Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 2009

Icelandic Association of Chicago, Volume No. 11 Issue No.8 December 2009

From the President’s Desk:

Big changes in store for IAC!

It’s time to reflect on 2009 and predict for 2010. I’ll concentrate on our association’s affairs and leave the rest to others. The Icelandic Association of Chicago has had one of the most eventful years since Lena and I joined 13 years ago. We had a great Þorrablót at the Solis’s house but also had an unfortunate incident damaging their hardwood floor, which we have resolved. Our Independence Day celebration at the Promontory Point by the Lake was a great success with 30 attendees and Icelandic hot dogs, thanks to Swany and her parents who brought them from Iceland. This is an event that’s here to stay and the location is great. Our Icelandic Open sold out with 32 players who all showed up but then we got rained out for the first time in five years, what a bummer. We rescheduled and had a great tournament where Martin and Jessica Brunback took the trophy with a great score of one over par. Our Scandinavian Day was a big success selling Icelandic water for our scholarship fund.

Lastly, our Annual General Meeting at Svithod House was very good and productive. That brings us into this time of year when we ask you to pay your membership dues and sign up for the 2010 Þorrablót. We’re going to go online with the payment process thanks to the great work of Marc Johnson, our webmaster. Membership can be paid online with a credit card and Þorrablót tickets will also be available through Evite and on our web page. This is a big step for us and although we’ll have to pay a fee for the service, the convenience outweighs the cost. Make sure to pay for the membership and purchase tickets soon, as we will not be selling tickets to Þorrablót at the door. We expect to sell out, as Svithod House can only host 80 guests for a sit down dinner. To ensure all members have an opportunity to attend, we’re limiting the number of guests one can bring to two up until the 20th of January, when we’ll open up the ticket sale, without restrictions, if any tickets are left. We’re so happy to have Bjössi from the band Greifarnir in Iceland join us again to play and sing all night long. Of course there will be Þorrafood from Iceland and two tickets to Iceland with Icelandair, for the raffle along with many other good prizes.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our donors who are listed below in this newsletter for the great support. Corporations and many of our members have donated to our scholarship fund and events throughout the year - BIG hug from all of us.

Wishing you safe and happy holidays,

Einar Steinsson

The Icelandic Association of Chicago would like to thank the following donors and sponsors for their support in 2009:

Guðrún and Gunnar Thors
John Halldór Hofteig
Lena and Einar Steinsson
Marc Johnson
Siggý Jónsson
Svanfríður E. Arnardóttir
Valgerður (Vaddý) Íngolfsdóttir
Þórdís Björnsdóttir

Nói Sírus, Reykjavík
Bautinn Restaurant, Akureyri
Icelandic Glacial Water, Þorlákshöfn
Siggi’s Skyr, New York
Skífan, Reykjavík

From the Editor:

Most likely everyone is in the midst of holiday plans and preparations and the timely snow is adding to the festive mood. This time of year brings people together physically, by phone, mail or e-mail. It’s time for the IAC to wrap up 2009 as our president Einar mentioned and look back at a successful year and then look forward to an even better 2010. þórrablót is not far away and a perfect gathering for all of us to meet up and reconnect to look forward to the new beginning.

I must say that IAC is a lovely group of people with a common thread, that of Iceland, whichever way we are connected to the country. I have often met Icelandic people abroad that get together and only speak Icelandic, excluding any non-Icelandic speaking person sitting at the table, talking about places they love and miss over there and sometimes even put down the place they live in, be it America or elsewhere. Almost enough so that I wondered: ‘Well why are you not there then? Why are you here complaining?” And I understand homesickness, stress about being in a new place, it’s easier to put it down than to embrace all the newness and changes.

But everyone I have met here in and around Chicago has been gracious and open to their own heritage and combinations of histories that exist over here. There is a beautiful blend of Icelandic and American. Nobody excludes the English speaking members, they are simply embraced as part of this family.

As a sort of family, we thought it might be nice if members cared to share news, happenings, events and milestones. Please feel free to send me an e-mail if you´d like your news to appear in the next Frón at

Recently, for example, our Svany´s “Völuspá” was released this fall and þórdís´ book “Sonata Fyrir Svefninn” was published just a few weeks ago in Iceland to great reviews. I know we have lots of news to share in 2010 and since we’re not all on Facebook, let’s use this newsletter as a vehicle to bring everyone up to speed on accomplishments, weddings, births, art events, you name it.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!


Þorrablót 2010

The Þorrablót will be at the Svithiod House (, located on 5518 W. Lawrence Avenue, close to I-90/94 and accessible by public transportation. Parking is plentiful and the building is easily accessible at street level. The ballroom seats 80 guests for dinner, which we know will sell out. The format will be similar to past successful years – we’ll open the house at 6 pm and start with a welcome punch and gravlax and for the brave of heart, Brennivin and rotten shark, followed by a buffet style dinner with delicious Þorrafood, flown in from Iceland, and some traditional and less traditional dishes prepared by members. We’ll have our famous and ever popular raffle where one can, for example, win a ticket from Icelandair to the Old Country plus many more prizes from Iceland. The great musician Sveinbjörn Grétarsson or better known as Bjössi in Greifarnir (a very popular band in Iceland) will entertain us throughout the evening and make sure everyone hits the dance floor. And, of course, the Þorra Quire will sing, as will everyone else. We have sent an invitation to our Ambassador Hjálmar W Hannesson to be our guest of honor.

Save the date or, better yet, purchase your tickets now for Þorrablót 2010, Saturday February 20th on our web-site with a credit card. Please go to:
Conveniently, you can also pay your membership online. Please go to:

If you prefer, you can send payment by mail to:
Lawrence O. Shaw,
147 N. Buckingham Drive
Sugar Grove, IL 60554
(remember to fill out and include the census form)

Please note we will not sell tickets at the door.

Price of tickets:
Members: $50
Guests: $60
70 and older: $40
12-18 and Students: $40
11 and younger: Free

To ensure availability, we’ll restrict sales to members only and limit number of guests each one can bring to two people. After January 20th remaining tickets will go on open sale.

You may also donate to the IAC and/or the IAC Scholarship Fund at:

We’re excited about our new location and look forward to a memorable Icelandic night with all of you good folks.


The Þorra-committee

Icelandic Christmas Tree:

Iceland has the most beautiful Christmas Tree at the “Christmas around the World” exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry!

It’s true – you can go and see for yourself through January 3rd. If you find yourself too busy this holiday month, or you want to go again, you can join us January 10th at 1 pm for taking down the tree, followed by an open board meeting. Please call Lena to sign up. 773-489-4621

Merry Christmas!
Yule Lad #3

In the Community:

Hlin Einarsdóttir of Salka Book Publishing in Reykjavík asked us to pass this on to our members:

I am writing from a book-publisher in Iceland to promote our beautiful, new book; “The Essence of Iceland.” The book is a photography book with poems, prose and geographical info about our stunning island in the North. The book was newly available on and is very appropriate for friends, family, business-partners and co-workers for all sorts of occasions. If you order now, you get it before Christmas, here is the link on Amazon:
Pictures from the book can be viewed at this website:

All membership dues and Þorrablót’s admissions should be paid via Paypal or sent to our treasurer Larry Shaw.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, or provide us with that person´s name and address.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Icelandic Association of Chicago2010 Membership Form


Full Name of member/s____________________________________________

Name of child/children_____________________________________________


City, State, Zip-code_______________________________________________

Phone Number_____________________ E-mail_________________________

New Member__________ Renewal Member___________

Annual Membership fees: Individual/students: $15.00, Family: $25.00

Make payable to: Icelandic Association of Chicago
Please mail your check and completed form to our Treasurer:

Lawrence O. Shaw, 147 N. Buckingham Drive Sugar Grove, IL 60554

Farsælda Frón - The Icelandic Association of Chicago Newsletter. Editor: Siggy Jonsson (Sigríður Ósk Sigurdarðóttir), E-mail: & Website:  Correspondence: The Icelandic Association of Chicago, Einar Steinsson President.