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PBY Memorial Foundation President Wil Shellenberger to give presentation on March 16th at Nordic Hall

PBY-Naval-Air-Museum-Front-600x387There is a Nordic connection with the PBY and PBY Naval Air Museum President, Wil Shellenberger, will give a presentation about that connection at the Saturday, March 16th monthly meeting of the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge. He will also provide  information and an update on the progress of their museum building project. The presentation will be followed by a traditional St Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage dinner.

PBY Memorial Association was incorporated as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 1999, and in 2000, the group discussed the potential for a museum, started searching for an airplane to buy, and looked for office space and storage where accumulated memorabilia could be stored.  In 2010 they acquired a PBY and then – from 2011 through 2013 – shifted their focus  to creating many historical exhibits and building the strength of the PBYMF as an organization. During this period, an architectural firm was hired to develop a design for a future hangar-style building for the museum. In 2014 all their artifacts, library and administration were moved to a 4500sf rental property on SE Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor.  In January 2015 their PBY was moved to a vacant lot across the street.

Since then the museum has continued to build a reputation as a top- quality small museum and is now looking to the future.  With the architectural drawings commissioned in 2012 in hand they are still seeking a future site for a new, larger hangar style museum that will allow them to expand the scope of their mission to encompass all Naval Aviation throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Come learn more on March 16th – especially about the Nordic connection with PBY’s! The public is invited to this program.

An optional corned beef & cabbage lunch will be served afterwards for a $10 donation.  RSVP’s please!

A new language learning opportunity!

Did you know that online Norwegian, Danish &  Finnish Language instruction is now available through the Sno-Isle Library System? Wow – what an opportunity to brush-up on languishing language skills, improve current ones, or learn for the first time how to speak & read one of these Scandinavian languages!

To access, first go to the Sno-Isle Library website. Then, in the orange bar under the Sno-Isle Libraries logo, click on Research, then on eLearning, and then on Mango Languages. At this point you will be asked for your library card number and your last name.  Upon entering this information you will find yourself on the Mango Languages Log-in page.    Create a profile for yourself here, and soon you will be able to log-in and begin learning!

Once in the Mango Languages database, click on the COURSES tab to choose the language you are interested in. You will have two options for each language:  Basic, where you can learn simple, practical skills for common, polite conversation situations in only a few short hours, and Complete 2.o, where you can learn in-depth and comprehensive language and grammar skills.  And yes, this is an audio as well as visual experience!

Try it!  Let us know how it works for you!

Lykke til!  Onnea!  Held og lykke!

New Lodge officers for 2011

Presiding at the January 15th Lodge meeting to officially install Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge officers for 2011 was  Ted Fosberg, Past International President of the Sons of Norway.

The line-up looks a little different this year;  Dick Johnson is again Nordic Lodge President for 2011, and Sid Iverson the Treasurer, but Olof Sander takes over as Lodge Vice President for 2011,  Pete Berg as Counselor, and Emilly McCormick as Lodge Secretary. Emilly has also assumed the Director position of the new Cultural Committee.  Sid Iverson and Pete Berg  will also continue in their positions as Trustee, as will Cherie Iverson.
Assuming new support positions for 2011 are: Maurice Aasland and Les McCormick, as Greeters. Continuing in last year’s support positions are: Maurice Aasland, Marshal; Pete Berg, Sports Director; Joan Gerteis, Publicity Director; Joy Iverson, Newsletter Editor; Dick Johnson, Program Coordinator & Historian; Ingri Johnson, Social Director;  Emilly & Les McCormick, Sunshine Committee;  Chuck Stone, Greeter.
Liz Berg was Acting Marshall for this Installation of Officers.


Film Fests!

For those who simply love subtitles and the flavor of language, there are  lots of  ‘local’ opportunities  this month to take in a wonderful selection of Scandinavian  films!

Here on Whidbey Island our Nordic Lodge is partnering with the Oak Harbor Public Library and offering a showing of 3 Scandinavian films on Saturday, January 22nd, in Oak Harbor – Troubled Water, Fjols til Fjells, and Mother of Mine.

In Seattle beginning Friday, January 7th, at the 3 day long Nordic Lights Film Festival (a  partnership between the Nordic Heritage Museum and  the Seattle International Film Festival) there will be a showing of  some 25 or so contemporary, award-winning feature-length and short films from Scandinavia – including Troubled Water.

Last, though not part of a  film festival, the Clyde Theater in Langley (here on Whidbey) is showing a Swedish film (with English subtitles)  – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest January 14-17.   The Clyde is also offering a free showing of  Millennium: The Story, a documentary about Stieg Larsson, the author of the book on which this film is based  and the last of a trilogy of books and films.

Whidbey’s Scandinavian Film Fest is free and open to the public.


Julefest 2010

This gallery contains 12 photos.

It’s a great time of year – ja! And it is no less so when the celebrating begins in early December. Let the pictures here speak for themselves  and continue to remind us the heritage we like to share with … Continue reading

National History Day Competition: update from Coupeville students

The National History Day program is an exceptional avenue of academic opportunity for students who love history. Projects are built upon thousands of hours of labor and show a dedication far exceeding most academic standards. Champions all, these students demonstrate the kind of excellence that is possible from all our students.

Each year for the past several years, our Nordic Lodge has helped support Coupeville student participation in this annual History Day Competition. History Day Advisor Wilbur Purdue and two of his students – Heni Barnes and KT Wynn – came to our November general membership meeting to tell us about their plans for the 2011 competition. As in previous years, we found ourselves inspired  – and filled with enthusiasm for them!

About twelve Coupeville students in all are already in their beginning stages of research.  The theme for the competition this year is Debate & Diplomacy in History: Success, Failures, Consequences. Topics being explored by these students include Cloning, the California Condor, the Gadsden Purchase, Kenniwick Man, WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots – Women Pilots of WWII), Homeland Security, the Judge Boldt Decision (Native American treaty fishing rights), the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Grand Coulee Dam.  Students will put in hundreds of hours of research on their topics on their own time.  Presentations however, can be no more than 10 minutes in length.

Students may present their work in one of five ways: as a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a web site.  Student Heni Barnes’ topic is the Gadsden Purchase and will be a documentary; KT Wynn’s topic is Kennewick Man, and will be a performance.

In March 2011, Western Washington State University will host the Regional competition, where students’ work will be judged by professional educators and historians.  If their work is chosen as ‘the best’, they will move on to the Statewide competition on Saturday, May 7, 2011, at Bellevue College. If they are winners in the Washington State contest, they will be eligible to attend the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June.

Coupeville students have brought back major awards for many years, including this past year, at both the State and National levels.

We know they will do well once again this year!

More information about History Day competitions can be found on the following websites.

Getting a good start with your holiday bread making

That’s what five Lodge members did on Saturday November 13th with  Baker Extraordinaire Emilly MacCormick, also a Lodge member, to assure themselves of bread-making success this year.  Emilly, a seasoned baker, not only guided everyone through the various steps in the recipes but gave hints along the way that clearly were keys to a good outcome!

For festive occasions, especially Christmas, Scandinavians have a long tradition of making various kinds of bread and two of the many favorites are definitely Julekake and a Swedish Lemon Ring, the latter a variation on Vetekrans, or Swedish Tea Ring.  Recipes abound for these two breads (‘google’ the word Julekake or Vetekrans along with recipe and you’ll see what I mean), so it’s best to first get a handle on the basics of making these kinds of breads  – so that you can vary the special ingredients (like nuts, candied fruit, etc) knowing that your basic bread making process is sound.  By basics I really meaHistory lesson: In Sweden baking bread was a male task.

” data-medium-file=”″ data-large-file=”″ />n basics – like having your butter and eggs at room temperature, not adding all the flour at one time, and being sure that when you are ready to put the dough aside to ‘rise’ or ‘proof’, you have a place that is warm enough to make that happen!  And then there’s the yeast…  I personally didn’t know importance of yeast basics either, i.e. adding warm water at a particular temperature, nor did I know that I could find ‘Baker’s Sugar’, an ultrafine, professional-grade sugar, on the grocery shelves to use for better results.  One of our Lodge ‘students’, Cherie, reminisced later about how her mother and aunt swore by Fermipan yeast, and also by Robin Hood flour because they felt it was better than our flour for baking — “something to do with Canada’s prairie and winter wheat vs. another  type of wheat — or something like that”.

So I guess our next off-island Lodge excursion might be up to Canada to hunt for Robin Hood flour so that we can bake some more wonderful things.  OK with me!

Troll Vogn hits the streets of Langley!

Island County Fair attendees and parade watchers once again realized that there are a good number of Scandinavians on Whidbey Island as our Lodge “Troll Vogn” rolled along in the  parade on Saturday August 21st. Nordic Lodge members, together with the Young Scandia Dancers and Daughters of Norway were greeted with “Hip, hip, hurrahs” and lots of “heiaer”.

Five of the Daughters had the thrill of riding in the famous Troll Wagon –  sharing candy with young parade watchers and cheering the Scandinavians. The weather was perfect for the walkers who trekked the one and one-half  miles –  and the company was even better!

Click on images to enlarge them.

Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge is named 2009 Lodge of the Year in District 2!

At the District 2 Convention held in Everett recently, Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge was presented with a plaque for being the “2009 Lodge of the Year” (for lodges under 100 members)! Current Lodge Vice President Emilly MacCormick and Secretary Barbara Wilson, who was Lodge President in 2009, accepted the award on behalf of our Lodge.

5 Years and We Haven’t Run Over Anyone Yet! (Memorial Day Parade Report)

It’s been reported by Troll Manager Liz that yes, after 5 years of participation in the Coupeville Memorial Day Parade…

  1. We haven’t run over anyone yet
  2. We haven’t lost anyone ‘overboard’ from the TrollVogn
  3. We really can follow the parade route without gettin lost and without GPS — our weapon, we have the newly retired Les as our navigator
  4. We finally managed to have enough candy
  5. And we haven’t burned down the Johnson home at the post- parade barbeque picnic yet

Our Scandinavian presence just radiated amidst the clowns, bands, motorcycles, bag pipers, fire engines, etc. (There were 80 entries in the parade). And tusen takk to Dick (our driver, float manager and picnic chef) and to Ingri (our picnic manager and hostess). Join us ‘trollies’ next year; we know how to have a good time!

Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge celebrates its 9th birthday and Norwegian Constitution Day!

A wonderful time was had by some 40 Lodge members and their guests at our annual syttende mai (Norwegian Constitution Day) celebration and Lodge birthday party once again this year. Both food and entertainment were fantastic! Lodge member and Shifty Sailor Vern Olsen was there with his accordian and favorite songs, and Whidbey Island’s storyteller Jill Johnson performed an excerpt from her one-woman-show Little, but OH My! , which depicts the story Norwegian-born Berte

Olson – the first woman to skipper a ferry boat on Puget Sound. Before the Deception Pass bridge was completed, Berte and her husband Augie operated two ferry runs between Whidbey, Camano and Fidalgo islands.

A recording of Jill’s performance of Little, but OH My! won an “Honors” designation in the 2006 national Storytelling World.