The Friendly Fifth

President Messages

District President Har Ordet

Kjære Venner,
            As of now I am sure that most of the members of the District have received word that the 2020 Fifth District Convention/Meeting and the 2020 International Convention/Meeting have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  There was a unanimous vote by the International Board of Directors to cancel the 2020 conventions/meetings.  President Ron Stubbings has instructed all sons of Norway Officers, Directors, and Delegates to, “continue in service until the regular session lodge meetings of 2022”.  As members of Sons of Norway we need to follow President Stubbings instruction in order to maintain our cohesiveness as a fraternal in this time of uncertainty.
            As your District President I am requesting that all local lodge Presidents and Officers be prudent, and that they follow all State and Federal government mandates concerning the COVID-19 virus.  Be thoughtful and do not put yourself or any of your lodge members in any undue risk.  Stay in touch with your other lodge members using the telephone and electronic means (conference calls or skype).
            These are difficult times we are all experiencing.  It is my hope that when this pandemic is over the Sons of Norway will continue to be as strong and vibrant as ever.
            It is with sadness that the Fifth District has lost one of its finest members, Gene Steensma, who passed away on March 25, 2020.  Gene was a past Fifth District President, an International Director, and a long-time member and President of Samhold 5-473.  Gene will always remain in the hearts of those who knew.  Keep Gene’s family in your prayers as they go through their time of mourning.        
Med beste hilsen,
Andrew Iver Johnsen
Sons of Norway Fifth District President      

District President Har Ordet

Kjære Venner,
            I has been a while since I sent my last message to the members of the Fifth District.  For this I apoligise.  We all live busy lives and I do not want to send out messages that wastes the time of others.
            The deadline for the return of Fifth District 2019 D17 is February 15th.  There has been some confusion with some of the lodges in the district as to where the forms should be sent.  Send the completed and signed 2019 D17 forms to Sons of Norway Headquarters just as it is stated on the bottom of the forms.  Please do not send the forms to me.
            We are now in the final year of the membership drive, “Growing to 2020”.  For those lodges that would like to host a prospective membership function, that is a luncheon or dinner, the Sons of Norway Headquarters or the Fifth District will reimburse District Lodges for the expenses related to the membership functions.  If your lodge is not growing this is a problem that must be rectified.  Lodges that do not actively recruit new members will sooner or later cease to exist.  I have seen this happen to many times in our District.
            This coming June the Fifth District will be holding its District Lodge Meeting and Convention in Madison, Wisconsin.  Fifteen percent of the District’s lodges did not send any Delegates to the Meeting/Convention that was held two years ago in Lacrosse, Wisconsin.  With the increased membership dues rebate now going to every lodge in the District there should be no excuse why a lodge cannot send at least one Delegate to Madison in June.
            I hope all our members and their families are enjoying the winter season.  I will be going up to Hayward, Wisconsin next week to deliver cookies and to volunteer for the Barnebirkie.  I will also be attempting my 40th Birkebeiner Ski Marathon.
Med beste hilsen,
Andrew Iver Johnsen
Sons of Norway Fifth District President      
 

Distrikt President Har Ordet, July 2016

Kjaere Vanner,
 
Tusen Takk for electing me as your new District President.  I appreciate the almost unanimous support that was given to me by the delegates at the District Convention in Marshfield, Wisconsin.  I have some big shoes to fill, shoes that were left from our past President Owen Christenson.  During his tenure as President, Owen demonstrated the leadership qualities that are necessary to be an effective District President. 
 
As your new President, I will continue the progress that was made during Owen’s Presidency.  There are a number of items that will need attention in the months ahead including: finances, funding, retention, membership, and zone alignment.  I am looking forward to working with the newly elected Fifth District Board of Directors.  I think that each and every board member will do their part to help make our district a standout among the other districts in Sons of Norway.  Our local lodges are strong and will be even stronger as they offer more to their members, thus attracting new Sons of Norway members of all ages.  The Sons of Norway at its inception started in 1895 with eighteen members and an idea.  Today we are 52,000 members with thousands of ideas that will ensure our future as we work together to continually improve the Sons of Norway.
 
Over the next two years I hope to meet many of the members of our district.  When we meet, I would like to talk to you about your local lodge and hear the ideas you may have that would strengthen our fraternal.
 
Please take the time to view the new Fifth District Website at: www.sonofnorway5.com  
 
Fraternally og beste hilsen,
 
Andrew Johnsen