Daughters of Norway commemorate a decade

POULSBO — There were bunads aplenty Saturday at the Sons of Norway lodge, where nearly 80 residents came to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Poulsbo’s Daughters of Norway, Nina Grieg Lodge No. 40.

To top off the festivities, 11 new members were inducted, bringing the group’s head count to more than 50.

“In this day and age not a lot of things make it to 10 years, so we’re happy,” said lodge vice president Kathi Trostad. “We have some really hard workers here. They got this room whipped in shape real fast.”

Daughters of Norway members are required to either be of Scandinavian heritage or married to a Norwegian. The group meets the second Saturday of each month, and the members refer to one another as “sister” in an effort to recreate the warmth of old Norwegian homes, Trostad said.

“These people, they’ve just been such a blessing,” she said. “I think that’s what a lot of us have felt.”

Trostad said members of the lodge range in from teenagers to women in their 90s, but there isn’t really a generation gap, as studying and preserving their heritage brings them together.

“To me, I just think that it’s really important to pass your heritage on,” she said. “It’s pretty touching and moving.”

Founding president Marit Nielsen said the organization has reached a high point in its existence.

“I think we have a wonderful group of ladies and sisters. We’ve enjoyed 10 years, and we’ve had wonderful sisters that have helped me all the way,” she said. “I feel like we’ve really reached a plateau and I’m so proud of these ladies. It’s a very, very wonderful organization.”

Deanna Egeland Dowell said she has been a part of Poulsbo’s Daughters of Norway for less than a year, but already loves being involved, especially when working with genealogies.

“This is a wonderful way to spend a Saturday a month,” she said.

Three-month member Jan Baker said she’s enjoyed learning about the rich Scandinavian history.

“They’ve had wonderful programs here,” she said. “It’s just purely about Norwegian culture.”

Displayed at the celebration was a bunad currently being crafted by four of the lodge’s members. It will be up for raffle at the Daughters of Norway convention in Tacoma in July 2008.

“We are growing, we’re proud of Daughters,” Nielsen said. “All in all I think the atmosphere was very, very nice.”

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