Norway king to welcome mayor

Hal Leland, mayor of Fergus Falls Journal,

Hal Leland, mayor of Fergus Falls, Minn., is traveling to Bergen with his wife Joyce Bruns as a local delegation for the Fergus Falls-Bergen Sister Cities International Commission.

A local delegation is in Norway on a trip participants hope will solidify ties with Fergus Falls’ sister city.

Mayor Hal Leland, his wife, and Joyce Bruns of the Fergus Falls Area Sister Cities International Commission left for Bergen, Norway, Sunday.

The highlight of the trip is scheduled for Thursday, when Leland meets with King Harald V and Queen Sonia during a visit to the Western Norway Emigration Center in Sletta. The center and its founder, Asbjorn Ystebo, were instrumental in the formation of Fergus Falls’ sister city relationship with Nordhordland.

Leland said last week he will present the king and queen with a Charles Beck woodcut depicting the Fergus Falls and Red River Valley areas during the time when Norwegian immigrants arrived in the late 1800s.

Prior to Thursday, Leland is scheduled to meet with representatives of the Bergen Chamber of Commerce. He will also meet with staff of Danielsen Videregaende Skole, the Bergen high school that sends students to Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. Leland said he would like to solidify the Hillcrest relationship, as well as explore student and teacher exchanges with Fergus Falls Public Schools. Then there’s the possibility of getting Danielsen graduates to attend M State.

“That’s my greatest hope — to further develop the relationship we have with them in education,” Leland said.

Leland, who will meet with Nordhordland’s nine mayors, said he would also like to develop economic ties with western Norway.

The trip will include sightseeing before Leland returns to Fergus Falls June 26.

Source: Fergus Falls Journal

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