THE GRAND MASTER'S MESSAGE
Read in Swedish
DEAR VASA MEMBERS,
My term is coming to an end and with that I am now writing my final message to you as Grand Master. I have enjoyed all the travel and visiting with many of you over the last four years. During my travels I have had the opportunity to make new friends, in Canada, Sweden and all across the United States. Friendships that will last a lifetime. Thank you to all who greeted Birgitta and me at your events. Your generosity is without bounds.
My only travel since my visit to DL Pacific Southwest No. 15 in late February has been a weekend trip to District Lodge Arizona No. 21 for their convention held in Oro Valley, a short drive from Tucson. I will attend an additional two conventions as Grand Master: my own District Lodge Golden Gate No. 12 and District Lodge Lake Michigan No. 8.
I am now focused on preparations for the Grand Lodge Convention. By the time you read this, that convention, in Sacramento CA, is just about two months away. All Grand Lodge Board Members, Grand Lodge Delegates, Past Grand Masters and Past Grand Lodge Officers have received their information packets to study before they get to spend a week working for the future of the Order, considering almost 90 different motions, of which more than 50 are affecting the Constitution. I will assign every Delegate to multiple committees and also select someone to chair each committee. The motions will be assigned to the appropriate committee(s) that will then study them, present them and make their recommendations for or against each for final determination by all voting members.
By now, quite a few of you have signed up and are hopefully looking forward to going to Sacramento. I know I am. If you have not yet registered, there is still time. The deadline has been extended and you now have until June 20 to sign up. You can register online at www.vasaorder.com where you find both a form to print and fill out, or as an alternative, there is an interactive online registration. Elsewhere in this issue and also in the last issue of Vasa Star you can find all the information for registering and making your hotel reservation. I highly recommend that you take the opportunity to attend this very special Vasa event that only happens once every four years. You will have the opportunity to meet Vasa Members from Canada, Sweden and from all over the U.S. In addition to sitting in during the meeting, you can choose to attend the Thursday golf tournament, the Friday Welcome Reception, the Saturday Opening Banquet and the closing Friday Grand Banquet, as well as one or more of the planned tours. You should notice that the evening part of the 4th of July tour, which originally was planned to include fireworks at the Folsom Rodeo, has been changed and is now a tour of the Railroad Museum with dinner there, followed by watching the fireworks over the Sacramento River. You may wonder why the change, well, Folsom Rodeo rescheduled its fireworks to July 3rd. The next issue of Vasa Star will have some highlights from the convention including pictures and an introduction of the new Grand Lodge Executive Board.
I want to thank all who served on the Grand Lodge Executive Board for a fantastic four years. The spirit of your work has been truly infectious. I could not have wished for anyone better. We have accomplished a lot thanks to your dedicated work. During the term we have had three Board meetings where we all got to sit face to face in the same room. We also had many email discussions, always with well thought out results. I want to also thank all the Appointed Grand Lodge Officers for your work. Your dedication has moved Vasa forward in many ways. Thank you also to the Grand Lodge Deputies for acting in my stead in your area and for sending me reports keeping me apprised of and resolving issues in your area. I also want to thank the Chair of the GL Convention Committee, Victoria Fedor-Thurman, for your dedicated work in making this a successful event.
Special thanks to Grand Secretary Joanie Graham for keeping us all on the straight and narrow. Joanie, you are the backbone of the GLEB.
Special thanks also to Grand Treasurer Keith Hanlon for your wisdom in financial matters and organizational governance. Keith, your untiring work has made Vasa Order of America Grand Lodge a world class organization.
Finally, thanks to you, the readers, for inspiring me to write this column, for taking time to read it and for giving me great feedback on many subjects.
In Truth and Unity,
Tore Kellgren, Grand Master