History of Lodges
Sonja Henie 490, Lansing, Michigan, was chartered as a Sons of Norway lodge on September 21, 1969. Sixty-eight charter members were thrilled to have Supreme President Hilman Kjorlie present the charter.
Archie Larson was the Michigan field representative for Sons of Norway and was the principal organizer ofthe lodge. Earl Johnson of Chicago was an active weekend helper, and was also instrumental in the formation of Sonja Henie 490. It is not strange then, after having all the organizational meetings on Sundays, that Sonja Henie to this day still holds its regular business meetings on Sunday afternoon.
Charles Husby was the first President of Sonja Henie 490. Jim Holms served as our president for nine terms, was elected to the Fifth District Board in 1976 as a Director, then became Recreation/Sports Director, Vice President, and President in 1986. Jim was elected International Director in 1988.
Culture was important to the members, as evidenced by the manufacture and promotion of the art of skammel making for a number of years. Most ofthe members prepared some special Norwegian foods. One of our members, Del Forbord, taught a class in Nortregian foods at the adult night school in Lansing. For several years the lodge sponsored a sm0rgasbord as a fund raiser.
In the last few years our major money maker has been selling arts and crafts at the Community Bazaar in the Lansing Mall. These fund raisers, although at times demanding, have provided excellent income for the lodge and promoted fraternalism within the lodge.
Sonja Henie formed a folk dancing group which performed at Syttende Mai celebrations, county fairs, the Lansing Civic Center, Michigan State University, and other places. Also proclaiming our heritage are the Norwegian sweaters, wall hangings, and klokka strings made by our members.
Our lodge was chosen to honor the Norwegian Olympic ice skater, who was much admired by those who had witnessed her performances on the ice. It just sounded so nice, so right, for a Sons of Norway lodge.
The "Post Kasse" (post office) is our monthly newsletter, published every month since the formation of our lodge. Our members feel the Post Kasse is very important as the lodge communicator to all of our members, especially to far away members, those who are ill and others who cannot attend the meetings.
Although not large, Sonja Henie has had a stable membership of about one hundred. Located in Lansing, Michigan, we feel we are a very vital part of Sons of Norway as we meet every second Sunday at two o'clock in Grace Lutheran Church. Already we have many fond memories, and Sonja Henie is anxiously awaiting more exciting and interesting activities and events during the coming years.