Tuesday, July 02, 2019

IAC Newsletter May 2019

From the President’s desk 

Gleðilegt Sumar

Family and friends in Iceland have reported that they finally have nice weather for most of Iceland even though the East fjords were hit with snow in the past few days.  The month of May in Chicago officially set a record, the wettest one since meteorologists began keeping records. Hopefully, we will dry out soon.

We had an open board meeting on May 8th in the format of a Conference Call.  The meeting went very well with nine people attending.  This was the first time we use this format. Thanks to Haukur Guðmundsson for organizing.  Haukur stepped down as Secretary and we thank him for all the great work he has done. He will still participate in our endeavors and lead the Non for Profit project.  We elected Sóley Runólfsdóttir as our new Secretary.  We welcome Sóley and her family back to the Chicagoland and look forward to working with her on the board of IAC.  More news from the meeting are elsewhere in this newsletter.

I hope many of you can make it to our 17th of June celebration on the 23rd and some of you to our 14th Icelandic Open September 15th at Hilldale Golf Club in Hoffman Estate.  More details on that later this summer.

All the best – Bless,

Einar Steinsson

From the Editor

In this Newsletter we have details on upcoming IAC events such as the ever popular 17da Juni celebration featuring delicious Icelandic Hot Dogs and the 2019 Greater Icelandic Open golf tournament. Other fun events include the 40th annual Scandinavian Day at Vasa Park. IAC usually sells water at Scandinavian Day and proceeds go to our scholarship fund. We hope you can join us for some of these events.

We also have several articles from John Halldor Hofteig, our IAC member. The articles give updates on the IAC scholarship program, The Icelandic National League of North America, and the Artic Council. We thank him for his hard work on this. As always feel free to contact me at kolbrkr@gmail.com with original articles for the newsletter or suggestions on topics to cover.

I hope you have a lovely summer, whether you spend it in the Chicagoland area, in the extended daylight hours in Iceland or elsewhere.

Kolla Kristjansdottir Fass

17da Juni Celebration

17da Juni Celebration - Icelandic Independence Day

When: Sunday June 23rd at 2pm
Where: Kolla Kristjansdottir and Steven Fass's house in Glenview
Provided: Icelandic hot dogs, buns and fixings, desserts and some drinks. Please bring a dish or drink to share.
RSVP to kolbrkr@gmail.com for address and more details

Thorrablot 2019

Thorrablot 2019 was celebrated at the Swedish American Museum on February 16th and it was a success! Bjössi Greifi (Count Bjössi) was our musical entertainer and Master Chef Ari Hallgrímsson was in charge of the food. Guests feasted on delicacies such as homemade gravlax, double smoked leg of lamb, rotten shark, pickled rams’ testicles, sheared sheep heads, dried haddock, and liver and blood pudding, and for dessert we had the traditional ‘Kaffihlaðborð’ with pönnukökur, kleinur, marengstertur, Siggi’s skyr, and other goodies prepared by members. We had our famous and ever popular raffle with a ticket from Icelandair to the Old Country plus many more prizes including designer wool products, and art work. Many thanks to all our sponsors. Finally, check out the pictures from Thorrablot 2019 on Facebook. We hope to see you there (again) next year!

The Greater Icelandic Open 2019

Save the date for our 14th Icelandic Open at one of our favorite golf courses, Hilldale Golf Club in Hoffman Estate. The event will be September 15th and will be a 9 hole Texas Scramble as before. Spots are limited and we have sold out for the last few years! $500 gift certificate for a ‘hole in one’ or closest to the pin and lots of other goodies. If you already know you are going to play, send an email to Lena and Einar at einarandlena@ameritech.net to reserve a spot. Spread the word!

Scandinavian Day

The 40th annual Scandinavian Festival will be held at Vasa Park on Sunday September 8th 2019.
Festival Hours are from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
$10.00 per person
Children 12 and under free!

IAC will have a booth as usual and sell Icelandic water to sponsor the IAC Scholarship Program. There may also be an availability to sell handmade products in our booth for the first time! Contact Kolla or John if you are interested in volunteering or have products to sell.
For more information go to http://www.scandinaviandayil.com/ 
Pictures from last years festival are here

 IAC Scholarship Program Updates

Congratulations to Sigriður Helga Ólafsson!  Sigga, the daughter of long-time IAC Members, Ásgeir Ólafsson and Anna Kardal, is our most-recent IAC Scholarship awardee at USD $ 750.00 to partially support her current university-level studies in Iceland at the Menntaskólin in Reykjavík.  Virtually all of her instruction is in Icelandic and includes Icelandic literature during the current term and additional on-line course-work at the same institution this summer.   In the preceding semester, she was enrolled in an Icelandic history course.  These courses will complete her graduation requirements in Iceland and increase her impressive skills in reading and writing in Icelandic.  Two years ago, this same industrious Icelandic-American was a prior IAC Scholarship awardee, taking high school-level coursework---all in Icelandic---at the same gymnasium, the European equivalent of junior college in the United States.
We look forward to receiving reports and videos regarding her academic experiences in Iceland, which will be shared with the IAC and posted on our IAC website:  www.IcelandChicago.org.

Solicitation of new IAC Scholarship Applications:
At our most-recent IAC open Board Meeting, it was agreed to solicit applications for up to:
  1.  Two stipends at USD $ 375.00 each to support any bona fide Icelandic- language instruction [on-line, Icelandic-language camp, or regular enrollment] in Iceland, the United States, or Canada;
  1. Two stipends at USD $ 750.00 each to support participation in either of the two Snorri Foundation [www.Snorri.is] exchange programs for North Americans coming to Iceland, i.e., either the six-week “Total-Icelandic-Immersion” SNORRI program for young-adults or the two-week SNORRI-PLUSprogram for mature adults and retirees…OR…any Icelandic-related course work, including independent study.  Applicants for SNORRI or SNORRI-PLUSshould consult the Snorri Foundation website regarding application deadlines and their applications to the Snorri Foundation should indicate that an application to the IAC Scholarship Program is pending.

Application forms and current guidelines will be posted on the IAC website and are available by email inquiry at:  Scholarships@IcelandChicago.org.  Applications will be reviewed by the IAC Scholarship Committee and approved by the IAC Board.  We are soliciting applications per an earlier time-frame to encourage participation in those two Snorri-Exchange programs and to increase the likelihood that successful applicants may be recognized at our next þorrablót.
Participation in the IAC Scholarship Committee is welcome and open to any IAC member:
Indications of interest should be sent, via email, to:  JohnHaldor@gmail.com.  Committee members are encouraged to participate by supporting our principal annual fund-raising activity, the sale of donated IcelanciGlacial Waterat the annual Scandinavian Day at Vasa Park, South Elgin, IL, always held on the first Sunday after Labor Day, and to help in soliciting and reviewing applications.

Further suggestions and inquiries are most-welcome!
For several years, we have been fortunate to receive generous, in-kind, donations of IcelandicGlacial Water[www.IcelandicGlacial.com], which we sell at Scandinavian Day, ALL proceeds going entirely into this program.  Please patronize IcelandicGlacial, the very best pure Icelandic spring-water, imported directly from Iceland.  Suggestions for expanding the IAC Scholarship Program and re-visiting the aforementioned stipend-levels are always welcome and will be considered by the IAC Board.                                                                     John Haldor Hofteig

The Icelandic National League of North America (INLofNA)

John attended the INLNA Convention/AGM in Winnipeg, MB, from the 16th to the 19th of May, 2019:  Honour – Celebrate – Build, hosted by the Winnipeg-based Icelandic-Canadian Frón, a long-time INLNA member-club, a festive and momentous occasion for several reasons:
  1. It marked the INLNA Centenary, founded in Winnipeg in 1919;
  1. The special guests of honor were the Icelandic PresidentGuðni Th. Jóhannesson, and First LadyMs. Eliza Reid, originally from Ottawa, ON, the Co-Founder and Principal Director of the annual Icelandic Writers’ Retreat;
  1. Several awards, including the new award:  Rómm er sú Taug [Strong is the Bond] which recognizes those who have made significant contributions to collaboration between the INLNA, INL of Iceland, and Snorri Foundation, facilitating connections between Western Icelanders and Icelandic-Nationals, were announced.  The inaugural recipient was Almar GrímssonCo-Founder of the Snorri Foundation, known to many Western Icelanders;
  1. An tour of Winnipeg featured significant Icelandic venues in Winnipeg and Manitoba;
  1. Election of INLNA Officers and Board Members, including the reelection of John, as an INLNA Board Member and Finance/Fund-Raising Chair;
  1. The announcement of the INL-US, a new, IRS-approved 501(c)3 charitable-entity which might be an attractive alternative to or supplemental-membership option to joining the INLNA for Icelandic Associations and individuals resident in the United States.  Details remain to be worked-out and will be shared with the IAC, as they become available;
  1. An International Visits Program [IVP] presentation:  Sails, Rails, Rivers, & Trails curated by Cathy Josephson, originally from Minneota, MN, a dual Icelandic–American citizen living near Vopnafjörður.  Her presentation surveyed the various ways by which the earliest Icelandic immigrants made passage to North America.  Her exhibit is on view this summer at the East Iceland Emigration Centre, Vopnafjörður and next summer in Seydisfjörður.  Her presentation is archived, freely-available on the INLNA website:  www.INLofNA.org.  It might be repeated at other North American venues.
  1. The introduction of the second-group of Snorri’s-Deaf:  two deaf-Manitobans of Icelandic-descent and their obligatory Icelandic/English bilingual hearing-enabled translator/signer, fluent in Icelandic- and American- standard sign languages.  They will visit Iceland in August for a week, engaging the hearing-enabled and deaf-communities and professionals in Iceland.  They will be the guests of the INL of Iceland, Snorri Foundation, and Icelandic Deaf Association.  In September, 2018, John helped to co-host part of the Inaugural Snorri-Deaf Tour:  two deaf Icelandic-nationals and their translator/signer during eight-days in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Manitoba.

  • is a Pilot-Project, supported by the INLNA, INL of Iceland, Snorri Foundation, Icelandic Deaf Association, IcelandicRoots [www.IcelandicRoots.com], Government of Iceland, and Icelandair [www.Icelandair.com].  This program has received financial and in-kind support from INLNA member-clubs and individuals throughout North America and Iceland.   Unlike other established Snorri-related exchange programs [SNORRI and SNORRI-PLUS administered by the Snorri Foundation and SNORRI-WEST administered by the INLNA], Snorri-Deaf entails the obligatory expense of hiring a translator/signer and paying for his or her travel.  Any additional financial and/or in-kind support will contribute to the vitality and viability of this program, which aims to bring the advantages and benefits of Snorri-related exchange programs, hitherto accessible only to the hearing-enabled, to the Deaf Community.  It provides opportunity for interaction between hearing-enabled individuals and professionals serving the Deaf Community.

Snorri-Deaf is actively recruiting candidates from North America, i.e., Deaf Western-Icelanders fluent in either standard signing-languages.  If any IAC members know of Deaf North Americans of Icelandic-descent, please notify John and he will place candidates in touch with the North American Snorri-Deaf CoordinatorMs. Sunna Furstenau.

A wonderful video introduces Snorri’s-Deaf from 2018 and 2019:

  1. The INLNA received permissions from the Icelandic Parliamentary Office, the American Scandinavian Foundation’s Scandinavian Review, and the Lögberg-Heimskingla to publish relevant historical documents, freely-accessible via the following link:  http://inlofna.org/Icelandic-Heritage:
  1. The first available English translation of the 1918 Icelandic-Danish Act of Union
  2. The President of Iceland and The Birth of a Nation, reprints from the Scandinavian Review, Spring-2018;                                                          and
  3. America in the Making, the first three inaugural WCAL-Radio [St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN] 1948 lectures by K. Valdimar Bjornsson [1906 – 1987], a noted Minnesotan journalist, broadcaster, and politician, reprinted in July and August, 2018, by the Lögberg-Heimskringla.  These lectures surveyed the earliest continuing links between Iceland and North America; the broad history of Icelandic-immigration to North America; and specific elements of contributions of Icelandic immigrants to Valdimar’s Minnesota and his home town, Minneota, MN.
Thank you for your interest in the INLNA, Celebrating a Centenary of Sharing Icelandic-heritage throughout North America and beyond, to/from our cousins in Iceland! J.H.H.

Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council

Scandinavian Day at Vasa Park, South Elgin, IL, Sunday, the 8th of September, 2019…AND…Heritage Day, Sunday, the 21st of July, 2019
Please mark your calendars for both of these events!  Joni Shaw, in this IAC Frón issue, has an article regarding Heritage Day at Vasa Park.  Scandinavian Day---more details to follow via email---is the principal special event coordinated by the Not-for-Profit 501(C)3 Scandinavian Park, Inc., on whose Board Larry and Joni Shaw and John represent the Icelandic Association of Chicago.  It is also the venue for our fund-raising event for our IAC Scholarship Program.  A great time will be had by alland your continued attendance and support is most-appreciated!
Additional information regarding Vasa Park, the wonderful twenty-five acre recreational park on the shore of the Fox River, about two miles south of downtown South Elgin, IL on Illinois Route 31, originally begun by the Swedish-American Community, now managed by its Trustee and Curator, The Scandinavian Park, Inc., is available on its website:  www.VasaParkIL.com