Sunday, July 22, 2012

Visitor from Vestmannaeyjar

Kári Bjarnason from Vestmannaeyjar will be visiting Utah again, August 5-15. Kári and Fred E. Woods would like to meet with the descendants of Icelanders in Utah during this block of time. Please let me know if you would be willing to meet with Fred and Kári. If you met with Fred and Kári before you may have something else to share with them. Please let me know the days as well as your phone number and address.
Those that live outside the State of Utah maybe we could arrange a phone interview.

You will be happy to know that Fred and Kári‘s first joint publication came out last month as well as an article on the opening of the Vestmannaeyjar exhibit on the Latter-day Saints last July. Here is the bibliographic information:
Fred E. Woods and Kári Bjarnason, “Jon Jonsson: Icelandic Mormon Poet and Translator,“ Mormon Historical Studies vol. 12, no. 2 (Fall 2011): 49-61.
In this same issue is this article:
Steven L. Olsen, “LDS Exhibit in the Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland Folk Museum,“ Mormon Historical Studies vol. 12, no. 2 (Fall 2011):161-165.

David Ashby
626 W 550 S
Orem, UT 84058

Couples Zone Conference in Iceland May 2012

Denmark Mission Senior Couples Conference was held in Iceland May 2012. This is a you tube video of some of the conference. Thanks to  Ældste Nick Bowler & Søster Bonnie Bowler.

You tube has a limit of 15 minutes for a video and the one I made was 25 minutes. The first part is 15 minutes and the second part is 10 minutes.
The music is all Icelandic Folk Music I was able to find on You Tube. The last song of part 2 is the Icelandic National Anthem. The others all have Icelandic names too hard to spell or pronounce.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fréttir July 2012

Presidential Election 2012

 Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson was elected president again, with a staggering 52.78% of the votes. An estimated 69.2 % of the people used their freedom to vote which must be said is an all time low in the presidential voting.
This means he is setting a record for being in office for the fifth term, which is a first. Iceland has had two presidents that served four terms, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir and Ásgeir Ásgeirsson.
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson had said before that he would offer himself as president for the fifth term but was not sure if he would want to serve the full fifth term or not. After the votes were counted last night he gave a press release that stated that this would be his last term in office.
Ólafur will be staying as the president of Iceland for the next four years. Mr. Grímsson got 52.78% of the overall votes. Others running for the Presidency got: Þóra Arnórsdóttir 33.16%, Ari Trausti Guðmundsson 8,64%, Herdís Þorgeirsdóttir 2,63%, Andrea Ólafsdóttir 1,8%, and Hannes Bjarnason 0,98%.
The President of Iceland is the country´s head of state and the only representative chosen by the entire electorate in a direct election. The office of President was established in the Constitution of the Republic of Iceland which took effect on 17 June 17 1944.
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson is the fifth President of the Republic of Iceland.

Status of the Icelandic Association of Utah

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Icelandic Association of Utah, Inc. is 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 Icelandic Association of Utah is a successful association. The success of this association depends on its members. In recent years it has been very successful and that tells you a lot about the members. The Icelandic Association of Utah has held Iceland Days in Spanish Fork since 1897 and Þorrablót has been on the agenda since 1998. In recent years several hundreds have attended the festival in Spanish Fork. In 2005 there was an estimated four-thousand in attendance at the dedication of the Icelandic Memorial. Since 2002 Iceland Days has been held in June but before, the celebration always took place in August except the Centennial Celebration of the first three Icelanders coming to Utah. It was held on June 15-17, 1955. We have had many Snorri participant in recent years. The Icelandic Association of Utah publishes and sends newsletters two or three times a year. We also maintain a presents on face book I think we need to have a web page too.
The Icelandic Association of Utah has had high and low points. There have been times when it has almost gone away. Many things have helped it survive a few of them are; 1) the Icelandic Monument in Spanish Fork, dedicated in 1938, 2) the centennial celebration of the first Icelanders arriving in Utah in 1955, 3) the visit of President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson for the centennial celebration of Iceland Days in 1997, 4) the 2000 millennium celebration in Iceland that we provided an exhibit at Hofsos, Iceland and a monument on Vestmannaeyjar, and 5) the sesquicentennial celebration of the first Icelanders arriving in Utah, in 2005.
The Icelandic Association of Utah holds several events each year to celebrate our Icelandic culture and heritage. Þorrablót is held the last Saturday in February each year. We have Iceland Days on the fourth weekend in June. This includes workshop sessions on Friday evening, Iceland Day at the park on Saturday, and an Icelandic Heritage Fireside on Sunday. The association maintains the Icelandic Memorial in Spanish Fork and supports the Family History Center in Spanish Fork. There have been other things that that association has been involved with that have gone away in the last four years.
The Utah Icelanders created the Icelandic Association of Utah in 1897, an association that provides a time to gather annually and celebrate our Icelandic heritage. The association continues to provide the instrument for descendants of the Icelandic immigrants to Utah to maintain a cultural sense of Iceland. Our ancestors left us a legacy: belonging to the Icelandic Association of Utah means belonging to something that has a history of over one hundred years and has accomplished a few great things.
It is remarkable that 150 plus years after the first Icelanders arrived in Utah, and there remains a strong cultural sense of Iceland among the descendants of the Icelandic pioneers. We have a need to continue to honor our Icelandic ancestors and the land of our forebears, as we have been shown to do by those that have gone before. The Icelandic emigrants to Utah and other places in North America have left us a rich heritage that we all can be proud of. We, who have descended from great and faithful forebears, have the right to say “I’m proud of my Icelandic heritage”.
Tyler Shepherd was appointed president for the next two years. He needs all the members and other descendants and friends of Iceland support to make sure this association continues as it has in the past. Krege Christensen an attorney in Salt Lake City and of Icelandic descent wrote the bylaws that were adopted by the association in 2000, the president and members of the board of directors needs to follow and have elections and follow the other rules and regulations set forth in the bylaws. I feel this would help make the association stronger and a more valid organization.


Icelanders are nearly fanatical about their hot dogs, and once you taste one, it’s easy to see why. The hot dogs are made mostly with lamb and traditionally topped with mustard, ketchup, fried onion, raw onion and remolaði, a mayonnaise-based sauce with sweet relish. And in a country known for being exorbitantly expensive, they are a delightfully low cost way to fill up and try a local specialty.
The Icelandic hot dog is available all over the country, at hot dog stands, convenience stores and even gas stations. In Reykjavik, the best hot dog stand is generally believed to be found at Bæjarins beztu pylsur (English: The best hot dog in town) and (pylsur is the Icelandic word for hot dog), which has been around for over 60 years. Bæjarins beztu pylsur often shortened to simply “Bæjarins beztu”, is a popular hot dog stand in central Reykjavík, Iceland. The stand is located down by the harbor on Tryggvagata. There’s no address, but you can’t miss it. Just look for the little red building, and the crowd gathered around it. There’s nearly always a line, which can be quite long, but service is quick. If you want one with everything, just ask for it “eina með öllu”. Hot dogs costs 300 ISK or $2.62 USD as of March 2011, and believe me, you’ll want two.
Click here for more Icelandic cooking, recipes and food

Emigrant of the Month, Gísli Eggertsson

Gísli was Born 4 August 1882. His parents are Eggert Gudmundur Olafsson, born 1 November 1855, died 2 December 1918; and Gudrun Arnadottir, born 26 August 1854, died 24 August 1882. Gisli immigrated to Utah with his father in 1887. He joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized in 1903.
He married Emma Wilhelmina Hansen on 7 December 1904. Emma was born 17 March 1884 in Vissenbjerg, Odense, Denmark. Gisli died 10 September 1961 in Salt Lake City and is buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. He was known as Gill Olson.