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Valdres Samband Stevne June 22-24, 2006
St. Olaf College
Northfield, Minnesota

 

The stevne in pictures!

 

CLICK HERE for photos of the stevne

 

Throughout the stevne, members were treated to a wonderful display of memorabilia by the Preservation Committee.  Over $224 was raised by the sail of "gently used" NAHA publications. Stephen Wills oversaw sales of Valdres Samband merchandise, and there were many other vendors on site selling a variety of Norwegian-themed items.
Thursday, June 22, 2006

Andrew Veblen was the first president of the Valdres Samband and resided outside Northfield.  This tour explored the roots of the Valdres Samband.  Led by Professor Emeritus Joseph M. Shaw, told many stories about Julius Muus, founder of St. Olaf, and the Veblens as the motor coach rolled along.

Fiirst stop was Valley Grove Lutheran Church. The Valley Grove Preservation Society purchased 111 acres around the site to protect its historic setting. In the cemetery are graves of the Veblen family and ancestors of former Minnesota governor Al Quie. 

Next on the tour was the Veblen farmstead. Architect Steve Edwin oversaw the restoration of the farmhouse, which is now owned b Mark Fjelstad.

At Vang Lutheran Church, church member Bernice Stenhaug spoke about the history of the church, which has a large pipe organ. A tape of Dagfinn Moe, who emigrated from Norway, playing the organ along with a welcome and Norwegian poetry reading by church historian Pearl Underdahl. The the group had refreshements in the church basement.

A brief stop at the Vang Church Cemetery revealed many familiar Valdres names.

The tour's final stop was Holden Lutheran Church.  Church member Lloyd Voxland provided an interesting church history. Holden was the parent church of Vang, and now has between 400 and 500 members.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Seminars

Seminars were held in Viking Theater, a multimedia auditorium in Buntrock Commons.  Bruce Weaver's informative presentation, "How to Track Your Ancestors on E-Bay," opened the schedule.  Forrest Brown talked about the "Norwegian Settlers in Goodhue County."  "Norway Art, with an Emphasis on Valdres," was presented by Mary Jo Thorsheim.  After lunch, Pastor Ron Nowland talked about "Runestones as Norwegian Calling Cards," and spoke about the controversy over the Kensington Runestone.  Doug Ohman gave the final presentation of the day, "Heart of the Farm - Barns of Minnesota."

Genealogy

Both Thursday and Friday, the third floor of Buntrock Commons was the place to be for genealogy! Be Gunelson provided her expert assistance to researchers, and 18 people used the rich resources of NAHA.

Friday Evening

A Sing-Along was lead by Margaret O'Leary and Harold Lerohl, accompanied by Jan Lerohl.   Margaret also served as emcee for the program, which began with greetings from Samband president Doris Hayes.  She also read letters of greeting from Royal Norwegian Consul General Rolf Hansen, and our intrepid Valdres correspondent, Jahn BÝre Johnson. Margaret explained the significance of St Hans Aften, which is celebrated in Norway on June 23rd. After the national anthems, Joseph Shaw greeted Samband members on behalf of St. Olaf College. 

Musical entertainment was provided by The Reflections, a ladies' vocal quartet, and Nordic Jam, comprised of a variety of musicians and instruments that enjoy playing traditional Norwegian music. 

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Seminars

Aaron Hanson began Saturday's seminar schedule with a presentation of his DVD of the 2004 Valdres trip.  He was followed by Reidar Ditmann whose presentation on "War, Imprisonment, and Liberation" discussed his experiences in Norway during World War II and at Buchenwald.  This presentation is now available on DVD from the Samband.

Business Meeting

Kari Kringstad retired as treasurer and has been replaced by Patricia Lerohl.  Drawings were held for a serving tray and glass bowl from Hadeland Glassworks.  Reverend Albert Grender presided over the Memorial Service.   

Saturday Evening

The banquet took place in the ballroom on the third floor of Buntrock Commons.  Drawings were held for a book and jewelry.  President Doris Hayes expressed appreciation for the efforts of Kari Kringstad as treasurer, Diane Lerohl and Earl Evenstad as stevne co-chairs, and Andrea Een for her Hardanger fiddle music.   The Parade of Bunads lead banquet-goers outside to Urness Recital Hall for the evening program.  After greetings from Marilyn Somdahl, emcee Orlyn Kringstad read a greeting from former Consul General Lars LÝberg and his wife.  A humorous presentation to Howard and Diane Lerohl was followed by a program of Norwegian vocal music by Melissa Culloton accompanied by Justine Sasaanar. This was followed by folkdancing by Hjerte Dans.

The stevne concluded with the singing of "God Bless America"

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