Carol Lingner, president of the Danish Sisterhood Unity Lodge No. 75, has been a member of the Sisterhood for about 4 years, after she moved back from Alaska and wanted to reconnect with her heritage. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Carol Lingner, president of the Danish Sisterhood Unity Lodge No. 75, has been a member of the Sisterhood for about 4 years, after she moved back from Alaska and wanted to reconnect with her heritage. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Holiday bazaar hosted by local Danes

No matter your heritage, join Enumclaw’s Danish Sisterhood Saturday, Nov. 10 for their annual Christmas bazaar and bake sale, or become a member of the Sisterhood itself.

If you’re looking to get an early start on your holiday shopping, the Danish Sisterhood Unity Lodge No. 75 is hoping you’ll drop by for their annual Christmas bazaar, lunch and bake sale.

On Nov. 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Enumclaw Danish Hall will be open to all comers for the annual event.

Lunch is expected to be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the menu includes traditional open faced Danish sandwiches, yellow split pea soup, and the always-popular Danish banquet soup. A variety of homemade pies will be sold by the slice for dessert.

In terms of shopping, handcrafted items will be available for Christmas gifts and traditional Danish baked goods will be on sale.

A LONG HISTORY IN ENUMCLAW

Unity Lodge No. 75 has been stationed in Enumclaw since 1904, soon after the Danish Brotherhood Unity Lodge No. 13 formed their group in 1900, according to President Carol Lingner.

The original purpose of the groups, Lingner said, was to “help each other, the rest of the immigrants coming in” with finding housing, getting jobs, funding funerals, and setting up a community.

Enumclaw has a rich Danish history, Lingner continued, naming off old Enumclaw family names like the Jensens, the Christiansens and the Sorensens, who were among the people who helped form the Enumclaw’s Danish Sisterhood chapter.

Lingner herself has Danish heritage, and grew up in the Danish Hall. Back then, you had to be a Dane to be in either of the Lodge’s, but that’s since changed.

As the years passed, the Lodge’s grew smaller, and the Danish Brotherhood disbanded in 1995. The Sisterhood’s mission, now more of a social group than a sororal organization, is to keep the Danish Hall in good repair and open for public use. They’re helped by the non-profit Friends of the Danish Hall, which was a group formed when the Sisterhood became so small and was likely to lose the Danish Hall.

With both groups supporting the Hall, yoga classes, the Scottish Dancers, and cinceneras pass through, but Lingner said she and others would like the Sisterhood to once again become a community pillar in their city, not just the custodians of some of its history.

To encourage people to join the Sisterhood, member Pepe Terou started community bingo nights in order to draw more families into the Lodge.

Lingner said she’s hoping to try something like that again this winter.

“Some of us would like to see a game night,” she said.

The Sisterhood also helps host an annual Viking Feast in early October, a plant sale and bazaar in the spring, and an aebleskiver breakfast and bake sale in the summer, all to help raise money to keep the Danish Hall open and for the Sisterhood to provide a small scholarship to area students and donations to local non-profits.

Lingner hopes that as these events draw more people to join the Sisterhood, they can begin to branch out and host Danish culture classes to reclaim their culture, or even send a few people to Danish summer camps on scholarships.

But mostly, she wants people to recognize how valuable being a part of a tight-knit community like the Sisterhood can be.

“It’s an outlet to feel like you belong, and by doing things together, you can do more for the community,” Lingner said, noting the Danish organizations helped start many historical businesses in Enumclaw, including a cooperative insurance company that became Mutual of Enumclaw. “We would like to bring that sense of community back to Enumclaw again by working together to make life more enjoyable in our small way.”

For more information on joining the Danish Sisterhood Unity Lodge No. 75, or to rent the building, send questions to enumclawdanishsisterhood@gmail.com or call Terou at 360-802-4326.

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