Category Archives: Programs

Out of the Northwest Passage : March 19th Nordic Lodge program

DSCN7466_564On March 19th at the Nordic Hall just south of Coupeville, you are invited to join Jill Hein and Sandy Dubpernell, via photos & stories, on their voyage Out of the Northwest Passage (eastern Canada and the western coast of Greenland) where they follow the route of the ill-fated Sir John Franklin expedition in the 1840’s  and part of the route taken by the intrepid Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen 1903-1906.

Franklin, in 1845,  tragically lost his 2 ships and 134 men to illness and the harsh elements.

Amundsen and his little ship Gjoa and hardy crew of seven successfully completed the passage from Greenland to the Bering Sea (in 1906) after spending 2 years in Gjoa Haven, which he called “the finest little harbor in the world”. There he learned from the natives about their clothing, their diet and the use of dog sleds for hauling and transportation. What he learned from these people enabled him and his crew on the Fram to be the first men to safely reach the South Pole several years later.

The Northwest Passage landscape is stark and dramatic and geologically unique, the tundra covered with mosses, lichens, tiny brightly colored flowers and trees no more than 4” tall.   Icebergs, sunsets and northern lights are spectacular. Polar bears, arctic fox, muskox and beluga whales are occasionally spotted. In colorful little villages along the way,  hardy ever-smiling Inuit gladly share some of their culture.

The Nordic Hall is located at 63 Jacobs Road, Coupeville.  The program will begin following a short business meeting for Lodge members at 10 a.m.   Anyone interested in hearing about this journey is welcome.

Nordic Lodge February meeting to feature flag history

At the February 19th meeting of the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge, guest speaker Nancy Bolin-Romanski will portray Mary Pickersgill, the woman who created the American flag that flew over Ft. McHenry – The Star Spangled Banner.  Following Nancy’s presentation Lodge member  Dick Johnson will discuss the evolution of our Scandinavian flags.

In the summer of 1813, Mary Pickersgill (1776–1857) was contracted to sew two flags for Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland. The one that became the Star-Spangled Banner was a 30 x 42–foot garrison flag; the other was a 17 x 25–foot storm flag for use in inclement weather. Pickersgill, a thirty-seven-year-old widow, was an experienced maker of ships’ colors and signal flags. She filled orders for many of the military and merchant ships that sailed into Baltimore’s busy port.

Helping Pickersgill make the flags were her thirteen-year-old daughter Caroline; nieces Eliza Young (thirteen) and Margaret Young (fifteen); and a thirteen-year-old African American indentured servant, Grace Wisher. Pickersgill’s elderly mother, Rebecca Young, from whom she had learned flagmaking, may have helped as well.

Pickersgill and her assistants spent about seven weeks making the two flags. They assembled the blue canton and the red and white stripes of the flag by piecing together strips of loosely woven English wool bunting that were only 12 or 18 inches wide.

The meeting will begin at 10:00 am and is open to the public.

 

Alt for Norge – again!

Daughters program photo (2)If you’ve never heard of this TV show, it’s undoubtedly because it’s one that is on Norwegian TV – TVNorge.

Apparently, one of the popular pastimes in Scandinavia these days involves gathering around the television to watch Americans stumble through a cultural obstacle course as they get in touch with their Norwegian heritage.

Producers of Alt for Norge  (or “The Great Norway Adventure,” as it’s called in the States) recruit American contestants for the show who are of Norwegian descent but who have never previously visited their ancestral homeland. The winners get a monetary reward and an in-person meeting with their “lost” Norwegian relatives.

Two of those former contestants  who now have a little farm in the Olympia area  – Alf and Lulie Herigstad — are coming to Whidbey Island again to tell us all about their adventures! (They did their first program at a  Daughters of Norway meeting earlier this year).   Their venue on this 2nd visit will be the Nordic Hall, home of the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge. 

The program will begin at approximately 10:30am, following a Lodge business meeting that will begin at 10:00am.  The program is open to all who are interested in coming.  If you missed their first program, be sure to take advantage of this 2nd opportunity!

If you want to know a little more about the Alt for Norge TV program (now in Season 5) before coming to listen to Alf and Lulie, and get an idea of what they went through, several whole episodes of the series are available on YouTube.  Just type in “Alt for Norge” in the YouTube search bar.

Ebey’s Landing to be topic of program at Lodge’s Sept meeting

kristen griffin photo2Kristen Griffin, Manager of the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve here on Whidbey Island, will be the guest speaker at the September 2015 general membership meeting of the Nordic Lodge on Saturday, September 19th. Her program, titled “Ebey’s Forever” will touch on what makes Ebey’s Reserve such an important and cherished place. She attributes her lifelong passion for heritage to her grandparents, including her mother’s parents who immigrated to Seattle from Norway in the 1920s.

Kristen has been the Reserve Manager since February 2014 and has 25 years of historic preservation and cultural resource experience, including, most recently,  7 years as  the Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Spokane and Spokane County. Prior to that, she worked for a variety of National Park Service units in Alaska and lived on Baranof Island. She was the historian at Sitka National Park as well as the historian and archaeologist for Denali National Park in Alaska.

The Lodge’s Fritz Cornell Nordic Hall is located within the Reserve’s Boundaries.
The meeting opens at approximately 10am.  The program itself will begin somewhere between 10:15 and 10:30 a.m.

Alt for Norge

Daughters program photo (2)If you’ve never heard of this TV show, it’s undoubtedly because it’s one that is on Norwegian TV – TVNorge.

Apparently, one of the popular pastimes in Scandinavia these days involves gathering around the television to watch Americans stumble through a cultural obstacle course as they get in touch with their Norwegian heritage.

Producers of Alt for Norge  (or “The Great Norway Adventure,” as it’s called in the States) recruit American contestants for the show who are of Norwegian descent but who have never previously visited their ancestral homeland. The winners get a monetary reward and an in-person meeting with their “lost” Norwegian relatives.

Two of those former contestants  who now have a little farm in the Olympia area  – Alf and Lulie Herigstad — are coming to Whidbey Island to tell us all about their adventuresTheir venue will be a Daughters of Norway meeting on Saturday, May 9, at 10:30 a.m.  at St. Peters Lutheran Church in Clinton, at 6309 S. Wilson Pl. – and the program is open to all who are interested in coming!

If you want to know a little more about the Alt for Norge TV program (now in Season 5) before coming to listen to Alf and Lulie, and get an idea of what they went through, several whole episodes of the series are available on YouTube.  Just type in “Alt for Norge” in the YouTube search bar.

This Daughters of Norway  meeting is also special because it is in conjunction with the 17th of May, Norway’s “Constitution Day”.  The Daughters will be pleased to provide some typical 17th of May celebration food after the presentation, such as sausage/hot dogs with small lefse/lompe, soup, fruit and desserts.  The presentation will take place in the sanctuary at St. Peters, with lunch to follow in the fellowship hall.  All are welcome, Scandinavian or not! There is no charge for this event, but donations will be gratefully accepted from non-members for the meal.

If you have any questions, please contact Kristine Nerison Collins 360 221-5280.

Reflections on the history of Central Whidbey Island

At the upcomingRoger Sherman, 2005 monthly meeting of the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge on Saturday, April 18th, well-known local historian Roger Sherman will be the program speaker,  sharing his knowledge of Central Whidbey Island’s history and helping us appreciate its past, present and future through his pictures, stories and musings.  Roger was born on Whidbey Island and has lived on Ebey’s Prairie all his life.  He is a fourth-generation farmer and along with other members of his family is part of the Sherman Farms organization.

Roger leads at least a few special guided tours of the pioneer section of historic Sunnyside Cemetery each year, the cemetery being located  on the hillside overlooking Ebey’s Prairie,  and is the narrator of the 31 minute historical documentary on DVD  “Sunnyside Cemetery: Where Central Whidbey Sleeps” that was released in December 2013.    He is also the author of The Sinking of the Calista – a Maritime History of Central Whidbey Island and the accidental sinking of a local passenger ferry in the 1920’s.

This meeting & program will be held at the Nordic Hall, 63 Jacobs Rd.,  Coupeville.  A light breakfast will be served at 9:30 (donation appreciated), a brief business meeting will begin at 10am and the program will start about 10:15am.   Jacobs Rd is located about one mile south of the intersection of No. Main and Highway 20 in Coupeville.

Traveling Scandinavia: the Hurtigruten and more!

V & M in Norway At the Nordic Lodge’s upcoming meeting on Saturday, November 15th, Lodge member (and Shifty Sailor) Vern Olsen, along with wife Martha,  will talk about their recent adventurous travels  in Norway, Helsinki and Stockholm.  Included will be lots of traveling hints – and photos too of course!

Although this trip to Norway was the sixth one for Vern & Martha, it was their first on the Hurtigruten.  The photo to the left was taken in  Honningsvåg, one of the ports of call on the Hurtigruten’s  lengthy route along the Norwegian coast from Kirkenes in the north to Bergen the south.  If you’ve been thinking about taking the Hurtigruten yourself, this will be a great opportunity to find out more about it!

This program is open to anyone interested in coming and will begin at approximately 10:30 a.m. in the  Nordic Hall.  A pancake breakfast & short business meeting for members & their guests will precede the program.