Here's a couple of pictures from the July 1st parade. We have (left to right) Ingeborg Kristiansen, Vibeke Sandberg and Inge Yost along with a couple of Canada's finest.
The Danish Heritage Seminar was held at the Hotel Fort Garry in Winnipeg from May 27th to June 1st, 2019. This year’s theme was Wanderlust, the desire to explore the world.
The headmaster, Pastor Susanne Ivalo Rasmussen of the Danish Lutheran Church of Vancouver, discussed wanderlust and romanticism during the 19th century. Many of the Danish lyric poets, sculptors, writers and composers had wanderlust and would stay for long periods in other parts of Europe, particularly Rome. The participants were introduced to the works of H.C. Andersen, B.S. Ingemann, Holger Drachmann, Bertel Thorvaldsen and a number of other well-known 19th century Danish artists. Pastor Susanne emphasized how the Danish national anthem and other national songs were composed or became popular during the 19th century. This body of work laid the foundation for much of present-day Danish culture and tradition.
Professional musician and singer, Charlotte Andersson, from Copenhagen was an extreme delight for this year’s participants. Charlotte awed everyone with her beautiful voice and many musical performances during the entire week. She described Christian Winther’s “Hjortens Flugt”, a poem which dealt with wanderlust and romanticism.
Otto Christensen gave a captivating PowerPoint presentation about Jens Munk. Aase Christensen spoke on Scandinavian Folklore and the role Trolls played both then and now. She talked of the Thomas Dam trolls which have become collectors’ items and of the Thomas Dambo trolls which can be found all over the world. Rolf Christensen spoke about political Populism and Populists. There were excursions to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Manitoba Legislature. Pastor Susanne spoke about Pastor Rasmus Jensen, who had accompanied the Jens Munk expedition. She also performed a Lutheran Church Service just as it would have been held during the reign of King Christian IV.
On the last evening the 28 participants held a Goodbye Party, where they showed off their talents in creating their own entertainment and fun. A very successful fundraising lottery was held during the evening with many very desirable winnings.
- Rolf Buschardt Christensen
The annual National Danish Canadian Conference was held at the Hotel Fort Garry in Winnipeg from May 23rd to May 26th, hosted by the Danish Canadian Club of Manitoba. The Federation of Danish Associations in Canada and the Danish Canadian Museum both held their Annual General Meetings in connection with the Conference.
The theme of the Conference was The Arctic: Past, Present and Future. The Friday lunch guest was Fred Ford, President of the Manitoba Inuit Association, speaking on the new Inuit Art Centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery which is due to open in 2020. At the Saturday dinner and dance, a very interesting presentation on the various studies being carried out in the Artic was given by Prof. David Barber, Associate Dean, University of Manitoba. On the Sunday morning, the delegates were taken on a walking tour of the “Journey to Churchill” at the Assiniboine Zoo, which featured a number of animals found in the Artic. The participants were mesmerized by the underwater viewing tunnels, which gave the opportunity to view the polar bears and seals swimming from below the surface of the water.
Other highlights of the conference were the commemoration of the 1619 Jens Munk Expedition in search of the Northwest Passage and the flag ceremony at Winnipeg City Hall to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Dannebrog. The delegates were given time to visit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights or doing a Self-guided Walking Tour of the Winnipeg Exchange District and the 1919 General Strike.
The conference concluded at the Scandinavian Centre with a delicious lunch of smørrebrød, beer and snaps complimented by entertainment by the Nordic Folk Dancers and the Nordic Folk Band “Sill-I-Tones”. The Danish Federation flag and mailbox were handed over to the Vancouver Island Danish Canadian Club, host of the 2020 Danish Canadian Conference.
More on the, Arctic: Past, Present and Future, theme can be found in the 2019 Heritage Book.
- Rolf Buschardt Christensen
This year marks the 400th anniversary of Jens Munk’s expedition to find the fabled Northwest Passage to China and India. In 1619 King Christian IV of Denmark-Norway commissioned the expedition. Jens Munk was chosen to lead the expedition and to be captain of the frigate “Enhiörningen” (the Unicorn), and the sloop Lamprenen” (the Lamprey). These two ships, with a combined crew of 64 set sail from Copenhagen on May 9, 1619. Jens Munk found the western shore of Hudson Bay, but no passage. He became trapped in the heavy ice and was forced to overwinter at the mouth of the Churchill River. During the winter most of the crew succumbed to scurvy and death from hunger. Only Jens Munk and two others survived and miraculously made it home the following summer.
The anniversary of this tragic and heroic expedition was commemorated at the Danish Canadian Conference in Winnipeg, held at the Hotel Fort Garry from May 23 to 26th. Conference delegates received a copy of the book “The Journal of Jens Munk 1619-1620” (in English) as well as a Danish Federation Heritage Book which contains articles about Jens Munk, including a report of the Jens Munk Committee’s activities and plans. The delegates were delighted to also receive a Jens Munk T-shirt and a Jens Munk Conference Bag. During the Conference, Carl Sorensen of Edmonton, the Chair of the Jens Munk Committee and Otto Christensen of Gimli made fascinating presentations.
The Danish Ambassador to Canada, Thomas Winkler, made a thought-provoking presentation about the Arctic and he cut the red ribbon to open the Jens Munk Exhibition at Travel Manitoba at The Forks. Winnipeg’s new and refurbished Millennium Library also hosted a Jens Munk display and lecture.
- Rolf Buschardt Christensen
Ceremony Commemorating 800th Anniversary of Danish Flag
Dannebrog, the Danish flag, dates back to the year 1219 and the reign of King Valdemar the Victorious. 2019 is the 800th Anniversary of the flag. A flag raising ceremony was held in front of Winnipeg City Hall on Saturday, May 25th, 2019 to commemorate the anniversary. In attendance was Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, Danish Ambassador to Canada Thomas Winkler and Karl Sorensen, former president of the Danish Canadian Club of Manitoba. Karl Sorensen had proposed to hold the flag ceremony at Winnipeg City Hall in conjunction with the National Danish Canadian Conference which was hosted by the Danish Canadian Club of Manitoba. After some stirring remarks by the three dignitaries, who were accompanied by Danish Consul Helle Wilson and City Councillor Jason Schreyer, the Danish flag was raised in front of City Hall. Witnessing the event were the Conference Delegates and many passers-by.
Once the flag had been raised the Danish and Canadian National Anthems were sung. The flags had been drooping as there was no wind. Fittingly, as the Danish National Anthem was sung the wind picked up and all the flags waved beautifully in all their glory. It was very touching to see the flags flying together.
The Ceremony was followed by a lovely lunch at City Hall for the Conference Delegates. A special treat was the cookies, decorated to resemble the Danish flag. Inside City Hall the Danish and Canadian flags were accompanied by the flags of Winnipeg and Manitoba. Mayor Bowman invited the delegates to view his office and visit the City Hall Chamber. It was a moving and solemn ceremony, commemorating the world’s oldest national flag.
- Rolf Buschardt Christensen
*If you are interested in purchasing a 2019 Heritage Book at a cost of $15, please contact Tom Hedekar at 250-390-2388 or email: email@example.com
** We are looking for Nanaimo area Danish Family Stories to publish in the 2020 Heritage Book. If you have any suggestions, please contact Tom (see above).
Complete history of its founding in 2019 Heritage Book
The Danish Church Abroad, or DKU for short, can celebrate its 100th
anniversary this year. A centennial must be commemorated and
celebrated. It's an occasion to look back and reflect on the many
milestones over the years. Although DKU, now DSUK, is based in
Denmark, its mission and work are carried on outside the country.
Since its founding, DKU has helped and supported various big and small
congregations across Canada. Indeed, Canada was one of the countries
singled out early on for special consideration, due to the dire need
for funds and pastors in the 1920's and 30's, and again in the 1950's and
60's when Danish immigrants streamed to Canada. It is not an
understatement to say that DKU has made a substantial contribution to
church life among Danes in Canada, and thus to the Danish community in
general, and continues to do so.
To mark the 100th anniversary a fifteen page article about DKU,
complete with photos, has been published in the Danish Federation's
2019 Heritage Book.
Much could be written about DKU's impressive global outreach, but in
the 2019 Heritage Book the focus is on how DKU was established, and
very briefly on some of the highlights of the contribution DKU has
made to church life among Danes in Canada over the past century.
Copies of the 2019 Heritage Book can be purchased from Liselotte
Ostergaard in Toronto; from Pastor Charlotte Berg in Calgary; from
Svend B. Nielsen in Edmonton and from Ed Kuhlman in the Surrey,
Burnaby and Vancouver area.
Undertaking the creation of a Danish Canadian Umbrella Organization
The story of the Danish Brotherhood in Winnipeg in the 2019 Heritage
Book is an account of the efforts to create a national umbrella
organization for the Danes in Canada. The Danish Brotherhood in
Winnipeg was formed in 1913, prior to the outbreak of the First World
War. From the beginning the aim of the Winnipeg Lodge was to establish
lodges across Canada, and in 1929, it established a Danish Brotherhood
Lodge in Toronto.
In 1931 the Lodge Dansk Samarbejde i Canada (Danish Cooperation in
Canada) was founded in Calgary. Its aim was to promote cooperation
among the various Danish organizations in Canada. The following year
Odin Kuntze, a Danish editor who had recently arrived in Canada,
launched the newspaper Danske Herold, a paper with a mission. Right
from the time it was launched the quest for a national Danish Canadian
umbrella organization was addressed and discussed in every issue of
his newspaper. In 1933 Odin Kuntze started travelling across Canada to
promote what he called Dansk Canadisk Samfund (the Danish Canadian
Society). Branches of the Danish Canadian Society were established
across Canada and in Calgary and Montreal clubs were amalgamated into
the Danish Canadian Society.
Like the account of the Danish Brotherhood in Winnipeg, the story of
Odin Kuntze and his efforts to establish the Danish Canadian Society
as a national umbrella organization is told, accompanied by photos, in
the 2019 Heritage Book.
- Rolf Buschardt Christensen
FLAG OF DENMARK (DANNEBROG)
The Danish flag features a white cross and red body. It is the longest continuously-used national flag and was officially adopted in 1854, after having been the merchant ensign flag since 1748 and unofficially used around the country since the 14th century.
The origin legend of the Danish flag takes place during the Battle of Lindainse during the Livonian Crusade in 1219. The story goes that as the Danes were about to lose, Dannebrog fell from the sky and filled the hearts of the Danish soldiers with courage, spurring them to victory.
There are several version of the Danish flag: the civil flag, which can be flown by civilians, the Splitflag (seen in the image below), which is the official Danish state flag used by the military when on land, and the Orlogsflag, used by the navy. The flags with split ends are state flags, and are used in official capacities only.
The red of the Splitflag as well as the civilian flag is called “Dannebrog red,” and was originally made from madder root. The Orlogsflag is a longer flag and has a slightly deeper hue; you may only notice it if you were to see the flags next to each other.
In addition, there is a royal standard flag for each member of the royal family, which is the Splitflag with the addition of the royal coat of arms in the middle of the cross. This flag is only used by the royal family, and can be seen flying above their residences to indicate that they are home.
The civilian version of the Danish flag is immensely popular across the country, and is often used for private celebrations. It’s rare to find a birthday party or anniversary celebration that doesn’t include Dannebrog, indicating that Danes feel very personally connected to the flag.
Two hundred years before Franklin and 300 years before Amundsen, a
daring Dane came closer to finding the Northwest Passage than anyone
I am forwarding to you the link to this digital article in Canadian
Geographic, the magazine of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
It has just recently gone “live” on the magazine’s website.
The article is written by Wendy Christensen-Grosfield, whom some of
you know. Wendy is of Danish background, lives in Edmonton, and was
born and raised in Dickson, Alberta, where the Danish Canadian Museum
Chair, Jens Munk Commemorative Steering Committee
Federation of Danish Associations in Canada
To the Members of the Danish Canadian Club
Thank you so much for the beautiful flowers we received following my husband Bent's death.
-Thelma Thaagaard and family
It is with sadness we report the sudden passing of Shelagh Boggs on May 26, 2019. Our sympathies go out to her partner, Per Aagaard and the rest of her family.
A big thank you to all the volunteers that helped with our wonderful Nanaimo Danish Canadian Club's 30th Birthday Party!
Many thanks to: Henny Andersen * Ingebord Kristiansen * Anne-Lise Fredericksen * Inge Yost * Ragna Watt * Lynn Hedekar * Vibeke Sandberg * Gill Johansen * Lena Tsuji * Lillian Howard-Gibbon * Ane Street * Grethe Philipsen * Louise and Carsten Krogh * Rebecca Taylor
Lynne Hedekar also deserves a thank you for finding the two hard-working girls that helped serve and clean up.
Many thanks to all the volunteers who turned up to set up and decorate the tables for our party, And to those who stayed to help clean up.
Many, many thanks for all the wonderful donations of raffle prizes: The Danish Federation * Vibeke Sandberg * Inge Yost * Jytte Larson * Tom Johansen * Joachin & Tove Schindler * Rita & Emil Sorensen * Shelagh Boggs * Ane Street * Jeanice & Erik Hansen
Thank you Tom Hedekar, our Club's President, for the photos!
Thanks to our member Louise Krogh for all of her photos! We very much appreciate all the chefs who creaated such a lovely Danish feast! Click here to view more Danish Canadian Club 30th Birthday Party Photos!
We have more sad news...
Johanna Nielsen, wife of our late president Niels John Nielsen, has also passed away.
Johanna Nielsen - August 9, 1946 - February 10, 2019
Easter Church Service will be held Saturday, April 13th at 2:00 pm at Hope Lutheran Church, 2174 Departure Bay Road, Nanaimo. Pastor Susanne Ovalo Rasmussen will lead the Service. Coffee & tea to follow. Please call Vibeke for more information at (250) 585-8122
Louise Krogh has shared these Photos and even some videos with us. Thank you, Louise!
At any of the Danish Club's Party's or Events it is encouraged that you bring your camera or phone and take photos to share with us on our website! This way we capture the fun times!
Click on the photo below to view more
Here is a story about some ladies that enjoy meeting once a month to share a nice lunch, laughter and jokes. They enjoy knitting and crocheting around a dining room table.
Our "syklub" started 14 years ago with 10 'girls', just enough to have everybody seated around a dining room table. We still meet every last Monday of the month at 12:30. We take turns to have the meetings, and a nice lunch is served at a very prettily-set dining table. It is always exciting to see what the hostess has made for us. There is a good feeling and there is lots of laughter and jokes told around the table.
After "tak for mad", we again get hold off our knitting needles or crochet hooks and work until coffee time. We end our "symode" with singing a song written in the honor of our group.
In the month of December, we have "Julestue", a day where we bring something for a potluck lunch, do a gift exchange, watch a movie, drink some Danish gløgg (wine & rum with added cinnamon, orange zest, cloves, crushed cardamom, raisins, and peeled almonds that you eat with a spoon while you sip your gløgg). Then have some Danish æbleskiver and klejner (Danish fried twists). We call this Danish tradition "Julehygge". It is the same as "hygge", but just with lots of Christmas, friends and celebration!
- Submitted by Vibeke Sandberg
- If you are interested in submitting a story to share with us, please let us know!
Knud Bent Thaagaard
January 28, 1933 - February 13, 2019
Born in Sæsing, Denmark, Bent came to Canada at the age of 22. His adventurous streak took him from construction work in Calgary to farming in Claresholm and hotel ownership in several Alberta towns and in Nanaimo. In 2001, he settled into his own piece of paradise at Pryde Vista Golf Course. Bent loved to travel and saw many parts of the world with Thelma, his wife of 59 years. He was a member of the Kinsmen in Alberta and Gyro in Nanaimo and was a founding member of the Vancouver Island Danish Canadian Club since 1989. He is survived by Thelma, son David and daughters Marianne and Karen and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Torben (Toby) Kristoffersen