Friday, March 6, 2009

Utah Þorrablót 2009

The Icelandic Association of Utah held one of its annual activities on Saturday, 28 February 2009, at the Veterans Memorial Building in Spanish Fork. One of the goals of the Icelandic Association of Utah is to celebrate and perpetuate the common interest in culture and heritage of Iceland, through activities. Þorrablót is one of the several annual activities sponsored by the Icelandic Association of Utah to help in obtaining their goal. Þorrablót is held annual in Utah on the last Saturday of February. This evening of celebration was at one time held to celebrate the fact that you made it through the dreadful Icelandic winter.
Þorrablót is traditionally observed by serving the food that was eaten in Iceland at the time of the Vikings, before modern refrigeration. The food was salted, smoked, pickled, fermented, or cured. These foods are called Þorramatur in Icelandic. These foods are not to the liking of many of the guests of the Icelandic Association of Utah at Þorrablót. The Icelandic Association had a smorgasbord of pulled lamb, Icelandic haddock, rutabaga, red cabbage and glazed potatoes. There were samples of; flatbrauð (flat bread), hangikjöt (hung meat… smoked lamb), lifrarpylsa (liver pudding), hrútspungar (pickled lamb testicles), harðfiskur (dried fish), and hákarl (fermented shark); available for those willing to try the traditional Þorramatur. Thelma María Marinósdóttir (Thelma Moreland) was on hand to talk about the Þorramatur, explaining what it was and how it was used in Iceland.
The Icelandic Association of Utah not only uses Þorrablót to celebrate the end on the coldest part of winter they also use it to introduce those the association will honor for the coming year. The yearly honorees of the Icelandic Association of Utah are those in the Utah Icelandic community that have contributed to their Icelandic heritage in Utah by helping to celebrate and perpetuate the common interest in culture and heritage of Iceland, through activities and continuing education. Promote closer and better relations with the people of Iceland. Preserve the memory of the early Icelandic pioneers who established the first permanent Icelandic settlement in North America at Spanish Fork, Utah.
The honorees for 2009 are; Krege B. Christensen, Norma Bearnson Jones, and Lynette Johnson Reynolds. Krege and Norma were on hand to receive their acknowledgements, but Lynette, was unable to attend due to health problems. These honorees will be honored by their families at the Iceland Days Family Festival on 27 June in Spanish Fork.
The Icelandic Association of Utah also used Þorrablót to make the announcement that three Utah young people of Icelandic descent will attend the 2009 Snorri Program in Iceland, Raili Mae Bjarnson, Rebekah Mason, and Daniel Leifson. The Snorri Program is an opportunity for young people (18-28) of Icelandic origin living in Canada and the United States of America, to discover the country, culture, nature and language of their ancestors, and to create or strengthen bonds with relatives living in Iceland. The Snorri Program offers an exciting six-week adventure starting in mid June to the end of July. The program offers a unique experience of the country, its nation, culture and nature. The Icelandic Association offers a scholarship to help with the costs of this wonderful program. There are only 14 Snorri participants each year, so for Utah to have three participants this year is an honor.
I have seen the effect of the Snorri Program on the participants in Canada and now Lyle Christensen a Spanish Fork participant last year. They develop a bond for Iceland and their Icelandic heritage that will help the various Iceland clubs in North America to continue for years.
Þorrablót in Spanish Fork was a sold out activity, the tables were crowded with ten to a table rather than the customary eight, which made it a little crowded and uncomfortable. Icelandic culture in Utah and especially in Spanish Fork, Utah is not in any danger of going away. Activities like Þorrablót, Iceland Days and the many other activities of the Icelandic Association of Utah have ensured the interest in Icelandic culture in Spanish Fork, Utah for many years to come.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bárður Einarsson

Bardur Einarsson was born 10 September 1875 at Vestmannaeyjar. His parents are Einar Eiriksson, born 30 December 1847 at Medalfell, Bjarnanes i Hornafirdi, Austur Skaftafell, died 18 May 1930 in Cleveland, Utah; and Gudrun Magnusdottir, born 29 June 1840 in Iceland, died 18 May 1930 in Price, Utah. His parents were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When Bardur was born, the Lutheran priest notified his parents that the law required that he baptize Bardur by sprinkling. Einar, against the baptizing of his infant, had a long conversation with the priest before the priest performed the sermon. Einar petitioned the government later that year asking for the privilege to be given to all those who may not be members of the Lutheran Church to raise their children in accordance with their own faith, if both parents were of the same faith. This request was granted, and the Mormons were no longer required to have their children sprinkled.
Bardur immigrated to Spanish Fork, Utah with his mother, Gudrun Magnusdottir, in 1880. His father followed that same year. Bardur moved to Cleveland, Utah with his parents in 1889. He married Mary Helena Johnson 7 July 1894, died 8 January 1955. He also married Minnie Hansen 28 July 1958.
Bardur died in Ferron, Utah 22 July 1970 and is buried in the Cleveland Cemetery. He went by Bardur Erickson in Utah; he is number 95 in Icelanders of Utah.