The ORDER OF RUNEBERG was organized in Waukegan Illinois on August 20, 1920. Its organization was made possible by the merging of two separate groups, the SWEDISH-FINNISH BENEVOLENT AND AID ASSOCIATION and the SWEDISH-FINNISH TEMPERANCE ASSOCIATION.
The membership at that time consisted almost exclusively of people who came to this country from the Swedish-speaking parts of Finland.
The ORDER bears the name of JOHAN LUDVIG RUNEBERG, one of Finland’s greatest men. He was known throughout Scandinavia as a poet, a teacher and a statesman. The ideals as portrayed by this man, to a great extent, formed the foundation for the organization which now bears his name.
As a fraternal organization, the aim of the ORDER OF RUNEBERG is to encourage UNITY, FRIENDSHIP, HELPFULNESS and HONOUR. Towards special fellowship opportunities the ORDER has a varied program of activities.
At its inception, the organization provided a much needed common meeting ground for an ethnic group that had brought their cultural traditions from Finland to the shores of North America.
Since that time, membership has been extended to many others, including sons and daughters, grandchildren, relatives and friends – some of the same origin, while others of different nationalities. The Swedish language which formerly predominated within the ORDER has been replaced with English.
However, in spite of changes on the surface, the ORDER OF RUNEBERG continues to carry on many traditions and ideals which existed in 1920, although the emphasis today is principally social.
As of March 31, 2015 the "International Order of Runeberg" organization (International officers, etc...) stopped functioning, while the seven lodges continue independently. The "International" will disband on September 30, 2015, This time-frame allows for two lodges to complete some necessary business.
We extend a hearty welcome to you and your friends to join with us in our Lodges' activities.
OBJECTIVES of the ORDER
To promote an organization to which the WHOLE FAMILY can belong -from age four and upwards with equal consideration for the enjoyment of all.
To promote FRATERNALIZM.
To help one another in true FRIENDSHIP.
To develop in our children a recognition of their ancestry and a pride in their HERITAGE...
To encourage CULTURAL and TRADITIONAL ties with Finland.
To provide SCHOLARSHIPS to qualified members who wish to advance educationally.
Currently, there are seven OR Lodges
North Bend/Coos Bay
Vancouver B. C. Canada
Note: OR also offers the option of joining as a "Associate" member*, as an alternative to joining a local Lodge if a person / family doesn't live within commuting distance of a lodge.
*formerly referred to as a "Security Lodge" member