•  From Curtis Watkins, District 2 / Zone 6 Director

Velkommen Hans Majestet King Harald V til Alaska!!  The state of Alaska was honored to have King Harald V visit our great state this May when he visited Ketchikan as well as Anchorage. In Anchorage, he opened the "Polar Night" exhibit at the Anchorage Museum. Maureen “Mo” Foskey and Curtis Watkins attended the Alaska World Affairs Council Lunch Program where King Harald emphasized that the polar nations should work together to deal with the challenge of the changing Arctic climate. During his remarks, His Majesty drew special attention to the contributions of Roald Amundsen (relative of our own Susan Amundsen).  A reception was then held at the Bernt Balchen Lodge. His plan was to spend only three minutes at each of three selected tables. However, when he got to the table with the youth, he spent at least 15 minutes there. They had a great time talking and sharing. One of the questions they asked "Mister King" was "What would you have done if you were not a king?" and he replied that he would have been a teacher. Mo and I were very impressed with the formality protocols that come with being in the presence of a king. We did not sit until the king sat, and only he could initiate a handshake, however we found King Harald V to be very personable. Tusen takk to the Bernt Balchen Lodge for their great job hosting his visit. So.....Mo and I can mark off of our bucket list, being in the presence of real live royalty!     (Editor’s note: Ctrl + Click on this link to view King Harald V Speech

  • From Marlys Henderson:   

Syttende Mai” (translated as May 17 and also known as Grunnlovsdagen [The Constitution Day] and Nasjonaldagen [The National Day]) is celebrated in Norway and many other places where Norwegians emigrated to commemorate May 17, 1814, the day the Norwegian constitution was signed at Eidsvoll, after the Napoleonic Wars.  The constitution marked the end of Denmark’s rule of Norway and Norway’s new union with Sweden. In 1903 Sweden and Norway amicably parted ways and Norway became an independent kingdom.   On the 17th day of May 2015, Arctic Viking Lodge members commemorated this historical event.  Approximately 60 members and friends of the lodge gathered together and enjoyed a feast of foods.  Before eating, a brief review of the history of Syttende Mai was presented. Jon Johansen and Audun Endestad then told us about the festivities and celebrations that were held in their hometowns when they were children in Norway.   Men wear their finest clothes, women their bunads, while children dressed in national costumes or fine clothes.  Most towns also hold a children’s parade. While we could not celebrate in Norway, we enjoyed being with friends and families in Fairbanks, Alaska, with thoughts of our ancestors who lived in faraway places.



President Ranae has asked that members please consider signing up to give the lodge a good cleaning (sinks, toilets, mop/sweep, etc.) once a month. Sign-up sheets have been posted on the bulletin board, or you can call or email Ranae (328-1070


Thank you!

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