As an immigrant from Mandal, Norway, Jørgen joined Sons of Norway in 1956 and quickly proved his value as a dedicated, strong an efficient leader who became a trusted front-runner at the lodge as well as the district and international levels of the organization.
Jørgen was Vice President, then President of Loyal Lodge. He then became Zone Chairman for what was then Zone 2, now Zone 1, and immediately after that became a member of the District Board as Zone Director. Jørgen was District Counselor for 4 years, District Vice President 2 years, and District President also for 2 years, which was the norm in those days. As District President he was strongly involved in organizing the celebration of the District’s 75th anniversary in 1987, something that happened at the time when District membership was at an all-time high. During this time he participated in and installed the officers of numerous lodges. I fondly remember Jørgen installing my lodge, having problems pronouncing my name. Following his 2 years as District President, he was elected International Director, and served on the International Board from 1988 to 1992.
Jørgen demonstrated dedication and leadership skills by serving in the positions listed above, but not only did he have leadership skills and organizational talent, he also had the foresight to realize the advantage of getting young people involved, and he was instrumental in forming Loyal Junior Lodge where all his children served as President as well as other positions. And to top it off, he also served on the Loyal Lodge Corporation Committee.
Jørgen was chairman of the host committee for a very successful Third District Convention in Happauge in 1994, during which Loyal Lodge celebrated its 70th anniversary with a dinner cruise on Long Island Sound. He also served as co-chairperson for 4 other conventions, one of which was the stand-out International Convention in Washington D.C. in 2004.
Spearheaded by Bjarne Eikevik, former District and International President, Ski for Light was organized in this country, and Jørgen got into the act by participating in Ski for Light at Land of the Vikings. He was Sons of Norway through and through, but was able and willing to also offer his support for other valuable purposes.
The picture of Jørgen would not be complete without including what he has meant for Land of the Vikings. From day one he was strongly involved in converting and improving LOV from what it was when the District took ownership in 1978 to what it has become today. There were continuous needs, and Jørgen was there, work weekend after work weekend. And then came the expansion of the kitchen and the new meeting room upstairs, a job he had a major hand in. After that followed several years with more work weekends. But he wasn’t done. Not long ago he and his son fixed the broken front steps. And he wasn’t finished yet. When there was a need for a fund raiser for LOV, Jørgen made a gorgeous vikingship that was filled with booze and raffled off at the 2018 Convention. And if that wasn’t enough, he has made another one, and a beautiful stabbur, to be raffled off at the 2020 Convention in Jacksonville.
Jørgen Fidje, a man of many talents and dedication to the Third District and Sons of Norway is richly deserving of the Lifetime Achievement Award, and it is my great pleasure and honor to submit his name as a candidate.
Zone 3 Director and past District President