In Edmonton, Sons of Norway traces its origins to April 1913 when Nordpolen Lodge, forerunner of the current Solglyt Lodge 4-143 was founded at a meeting at the Strathcona Hotel.
Edmonton became the site of one of the first lodges formed in Canada by Sons of Norway, a fraternal, social and mutual-help organization. Sons of Norway was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1895 by Norwegian immigrants and Americans of Norwegian heritage. The organization provided a means of mutual support, including through an insurance program for members.
Syttende Mai in Edmonton
In Edmonton, Syttende Mai celebrations were held as early as 1912. The Edmonton Journal on May 16, 1912 had an article about the influx of Norwegians into the Edmonton area and the celebrations that were being planned by the new “Norwegian Literary Society”. Programmes were to be held in the East End City Park consisting of music by the Camrose College Band and solos and speeches by prominent men. In the evening a musical program was to be held in the Separate School Hall on Third Street.
In 1913, the celebration was held under the auspices of the newly formed Sons of Norway Lodge called Nord Polen. Five hundred Norwegians gathered at the exhibition grounds on May 17 to celebrate the 99th anniversary of Norway’s National Day. In the evening a Scandinavian concert and dance was held in the Separate School Hall. Professor Bland of the Alberta College gave a stirring address on the Canadian view of Norwegian settlers.
Similar celebrations were held in 1914 and 1915 as reported in the Edmonton Bulletin and the Edmonton Journal. Many of the Norwegians enlisted in the Canadian Army and went off to Europe. This resulted in a cessation of activities in Sons of Norway in Edmonton which did not return until 1927 when the lodge was re-organized under the more friendly name of Solglyt (glimmering sun).During the past 80 years, Syttende Mai has been celebrated in many ways in Edmonton including street parades.
The flag-raising and festivities for the past several years have been held at Solglyt Lodge at the Dutch Canadian Centre & Home of the Scandinavians, 13312 - 142 Street, Edmonton.