Hampton Roads Lodge 522, Sons of Norway, was founded July 1, 1972 with Lodge Nordkapp 215 as the sponsoring lodge. The Lodge started with 65 members from both sides of Hampton Roads. The charter members were initiated by Third District President Jan Henriksen. Supreme Lodge Director Leif Aschim installed the officers, who took over their duties under the gentle gavel of Brother John Lassen, the charter president.
Participating in the sesquicentennial and the following bicentennial year started us off to a busy two years with happy achievements – entertaining the boys of the Christian Radich, the Norwegian Concert with visiting conductor, Kristian Lange, Norway’s music man, Heritage Day at the Azalea Festival with Queen Susan Ford, the Neptune Festival with visiting popular singer Erik Bye. Our busy beginning put us in gear to continue our activities to promote our heritage during Heritage Days in the Azalea and Neptune Festivals, in Folk Art Festivals in Newport News, Old Dominion University Jubilee, Naval Hospital Ethnic Day, Wilson High School Ethnic Day and others.
We have supported worthy causes such as Ski for Light, the Brooklyn Children’s Home, Norwegian Lady, Tubfrim, new sails for the Christian Radich, Red Cross Language Bank, local families in distress, and Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore to mention a few. In addition we have had language, rosemaling, hardanger embroidery classes, appeared on TV and radio programs. We have had a wonderful time together enjoying and promoting our mutual heritage and love of Norway. Recently we have been able to learn and share our Norwegian culture virtually through the help of Zoom. Our monthly virtual lodge meetings have allowed us presentations from Robert Hitchings – local archivist and historian, Chris Johnson – CEO of Vesterheim: The National Norwegian-American Museum & Heritage Center, Dana Kelly – Executive Director of Norwegian American Genealogical Center and Naeseth Library, and many more!
We have been very active promoting our heritage. Every October 9th on Leif Erickson Day we commemorate with the Icelandic Association of Virginia by laying a wreath at the Leif Erickson statue at the entrance of the Mariners Museum and Park. We participated in “Joy from the World” at the Virginia Marine Science Museum in Richmond, VA, and the Norfolk NATO Festival at Waterside Norfolk, VA. We have attended the Flag Raising at SACLANT and place flowers on the grave of Norwegian soldiers on every year on May 17th. We have enjoyed the Stoughton Norwegian Dancers and other entertainers from Norway come to the area.
We provided help to refurbish the grave site of those lost in the storm from the Bark Dictator. We attend the Memorial Service each year at the Norwegian Lady, at Virginia Beach, for the loss of the Dictator and her crew.
Members of our lodge are active in the Sister City of Virginia Beach and Moss, Norway. We participate in those activities when visitors from Moss are here.
In January of 2021, we officially became the first lodge in any Sons of Norway district to add a satellite lodge, the Norge Norsemen, to our group. A satellite lodge is the addition and merging of another group to an existing lodge. The Norge Norsemen group has a secretary/spokesperson who is part of the Hampton Roads area board members and communicates to their areas members and organizes local events. In our case, we have added the Williamsburg area and community members to our lodge. Many of their members were members of our lodge or (the now dissolved) Nordmanns-Forbundet. They will hold still hold separate events in Williamsburg or Norge, Virginia. Both lodges are always invited to each others events and activities. Click here for a 3rd District article on the Norwegian History of Norge, Virginia.
Our lodge is proud to hold the titles of Sons of Norway 3rd District 2018 and 2019 Large Lodge of the Year, as well as 3rd District 2019 Family Lodge of the Year.
Information taken from http://sofn3d.org/aboutus/lodgehistory/hamptonroads.html