Each year, dignitaries, visitors, and volunteers from across Canada, Iceland, and the United States come together to celebrate two significant Icelandic Heritage events - The Deuce and Íslendingadagurinn. See some photos of our volunteers during the long festival weekend.
Thursday, July 28th - The start of a wonderful journey
L-R: At Óðinssæti, in NE North Dakota. Pála Hallgrímsdóttir - Snorri West Director, Sigfús Haukur and Erla Guðný - Snorri West participants, Kent Lárus - IR Volunteer and Snorri West guide, hosts - Sunna and Jeff Furstenau, Sæmundur Þór and his mother Hjördís Hilmarsdóttir from Egilsstaðir, Cathy Josephson from Vopnafjörður, Hrannar Björn Arnarsson - Chair of the Norden Association in Iceland, Snorri Program joint project with INL Iceland
Together at One Majestic Place
L-R: Pála, Jody and Staci Jenson, Sigfús Haukur, Hrannar Björn, Sunna, Hjördís, Kent Lárus, Erla Guðný, Cathy, and Sierra Jenson - 2022 Snorri Program. Jody and Staci hosted Kent, Erla, and Sigfús at their beautiful farm west of Gardar.
Overlooking the Pembina Hills ravine and the Park River
Pála and Hrannar Björn were overnight guests at Óðinssæti, Thursday-Saturday. Sæmunudur, Hjördís, and Cathy were overnight guests at Óðinssæti, Thursday-Sunday.
Friday was the Gardar Hall Dedication.
The Lord´s Prayer in Icelandic by John H. Johnson, Gardar Hall Dedication Video courtesy of Shirley J. Olgeirson
IR writer, author, and illustrator, Gay Strandemo from Wisconsin, gave a beautiful presentation about Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir, IR# I133852. She talked about the new book written by Bryndís Viglundsdóttir and illustrated by Gay. Guðríður is an ancestor to us all.
The book is available at Will Publishing, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.
Sunna gave a presentation about growing up in this area and taking part in events at the Gardar Hall as well as the work of Icelandic Roots which gave a $1,000 grant for the Gardar Hall preservation. Cathy, Hjördís, and Sunna held a Genealogy Center in Gardar from 1-4:30 pm.
In the photo, you can see Sunna's father, uncle, and others on the Gardar Grizzlies basketball team. Photo by Shirley J. Olgeirson.
Bruce Langerud and Tom Mullen both received appreciation plaques for their service in restoring the Gardar Hall.
Saturday in Mountain - Cathy, Hjördís, and Sunna we enjoyed the parade, Vikur Salad Luncheon, and many other wonderful events.
A special thanks to Dori and the Icelandic Communities Association in North Dakota for creating this unique and splendid advertisement on Main Street.
Saturday: IR volunteers, Sunna, Cathy, and Hjördís with dignitaries from Iceland
- Davíð Logi Siguðrsson - Deputy Chief of Mission and Defense from the Embassy of Iceland in Washington, DC (left)
- Þórdís Kolbrún Reykjfjörð Gylfadóttir – Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland (center)
- Vilhjálmur Wiium, Consul General of Iceland in Winnipeg (right)
Þórdís Kolbrún, the Foreign Minister with Cathy, Sunna, and Hjördís.
Gay Strandemo and her husband, Tracy, came as IR volunteers from Wisconsin to tell people about our common ancestor, Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir IR# I133852. They also worked at a table on Friday in Gardar, Saturday in Mountain, and Sunday in Gimli. Gay is the illustrator of the new book, Guðríður‘s Saga. She is the author and illustrator of The Yule Boys. Also pictured are Tracy Will, Cathy Josephson, and Bryndís Viglundsdóttir’s photo is on the banner. Bryndis is an IR Volunteer translator, writer, and author of Guðríður‘s Saga. Learn more here.
Working Together: Icelandic Roots, The Snorri Programs, and Þórdís Kolbrún the Foreign Minister. L-R: Hulda Karen Daníelsdóttir, Hjördís Hilmarsdóttir, Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, Cathy Josephson, Sunna Furstenau, and Pála Hallgrímsdóttir
Cathy Josephson enjoying visitors to the Genealogy Center
The Genealogy Center was a lot of fun, like always. Photos by Shirley J. Olgeirson and Hrannar Björn Arnarsson.
There were some real Vikings!
Thanks to the descendants of Pastor Níels Steingrímur Þorláksson, IR# I36315 for honoring his brother, the Father of the Icelandic Settlement in Dakota, Páll Þorláksson.
Saturday. 2 pm Heritage Program at The Deuce Photo by Shirley J Olgeirson
Sunna gave a presentation about the growth of Icelandic Roots, the cooperation with the Icelandic Communities Association and The Deuce over many years as well as the IR projects, grants, scholarships, and more of the volunteer team. You can read the presentation HERE.
This photo and article were featured in the Cavalier Chronicle - credit to Shirley J. Olgeirson for the photo and sending info to the newspaper.
Saturday night, Hjördís showed her film in Mountain at the Community Center. Many thanks to the ICA volunteers who provided lemonade, coffee, water, and yummy treats for the East Iceland Highland Farms documentary and the American Legion Post.
Icelandic Roots Members will receive the link to watch this film. It is available in the Members Only section of our YouTube channel.
Sunday morning we were up early and on our way to Gimli.
New Iceland Heritage Museum in Gimli has received several grants from IR. We had a full afternoon of fun. Thanks to Julianna and all the staff at the NIHM for hosting us. Everything was perfect.
Hjördís showed her documentary film from 1-2:30. Then we hosted an open Genealogy Center from 2:30-4:30. Many people came and it was so much fun! Pictured: Cathy Josephson, Vopnafjörður; Hjördís Hilmarsdóttir, Egilsstaðir; Peggy Turner, Winnipeg; Sæmundur Þór, Mývatn; Heather Goodman Lytwyn, Winnipeg; and Sunna Olafson Furstenau, Fargo ND.
Hjördís, Sæmundur, Cathy, and Sunna took a driving tour from Gimli to Hecla and back
Cathy and our new friend, Richard, in Hecla
At the Vilhjalmur Stefansson monument near Arnes, Manitoba. Check out an article and video HERE.
Cathy and Sunna with Nelson Gerrard at Engimýri. Icelandic River Heritage Sites have received several grants including one for the restoration of this house
Sigtryggur Jónasson, the Father of New Iceland, lived in this house.
The Sigtryggur Jónasson monument in Riverton, Manitoba
One of our favorite places -- The Tergesen Bookstore!
Sunna with Lorna Tergesen - so nice to be together again!
Willow Point - a large group (about 235) of Icelandic immigrants landed here on October 21, 1875, near Gimli, Manitoba. Shortly after their arrival, a woman gave birth against a large white rock in the October stormy weather. This white rock symbolizes their struggles, successes, and stories.
There are many more photos but you can see we had a fabulous time at both celebrations. We thank the Icelandic Communities Association of Northeast North Dakota for this 20th time hosting a Genealogy Center at The Deuce (2003-2022) and we thank the New Iceland Heritage Museum for hosting us for the 2nd time (2019, 2022).
The list can go on and on. Together, we collaborated and enjoyed the weekend with many other people but a special thanks to:
All the volunteers who put on these events
All the IR Volunteers who kept working behind the scenes - over 60 now! Our Team website page.
Shirley J. Olgeirson provided most of the photos for this collection.
Hjördís Hilmarsdóttir from Egilsstaðir – Icelandic Roots Abandoned Farms specialist and genealogy team member who presented her film, East Iceland Abandoned Highland Farms / Heiðarbýlin. This video is in our Members-Only section. See our YouTube channel for more info.
Cathy Josephson from Vopnafjörður - IR Genealogist and Membership Team Leader and the Director for the East Iceland Emigration Center. Cathy has been to North Dakota for The Deuce Genealogy Center and various Icelandic conventions in North America many times. She has given presentations and been part of many events.
IR Volunteers, Hjördís and Cathy, traveled over 11,000 km (6,835 miles) by air and over 1600 km (1000 miles) by car to volunteer at the two events.
The Deuce of August in North Dakota (123 years)
Íslendingadagurinn in Manitoba (133 years).
We cannot wait until next year!