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Sons of Norway celebrates its 90th

Sons of Norway members young and old wore their Nordic finest as the lodge celebrated its 90th birthday Saturday.  - Charles Melton/Staff Photo
Sons of Norway members young and old wore their Nordic finest as the lodge celebrated its 90th birthday Saturday.
— image credit: Charles Melton/Staff Photo

POULSBO — For one night, the spirit of days gone by filled the Sons of Norway lodge as members and invited guests gathered in celebration of 90 years in Little Norway.

Bunads, a hardinger fiddle player and a young aspiring accordion player joined krumkake and other Nordic edibles as Little Norway came out in style to celebrate its past.

Among the notable guests were relatives of Ingvald M. Peterson, who, along with the likes of Alf Hostmark, H. O. Mesford and Fred Frederickson, signed the lodge’s original charter on Feb. 22, 1916.

“I thought it was wonderful and I felt really blessed to be there,” said Kathi Trostad, who helped organize the event.

The gathering showcased the entire array of the Sons membership, especially during the bunad parade, in which members dressed in traditional Nordic attire waltzed through the audience, Trostad said.

“I grew up in Raab Park and can remember when I used to see bunads on the street and hear people speaking Norwegian,” she added.

Inez Slind’s handmade outfit stood out, Trostad said, noting that Slind has been a member of the organization for almost 50 years

“She used to teach beading classes here and she was a nurse during World War II,” Trostad said.

Among the youngest bunad wearers was a pair of 4-year-old twin girls who also joined the parade.

“It touched my heart to see them,” Trostad said.

The Leikarringen Dancers ushered in the evening’s festivities as they took to the floor spinning and swinging to traditional Scandinavian tunes played by Sons president Bob Moseng on his hardinger fiddle.

“Some of the best memories my children have are of when they danced with the Sons,” Trostad said.

Sons administrator Mariann Samuelsen said the celebration brought out the best the Sons of Norway has to offer.

“We felt everybody was there to keep the traditions, heritage and culture of Nordic countries alive,” Samuelsen said, noting that more than 200 people attended the event. “It was a proud day for the Sons of Norway.”

Having such local dignitaries as Mayor Kathryn Quade, State Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) and a handful of Poulsbo City Council members attend added to the community feel of the event, Samuelsen said.

“It was truly a gathering of brothers and sisters,” Samuelsen said.

As the lodge celebrates its past and looks toward the future, Moseng expressed his desire to renew traditions from its earlier years.

“Lodge family picnics, I like that idea and hopefully we can do something like that in the future,” Moseng said.

With the 90th birthday now in the past, ideas are already being discussed for the lodge’s centennial celebration in 2016.

“Maybe we can have the king attend,” Samuelsen said, pointing out that Princess Martha came to Poulsbo in October 2005 on a book tour.

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