Sunday, April 25, 1999

April 1999


Was the Þorrablót a success? The short answer to that is yes, even though we did not sing and dance as much as last year. 60 grown-ups and about 10 children attended the Blót, which is an increase of 10 people from last year. We enjoyed having our ambassador and his wife with us and they were very happy with the visit to Chicago. We did not make profit from the Þorrablót this year, but neither did we loose money. You can see a detailed account of the Þorrablót elsewere in the newsletter. We can still do better and we have space for more people at the museum next year if we still want to go with the same place. New place would have to be inexpensive (Not over $300), we would have to be able to bring food and wine, and it has to hold at least 70 people for sit down dinner. Any suggestions?

What does the future bring? 10th of April we had a board meeting and this is the plan for the rest of the year:

1. Field trip to the Vice Council on the 30th of April to vote. Elections are on the 8th of May in Iceland.
2. 17th of June celebration on the 12th of June at Guðrún and Gunnar Thors’
3. Scandinavian Day in September
4. Cristmas Party in December

To participate in the 17th of June celebration you should call Guðrún or Gunnar at 847-842-0863 and let them know you are attending. For the Scandinavian Day we need help and if you are interested please give Lena or me a call at 773-489-4621. We also need some great ideas to make money. If the weather is nice this is a very good festival. Last year we had a great time and could have done a lot more if we had only planned more a head of time. For the Christmas Party we need to find a nice place that is inexpensive.

Many of the members receive the newsletter by email as an attachment file. If you have not informed us of your email address please do so by emailing Sóley,, or by calling her at 847-548-4527 Receiving the newsletter by email saves us printing, envelope, and postage costs, as well as the extra work. Remember to let her know what version of word you have.

Orri, Lena’s brother has finished the website and it looks great ( It has five categories: newsletters, information about the board and email addresses, pictures from the Þorrablót, links to Icelandic websides and "foreign" websides about Icelandic subjects, and finally a guestbook.

In short, we are doing fine and new members are joining the association every month. We like to know of any Icelanders, people of Icelandic heritage or friends of Iceland that might be interested in the Icelandic Association of Chicago. If you have any leads send us an email or call us.

Enjoy the spring

Einar Steinsson, President


We would like to thank the people that donated this year to the Association, they were

Siggi Birkis
Judith and William Woodruff
Rita Stefniz and Leifur Björsson
Binna and Bud Porter
Jóna and Joe McCarthy
G. N. Wiche
Jón Hofteig
Guðrún og Gunnar Thors


On July 30th to August 2nd there will be an Icelandic festival in Mountain, North Dakota. This year is the 100th year that they are having this festival. They are going to have a music group from Connecticut that calls themselves The Icelandic Trio, they will also have a carnival, a parade and a play that depicts the hearty life of the Icelandic pioneers who settled in ND in the 1800´s. There will be dignitaries both from the USA and Iceland and there is also a tour group planning to come from Iceland. If you want more information about the festival you can check them out at, their mailing address is, Icelandic Celebration, PO Box 063, Mountain, ND 58262 and their phone number is (701) 993-8268, fax number (701) 993-8261.


On March 13th, Ella Sveinsson turned 100 years old. She was born, Elinborg Olafson, in 1899 on Hekla Island in Manitoba Canada. Her parents were Icelandic immigrants to Canada in the middle 1800´s. Ella moved to Chicago in her early twenties after finishing school through 8th grade and spending some time in Winnipeg. She finally became a nurse in 1925 after training at Columbus Hospital. With the help of the sisters there she earned her high school diploma and her nurses degree, even though she did not speak English fluently. Ella met her husband during her nurses training and they married in 1927.

They had 2 sons in the 1930´s and purchased a small bungalow in Norwood Park Township.

Ella and Allen were a key part of the start of the Icelandic Association in Chicago in the 1930´s.

In the 1940´s they moved to Irving Park where Allen purchased a plumbing contracting business and Ella took over a greeting card store that she operated for almost 10 years. In the 1960´s they purchased a summer home in Ontario Canada and spent many wonderful summers there with family and friends.

Allen died in 1974 and for 20 years Ella lived independently until 1994 when she decided to move into the Norwood Park Home. There she enjoys visiting with her family, her 10 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren, dining out and reminiscing about old times. We at the Icelandic association want to wish her a very Happy Birthday.


The year 2000 will mark the 1000 year anniversary of Christianity in Iceland. For that occasion Iceland is going to be having a big festival throughout the next 2 years. Events organized by the commission will consist of music, theater performances, historical exhibitions, TV films etc. Expectations are that approximately 120 to 140 events will be organized all around Iceland in connection with the Iceland 2000 Millennium of Christianity. It will all start on April 25th of this year, with the inaugural ceremony at Akureyri Church, and the festivities will last until Easter 2001. There are numerous activities planned through out the 2-year celebration. To name a few, an outdoor festival in Reykjavik on August 15th 1999, in mid March 2000 a premiere of an opera portraying the adoption of Christianity in Iceland in the year 1000, Millennium of Christianity Festival at Thingvellir on July 1st and 2nd 2000, the consecration of a replica stave church, a gift from Norway, in Westmann Island on July 30th 2000 and many other festivities. For more information you can go to their web site at,


On April 4th Stella and Miguel Solis had a little baby boy and he has been named Anton Isak Solis. We want to congratulate both of them.

This is why Iceland is considered a small country!!

1. The prime minister is in the phonebook
2. It is very likely that you will bump into president or the bishop at the pool.
3. The Icelandic hotdog with the works is not a known trademark in other countries
4. Our national hero is ranked 4th in the decathlon
5. The biggest game show in Iceland is a contest between young people who aren’t old enough to buy alcohol.
6. It is considered a victory if there is a tie in a national soccer game.
7. Scandals in the treasury involve fishing licenses.
8. If an Icelander falls in the slopes the whole nation is shocked.
9. When an Icelander is mentioned in foreign papers it is mentioned in the Icelandic papers as well.
10. You can not buy beer at 6 in the morning.
11. Shoplifters get the same press as murderers in other countries.
12. When a celebrity has a layover in Iceland it is headline news.
13. We pick up foreign refugees in a Fokker plane.
14. The president of the biggest shipping factory is a board member of the only domestic airline.
15. The headquarters of the biggest insurance company is 5 stories high.
16. People will stop and stare at a man with an Arabian headdress.
17. In Iceland there are more sheep than people.
18. In Iceland there are no Private detectives.
19. There are intermissions at the movies
20. The Prime Minister opened up the first McDonald’s in Iceland!!!