In 2009 the newsletter editors wrote an article on the clubs history (Issue 141). The following is an excerpt from that article.
Once upon a time before the club was in existence, Danes in this area would meet for St. Hans celebration in Nanoose Bay, BC at Dagny and Svend Nielsen's. From 1981-1983 New Years parties were held at the Big 7 Motel owned by Thelma and Bent Thaagaard.
In 1988 some friends met for a luncheon at Ulla and Børge Larsen's. They all agreed that they were ready to start a club. A handwritten invitation for Dansk Julemiddag was put up in all the malls. In 3 days it was a sell-out for 104 people!
The 8th of February 1989 the founding meeting was attended by 70 people. Per Christensen was elected Chair and the first board was: President: Tage Mikkelsen, Vice President: Svend Holdt, Secretary/Treasurer: Eric Quist, Social Directors: Dagny Nielsen and Anne-Lise Frederiksen.
The official incorporation through The Society Act of BC happened May 9th, 1989.
The newsletter was started in January 1989. In the first year they arranged folk dancing, St. Hans Festival, a summer picnic, a visit of 30 folk dancers from Denmark, a Christmas Party and a New Year's Eve Party.
They donated money to The United Way, they worked on getting a Danish Church Service and a bowling team. On May 9th, 1990 the new flags were presented to the club by MP David Stupich on behalf of the Federal Government and by Danish Consulate F. Pedersen on behalf of the Danish Government.
Looking back on the records from this period we were impressed and touched by the dedication and hard work that shows through the documents, meticulously thought out and written: Invitations, agenda, proposal for constitution. It is awe inspiring to see how a group of people thrown together from different places in Denmark and from all walks of life were able to make the club a very special place for its members and for the community.
In 1999 Tage Mikkelsen reflected on the last 10 years. He noted that the attendance to the events was slowing down and asked "Are we doing something wrong in the club or is it only old age showing?"
In 2015 we are asking each other the same thing. In a very interesting meeting with our founding mothers Dagny Nielsen and Anne-Lise Frederiksen they shared their experiences and their hopes for the future of the club. Times have changed. Very few Danes are emigrating from Denmark. We can only hope that the second generation will join. What can we do? Here are some thoughts.
Maybe one less big party because many are now single, they do not dance, the music is too loud, and few Danish songs are sung.
Maybe more small daytime meetings, potlucks, and old Danish songs.
Maybe use the Danish language more at the events.
Maybe make an effort to arrange visits to Danes in nursing homes.
It is difficult to please everybody, but we can talk amongst ourselves and give suggestions to the board. We can continue to support our club, be as active as we can and as it was stated in the first proposal to the constitution: "Promote our members to unite in a bond of friendship, good fellowship and mutual understanding".
-Anna Marie Madsen
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