Neet Stuff – Norway for a Day

The Norwegian flag flying high above the town hall in Olds, Alberta

The Norwegian flag flying high above the town hall in Olds, Alberta, Canada.  Olds proclaimed Norway for a Day on May 17, 2014.                                                                        

Last weekend I celebrated Norway Day in Olds, Alberta with Grandma.  The country of Norway celebrates its national holiday on May 17th every year.  The Norwegians refer to this holiday as “Syttende Mai” which means ‘May seventeenth’ in Norwegien.  It is Norway’s Constitution Day and this year’s celebration was extra special because Norway’s constitution is 200 years old in 2014. On May 17, 1814 Norway was declared an independent kingdom.  The Sons of Norway‘s  local lodge called Fjellsyn in Olds put on a fine Syttende Mai event to celebrate Norway’s national holiday.  Grandma was the first President of the Fjellsyn lodge over 30 years ago and I was happy to join her on this special day.   The day started out with the Norwegian flag being raised at the town hall then a fine Norwegian feast to follow at the Faculty Lounge at Olds College.  Grandma was seated at the VIP table (of course) with the Mayor of Olds.  It was a very nice way to celebrate Norway Day 2014!

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Members of the Sons of Norway at the flag raising ceremony

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The event program at the VIP table

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Grandma’s Golden Membership certificate

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Grandma cutting the cake after lunch

 

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I had the honour of spending the day with this fine Norwegian lady who is 99 years young! She was quite the celebrity at the event!

This is an excerpt from the May 13, 2014 edition of the Olds Albertan newspaper:

Olds Proclaimed Norway for a Day May 17, 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Norwegian Constitution which was adopted on May 17, 1814  (Syttende mai) at Eidsvoll, Norway.  At the time it was considered to be one of the most radically democratic constitutions in the world, and it is today the oldest, single-document national constitution in Europe and the second oldest in the world, still in continuous use.  (It is based on the American constitution). Syttendae mai is a festive and colourful holiday in Norway.  Norwegian people parade through the streets with flags, wear traditional clothing, sing, visit, eat hot dogs and enjoy ice cream cones! Each year, members of Fjellsyn (which means mountain view) Lodge, Sons of Norway, Olds, also celebrate in a special way.  To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the constitution, Olds Town Council proclaimed May 17, 2014 as Norway for a Day.  Members of the local lodge will be celebrating with a small parade at Olds Town Hall to raise the Norwegian flag followed by brunch for members and invited guests.  Local author, Noreen Olson, wrote an inter-active play about the signing of the constitution which will be presented that day. Fjellsyn Lodge has been in existence in Olds for the past 30 years and members live, in and around Olds as well as Trochu, Bowden, Innisfail, Didsbury, Carstais, Sundre, Red Deer, Three Hills, Airdrie and Calgary.  Lodge members volunteer and provide support in various ways within the Town of Olds and County of Mountain View.  Its first lodge president, Ruth Dodd, who is 99 years young, is still an active member. Sons of Norway is an international organization and lodges meet in Canada, Norway and the United States.  It began in 1895 by 18 Norwegian immigrants who realized there was a need to help others in times of distress as well as to gather for fun and fellowship.  The mission is to promote and preserve th heritage and culture of Norway and to celebrate our relationship with other Nordic countries. During the month of May, plan to drop in to the Olds Library to view a display of Norwegian items.

Photo courtesy of oldsalbertan.ca

Clipping from the Olds newspaper on May 13, 2014 – Photo courtesy of oldsalbertan.ca

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