Sveaborg Lodge History

In the fall of 1923 District Master Gustaf Lindstrom was busy trying to organize a new Vasa Lodge in Bay Point, CA. On June 30, 1924, Sveaborg Lodge #449 was established and 17 members were initiated. Alfred B. Anderson was the first chairman. The last surviving charter member, Inez Risberg, passed away in 1995.

Sveaborg met the first ten years in Port Chicago. During the Depression the lodge was in great financial trouble, losing its money when the Bay Point bank went defunct. Elin and David Björk opened their home in Concord for the lodge’s meetings and provided refreshments. Seven members continued to hold meetings in hopes of rebuilding the membership. A visiting District Officer, Iver Menton, of Framåt Lodge, donated one dollar to Sveaborg Lodge to start a new bank account. Otto Nordgren, Arvid Bryggman and Ragnar Berg got married, thus adding 3 new members to the lodge.

Over the years Sveaborg grew in membership.  The Lodge won the District membership trophy three consecutive years (1982, 1983, and 1984) and is in permanent possession of the trophy.  Today Sveaborg has 124 members.       

Sveaborg is especially proud of our Children’s Club, Vasablad #119, chartered on April 12, 1947.  Irene Bryggman was the founder, club leader, and/or pianist for almost 50 years.  During that time, they went to Sweden twice.  Lora and Linda Morn and Birgitta Howie led the club in the 1980s and 1990s, with Birgitta providing violin music for dancing.  Rosemary Fassl has been the administrative leader since 1997, with music provided by Bob Burman, Sven Chilton, and Lois Johnson.  The children learn folk dances, singing in Swedish, and Swedish baking and crafts.  They have performed at Sweden Days, midsummer festivals, SWEA Jul Fairs, Scandifests, and district conventions many times, as well as at Sveaborg lodge’s meetings and Julfests.

Sveaborg sponsors a Swedish Language class and has been widely known in the community for its Swedish Pancake Breakfasts.

 Here are those who have been members for over 50 years:

  • Eleanor Pfeil, 70 years
  • Lillian Granfors, 60 years
  • Marlene Swaffar, 58 years
  • Baxter Swaffar, 56 years
  • Tina Martin, 53 years
  • Diane Henderson, 51 years                
Baxter Swaffar is an Honorary Life member of District Golden Gate No. 12. Deceased Honorary Life Members from our lodge are Ragnar Berg, Irene Bryggman, Luell K. Johnson, Elizabeth Nordgren and Leonard Peterson.