NOR­WAY DAY

A fit­ting cel­e­bra­tion in Norse­wood

Bush Telegraph - - Front Page - By DAVE MUR­DOCH

It was sunshine and Scan­di­na­vian flags flut­ter­ing in a breeze when Norse­wood cel­e­brated Nor­way Day on Sun­day May 20.

There were some sig­nif­i­cant de­par­tures from the last few years’ cel­e­bra­tions with the day start­ing in the Norse­wood Set­tler’s Ceme­tery where mem­bers of the Manawatu¯ Scan­di­na­vian So­ci­ety ex­plained the sig­nif­i­cance of peo­ple buried un­der the head­stones in the early life of the set­tle­ment.

This started with Bror Eric Friberg who came out with his fam­ily on the Hovd­ing in 1872 to lead the first set­tlers as Gov­ern­ment Agent. There were other im­por­tant set­tlers de­scribed but also head­stones of those as­so­ci­ated with sig­nif­i­cant events like Ed­ward Brun­ning and William Roberts, killed when a rail­way tun­nel col­lapsed in 1879 and five mem­bers of the Pet­tersen fam­ily, some victims of epi­demics.

A large fam­ily re­union of the En­gle­bret­sens whose an­ces­tors also came out in 1872 swelled the large crowd to over 100 and were in­tro­duced by Steve En­gle­bret­sen from Welling­ton who had car­ried out the re­search.

Fol­low­ing an hour of his­tory in warm sunshine the crowd marched down Odin Street where First Sec­re­tary of the Nor­we­gian Con­sulate in Can­berra, Beate Gabrielsen, placed flow­ers on the plaque by the Com­mem­o­ra­tive Oak and a brief sum­mary of the early days in Norse­wood was read by Rose Water­worth.

The fo­cus then moved to Hovd­ing Hall where the win­ners of the cook­ing com­pe­ti­tions were an­nounced and a very large crowd shared lunch.

The for­mal part of Nor­way Day then took place with Tararua Mayor Tracey Col­lis wel­com­ing spe­cial guests Beate Gabrielsen and Hon­orary Nor­we­gian Con­sul Graeme Mitchell, pre­sent­ing each with a gift cre­ated by Cherry Peeti-Ta­pu­rau.

Graeme Mitchell said he, like pre­vi­ous Nor­we­gian am­bas­sadors, al­ways en­joyed the cel­e­bra­tion of Nor­way Day in Norse­wood.

He in­tro­duced First Sec­re­tary of the Nor­we­gian Con­sulate in Can­berra, Beate Gabrielsen, who said she had al­ways wanted to come to Norse­wood to share the day and af­ter two years in Can­berra she was pleased to have come with her fam­ily.

She drew par­al­lels be­tween New Zealand and Nor­way with their long coast­lines, moun­tains, fiords, small size and friendly peo­ple and she passed on the greet­ings of the royal fam­ily King Har­ald V and Queen Sonya.

The works of Jane Brink­ley was pre­sented by his­to­rian Nancy Wadsworth and a sum­mary of Roald Omund­sen’s ex­pe­di­tion to the South Pole was de­scribed by se­nior stu­dent and pre­fect of Dan­nevirke High School, Nikayla Dea­con.

Most of the crowd then ad­journed to the Old Dairy Fac­tory for a Scan­di­na­vian con­cert. (See re­lated story)

First Sec­re­tary of the Nor­we­gian Em­bassy, Can­berra, Beate Gabrielsen and Hon­orary Nor­we­gian Con­sul in New Zealand Graeme Mitchell led the march from the Set­tlers’ Ceme­tery to the Com­mem­o­ra­tive Oak in Norse­wood on Sun­day May 20.

Vis­i­tors stand around the grave of Bror Eric Friberg, hear­ing about his role as Gov­ern­ment Agent who brought the first set­tlers to Norse­wood in 1872.

Hon­orary Nor­we­gian Con­sul to New Zealand Graeme Mitchell talked in the Hovd­ing Hall about how he and pre­vi­ous am­bas­sadors en­joyed the tra­di­tional Nor­way Day cel­e­bra­tions in Norse­wood.

The En­gle­bret­sen con­tin­gent pose at the Norse­wood War Memorial.

Beate Gabrielsen with hus­band Thomas Oster­haus and chil­dren Jes­per (9) and Amalie (7).

Pe­tur Hag­na­son and Bill Gun­der­sen with the Kransakaka — Crown Cake — they made for the oc­ca­sion.

Tararua Mayor Tracey Col­lis with Hon­orary Nor­we­gian Con­sul Graeme Mitchell and wife Judi.

Two mem­bers of the Manawatu¯ Scan­di­na­vian So­ci­ety Oleen Ball and Val Burr with lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tive Heather Cheer (left) talk about early set­tlers in Norse­wood by their graves in the Set­tlers’ Ceme­tery.

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