The Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge was founded on May 19, 2001 with 102 Charter members. The Lodge is an island-wide organization of individuals who recognize the rich Nordic history found on Whidbey Island and who are dedicated to promoting and cherishing an appreciation of this Nordic history, heritage and culture.
The Lodge, a 501c8 organization, is administered by an Executive Board that is elected every two years. This Board meets once a month to administer & manage Lodge business. Any member at-large interested in participating in these meetings is invited and encouraged to do so. An Operations Team, consisting of members elected to serve on the Nordic Lodge Building Association, a 501c2 organization, advises Lodge Executive Officers on the operations and maintenance of the Fritz Cornell Nordic Hall.
Our activities each month Sept - June include a general membership meeting usually accompanied by an engaging cultural program, a tasty lunch and time for visiting and sharing stories. Members of the public are welcome to most meetings. We also have a monthly Game Day, a Craft Day, and a Soup & Cinema day. There's also an occasional "Movie Night" . Last but not least, we have a book club that focuses on titles that have either a Scandinavian theme or author.
Special celebrations every year for members & their families/friends include a Julefest, Midsommarfest and a Syttende Mai party. For the community around us we have a Veterans Appreciation Night, Lutefisk Dinner, a Crab Feed, and a Troll Stroll. You'll see our Viking Boat Float in most major holiday parades on the island, north and south.
“The Scandinavians love the wider horizon, the salty air, and sometimes even the wild waves. The blood of adventure and freedom is still coursing in their veins”. - Rønning, N. N., Fifty Years in America
The Fritz Cornell Nordic Hall
The Fritz Cornell Nordic Hall, completed in June 2013, was made possible through the financial generosity of Nordic Lodge member Fritz Cornell, who died of Leukemia on December 16, 2008
Fritz was born September 20, 1927 in Norway and was the oldest of three children. His father was a barber and his mother worked as a part-time beautician in the barber shop. During WWII and the German occupation, the family had to leave behind their home in the city (and most of their belongings) and move to their cabin in the country. After the war (in 1947), Fritz emigrated to the United States with his mother and siblings and it was upon entry into their new country that their surname became Cornell – a shortening of the Norwegian surname Kornelivessens. The only two English words Fritz knew upon arriving in America were “yes” and “no”.
Fritz and his family first lived in Racine, Wisconsin – where Fritz worked for the John Oster Manufacturing Co. They moved to the Seattle area in 1958. Fritz had been invited by his sister’s husband to investigate employment at Boeing and once here they decided to stay because the area reminded them of Norway. He bought a house in Bellevue with his mother and also a cabin on Guemes Island. While working he spent weekends at the vacation cabin and when he retired, he moved to Guemes full-time. Fritz also served in both the Army and the Air Force.
Fritz enjoyed good, hard outdoor work. He took a serious commitment to this health and his regimen of hiking and working outdoors kept him strong and young-looking. Some years he hiked 1500 miles! As a member of the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge, he served as Sports Director and himself earned many Sports Medals.
Fritz was extremely proud of his Norwegian roots, and the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge is honored to dedicate their new home to this man who made it possible.
Officers & Affiliations
Our Nordic Lodge Executive Officers for 2020-2021 are: Brian Petersen, President; Norm Skurdal, 1st V.P., Ingri Johnson, 2nd V.P., Ingri Johnson, Secretary, and Liz Berg, Treasurer. Publicity Director is Norm Skurdal; Newsletter Editor is Warren Scholl, and Webmaster is Joan Gerteis. Officers of our Nordic Lodge Building Association are Dick Johnson President, Leif Haslund Treasurer, Sandy Dubpernell Rental Coordinator, and Maurice Aasland Member at Large.
We are Lodge No. 2-164 of the the Sons of Norway organization, a 501C8 Fraternal non-profit. We are in District 2 - which covers Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. We encourage you to visit their websites to explore the many benefits they provide our Lodge and its members. And if you are a Facebook fan, District 2 also maintains an informative Facebook site you can explore..
Last but not least, we are a member of the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce. Information about the Chamber may be found on their website.