Thule Lodge Completes 105th Year

BEMUS POINT – The Thule Lodge recently completed its 105th year in the Jamestown area.

The lodge was organized in 1907 in the Jamestown/Bemus Point area to serve as a social organization for the Swedish immigrants to the United States. The lodge served to help others, and to preserve the Swedish heritage through activities and events. The purpose of the lodge continues to this day.

The lodge, 4123 Pancake Hill Road, recently held its final meeting for this year. Ralph Veights, chairman, opened the meeting with a welcome and said it would be his last meeting before the change of officers. The new officers will be installed in January. The role call of officers was given by Carolyn Ostrom, secretary. John Sipos, historian, led all in the pledge of allegiance and reported on the Swedish publication, the VASA Star. The chaplain’s message was given by Susan W. Sipos, who served as the chaplain for the day. Mrs. Sipos, and past chairmen Edwin Sandberg draped the lodge charter in memory of a member who recently passed away. The obituary was then read.

Donna Sandberg, financial secretary, gave the report of those ill. Mrs. Sandberg said dues for 2013 should be paid now. Loretta Smith, treasurer, gave the financial report of the lodge. It was approved by auditor Jerry Erickson. Allie Nelson Withers, past cultural leader, discussed the Lucia Festival in December at Holy Trinity Church.

Fanchon Fuller, cultural leader, told of the lodge planning committee, which will meet Jan. 12, and then gave a Christmas message about the Swedish “Jul-goat.” The “Jul” in the Swedish language means Christmas. The Jul-goat or Jul-buk is made of straw shaped like a goat or a buck, and is wrapped with red ribbons, symbolizing the Christmas time. Mrs. Fuller had some on display for all to see. The Jul-goat was usually made at the end of the season when straw and corn stalks were cut. She had a pattern of how one could create their own. Jerry Erickson told a story of long ago, when a man received a new thermos bottle. He was told that it would keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold. When asked, what he had inside, he said he had two cups of coffee and a fudgesicle at the same time. The story brought much laughter by all.

Drawings were conducted by Gene Smith of Kiantone, inner guardsman Don Carlson and treasurer Sipos. Recipients included Erickson, Mrs. Withers and Carlson. Refreshments were served following the meeting, and the blessing was given by Mrs. Withers both in Swedish and English. The next meeting of the Thule Lodge will be at 2 p.m. Jan. 19 at the lodge. The Thule Lodge welcomes new members.