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Coos Bay Lodge No. 126, O. of R.

To the National Convention, Order of Runeberg, and to the host cities, San Francisco and Berkeley, Calif., Coos Bay Lodge No. 126 extends best wishes and success. May worthwhile legislation be enacted that will further the growth of our Order, that will promote harmony and unity among its members and perpetuate the traditions of our people.

A Brief History of Coos Bay Lodge And Its Activities

Coos Bay Lodge No. 126, at Marshfield, Oregon, is one of the youngest lodges in the Order of Runeberg, one of the largest (third at time of writing, but first in sick benefit members), and one of the mightiest and most outstanding of all the chapters in the nation. Where Coos Bay leads others follow.

Ever since the affiliation of the Suomi and Martha Societies with the Order of Runeberg, in June, 1928, a healthy and steady growth has been manifest despite the worst depression in history. At that time the membership was 210 and is now 314, with the greatest percentage of these members active.

No. 126 is most fortunate for two reasons - it owns its own home and counts among its membership the leader and executive type. One held the highest office of the lodge when but a Runeberger but three years, and another now holds the highest office in the Western district. Our lodge hall is a three-story business block, with spacious room for many of the lodge activities and is always available to young and old alike at all times.

Activity within the lodge is so broad and diversified that there is something for everyone, and has been the means of keeping a close, friendly bond among the members.

The Vikings - who has not heard of them - a club of the young folks in the lodge. This organization has no laws - no officers (except a chairman in charge at meetings, and the youth leader of lodge arranges events) no set meeting date, no treasury and no minutes are kept. Yet not a "young folk" would miss a gathering. The Vikings of Coos Bay mean good, clean fun - and also good hard work when it is to be done.

The Junior Lodge is new here, but its small membership is enthusiastic and is building up an organization to which any lodge can point with pride - and the older members know that No. 126 will be carried on with the same proud, zealous spirit that now prevails.

A choir of mixed voices is the pride of the Coos Bay lodge. The many fine voices and a capable and well-beloved leader have made the Coos Bay Runeberg Choir outstanding on whatever program they have appeared. Their reputation has spread in distant. parts - and it is good.

A basketball team was the pride of lodge members last season, as it brought home victory after victory. Seven former high school stars made up the team, and besides winning from every team in this part of Oregon invaded Washington, also with most gratifying results to their worshipping fans.

A folk dancing group of eight with two musicians proved a big drawing card when appearing on programs, and won much praise for their fine interpretation of the Swedish folk dances.

No. 126 loves its traditions and customs, and each year its members look forward to numerous events that always fall on the same dates. Popular summer events are the annual picnic, held on the first Sunday in August, and the midsummer eve's picnic. A Christmas program and a Runeberg birthday program in February are favorite winter events. But the big event of the winter season is the "Josse's" dance, held on the third day after Christmas, when the John's of the lodge are hosts, and everyone comes dressed in his best bib and tucker. Two other events in the spring of the year honor the mothers and fathers of the lodge. The second Sunday in May the Vikings entertain with a program and afternoon coffee at the hall, honoring the mothers, and on the second Sunday in June it is father's and grandfather's turn, and the Vikings are hosts at a picnic at the beach.

This tells a bit about Coos Bay Lodge No. 126 - about its membership, its activities, its home. But the biggest thing in the lodge can't be told in words - one feels it only. This is the friendliness, the hospitality, the warm spirit of cooperation and the bond of fraternal brotherhood that is so prominent that it stands out above all else in Coos Bay Lodge No. 126, Order of Runeberg.

Published in Official Souvenir Program. Order of Runeberg National Convention and Singing Festival. San Francisco and Berkeley, Calif. August 28-31, 1935. 1935, p. 13.

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