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Sørlandet Utvandrersenter - From The President
From The President
On this page you can read a short column from the President of Viking Lodge 8-007  every month.
September 2006
Hello everyone
The emigration festival, summer holiday and most of the summer season are now behind us. Although the summer arrived a little late this year, we have no reason for complaints as no one can remember such glorious summer weather. I hope all of you have made the most of the sunshine, heat and warm bathing waters. We need to have our batteries fully charged as the long, cold winter is on our doorstep soon.

The emigration festival was a success and feedback has been very positive. Although slightly fewer tickets were sold for the Shrimp Festival this year compared with last year, the economical result was good. Arne will provide you all with further details at the members meeting.
In June, I attended the Congress in Kristiansand together with Lars, Anne and Ingeborg.
Mr Bernt Balchen, who arranged the congress, had put a lot of effort into the preparations so it all went very smoothly. The new management of D-8 and a short report from Arne can be found in the newspaper. A report will also be presented at the members meeting.
The EmigrantMuseum closed for the season 21st August. A brief regarding the museums' 2006 operations will be presented at the members meeting.
Our next meeting will be held 1st September at 19.30 at the Aktivitetsenteret (activity centre) in Kvinesdal. We will vote in the election committee who will come up with suggestions for a new executive board. Three candidates will be put forward at the meeting.
Finally I would like to wish you all a warm welcome to the meeting on the 1st of September.
Regards, Toralf
October 2006
Hello everyone
It is the 17th of September today. Scattered clouds and 18 degrees, in other words still full summer here. That is the way it has been since midsummers eve (St Hans) 23rd of June. No need to complain about bad summer weather this year!
The board at ListerEmigrantMuseum and several members from Viking Lodge have recently returned from a fabulous Bergen trip. The executive board had for a long time planned a visit to the West Norwegian Emigration Centre (Vest Norsk Utvandrersenter) at Randøy to gain a greater understanding of how Viking Lodge has built up the museum. In addition to that visit, we also joined a cheerful members meeting at Bergen Lodge. On behalf of all the delegates I would like to thank Bergen Lodge for the excellent treatment we received whilst in Bergen. A detailed report can be found in the newspaper.
I am sure many of you remember the voluntary communal work carried out this summer when the houses at ListerEmigrantMuseum were painted. The council paid NOK 15000 towards the volunteers' wages plus the paint, however it was decided to donate the money directly to the museum. The museum committee gratefully accepted this gift.
All volunteers worked very hard and approximately 1700 hours were spent painting and their hard work calculated into NOK 200 000 if this had been paid work. As a thank you to all those who contributed, the council would like to invite all volunteers to an evening at
8th Avenue Bar & Supper Club at Lista. The date is Friday evening 29th September. We will update our readers of this event in the November issue of the newspaper.
I would like to welcome you to the members meeting on the 6th October at Coop in Lyngdal.
Regards, Toralf
November 2006
Hello everyone
It is the 29th of October today. The temperature showed a chilly 2 degrees outside early this morning. The lawn was covered in its first thin layer of snow. The clock has changed and we are leaving a beautiful autumn behind us. The winter is just around the corner, but don't despair; now is the time for cosy evenings indoor. The planning for next year's projects has already started. On the 14th of January we begin with a tradition filled gathering to celebrate the new executive board. This will take place at Kvinaheimen. The children's ski race will take place at Gautefall just before Easter. This is a marvellous arrangement brought together by the many lodges.
We are responsible for the Lodge meeting in May, taking over from Dalbuen Lodge who arranged last years meeting. During the month of June, ListerEmigrationMuseum opens its doors again to the public. The Emigration Festival takes place between 30th June and 8th July. We look forward to a close working relationship between both old and new members who all contribute towards the success of the many arrangements.
Earlier today we had some 33 guests visiting the Lister Emigrant Museum. They came from Dalbuen Lodge in Hauge i Dalane. We were a little curious as to how we should manage such a large group. We decided to divide the group into 4 and had one guide per group showing the guests around. This arrangement worked perfectly and the guests thoroughly enjoyed the visit. Many promised to visit again during the Emigration Festival next year.
Mally and myself joined in the 20th Anniversary celebrations for Cleng Person Lodge in Stavanger. We enjoyed a fantastic evening together with 78 guests who arrived from near and far away. Most of the lodges from Eidsvoll in the East, along the coastline and up to Bergen in the West were able to attend. District 8 cleverly arranged their committee board meeting in Stavanger this weekend so that the whole district board were able to join the festivities. The members from all the lodges got a chance to get to know each other much better. It was decided that each of the five executive committee board members should be responsible for 5 lodges each. That way we will have better contact and communication. The contact person for Viking Lodge is Lise Jensen, who is responsible for activity and communication at Bergen Lodge. We know Lise very well through previous correspondence and look forward to a positive working relationship.
I used the anniversary celebrations as an opportunity to invite all 78 guests to join in the celebrations taking place during the Emigration Festival. Many guests showed great interest and we will certainly meet many again during the festivities. The president of District 8, Ole Hillestad, asked us to book his wife and himself accommodation for next year, as they will attend for the very first time. We have already started publishing news on our home page regarding next years' festival. If you wish to find further information, please visit or
At our last members meeting we gained 5 new members:
Svein Arild Skaadal from Vanse, Øystein Øysæd from Kvinesdal, Olav Espeland from Farsund, Lorene Spain from Farsund and Alf O. Nilsen from Kvinesdal. In addition to our new members, Magne Sæverud from Spind transferred from Lodge 3-475 Lauderdale to Viking Lodge. We wish you all a very warm welcome!

Finally it remains from me to welcome you all to our next meeting at the Aktivitetssenteret in Kvinesdal on the 3rd November at 19.30. We shall vote in our new board.
Regards Toralf.


Desember 2006
Hi everybody!
Here we are in full speed into the moth of Christmas. But you would`nt believe the springlike temperatures we have outside. It is not easy to find the Christmas spirit with green lawns and +10 (50F).
The Committee for the ListerEmigrationMuseum has this year decided to decorate the building with typical American Christmas lights, both inside and outside. All the committee members with good help from volunteers have been working for days, and the building is now beautifully decorated.
Thursday Nov 30th at 6 o'clock one our after the commune has lit the lights at the Town Hall, the UtvandrerMuseum will lit it's lights. There will be held an open house, serving Norwegian "Gløgg" coffee, juice, Christmas cookies and sweets. One of the highlights will be the American Christmas three and the performance of the Christmas songs. This will bring us all back to the sixties and our fine memories from U.S.A. We hope as many as possible will join our celebration.
Some lodges in Dist.8, writes in their newsletters the difficulties they have recruiting new members. We have also discussed these problems in Viking lodge too. We are happy to be involved in the Emigration Festival and the museum, besides regular Lodge activities. Kvinesdal has also a fine emigration statue in the centre of town. Information and film clips about all of this can be found at our internet address: or
We do hope a lot of members will enjoy the information on the internet and spread the word about these internet addresses. Every visit on our home page is registered and we can see from what location our visitors are. One way to inform friends and family is to send them a copy of this newsletter. We hope as many as possible reads about what goes on in Kvinesdal and about our festival June 30 – July 8.
Friday Dec 1stat Coop in Lyngdal is our last meeting this year. Julegrøt will be served. Thobias will sing evergreens accompanied by Lillemann and his accordian.
Next year our meetings will be held every other month at Kvavik Workshop in Lyngdal.
On the agenda there will be election of 3 committees. One for the "Shrimpfest" july 4 at Feda,
One fore the "Emigration festival June 30 – July 8, and one committee for the "Lodgetreff" that is planned in the spring.
At the end I will thank everyone for all the good work in 2006.
I wish all of you, members, sponsors and contacts, involved in our Lodge,
a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Regards Toralf
February 07
Hi everybody!
Thank you
I want to thank every one of you who was at the innsettelsesfest. With over 80 guests, good food and great music it was a great atmosphere at the party.
I want to thank Per Mikalsen who installed the new board with such professionalism.
Thanks to Teoline og Johan for making the evening such a success. I am also very happy to inform you that there were recruited 4 new members that night.
April 21st
The committee for the lodgetreff have distributed the invitations for the arrangement April 21st. . I hope that good participation from the other lodges and from our own members will make also this a fine evening. You will find the invitation at our homepage:
Children's ski race
Palm Sunday Bernt Balchen Lodge will arrange a children's ski race at Gautefall. We will be invited, and I hope as many as possible will make use of this great possibility for both children and grown-ups to have some fun outdoor.
Travel exhibition in Kristiansand
Late April there will be arranged a travel exhibition in Kristiansand. A big group of people from the American tourist industry will be present at this exhibition. One busload of these Americans wishes to visit Lista and Kvinesdal. They want to experience the hart of the Norwegian/American local environment in Southern Norway. Lister Utvandrermuseum in Kvinesdal and 8th Avenue Supper club at Lista will organize this visit.
Next meeting will be held in the Canteen at Kvavik Workshop in Lyngdal February 2nd
Greetings from Toralf
March 2007
Hello Everybody
Finally we got winter with lots of snow, and cold icy wind. It reminds me of old times, when I was a kid. Back then I remember weeks of cold and snowy winter days with wind blowing from east. It was so cold that we were not allowed to go skiing. Now it is no problem, with fire on the stove we sit back and enjoy the Ski World Championship in Japan on the telly.
A little behind time we've put forward a proposal for an activity schedule for 2007. You'll find the schedule in this news letter. Please come forward with other proposals for activities next meeting.
Palm Sunday Bernt Balchen Lodge will arrange a children's ski race at Gautefall, and 31th march – 01st. April there will be held a Bowling tournament in Arendal. I hope you will join us fore these to Weekends. There will be possible to sign up for registration next meeting.
Bertha Eikerapen Lindefjell
We are proud to say that we probably are the only newsletter with a permanent correspondent in America. I'm thinking of Bertha Eikerapen Lindefjell, who since the millennium has sent us a monthly "America letter". She has written to us about all kind of news from the Norwegian settlement in the area around New York. One of our readers tells me that the "America letter" is the first article he reads in the newsletter. One of our sponsor's also tells me that the most important reason for sponsoring the newsletter is the news from Bertha. They really enjoy reading it, and that's good testimonials to get.
Bertha is cousin of the editor of Viking News, Arne Øyulvstad. It's all his honour that Martha is writing for us.
Well, than it only remains to wish every one of you welcome to the members meeting in "Aktivitetssenteret" in Kvinesdal on Friday march 2nd. At 19.30.It will be lot of nostalgia and "husker du" when we after the coffee brake will show films from Brooklyn in the fifties and the sixties.
Greetings from
Toralf Haugland
January 2008.
Happy New Year
We start the New Year with a new board and new president.
Or more correct – both the president and the board, except two of the board members where reelected. Thanks to all of you who have accepted a new period, and thanks to those who leaves the board. Thanks for your contribution. Let me also place a gratitude to all the members of Viking Lodge for the thrust you all have shown me in reelecting me as president.
I assure you that I will do my best to develop the Lodge further on together with the board and all our members.
It has been mentioned, and I believe it is correct, that Viking Lodge is one of the most active lodges in Norway. In addition to the scheduled meetings and activities, we have been responsible for several projects the last years.

  • Starting and managing the Emigrationfestival.
  • Planning and raising of the Emigrationmonument of Sørlandet.
  • Developing and running the Lister Emigrationmuseum.
To start and manage all this projects has required a great effort from all our members. I hope the will to contribute in 2008 will be just as good as it has been.
We have distributed a lot of information about these projects on our homepage. In order to share this information with as many as possible, I urge you to spread this address to all of your friends and family in USA and elsewhere.
January the 12th we will arrange a Christmas party at Kvinaheimen, with an inaugural ceremony of the new board. Theoline and Johan will be responsible for the party, and Sverre Risdal will take care of the music.This year we have been honored with a visit from Jostein Larsen the president of "Cleng Peerson Lodge" in Stavanger. Larsen and his wife have been regular guests of the "Utvandrer festival" for several years. We hope that many guests from Lista and Vanse will take use of the bus we have arranged from Vanse to Kvinesdal.
A happy New Year to all of you. We welcome you all to the Christmas party and hope you bring along friends and family.
Toralf Haugland
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- Last modified: 26.06.2017 Aeston