About Us

This page provides information about Polar Star Lodge and the Sons of Norway international organization.

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About Polar Star Lodge

The initial step for organizing Polar Star Lodge began with a letter dated October 3, 1961 from District Lodge 5 Secretary, Arthur Gunderson, inviting prospective Sons of Norway members to an informational meeting scheduled Sunday, October 15, 1961. The meeting was held at the Masonic Temple in Aurora.

Procedures for setting up a new lodge were explained, being followed by a question and answer session. At the meeting, 26 charter members were signed, and a committee was assigned to contact other eligible persons for charter membership. The committee consisted of H. B. Johnson, Arthur Tastad, George Strand and Osmund Orland.

On November 28, 1961, a new local lodge of the Order of Sons of Norway was organized in Aurora, becoming Lodge # 472 and named by its members POLAR STAR.

Presiding Officer at the organizational meeting and initiation of charter members was 5th District President Chris Johansen of Chicago.

First elected officers of the new Sons of Norway Lodge #472 included president Osmund Orland, vice president H. B. Johnson, counselor Arthur Tastad, secretary Ervie Anderson, assistant secretary Liv Thomseth, financial secretary Rubye Jansen, treasurer Oliver Johnson, Marshal Viola Strand, assistant marshall Mildred Orland and trustees S. A. Thomseth, Trygve Kjær and George Strand. 

                         Original Lodge Officers

Polar Star Lodge #472 joined the ranks of more than 250 other lodges, licensed in 21 states and three Canadian provinces, and affiliated with the Order of Sons of Norway, whose home office is located in Minneapolis.

From 1961 to 1988, the lodge met in the Masonic Temple at 124 South Lincoln Street in Aurora. Since 1988, Polar Star Lodge has been meeting at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery, Illinois.

Polar Star Lodge hosted an annual Torsk Dinner for 43 consecutive years. Other activities have included corn boils, Norwegian bingo, penny socials, picnics, our annual Høstfest (a taste of Norway), 17th of May celebrations, kumla dinners, and lefse making. Refer to Activities and Culture for more information.

Come and join us the first Sunday of every month at 1:30 p.m.  Refer to
Meeting and Events for directions, and to News and Newsletters for additional information.

Our Potlucks are among the best around!


About Sons of Norway International

The mission of Sons of Norway is to promote and preserve the heritage and culture of Norway and provide insurance and financial products to its members.

Sons of Norways misjon er å fremme, ivareta og på lang sikt verne om norske og andre nordiske kulturtradisjoner, samtidig som organisasjonen får vokse og utvikle seg som en broderskapsforening med maksimal hjelp og støtte til alle medlemmer.

Sons of Norway was organized by 18 Norwegian immigrants on January 16, 1895 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as a fraternal benefit society. The purposes and goals of the Founding Fathers were to protect members of Sons of Norway and their families from the financial hardships experienced during times of sickness or death in the family. Over time, the mission of Sons of Norway was expanded to include the preservation of Norwegian heritage and culture in our Society. Sons of Norway has grown since its beginning and is now the largest Norwegian organization outside Norway.

We promote Norwegian traditions and fraternal fellowship through the cultural and social opportunities offered in local lodge and district lodge activities. These activities include language camps and classes, scholarships, handicrafts, cooking and heritage classes, heritage programs, sports programs, travel opportunities, Viking Magazine, and outreach programs sponsored by the Sons of Norway Foundation.

Through our field staff representatives, we offer financial protection through a variety of quality insurance programs, to Sons of Norway members and their families, against the hardships of sickness and death.

The Facts (as of December 31, 2009):

  • Total Members - 66,342
  • Members in the United States - 62,022
  • Members in Canada - 2,873
  • Members in Norway - 1,447
  • Lodges - 410
  • Life Insurance In Force - $627,460,000
  • Number Insurance Certificates in Force - 17,400

(Source: www.sofn.com).


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Polar Star Lodge # 5-472 - Sons of Norway