June 15th, 2024

Norwegians honour anniversary of country’s constitution

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on May 18, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

To celebrate the 210th anniversary of the development of the Norwegian constitution, members of the Lethbridge Sons of Norway Solsyd Lodge along with city dignitaries and RCMP veterans raised the Norwegian flag Friday at City Hall.
Sharon Prenevost, chair of the Lethbridge Sons of Norway Solsyd Lodge, said they have been raising the flag every year on May 17 for more than 20 years.
“The development of the Norwegian constitution was on May 17, 1814 and the flag was developed in 1821,” she said.
Prenevost said that at that time, Norway had been under the control of Denmark for about 400 years. After the country was defeated by Napoleon Norway was ceded by Denmark to Sweden and was a part of that country until 1905.
“It has a long and varied history and the people are very proud to be independent since that time,” said Prenevost.
 Prenevost said there are quite a few Norwegian people here.
 “Lots of people from Norwegian ancestry, not very many of them are active, so that is something we want to do, engage people more into being active with the Sons of Norway,” said Prenevost.
 She said they meet once a month September through June, on the third Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. for dinner at Park Bridge Estates.
 “We only have four formal meetings a year, the rest is fun time playing bingo in Norwegian, or doing some handicraft, or rosemaling or things like that. Not that we are very good at it because very few of us speak in Norwegian anymore,” said Prenevost.
 She said very few of them still follow the Norwegian traditions as it has been three or four or more generations since their ancestors left Norway.
 “But we do have some trees that we planted in Legacy Park, 18 of them, and some of them are in honour of our Norwegian ancestors,” said Prenevost.
She said they also have a bench at Legacy Park just overlooking the pond, as well as a tree at Henderson Lake Park.
 “It’s a Norway Maple tree and there’s a rock there with something inscribed on it about the Norwegian people living in this area,” said Prenevost.

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