Leading the Way
The 2016 Sons of Norway Convention looks to the future while celebrating the past
The Norwegian American
Sons of Norway presidents and members from Norway, Canada, and all corners of the U.S. gathered at Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Wash., from August 24 to 28 for the 2016 Sons of Norway International Convention.
To officially kick off the convention, the attendees all gathered for a commemorative opening ceremony, held in the Bicentennial Pavilion Room on the afternoon of Aug. 25.
The Chair of the Local Planning Committee, Tom Heavey, welcomed guests and started by thanking the three host lodges—Norden, Vesterdalen, and Hovedstad—for their hard work in organizing the convention.
After the directors and international board members were escorted in, the recently assembled Poulsbo and Tacoma Mannskor led the audience in singing the Canadian, Norwegian, and American national anthems.
Attendees were then greeted by messages from His Majesty King Harald V of Norway and Norway’s Ambassador to the U.S., Kåre R. Aas, among others, and a memorial service honored those who had passed away within the last two years.
One of the primary functions of the international convention, held every other year, is to elect new officers and directors to the Sons of Norway International Board.
This year Jon Tehven of Waverly, Iowa, was re-elected International President; Tehven has served as president for the past two years and his new term will extend until the next convention in 2018. In this role, Tehven presides at the international lodge meetings and works with the board of directors to shape the goals and future of Sons of Norway.
International Vice-President Ron Stubbings, International Treasurer Elaine M. Nelson, and International Secretary Marci Larson were also re-elected into their positions, while District 1 Director Karl N. Hella, District 2 Director Mark Agerter, District 3 Director Kenneth Johnson, and District 4 Director Steven M. Halverson were newly elected.
The convention wasn’t all business, though; it also featured the International Folk Art Competition with more than 90 folk art items competing in 10 categories. The artisans—hailing from both North America and Norway—submitted pieces including rosemaled items, a bunad, Hardanger pieces, weavings, photography, drawings, paintings, and more.
Both the People’s Choice Award and the Sons of Norway Foundation Golden Jubilee Award were given to Kirsten Håheim from 8-018 Haugaland Lodge for her Stavanger woven rug. An ivory Hardanger piece, created by Kristine Crompton from 2-015 Grieg Lodge, took the Best in Show Award as the judges’ overall favorite folk art submission.
With activities ranging from the folk art competition and Scandinavian vendors to sightseeing opportunities and leadership programs, the 2016 Sons of Norway International Convention included a little something for everyone.
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 23, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.