HISTORY of the Danish Sisterhood of America
The 136-year-old history of the Danish Sisterhood of America is a very important part of our organization. It allows us to understand how the Danish Sisterhood was established, who stood behind it and the evolution of our organization. It gives us the opportunity to see where we have been and the roads that were taken to get to where we are today. Through our historical records we can read and understand the groundwork of our founding Sisters and how incredible it is that the Danish Sisterhood has been able to withstand the test of time.
At their first meeting, it was decided that members of the Danish Brotherhood could become social members of the Sisterhood; therefore, in addition to the eleven women who were initiated as active members, 20 men, members of the Danish Brotherhood Lodge No. 6 were initiated as social members.
In 1887 the Sisterhood held its first Convention and thanks to the encouragement and support of the Danish Brotherhood, the Danish Sisterhood continued to grow as an independent organization.
Sisterhood support was also given to the war effort in Denmark. A letter was received in 1946 after the liberation of Denmark, expressing appreciation for the contributions from American lodges for books to the colleges of Denmark.
The United States Bicentennial was not only a proud time for our country but also for the Danish Sisterhood. Honorary Membership in the Supreme Lodge of the Danish Sisterhood was awarded to Queen Margrethe of Denmark during her 1976 Bicentennial visit to the United States with Prince Henrik.
The eighteenth national convention in 1983 held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania marked the 100th Anniversary of the Danish Sisterhood of America; members celebrated this gala event across the United States and Canada.
In the interest of sharing the rich culture of Denmark the 1987 national convention delegates voted to expand the membership into the Danish Sisterhood to any woman who is of Danish descent, or of any Nationality who has a strong interest in the Danish heritage and traditions.
The Danish Sisterhood of the new century will continue to pursue the ideals and preserve the history of our members who more than 136 years ago established this organization. Being the largest Danish women's organization in North America with over 2000 members.
Dogwood Lodge 179 (CANADA)
In February 1967 several women gathered in Vancouver, Canada in the adjoining room to where the Brothers held their monthly meeting at the Hastings Auditorium. The proposal of joining the organization was accepted by most of the ladies present.
Fourteen members attended our first meeting in April 1967.
We operated for four years under the name: Danish Sisterhood of Vancouver.
At the next National Convention in September 1970, the delegates voted to accept us as an Associate Lodge.
On March 13, 1971 the Danish Sisterhood Dogwood Lodge 179 was installed. The Dogwood Lodge name was adopted after the British Columbia's floral emblem.
Out of the original Charter members, 8 received their 25 year Pins in 1996.
In following years, several Delegates and Alternates from the Dogwood Lodge were sent to the National Conventions, that now takes every 4 years. The first one we participated in was in Philadelphia 1978 and the lastest one will be held in Omaha, Nebraska in October 2019.
The Danish Sisterhood Lodge #179, together with the Danish Brotherhood Lodge # 328, has held their annual 'Andespil' (Bingo) since 1977. The Sisters make the sandwiches and the Brothers are in charge of the Bingo.
Since Dogwood Lodge was installed, we have also participated n the yearly PNW Conventions, which are held every Spring in various cities in the Pacific North west.
Several teams have also been participating in the annual Pacific North West bowling tournaments and over the years managed to win some of the trophies.
Over the years we organize many fundraising and social events such as Whist drives, Bazaars, Bake sales, Garage Sales, Pot-luck dinners, Bingo, Country Fair, Picnics, Kroaften and several other various functions including our yearly Christmas party and out of the profits, we donate yearly to various needy organizations..
We further join the yearly Scandinavian Midsummer Festival and the Alexandra Multicultural Festival at Camp Alexandra - promoting our Danish culture.
In Denmark, Constitution Day is observed on 5 June. The day honors the Danish Constitution, as both the first constitution of 1849 and the current constitution of 1953 were signed on this date of their respective years and Dogwood Lodge 179 take part in a yearly picnic celebrating our 'Grundlovsdag.
Preserve our Past for the Future
The Danish Sisterhood "Dogwood Lodge 179" will continue to pursue the ideals and preserve the heritage, traditions and Danish Culture for future generations, that former members established so many years ago and we are proud to be part of the largest Danish women's organization in North America.
Dogwood Lodge 179 was the very first Lodge organized in Canada and in 2019 will be celebrating their 48th Anniversary.
Many members have come and gone over the years and some regretfully passed away - we will alwys remember them..
The National Danish Sisterhood organizations will address changing times. We will build commitment by all sisters to preserve our organizations and heritage with interest, enthusiasm and concern for each other.
The mission of the Danish Sisterhood is to strengthen, maintain and preserve the Danish heritage and traditions for future generations.
Long Range (10 Year) Goals
• To attract, motivate, and retain members.
• To provide tools to create an environment open to change and growth.
• To regularly review and update the financial and organizational structure.
• To enable members to discover, enjoy and understand their heritage.
• To market the Danish Sisterhood of America and Danish Culture to the community.