle School at present.