After eighty years, Katherine Tingley was honored on the island of Visingso, Sweden. On May 20, 1993, a passenger boat plying the waters of Lake Vattern between Visingso and Granna was named M:me Tingley. For the launching notables on the island were present, musicians entertained while Rune Backlund, Member of Parliament, "told about the theosophists' fantastic Madame Tingley who introduced not only electricity to Visingso, but also art, music, literature, and theater."


Yet when Katherine Tingley came to Visingso in 1913 to hold her International Theosophical Peace Congress, she had rough sailing. While she had staunch support from theosophists of high standing and from many islanders, the clergy held a meeting on June 13 for people in neighboring congregations "interested in God's word and the Christian faith," and concluded with a "Resolution of Protest against the theosophists' plan to build 'a heathen school and cult'." A few days later, Katherine Tingley met the clergy's accusations of being heathens by saying that "if it is heathen to live a pure, noble, temperate, and self-sacrificing life for humanity, then let it be heathen."

Undaunted, her International Theosophical Peace Congress was held on schedule from June 22-29, and was a grand success, attended by members and admirers from all over Sweden and abroad. A lengthy, well-researched article in the July 2, 1993, issue of Grenna Posten recognized that Katherine Tingley had left an indelible impress on the island. It is heartening that this honor was accorded one who gave unstintingly for humanity and for Visingso. — G.F.K.

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