Sons of Norway Nordic Lodge 76 Castlegar, B.C. held its 50th anniversary at Little Bear Golf Club recently. The event was very well attended. President Ida Price, District President Gloria Benazic and her husband, also our International Director Ron Stubbing and his wife were present.
The District President and International Director each gave a very nice speech about the S.O.N. organization. Then Conrad Brattebo, the only charter member left, told stories about all the good things that have happened in our S.O.N. Lodge Castlegar over 50 years.
From the start of Nordic Lodge Castlegar, a few Norwegians moved down from Prince Rupert, Gunner and Borghild Selvig and Trygve and Dolly Kaardal that belonged to Prince Rupert S.O.N Lodge. Those members, beginning of the year 1961, started with organizing a new Lodge in Castlegar,. Gunnar Selvig spearheaded it, and found lots of Norwegians in Castlegar, Kinnaird, Trail, Warfield, Rossland and Nelson. We had many meetings and all of us did a good job of signing up more members, also with lots of help from S.O.N. District Director Tormod Rekdal.
On Sept 30, 1961, we had the first Initiation charter meeting at the Masonic Hall in Castlegar. Supreme Director Haakon Soros presided over the initiation of 54 new members and the installation of the new Officers, Gunnar Selvig 1st President and the rest of us to different officer positions in the Lodge.
District President J. Henry Carlson told the story of how to start and organize the Lodge. The Sleipner (Spokane) Lodge Ladies Drill Team was doing a fabulous job with everything.
It was a joint effort of members from Castlegar, Kinnaird, Trail, Warfield Rossland and Nelson. Over the years we did lots of organizing and donating and putting on things to help the local communities.
We worked hard and had our own S.O.N. Hall where we had all sorts of functions.
On September 30, 1961 we started through our Sports Director, and a Ski and Soccer Club. Later we changed the name to Castlegar S.O.N. Nordic Cross Country Skiing. Then later on the new name was changed to Castlegar Nordic Ski Club. We have 50 km of groomed trails and the Viking Centre and three very nice remote shelters.
All our members over the years have been very active with the above and soccer and fishing and golfing, curling, bowling, hockey and lots of other things.
The Sons of Norway organization helps to promote and preserve our heritage, and culture in our membership. There are projects on folk dancing, rose painting and wood carving, history of Norway, and outings to various locations.
There are also courses in Norwegian, which have been offered for many years. The classes have resumed with nine students, who are taught by Ole Kristiansen. Anyone interested in joining can contact Ole at 250-365-1017.
Submitted by Conrad Bratebo