After World War I and War of Independence many army officers started their civilian careers by continuing education at the University of Latvia. All of them were united by desire for new knowledge in order to serve the best service for their country and assist its way to greater independence and prosperity.

Group can achieve more than one person, so group of former Independence War officers with similar mindset was formed. It was April 30, 1922, when Riga Regional court approved statutes of new fraternity signed by 23 founders.

First known picture of founders

New fraternity confirms its motto – “All for Latvia” and “All as one”. The name Tervetia is derivative from name of famous ancient castle of Tervete, which rulers were able to withstand German knights for a long time, preserving their freedom and independence for years. Fraternity devoted its orange-silver-blue colors to patriotism, honor and friendship.

Years of First republic

From the beginning only officers were allowed to join the fraternity.

External activities increased from 1925, when fraternity joined the P!K! – head organization of student fraternities and were officially recognized between other. Many prominent army representatives were admitted as an honorary members of Tervetia like generals Radziņš and Peniķis, admiral Spāde and others. In 1927 Philister (alumni) association were formed following foundation of Lady committee year before.

First flat of new organization is located at small wooden house at Mednieku street. Although flat is small, friendship and heartiness compensates for the lack of space. In 1926 fratenity moves to the similar house next door. Bigger and more suited premises at Valdemāra street 36 are found when 10th jubilee is close.

Starting from around year 1930, closer friendship with Latvian fraternity Fraternitas Academica is established and it culminates with friendship pact on November 23, 1934.
Three weeks later, on December 15, another friendship pact is signed - with Estonian fraternity Ugala.

Friendship pact between Tervetia and Ugala, 1934

The horrible year and World War II

Spring of year 1940 is last spring of the First republic, dangers of occupation is inevitable.

Soviet occupational government disbands all student organizations, including fraternities and seizes their property.

Many members of fraternities with families are arrested, deported or executed. When communist occupation is interrupted by Nazi occupation, official activities of remaining members are not renewed. During last year of World War II, before second Soviet occupation, many members of Tervetia are scattered around the world, escaping from Soviet regime. Only about one hundred members are successful enough to survive repressions and war. Many of them are kept for first years at displaced person camps located in West Germany.

Years in exile

In July 27, 1946 first significant meeting outside Latvia is held in Germany. Meeting agrees to join remaining active members and alumni members to reach common goals. 25th anniversary are celebrated at Fellbach on April, 30, 1947. Tervetia along with other fraternities participates in foundation of Association of Latvian Fraternities in 1948. In 1950s main activities in all fraternities move to North America and 30th anniversary is celebrated at Toronto. Starting from 1953, new member are welcome once again in Tervetia. All Tervetia members also are active members of local Latvian exile communities and do everything they can to maintain Latvian traditions, culture. Fraternity members never leave intentions to help occupied Latvia.

Reinstatement in Latvia

On May 6, 1989 global presidium of Tervetia decides to re-establish fraternity Tervetia in Latvia due to weakening of Soviet regime and strong movement towards independence inside Latvia.

First meeting in Latvia is held on June 24, 1989 and 3 days latter – on June 27, Tervetia is officially reinstated as fraternity at Latvian University. It was done with a great help from fraternity members from free world. The main person to note is honorable philister Pēteris Lapsa from USA, who is behind many important events in recent history. First semester 1990 has found its place in history as time, when 16 new members were admitted in Latvia for first time since World War II.

Fraternity is forced to wander around for few years while it receives its own house at Tērbatas street 28. The mentioned house is donated to Tervetia by late Mrs. Aleksandra Sirotina to help and support promoting of Latvian traditions between young students.

Article is based on previous fraternity publications