Friday, December 28, 2007

December 2007

From the Editor
It is always good to look back and remember, the good and the bad. Memories are like a wine, some leave a good afterglow for your taste buds while others leave your mouth dry or sour, but still, they are memories and they are a part of us and make us who we are.This year my biggest memory is the birth of my son who on Dec.24th., will turn 8 months old. I can not wait to go into the new year and start making memories all over again. I wish you all good memories and a good afterglow.

As a foreign person in a foreign country, which now I gladly and proudly call home, good memories are even more important because they make new experiences a lot easier to handle. Many of my best memories since moving here are connected to this beautiful Icelandic Association of Chicago, which we are apart of. In full honesty, though, I feel as the association is experiencing fatigue, which shows itself in lack of interest in doing and building things we so well could do and be proud of. How about turning it around? We can, by pulling together, paying our membership, and come together as one when in need. That is how associations make it and that is how memories are built. So how about it, good people? Let us make 2008 a good year for the Icelandic Association of Chicago.I wish you all a Merry and Wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.


With warm regards on this cold night,


Þorrablót 2008

Our Þorrablót 2008 will be somewhat different than those you may have attended in the past. Our emphasis this time will be on having a small Blot for members of the association who are in good standing. Furthermore, it will be for adults only and members may not bring guests this year. The date is February 2, at 6 p.m. The location is a private residence in Naperville. Price of the ticket is $35* and must be purchased and paid for in advance by January 18th. Due to the size of our facility, we will only be able to sell 30 tickets. Included in the ticket price is a welcome drink, gravlax, hákarl and a schnapps of Brennivín, the Icelandic Þorrafood and sides, pönnukökur and coffee. For non-Icelandic food we will have a potluck format, please contact Lena for more information regarding what to bring. The Þorrablót is a BYOB event. We will have our famous and ever popular raffle with prizes such as a plane ticket from Icelandair to the Old Country. We will have a good selection of Icelandic party music and some of our musically inclined members will entertain (we still need someone who plays guitar!). Of course, the Þorra Quire will sing, as will everyone else. In short, we are planning a night of real Icelandic fun in USA, a night to be remembered and cherished, until next time.


The Þorra Committee

*Please reserve your tickets and renew your membership with Larry or Joni Shaw. Please remember that no Thorrablot tickets will be sold after January 18th. Make your check out to The Icelandic Association of Chicago and mail to Lawrence Shaw, 147 N. Buckingham Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554

** Lena 773-489-4621


All dues and Þorrablót admissions should be sent to our treasurer. The Icelandic Association of Chicago cordially invites all Icelanders, descendants of Iceland and friends of Iceland to join our organization. Please forward a copy of this Membership Form to anyone interested in joining (link is a pdf attachment of the form).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

October 2007

From the President’s desk
Hello everyone, I wish you all a wonderful fall and hope you are enjoying the crisp air and beautiful weather.

Looking ahead there are few things I wish to mention. The Icelandic Association of Chicago is holding its Annual General Meeting in Schaumburg, October 20th at 6pm. All further information about the location et cetera can be seen in this issue of Farsælda Frón. Please remember that this is the opportunity for Board members and all other members of IAC to share their vision, ideas and concerns regarding our association. In addition, I believe this can be a fun night to meet fellow members and enjoy good Japanese food!

We also have the annual Christmas Tree decoration at the Museum of Science and Industry coming up November 11th at 1 pm. This event has been a lot of fun for everyone who enjoy the spirit of Christmas. I encourage all of you to take the rest of the afternoon off and visit some of the exhibitions within the museum. We are taking down the Christmas tree January 20th at 1pm.

I hope to see you all soon.


Katrin Heidar

From the Editor
The summer passed with a great speed and now, it suddenly is Autumn. Nature is getting ready to tuck itself in yet again and sleep soundly until next spring. I have always loved this time of year even though I loved it better when I didn’t have any leaves to rake but Iceland is kind to us when it comes to leave raking. Autumn is the time when one can breathe fresh air into the lungs, everything becomes crisp, windows stay open, the sounds from the A.C stops buzzing and most importantly; the Mosquitoes move on and pester somebody else.

With autumn comes also darkness, romantic candle lights, woolly socks and trick or treating. Children changes into all sorts of creatures who, lo and behold, all love candy.

If we don’t enjoy life we aren’t living it so I’m going to try my best of enjoying myself this Autumn. There are many things one can do and one thing I will be sure of doing; walking hand in hand with my husband in beautiful downtown Chicago and enjoy the Festival of Lights because we never, have enough Festival nor lights in our lives.

Take care and contact me via if you have something you want to contribute.


Association Affairs

General Meeting

The IAC General Meeting will be held October 20th 2007 at Daruma Japanese Restaurant, 1823 W.Golf Road, Schaumburg,Illinois. The meeting starts at 6pm. Please join us with all your great ideas and concerns. All non-board members of the association are as well very welcome.

Christmas tree decoration
The time has come again to think about Christmas. We will be putting up our tree at the Museum of Science and Industry, Sunday, November 11th at 1pm and we will be taking it down on Sunday January 20th at 1pm. Mark your calendars and remember; THE MORE, THE MERRIER.


The Icelandic Independence Day, June 17th
Instead of celebrating our 63rd Independence Day on June 17th we used the opportunity and met up at Vasa Park on R31 in S-Elgin,on June 16th where our fellow Scandinavians where celebrating Mid Summer. A fair share of fair Icelanders and their families showed up to spend the day, enjoying themselves in each others company. And we did prove that size doesn’t matter and that we can sing and perform, just like the rest of Scandinavia!

Swany Getchell

Review of the Biggest Icelandic Open So Far!
The third Greater Chicago Icelandic Open was held at Indian Boundary golf course Sunday July 29th. This time we almost sold out with 20 players. It was a great day, sunny but not too hot even though some players did get very thirsty at times J First place winners with a score of 32 were Martin Brunback and Adam Jordan. Second place took Goran Aronson and Anders Singdahlsen also with a great score, 34. And, third place a husband and wife team, Natashja and Oskar Berg. The winner of the longest drive was Martin Brunback who got one our golf lesson from a PGA pro. Closest to the pin for a one night stay at the Wyndham hotel down-town Chicago was Marc Smith, and, the longest putt did go to Martin Brunback who won ½ hour lesson from a golf pro. Every player got Callaway Hot X golf balls and a 10% gift certificate to the Golf Galaxy. Last but not least, Joni and Larry Shaw won the “most improved team” award. Everyone was really happy and already signed up for next year. We are looking to change the format to a Best Ball from Texas Scramble but would still play 9 holes. The date for 2008 Greater Chicago Icelandic Open will be announced early next year but any new teams should reserve their spot.

Happy Halloween

Einar Steinsson

Review of the annual Scandinavian Day
It was a perfect weather day for the annual Scandinavian Day event on September 9th along the Fox River at Vasa Park in South Elgin. The beautiful day brought out many guests. The Norwegians, Swedes, Danes and Finns were well represented with traditional costumes and food booths. There were also many rows of vendors.

The Viking Encampment was a big hit again this year. They brought with them a replica of a Viking ship, costumes and great games for the children. They also carried the Icelandic flag in the opening ceremony. There were pony rides for kids as well as games.

The entertainment was really fine. The program included The Nordic Folk Dancers of Chicago(Linnea Johnson, (773)-262-5943 Chicago, IL, Ole and Sven from Wisconsin, Maria Mannesto - the Finlandia Foundation Performer of the Year 2007, The Finnish Kantele Players and the Chicago Nordic Choir.

If you have suggestions regarding Icelandic participation for next year please contact Joni Shaw - - or any Chicago Icelandic Association board member. We need to be thinking about it now as time passes so quickly and soon the event will be upon us again.

Also, if anyone has the ability/interest to prepare an ad which we can enter, regarding our association, in the Scandinavian Day booklet, please contact Joni. Just generally speaking, it would be good to have an advertisement prepared for many other occasions as well.

I submit this article as the Icelandic representative on the Vasa Park board. I solicit your input and help in this worthwhile venture of keeping the Scandinavian cultures alive. Our heritage is unique and rich in history and deserves representation.

Joni Shaw

Whole Food Market
For the longest time, I have been waiting for Icelandic products to show up at the shelves at the Whole Food Market in Palentine.,IL but nothing ever shows up. Tired of waiting and tired of being told time and time again soon, I called the Regional Office of Whole Food Market in the Mid-West where I was told that it was not on the agenda of putting Icelandic products on the shelves. But if Icelandic products were desired, one would only have to place an order at the customer service desk and desired products would be shipped in.

Swany Getchell

Saturday, June 02, 2007

May 2007

From the President’s desk
The Board met at the IKEA store in Schaumburg earlier this month. We had a good meeting in the Scandinavian café, with some discussion about the past and the future of our Association. We reflected on the winter celebration or Þorrablót, held earlier this year. I believe everyone agreed it was a fun evening. However, because of the financial results of the Þorrablót this year and some other challenges, the Board decided to scale down the Þorrablót 2008 to members only. This results in a more personal event in a smaller space where members can bring only two guests and their own food to share. We will keep you informed in later issues of Farsælda Frón about further decisions regarding the Þorrablót.

Once again, the Board is making an effort to clean up the membership list. This means that only those who have actually paid their membership fees will be considered members in the Association. This sounds obvious but this has not been applied in the past. By doing this we hope that the Association will be more efficient and we can do a better job of serving the Icelandic-Chicago community. Therefore, those who are interested in being members and wish to support the Icelandic Association of Chicago please pay your membership fee now. (Please see a special announcement in the Newsletter regarding the fees et cetera.) Note that the membership form will be posted on the IAC webpage ,, for your convenience within days. In conjunction with this the Board also decided that Farsælda Frón would be a member only Newsletter, with the exception of Icelandic embassies and other organizations that would benefit of receiving the Newsletter. Our aim is to make the Newsletter as much electronic as possible in the future.

Looking ahead there are two main events in the summer:

First, we will celebrate our Independence Day at Vasa Park, June 16th 2007. The park is having their mid-summer festival and we thought it would be fun to participate in that and take the opportunity to celebrate the Icelandic Independence Day at the same time. The IAC website has a link posted where you can see the schedule of events, but we plan to meet there at 4pm. Please see a special announcement about this in the Newsletter.

The third annual golf tournament will take place July 29th 2007. I wish all the participants well and know this will be a fun day together. Please view all the details in the Newsletter and on our website.

At last, I wish to congratulate our new editor, Svanfríður Arnardóttir-Gretchel and her family on her new son who was born April 24th 2007. He is perhaps the current youngest member in the association!

I wish you all a very happy summer and enjoy nature as much as possible.

Katrin Heiðar

From the Editor

Greetings to everyone.

Being that this is the first Newsletter I edit, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Svanfríður E. Arnardóttir aka Swany Getchell. I moved to Cary, Illinois, late in January of 2005 from Höfn Hornafjörður, a small fishing town on the SE coast of Iceland, surrounded by glaciers and mountains. I graduated with a BA in music and worked as a general music teacher for few years before moving out here to be with my husband. We have two boys and I enjoy every moment of my life here.

I have decided not to make any big changes with the layout of this newsletter but if you feel that something is missing or want to send in your thoughts, then feel free to contact me via e-mail;

Until later, Swany.

Association Affairs

Iceland´s Independence Day June 17th
The Annual Icelandic Independence Day celebration will be held on June 16th 2007 at Vasa Park in South Elgin, IL. We’ll celebrate a day early to coincide with mid-summer festival. Our celebration begins at 4 pm but come earlier to enjoy the mid summer festivities which will include pony-rides for the children.

Let’s use this opportunity and celebrate the Independence Day together in a group of fun loving Icelanders!

Gleðilegt sumar.

The Third Annual Greater Chicago Icelandic Open

Third time is a charm. The Greater Chicago Icelandic Open will be held for the third time on Sunday July 29th at 2PM. We plan on making this one the best so far with lots of prizes, giveaways and, most importantly, lots of fun! The tournament will be held at Indian Boundary, 8600 W. Forest Preserve Avenue, just off Cumberland Ave between Belmont and Addison Ave; very centrally located for everyone. It's the same course as last year but this time we'll be using golf carts to help keep the pace up. The good news is that the price is also the same as last year - only $35 per person including green fees and a cart. We've reserved tee-times for 24 players, which will be the maximum number of participants in order to finish the tournament in time to have some food and drinks, and, of course, the award ceremony.

The format of the play will be Texas Scramble or like some people call it Best Ball. Texas Scramble means teams of two players - we'll find you a team mate if you don't have one. Both team members tee up and then choose, which shot to use and both hit the ball from there, until it's in the hole!

We have a traveling trophy for 1st place and medals to keep for 1st, 2nd, and third place. Golf Smith is our proud sponsor donating prizes for the Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin, Longest Putt, and Straightest Drive. We'll also have a one hour lesson from PGA golf pro, a value of $100. We have to give Indian Boundary an exact number of players by July 24th so please sign up as soon as you can. You can send me an email or call me at 773.489.4621 with any questions and send your check to Larry Shaw our treasurer until we have Pay Pal on the webpage. Make the check out to The Icelandic Association of Chicago and mail it to Larry Shaw 147 N. Buckingham Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554

I'm looking forward to see you on the 29th - Have a great summer.

Einar Steinsson

Review of Þorrablót 2007

This year’s Þorrablot was a success. It was held at the Cheshire Clubhouse in Prestbury, Sugar Grove, Aurora. Seventy people attended and enjoyed themselves eating authentic Icelandic food and dancing the night away with the Icelandic band, the Mama’s boys.

Membership and the Newsletter

Dear Reader,
We hope you are enjoying receiving and reading our Newsletter and we would want nothing more that for you to keep doing so. However, after careful discussion at our last Board meeting, we came to the conclusion that moving forward we could only send out the Newsletter to those who have paid their membership fees. As a reminder, the membership for this year - $25 for a family; $15 for an individual – was due last November. So, do not procrastinate, take out the checking book and send in the membership fee today. In short, this could be the last Farsælda Frón you receive, which of course we hope it will not be. Another change we would like to see is to limit the number of hard copies we mail out. Thus, unless you instruct us otherwise and given we have your e-mail address, you will from now on only receive and electronic copy of Farsælda Frón.
Letter to the Association

1000 Years of Icelandic Popular Music

We have recently acquired and released in the US the award winning documentary film about Icelandic music culture - "Screaming Masterpiece: 1000 Years of Icelandic Popular Music".

The film captures all the energy of the world's hottest independent music scene in Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik. It journeys through Iceland's breathtaking landscape and back down the centuries to Viking times in search of an answer to the question: Why is this music so popular?

We are trying to get the word out and create awareness about this wonderful film. It would of course help if you could spread the word by mentioning it in your newsletter, or organizing a screening at your organization. I would be happy to send you a screener of the film. I'm also open to other suggestions, please don't hesitate to send them my way.

With the help of Icelandair and Airwaves, we are also organizing a contest where the winner and one guest will be invited to the Airwaves Music Festival in Reykjavik next October.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Kindest regards,

Stefan Karrer
Milan Entertainment, Inc.
3500 West Olive Avenue, Suite 750
Burbank, CA 91505
tel: (818) 953-7809
fax: (818) 953-7801

Save the Viking

I write to you concerning the 1982 Norwegian-built Viking ship, now dry-docked in Geneva, that sailed to Chicago for the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. I am concerned to learn that its state of repair is now at a critical point and that the ship has been placed on the ten most endangered places list in Illinois.

I have been observing the situation with the Viking for so long and would like to see this ship, with its World heritage values, restored and in a good home. Urgent action is now needed to save the first Viking ship replica in the World, a tradition that has now reached amazing precision in the Roskilde Viking ship replicas in Denmark. Would you like to participate in a campaign to Save the Viking?

I have undertaken research into the story of the Viking and included this in my article, along with a few suggestions on how to help Save the Viking on

I have been wondering if there would be scope for a living aspect to the home of the Viking, such as the building of a new Gokstad Vikingship, to the standard now set at the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum in Denmark. The new Viking ship could then be sailed on the Lakes. Perhaps this might be the key to saving the Viking, making it a more exciting project overall. This approach may also hold more appeal for the younger generations. What do you think?

This link is a recent news film-clip of the Viking:

I am now making a monster outreach, to find out what is happening with the ship and see who in the World would also like to see the Viking restored and in a good home. Many good-hearted efforts have, amazingly, come to naught to date and the decay clock on the timbers of the ship are ticking away in Chicago's severe weather. Perhaps everything is wrapped up now and if this is the case, great, but I feel we should not take any more chances with the fate of this important ship with World heritage values.

I have $10 sitting in my model of the Gokstad. If a million people would also put $10 on the table, this will be the swiftest way to restore the ship, ensure that it is in a good home and provide funds for interpretation and education, which could include Viking culture and Scandinavian traditions. If a million people are prepared to speak up for the Viking, such numbers will ensure that the ship is safe.

Could this work?

I will be looking for an appropriate organisation that will put up a dedicated website for the campaign to Save the Viking, which can receive donations, including my $10.

I have included a few simple thoughts for the campaign in the article and have many more to offer should a campaign get up and running. I would be prepared to go to Chicago to help drive the campaign, should it come to that.

It would be great to hear your views on the matter and what you think should and can be done to Save the Viking!

Yours sincerely,

Kim Peart ~ Tasmania

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

December 2006

A Note from The President
I like to take the opportunity to thank my predecessor Einar Steinsson for his dedication and hard work as the former President of the Icelandic Association of Chicago. For the past nine years Einar has been a great advocate for the Association and has shown a tremendous patience and support in his leadership. We are thankful that Einar will continue to be an active board member of the Association as well as the director of the Greater Chicago Icelandic Open, the annual golf tournament open to all members and their guests.

I will do my best to continue to fulfill the Icelandic Association’s mission ensuring the legacy of the Icelandic heritage through cultural events, social gatherings and educational opportunities.

Speaking of which, we have the Þorrablót coming up February 3rd 2007. Please help us make this a successful and fun night. It is only by our members support and their guests, that the Þorrablót can continue. I look forward seeing you all there as we come together to meet friends, enjoy Icelandic delicacy and last but not least dance under the music of our very own Icelandic band “Mömmustrákar” or Mama´s Boys. Details regarding the Þorrablót can be seen in Farsælda Frón and remember last year we sold out so make sure to purchase tickets before its to late!

I also wish to thank Steinar Gudmundsson for his great work and dedicaton as the editor of our newsletter, Farsælda Frón, for the past six years. Steinar gave the newsletter a new name and look, which were welcoming improvements. We welcome Svanfríður Arnardóttir-Gretchell as the new editor of Farsælda Frón.

Thank you again for supporting the IAC and please renew your membership before January 10th 2007.

I wish you all love and happiness and please take time to enjoy family and friends this hectic time of the year.

Gleðilega Hátíð or Happy Holidays to you all!

Katrin HeidarAssociation Affairs

The Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting was held on November 12th at Piccalo Mondo in Hyde Park and attendees were Einar Steinsson, Lena Hallgrimsdottir, Svanfríður and Bert Getchell, Sonja and Marc Johnson, Katrín Heiðar, Steinar Guðmundsson, Leifur Björnsson, and Andrea Ösp Karlsdóttir.

A new Board was elected and the results are the following:

President: Katrín Heiðar

Secretary: Lena Hallgrímsdóttir

Treasurer: Larry Shaw

Editor of Farsælda Frón: Svanfríður Arnardóttir-Getchell

VP of Membership & Marketing: John Hofteig

VP of Þorrablót: Stella Solis

VP of Greater Chicago Icelandic Open:
Einar Steinsson

VP of Scandinavian & Leif Eirikson Day:
Joni Shaw

Web Master:
Marc Johnson

Our Christmas tree at the Museum of Science and Industry

Our traditionally decorated Christmas tree is among fifty other trees now on display at the Museum of Science and Industry. We will take the tree down on January 7 at 2 pm. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Katrin. This is a good opportunity to visit the Museum and look at its many interesting exhibitions for free. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Membership in the Icelandic Association of Chicago:

Annual membership fees are due January 10, 2007. Please write a check to The Icelandic Association of Chicago and send it to Dr. John Hofteig, 1942 Lehigh Centre - Unit C Glenview, IL 60025.
Thank you!

The fees are the same as for previous year: $15 for an individual and $25 for a family. We are actively soliciting new and renewed memberships in our group. If you want to join, re-join, or know people in the Chicago area of Icelandic descent or other interested in Iceland, please contact John H. Hofteig, VP, Membership, [Phone: 847 + 493 – 9065] or our President, Katrín Heiðar, or any of the other Board Members listed on our website:

Annual Icelandic Winter Celebration

Next Þorrablót will be held February, 3, 2007 at Cheshire Clubhouse, 15 Winthrop New Road in Prestbury, the same place as two years ago. We will have Mama´s Boys, the same musicians from Iceland that rocked the Þorrablót last year. Mama´s Boys are well known in Iceland for their talent and lively performance. The band members are Símon Hjaltalín from Stykkishólmur and Stefán Örn Gunnlaugsson from Hafnarfjörður and we all felt they did a very good job last year.

Otherwise the format will be same as before, dinner, our now famous raffle, (among prizes are two airplane tickets to Iceland ) sing-along with the Þorra choir, under the leadership of Svanfríður Arnardóttir-Getchell and dancing in to the night. We will have imported Icelandic þorrafood but members will bring in other food coordinated by the Þorra committee which Stella presides over. Attendees are responsible for bringing their own drinks. A welcome drink, Brennivín, soft drinks and Icelandic water are complimentary.

We will need to know as soon as possible if you plan to attend, so please return the census form ASAP. The price of the entrance ticket purchased in advance will be $35 for members, $40 for guests, $25 for students, $15 for ages 13-16, and $10 for ages 7-9. Admission for children 6 years and younger is free of charge. Please note that we will add a $5 fee on each ticket purchased at the door. The deadline for purchasing advance tickets is January 15, 2006. Please write check to the Icelandic Association of Chicago and mail to Dr. John Hofteig 1942 Lehigh Centre, Unit C, Glenview, IL 60025, tel., 847-493-9065. Remember to visit our web page for any new information about the Þorrablót.

Directions: From I-88 west take the Sugar Grove exit (Rte 56 to Rtes 30-47). Once you take that exit you'll turn right on Golfview (Bliss Creek Golf Course). Don't miss this turn - it's soon after you go under the Hankes Road bridge. Golfview dead ends at Hankes. Right on Hankes Road and left on Winthrop New Road. It's just a block away with the clubhouse on the left and tennis courts on the right.